The Rituals of Hajj: Symbols of Tawheed - I

in islam, the greatest obligation placed upon every human being is tawheed (to have belief in the oneness of allah the almighty, and to act in accordance to it). tawheed helps one attain felicity in this life and the hereafter; without it, one’s lot will be misery and hardship. at no stage of the prophet’s,  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may allaah exalt his mention ), mission did he stop calling to tawheed and waging war against shirk (polytheism) and its manifestations. all five pillars of islam confirm the importance of tawheed and embody it, for it is the root of these pillars.

hajj is a great symbol of the actualization of tawheed in one’s worship, direction and aim. allah the almighty says: {and for every nation we have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the name of allah over the beast of cattle that he has given them for food. and your ilaah (god) is one ilaah, so you must submit to him alone (in islam). and (o muhammad!) give glad tidings to the mukhbitin (those who obey allah with humility and are humble from among the true believers of islamic monotheism).} [quran, 22: 34]
some examples of this are found in the rituals of hajj:
·        the prophet,  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may allaah exalt his mention ), entered into the state of ihraam (sacral state) with the words of tawheed. jaabir  may allaah be pleased with him said, “and he started his ihraam with at-tawheed when he said: ‘labbayka allaahumma labbayk, labbayka la shareeka laka labbayk. innal-hamda wan-ni'mata laka wal-mulk, la shareeka lak.’(meaning: i respond to your call, o allah i respond to your call. i respond to your call, you have no partner. i respond to your call. indeed, the praise and grace are yours as well as sovereignty. you have no partner).”
·        one must raise his voice with it, for the prophet,  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may allaah exalt his mention ), said:“the best hajj is the one in which the voice is raised with talbiyah and blood of sacrificial animals flow.” it is a talbiyah of the one who feels that all acts of worship should compulsorily be directed to allah the almighty alone and realises the danger of shirk and other destructive sins; a talbiyah of the one who sacrifices to none but allah the almighty, calls none but allah the almighty and seeks relief from none except allah the almighty. the pilgrim keeps on reciting this talbiyah until he casts the pebbles of jamratul-'aqabah.
·        it is authentically reported from the prophet,  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may allaah exalt his mention ), that during his tawaaf he only touched ar-rukn al-yamaani (the yemeni corner) and al-hajar al-aswad (the black stone). however, if the pilgrim finds it difficult to touch them he should point to the black stone and say, “allaahu akbar” once as he passes by it. as for the yemenicorner, he should not point to it if he cannot touch it. this is done in order to come closer to allah, and carry out his commandments. allah says:{so let them worship the lord of this house.}[quran, 106: 3]
·        the prophet,  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may allaah exalt his mention ), also said: “circumambulation of the house; running between safa and marwa, and casting the pebbles is only ordained for establishment of the remembrance of allah.”these rites were performed by the prophet,  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may allaah exalt his mention ), solely for the purpose of worshipping allah the almighty, and not for the purpose of seeking blessings therefrom. that is why ‘umar  may allaah be pleased with him said when kissing the black stone, “by allah! i know that you are only a stone. you neither benefit nor harm. if it were not that i saw the prophet kissing you, i would not have kissed you.” [al-bukhaari, muslim]
·        scholars have agreed that it is not permissible to touch or kiss other than what is reported in the sunnah that the prophet,  sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may allaah exalt his mention ) has touched or kissed. al-athram, a companion of imaam ahmad  may allaah have mercy upon him said, “i saw that people of knowledge among the inhabitants of madeenah did not touch the prophet’s grave; they would only stand at a corner and say their salaam to him.” abdul-hasan said, “under islamic law, the touching and kissing of graves are regarded to be abominable innovations.” he further said, “the khuraasaani jurists said, “graves should not be rubbed, kissed or touched for that is the practice of christians.” at-tahaawi, a hanafi scholar said, “graves should not be touched nor kissed for that is the custom of the people of the book.” in islam, nothing is known to be touched except al-hajar al-aswad and the yemeni corner.
(to be continued…)
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