Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mahmudah vs. Mazmumah


SYUKUR NIKMAT


Allah berfirman dalam Surah Ibrahim ayat 7 yang bermaksud: “Sesungguhnya jika kamu bersyukur, pasti kami akan menambah (nikmat) kepadamu dan jika kamu meningkari (nikmat-Ku), maka sesungguhnya azab-Ku sangat pedih.” (Surah Ibrahim 14:7)

Tahu Berterima Kasih

Satu tidakan holistic amat perlu bagi menzahirkan rasa syukur. Oleh sebab itu hati, lisan dan seluruh anggota badan perlu berganding bahu. Jadi kerahkan semuanya.

Hati perlu takutkan Allah, harap keredaan-Nya, cintakan-Nya hingga membawa kepada melaksanakan segala perintahnya dan meninggalkan segala larangannya serta ikhlas dalam setiap gerak geri.

Lisan pula memperbanyakkan tasbih, tahmid dan takbir, menyebut-nyebut nikmat kurniaan-Nya, sentiasa melafazkan hamdalah dan sebagainya.

Zahirkan Rasa Syukur

1. Menggunakan segala nikmat yang diberikan untuk mendekatkan diri kepada pemberi nikmat.

2. Apabila ditimpa musibah bersabar dan sekiranya dilimpahkan nikmat dia bersyukur.

3. Merasa cukup dengan nikmat yang sedikit.

4. Memberi dan berkongsi apa sahaja sama ada berupa kebendaan atau nasihat.

Rasa syukur perlu ditanam dan disuburkan. Berikut beberapa tip menyuburkan benih syukur:

1. Tahu dan sedar siapa sebenar Pemberi nikmat.

2. Bayangkan bahawa dunia ini terlalu kecil jika dibandingkan dengan akhirat. Oleh sebab itu, nikmat yang kecil atau besar pasti tidak seberapa jika dibandingkan dengan nikmat di “sana”.

3. Ucapkan pada setiap akhir natijah lafaz “Alhamdulillah ‘ala kulli hal.”

4. Apabila berterima kasih kepada manusia, ucaplah “Jazakallah” (bagi lelaki) atau Jazakillah (bagi wanita).

Ingin nikmat ditambah-tambah oleh Pemberi nikmat? Jika jawapannya ya, maka bersyukurlah. Syukur perlu diluahkan melalui rasa hati, gerak lidah dan ikhlasnya seluruh anggota badan.

KUFUR NIKMAT

Ada segolongan manusia yang dikurniakan Allah nikmat berganda tetapi sering lupa untuk menzahirkan syukur. Bertambah pelik apabila mereka menyangka bahawa segala nikmat yang diperolehi itu adalah hasil titik peluhnya sendiri. Inilah gologan yang kufur dengan nikmat Allah.

Kufur dari segi syarak bermaksud tidak beriman kepada Allah dan rasul-Nya. Namun apabila kalimah kufur digandakan dengan perkataan nikmat, maka ia membawa erti seseorang yang tidak bersyukur atau menyalahgunakan nikmat Allah yang tidak terhitung banyaknya bukan pada jalan ketaatan dan mencari keredaan-Nya.

Allah berfirman yang bermaksud: “Sesungguhnya Kami telah menempatkan kamu sekalian di muka bumi dan Kami adakan bagimu di muka bumi (sumber) penghidupan. Amat sedikitlah (daripada kalangan) kamu yang bersyukur.” (Surah al-‘Araf 7:10)

Tanda-tanda kufur:

1. Enggan mengucap lafaz “Hamdalah”.
2. Tidak pernah merasa cukup dengan nikmat yang diberikan.
3. Mengeluh saat nikmat ditarik balik.
4. Menggunakan nikmat yang diberi bukan pada jalan yang disukai Allah.
5. Enggan membayar zakat apatah lagi bersedekah.

Kikis Kufur

1. Tahu dan sedar bahawa segala nikmat yang diberikan merupakan pinjaman semata-mata.
2. Kita merupakan khalifah yang ditugaskan mengurus nikmat, bukannya pemilik nikmat.
3. Sentiasa mengucap kalimah syukur tidak kira sama ada dalam keadaan susah atau senang.
4. Manfaatkan nikmat.
5. Ingatlah bahawa Allah akan menambah nikmat mereka yang reti bersyukur.

