Jesus was a Muslim.  Yes you read that correctly, Jesus was a Muslim and one of the mightiest messengers of Allaah swt.  Jesus came from the same prophetic traditions as Adam, David, Moses, Solomon, and all of the Prophets whom all came with the same message of Tawhid or Pure Monotheism.  The worship of only the One God which is Allah swt.

Every Muslim believes in the virgin birth of Jesus from Marium (Mary).  You cannot be a Muslim if you do not believe this.  Muslims believe that Jesus was the Messiah, that he was the word of God, and that he will return and kill the anti-Christ.  However, Muslims do not believe that Jesus is God or the son of God.  This is considered blasphemous in Islam and constitutes Shirk which is an unforgivable sin.  Muslims do not believe in the crucifixion either, instead Muslims believe that Allah swt protected Jesus and brought him up to heaven while putting his likeness or resemblance on the cross.  This is interesting in light of the fact that the Gospel of Thomas said that Judas was the one found on the cross and that Judas was the twin or lookalike of Jesus.  In fact Thomas in Ancient Greek means Twin.

When Jesus prayed, he did not pray to himself, he prayed to Allah swt.  He also said that he did nothing on his own but only with the permission of the Lord in the Heavens.

Jesus was a shining example of how to live and in fact there is more information preserved about Jesus in the Islamic texts than in the Christian texts.  Jesus even prayed as the modern day Muslims.


title: Sinead O’Connor Reverts to Islam,
content:

Irish Singer/Songwriter Sinead O’Connor, currently “Sister Shuhada’ Davitt”, reverts to Islam though she was once ordained as a priest despite being a woman with a Roman Catholic background.

"Sinead

Sinead O’Connor: a journey from Christianity to Islam

In the late 1990s, Bishop Michael Cox of the Irish Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church (an Independent Catholic group not in communion with the Catholic Church) ordained O’Connor as a priest, though the Roman Catholic Church considers ordination of women to be invalid and asserts that a person attempting the sacrament of ordination upon a woman incurs excommunication.

The bishop had contacted her to offer ordination following her appearance on the RTÉ’s Late Late Show, during which she told the presenter, Gay Byrne, that had she not been a singer, she would have wished to have been a Catholic priest. After her ordination, she indicated that she wished to be called Mother Bernadette Mary.

In August 2018, via an open letter, she asked Pope Francis to excommunicate her, as she had asked of Pope Benedict and John Paul II. She wrote for the Sunday Independent, labelling the Vatican as “a nest of devils”.

In October 2018, O’Connor converted to Islam, calling it “the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian’s journey.” Watch this video to see Sinead O’Connor or Sister Shuhada’ Davitt while giving her testimony of faith!

Watch Also:

Female Priest Embraced Islam after Jesus Came to her, Says ABC News


tags: irish-singer-songwriter / sinead-oconnor-reverts-to-islam / sister-shuhada-davitt /



title: Dictionary of the Most Important New Testament Quotations from the Old Testament,
content:

Introduction

"New

Did the New Testament stick to literal quotation from the Old Testament?

Quotations are commonplace in the sacred scriptures in all heavenly messages, especially Judaism, Christianity and Islam. When the true word of God involves a quotation, it should be completely identical with its original source. Otherwise, unidenticalness, partial identicalness and even approximate identicalness may serve as evidence of the distortion or even the alteration of the word of God. A quotation is nothing but the literal citation of the words of others, letter by letter, and word by word, verbatim, without increase or decrease in meanings or different orders of words.

As for Islam, Muslims do not claim that the Qur’an’s quotations from the previous scriptures, especially the Torah, the Injeel, and the Zabur, are necessarily included in the Bible simply because they do not believe that the Bible necessarily includes the original Torah, Injeel and Zabur. They rather believe that the Bible is a mixture between the remaining word of God and the word of man. Therefore, we may/may not find the Qur’an’s quotations from the previous scriptures in the Bible.

Unlike the Bible, the Qur’an has no inter-part or inter-chapter quotations for it is such a single unit which was revealed within the same span of time. Therefore, we do not find any chapter of the Qur’an quoting verses from another chapter. In general, there are a few quotations in the Qur’an for we notice that God directly talks to us without an agent.

As for the prophetic Sunnah (Tradition), including the prophetic statements, in addition to the statements of Prophet Muhammad’s Companions, as well as their successors and the successors of their successors, including the righteous predecessors and the grand scholars, they stick to the literalism of quotation from the Qur’an. That is to say Prophet Muhammad in his Sunnah, his Companions in their tradition as well as the Successors, the Successors of the Successors, the righteous predecessors and the grand scholars in their statements used to quote literal verses or parts of verses from the Qur’an letter by letter, word by word verbatim without increase or decrease in meanings, different orders of words, or adapted narrations.

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For example, Abu Sa`id bin Al-Mu`alla reported: “While I was praying in the Mosque, the Messenger of God called me but I did not respond to him. Later I said, ‘O Messenger of God! I was praying.’ He said, ‘Didn’t Allah say: ‘استجيبوا لله وللرسول إذا دعاكم لما يحييكم ‘Respond to God and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life.’ (Al-Anfal 8:24) He then said to me, ‘I will teach you a Sura (chapter) which is the greatest Sura in the Qur’an, before you leave the Mosque.’ Then he got hold of my hand, and when he intended to leave (the Mosque), I said to him, ‘Didn’t you say to me, ‘I will teach you a Sura which is the greatest Sura in the Qur’an?’ He said, ‘الحمد لله رب العالمين’ ‘Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds’ (Al-Fatihah 1:2) which is Al-Sab’a Al-Mathani (i.e. the seven repeatedly recited verses) and the Grand Qur’an which has been given to me.’” (Al-Bukhari)

In the above hadith (prophetic statement), there are two quotations from two different Qur’anic chapters. The first quotation is taken from the chapter of Al-Anfal. It is completely identical to the source verse in the chapter of Al-Anfal as follows:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ الأنفال 24:8

O you who have believed, respond to God and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. And know that God intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered. (Al-Anfal 8:24)

The second quotation is also completely identical to the source verse in the chapter of Al-Fatihah as follows:

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ الفاتحة 2:1

Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds (Al-Fatihah 1:2)

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Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of God said, “When the Imam says: ‘غير المغضوب عليهم ولا الضالين ‘not the path of those who earn Your Anger, nor the path of those who went astray (Al-Fatihah 1:7)’, then you must say, ‘Ameen’, for if one’s utterance of ‘Ameen’ coincides with that of the angels, then his past sins will be forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari)

In the above hadith, there is one quotation from the chapter of Al-Fatihah. It is completely identical to the source verse as follows:

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ الفاتحة 7:1

Not the path of those who earn Your Anger, nor the path of those who went astray (Al-Fatihah 1:7)

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Abu Huraira reported that Prophet Muhammad said, “It was said to the children of Israel, ‘ادخلوا الباب سجدا وقولوا حطة ‘Enter the gate bowing humbly and say, ‘Relieve us of our burdens’, but they changed the word and entered the town crawling on their buttocks and saying: ‘A wheat grain in the hair.’” (Al-Bukhari)

In the above hadith, there is one quotation from the chapter of Al-Baqarah. It is completely identical to the source verse as follows:

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا ادْخُلُوا هَذِهِ الْقَرْيَةَ فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا حَيْثُ شِئْتُمْ رَغَدًا وَادْخُلُوا الْبَابَ سُجَّدًا وَقُولُوا حِطَّةٌ نَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ خَطَايَاكُمْ وَسَنَزِيدُ الْمُحْسِنِينَ البقرة 58:2

And [recall] when We said, “Enter this city and eat from it wherever you will in [ease and] abundance, and enter the gate bowing humbly and say, ‘Relieve us of our burdens.’ We will [then] forgive your sins for you, and We will increase the doers of good [in goodness and reward].” (Al-Baqarah 2:58)

