Awakening the Sleeper to Recognition of the Ways in which a Hajji Can Be Corrupted

(Kitâb Tanbîh ar-Râqid 'alâ ma yaftûr al-Hâjj min al-Mafâsid)

Muhammad Bello

In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Most Merciful

May Allah bless Sayyiduna Muhammad and his family and Companions with the purest of blessings and grant him and them the most perfect peace. Praise be to Allah, one of whose greatest favours is the success, praised by Him, which is achieved by someone truly implementing the right guidance which He revealed. Peace and blessings be upon Muhammad, the compassionate intercessor, and upon his family and Companions who travelled on the right path.

I have observed in myself intense disquiet and yearning for the Sacred House as well as a great desire to visit the grave of His Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him with the best prayer and the purest peace. I have also noticed the fact that it is incumbent for anyone who has not gone on hajj to the Sacred House to be upset and yearn to undertake it and also to long to visit and to be aggrieved if he has not visited the Noble Rawda. If that is the case, he has a duty to be sorrowful and lament, particularly if he is someone who has seen those who have been there while he remains cut off and distant, or has been prevented from going there by some impediment while seeing others travelling to hajj while he remains at home. The greatest traveller is the one whose objective is the Sacred House. How excellent is what the poet said:

How excellent are the mounts
       which cross the vast deserts in hope!

They alight at the Sacred House while the hearts
      of the lovers among them are anxious.

They alight at the door
      and the one who arrives there is not disappointed.

Their hearts waver between hope and fear.

I was therefore concerned lest the Accursed Enemy insinuate some of his guile into that wine and cast some perversion of his into that intoxication since it is said that Shaytan lies in wait for Allah's servants, the people of jihad and the people of gnosis, even in the various forms that piety can take and on the path of good action. For instance, in the case of someone who thinks that the path of good lies in recitation of the Qur'an, Shaytan might say, "Why don't you go to the Sacred House of Allah and you can recite the Qur'an on the journey? By doing that you can combine the reward of hajj and that of recitation." In that way, he gets him to set out. Then he tells him, "Be like other people. You are a traveller now, so you do not have to recite Qur'an." Then he stops reciting Qur'an. Moving on from that misfortune, Shaytan may make him miss the prescribed prayers, and it is even possible that he will not complete his hajj. He might, for instance, be distracted by looking for food from fulfilling all its practices or he might incur a penalty which requires him to sacrifice and then not be able to fulfil the duties of hajj. His journey might make him miserly or bring out bad character in him, or other such things.

If he is someone whose action cannot be corrupted, Shaytan might introduce him to a better action which he is not performing, thereby inducing him to abandon the first even though he does not leave it deliberately. Al-Burdhuli said, "It was related to our shaykh, Abu Muhammad ash-Shabibi, by a Moroccan student that it is said that the shaytans of the east and the west quarrelled about which of them had the greatest power to induce people to go astray. The shaytans of the east said, 'We have the greatest power. We come to a man when he is with his family and children, performing the obligatory prayers, paying the due zakat and other things. He is in a state of east and the angels are with him. In addition to this, he does not have many responsibilities. The moment he mentions going to the Hijaz, we drive him to tears and induce him to set out. From the moment he departs, we prompt him to abandon his prayers and to commit forbidden actions until he returns to his family in a complete state of loss – in himself, his property and his deen.' Because of this, the shaytans of the east were acknowledged to have the greatest power to lead people astray." Al-Burdhuli remarked, "I saw something of this during my journey to hajj."

The following is the rule of insight which I have put down for myself and those who are like me concerning this matter:

You are not the first visitor to be dazzled by the moon,
     nor the first visitor to be delighted by the wine of destruction.

I have entitled this principle, "Awakening the Sleeper to Recognition of the Ways in which a Hajji can be Corrupted." I ask Allah to let it help those who decide to go on hajj and to let the one who embarks on hajj have insight by it and know that Allah is the Granter of success and the One who responds to the caller.


Allah Almighty says, "Hajj to the House is a duty owed to Allah by all mankind – those who can find a way to do it." (3:97) Al-Qarafi said, "This expression, 'those who can find a way to do it', is not applied to other actions. That is an indication that there are difficulties in the hajj that are not found in other things." Al-Haythami said, "The fact that this is not mentioned in regard to things like the prayer and fasting does not in any way alter the fact that they are obligatory. The obligation to perform the hajj, however, is removed when you are unable to perform it, which is not the case with the prayer and fasting. If the ability to perform it is lacking, then the hajj is no longer obligatory at all." Ibn al-'Arabi said in Takhlis an-Nukat, "Our scholars have said that the reason for singling out the hajj by mentioning 'ability', which is not the case with the other pillars of Islam, is because you carry out the other pillars of Islam while resident in your house without having to move and without having to undergo all these things. Therefore Allah Almighty mentioned 'ability' to do it in order to point out that in certain circumstances the obligation of performing hajj should be set aside.


Ibn al-'Arabi said in his book, "There is no disagreement that 'ability' to do it is a precondition for the hajj being obligatory for anyone subject to the obligations of the deen. Scholars, however, have disagreed about exactly what 'ability' entails." Al-Maziri, as at-Tadhali related, said, "'Ability' means the capability of reaching the House by land or sea without great hardship, without fear for life or property, being able to carry out the obligatory prayers and being safe from disapproved things. This is the commonly accepted position." Ibn Habib and Sahnun said about provision and the mount, "The capability of reaching the House without great hardship refers to physical well-being. This phrase applies, for instance, when it is necessary to walk or ride a pack saddle and so doing will cause injury. The same applies to the hardship entailed by the necessity of begging if it is not a person's custom to do so. 'Ability' also has different connotations in respect of different individuals and distances. Someone who cannot walk is not like someone who is able to walk. Someone who is not able to make do with only a little is not like someone who can or is used to begging. The obligation of walking is different in the case of someone living near and that of someone living far away. Someone who is able to walk is under obligation to do so and the existence of a mount is not necessary in his case. It is also necessary to consider the existence of water and provision. Another example is blindness. If a blind man is able to walk and there is someone who lead him, he calls into the same category as someone who can see. There is disagreement about someone whose custom is to beg and who thinks that he will find someone to give him what he needs."

In his commentary on Ibn al-Hajib, Ibn Farhun says about his words, "by land or sea" that they indicate that the sea is like the land when the hajj is an obligation for someone and that is the only way he can travel, or if it is impossible to travel by land because or fear or a similar reason. This is the most commonly accepted position. It is also said that the hajj is not an obligation for someone for whom the only means of travel is by sea. This is the position which Ibn al-Hajj quoted from Ibn Sha'ban and it is the position of the Shafi'i madhhab. It is also said that travelling by sea is disliked unless it is the only possible means of travel.

Regarding the words, "without fear for life or property, we read in at-Tawdih, "There is no question that safety from loss of life is one of the considerations. As far as property is concerned, if it is a case of fear of robbers, that is the same thing because that could lead to loss of life." Ibn Rushd said, "He means by this that he will not be in fear for his life on the journey. Regarding property, if he thinks it probable that there are robbers and highwaymen, then the hajj is not obligatory because that could lead to loss of life. If it is a road with a toll, some scholars have stated that the hajj is no obligatory, no matter how small or large the toll is. That is the well-known fatwa of Shaykh Abu 'Imran al-Fasi. Al-Abhurri listed the types of harm which render the hajj no longer obligatory and other kinds of harm which can be averted, in which case the hajj is still obligatory. Ibn al-'Arabi thinks that the hajj is obligatory in any case and that a person should spend the money which he would normally spend on other journeys, whether for business or religion or worldly reasons. Ibn Farhun said, "If it is necessary to travel by sea and that is the only possible way, but the sea is dangerous because of enemies or similar reasons or there are many shipwrecks, then in that case the hajj ceases to be obligatory. In fact, it is forbidden to embark on it and the obligation to go on hajj is cancelled."

