Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Pillars of Islam
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In the Name of God, the benevolent the Merciful, the creator and the Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon His servants and messenger Muhammad forever. I mean, I bear witness that there is no god but the one God and I bear witness that Muhammad is a slave Servant and Messenger of God. To all of the viewers of the Islamic focus program I greet you with the greetings of all of the profits from Prophet Abraham to Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. The greetings of universal peace, assalamu Aleikum, which means peace beyond to you. I'm your host hamat Rashid, and today's program, we have our nice program in the series dealing with the Pillars of Islam. We'll be
looking at hedge or the pilgrimage to Mecca. With me on the program is Dr. Jamal Badawi of St. Mary's University.
Welcome to the program, brother Jamal.
I think the
first place that we should begin, I believe would be with an explanation for people who may not be familiar with an explanation of the word Hajj, what does Hajj or pilgrimage mean? When Hajj as you stated earlier, is one of the five basic Pillars of Islam, the other four being the testimony of faith that there is no God, but one God and Muhammad is His Messenger, the performance of the five daily prayers, the payment of the poor do fasting. So this is the fifth and last of the, in the series of Pillars of Islam.
And technically speaking, had means
to make pilgrimage to Mecca and surrounding area to participate in certain rites, and acts of worship, both in Mecca as well as the nearby places. So in a way, if you look at it, it's like prayers. It's a kind of or act of worship, whereby the soul, the mind and the body, are all participant in that worship. The this God is an incumbent deity on every Muslim, every adult Muslim, was able to perform that pilgrimage, both financially and physically, of course, at least once in his or her lifetime. Of course, the person may wish to have pilgrimage more than once, but the requirement would be fulfilled by once. But when I say able financially, it doesn't mean that you
have to be rich, to make pilgrimage, as Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him indicated that the person who possesses
enough food and means of transportation to go to pilgrimage and enough also to live for the provision of his family. If they're not going with him, his children, then he should not really wait. In fact, he recommended against delays in performing this pilgrimage said let's do Hajj quickly, because none of you exactly knows what will happen to him the person may get may die or may get too old to sit and may die without fulfilling this basic one of the basic requirements of faith.
The importance of Hajj, which is the second aspect, perhaps of your question, has been emphasized. Both in the Quran and in the setting of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. An example of this is found for example, in chapter three, verse 97, which says that pilgrimage to the house, that is the Kaaba, we'll talk about that later.
is a duty people owe to God, those who can afford the journey. similar statement is found in chapter two verse 196. The Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him also indicated that whoever fulfills the deity of pilgrimage without committing any indecent act by words or deeds, and did not commit any devious action. He would come back from this pilgrimage free from his sins as the day his mother gave birth to him because Islam the god child was born without any hangup or any inherited center. Every child is born, innocent and pure. According to Islam. This was narrated in both Bukhari and Muslim collections of hobbies. So in that sense, then pilgrimages really
And multifaceted. The type of worship that's a lot more than just tourists to check like some people may think of it shouldn't say, I guess it's like a number of other aspects of Islam there's often some misunderstanding of just what is involved and some non Muslims have suggested that the pilgrimage is actually a pilgrimage to the, to the tomb of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them. It's great to visit the grave of the Prophet is that that's not true. It's
it's, it's totally untrue. It's actually one of the very common, but unfortunately widely circulated misinformation about Islam that you find in lots of references taught to children, in schools and even in universities. That's that's not true at all. Indeed, Islamic pilgrimage is not a good wish to visit the grave, or tone of any hero, or even prophet including Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.
There is no single verse in the entire Quran that mentions the visiting of the grave of the prophet or any other person, as part of
in the own teaching and saying of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. He never taught Muslims that visiting his grave is part of the rites of pilgrimage. Indeed, suffice to say, that the entire rites of pilgrimage are fulfilled in Makkah and the immediate surrounding area within about 15 miles or so. Whereas Medina, where the grave of the Prophet is located, is about 300 miles north of Mecca, and Hajj can all be fulfilled in the mecca region.
in fact, this does not mean of course, that Muslim may not visit the grave of the prophet or any other righteous person. But that's totally different. It's a complete distortion, for example, on the part of songwriters to say that the purpose of Hajj or even part of the procedures of pilgrimage had is the visit of the grave of the Prophet This is like a sin just to kind of projection of some of the beliefs that some people may have that pilgrimage is nothing but deification or glorification of one individual, it's glorification of God, not of any particular individual, you know, even a prophet. It's not
it's important that that matter be be clarified.