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`Umar ibn Al Khattab reported: “My Lord agreed with me in three things: 1. I said, ‘O Messenger of God, I wish we took the station of Abraham as our praying place (for some of our prayers).’ So came the Divine Inspiration: ‘And take you (people) the station of Abraham as a place of prayer (for some of your prayers e.g. two Rak`at of Tawaf of Ka`ba)’. 2. And as regards the (verse of) the veiling of women, I said, ‘O Messenger of God! I wish you ordered your wives to cover themselves from men because good and bad ones talk to them.’ So the verse of the veiling of women was revealed. 3. Once the wives of the Prophet made a united front against him and I said to them, ‘عسى ربه إن طلقكن أن يبدله أزواجا خيرا منكن مسلمات ‘It may be, if he divorced you (all), that his Lord will give him in exchange consorts better than you.’ So this verse (the same as I had said) was revealed.’” (Al-Bukhari)

In the above hadith, there is one quotation from the chapter of At-Tahrim. It is completely identical to the source verse as follows:

عَسَى رَبُّهُ إِنْ طَلَّقَكُنَّ أَنْ يُبْدِلَهُ أَزْوَاجًا خَيْرًا مِنْكُنَّ مُسْلِمَاتٍ مُؤْمِنَاتٍ قَانِتَاتٍ تَائِبَاتٍ عَابِدَاتٍ سَائِحَاتٍ ثَيِّبَاتٍ وَأَبْكَارًا التحريم 5:66

It may be, if he divorced you (all), that his Lord will give him in exchange consorts better than you,- who submit (their wills), who believe, who are devout, who turn to Allah in repentance, who worship (in humility), who travel (for Faith) and fast,- previously married or virgins. (At-Tahrim 66:5)

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Abu Huraira reported: “The people of the Book used to read the Torah in Hebrew and then explain it in Arabic to the Muslims. The Messenger of God said (to Muslims). ‘Do not believe the people of the Book, nor disbelieve them, but say, ‘قولوا آمنا بالله وما أنزل إلينا ‘We believed in God and what has been revealed to us.’” (Al-Bukhari)

In the above hadith, there is one quotation from the chapter of Al-Baqarah. It is completely identical to the source verse as follows:

قُولُوا آَمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَى وَعِيسَى وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ البقرة 136:2

Say, [O believers], “We believed in God and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.” (Al-Baqarah 2:136)

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Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri reported: The Messenger of God said, “Noah will be called on the Day of Resurrection and he will say, ‘Labbaik and Sa`daik, O my Lord!’ God will say, ‘Did you convey the Message?’ Noah will say, ‘Yes.’ His nation will then be asked, ‘Did he convey the Message to you?’ They will say, ‘No Warner came to us.’ Then God will say (to Noah), ‘Who will bear witness in your favor?’ He will say, ‘Muhammad and his followers.’ So they (i.e. Muslims) will testify that he conveyed the Message. And the Messenger (Muhammad) will be a witness over yourselves, and that is what is meant by the Statement of God ‘وكذلك جعلناكم أمة وسطا لتكونوا شهداء على الناس ويكون الرسول عليكم شهيدا ‘And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you.’ (Al-Baqarah 2:143)” (Al-Bukhari)

In the above hadith, there is one quotation from the chapter of Al-Baqarah. It is completely identical to the source verse as follows:

وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الْقِبْلَةَ الَّتِي كُنْتَ عَلَيْهَا إِلَّا لِنَعْلَمَ مَنْ يَتَّبِعُ الرَّسُولَ مِمَّنْ يَنْقَلِبُ عَلَى عَقِبَيْهِ وَإِنْ كَانَتْ لَكَبِيرَةً إِلَّا عَلَى الَّذِينَ هَدَى اللَّهُ وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَانَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِالنَّاسِ لَرَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ  البقرة 134:2

And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you. And We did not make the qiblah which you used to face except that We might make evident who would follow the Messenger from who would turn back on his heels. And indeed, it is difficult except for those whom Allah has guided. And never would Allah have caused you to lose your faith. Indeed Allah is, to the people, Kind and Merciful. (Al-Baqarah 2:143)

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As for the Bible, we do not find between the Old Testament and the New Testament such complete identicalness which is between the Sunnah and the Qur’an. What is more, we, sometimes, do not find the New Testament quotations attributed to the Old Testament (Matthew 2:23), (John 1:45-46).

We, sometimes, do not find such quotations in some manuscripts of the New Testament itself (1 Corinthians 2:16). The New Testament, sometimes, attribute to the Old Testament such quotations which are rather taken from somewhere or someone else, like Epimenides (Titus 1:12) or the non-canonical Book of Enoch (Jude 1:14-15). The New Testament, sometimes, gives short successive quotations as one quotation from the Old Testament, though they are multiple scattered quotations from the Old Testament without any indications in the Greek manuscripts that they are separate quotations (Mark 1:2-3), (Romans 3:10-18).

The New Testament, sometimes, gives such quotations which are only partially identical to the Old Testament. That is to say, some of the quotation words and/or meanings are found in the Old Testament, while other words and/or meanings are not found (Matthew 4:10), (Matthew 5:31), (Luke 10:25-27).

Sometimes, there is identicalness between the quotation given in the New Testament and its source in the Old Testament but with slight differences in words and/or meanings (Matthew 2:18), (Matthew 4:6). However, we still do not deny that the New Testament quotations are sometimes completely identical to their sources in the Old Testament.

Now, we may ask: if the Bible is the pure word of God, can its New Testament quotations not be completely identical to their sources in the Old Testament or be only partially or almost identical, though a quotation is nothing but the literal citation of the words of others, letter by letter, and word by word, verbatim.

The New Testament quotations’ unidenticalness or partial or approximate identicalness may serve as evidence of the distortion or even the alteration of the word of God supposed to be contained in the Bible. As the Bible we have nowadays involves such inconsistencies between its two testaments after the exclusion of the non-canonical books, what if the non-canonical books have not been excluded?

But, why is unidenticalness there? Did the New Testament authors not have copies of the Old Testament?

Either they had copies of the Old Testament, but they ignored them and added, omitted, or brought forward or back according to their own fancy, or they did not have copies of the Old Testament for there was no old testament in the form taken in the wake of the Council of Nicaea and even later on, and so they had to depend on their fallible memory and adapted narrations.

Anyway, the result is the same, that is, the Bible scribes did not stick to literal transcription when writing down the Bible contents. They would add, omit, and bring forward and back as they liked, without adherence to literal transcription, either deliberately, indeliberately, or for bad memory and the lack of complete, reliable compilations of the Bible books at the dawn of Christianity.

Finally, the collection and classification of the Bible books in the form we have today is something which retarded for centuries after Jesus’ Ascension which gave way to the distortion and corruption of the word of God supposed to be contained in the Bible.

Download the Dictionary of the Most Important New Testament Quotations from the Old Testament

To download the Dictionary of the Most Important New Testament Quotations from the Old Testament, click Dictionary of the Most Important New Testament Quotations from the Old Testament


tags: consistency-between-the-old-testament-and-the-new-testament / dictionary-of-the-most-important-new-testament-quotations-from-the-old-testament / dictionary-of-the-most-important-new-testament-quotes-from-the-old-testament / highlights / identicalness-between-the-old-testament-and-the-new-testament / identity-between-the-old-testament-and-the-new-testament / the-old-testament-prophecies-in-the-new-testament /



title: Hajj (Pilgrimage) between Symbolic Worship and Responsiveness to Abraham’s Call to Monotheism,
content:

"Hajj

Hundreds of thousands make hajj to Mecca

At the beginning of the sacred month of Dhu Al-Hijjah according to the Islamic (Hijri) lunar calendar, the world is wakened to a touching scene of vast masses of Muslims putting on white sheets at Mecca.

This is the Islamic major pilgrimage (Hajj) which is seen by many people as unpopular with the Abrahamic religions. That is why there is ample room for misunderstanding, vilification, contestation and even attribution to paganism.

Many questions are asked by non-Muslims about the aspect of worship in this ceremony which seems unconventional for the followers of the previous heavenly messages preceding the final message of Islam brought forward by Prophet Muhammad.