About the words, "that one can perform the obligatory prayers," Ibn Farhun said, "It could be that someone is certain that his prayer will be prejudiced when travelling by sea because of the distance, or that the constriction caused by the number of people might prevent him from finding a place to prostrate, or that he will be under a deck where there is no enough room to stand up. Concerning cases like these and others, Malik said, 'He should not embark. Will he embark where he cannot pray? Woe to the one who abandons the prayer!'" Al-Hattab said, "It is a precondition for someone going on hajj by sea as well as any other sea travellers that they know that they will be able to perform their prayers at the correct times without neglecting any obligatory element. Nor does this apply only to people going by sea. It is a general precondition for the hajj being obligatory."

It says in al-Madkhal, "Our scholars say that if the obligated person knows that he is going to miss one of the prayers when he leaves for the hajj (and that might occur by delaying the prayer beyond its time or things like that), then the obligation of going on hajj no longer exists."

Al-Burdhuli said, quoting al-Maziri in his answer to the following question, "What about the case of someone who has to delay the prayer until its time has passed and that only happens because he is going on hajj?" that he replied that this journey was not permissible and he was not obligated to go on hajj.

Ibn al-Munir said, "Know that missing a single prayer is a very great evil and it is not made up by all the good actions of the hajj because the prayer is more important. If he is likely to be distracted, even for a single prayer, because of travelling by sea or on an animal, he must not go on hajj. Indeed, it is forbidden for him to go on hajj if the only way he can get there entails missing a prayer."

Then he said, "He must not be negligent in cleansing himself either and must be as careful as he is when he is at home." Ibrahim ibn Hilal said, "In short, the prayer, the mainstay of the deen, is the most important thing of all, so a man should have a pure spare garment ready for it which he will be able to use if his clothes become impure because, on a journey, it is often difficult to find water. This applies when he is alone. Some heedless individuals exert much effort in preparing delicate delights to use as food for their journey and then pray with tayammum while in a state of impurity and neglect the prayer and delay it beyond its time. The people of knowledge say that those who neglect the prayer and delay it are disobedient Muslims. This is derived from Malik's words, "It is not permitted for the hajji to embark on the sea if that will lead to him stopping the prayer. If it is feared that the prayer will be stopped when he travels by land, then it is not permitted for him to go on hajj at all." Al-Maziri was asked about the judgement regarding going on hajj in his time, and he answered that when there is a way to do it and there is no fear for life or property and there is security from being seduced away from the deen and no fear of doing anything objectionable or missing obligatory prayers, then it is an obligation."

He said, "If he starts to delay the prayers until the time for them is past and that is only happening because he is going on hajj, then this journey is not permitted, and hajj is no longer obligatory for him." He said, "If he thinks that he will see or hear objectionable things, this is an extensive subject and requires further elucidation."

Al-Hattab said, "This refers to things like violent winds, overcrowding, excess impurities and similar things. This is the most commonly accepted position."

Al-Baji inclined to the position that you should embark on the sea, even if this will lead to neglecting some parts of the prayer since this is the agreed position when one goes out in jihad. This is so since someone who is going out in jihad is doing so in order to make the Word of Allah the uppermost. Doing this is nobler than performing the prayer, since not establishing tawhid constitutes kufr while not establishing the prayer does not constitute kufr, as if well-known. Things are made clear by their opposites. The position concerning hajj, however, with regard to the prayer is the reverse since the prayer is above hajj. What was mentioned concerning jihad is only applied if it a specifically incumbent duty. If it is a specifically incumbent duty, then you cannot say that one should embark on it if that will lead to missing some of the basic elements of the prayer.

Al-Hattab said, "If embarking on the sea means that someone will not be able to prostrate properly, he should not embark on it and the hajj is not obligatory for him. If he does embark on it and prays, every prayer must be repeated. This is what has been laid down. If it means that he has to pray sitting down, then the judgement applied by the author is the same as that of al-Burdhuli and it is also what Ibn Abi Jamra said. This judgement is according to the analogy made by al-Lakhmi, Ibn 'Arafa and Ibn Farhun with performing prostration on the back of a fellow Muslim. Al-Lakhmi, in "The Book of Prayer", and the author of at-Tiraz said that the obligation of the hajj is not cancelled in this case and he does not have to repeat the prayer. It says in the Mudawanna and al-'Utbiyya that any person who cannot stand up in the boat prays sitting down, and Allah knows best.


Shaykh Abu'l-Walid ibn Rushd gave a fatwa that the hajj is not obligatory for the people of Andalusia. At-Tartushi gave a fatwa that stated: "Hajj is unlawful for the people of the Maghrib. But whoever is misled and does go on hajj has fulfilled his obligation. He has, however, committed a wrong action by placing himself in danger. This is the position of the Imams of the Muslims should be followed, so take note of that and accept it."

[[NOTE: This would have been the time that the Fatimids were in control of North Africa.]]

We read in al-Madkhal that Ibn Talha says, "The 'well-travelled path' is the name of something which to all intents and purposes has ceased to exist. I set out from Andalusia, first going to Seville and then Bijaya and crossed the River Zaqa, imagining that a clear route existed. I went to al-Mahdiya and the Maghrib where I met people who believed that the hajj was not obligatory for the people of the Maghrib. Indeed, they believed that it was unlawful." Then he said, "Relinquishing an obligation between Allah and the slave is better than plunging into excessive danger. 'The beginning and end of the affair belong to Allah.'"

Ibn al-'Arabi said, "The extraordinary thing is that people say that the hajj is not on obligation for the people of the Maghrib but then are content to travel from one land to another through grave dangers, and cross the sea merely for worldly things or the deen when as far as fear or security, the halal an the haram, spending and giving money on the journey and all other considerations are concerned, the circumstances are the same as they would be if they went on hajj."

Shaykh Zarruq said in his commentary on the Waghlisiyya, "The statement of the person who says that the hajj is not obligatory for the people of the Maghrib is lacking in adab, even if this is in fact the case. It is better to say that 'ability' to perform the hajj does not exist in the Maghrib. Whoever lacks 'ability' does not have to perform the hajj." Al-Hattab said, "The intention of the scholars who make this statement is to give common people a better understanding of this matter." Shaykh Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Lakhmi said, after reporting these statements of scholars and what Ibn al-'Arabi said, "Know that the safety of the road, which is one of the principles governing 'ability', is lacking in the case of the Maghrib."


Al-Hattab said, "In the case when a ruler fears that if he goes on hajj, he will neglect his people's affairs or that their social structure will be disrupted through fear of an enemy of the deen or by corrupt Muslims, and he is almost certain that this will happen, then the clear judgement is that 'ability' is lacking in his case. This is derived from what Ibn Rushd said."

Since the hajj is better than going on expeditions, I was asked about this and about the ruling on the ruler hiring someone to perform hajj on his behalf: "What do you say about the ruling on the ruler who owes the Islamic obligation of hajj, but fears that if he himself goes on hajj, his people will be disturbed, their social order disrupted and that the unbelievers may conquer their land? Can he hire someone to go on hajj for him or not? What is the ruling on that?" I answered that if it is likely that what was mentioned regarding the disturbance of the people would take place and that their order would actually be disrupted and that the unbelievers would indeed conquer their land because this ruler has gone on hajj, then there is no dispute about the obligation being cancelled for him because for him 'ability' is definitely lacking. In his case, the hajj is not an obligation. It is well-known in the madhhab that it is disliked to hire someone to do it in another's place, but it is permissible in this situation, and Allah knows best. Against this commonly accepted position is another statement that it is absolutely permitted.


Since 'ability' is either a reason or precondition for hajj being obligatory or a precondition for its validity. Al-Qarafi said in adh-Dhakhira, "Allah Almighty says, "Hajj to the House is a duty owed to Allah by all mankind – those who can find a way to do it." (3:97) The way that this ruling is made dependent on that condition indicates that the condition is the direct cause of the judgement, as in the statement, 'He fornicated and is therefore stoned,' and 'He stole and therefore his hand is cut off,' and 'He forgot and therefore he prostrates.' Allah Almighty based the obligation of hajj on 'ability', and therefore it is a direct cause for its being obligatory.