Apa kesudahan mereka yang tidak bersyukur? Kesudahannya adalah akan ditimpakan azab yang pedih sebagaimana yang dijanjikan Allah dalam Surah Ibrahim ayat 7.

Perkara-perkara yang membatalkan Solat



1. Makan dan minum dengan sengaja.

Jika makan atau minum dengan tidak sengaja atau tidak sedar, maka tidak membatalkan solat.

2. Berkata-kata dengan sengaja.

Daripada Zaid bin al-Arqam r.a. katanya: “(Dahulu) kami sering berbicara ketika sedang solat. Salah seorang sahabat kami mengajak bicara teman yang berada di sampingnya ketika solat, hingga turunlah ayat: ‘Dab laksanakanlah solat kerana Allah dengan khusyuk.’ (Surah al-Baqarah 2: 238), maka kami diperintahkan untuk diam dan melarang kami berbicara (ketika sedang solat).” (Riwayat al-Jamaah)

Rasulullah s.a.w. juga bersabda yang bermaksud:
“Sesungguhnya dalam solat itu ada kesibukan.” (Muttafaq ‘alaih)

Menurut ulama Syafi’iyyah, ukuran perkataan yang membatalkan solat ialah enam perkataan yang dapat difahami.

3. Berhadas sebelum salam yang pertama.

4. Badan atau pakaian terkena najis.

5. Berdehem, mengeluh, bergurau atau ketawa.

Jika mengandungi dua huruf atau lebih tanpa uzur dan boleh didengari, kecuali jika semua itu terjadi kerana takut kepada Allah atau kerana rasa sakit dan dia tidak mampu menahan untuk tidak mengucapkannya.

6. Banyak bergerak yang bukan gerakan solat.

Tetapi sekiranya gerakan tersebut sedikit, maka tidak batal solat. Ukuran banyaknya gerakan adalah tiga kali berturut-turut oleh satu anggota dalam satu rukun solat.

7. Sengaja meninggalkan rukun atau syarat sah solat dengan sengaja tanpa keuzuran yang dibolehkan oleh syarak seperti sengaja tidak menghadap kiblat atau berubah niat.

8. Terbuka atau membuka aurat dengan sengaja walaupun sedikit. Sekiranya tidak sengaja, tidak batal solat andai dapat ditutupi semula dengan segera.

9. Makmum yang sengaja mendahului imam.

Makmum yang sengaja mendahului imam satu rukun solat. Jika tidak sengaja, maka hendaklah makmum tersebut kembali mengikut imam dan solatnya tidak batal.

10. Sengaja memberi salam sebelum solatnya sempurna.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Khutbah Terakhir - Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.

Khutbah ini disampaikan pada 9 Zulhijjah Tahun 10 Hijrah di Lembah Uranah Gunung Arafah di Mekah.

“Wahai manusia, dengarlah baik-baik apa yang hendak ku katakan, aku tidak mengetahui apakah aku dapat bertemu lagi dengan kamu semua selepas tahun ini. Oleh itu, dengarlah dengan teliti kata-kataku ini dan sampaikanlah ia kepada orang-orang yang tidak dapat hadir disini pada hari ini.

Wahai manusia, sepertimana kamu menganggap bulan ini dan kota ini sebagai suci, anggaplah jiwa dan harta setiap orang Muslim sebagai amanah suci. Kembalikan harta yang diamanahkan kepada kamu kepada pemiliknya yang berhak. Janganlah kamu sakiti sesiapapun agar orang lain tidak menyakiti kamu lagi. Ingatlah bahawa sesungguhnya kamu akan menemui Tuhan kamu dan ALLAH pasti membuat perhitungan di atas segala amalan kamu. ALLAH telah mengharamkan riba, oleh itu, segala urusan yang melibatkan riba dibatalkan mulai sekarang. Berwaspadalah terhadap syaitan demi keselamatan agama kamu. Dia telah berputus asa untuk meyesatkan kamu dalam perkara-perkara besar, maka berjaga-jagalah supaya kamu tidak mengikutinya dalam perkara-perkara kecil.

Wahai manusia, sebagaimana kamu mempunyai hak atas isteri kamu, mereka juga mempunyai hak ke atas kamu. Sekiranya mereka menyempurnakan hak mereka ke atas kamu, maka mereka juga berhak diberikan makan dan pakaian, dalam suasana kasih sayang. Layanilah wanita-wanita kamu dengan baik dan berlemah-lembutlah terhadap mereka kerana sesungguhnya mereka adalah teman dan pembantu kamu yang setia. Dan hak kamu atas mereka ialah mereka sama sekali tidak boleh memasukkan orang yang kamu tidak sukai ke dalam rumah kamu dan dilarang melakukan zina.