Hajj is an act of worship involving much more symbolism than the other acts of worship in Islam. it is performed in response to Abraham’s call

However, as the proverb goes: “if the reason is known, the surprise is blown!” Let’s know more about this controversial ceremony to identify its spiritual meanings and track its origins and decide if they are heavenly or pagan ones.

Symbolism in Hajj (Pilgrimage)

The aspect of worship in the Islamic acts of worship is not equally clear and direct. It rather differs from one act of worship to another. The aspect of worship is very clear and direct in some acts of worship like prayer. It is contact, connection and communication between man and God where the former disconnects oneself from the universe and privately connects oneself with God alone, apart from all worldly concerns and worries which may interfere with such spiritual communication.

The aspect of worship is less clear and direct in other acts of worship like fasting. It is an act of worship which is passive rather than active. A believer gives up one’s desires to become closer to God by being more willing to do other acts of worship for seeking the pleasure of God.

The aspect of worship is even much less clear and direct in other acts of worship like almsgiving. It is an act of worship involving property purification of the potentially illegal or suspicious gain and giving it up to others, especially the needy, in the different forms of benefaction and philanthropy. While God does not receive alms or charity, a believer draws close to God by purifying one’s property of the potentially illegal gains and even giving up a part of one’s legitimate property to charity.

The aspect of worship in major/minor pilgrimage (hajj / `Umrah) may be the least clear and direct among all Islamic acts of worship. It involves much symbolism like stripping off sewn clothes, going to the Holy House of God in Mecca, circumambulation round, touching the corners and holding the curtains of the Ka`bah, kissing the Black Stone, jogging between Al-Safa and Al-Marwa mounts, stopping at Arafah, slaughtering sacrifices, throwing pebbles and shaving or cutting hair. All of those are rites involving symbolism and spirituality as follows:

Stripping off Sewn Clothes

"Ihram

Ihram for men

If a Muslim man intends to make major/minor pilgrimage (hajj / `Umrah), he has to get into the state of self-denial (Ihram) by denying himself any gratification of his usual desires, mainly his sexual desire. So, a Muslim man, unlike woman, takes off his worldly, fancy clothes, then takes a bath and wraps himself in the sheets with which he will go to meet his Maker, in the first place, at the grave. They are two sheets of cloth, one covering the upper part of the body, whereas the other covers the lower part. No clothes may be worn under or over such sheets. In the Qur’an, God says:

Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of Ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do – God knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of God. And fear Me, O you of understanding. (Al-Baqarah 2:197)

The purpose of putting on the Ihram sheets is having otherworldly feelings by taking off the worldly clothes and keeping away from all worldly distractions and temptations. The Muslim making major/minor pilgrimage (hajj / `Umrah) seems as if he was wearing his shroud. Abu Hurairah reported that Prophet Muhammad said: “Remember the destroyer of pleasures (meaning death)”  (At-Tirmidhi & An-Nasa’i)

Circumambulation Round the Ka`bah

"Circumambulation

Circumambulation round the Ka`bah

Muslims do not worship the Ka`bah. They just turn towards in prayer and circumambulate it in major/minor pilgrimage (hajj / `Umrah). They worship God by turning to or circumambulating the Ka`bah, like the angels. Just as God has a house in heaven that angels circumambulate, called “Al-Bayt Al-Ma`mur”, He also has an equivalent house on earth which people circumambulate. At-Tabary reports that Qatadah said: “The Messenger of God said: ‘Al-Bayt Al-Ma`mur is a mosque in heaven above the Ka`bah. If it falls, it will fall on it. Seventy thousand angels enter it every day. When they get out of it, they do not come back.’” (a hadith ranked “authentic” by Al-Albany)

Kissing the Black Stone

"Hijr

Hijr Ismael (a low wall beside the K`abah where Abraham constructed a shelter for Ismael)

As indicated above, Muslims do not worship the Ka`bah or the Black Stone. Also, when they touch the corners or hold the curtains of the Ka`bah, they do not worship the Ka`bah but God.

The Prophet and his Companions themselves did that though they firmly believed in God and that the Ka`bah including its contents including the Black Stone are such inanimate objects which neither bring benefit nor cause harm.

`Umar narrated that he kissed the Black Stone and said, “I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit anyone nor harm anyone. Had I not seen the Messenger of God kissing you, I would not have kissed you.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

The purpose of kissing the Black Stone is supplication to God for the forgiveness of sins. Ibn `Umar reported that the Messenger of God turned to face the Stone, then he put his lips on it and wept for a long time. Then he turned and saw `Umar bin Khattab weeping. He said: ‘O `Umar, this is the place where tears should be shed.’” (Ibn Majah)

"King

King Abdullah kisses the Black Stone

Several hadiths are reported on the authority of Prophet Muhammad, indicating that the Black Stone was sent down from Heaven. That is why it is seen as a means of showing subservience before God for the forgiveness of sins.

Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of God said, “The Black Stone descended from Paradise and it was whiter than milk, but it has become black due to the sins of the children of Adam.” (At-Tirmidhi & Ahmad)

Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of God said about the (Black) Stone: “By God! God will raise it on the Day of Resurrection with two eyes by which it will see and a tongue that it will speak with, testifying for whoever touched it in truth.” (At-Tirmidhi & Ibn Majah)

Jogging between Al-Safa and Al-Marwa mounts

"Jogging

Jogging between Al-Safa and Al-Marwa mounts

In major/minor pilgrimage (hajj / `Umrah), Muslims jog between Al-Safa and Al-Marwa mounts in commemoration of Lady Hagar, Prophet Abraham’s wife and Prophet Ismael’s mother, and her absolute confidence in and total reliance on God. After she had submitted to God’s will, she used up all worldly ways and means. She kept jogging between Al-Safa and Al-Marwa mounts for seven times in quest of water until God blessed her and her baby with water.

About Lady Hagar and jogging between Al-Safa and Al-Marwa mounts for seven times, we read the following in Ibn `Abbas’ long hadith recorded by Al-Bukhari:

“…and found that the mountain of Safa was the nearest mountain to her on that land. She stood on it and started looking at the valley keenly so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody. Then she descended from Safa and when she reached the valley, she tucked up her robe and ran in the valley like a person in distress and trouble, till she crossed the valley and reached the Marwa mountain where she stood and started looking, expecting to see somebody, but she could not see anybody. She repeated that (running between Safa and Marwa) seven times.” The Prophet said, “That is why people jog between them (i.e. Safa and Marwa)…” (Al-Bukhari)

The Inviolable House of God (Holy Sanctuary)

"The

The Inviolable House of God

God does not literally have a house to live therein. Neither the Ka`bah nor the holy mosque in Mecca is a literal house of God. It is just a holy sanctuary where people go to worship God. God is the Lord rather than occupier of the House. In the Qur’an, God says:

Therefore, let them worship the Lord of this House; Who fed them against hunger, and secured them against fear. (Quraish 106:3-4)

The House of God is occupied by the Servants of God who spend the night standing and prostrating themselves before God. In the Qur’an, God says:

And the servants of (God) Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, “Peace!”; Those who spend the night in adoration of their Lord prostrate and standing (Al-Furqan 25:63-64)

The House of God was built for those servants to spend the night in prayer, seclusion, bowing down and prostration. In the Qur’an, God says:

And [mention] when We made the House a place of return for the people and [a place of] security. And take, [O believers], from the standing place of Abraham a place of prayer. And We charged Abraham and Ishmael, [saying], “Purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who are staying [there] for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer].” (Al-Baqarah 2:125)

Also, the House of God was built for major/minor pilgrimage (hajj / `Umrah). In the Qur’an, God says:

God has made the Ka`bah, the Sacred House, standing for the people and [has sanctified] the sacred months and the sacrificial animals and the garlands [by which they are identified]. That is so you may know that God knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth and that God is Knowing of all things. (Al-Ma’idah 5:97)

Stopping at Arafah

"Stopping

Stopping at Arafah

Stopping at Arafah is the greatest pillar of Hajj. Prophet Muhammad said: “Hajj is (stopping at) Arafah” (Imam Ahmad & Abu Dawud)

A pilgrim stops at Arafah to worship and make remembrance of God at Arafah on the 9th of Dhu Al-Hijjah. Stopping at Arafah symbolizes turning to God in repentance and supplication to His grandeur in hope of His mercy, pleasure and forgiveness despite the high temperature at the peak hours of the day at Arafah.