At-Tadhali and Ibn Farhun followed this position. Most of the people of the madhhab say that 'ability' is one of the preconditions for the hajj being obligatory, Ibn Bashir, Ibn Shas, Ibn al-Hajib, Khalil, Ibn 'Arafa and others proceeded on that basis. Some of them proceeded on the basis that it is a precondition for the hajj being valid. They included Ibn al-Hajj. Ash-Shadhili quoted him and alluded to this in ash-Shamil when he said, "'Ability' is a precondition for the hajj being obligatory, but not for its being valid, according to the soundest statement, A similar case is in the giving of talqin (instruction of the dead) and its phrasing. The preconditions for going it are two: Islam and the ability to travel.

"The author of Turar at-Talqin said that he considered the ability to travel as a precondition for performing it and as a precondition for it being obligatory since it is dependent on ability.

"The import of these words is that it is only conceivable for a man's hajj to be valid as long as his life and property are secure. He may in fact perform hajj, but if it is based on this, it becomes an act of disobedience. It is not an act that brings him near to Allah, and it does not absolve him from his obligation. It is like the hajj made by an unbeliever before he comes Muslim. In view of this, it can therefore be said that 'ability' is a precondition for both the performance of hajj and for the hajj being obligatory."

Al-Hattab said, "What is the ruling about someone who lacks 'ability', but in spite of that assume ihram for performing hajj from his own country or from another place where the 'ability' to make hajj is definitely lacking, and then takes it on himself to reach Makka when the Shari'a does not demand this of him" does he fulfil his obligation to perform hajj or not? A reliable source says that 'ability' is a precondition which removes obligation rather than fulfilling it. Al-Qarafi mentioned something similar in adh-Dhakhira. The statement that he does not fulfil his obligation when 'ability' is lacking means that the obligation has not been removed. This is based on the fact that 'ability' is a precondition for the hajj being obligatory while some of them said that it is a precondition for its being valid. This is in cases like those we have mentioned, when a man assumes ihram for hajj when he lacks the 'ability' to do it. In the case where someone lacks 'ability' due to the place where he lives, and then he takes it on himself and arrives at the hajj, there is no disagreement about the obligatory nature of validity of his hajj and the fact that he has satisfied the obligation inasmuch as then acquires 'ability' as was already stated in at-Tawdih."

Before these words he said, "If he is free and responsible (mukallaf) but lacks 'ability' and then endures hardships and burdens and goes on hajj while lacking 'ability' to do so, then his obligation has been discharged although in the first place it was not an obligation for him since we say that 'ability' is a precondition or direct cause for hajj being obligatory." If it is said, "How can what is not obligatory discharge an obligation?" then the answer is as he said, "When he actually reaches the place of the hajj and is able to perform it, then it becomes an obligation for him and he discharges his obligation even though it was not obligatory for him to do it in the first place. How could it discharge an obligation unless the obligation had first been established."

Al-Hattab said, "If it is likely that you will be killed on the way, it is forbidden to set out." Al-Burdhuli said, "Al-Lakhmi was asked about a person who goes on hajj by a perilous route, putting himself in danger with a high probability that he will not arrive safely. Is that self-destruction or does he receive a reward because it was his intention to perform his obligatory hajj or to draw near to Allah by supererogatory action if he has already performed the hajj – or is he neither rewarded nor blamed? He answered that hajj in these dangerous circumstances is not obligatory and his insisting on doing it in spite of that is by no means blameless."


Part of 'ability' is the existence of water at every watering-place. 'Abdu'l-Haqq said in at-Tahdhib, "I saw that some of the people of knowledge hold that part of the completeness of 'ability' is the existence of water in every watering-place. That is necessary for everyone, just as everyone must have provisions. The existence of provisions is considered at one go because provisions can be carried for the entire journey. Water must be taken at every stage. Carrying all the provisions for the entire journey is not a hardship, but there would be great hardship and much burden in carrying water for the entire journey. A man needs more water than food, and so it is hard for him to carry it. That is why its existence is considered necessary at every stopping-place. What he said was correct, so take note."

Khalil quoted that in at-Tawdih when he said, "'Abdu'l-Haqq quoted from one of his shaykhs that the existence of water in every stopping-place is not one of the preconditions when considering 'ability'. This is the madhhab." At-Tadhali, al-Aqfahasi and al-Burdhuli quoted this and accepted it. Al-Burdhuli said, "Our shaykh and Imam (i.e. Ibn 'Arafa) said, 'This is why most of our shaykhs have not made hajj because the water in certain place is generally impure.'" It was related in ash-Shamil: "That necessitates considering this statement weak. It is clear that it is contrary to the madhhab. What is meant by it, and Allah knows best, is the existence of water in the stopping-place where it is generally customary for water to be found, not the existence of water in every stage. If that is difficult to understand, then reflect on it."

Al-Ubayy said in the commentary of Muslim on the hadith of Hath'umiyya, referring to 'ability' and what someone had mentioned about 'ability' including the existence of water in every stopping-place was that he meant the stage for every day's travel. In other words, whenever water was needed. He said, "In every station", meaning in every watering place as was already state in what 'Abdu'l-Haqq said when he referred to it at the beginning of his statement as 'the watering-place' and at the end of it as a 'stage', and Allah knows best."


One of the most important things that a hajji must do is be scrupulously careful concerning the harm so that his expenditure in the hajj comes from what is good and does not come from haram earnings. At-Tabarani and others have related the marfu' hadith of Abu Hurayra, "When a man goes out on hajj with wholesome provision and puts his foot in the stirrup and cries, 'At your service, O Allah, at Your service!' a caller calls out in the heaven, 'At your service! Your provision and your mount are lawful and your hajj is accepted and not obstructed. When he leaves with foul provision and puts his foot in the stirrup, and calls 'At Your service,' a caller calls out from the heaven, 'You have no "At your service". Your provision is unlawful and your maintenance is unlawful and your hajj is obstructed and not accepted.'" A man died on the road to Makka and a grave was dug for him. They buried him, but left the pick-axe in his grave. When they disinterred him to get the pick-axe back, his head and neck where joined to the blade of the pick-axe. They shovelled the earth back onto him and then went to his people and asked them about him. His people said, "He kept a man's company and then made off with his money. He used that money to go on hajj and on expeditions."

In al-Madhkal, one of scholars said, "The obedience of the ignorant man only comes from appetite." He said a little before that, "because people do not look at what the scholars have decided and what they have understood of the Shari'a, they have embarked on things which are not obligatory for responsible (mukallaf) people. When someone embarks on these things, then he falls into forbidden or disliked actions, or both of them at the same time. For instance, a certain person may hear that the hajj was an obligation and, due to his ignorance, thinks that it was obligatory for him to perform it because he does not ask any of the people of knowledge. Therefore he embarks on it when he is not responsible for it and it is not obligatory for him. He imposes on himself a burden which he cannot discharge and a responsibility which will not be fulfilled since it is impossible for him to do it in the correct way because of the many dubious things in it."

Then we read in Maraqq az-Zulaf by Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-'Arabi, may Allah have mercy on him: "Ibn Mas'ud said, 'At the end of time, there will be many who go on hajj when the journey is easy for them and they have plenty of provisions with them, but yet they return bereft and robbed. An example of this is when someone is thrown by his camel in a desert place and the friend at his side does not go to his aid.'"

