Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Pillars of Islam
In the name of God the benevolent the Merciful, the creator and the Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon his servant and messenger Muhammad forever amin, I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except for the one God. And I bear witness that Muhammad is the slave Servant and Messenger of God. I greet you with the universal greetings of face the greetings that have been used by all of the profits from Prophet Abraham to Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon them. Assalamu Aleikum which means peace be unto you, and our Islamic focus program. today. We have our 12th program in our series on the Pillars of Islam, and today's program will have our concluding
program on Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. I'm your host Hamlet Rashid. And joining me on the program today is Dr. Jamal betta. We have St. Mary's University. Assalamu Aleikum, brother.
Now this is our final program on the unhatched I wonder if perhaps you could very quickly go back and just highlight some of the main points that we touched upon in our earlier programs dealing with the subject of pilgrimage to Makkah, okay. And last time, we started, first by making a distinction between the lesser pilgrimage called Umbra and the great pilgrimage, which is mandatory on every Muslim who was able to do it.
And we said that the lesser pilgrimage can be done at any time, it's constituted of visiting the holy house, the second house, the Kaaba, and doing a few writes, which only can take a couple of hours really.
Secondly, we said that in order to go for either types of pilgrimage,
the person should enter into a state of consecration called ashram, which involves both the intention to do that, in obedience and devotion to God, which is also constituting of wearing this kind of attire that I explained last time, which is simply one simple piece of cloth to be wrapped around the waist to cover the lower parts of the body. And another one just to cover the upper part leaving the left arm
And we said, we discussed also the wisdom behind it that the person is casting behind himself, the ego, closing as a symbol of wealth, or race or nationality or prestige, and becoming simply a human being wording like everybody has that very simple claim. Closing.
We said also that that state of consecration should take place actually, before one enters Makkah, were described describe the boundaries of maca. And that said, depending on the area where you're traveling from the area that's regarded as maca ranges anywhere between six to 16 kilometers. However, this state of consecration should be entered into prior to entering Mecca. In fact, there are specific places are located
in various directions, and specified by Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him in which you should really be in the state of consecration. It ranges anywhere between about 94 or 100 kilometers to 500 kilometers around. So that's the state where you really should be observing this. And he said that the state of consecration is not merely
merely intention plus simple dress. But it also involves being at peace with other human beings, avoiding arguments and violence, with animals not permitted to kill animals, even for food, or even insects, unless there is danger to your life. And even being faced with others objects and nature, you're not allowed even to cut a tree or trim your fingers or cut your hair, just in a state of total peace and devotion. And he said, why the person is going on,
on his way to the Kaaba.
There is a chanting, and I give the translation last time of the chanting. And then we said the first the person goes next to the camera.
And there he makes seven, circling or going around the Kaaba for seven times.
With the Kaaba
On the left hand side, and every of each one of these seven, second emulations are circling, has to start from the corner where the cornerstone of the cabinet, the black stone is housed. So that organizes the whole movement.
That was basically the essence of the first portion of the extra rights of tokens as we discussed last time.
I like to look at the question of the black sandstone and its significance. This is something that's quite often misunderstood by Muslim and non Muslim alike in terms of what the Blackstone is what is significant is its significance is and oftentimes people raised the question about, about the Blackstone, particularly in view of the fact that Islam is very, very particular about the old question of worshipping images or adultery and addressing, they're very much against that kind of thing. Can you explain what the Blackstone is and what its significance is, okay, the first point to indicate that the Blackstone is neither an idol or an image. And you said it rightfully, that in
Islam, you don't have any image whatsoever of God. Islam is very staunchly against idols or anything even that resembles idols. The Black Stone is simply a small piece of stone, which is placed in one of the corners of the car. It doesn't have any particular shape is just irregular shape. Because of the passage of time, of course, it's not that big.
And as far as the origin of the Blackstone, there are all kinds of
speculations about it. Some traditions say that this was a mature meteorite that fell from the sky, which actually looks like that, because it's not totally black. It's really dark, grayish, I saw it myself.
There's another tradition that says that the angels brought that stone to Prophet Abraham, about 3000 years ago when he was bending the cover for the worship of the One God to use it as like cornerstone of the building.
However, there's something that's really certain about it, that there is no difference about, that the black stone is the only part that is believed to be remaining of the original structure of the second place the cover. Because throughout history, as you know, the cover because of natural disasters, or other reasons have been destroyed and rebuilt several times. But the Black Swan has always been there. That's the only thing that was really saved. So it's a kind of remind us of the origin of the building of the cabinets. And so when Muslims go for a pilgrimage, and
touch or, or kiss or point to the black stone, it has absolutely nothing to do with adoration and a sense of worship because of Muslim worship God and on that when you touch that stone, it's really feels that you're identifying with Prophet Abraham, who is the spiritual father, of monotheism, the father of both Israelites and ishmaelites. prophets.