Wahai manusia, dengarlah bersungguh-sungguh kata-kataku ini, sembahlah ALLAH, dirikanlah solat lima waktu, berpuasalah di bulan Ramadhan, dan tunaikanlah zakat dari harta kekayaan kamu. Kerjakanlah ibadah haji sekiranya kamu mampu. (Semua manusia berasal dari Adam dan Hawa, tidak ada (bangsa) Arab yang lebih mulia dari (bangsa) bukan Arab atau (bangsa) bukan Arab lebih mulia dari (bangsa) Arab; juga tidak ada yang (berkulit) putih lebih mulia dari yang (berkulit) hitam atau yang (berkulit) hitam lebih mulia dari (berkulit) putih). Ketahuilah bahawa setiap Muslim adalah saudara kepada Muslim yang lain. Kamu semua adalah sama; tidak seorang pun yang lebih mulia dari yang lainnya kecuali dalam Taqwa dan berAmal Soleh. Ingatlah, bahawa kamu akan menghadap ALLAH pada suatu hari untuk dipertanggung jawabkan diatas segala apa yang telah kamu kerjakan. Oleh itu, awasilah agar jangan sekali-kali kamu terkeluar dari landasan kebenaran selepas ketiadaanku.

Wahai manusia, tidak ada lagi Nabi atau Rasul yang akan datang selepasku dan tidak akan lahir agama baru. Oleh itu wahai manusia, nilailah dengan betul dan fahamilah kata-kataku yang telah aku sampaikan kepada kamu. Sesungguhnya aku tinggalkan kepada kamu dua perkara, yang sekiranya kamu berpegang teguh dan mengikuti kedua-duanya, nescaya kamu tidak akan tersesat selama-lamanya. Itulah AL-QURAN dan SUNNAHku. Hendaklah orang-orang yang mendengar ucapanku, menyampaikan pula kepada orang lain. Semoga yang terakhir lebih memahami kata-kataku daripada mereka yang terus mendengar daripadaku. Saksikanlah Ya ALLAH, bahawasanya telah aku sampaikan risalahMu kepada hamba-hamba Mu.”

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Must See - Exhition at IAMM - Steve McCurry












Salam All,

Just want to share some pics i took at the exhibition recently. Please do spare some time - visit IAMM - see for yourself this wonderful Exhibition - A Common Faith - Steve McCurry's Travels through the Muslim World. It's breath-taking :)

A Sacred Invitation - Harun Al-Rasyid




A Sacred Invitation


The Hajj pilgrimage is a Pillar of Islam. This obligation upon every able-bodied Muslim is universal, reaching across the entire globe. The command is the same for the entire diversity of Islam, with its ever-widening range of ethnicity, nationality and position in society. It is the greatest gathering on earth, and at the same time an assembly of individuals. Regardless of a pilgrim’s origin, the call to Mecca is a sacred invitation to the House of Allah.

Caliph Harun Al-Rasyid

Abbasid Dynasty

763-809 AD / 146-193 AH

Biography


The Abbasid Caliph Harun Al-Rashid was born at Rayy, Iran in 763 AD / 146 AH. He was the son of Caliph Al-Mahdi and Khayzuran, originally a slave girl from Yemen, who was later freed. She played a significant role during the reigns of her husband and her son. Harun Al-Rashid was raised at court under the supervision of a personal tutor, Yahya Ibn Khalid Barmakids. The Barmakids were a noble Persian family that provided strong support for the Abbasid dynasty. Harun Al-Rashid ascended the throne in 786 AD / 169 AH, after the death of Caliph Al-Hadi.

Extracted from the book: En Route to Mecca – Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries

Publisher: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

(This book is published in conjunction with the En Route to Mecca: Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries exhibition, launched in October 2009.)