We read in al-Qut, "A man came to Bishr al-Harith and said, 'I have decided to go on hajj, so give me some instructions.' Bishr asked him, 'How much have you put aside for expenses?' '2000 dirhams,' he replied. He asked, 'What do you seek by your hajj – an excursion, yearning for the House, or the desire to please Allah?' 'The desire to please Allah,' was his reply. Bishr said, 'You can please Allah without leaving your own house. You can spend the 2000 dirhams and be certain of gaining Allah's pleasure. Will you do that?' The man replied, 'Yes.' Bishr went on, 'Then go and give it to ten of the following: a debtor to discharge his debts, a poor man to set him back on his feet, the father of a large family to provide nourishment for it, and to someone bringing up an orphan to help him out. If you feel strongly in your heart that you should give it to just one of them, then do that. Bringing happiness to he heart of a Muslim, relieving someone's grief, removing hardship from someone in need, and helping someone whose belief is uncertain is better than a hundred hajjs after the obligatory hajj of Islam. So go and give it out as I have told you. If you do not, then me what is in your heart.' He said, 'Abu Nasr, I fell more strongly in my heart that I should travel.' Bishr smiled and said to him, 'When wealth is amassed from the filth of trade and doubtful things, the self demands that it be used for a purpose which will make a public display of good action and drawing near to Allah, but Allah only accepts the actions of those who have taqwa. The scholars of old used to look at the rich people who went to Makka and say, "Do not say that so-and-so has gone on hajj. Rather say that he has gone on a journey."'"

The book goes on to say, "The ignorant poor person will contract a debt, cheat and beg from people for the sake of going on hajj, even to the point where some of them will petition tyrants who oppress the Muslims when it is in fact incumbent to disassociate oneself from them. That might become a reason for an increase in their tyranny since they see some people believing in them and seeking good at their doors, kow-towing to them in this way and asking them for the leftovers from the filth of their haram worldly wealth. Most of these poor people are overcome by ignorance and they deceive themselves or someone else deceives them into believing that they are acting in obedience and for the good. The reverse is true. We seek refuge with Allah from disappointment. Some of those who beg from these people in order to go on hajj do even more in that since they promise to make supplication for them in the Sacred Places.

"Some of them leave their families in difficult circumstances and go on hajj when the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, 'It is enough wrong action for a man to put those he should provide for in difficult circumstances.' Some of them will plunge into ignorance to the extent of doing the above-mentioned in order to perform a supererogatory hajj. Some of them use the hajj as a market-place to get hold of people's wealth. Some of them cannot meet with unjust rulers we have mentioned because it is impossible for him to reach them, so these people ask someone to intercede with them on their behalf. The intercessor praises the person with whom he is interceding, saying that he is one of the people of blessing and correctness so that he will be moved to give him money. In this way they use the deen to consume this world. That is censured in the Noble Shari'a. Some of them cannot reach these people on their own and cannot reach them via someone else, so they set out with provision or mount. Then things befall such a person which need not have happened, and he is prevented from performing the prayer. Therefore he transgresses by doing this. These things include lack of provision, falling into difficulties, exhaustion, and burdening people by asking them to provide him with food and drink. Sometimes it might even lead to his death. This is well within the realm of possibility. You find such people at the side of the road lying dead after they have opposed the command of Allah Almighty in respect of themselves."

Included in this are their Muslim brothers who know their state. They are among the people travelling with them who share in their wrong action. It is the same for all those people who help them by giving them insufficient funds when they first set out, or who act for them in procuring help except, by Allah, if they know that someone else is definitely going to help them so there will be enough for a round trip. In that case there is no harm in it. If he does not know this to be the case, then it is forbidden for him to give anything to such people because that will become a reason for them embarking on what they will not have the power to endure by way of thirst, hunger, fatigue, and the possibility of death which is likely to occur. Anyone who gives them will be their partner in what happens to them and what happens to others because of them – such as anger, irritation, and cursing. This, of course, does not apply if you meet people in such circumstances on the way. It is a clear duty for those who know of such people to help them with something which will alleviate their condition there and then, even if it is only by giving them a few mouthfuls to drink or a morsel or two to eat. They should be informed that what they have done is haram for them and that they must not do anything like it again. All of this is caused by ignorance of what this act of worship really entrails, what is obligatory in it, what is forbidden in it, what is recommended, and what is disliked. This has come from a text in the hadith of Anas ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him. He reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'A time will come to people when the rich among them will perform hajj as an excursion, the middle class for trade, the Qur'an reciters to show off and the poor to beg."


Tradition states that when someone misappropriates haram property and uses it to perform hajj, he is liable for that, but his hajj is considered valid. That is the most common statement on it, and the one which al-Qarafi cited. Al-Hattab said, "That is so, but the hajj of someone who does hajj with haram property is not accepted, as more than one scholar has clearly stated. That is because it lacks one of the preconditions of acceptance because Allah Almighty says, 'Allah only accepts from the godfearing,' and there is no contradiction between the judgement that the hajj is valid and its lack of acceptance which concerns its reward. The effect of its being valid means that a person is no longer required to perform it. Haram in this context includes all the forms that the haram can take, such as misappropriation, using unjust means, theft, looting and other things."

Ibn Farhun mentions, "I read in a book, although I do not recall which book, that Malik said that doing hajj using haram wealth does not fulfil the hajj. He stood in the Masjid al-Haram during the hajj and called out, 'O people! Whoever knows me, knows me. As for the one who does not know me, I am Malik ibn Anas. Anyone who performs hajj with haram property has no hajj,' or words to that effect."

A recognised mufti once said, "As for the hajj not being accepted, it is because the action is connected to disobedience and lacks the precondition for acceptance, namely taqwa. The validity of any act of worship depends on the presence of its preconditions and pillars. There is no contradiction in that because the effect of the lack of acceptance is that there is no reward. We seek refuge with Allah from that. The effect of validity is that the obligation is discharged and responsibility is removed. A group of scholars indicated that the hajj under these circumstances is not accepted. They include al-Qushayri, al-Ghazali, al-Qarafi, al-Qurtubi and an-Nawawi. Al-Ghazali took it from Ibn 'Abbas."

It is said that these two verses are by Ibn Hanbal:

If you make hajj with wealth whose basis is haram, then you
     have not made the hajj. Rather the caravan has made the hajj.

Allah only accepts every good action.
     Not every hajj to the House is accepted.

One of them said:

The hajj made with lawful wealth – that you know is all right.
     Beware of haram wealth! Again beware!

If someone goes on hajj with haram wealth,
     Allah has no need of his hajj.

When he says, "Allah, at Your service!" Allah's answer is
     "Not at your service. We reject your hajj."

That is how we saw it written in the hadith, and what we
     have written is found in the books of hadith.

If you ask, "What is the judgement regarding someone who performs hajj using doubtful wealth? then the reply is what Ibn 'Ata'llah said, "It happens to many people that their acts of worship are not accepted and their supplication is not answered because their food is not pure of the haram and lawful."

Al-Hattab said, "The scholars apply the words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, 'Whoever falls into the doubtful falls into the haram' in two ways. One is that anyone who pursues doubtful things and persists in doing them will be lead into falling into the haram. The second is that the one who pursues doubtful things has already fallen into haram, even if he is not aware of it. He is forbidden from pursuing doubtful things for that reason. Al-Qurtubi was correct in what he said in al-Mufhim, 'The position is that it is disliked. The best thing to say is, 'If a man goes on hajj with something doubtful, it is feared that his hajj will not be accepted. The hajji should use wealth which is free of anything haram or doubtful for the hajj.'"

Ibn Waddah said, "It is recommended that someone who goes on hajj using wealth which contains something questionable should spend it on his journey and his needs. When he assumes ihram for the hajj, he should look for the best of what he has and start spending that on what he eats, the cloth he wears for ihram and similar things, and that is related from one of the Salaf."

Al-Ghazali said, 'Anyone who goes on an obligatory hajj using doubtful wealth should strive to ensure that his food is good. If he cannot do that, he should at least ensure that on the Day of 'Arafa, at the moment when he is standing before Allah, calling on Him, his food and clothing do not contain anything which is haram or doubtful, even though this is allowed in case of dire necessity – and this may be a case of such necessity. If he is unable to do this, he should fill his heart with fear and sorrow because of anything impure which he has been compelled to utilise. Perhaps Allah will look at him with the eye of mercy and overlook this because of his fear and dislike of it."