You feel that you're part of a community of believers that descended throughout history. And all prophets were taught the same basic monotheistic faith. It's a kind of emotional attachment, just like a relic from Prophet Abraham, our grandfather, the grandfather of all
monotheistic faiths, in fact,
not only this as a relic itself,
it doesn't have any particular significance. But that
the question of kissing, which sometimes
people wonder well with kissing me in worship, which is absolutely irrelevant, really, we all have kids, because our kids, we kiss our loved ones. But it doesn't mean that you worship them or take them for God's kissing simply means that this is something you cherish or you appreciate, and we definitely appreciate and cherish that relic of Prophet Abraham.
It is important also to notice that as an evidence and additional evidence of the fact that the Blackstone has no significance in itself. Let me quote you two things. One was a statement made by a very,
very good Muslim Amash, who was the second Caleb after Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. When he gets that stone. He said, I know that you are merely a stone, incapable of any good or harm. And had it been that I have seen Prophet, the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him doing that I would have not even touched you.
That shows again, it's simply a relic, really nothing more. The other condition also that it is desirable when one starts the circumambulation or the circling of the Kaaba, that he raises his hand, if it can't reach can just raise your hand and say, Bismillah, Allahu Akbar, that's in the name of Allah, or in the name of God, God is the greatest. So even though you're studying your point of movement, that you remember that God is the greatest, that nobody else that can share the divine attributes of God, absolutely not an object, not a person, no matter who you might be. And when you continue on after saying that you say, also, Oh, God, out of faith in you, acceptance of the book
that you sent, that's the Quran and out of respect of the oath that the authors have faith in you, and following the path of your profits. And then you can go on continue making all kinds of supplication and prayers while you're going around the cabin. And by the way, the kissing of the stone or touching it is, is not really a requirement. Because it is impossible when you have hundreds of 1000s of people, it's very difficult to reach. And it suffices just to start when you start circumambulation just to raise your hand and say this in the name of God and God is the greatest and just continue on.
the point that I hope is be made clear now is that the whole rites of pilgrimage from the A to Z, Z, the whole life of a true devoted Muslim, from the A to the Z is nothing but a continuous act of devotion to God alone, not absolutely to any object or any person no matter how a person is great or profit. It is simply like I said,
Abraham, I want to thank you for clarifying that, because as I mentioned, that this is a commonly misunderstood thing, particularly among non Muslims.
Now, after the cover, has been circled,
what takes place next week next to that, the pilgrim after he finished going around, it goes to a place which is nearby the Kaaba, it's called the station of Abraham.
You'll notice here there is a small structure, there's some glass
casing around it.
I was fortunate enough to be able to get close and look under, actually what it contains is the footprint of Prophet Abraham. When he was building the cover, apparently it was moist, that time and then it dried, and it still you could see
a footprint relatively big.
actually, it was said that Prophet Abraham was standing on that rock or stone, when he was trying to place the Blackstone, in the as a as a cornerstone of the building of the cabin use this also to just lift or replace the,
the stones and the building. It's interesting to remember here that it also reminds us that Prophet Abraham was not building this house for himself. As you know,
it was built in devotion to that as the center of monotheism for the use of his son, Prophet Ishmael, peace be upon him and all the descendants who came after him and presently the millions of Muslims from all over the world who go there to worship God and visit the second house.
After this, the pilgrim move to a nearby place.
what's called safa and marwah. And this just like to small hill, it's a Hilux, I should say, small hills,
about one quarter of a mile apart, the program is supposed to go 71 ways, not just 71 ways, from one direction to the other is counted as well as one verse of course we are weak or sick can be carried. This particular picture doesn't show it but there are facilities available for the old or weak to be carried.
they after finishing the seven rounds,
most vegans can cut their hairs just as a symbolical of ending this procedure, cutting even a few hair would do it and then moving to the well of Zamzam to drink from it. Of course, considering the huge number of pilgrims, there are facilities there on both sides, one for women, one for men, and the water is pumped out of that well of Zamzam. As you know,
This year there are a number of faucets that people go there to drink from it or niqab solution.