Stopping at Arafah may be the most strenuous rite of hajj for a pilgrim usually stays at Arafah throughout the 9th of Dhu Al-Hijjah. That is why stopping at Arafah has so great merit that it is considered the greatest pillar of hajj. Maybe, Arafah is given this named for people stay there and so they know one another (yat`arafun).

Spending the Night at Muzdalifah (Al-Mash`ar Al-Haram)

"Almashar

Almashar Alharam Mosque at Muzdalifah

After leaving Arafah, a pilgrim goes to Muzdalifah (Al-Mash`ar Al-Haram) for taking a rest. A pilgrim makes remembrance of God over there at night, before going to Mena for throwing pebbles and stoning the Devil. In the Qur’an, God says:

But when you depart from `Arafat, remember God at Al-Mash’ar Al-Haram. And remember Him, as He has guided you, for indeed, you were before that among those astray. (Al-Baqarah 2:198)

So, spending the night at Muzdalifah is intended for taking a rest at the end of the strenuous day of Arafah, making remembrance of God, and making ready for throwing pebbles at Mena as Muzdalifah is situated between Arafah and Mena.

Throwing Pebbles

"Throwing

Throwing Pebbles at Mena

On the morning of the Feast of Sacrifice, corresponding to the 10th of Dhu Al-Hijjah, a pilgrim goes to Mena for throwing pebbles and stoning the Devil. On the feast day, a pilgrim throws Jamrat Al-`Aqabah Al-Kubra, i.e. 7 small bean-shaped pebbles at a symbol representing the Devil. On each of the next three (Al-Tashriq) days, a pilgrim throws 21 pebbles at three symbols of the Devil at three adjacent spots.

Thus, a hasty pilgrim (who spends only two days after the feast day at Mena) throws 49 pebbles. Yet, the tardy pilgrim (who spends three days after the feast day at Mena) throws 70 pebbles.

The purpose of throwing pebbles is following in the footsteps of Prophet Abraham when he stoned the Devil at those spots. Ibn `Abbas reported that Prophet Muhammad said: “When Abraham, God’s intimate, came to perform the rites of hajj, the Devil appeared to him at Jamrat Al-`Aqabah spot. So, he threw seven pebbles at him until he was immersed into the earth. Then, he appeared to him at the second Jamrah spot. So, he threw seven pebbles at him until he was immersed into the earth. Then, he appeared to him at the third Jamrah spot. So, he threw seven pebbles at him until he was immersed in the earth.” Ibn `Abbas said: “You stone the Devil and follow your father’s faith.” (Al-Mustadrak)

Slaughtering Sacrifices

"Sheep

Sheep to be slaughtered as sacrifices

Sacrifices have to be slaughtered by many pilgrims like Al-Muqrin (the pilgrim who makes hajj and `Umrah at the same time) and Al-Mutamatti (the pilgrim who makes `Umrah first, then gets out of the Ihram state and enjoys (Yatamatta) lawful things and then gets back into the Ihram state).

Other pilgrims have to slaughter sacrifices to compensate for omissions, mistakes and shortcomings in the rites of hajj. In the Qur’an, God says:

And complete the Hajj and `Umrah for God. But if you are prevented, then [offer] what can be obtained with ease of sacrificial animals. And do not shave your heads until the sacrificial animal has reached its place of slaughter. And whoever among you is ill or has an ailment of the head [making shaving necessary must offer] a ransom of fasting [three days] or charity or sacrifice. And when you are secure, then whoever performs `Umrah [during the Hajj months] followed by Hajj [offers] what can be obtained with ease of sacrificial animals. And whoever cannot find [or afford such an animal] – then a fast of three days during Hajj and of seven when you have returned [home]. Those are ten complete [days]. This is for those whose family is not in the area of al-Masjid al-Haram. And fear God and know that God is severe in penalty. (Al-Baqarah 2:196)

Sacrifices are also slaughtered in commemoration of Abraham and Ismael. God ransomed Ismael with a great sacrifice when he proceeded to slaughter his son just as he saw in a dream in response to God’s decrees for prophets’ dreams communicate something right and true commanded by God. In the Qur’an, God says:

And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, he said, “O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think.” He said, “O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if God wills, of the steadfast.” And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon his forehead, We called to him, “O Abraham, You have fulfilled the vision.” Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. Indeed, this was the clear trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice, (As-Saffat 37:102-107)

Shaving or Cutting Hair

"Shaving

Shaving or cutting hair for pilgrims

After a pilgrim finishes major/minor pilgrimage (hajj / `Umrah), he shaves or cuts his hair, which is called “Tahallul” (end of self-denial), symbolizing rebirth after purification of sins towards the end of hajj. Abu Hurairah reported: “I heard the Messenger of God saying, “Whoever performs Hajj (pilgrimage) and does not have sexual relations (with his wife), commits sins, or dispute unjustly (during Hajj), then he returns from Hajj as pure and free from sins as on the day on which his mother gave birth to him.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Why do Muslims Reject Symbolism in Christianity Though Hajj Involves Symbolism?

There is no denying that most Islamic acts of worship and ceremonies involve symbolism. In Islam, an act of worship is scarcely devoid of symbolism. For example, the pronunciation of the testimony of faith involves symbolism as a new Muslim takes a bath and pronounces this testimony as a proclamation of the renunciation of non-Islamic abominations and aberrations and a proclamation of a new pure, immaculate life under the shade of monotheism and obedience to God. Yet, a new Muslim may be clean and has already taken a bath and does not need to take a bath once again.

Prayer involves several symbolic acts like the ritual ablution / dry ablution, wiping socks and the like, turning towards the Qiblah (Ka`bah direction) and lining up for the congregational prayer, etc.

Neither the ritual ablution, nor the dry ablution, nor wiping socks and the like totally cleans the body. As for turning towards the Qiblah, this is a symbolic act symbolizing the unification of the worship of God by performing it in only one direction by all Muslims everywhere in the world. Lining up for the congregational prayer is also a symbolic act symbolizing the unity and unification of Muslims for the obedience to God.

Almsgiving also involves symbolism. Lady `A’ishah used to perfume the dirhams she would give up as an act of charity. When she was asked about that, she made clear that she liked that her dirhams should have been perfumed for they would fall in God’s hand before the beggar’s. A dirham would not literally fall in God’s hand. This is rather a symbolic expression.

Fasting also involves symbolism. According to several hadiths (prophetic statements) of Prophet Muhammad, the fasting Muslim’s mouth smells better than musk. Literally speaking, the fasting Muslim’s mouth does not smell well. The abovementioned hadiths are just symbolic ones.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, symbolism is strictly well-defined in Islam. No symbolism is recognized under Islam unless conclusive evidence from the Qur’an and/or the Sunnah proves it.

In Islam, we do not find ancient books and writings being collected and interpreted fancifully and symbolically like the Old Testament in the Bible. Likewise, we do not find the Qur’an and the Sunnah being interpreted fancifully and symbolically like the New Testament in the Bible. In Islam, there is no room for such symbols which are not well-evidenced especially in terms of creed or practice.

In particular, Muslims do not ascribe a son or an incarnate to God based on fancy or symbolism. They do not offer prayers, give alms or observe fasting fancifully or symbolically. Islam as both a creed or practice is always pending authentic evidence. Even well-evidenced symbols cannot extend unto irrelevant creeds or practices. They just apply to the subject matter of evidence. A symbolic law has nothing to do with Islam unlike the case in the contemporary Christianity.

Is Hajj a Pagan, Idolatrous Ceremony?

The true religion of God preceded paganism and idolatry, not vice versa. That is to say, people had followed the religion of God and then paganism and idolatry existed later on. Adam and Eve were faithful monotheists rather than pagans or idolaters. But, monotheism was affected by paganism and idolatry subsequently.