You mentioned in the in explaining a bit about the meaning of hash a bit about what is involved, but I want to go on and comment a little bit more on the purpose of Hajj, is it the principle before visiting sacred places? Or does it have a deeper meaning or deeper purpose in that it involves visiting sacred places but but pilgrimage is not merely visiting of sacred places. its
significance extends beyond the mere visitation, which some people like as it could take it almost like a tourist type of attraction. That's not the case.
pilgrimage, and Islam has a lot to do with historical significance, historical significance, not only in terms of going back 1400 years, to the day of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him the last prophet. But even beyond that, it goes back to Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him. It goes even according to some to Adam, there are some even who believe in some traditions, that Adam and Eve when they came to earth, first they came in what is known now as mount arafat, the place where the major parts of the pilgrimage rites are performed. So in that sense, you could say So historically, there lots of things that can be said about it.
Secondly, like any other act of worship in Islam, it has so many facets to it. In a way, it is an act of worship and training, on full submission and obedience to God. It's, it's a reminder to us or the person who's doing pilgrimage of the purpose for which they are or they were created on Earth. It reminds them of their death and the limited period that they're going to stay on earth reminds them of resurrection and accountability. And before God, it has certain socio political aspects, if you will. It allows Muslims from all over the world to practice through brotherhood when they all meet from all different parts of the world in large numbers, equally dressed like without any
Have status or race or any other thing.
It has also other aspects of mutual benefit than exchange like some people, say, partly as the earliest international conferences that you could hear of people meeting and exchanging views and other things like that. So in a way, it's,
like I said, basically, it's a multi faceted thing that involves a lot more than simply visiting some places or
tones or just making a trip. It's a lot more than that.
I'd want to perhaps we could spend some time examining some of the starkel background surrounding the the hedge. You've made some mention just a moment ago in passing of Abraham, peace and blessings be upon him. I wonder if perhaps you could give us some familiar names? Yes, yes, I want to pressure you to give us some of the some of the historical background and perhaps the relationship that exists between Abraham and peace be upon him in Muslims, right. According to the Quran, Prophet, Abraham, peace be upon him, was one of the prophets of God. In fact, he was one of the five major prophets of God, the other four being Noah, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, the last one, peace be upon
them also is one of the greatest prophets of God.
According to the Quran, also,
God promised to bless people throw him
and to have a great lion or lineage of prophethood through his descendants.
His first son, the first son of Prophet, Abraham, was prophet Ishmael, peace be upon him,
who, at a later time, dwelt in Arabia, and from whose descendants came the last of all prophets, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him in Arabia, who came, specifically in Mecca, where he was born.
The second son of Prophet Abraham was prophet Isaac, peace be upon him with wealth, and Palestine. And it was the sentence came all the Israelite prophets ending with the last Israelite Prophet, that's Prophet Jesus, and peace be upon him.
In that sense, then it's quite obvious, from the Islamic point of view, that Abraham, even though he was not the first prophet to teach monotheism, all prophets did, but he really played a very, very significant role in religious history. And in a way he can be regarded as the father of pure monotheism, that is the worship of the one and only universal God of all humanity.
And from his descendants, as you know, the three of the major
world religions came through his descendants, namely, what was named later on as Judaism, Christianity, and finally, Islam. So in a sense, he is really the father of all communities of believers, but more particularly those three major world religions.
For the benefit of our viewers, how does the the story of Abraham peace and blessings be upon them? How does that compare to, as you just read, how does that compare to what is stated in the, in the Bible itself?
What I believe the story seemed to be basically, quite comparable. I pointed out frankness to some of the areas which would help us understand at least the position of both communities of faith. But
perhaps to clarify that maybe you can make a reference to this
little chart. If you recall, we used that chart before in the context of our discussion of this camera over here, this one Yeah, okay. Sure.
We use that if you recall, in our discussion of the prophecies relating to the advent of Prophet Mohammed in the Bible, this is called Muhammad in the Bible of Prophet Muhammad as foretold in the Bible. And as you notice, if I may use your pen,
you have here, Prophet Abraham.
And, as you know, his first wife, according to the Bible, the book of Genesis, chapter 16, we are told that he had a wife by the name of Sarah, who happened to be burn, she couldn't bear any children. But even before that, Chapter 16, Chapter 12. Even in the book of Genesis, we are told that God promised to make Abraham a great nation, and to bless all the families of earth through his descendants, that was before the birth of it.