If they wish, in preparation for the, for the prayers, this is by the way the same well that gushed under the feet of Prophet Ishmael when he was a baby that I mentioned last time, it has significance both in history as well as
lesson really coming with it, right? I wonder if perhaps you could
develop the the this point about you know, hastening between the the two hills, what is the significance of going back and forth? Okay, this actually is reenactments of what Hagar The Second Life of Prophet, Abraham peace be upon him did when Abraham left along with her son, baby Ishmael at this time alone. When she ran out of water, you might recall in a previous program, we've
gone into some more detail about the origin of it, that she started searching for water between Safa and Marwa looking for any past, you know passerby who might have water for the baby.
And then after she finished the seven rounds, she went back to check on her baby. And she found miraculously that the will of Samson was gushing under his feet when he was crying and kicking the earth with his heels. This is the same one that exists so far.
But since we talked about the historical part of it, perhaps I suppose that you're asking me about some of the lessons Yes, that one may be able to derive from Why should they go? In addition to commemoration? Yes, it's important.
What there are a number of good lessons to be learned here, and they all reflect the systemic way of thinking. First of all, when Hagar was left, in a desolate place, no plants, no water, nobody else. She did not simply sit down to cry, and wait for her death, and the death of her infant. She knew that there was nobody around to bring her what she ran out of what she knew that this is what was uncertain. But she did. She did not adopt a fatalistic approach I can do nothing about. So it's a lesson that shows Islamic rejects this attitude of fatalism but you should try to do something, look at as a community.
Secondly, it's a great lesson in substitute and trust in God, she's alone, there is nothing but still, she's running on the hope that God
or God's mercy, will still find a way for her out of that difficulty. This is always the should be the attitude of a devoted was no matter how much tribulation or difficulty, a person should always live by the hope
solution and compassion may not be too far away.
But a third lesson perhaps is relatively even more important than at least in my thinking.
For hundreds of years now, since Prophet Muhammad peace be upon in came and even before him, people still used to commemorate that incident, but particularly when pilgrimage became an institution in Islam. For hundreds of years, at least 1400 years, since the days of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, we find that hundreds of millions of people have ran between the Hills of South America at present nearly 2 million or more because many people also go outside of the great pilgrimage period. Hundreds of millions of people are annually running between these two heads, and whose footsteps are they following. They're following the footsteps of a poor, humble
believes to be African bondwoman
everybody, kink or heads of states, people from professions wealthy for everybody from all walks of life is following the steps of that very simple, humble, poor, bandana.
And that carries a great deal of significance. Number one, it shows in a conclusive way, the true Islamic attitude towards human brotherhood, that the soul artificial barriers that humans have created by way of racial superiority, ethnic superiority, sex, superiority, has nothing to do in the sight of God with the basic human and spiritual qualities, which is really what counts among all people like one scholar said a woman and among old women, a poor and bad woman, and everybody commemorates our respect paid respects to her and show this in a way also
It reflects the profound respect that Islam gives to women, which is something again that has been greatly distorted by many uninformed and misinformed. And you could say and myth informed writers about Islam.
The fact that everybody, including the Prophet himself, Dr. Muhammad peace be upon him was following the steps of that humbled woman. And this is not the only incident in the Quran itself we find praise of many saintly women. Indeed, there is a whole chapter in the Quran Chapter 19 called the chapter of Mary after the name of Virgin Mary, the mother of Prophet Jesus peace be upon him. So it shows Islamic respect for woman and particularly for motherhood because that's running Of course, was an expression of motherhood, which again, in Islam is regarded as the cornerstone
and foundation of society, destroy the Institute of motherhood, and your set the society in motion towards self destruction. So there are lots of
that many Muslims feel I felt that myself man in between the Safa Nova
commemorating this unique experience.
Before we go on and examine the rights of the greater pilgrimage, I'd like to just ask you about another common point that's often raised by non Muslim writers. And that has to do with the suggestion that that many of them make that the rights of the pilgrimage were practiced by pre Islamic Arab pagans, and by your friends, suggesting that when Islam came along, many of these customs were just more or less tolerated or became, you know, part of the Islamic tradition or custom. How would you respond to a claim like that they have to us and sometimes have to risk are more harmful than not saying anything on the part of the site? Because they don't carry the
information far enough. It is true, yes, that before Islam, even the pagan Arabs used to observe some of the sights of pilgrimage. But did they invent it? They didn't. The pagan Arabs were simply following what remained in that tradition of the original rites, which were done since the days of Prophet Ishmael.