"Abraham

Abraham Shrine (the stone on which Abraham stood to build the Ka`bah)

Then, heavenly messages succeeded one another from Noah’s message to Muhammad’s message as purification for the true religion of God of the aberrations of paganism and idolatry. Whenever paganism and idolatry derailed the true religion of God on earth, a prophet would be sent to make the necessary corrections and purify the religion of God of paganism and idolatry.

Hajj specifically is an act of worship which God legislated for Prophet Abraham and other prophets after him. In the Qur’an, God says:

And (remember) when We prepared for Abraham the place of the (holy) House, saying: Ascribe thou no thing as partner unto Me, and purify My House for those who make the round (thereof) and those who stand and those who bow and make prostration. And proclaim unto mankind the Pilgrimage. They will come unto thee on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every deep ravine. (Al-Hajj 22:26-27)

"Hijr

Hijr Ismael (a low wall beside the K`abah where Abraham constructed a shelter for Ismael)

Commenting on the last verse, Ibn Kathir remarked: “That is to say, ‘O Abraham, call people to hajj to the house which we commanded you to build.’ He purportedly replied: ‘O Lord, how can I call people though my voice will not be heard by them?’ God said: ‘Just call and we will make your voice heard.’ Thereupon, Abraham got up…and called: ‘O people, your Lord made a house for you to make pilgrimage.’ It is purported that mountains got down so much that Abraham’s voice echoed all over the earth, and prospective children at women’s wombs and men’s backbones were caused to hear. Everything, including stones, adobes and trees, heard him. The people whom God destined to make pilgrimage until the Judgment Day repeated: ‘Labbayka Al-Lahumma Labbayk! (here we are, Lord, at your service!)’ This is reported on the authority of Ibn `Abbas, Mojahed, `Ekrimah, Said, Ibn Jubayr etc.”

Accordingly, the Inviolable House of God in Mecca is the first house of God to be built for worship and pilgrimage. In the Qur’an, God says:

Indeed, the first House [of worship] established for mankind was that at Bakkah – blessed and guidance for the worlds. (Aal `Imran 3:96)

Abu Dharr reported: “I asked the Messenger of God: ‘Which mosque was built first?’ He said: ‘Al-Masjid Al-Haram (in Mecca).’ I said: ‘Then which?’ He said: Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa.’ (in Jerusalem)…” (Al-Bukhari)

"The

The Historic Zamzam Well (Genesis 21:19)

However, as usual, when a long time passed after the times of Abraham, paganism and idolatry gradually sneaked into the religion of God, which was spoilt as a result. Thus, hajj, inter alia, was transformed from a divine act of worship into a pagan, idolatrous ceremony. For example, the Meccan polytheists made and worshipped idols at the Inviolable House of God. Some polytheists even used to circumambulate the Ka`bah while being naked.

Therefore, Prophet Muhammad came to erase the innovated aspects of paganism and idolatry and revive the monotheistic Abrahamic faith. Prophet Muhammad said: “The most beloved religion by God is the tolerant monotheism.” (Al-Bukhari)

When Prophet Muhammad conquered Mecca, he entered the Inviolable House of God and smashed the idols and images. `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud reported: “the Messenger of God entered Mecca (in the Year of the Conquest) and there were three hundred and sixty idols around the Ka`bah. He then kept hitting them with a stick in his hand and saying: ‘Truth (i.e. Islam) has come and falsehood (disbelief) vanished. Truly, falsehood (disbelief) is ever bound to vanish.’ (Al-Israa’ 17:81) ‘Truth has come and falsehood (Iblis) cannot create anything.’ (Saba’ 34:49)” (Al-Bukhari)

In the tenth year A.H. (After Hejira), God and Prophet Muhammad disassociated themselves from the last idolatrous blemishes at the Inviolable House of God and the sacred places as a whole. In the Qur’an, God says:

And [it is] an announcement from God and His Messenger to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that God is disassociated from the disbelievers, and [so is] His Messenger. So if you repent, that is best for you; but if you turn away – then know that you will not cause failure to God. And give tidings to those who disbelieve of a painful punishment. (At-Tawbah 9:3)

God sent down revelations to Prophet Muhammad preventing the pagan idolaters from desecrating His House through their idolatrous practices and rituals since some of them would circumambulate the Ka`bah while being naked. In the Qur’an, God says:

O you who have believed, indeed the polytheists are unclean, so let them not approach al-Masjid al-Haram after this, their [final] year. And if you fear privation, God will enrich you from His bounty if He wills. Indeed, God is Knowing and Wise. (At-Tawbah 9:28)

"Idols

Imaginary picture showing idols round the Ka`bah

Therefore, Abu Hurairah reported: “On the Day of Nahr (10th of Dhul-Hijja, in the year prior to the last Hajj of the Prophet when Abu Bakr was the leader of the pilgrims in that Hajj), Abu Bakr sent me along with other announcers to Mena to make a public announcement: ‘No pagan is allowed to perform Hajj after this year and no naked person is allowed to circumambulate the Ka`bah.’” (Al-Bukhari)

Consequently, hajj is a heavenly rather than pagan ceremony. Muslims make hajj in response to Abraham’s call on people and prayer that people’s hearts should incline toward the House of God. About that, in the Qur’an, God says:

And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham said, “My Lord, make this city [Makkah] secure and keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols. My Lord, indeed they have led astray many among the people. So whoever follows me – then he is of me; and whoever disobeys me – indeed, You are [yet] Forgiving and Merciful. Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful. (Ibrahim 14:35-37)

Hajj in the Previous Heavenly Messages

Pilgrimage as an act of worship is not strange to the previous heavenly messages, especially Judaism and Christianity, according to the Bible including the Old Testament and the New Testament.

As for the Old Testament, it tells us that God built several houses throughout various points of time and that those houses were intended for acts of worship resembling those involved by hajj.

"Solomon's

Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem

Maybe, the earliest house of God in the Old Testament was that built at Bethel (Genesis 12:6-9), (Genesis 13:1-4), (Genesis 28:16-22), (Genesis 35:1-20), (Judges 20:26-27), (Judges 21:2).

Another one of the most important houses of God in the Old Testament was that built at Shiloh (Judges 18:31), (1 Samuel 1:1-3), (1 Samuel 1:9-10), (1 Samuel 1:24-28), (1 Samuel 4:3-5)

The holiest house of God in the sight of both Christians and Jews according to the Bible including the Old Testament and the New Testament is more likely to be the one built at Jerusalem by Solomon who brought to it the Ark of the Covenant including its content, the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle from the City of David (1 Kings 8:1-66)

"ark

The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord

According to the New Testament, the House of God built by Solomon remained in Jerusalem and did not move elsewhere until the times of Jesus, who tried to cleanse it (Matthew 21:12-17), foretold its destruction (Matthew 24:1-2), and predicted the House of God’s movement from  Jerusalem (John 4:19-22).

In general, the Bible tells us that the acts of worship that used to be done at the houses of God included purification and the change of clothes [Ihram in the Islamic pilgrimage] (Genesis 35:2), raising voices while supplicating God [Talbiyah, invocation and remembrance of God in the Islamic pilgrimage] (Judges 21:2), slaughtering sacrifices (Judges 20:26-27), prostration before God (1 Samuel 1:1-3), prayer and vow (1 Samuel 1:9-11), jogging and circumambulation (Psalms 26:6-8), (Psalms 48:12-14), (Joshua 1:6-16), shaving or cutting hair (Numbers 6:1-21)

The Bible also tells us that the House of God contained holy buildings (Matthew 24:1-2) and holy contents (1 Kings 8:1-66).

"tent

The Tent of Meeting

Accordingly, there is no big difference between the Inviolable House of God in Mecca and the acts of worship done there, and the houses of God built later according to the Bible and the acts of worship done there. They are just different names for similar things. What Muslims call hajj and `Umrah used to be done in the previous divine messages but under different names.