The Ishmael or Isaac.
But as you know, again, the sincera did not bear any children. According to the book of Genesis chapter 16. She gave Abraham Hagar to be his wife, Hagar was abundant woman was living with them.
Abraham had Hagar as his second life. And what happened is that she bought him his first son, Ishmael.
It's interesting to note here, that prior to the birth,
and after the verse of Ishmael, this is very significant. That's after Ishmael was born, and before Isaac was born, that's in chapter 17. And the book of Genesis, again, the promise of God was repeated that God was when bless Abraham, and make great nations through his descendants.
Later on, as we read in the book of Genesis in chapter 21, that Sarah was born, in fact, give birth, miraculously, to the second son of Abraham, that's Prophet Isaiah, peace be upon him, from Isaac side, descended all the Israelite prophets, Jacob, down to Moses, David Solomon, down to Prophet Jesus peace be upon and all other side projects I just showed here in that chart, the major ones, okay. The last of these satellite profits or the profits came in this branch of the Abraham's household was profit Jesus peace be upon him.
And the Bible also tell us that Ishmael is, after he dwelt in Arabia, he had 12 sons, one of whom was kadesh, which is used in the Bible also to refer to Arabs, because they dwelt in Arabia. The only thing that the Bible doesn't mention is that out of the descendants of Ishmael,
came, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. But after all, the Bible, of course, was written, both all the New Testament prior to the advent of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. So you can say that this whole chart is based on the Bible with the except with the exception of that last corner here, which shows the clear and complete picture and complete connection as to how the promise of God made to Abraham, through his descendants was already fulfilled both through the Israelite branch and the Allied branch, it's very important here
to indicate that up to this point, they seem to be a general agreement between the biblical version as well as the Islamic version about Prophet Abraham and his two children.
However, I should say that the Bible after this seems to be quite silent, or relatively silent, as to what happened to this other branch of Abraham house, Abraham's household, what happened to the ishmaelites branch, this only scanty mentioned, for example, that Ishmael and Hagar his mother dwelt in the wilderness of Paran, which is actually Makkah, because that's where they lived in Arabia, and that he, his mother took him away from the land of Egypt, you know, and that he died also in this land. But other than that, it doesn't say much, because like I said, after all, Prophet Muhammad was sent much after the Bible was was written.
But the point here that should be perhaps brought attention, even though we discussed that in greater detail previously, just to refresh your memory on that is that I'm aware of definitely of many statements that are made against Ishmael, and more bias towards Isaac or the Israelite side of Abraham children.
Now, this kind of statements are largely based on either mistranslation of the origin of Scripture, the Bible itself,
sometimes miss interpretation of some of the verses in the Bible. But above all, sometimes based on arguments which are really deflection of ethnic or racial type of of bias, which in our understanding and understanding of any believer, is something contrary to the will of God, the most famous of which is to claim that Ishmael was like a bad guy, Isaac, the good guy. They're both children of the same profit. They were what both profit both respected. Why should one become a bit regarded as a bad guy when in Genesis 21, particularly verses 13 and 18 got promised to make
Made also a great nation. There's no foundation for that. Sometimes the claim is made that Ishmael his mother was a bond woman and that such status is less than that of Isaac. But again, Does God subscribe to human, racial or ethnic superiority? classes? Right. In fact, if you really refer to the true spirit of religion, whether you talk about Judaism, Christianity or Islam, you find that it's totally repulsive to this distinction on this ration,
or bias or class aristocracy basis. It reminds me In fact, with the what you find in the New Testament, in the Bible itself, in Paul's letter to the Galatians, particularly chapters three verses 28, and 29, when he says, There is no Jew nor Greek, no free, nor slave, continues, you are all one in Christ. And then he continues, he says, for you are all seeds and ears of Abraham, according to the promise. So even Paul is cutting that further to show that not only should we have equal respect, and remove this bias, and prejudice because of the status of Mother of Ishmael, that all descendants of Abraham, but even considered all sincere believers. allegorically also
descendants and seeds of Abraham, he says, according to the promise, apparently is referring to the promise of God, blessing Abraham, are blessing punishers of Earth, through the descendants of Abraham. And that's exactly what happens to both Israelite prophets as well as the last prophet, Prophet Muhammad who came from the Israelites, I
wonder if perhaps you could provide us a little more detail and more information about the circumstances of
Ishmael coming into Arabia, or parameter called aurania era.