So why not carry it far enough to its monotheistic origin? So this is the very simple fault. You don't be in the logic of presenting this argument. What Islam did is not to adopt any pagan practice because they were in themselves imitating the practice of tradition, it wasn't a monotheistic prophet like as far as Abraham. Right. What Islam did was simply to restore
the Kaaba to its original purpose, to restore the rights of pilgrimage to its original pure form. For example, the Kaaba was there it was dedicated originally by Prophet Abraham, for the worship of the one that the pre Islam, pagan Arabs, corrupted discover by placing inside it, items. When it's time came it destroyed and remove those items. It doesn't say that it adopted the carpet that was used by either wash, but simply say it restored it removed, cleaned it from either in pilgrimage also, if we have time, it could have gone on and on explaining against certain reforms that establishes us, for example, in pre Islamic days, they used to make the round about the cover.
naked men during the day women during the night at Stanford did that because again, it's contrary to the roots of modesty also that Islam provides simply restoration to the original
I'd like to move on out into the grid here, pilgrimage shape, could you perhaps give us a description of what the what activities what rights are involved in the greater pilgrimage? Okay, so give a brief explanation. Of course, once you enter also into the greater programs, you have to be in the same state of consecration, the same kind of dress like I explained before, so everything that we mentioned, about lesser pilgrimage apply as well.
It starts on the eighth day of the hijab, the 12 months in Islamic calendar, where the pilgrims move to a place called Minar, which is about
kilometres outside of Mecca.
They wait there until the following day, which is the ninth and that's the climax the day where the climax of pilgrimage take place. After they pray. The noon prayers, they enter into the plane called the plane of artifacts.
They go to this to spend the whole day in utter devotion to God
The term out of heart is etymologically derived from knowledge artifacts.
It is a vast, empty plane surrounded with
dark lava peaks covered with soft sense.
Standing in the mount or displaying of artifacts is indeed a unique experience. In this slide here we have the mount of mercy where Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him gave his last sermon before his death, the farewell sermon as it's known, but the feeling that you have there is indeed amazing.
You get nearly 2 million people, at least, according to recent years estimate, standing there in devotion to God,
males and females, blacks, whites, reds, yellows, people from all ethnic backgrounds, from all walks of life and professions from
all corners of the earth.
Showing in a practical way, that social origins place, ethnic orientation was a profession has no bearing on the basic spiritual and human qualities of the human being. Indeed, this particular experience, which is amazing, was the primary thing that moved the late
shabbas, known as Malcolm X, to have his ideas changed concerning this whole issue of racial superiority, and came from this pilgrimage with the notion that
no racial superiority, black or white should be tolerated that all humans are brothers in the face of God. The other thing that you notice also, when you look at the scene and artifact, is that it reminds people with this resurrection and standing of all races, groups before God, for the final judgment, it is indeed a very unique and powerful, profound experience that you've got to be there to really get the feel of it.
Rather now when the pilgrim leaves arafat what remaining activities or rights are there, okay, they go to a place called Miss Delta. And just again, a simple plane where they spent the night in vigil and relaxing a little bit. At dawn, they wake up for morning prayers. And then after sunrise, they go to a place called Minar.
Where they make a stoning. symbolical stoning. Do you notice here there's a stone pillar, and they take small pebbles and throw it which is symbolizes victory over Satan and evil prompting within ourselves.
And then after they finish that they can just cut a little bit of their hair also symbolizing the end of the restrictions of RAM or most of it, follow this the move to a place called Mina, which is about halfway through between Mecca to artifacts. And here they make the
they make the sacrifice of the animals. After this is finished, they go to the Kaaba, as you see here to make another
circling of the Kaaba called the Father.
And this should be really the ending of the procedures of pilgrimage itself. However, before departing Makkah if they stay longer than that, they go also to make another second ambulation are circling, which is called the federal circling.
It is desirable for the pilgrims to spend a couple, two or three more nights in the place called Minar. And every day they go again for this symbolically stoning of the of the devil, which again, symbolizes victory, over evil, collectively by the community of believers. Finally, those who have time they can go to visit the Medina
and pray in the mosque of the Prophet, which again, as I indicated before, it is not an absolute requirement of pilgrimage, but it's desirable if people are there, and then they come home hopefully, with a new rebirth, with a new inspiration and sense of purpose in their lives. No wonder then that we find Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him says that the person who does pilgrimage properly comes back clean from sins as that they want his mother give birth.
Thank you, brother Jamal. This concludes our final program in our series on Pillars of Islam. We want you to join us next week when we'll start our new series, dealing with the moral teachings in Islam. Thank you for watching Islam and focus Assalamu alaikum peace be unto you