And what is more, the Bible, including the Old Testament and the New Testament, involves both direct and indirect references to hajj and `Umrah at Mecca. Those references may be reviewed in a separate post entitled: “Makkah (Mecca) in the Bible

Conclusion

To sum up, hajj is an act of worship involving much more symbolism than the other acts of worship in Islam. The difference between symbolism in hajj and other acts of worship in Islam and symbolism elsewhere is that symbolism in Islam is well-evidenced and well-defined and any such symbolism may not extend elsewhere other than the exact subject matter of the relevant evidence. Hajj is a ceremony that is performed in response to the Abraham’s call and as an answer to his supplication. In the Qur’an, God says:

And they have been commanded no more than this: To worship God, offering Him sincere devotion, being true (in faith); to establish regular prayer; and to practise regular charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight. (Al-Bayyinah 5:98)

Hajj is not strange or new to the previous divine messages. It used to be made but in a different manner and under a different name though the rituals are essentially the same. In the Qur’an, God says:

For every people We have laid down a ritual of sacrifice (although the purpose of the ritual is the same) that they pronounce the name of God over the cattle He has provided them. Your Lord is One God; so submit yourselves to Him alone. And give, (O Prophet), glad tidings to those that humble themselves (before God), (Al-Hajj 22:34)

References:

  1. The Qur’an
  2. Tafsir Ibn Kathir
  3. Tafsir At-Tabary
  4. Sahih Al-Bukhari
  5. Sunan At-Tirmidhi
  6. Sunan An-Nasa’i
  7. Sunan Ibn Majah
  8. Sunan Abu Dawud
  9. Musnad Al-Imam Ahmad
  10. Al-Mustadrak by Al-Hakim
  11. The Holy Bible

Read Also:

Why Muslims Perform Pilgrimage (Hajj)

A Brief Guide to Hajj (Pilgrimage)

Hajj (Pilgrimage) in the Bible

An Introduction to Hajj

What is Hajj (Pilgrimage)?

Makkah (Mecca) in the Bible (1/2)

Makkah (Mecca) in the Bible (2/2)


tags: circumambulation-round-the-kabah / hajj-pilgrimage-between-symbolic-worship-and-responsiveness-to-abrahamic-call-to-monotheism / hajj-in-the-previous-heavenly-messages / highlights / idolatrous-ceremony / is-hajj-a-pagan / jogging-between-al-safa-and-al-marwa-mounts / kissing-the-black-stone / shaving-or-cutting-hair / slaughtering-sacrifices / spending-the-night-at-muzdalifah-al-mashar-al-haram / stopping-at-arafah / stripping-off-sewn-clothes / symbolism-in-hajj-pilgrimage / the-inviolable-house-of-god-holy-sanctuary / throwing-pebbles / why-do-muslims-reject-symbolism-in-christianity-though-hajj-involves-symbolism /



title: What Lessons Can We Draw from the Hijrah (Migration)?,
content:

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) strove for about thirteen years of his time of prophethood in Mecca to spread the message of tawheed (monotheism). When he realized that his people in Mecca would not answer his Da`wah (call to monotheism), he began to look for alternatives.

For example, he went to the neighboring Taif to talk to them, but they rejected his Da`wah. Then, he focused on the people coming to Mecca during the Hajj season and other times to spread the message of Islam and see who will stand behind him when spreading his Da`wah.

Watch this video to learn lessons from the Hijrah (Migration) from Mecca to Medina!

By kind permission of Sheikh Abdur-Raheem McCarthy


tags: highlights / hijra / immigration / immigration-from-makkah-to-al-madinah / lessons-from-the-hijrah-migration / migration-from-mecca-to-medina /



title: `Eid Al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice),
content:

"`Eid

`Eid Al-Adha marks the end of Hajj and commemorates Prophet Abraham’s unselfish act of sacrificing his own son, Ishmael

Two of the most important Islamic holidays of the year are `Eid Al-Fitr and `Eid Al-Adha. While the former marks the end of the long fasting month of Ramadan, `Eid Al-Adha marks the end of Hajj, the sacred pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. It’s customary for every able Muslim (as prescribed in the Five Pillars of Islam) to go on a Hajj at least once during his lifetime. Also popularly known as the Festival of Sacrifice, this Muslim holiday, `Eid Al-Adha, commemorates Prophet Abraham’s unselfish act of sacrificing his own son Ishmael to the One God, Allah.

The history behind `Eid Al-Adha follows the story of the faithful Abraham, who was instructed by Allah in a dream to raise the foundations of Kaaba, a black stone, the most sacred Muslim shrine in Mecca (Saudi Arabia), which Muslims face during their prayers (Salat). Immediately responding to the Lord’s call, Abraham set off for Mecca along with his wife and son, Ishmael. At that time, Mecca was a desolate and barren desert and Abraham had to face a lot of hardships. However, he supplicated Allah’s commands uncomplaining. In a divine dream, he also saw himself sacrificing his son Ishmael for Allah’s sake. When he told this to Ishmael, the latter immediately asked his father to carry out Lord’s commands without faltering and assured that he was completely ready to give up his life for God. But miraculously enough, when Abraham was about to sacrifice Ishmael, Allah spared the boy’s life and replaced him with a lamb. And this is what Abraham ultimately sacrificed.

To commemorate this outstanding act of sacrifice by Prophet Abraham, people sacrifice a lamb, goat, ram or any other animal on `Eid Al-Adha and give the meat to friends, neighbors, relatives and the needy. People who are away from the holy pilgrimage, Hajj, also carry out this traditional sacrifice. Hence `Eid Al-Adha is also known as the Feast of Sacrifice or the Day of Sacrifice.

`Eid Al-Adha begins from the 10th day of the 12th Islamic month of Dhul-Hijjah. But, the date of `Eid Al-Adha depends on the visibility of the moon each year. `Eid Al-Adha is known by different names in different parts of the world. For instance, `Eid Al-Adha is known by the name Hari Raya Aidiladha in south-east Asia. In Singapore, the local name for `Eid Al-Adha is Hari Raya Haji and in Malaysia, people refer to this festival as Id al-Adha and has made it a national holiday there. Indians know `Eid Al-Adha as Id al-Adha or Idu’z Zuha. And in Bangladesh, `Eid Al-Adha is known as Eid-ul-Azha or sometimes even Id al-Adha. But, whatever the name, the celebratory spirit of `Eid Al-Adha runs high among Muslims all over the world, the geographical variations notwithstanding.

What does `Eid Al-Adha commemorate?

During the Hajj, Muslims remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of Prophet Abraham. The Qur’an describes Abraham as follows:

Surely Abraham was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for Our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next he will most surely be among the righteous. (An-Nahl 16:120-121)

One of Abraham’s main trials was to face the command of Allah to kill his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah’s will. When he was all prepared to do it, Allah revealed to him that his “sacrifice” had already been fulfilled. He had shown that his love for his Lord superseded all others that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to submit to God.

Why do Muslims sacrifice an animal on this day?

During the celebration of `Eid Al-Adha, Muslims commemorate and remember Abraham’s trials, by themselves slaughtering an animal such as a sheep, camel, or goat. This action is very often misunderstood by those outside the faith.

Allah has given us power over animals and allowed us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life. Muslims slaughter animals in the same way throughout the year. By saying the name of Allah at the time of slaughter, we are reminded that life is sacred.

The meat from the sacrifice of `Eid Al-Adha is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor. The act symbolizes our willingness to give up things that are of benefit to us or close to our hearts, in order to follow Allah’s commands. It also symbolizes our willingness to give up some of our own bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need. We recognize that all blessings come from Allah, and we should open our hearts and share with others.

It is very important to understand that the sacrifice itself, as practiced by Muslims, has nothing to do with atoning for our sins or using the blood to wash ourselves from sin. This is a misunderstanding by those of previous generations:

It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him. (Al-Hajj 22:37)

The symbolism is in the attitude – a willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the Straight Path. Each of us makes small sacrifices, giving up things that are fun or important to us. A true Muslim, one who submits his or herself completely to the Lord, is willing to follow Allah’s commands completely and obediently. It is this strength of heart, purity in faith, and willing obedience that our Lord desires from us.