In al-Mawwaziya, Malik was asked about which he preferred: hajj or expedition. He said, "The hajj, unless it is at a time of fear." He was asked, "And between the hajj and sadaqa?" He replied, "The hajj, unless it is a time of hunger." He was asked, "And between sadaqa and freeing slaves?" "Sadaqa," he replied.

Ibn Rushd said, "His words, 'I prefer hajj to the expedition unless it is at a time of fear' refer to the voluntary hajj, and Allah knows best. This is because the person on an expedition in a time of fear has sold himself to Allah Almighty, and is entitled to the Garden and receives good news from Allah of immense victory. Allah Almighty says, 'Allah has bought from the believers their selves and their wealth.' (9:112)"

Al-Hattab said, "The most acceptable position is that the voluntary hajj is better than voluntary fasting." This is the position of Malik. Ibn Wahb, however, related that voluntary jihad is better than voluntary hajj, and Ibn 'Arafa mentioned this at the beginning of 'Jihad', taking Ibn Sahnun as his source. Ibn Rushd gave a fatwa which reads, 'The answer to your question about anyone from Andalusia who has not performed the hajj, 'Is hajj or jihad better for him?' and 'How could jihad be better when the hajj is obligatory?' is as follows: the obligation of hajj is cancelled for the people of Andalusia since 'ability', which Allah has made a precondition for the hajj being obligatory, is lacking, because 'ability' means the capability of reaching Makka in safety as far as life and property are concerned. Security of this kind does not exist at this time. Thus the duty of hajj no longer exists for this reason, and so it becomes a disliked nafila to expose oneself to danger by undertaking it. Because of what we have mentioned, it is clear that jihad, whose innumerable virtues are mentioned virtues are mentioned in the Qur'an as well as in multiple sources in the transmitted Sunna and other traditions, is better than hajj. This is so clear that there is no need to question it. The topic under discussion concerns someone who performs the obligatory hajj when the road is safe. In that case, which is better: Hajj or jihad? I say that jihad is better because of what has been transmitted concerning its immense excellence. As for someone who has not performed the obligatory hajj when the road is safe, it is a subject of dispute as to whether or not it can be put off. This is when it is not compulsory for everyone to go on jihad. When jihad is compulsory for everyone, all say that it is better than the obligatory hajj without any disagreement. So can hajj be delayed or not? Success is by Allah."

He was asked about the people of 'Adwa (part of North Africa) and whether they were like the people of Andalusia. He replied, "Their road is the same as that of the people of Andalusia since they can only reach Makka by putting themselves and their property in danger. Even if they do not fear for their lives or their property, I think that jihad is better than doing the hajj straightaway since it is stated that it is possible to delay it. This is the sound position in the school of Malik, may Allah have mercy on him, and is indicated by his answers to questions he was asked. This is for people other than those carrying out obligatory jihad. As for the guards and soldiers of the Muslims, jihad is an obligation for them since it is not a specific duty for them to perform the hajj straightaway unless they have reached old age because the duty of delaying the hajj has certain conditions which apply to it. Hajj is a specific duty when the responsible person (mukallaf) is certain that he will miss it if he delays it. The limit for that is found in the statement of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, 'The time of the struggle (with death) in my community is between the ages of sixty and seventy.'"

Ibn 'Arafa quoted this at the beginning of "Jihad". He said, "I say that his statement, 'so it becomes a disliked nafila' is an idiosyncratic view because the nafila is a branch of the recommended. The recommended and the disliked are opposites. By nafila, however, he may be indicating that its basic principle is recommended while the form in which it actually occurs is disliked. An example of this can be found in disliked forms of marriage while marriage in general remains recommended."

Al-Hattab said, "This is what is meant." Then he added, "The result is that whoever does not have the 'ability' should occupy himself with jihad. It is disliked for him to go on hajj. Indeed, it is forbidden."


Part of what supports the transmission of Ibn Wahb is what was related both by al-Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him. He said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked which action was best. He replied, 'Belief in Allah and His Messenger.' He was asked, 'Then what?' He said, 'Jihad in the Way of Allah?' He was asked, 'Then what?' He replied, 'An accepted hajj.'" Imam Ahmad related with an isnad of men used by him as sources (and these men are reliable) from Ma'iz, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked which action is best. He said, "Belief in Allah alone, then jihad, then an accepted hajj, are better than all other actions by the extent of everything between the rising of the sun and its setting." It says in Muthar al-Gharam, "These two hadiths make it clear that the rank of jihad is above that of hajj, and Allah knows best."

Adam ibn 'Ali said, "I heard Ibn 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, say, 'A journey for jihad in the Way of Allah is better than fifty hajjs.'" Ibn al-Mubarak related this from Sufyan. Sa'id ibn Mansur related it in his Sunan from Abu'l-Ahwas. Ibn Abi Shayba related it from Waki' from Sufyan. This hadith is mawquf but its isnads are sound. It is said that things like this are not stated on the basis of opinion or ijtihad, but come by way of marfu' hadith. Allah knows best."

'Umar ibn al-Aswad reported that 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "You must make hajj. It is a righteous action which Allah has commanded, but nevertheless jihad is better than it." Ibn Abi Shayba related this with a sound isnad, and it is also mawquf. Isma'il ibn Hasan reported that Mu'adh ibn Jabal, may Allah be pleased with him, wanted to go an expedition, and commanded that his animal be brought and it was saddled. Then he commanded that it be unsaddled. Mu'adh ibn Jabal said, "This is better than ten hajjs."

It is mentioned in The Healing of the Hearts that Dirar ibn 'Amr said, "I stayed for a long time here jihad was being fought. Then I wanted to go on hajj and visit the House, so I made ready to go on hajj. Then I went to say good-bye to my brothers. I went to Ishaq ibn Abi Bardha to bid him farewell. He asked, 'Where are you going, Dirar?' 'Hajj.' I replied. He asked, 'Has your opinion of jihad lessened then?' 'No,' I replied, 'but I have been in the land of jihad for a long time and I want to go on hajj and visit the House.' He said, 'Do not look to what you love, Dirar ibn 'Amr. Rather look to what Allah loves. Do you not know that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, only made one hajj to the House? Then he continued to fight in jihad until he met Allah. Dirar ibn 'Amr, if you perform hajj and 'umra, you will have the reward of your hajj and 'umra. If you are a murabit or fighter or one of those guarding the vulnerable places of the Muslims, and then a hundred thousand and another hundred thousand people make hajj to the House – or whatever number you say – you will have the like of the reward of their hajj and their 'umra, and you will have a reward by the number of every believer, man and woman, since Allah created Adam until the Day of Rising. This is because anyone who helps the believers has a reward like the one who helps the first and the last of them. He will also have a reward by the number of every idolater, man and woman, since Allah created Adam until the Day the Trumpet is blown because whoever fights the last of the idolaters to defend a single letter revealed by Allah in the Torah, Gospel and Zabur is like the one who fights jihad against the first and the last of them. He will have a reward by the number of every letter which Allah has revealed in the Torah, Gospel, Zabur and Furqan.'

"He continued, 'It is because you are doing jihad on behalf of a ruh whose light will never be extinguished, Dirar ibn 'Amr. Do you not know that there is no one nearer to the level of prophethood than the scholars and those who fight?' I asked, 'How is that, may Allah have mercy on you?' He replied, 'That is because the people of knowledge establish what the Prophets have brought by confirming Allah's commands among His slaves and His lands, and they guide people to Allah. The fighters establish the unification of Allah which is what the Prophets have brought from their Lord. His light cannot be extinguished, but they fight so that the Word of Allah can be the uppermost and the word of those who reject the lowest as the hadith states.'" Dirar said, "I did not go on hajj, but stayed in the land of jihad."


