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Mohammad Amin Sheikho, A. K. John Alias Al-Dayrani

Pilgrimage "Hajj"

The Fifth High Grade of Al-Taqwa





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About the Book

Pilgrimage

— Hajj —

The Fifth High Grade of Al-Taqwa

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Authored by:

The great humane eminent scholar

Mohammad Amin Sheikho

(His soul has been sanctified by Al’lah)

1890-1964

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Checked and Introduced by

The Researcher and Thinker

Prof. A. K. John Alias Al-Dayrani

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Foreword by Prof. Abdul-Kadir John alias Al-Dayrani

 

1- Prof. A. K. John Alias Al-Dayrani

All praises are to God, the Provider of all worlds; best and perfect communication with Him and peace are through our master Mohammad (cpth)[1], the first guide and teacher over all creation. Oh God of all, our Provider! Glory to You, as Your lofty Majesty and high Prestige deserve to be glorified!

How could we fail to find You, our Provider, although Your firm Robe is always stretched out to us, so that we may cling to it at any moment?!

Verily, humanity has sunk into absolute ignorance, not seeking to know the real purpose behind this life and the fate to be faced after death. We have neglected to recognize the Creator of everything, and instead have exhorted our abilities and powers to explore and enjoy what is temporal and short-lived!

The fact is that this nation will find no way to be reformed except the way that reformed its first ancestors. This is the way that was followed by our great father Abraham (pth)[2].

Let us resort to the supreme guidance of our Prophet (cpth). Let him (cpth) be the sun of your life and a guide for all your affairs, for you will find none other than he is an imam and teacher for yourself. It is he alone who was able to reveal the reality of this life and the weighty purpose lying behind this creation. It is he alone who can answer all your questions about worship.

With relation to pilgrimage, the subject of our research in this book, people find no answer for many obscure questions, such as the following:

Why does Al’lah have the pilgrimage take place in an arid desert? In the old days, the pilgrim had to suffer great physical pain and face many dangers. Why was a waterless and treeless valley chosen as the place for this important event? Why did Al’lah not locate it in a green land of beauty and fascinating nature, instead of this wild and distant place that is devoid of people?

Why should the pilgrims take off all their clothes and dress strangely in white pieces of cloth, like a person who is bathing? This seems to be an odd appearance that can hardly be seen in any other country, and a very strange fashion that is worn by nobody else.

Why should this person be put through these hardships and stringent conditions, and not be allowed even to scratch their heads? They must wear special untailored clothes. They cannot have any arguments, disputes, no laughter, no joking and no chatting. If they scratch their heads, they must present a sacrifice (to slaughter a sheep and distribute it to the poor before completing the ritual).

What is the wisdom of circulating Al-Ka’ba, although it is just a big stone which can neither see nor hear, and which neither harms nor brings benefit? What is the purpose of walking fast? Is it related to worship and submission, or to pride and self-admiration, as they shake their shoulders like a proud fighter in the ranks of an army?

What does this person benefit from kissing the Black Stone, if it is just an ordinary stone? Is it really, as some people have claimed, a stone that comes from Paradise?

What is the purpose of walking fast between Safa and Marwah? Is it true that the Safa and Marwah ritual is but an imitation of the example of Ishmael’s mother (Ishmael is the father of the Arabs), when Abraham (pth) left them (mother and baby) in that isolated place, and she walked quickly to and fro between Safa and Marwah searching for water for her baby? Whereas Ishmael’s mother was troubled and afraid for her baby, the pilgrims were not in this frame of mind. Why do they walk quickly, and what are they searching for?

What is meant by Arafah? Why is Arafat essential to the pilgrimage? As Arafat is a small mountain in a large area surrounded by mountains, what is the relationship between the whole hajj and one small mountain among all the deserts and mountains of Saudi Arabia?

What is the purpose of throwing the pebbles? Is Satan standing chained in that place to be stoned by the pilgrims? Did Satan leave his favorite places, such as bars, nightclubs and brothels, and anywhere that you find great sinning and a lack of chastity, and is he instead tied up there to be pelted with small pebbles? Would these small pebbles destroy Satan, and is the corruption in the earth

Exterminated after they are thrown? Why are only seven pebbles thrown, and no more and no less?

Why are those animals slaughtered in those places? Would the money not be better for the inhabitants of those areas?

Such practices, which are merely the formal practices of worship, drove the western world to accuse Muslims of ignorance; for all that they see are millions of them following after millions of others, like hasty and ungovernable flocks!