What else do Muslims do to celebrate the holiday?

On the first morning of `Eid Al-Adha, Muslims around the world attend morning prayers at their local mosques. Prayers are followed by visits to family and friends, and the exchange of greetings and gifts. At some point, members of the family will visit a local farm or otherwise will make arrangements for the slaughter of an animal. The meat is distributed during the days of the holiday or shortly thereafter.

_______________________

Source: irfi.org.


tags: eid-al-adha / eid-ul-adha / eidul-adha / baqreid / eid-e-qurban / eid-ul-azha / feast-of-sacrifice / greater-bairam / greater-eid / hari-raya-aidiladha / hari-raya-haji / highlights / id-al-adha / iduz-zuha / kurban-bayram / kurban-bayrami / kurban-bajram / major-festival / what-does-eid-al-adha-commemorate / what-else-do-muslims-do-to-celebrate-the-holiday / why-do-muslims-sacrifice-an-animal-on-this-day /



title: Why Muslims Perform Pilgrimage (Hajj),
content:

Nowadays, many people wonder: “Why do Muslims perform Hajj?”

The counterclockwise circumambulation around the Ka`bah resembles the movement of everything in this universe from the smallest to the biggest thing. It indicates the movement of the universe. The whole universe from the atom to the galaxy rotates in a direction.

Rotation is such a universal phenomenon which includes everything. The electron revolves around the nucleus, the moons orbit their planets, the planets orbit their suns, the stars orbit their galaxies, and energy rotates in its path. All rotate in one direction exactly like the way Muslim pilgrims circumambulate the Ka`bah. Circumambulation is a symbol of the nature of the universe which Allah has created in this universe.

Watch this video to know why Muslims perform Pilgrimage (Hajj).

Read Also:

Hajj (Pilgrimage) between Symbolic Worship and Responsiveness to Abraham’s Call to Monotheism

Makkah (Mecca) in the Bible (1/2)

Makkah (Mecca) in the Bible (2/2)


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title: A Brief Guide to Hajj (Pilgrimage),
content:

Hajj (pilgrimage) is such a rite which was not innovated by Islam. It had been rather performed by Prophet Abraham. The Qur’an tells us that he was commanded to call on people to perform Hajj. In the Qur’an, we read:

And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass (Al-Hajj 22:27)

There are three types of Hajj: Hajj Tamatu` (which is performing `Umrah “minor pilgrimage” then Hajj), Hajj Ifrad (which is performing Hajj only), and Hajj Qiran (which is performing `Umrah and Hajj together)

The rituals of Hajj include Ihram, Talbiyah, Tawaf, Sa`i, spending night at Mina, standing at Arafat, spending night at Muzdalifah, throwing Jamarat (pebbles) at Mina, and sacrifice. It is highly recommended to visit Prophet Muhammad’s Mosque.

Watch this video to know the rituals of Hajj in detail!

Read Also:

Hajj (Pilgrimage) between Symbolic Worship and Responsiveness to Abraham’s Call to Monotheism

Makkah (Mecca) in the Bible (1/2)

Makkah (Mecca) in the Bible (2/2)


tags: umrah-minor-pilgrimage / a-brief-guide-to-hajj-pilgrimage / hajj-ifrad / hajj-qiran / hajj-tamatu / highlights / ihram / sai / sacrifice / spending-night-at-mina / spending-night-at-muzdalifah / stopping-at-arafat / talbiyah / tawaf / throwing-jamarat-pebbles-at-mina / visiting-prophet-muhammads-mosque /



title: An Introduction to Hajj,
content:

The Merits of Hajj

"hajj"

Hajj (Major Pilgrimage) is obligatory for each capable Muslim once in one’s lifetime

Hajj helps forgive past sins. Abu Hurairah reported: I heard the Prophet as saying: “Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any obscenity or commit any evil will go back (free of) sin as on the day his mother bore him.” (Agreed-on hadith)

Paradise is the promised reward for accepted Hajj. It is also reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah that the Prophet said: “From one `Umrah to another is expiation for whatever (sins) come in between them, and an accepted Hajj brings no less a reward than Paradise.” (Agreed-on hadith)

Was Hajj to Mecca Something Innovated by Islam?

The Qur’an tells us Prophet Abraham and his son Prophet Ishmael rebuilt the Ka`bah. We read:

And [mention] when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Ishmael, [saying], “Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing. (Al-Baqarah 2:127)

The Qur’an also tells us that God charged Prophet Abraham and Prophet Ishmael with purifying the House of God in Mecca for worshippers. We read:

And We charged Abraham and Ishmael, [saying], “Purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who are staying [there] for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer].” (Al-Baqarah 2:125)

The Qur’an informs us that God commanded Prophet Abraham to proclaim Hajj to people. We read:

And [mention, O Muhammad], when We designated for Abraham the site of the House, [saying], “Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate.

And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass (Al-Hajj 22:26-27)

Is Hajj Obligatory for Muslims?

Hajj (Major Pilgrimage) is obligatory for each capable Muslim once in one’s lifetime, for Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. In the Qur’an, God says:

And [due] to God from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way (Aal `Imran 3:109)

God also says:

And complete the Hajj and `Umrah for God (Al-Baqarah 2:196)

However, a Muslim is still recommended to make Hajj and `Umrah more than once. In the Qur’an, God says:

And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, God is appreciative and Knowing. (Al-Baqarah 2:158)

What are the Rites of Hajj?

The main rites of Hajj are as follows:

1- Getting into the state of Ihram (ritual consecration) from the Miqat (prescribed place)
2- Making Qudum (arrival) Tawaf (circumambulation) round the Ka`bah
3- Spending the night at Mina
4- Spending the day at Arafah
5- Spending the night at Muzdalifah
6- Throwing pebbles (Jamrat Al-`Aqabah) at Mina
7- Getting out of the state of Ihram (Tahallul)
8- Making Ifadah (return) circumambulation
9- Making Sa`i (traveling back and forth between As-Safa mount and Al-Marwa mount)
10- Throwing pebbles (the three Jamarat) at Mina
11- Making Wada` (farewell) circumambulation

What are the Rites of `Umrah?

The main rites of `Umrah are as follows:

1- Getting into the state of Ihram (ritual consecration) from the Miqat (prescribed place)
2- Making circumambulation
3- Making Sa`i (traveling back and forth between As-Safa mount and Al-Marwa mount)
4- Getting out of the state of Ihram (Tahallul)

What are the Types of Hajj?

There three types of Hajj as follows:

1- Qiran, which is making Hajj and `Umrah at the same time
2- Ifrad, which is making Hajj only
3- Tamatu`, which is making `Umrah and then making hajj

What is the prescribed Time of Hajj?

Most rites of Hajj take place in the lunar month of Dhu Al-Hijjah. However, some of the preliminary rites of Hajj may be performed in Shawwal and Dhu Al-Qi`dah.

What are Restrictions of Hajj?

After getting into until getting out of the state of Ihram, a pilgrim must avoid, inter alia, the following:

1- Sexual relations
2- Disobedience to God or commission of sins
3- Dispute with others
4- Cutting hair or shaving
5- Wearing perfume
6- Killing game while in the state of Ihram
7- Wearing sewn clothes (for men)
8- Wearing face veil (for women)
9- Covering the head (for men)

_________

References:

1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)

2- Sahih Al-Bukhari

3- Sahih Muslim

_________

Read Also:

Hajj (Pilgrimage) between Symbolic Worship and Responsiveness to Abraham’s Call to Monotheism

Makkah (Mecca) in the Bible (1/2)

Makkah (Mecca) in the Bible (2/2)


tags: umrah / an-introduction-to-hajj / arafah / efadah-return-circumambulation / hajj / highlights / ifrad / ihram / kabah / major-pilgrimage / mina / minor-pilgrimage / miqat / muzdalifah / pilgrimage / qiran / qudum-arrival-tawaf-circumambulation / sai-traveling-back-and-forth-between-as-safa-mount-and-al-marwa-mount / tahallul / tamatu / tawaf / three-jamarat / throwing-pebbles-jamrat-al-aqabah /



title: Hajj (Pilgrimage) in the Bible,
content:

The Bible mentions that at a place chosen by God people should come and glorify His name.