Al-Madkhal states: "The legally responsible (mukallaf) person is obliged to give priority to what Allah has given priority, to defer what He defers and to love what his Master loves. In his worship, he should choose what pleases Allah rather than what he himself wants. The business of the Muslim is to choose to obey his Almighty Lord and to love Him. Love, however, in this sense means obeying the commands because man is rewarded for following the dictates of knowledge by doing or not doing acts of worship."

Abu Bakr ibn Shayba said something similar with a sound isnad, as did an-Nasa'i, Abu Ya'la, al-Harith ibn Abi Usama, from Abu Qatada and Abu'd-Dahma', may Allah be pleased with both of them, from a man of the desert who said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, took my hand and began to teach me some of what Allah had taught him." He went on, "Part of what he taught me is: 'You will not find anything that Allah has given you better than this.'"

It is related that 'Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak, may Allah have mercy on him, said that he entered Kufa intending to go on hajj and saw a woman sitting on a dunghill plucking a duck. It occurred to him that it was carrion, so he stopped and asked, "Is this carrion or has it been properly slaughtered?" She replied, "Carrion, and I mean to feed it to myself and my children." He said, "Allah has forbidden carrion and you are in a Muslim land!" She retorted, "Leave me alone." He continued to argue with her until she told him, "I am a woman whose husband has died and we have been for three days without food and so carrion is lawful for us." He did not leave until he found out where she lived. He loaded some food, clothes and money onto his mule and went to her house and knocked on the door. When the door opened, he got off the donkey and hit it. It went into the house. He told the woman, "This donkey and what is on it is for you." Then he stayed in that place until the hajjis returned. Some people came to congratulate him on his hajj. He said, "I did not go on hajj this year." He said, "Glory be to Allah!" Another said, "Glory be to Allah! Did I not take leave of you when we were on our way to 'Arafa?" Another man said, "Did you not give me water in such-and-such a place?" He said, "I don't know what you are talking about. I did not go on hajj this year." That night he had a dream in which he was told, "'Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak! Allah accepted your sadaqa and He sent an angel in your form who did the hajj for you and he will continue to perform hajj for you until the Day of Rising."

It is related in Tawthiq 'Ura al-Ayman, "It is known that someone who stays behind because of a valid excuse shares with those who go since the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said when he returned from the expedition to Tabuk that there were people in Madina who had not travelled at all nor crossed a desert, but they had been with them. A valid excuse had kept them behind.

As the poet said:

O travellers to the Ancient House,
     you have travelled in body while we have travelled in spirit!

We stayed behind with valid excuse while they travelled.
     Whoever stays behind with a valid excuse has travelled.

Sometimes people travel with heart, aspiration and resolve. Sometimes they travel with their body alone. One of the righteous dreamt on the night of hajj that he was at 'Arafa and someone was saying to him, "Do you see this crowd at the Standing place?" "Yes," he replied. The person said, "None of them have performed the hajj with the exception of one man who has missed standing here. He did the hajj by his aspiration, so Allah gave him the reward of all the people at the Standing Place. The business is not that of someone travelling with their physical body, rather it is someone who travels with heart and so arrives before the caravan."

Who can give me anything like your journey of humility –
     you walk slowly and yet arrive first.


One of the greatest things that the hajji can strive to do is to learn the legal rulings of hajj. It states in al-Madkhal, "What usually happens is that most of them do not know the rules in their act of worship and therefore defects occur in their hajj. Sometimes some of them return still in ihram thinking that this is the proper ruling because of the things they have done to invalidate the hajj. That falls under the general meaning of the words of Allah, 'Shall I tell you about those whose actions are the most hopeless? Those whose effort has gone astray in the life of this world while they suppose that they are doing good.'" We ask Allah for security by His favour.


The hajj is an act of worship which it is not possible to conceal since it is open and people recognise the one who performs it and respect him because of it. One of the most important things to be avoided by someone who has performed hajj and by avoidance of which his hajj is made complete is that, by his hajj, he does not intend to gain reputation or to show off, or pride or boasting or vanity, and intends only the Face and pleasure of Allah by it. He should be humble and quiet in his hajj and fear his Lord.

Anas related that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, went on hajj on an old saddle-cloth worth four dirhams. He said, "O Allah, make it a hajj with no showing off or desire for reputation." 'Ata' said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prayed Subh at Mina on the Day of 'Arafa. Then he went to 'Arafat with a blanket under him which he had bought for four dirhams and said, 'O Allah, make it a blessed accepted hajj with no showing-off or desire for reputation in it!" 'Abdullah ibn al-Harith said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, rode on a mount which quaked with humility to Allah Almighty, and he said, 'At Your service! There is no life except the life of the Next World!'"

A man remarked to Ibn 'Umar, "How many hajjis there are!" Ibn 'Umar retorted, "How few there are!" Then he saw a man on a ragged saddle-cloth with a rope halter. He said, "Perhaps this is one of them." Shurayh said, "The hajjis are few, but the riders are many. How many do good, but few there are who truly desire His Face!"

My friend, many travel the road to the Protected Place,
     but very few arrive.

Faces show respect for the graves,
     but not all faces receive acceptance.

One of the early Muslims used to go on hajj on foot every year. One night when he was asleep, he had to go and get some water for his mother. She had asked him for a drink of water, but he found it hard to get out of bed to fetch it for her. He thought of his yearly hajj on foot and the fact that that was not difficult for him. He took himself to account and found that it was easy for him only because people saw him and praised him, and he knew of their praise.


Ibn Rajab said in Lata'if al-Wadha'if, "Discourse on what can take the place of the hajj and 'umra when someone is unable to perform them because those going on hajj have already set off: Know that whoever cannot perform a particular good action and regrets it and longs to achieve it, shares in the reward of the one who performs it. This is as is related about someone who said, 'If I only had the money, I would do with it what so-and-so does!": they are equal in the reward and the measure of the action. It is also said that they are equal in the basic reward rather than its multiplied reward which only the one who performs the action obtains. It is for this reason that those with high aspiration are not content with this partnership and want to perform good deeds equal to those they cannot perform so that they will obtain a reward equal to the reward of that action and have their double as the others have, to have equal reward to that of those who have done the action."

One of those in the time of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who did not go out in jihad on account of his wife and because of his weakness, asked the Prophet for an action equal to jihad. A woman missed going on hajj with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. When he returned, she asked him what she could to make us for the hajj. He said, "Perform 'umra in Ramadan. 'Umra in Ramadan is equal to a hajj (or equal to a hajj done with me)." 'A'isha said, "Messenger of Allah, we see that jihad is the best action but we women do not do jihad." He said, "Women's jihad is hajj and 'umra."

Some of them stayed behind the expedition, but strove to share with the reward of those on the expedition. They used their money either to send a man in their place, or to help a fighter, or to look after his family. Anyone who does all of these things has been on the expedition. One wealthy man gave a great deal of money as sadaqa and a group of righteous men heard about that. They met in a place and added up the dirhams he had given in sadaqa and prayed a rak'at for every dirham he had given. Such is the competition in good deeds and rivalry in high degrees.

Incapacity is thus. O aspirations of men!
     Come and see how obstacles are surmounted.

Glory be to the One who preferred this community and opened for it the gates of many virtues at the hands of its Prophet, the Prophet of Mercy. It is praised in the Qur'an: "You are the best nation." (3:110) Whatever great action is undertaken by certain people, there are always people who are unable to do it. Therefore Allah put another action equal to it and superior to it so that the entire community would be equally capable of doing it. Since jihad is the best action, but many people cannot do it, dhikr done frequently and constantly is equal to it and better than it. The actions done on the day of the 10th of Dhu'l-Hijja are better than jihad unless someone goes out on hajj with his life and property and fails to return with either of them.