Right? Well, in the Islamic tradition, it says that when
Ishmael was a small boy, which means, of course, that he was at that time, the only son of Abraham,
God gave him a command, to take that only son, Ishmael and his mother Hagar, and to take them to the wilderness of Iran, or that's to Mecca, wilderness of Mecca. At that time, this was a very desolate place, no plantation, no people, no settlements, even there just to leave them there. Of course, it sounds very strange to us. But again, this is something that in our human judgment, we might consider to be cruel or harsh. But if we really look at God's wisdom, as manifested later on in history, we can see in a quite different, light. dimension of death in the Quran, for example, appears in chapter 14 verse 37, that when Abraham liftr, Ishmael and Hagar
it is stated also as narrated in Bukhari, which is a collection of the saints of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, that when Abraham took Hagar and Ishmael Hagar told him, where are you leaving us? In this desolate place? There's nobody, there's no companion even.
Many she repeated that question many times he did not. Reply is not even turn. Vinci asked him.
Abraham. Did God ordained you to do this? He said, Yes. He said, she said in all faith, and submission to that she said, Well, if God ordained this, then he will never never get us lost. That is will depend on him will submit to His friend. And then the story continues that
Hagar ran out of water
and she was very worried about her living baby Of course, dying of thirst, he was crying. So she started running between two hills, called safa and marwah, which still exist in Mecca. Until today, in search for waters or looking for somebody passing by who might have waters to save the baby.
Every once in a while, she came back to check on the baby. And miraculously, when she went to check she found that while he was crying and kicking the ground with his heels, a fountain or spring of water gushed under his feet. That well, is still in existence until this moment. In other words, it's over three 3000 years old. I drank from with myself when I was in pedagogy. It's called The winner of Samson.
Once water came in the desert, that's the crucial thing for people living in the desert, of course, people started to settle around them. And that was the beginning of what is known now as the city of Mecca, the holy city of Mecca. This is the standard version of the others. Now, how does that version compare with the biblical version
of the same set of circumstance
With that you're just related Well, to be truthful with you the first of all, the only area of full agreement is that Abraham took Hagar and Ishmael away from Palestine, I'm putting into very carefully away from Palestine. But there are major differences as to the reason behind that, the place
where they were taken, and the time when this took place. For example, if you read in the Bible, in the book of Genesis, chapter 21, especially verses 10, on it speaks there.
As if Sarah, the first wife of Abraham was dictating her well, not only to Abraham, but to God Himself, because when Abraham was very sad, upon the requests made by Sarah to take that one woman and her child away, Abraham was very sad. And it says in the Bible, that God told him to listen to her so as if Sarah is imposing Carolyn on everybody else, including God.
And furthermore, it says in the Bible, also that he took her to the wilderness of Beersheba, which is in southern Palestine rather than Mecca was the historical reality TV shows the trace of the city of Mecca, and where Ishmael settled.
And thirdly, according to the book of Genesis also, it indicates that this happened
after Isaac was born, says that when Isaac was weaned, which means Ishmael was perhaps about 15 years old or more, that this is the time when Abraham took his son and his mother, that's the mother of Ishmael. Now, it is interesting to notice that if the Bible is read carefully, and reflected upon the story, probably would be identical. If one realizes that perhaps there has been some confusion about the sequence of events, this is not my own words. In fact, I check the interpreters Bible, and the editors there say that apparently there's confusion about the sequence in that particular story. The reason being, is that when you read the Genesis 21, it gives the impression that Ishmael was a
baby, it says that she carried him on his shoulder, or Abraham put the child on her shoulder. And then it said that when the water was finished, she was very worried to sit down and watch the baby die in front of her own eyes, and taste she cast him under the shrub that the angel came to Hagar. That's according to the Bible again and said, lift up the lead. And then the angels showed her water to give them to the lead. The impression is very clear here. Casting under the tree lifting up, took about a baby. But the Bible it says that this happened when after after Isaac was born, which means that Ishmael was over 15 years old. The logic? No, it's impossible. How could the mother carry that
15 year old boy in her shoulder or cast him under the tree or lift him up?
Well, we've, we've run out of time, I have to ask all of you and all of our viewers to come back again next week when we can continue with our discussion of this story and perhaps go on and examine the pillar of hedge a little bit further. Unfortunately, we have examiner exhausted rather our time for the Islamic focus program today. Thank you for watching. See you next time. Assalamu alaikum peace be unto you