Deuteronomy 12:5-7 says: “But you are to seek the place the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for His dwelling. To that place you must go; there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you.”

When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) came, he carried out this instruction. Muslims go to Makkah, a place in the wilderness of Paran as the Bible said in Genesis 21:21. It is a place blessed by God Where Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) built a house of prayer or a house of God.

Watch this video to know how Hajj (pilgrimage) is referred to in the Bible!

Read Also:

Hajj (Pilgrimage) between Symbolic Worship and Responsiveness to Abraham’s Call to Monotheism

Makkah (Mecca) in the Bible (1/2)

Makkah (Mecca) in the Bible (2/2)


tags: bible / gospel / hajj / hajj-pilgrimage-in-the-bible / highlights / new-testament / old-testament / pilgrimage / torah /



title: What is Hajj (Pilgrimage)?,
content:

"hajj"

Hajj is obligated by Allah upon every Muslim, male and female, who is physically and financially capable

The word Hajj, linguistically, means heading to a place for the sake of visiting; in Islamic terminology, it implies heading to Makkah to observe the rituals of pilgrimage.

Hajj is obligated by Allah upon every Muslim, male and female, who is physically and financially capable. It is obligatory only once during the lifetime of a Muslim. Allah Almighty says (what means):

…And [due] to Allah from people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way… (Aal `Imran 3:97)

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Islam is built upon five (pillars): the testimony that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, the observance of the prayer, payment of Zakat, Hajj to the House (i.e. Ka’bah,) and fasting in Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “Hajj is mandated once, so whoever makes it more (than that), then it is supererogatory.” (Abu Dawoud and Ahmad)

Hajj was prescribed in the sixth year after Hijrah (migration) upon the revelation of the following verse in which Allah says (what means):

And complete the Hajj and ‘Umrah for Allah… (Al-Baqarah 2:196)

Hajj is not a new institution introduced by Islam, rather it is as old as the Ka’bah itself. Allah Almighty says (what means):

Indeed, the first House [of worship] established for mankind was that at Bakkah [i.e., Makkah] – blessed and a guidance to the worlds. (Aal `Imran 3:96)

The whole origin of Hajj is rooted in the acts of devotion of Prophet Ibraheem (peace be upon him). This demonstrates that Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not innovate this institution, all he did was to clear it of all the evil practices that had crept into it. After a few centuries of the death of Ibraheem and his son Isma’el, may Allah exalt their mention, people abandoned their teachings and gradually went astray, like all other people around them. Hundreds of idols were installed in the Ka’bah, which was built by Ibraheem and Isma’el, may Allah exalt their mention, as a center for the worship of the One True God. Ironically enough, idols were made after the image of Ibraheem and Isma’el too, whose whole lives had been spent eradicating idol-worship. The descendants of Ibraheem (peace be upon him), who had himself repudiated all idols, began to worship idols. The Ka’bah was turned into a type of temple for idol-worship and superstition. This predicament lasted for about two thousand years, until the advent of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Hajj is rightly said to be the perfection of faith, since it combines in itself all the distinctive qualities of other obligatory acts of prayer, patience, privation of amenities of life, devotion, Zakat (alms), slaughtering sacrifice and supplication. In fact, the physical pilgrimage is a prelude to the spiritual pilgrimage to Allah when man would bid goodbye to everything of the world and present himself before Him as His humble servant saying: ‘Here I am before You, my Lord, as a slave.’

Types of Hajj

There are three forms of Hajj:

1. Hajj At-Tamattu’: This is where a pilgrim assumes Ihram for ‘Umrah only, during the months of Hajj, which means that when he reaches Makkah, he makes Tawaaf and Sa’i for ‘Umrah. Then he shaves or clips his hair. On the eighth day of Thul-Hijjah, the pilgrim assumes Ihram again for Hajj only and carries out all of its requirements.

2. Hajj Al-Ifrad: This is where a pilgrim assumes Ihram for Hajj only. When he reaches Makkah, he performs Tawaf for his arrival and Sa’i for Hajj. He does not shave or clip his hair as he does not disengage from Ihram. Instead, he remains in Ihram until after he stones the Jamratul–’Aqabah on `Eid day. It is permissible for him to postpone his Sa’i for Hajj until after his Tawaf for Hajj (i.e. Tawaf Al-Ifadhah).

3. Hajj Al-Qiran: This is where a pilgrim assumes Ihram for both ‘Umrah and Hajj, or he assumes Ihram first for ‘Umrah, then makes his intention for Hajj before his Tawaf for Hajj. The obligations on one performing Ifrad are the same as those on one performing Qiran, except that the latter must slaughter whereas the former is not obligated to do so.

The best of the three forms is Tamattu’. It is the form that the Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged his followers to perform.

Hajj is undertaken in company with all the other pilgrims. The months of Hajj are: Shawwal, Thul-Qi’dah and Thul-Hijjah (the last three months of the Hijri calendar). One can perform ‘Umrah for Hajj At-Tamattu’ at any time within these three months (i.e. he may perform ‘Umrah during the Hajj season, and then subsequently make Hajj the same year at the fixed time, beginning on the eighth day of Thul-Hijjah).

The Makkan territory is sacred. The pilgrim enters this territory in a state of Ihram (a state in which one is forbidden to do certain things that are otherwise permissible).

Ihram, for men, entails wearing a special garment. A male pilgrim is not allowed to wear form-fitting clothes or to cover his head or hands with gloves, or his feet with socks or shoes. This is done in order to foster a sense of humility and a feeling of brotherhood among Muslims.

The male pilgrim’s garment consists of two sheets of white woolen or cotton cloth, of which one is wrapped around the waist and reaches below the knees and above the ankles, while the other is wrapped around the upper part of the body. The head and the right shoulder are left uncovered during Tawaf. This attire is for males, whereas females have to cover all of their body except the face and hands.

Before donning this dress, the pilgrim is recommended to take a bath (Ghusl). A man in Ihram is consecrated. He cannot hunt, pick plants, shed blood, or have sexual intercourse or partake in whatever leads to it.

The Excellence of Hajj

1. It is one of the best deeds:

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was once asked: “What is the best deed?” He replied: “To believe in Allah and His Messenger.” The enquirer then asked: “What next?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “To fight in the cause of Allah.” He again asked: “What is the next best thing?” He (peace be upon him) replied: “Hajj ‘Mabroor’ (i.e., the Hajj that is free of sin and all its pillars and conditions are fulfilled).” (Al-Bukhari)

2. It is a form of Jihad:

Al-Hasan Ibn ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) and his father, said that a man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: “I am a coward and a weak person. Is there anything I can do?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “You may go for a Jihad that involves no fighting, that is, Hajj.” (‘Abdur-Razzaq and At-Tabarani)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “Hajj is the Jihad for the old, the weak and women.” (An-Nasaa’i)

3. It wipes away past sins:

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “He who performs Hajj seeking Allah’s pleasure and avoids all lewdness and sins (therein) will return after Hajj free from all sins, just as he was on the day his mother gave birth to him.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

4. Pilgrims are the Guests of Allah:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Pilgrims and those performing `Umrah are Allah’s guests; their prayers are answered and their supplications for forgiveness are granted.” (An-Nasaa’i and Ibn Majah)

5. The Reward of Hajj is Paradise:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “All sins committed in between the performance of one `Umrah and the next are expiated and erased, and the reward of Hajj ‘Mabroor’ is nothing save Paradise.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
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Source: islamweb.net.

_______________________

Read Also:

Hajj (Pilgrimage) between Symbolic Worship and Responsiveness to Abraham’s Call to Monotheism

Makkah (Mecca) in the Bible (1/2)

Makkah (Mecca) in the Bible (2/2)


tags: hajj / highlights / pilgrimage / pilgrimage-in-islam / what-is-hajj-pilgrimage /


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