It is because is one of the best actions that souls yearn for it. Since Allah has put yearning for the Great House in people's hearts and many of them cannot do it even once, let alone every year, Allah has given His slaves other actions whose reward is equal to that of the hajj. That is a substitute for anyone who cannot perform a voluntary hajj. In at-Tirmidhi, it says that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Anyone who prays Subh and then sits in the place of prayer remembering Allah until sunrise and then prays two rak'ats will have a reward equivalent to a complete hajj and 'umra." The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Complete, complete, complete."

Attending Jumu'a is also equal to a voluntary hajj. Sa'id ibn al-Musayyab said, "I prefer it to a supererogatory hajj." The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, made going early to Jumu'a equivalent to sacrificing a camel, then a cow, then a sheep, then a chicken, and then an egg. Attending Jumu'a expiates wrong actions until the next Jumu'a when the time between the two Jumu'as is free of major wrong actions. Similarly the accepted hajj makes up for the wrong actions of that year until the next hajj. It is related that when your Jumu'a is unblemished, the rest of the days are unblemished. It is related that Allah forgives every Muslim on the Day of Jumu'a. In a sound hadith, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The best day on which the sun has risen is Friday." In the Musnad, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said about Friday, "It is better in the sight of Allah than the Day of Fitr and the 'Id al-Adha."

In the History of Ibn 'Asakir, it states that Yunus ibn Masira ibn Hadbas said at the graves of Tuma, "Peace be upon you, people of the graves. You have gone ahead and we will follow you. May Allah have mercy on us and you, and forgive us and you. Go to what you have already gone to." Allah Almighty brought a man there back to life who answered him and said, "Blessings be to you, people of this world. You go on hajj four times a month." "To where, may Allah have mercy on you?" he asked. He replied, "To the Jumu'a, people of the world. Do you not know that it is a blessed accepted hajj?" Then he asked, "What good have you sent ahead?" He answered, "Asking for forgiveness, people of this world." He asked, "What keeps you from returning the greeting?" He replied, "People of this world, the greeting and good actions have been taken from us, so we cannot gain more good actions or lose bad actions. Our accounts are closed, people of this world."

In the Sunan of Abu Dawud, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, is reported as saying, "Whoever purifies himself in his house and then goes to the mosque to perform the obligatory prayer has the reward like that of the blessed hajj. Whoever goes out to the Duha prayer has a reward like someone who performs 'umra."

In a hadith reported by Anas, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, advised a man to be good to his mother. He said to him, "When you are dutiful towards her, it is as if you went on hajj and 'umra and fought in jihad." One of the Companions said, "Going out to the 'Id at the end of the fast is equal to 'umra. The Day of Adha is equal to hajj." Al-Hasan said, "Your walking to get something that your brother Muslim needs is the best thing for you after hajj." Abu Hurayra said to a man, "I prefer your going early to the mosque to our raiding with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace." Imam Ahmad mentioned that.

To perform all the obligations is better than going on supererogatory hajj and 'umra and all other voluntary good actions. Allah's slaves are brought closer to Him by what He loves in the performance of what is obligatory for them. Many people find it easy to go on supererogatory hajj and give sadaqa, while it is not easy for them to settle debts and avert injustices. Similarly it is hard for many people to avoid acquiring haram and doubtful property, but easy for them to spend it on the hajj and sadaqa."

One of the Salaf said, "I prefer to forgo a single coin which Allah dislikes to going on a hundred hajjs. Restraining the limbs from haram things is harder than restraining the tongue. If your tongue begins to worry you, you have an overriding anxiety which is not concerned with performing correct actions with the limbs, but is concerned with obedience of the heart, taqwa and its purification from wrong actions. Travelling in this world occurs by the travelling of bodies. A man said to one of the gnostics, "I covered such-and-such a distance to come to you." He said, "The business is not crossing distances. Take one step from your self and you will reach your goal. The travel of hearts is more effective than the travel of bodies. How many a person has reached the House with his heart cut off from the Lord of the House! How many a person has sat on his bed in his own house and reached the Highest Place!"

A body with me is not the ruh with you.
    The body is in exile while the ruh is in its homeland.

One of the gnostics exclaimed in wonder about someone who had crossed the deserts and wastes to reach the House in order to see the traces of the Prophets there, "How is it that he does not cross his passion to reach his heart where he will see a real trace and the thirsty heart of the believing slave will be quenched. O believer! Allah has put a house between your sides. If you were to purify it, that house would shine with the light of its Lord and expand." Then he said, "My brothers, if you do not go on hajj in a particular year, then return to the jihad of the selves. This is the greater jihad. When you cannot perform the hajj practices, then weep whatever tears you can for staying behind. The one who sheds tears because he is prevented from performing hajj to the House of Allah because the House is far from him should aim for the Lord of the House. He is nearer to those who call on Him than the jugular vein.

'You are my goal, Lord of the House and the Hijr!
     You are my quest in my hajj and my 'umra!

My sa'y, my tawaf and my Muzdalifa is from You.
     The sacrifice is my body which does not need a butcher.

The mosque of Khayf is my fear (khawf) of being parted from You.
    My Mash'ar and my Maqam is my danger without You.

My provision is my hope for You. Yearning is my mount.
    My water is my tears and passion is my journey.'"

Then he said, "The tenth of Dhu'l-Hijja is special for the hajji because it is the time of driving the sacrificial animals by which the excellence of the hajjis completed. The hajjis eat the meat of the sacrifice at the end of the 10th which is the Day of Sacrifice. Then there is a lot of dhikr of Allah during the ten days to thank Allah for this blessing completed by the sacrifice of the animals. Some of this blessing is connected to the deen of the hajji and some to his worldly portion.

The best action is that in which there is frequent remembrance of Allah. Allah Almighty commanded that He be remembered frequently during the days of the hajj. The people of the cities in other Muslim lands share with the hajji on the 10th of Dhu'l-Hijja in dhikr and preparing the sacrifice. As for preparing the sacrifice, it is on the 10th that animals are prepared. When the people of the Festival drive the sacrificial animals to the place of slaughter, they share with the hajjis in part of their ihram. When the 10th comes and someone not on hajj wants to sacrifice, he should not cut off any of his hair or nails – that is related by Umm Salama from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Ash-Shafi'i, Imam Ahmad and most of the fuqaha' follow that hadith while Abu Hanifa and some of the fuqaha' disagree with it. They said that doing that is not disliked and use a hadith of 'A'isha as a proof of it, "I used to twine the garlands of the sacrificial animals of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and nothing that Allah made lawful was unlawful for him."

Many people who take the first position answer that it is possible to combine the two hadiths – taking the hadith of Umm Salama to refer to the one who wants to sacrifice in his own city and the hadith of 'A'isha to refer to the one who sends his sacrifice with someone else while he himself remains in his own city. When Ibn 'Umar sacrificed on the Day of Sacrifice, he shaved his head. Imam Ahmad mentioned that. Scholars disagree about those in cities other than Makka on the evening of the Day of 'Arafa. Imam Ahmad did not shave his head, but did not object to someone else doing it because it is related from Ibn 'Abbas and other Companions.

As for their sharing in the dhikr in the known days, it is prescribed for all people to remember Allah often in the first ten days of Dhu'l-Hijja, especially because the marfu' hadith of Ibn 'Umar says, "On those days say often 'There is no god but Allah', 'Allah is greater' and 'Praise belongs to Allah.'"

Scholars have disagreed about whether it is prescribed to say the takbir openly and aloud in the markets on the 10th. A group of them dislike it while Imam Ahmad and ash-Shafi'i recommend it, especially when seeing the sacrificial animals. Imam Ahmad recommended this absolutely. Al-Bukhari mentioned that Ibn 'Umar and Abu Hurayra used to go to the market during the ten days and say the takbir and the people would say the takbir with them. Humayd al-A'raj related that Mujahid said that Abu Hurayra and Ibn 'Umar used to go to the market in the ten days and say the takbir and the people would say the takbir with them. They only went to the market for that reason.

