Hajj at home with my wife & kid!

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

It usually starts with Hajj Package posters outside the mosque, then a few Hajj preparation seminars and finally the meeting and greeting as the chosen people depart on the spiritual journey of Hajj. Despite the emphasis on the importance of Hajj and in particular the first 10 days of the month, growing up I always assumed that the auspiciousness of the month of Hajj was exclusive to those actually performing the pilgrimage.

As a child I was always aware of the occasion, but I can’t remember anything special or different during the month of Hajj. The one time it really impacted me was the year my parents undertook the journey and left my sisters and I at home with the grandparents. When you’re a kid and you’re parents leave for such a long time, the Hajj memories you’re left with aren’t so great. Nevertheless, it was the one year, we experienced something different during the month of Hajj.

This year was a little more eventful and spiritually uplifting. As soon as Hajj approached, Facebook & Twitter were flooded with messages and reminders of the importance of Hajj and some of the commendable acts of worship associated with the first ten days. I was reminded everyday and the reminders alone instilled a sense of awareness and I found that engaging in some of these acts of worship and even fasting during these days became instinctive. Social media is not all bad, but you have to be engaged with the right people, groups & organisations to benefit from them.

At home I was reminded about Hajj through my wife’s awesome idea of a Hajj advent calendar for our 2 and half year old son. The calendar had little pockets for each day of the first 2 weeks of Hajj and he would get to open one of the pockets each day. I’ll leave the details of the calendar for my wife’s blog but by acknowledging the importance of each day and making an effort to do activities relating to the events that took place and take place during Hajj, we were constantly reminded of the importance and significance of Hajj and then Eid.

My son loved the idea and by Eid day had learnt about Hajj, the Ka’ba, Ihram, Tawaaf, Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) etc and became enthused about Eid day and the idea of one day visiting the Ka’ba In Sha Allah. All it took was a poster and a brilliant idea from my wife but the results were amazing. Being able to celebrate and enjoy Hajj at home with the family was truly a blessing. The highlight of my Hajj at home was watching my son get confused with the extra Takbeer at the Eid Salaah… truly heartwarming.

With the end of the month of Hajj and the beginning of a new Islamic year, my aim is to find ways of integrating faith and spirituality into every month. Ramdhan and Hajj are special indeed, but in order to counter the moral imbalance of the world our children live in, we need these reminders more often. I’m hoping the wife has a few more ideas up her sleeve or possibly on her blog.

 

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The farewell sermon…

In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful

The Hajj season is upon us and I believe every Muslim should reflect upon this sermon at least once year. It signifies the completion of our faith and contains numerous lessons from which we can benefit.

“Today I perfected your religion for you and completed my favor to you and have chosen for you Al-Islam as your religion.”

The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) delivered this sermon on the 9 Dhul-Hijjah in the valley of Mount `Arafat, during his final Hajj, known as the Farewell Hajj:

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O people, lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether, after this year, I will ever be among you again. Therefore, listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present today.

O people, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. Allah has forbidden you to take interest; therefore, all interest obligations shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer inequity. Allah has judged that there shall be no interest and that all interest due to al-`Abbas ibn `Abdul-Muttalib shall henceforth be waived.

Every right arising out of homicide in pre-Islamic days is henceforth waived, and the first such right I waive is that arising from the murder of Rabi`ah ibn Al-Harith [a relative of the Prophet]. O mankind, the unbelievers indulge in tampering with the calendar in order to make permissible that which Allah forbade, and to forbid that which Allah has made permissible. With Allah the months are twelve; four of them are holy; three of these (holy months) are successive and one occurs singly between the months of Jumadah and Sha`ban.

O people, beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

O people, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Treat your women well and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never commit adultery.

O people, listen to me in earnest. Worship Allah, say your five daily prayers, fast during the month of Ramadan, and give the share of Zakah in your wealth. Perform Hajj if you can afford to. All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor does a non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black, nor does a black have any superiority over a white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim and that Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim that belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.

Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

O people, no prophet or messenger will come after me, and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O people, and understand my words that I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur’an and my example, the Sunnah, and if you follow these you will never go astray.

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah, that I have conveyed Your message to Your people.

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The Sermon reiterates the basic belief in one God, establishes the Islamic rule of Law and promotes basic human rights, Economic Domestic Justice including equality and better treatment of women.

Lessons from the Sermon:

  • Prohibition of shedding innocent blood, and taking of wealth without right, which stresses Islam’s protection of souls.
  • Nullification of validity of actions of Jahiliyyah or Pre-Islamic Era.
  • Prohibition of taking Riba (usury and interest), which is an increase on the principal, whether small or large.
  • Admonition to fulfill and give women their rights, and to deal with them in goodness.
  • Seek guidance the Book of Allah, in which lies the honor of Muslims and their victory.
  • Testimony of the Companions that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W) conveyed the message and discharged his trust.
  • Order to take rituals of Hajj and other rituals from the Prophet’s sayings and actions.
  • Subtle indication that the Prophet’s farewell would soon come.
  • Warning against fighting and killing among Muslims, which is disbelief in action, which does not take one out of the fold of Islam, as in his: “Cursing a Muslim is fusooq, and fighting him is kufr.”

This sermon addresses some of the major religious issues faced by Muslims today and is a perfect summary of our religion. It should serve as a reminder to Muslims and a source of guidance for mankind. I pray that we benefit from these words and are able to implement even the smallest change in our lives to live in accordance with the basic fundamentals of Islam.