Indeed, whenever you ask those same Muslims about the wisdom and the purpose of such deeds, they give you no answer except to say: “these are religious obligations that should be performed in special places and on certain days!”

This is what their fathers—the scholarly imitators—said, and they blindly follow them. They say: “we have no knowledge about the wisdom or the aim of these acts. All that we know is that this is a Godly Command through which you display your worship of God. Our forefathers said so and we have only to obey, whether we understand or do not understand the reasons for these rituals. Therefore, follow us— you who questions us— without asking questions or making objections, otherwise you will be thrown out. It is forbidden to interfere in the jurisprudence of our scholars. We have only to imitate them!”

Oh my Lord! Until when we shall keep straying, having lost the right path for us?!

Now, time has come full circle and it is the turn of truth to manifest itself. In this time, sun of Supreme Knowledge has risen with light, majesty, truth and perfection to disclose the reality of Islam and its loftiness. It is time for the false scholars to stand aside, and for error to be wiped out, for wisdom and illumination have shone through the tongue of the humane scholar Mohammad Amin Sheikho (God made his soul sanctified) to bring forth a scientific demonstration that enlightens hearts with the light of knowledge, thought, science and explanation.

He uncovered illuminative facts to us, which put an end to all forms of blindness and benightedness. He removed the veils from our hearts and minds and helped us to sense the greatness and sublimity of the rituals of pilgrimage, thus allowing us to drink from their supreme sources. All of this was inspired to him through the best of creation, Mohammad (cpth).

Let us now, dear reader, sail into this research which leads us to the straight path and ensures no deviation from it, so that we may live a life of eternal happiness. Let us seize the opportunity to gain a span of life, before which our worldly life is not worth mentioning. Let us start now, for when death knocks at the door, regret will avail us nothing, and how great will be the loss of those who turned away from their Provider!

— Prof. A. K. John Alias Al-Dayrani

Chapter One

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

In the previous books in this series, we have talked about faith, prayer (communication with Al’lah), Az-Zakat (purification) and fasting.

Now we turn to talk about the last thing referred to in the holy saying “Islam is based on five pillars.” This is when the Prophet (cpth) says: “… and making the pilgrimage to the House by he who can do so.”

2-It is He who has sent His Envoy with guidance and the religion of truth to proclaim it over all religions, even though those who obey other gods beside Al’lah may detest it

The Aim of Pilgrimage

The aim of making the pilgrimage is like that of fasting. It is to allow the believer to become illuminated by Al’lah’s Light. God says, revealing the aim of fasting, “You who believe, fasting is decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you; so that you may come to acquire Al-Taqwa (seeing by Al’lah’s Light).”

The Holy Qur’an,

Fortress 2, Al-Baqara (The Cow), verse 183

Some believers gain this illumination in Ramadan, the month of fasting, and then become even more illuminated by pilgrimage because piety—or seeing by Al’lah’s Light—grows exponentially, just like belief.

You may find a great distance between one believer and another, and between one who is pious and another who is less so. God says: “The most pious shall be kept away from it (the blazing fire).”

The Holy Qur’an,

Fortress 92, Al-Lail (The Night), verse 17

This demonstrates that there are believers who are pious and others who are even more pious.

Some believers may not gain their enlightenment in Ramadan. The pilgrimage, therefore, can serve as another opportunity for those who fail to gain piety by fasting.

However, when someone fails to become illuminated by Al’lah’s Light either by fasting in Ramadan or by making the pilgrimage, it means that they are not trying hard enough in either of the two situations.

The Almighty God clarifies the purpose of pilgrimage when He says: “The pilgrimage is to be done in the appointed months. He that intends to perform the pilgrimage in those months must abstain from sexual intercourse, from straying from the right path, and from disputes while on the pilgrimage. Al’lah knows everything that you do. Provide well (do good deeds)—the benefit of this provision is Al-Taqwa (to become illuminated by Al’lah’s Light). Be under My Light; then, it is you that is endowed with realization.”

The Holy Qur’an,

Fortress 2, Al-Baqara (The Cow), verse 197

In another verse, He says: “Give glory to Al’lah for a few days. He that departs on the second day brings no sin upon himself; nor does he who stays longer, if he acquires Al-Taqwa (becomes illuminated by Al’lah’s Light). Be under Al’lah’s Light, then, and know that you shall all be gathered before Him.”

The Holy Qur’an,

Fortress 2, Al-Baqara (The Cow), verse 203

According to this noble verse, we understand that a person who gains a sufficient degree of piety brings no sin upon themselves if they depart on the second day, or if they stay longer into the days of throwing the pebbles, since they have achieved their purpose.