Ja'far al-Firyabi related in The Book of the Two 'Ids that Ishaq ibn Rahawayh reported that Yazid ibn Ziyad said, "I saw Sa'id ibn Jubayr, Mujahid and 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn Abi Layla (or two of those three) and the fuqaha' of the people saying on those ten days, "Allah is greater. Allah is greater. Allah is greater. There is no god but Allah alone. Allah is greater and praise be to Allah. (Allahu akbar. Allahu akbar. Allahu akbar. La ilaha illa'llah wa Allahu akbar wa lillahi'l-hamd)."

Then he said, "Allah Almighty placed in the hearts of the believers yearning to see the Sacred House, but not everyone is able to see it every year. It is an obligation for anyone who has 'ability' to perform the hajj once in his lifetime. He let the Festival of Hajj be shared between those who travel and those who remain at home. Anyone who cannot make the hajj one year should perform an action at home which will be better than jihad, which is better than hajj. Whoever desires to be free of the Fire and to be forgiven for his wrong actions on the Day of 'Arafa, should be mindful of the means by which he hopes to be free of the Fire and to be forgiven.

One of those means is fasting that day. In the Sahih of Muslim, it is related from Abu Qatada that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "For fasting the day of Arafa I expect that Allah will expiate the year after it and the year before it."

Another means is to preserve the limbs from unlawful things on that day. In the Musnad of Ahmad, it is reported from Ibn 'Abbas that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "On the day of 'Arafat, the one who controls his ear, eye and tongue will be forgiven."

Another one is to often repeat the shahada of unification with sincerity. It is the basis of the deen of Islam which Allah completed on that day and its foundation. We see in the Musnad from 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar, "The most frequent supplication used by the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, on the Day of 'Arafa was: 'There is no god but Allah alone with no partner. His is the Kingdom and praise is His. Good is in His hand and He has power over all things. (la ilaha illa'llah wahdahu la sharika lah, lahu'l-mulk wa lahu'l-hamd. Biyadihi'l-khayr wa huwa 'ala kulli shay'in qadir)." At-Tirmidhi related it and used the words, "The best supplication of the Day of 'Arafa and the best thing and I and the Prophets have said is 'There is no god but alone with no partner. His is the Kingdom and praise is His and He has power over all things.'"

Imam Ahmad related a hadith where az-Zubayr ibn al-'Awwam said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, reciting this ayat at 'Arafat: 'Allah bears witness that there is no god but Him, as do the angels and the people of knowledge.' (3:18) He said, 'And I am one of those who testify to that, O Lord!'" It is related in a hadith that 'Ubada said, "I saw the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, at 'Arafat and the thing which he most frequently said was, 'Allah bears witness that there is no god but Him (the ayat).' He said, 'My Lord, and I testify.'"

The sincere utterance of the words of unification bring about freedom from the Fire, and that is equal to freeing a slave. Freeing a slave brings about freedom from the Fire. It is confirmed in the Sahih that if someone says it a hundred times, that is equal to freeing ten slaves. It is confirmed that whoever says it ten times is like someone who frees four of the descendants of Isma'il.

In the Sunan of Abu Dawud and elsewhere, the Prophet is reported as saying, "If someone says in the morning and evening, 'O Allah, this morning I call You to witness and I call as witnesses the bearers of Your throne, Your angels and all Your creation that you are Allah. There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is Your slave and Messenger (Allahumma inni asbatu ush-hiduka wa ush-hidu hamalata 'arshika wa mala'ikataka wa jami'a khalqika annaka anta Allah, la ilaha illa anta wa anna Muhammadan 'abduka wa rasuluk),' Allah will free a quarter of him from the Fire. If someone says it twice, Allah will free half of him. If someone says it three times, Allah will free three-quarters of him. If someone says it four times, Allah will free all of him from the Fire." It is related in a number of mursal hadiths from az-Zuhri that "If someone repeats on the 10th of Dhu'l-Hijja a thousand times, 'There is no god but Allah alone with no partner, Allah will free him as if he had brought the blood money of someone who has killed 10,000 men, and it is accepted."

Another means of forgiveness is that he should free a slave if he can do so. If someone frees a believing slave, Allah will free a limb of his from the Fire for every limb of the slave. He said, "Anyone who cannot stand in the area of al-Khayf (Mina), should attend to Allah with the hope and fear that is due to Allah. Anyone who cannot sacrifice his animal at Mina should sacrifice his passion wherever he is. Anyone who cannot reach the House because he is far from it should aim for the Lord of the House. He is nearer to the one who calls on him than the jugular vein."

Though I did not go on hajj to the House because it was too far,
     yet I went on hajj to the One who does not fail to be remembered.

I assumed ihram from my moment (waqt) with the robe of my attributes
     and I did tawaf and ran (sa'y) in acts of kindness and good.

My Safa is my purity (safa') from my attributes and my Marwa is
     the manliness (muruwa) of my heart, free of anything except His love and my poverty.

My standing is on the 'Arafat of intimacy with Allah
     and my Muzdalifa lies in nearness to Him for the Gathering.

The spread of my desire (muna) is my night at Mina. Stoning the
     Jamrat is the live coals (jamr) of yearning in my breast.

The mark of the sacrificial animal is the sacrifice of my self forcibly
     and I shave by making phenomenal beings vanish from my secret.

They move to a group of people after the practices of hajj, while I will
     continue my practices for my entire lifetime without need of people.

Then he said, "Many of the Salaf recommended this supplication on the Days of Tashriq. 'Ikrima said, "It is recommended to say on the Days of Tashriq: 'Our Lord, give us good in this world and good in the Next World, and protect us from the punishment of the Fire." (Rabbana atina fi'd-dunya hasanatan wa fi'l-akhirati hasanatan wa qina 'adhaba'n-nar).'" This supplication is one of the most comprehensive supplications for good. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to say it a lot. It was the supplication which he most frequently used. When he made a supplication, he added this to it. So he combined the blessing of this world and the blessing of the Next.


On Being in the Proximity of the Noble House and Visiting the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace

We read in al-Madkhal, "Being in the proximity by acting according to His Sunna, peace and blessing be upon him, wherever you are on the surface of the earth, is better than being physically near." It states in al-Qut, "One of the Salaf said, 'How many a man in Khorasan is nearer to this House than the one who goes around it.' Another said, 'If you are in your own town yearning for the House, your connection to is better for you than your being at the House voluntarily when your heart is attached to somewhere else.'"

To visit the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and be near him by following his commands and avoiding his prohibitions means that you can be near him in any place.

How many a person far from the House obtains his desire!
     How many a person near the House dies rejected!

In the hadith which is related in the Ihya' and transmitted by at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Hibban from Mas'ud (sic) it is reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The people most entitled to me are those who pray the most blessings on me."

As-Sahili said in Bughya as-Salik, "One of the greatest fruits and most sublime benefits which are earned through the prayer on him, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, is to imprint his noble form on the self, both firmly and continuously. That is by being constant in the prayer on the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, with sincere intention, observing the preconditions and adab due to it, and reflecting on the meanings until this love is firm and sincere inwardly. This love joins the one who remembers to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and it unites them in the place of proximity and attributes commensurate with how firm n his love for the Prophet is in himself. "A man is with the one he loves."

We read in Matali' al-Masarrat, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked, 'What do you think about those who bless you but are not with you and who will come after you?' He said, 'I hear the prayer of the people who love me (i.e. when someone blesses him at his grave or far from him) and I recognise them (i.e. their spirits are familiar with my spirit as they recognise one another and invite others to the prayer).'"

Abu'l-Mawahib said, "I saw the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in a dream, and he told me about himself, 'I am not dead. My death denotes the fact that I am hidden from those who do not have understanding from Allah. As for someone who has understanding from Allah, I see him and he sees me." This is based on the capacity of the individual.

Praise belongs to Allah at the beginning and the end. May Allah bless Sayyiduna Muhammad and his family and Companions and grant them abundant peace.

Here finishes this piece by Allah's blessing.

Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds and peace and blessing be upon the Master of the Messengers, Amen.

Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

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