A Sacred Invitation - Naser Khosraw



Naser Khosraw

Iran

Hajj 1046 AD / 437 AH

Biography


Naser Khosraw, a Persian poet, Isma’ili philosopher and traveller, was born in Qubadiyan, Iran in the year 1004 AD / 394 AH. From a family of officials and landowners, Naser Khosraw – Abu Mu’in Nasir ibn Khusraw ibn Harith Al-Qubaditani – is well known for his travel accounts entitled Safarnama (Books of Travels). His experiences span seven years, from 1046 AD / 437 AH to 1052 AD / 443 AH, providing comprehensive accounts of many cities of the Islamic world during the 11th century. Safarnama marked a spiritual transformation for Naser Khosraw. At the age of 42, he decided to leave a courtly life and headed to Cairo, a city that offered him the opportunity and protection to become an Isma’ili scholar. On his way to Cairo, he visited Mecca to perform his first Hajj pilgrimage.

Extracted from the book: En Route to Mecca – Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries

Publisher: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

(This book is published in conjunction with the En Route to Mecca: Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries exhibition, launched in October 2009.)

A Sacred Invitation - Ibn Jubayr




Ibn Jubayr

Granada, Spain

Hajj 1183-1184 AD / 578-579 AH

Biography


Ibn Jubayr, or Abu Al-Husayn Ibn Jubayr, was born in Granada, Spain in 1145 AD / 539 AH. He served as a courtier to a Muslim governor in Granada in addition to being a scholar and a poet. His reputation was built with the travel account entitled ‘The Travels of Ibn Jubayr’, which first appeared in 1189 AD / 584 AH. His style of writing about his journeys to Jerusalem, Medina, Mecca, Damascus, Mosul, Acre and Baghdad set a trend for then rihla genre that appears after him. With an honest tone based on frank thoughts, he recorded his pilgrimage to Mecca which he performed in 1183-1184 AD / 578-579 AH.

Extracted from the book: En Route to Mecca – Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries

Publisher: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

(This book is published in conjunction with the En Route to Mecca: Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries exhibition, launched in October 2009.)

A Sacred Invitation - Mansa Musa



Mansa Musa

Kingdom of Mali

Hajj 1324 AD / 724 AH

Biography


The term ‘Mansa’ appears to be the title of a Malian ruler during medieval times, equivalent to a king. The most notable example in the history of Mali is Mansa Musa, a Muslim leader who ruled Mali from 1312-1337 AD / 711-737 AH. His popularity was based largely on his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324 AD / 724 AH. Ibn Battutah, the ultimate traveller from Tangier, mentioned this celebrated figure in his accounts. An image depicting Mansa Musa holding a nugget of gold to suggest his wealth also appeared on European map dated 1375 AD / 776 AH.

Extracted from the book: En Route to Mecca – Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries

Publisher: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

(This book is published in conjunction with the En Route to Mecca: Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries exhibition, launched in October 2009.)

A Sacred Invitation – Ibn Battutah



Ibn Battutah

Tangier

Hajj 1326 AD / 726 AH

Biography


Ibn Battutah, or Shams Al-Din Abu ‘Abdallah Ibn Battutah, is the most famous Muslim traveller of the 14th century, or of any century. This native of Tangier, North Africa was born to a family of lawyers in 1304 AD / 724 AH. His travels covered modern Tangier in the west to Beijing in the east, Granada and Ukraine in Europe, Timbuktu in Africa, Aswan on the Nile and to Kilwa on the coast of Tanzania. His travels were later written down by Ibn Juzayy, a scholar who was appointed and commissioned by the Marinid ruler Abu Inan. This rihla (travel book), written under the dictation of Ibn Battutah, was completed in 1357 AD / 758 AH.

Extracted from the book: En Route to Mecca – Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries

Publisher: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

(This book is published in conjunction with the En Route to Mecca: Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries exhibition, launched in October 2009.)

A Sacred Invitation - Admiral Zheng He



Admiral Zheng He

China

Hajj 1431 – 1433 AD / 834 – 836 AH

Biography


Admiral Zheng He (1371-1433 AD / 772-836 AH) represents a generation of the Chinese empire’s naval supremacy. Serving under different emperors of the Ming dynasty, Zheng He was an explorer, diplomat and a fleet admiral, leading seven diplomatic voyages from 1405-1433AD / 807-836 AH. Born in Yunnan province in 1371 AD / 772 AH, Zheng He was raised in a Muslim noble family. “Zheng He’ was an honorific given by the Yongle Emperor in appreciation of his services to the imperial court. His surname, Ma, is an indication that he was a Muslim. His father, know as ‘Ma Haji’, provided stirring tales of his own adventures en route to Mecca. On Zheng He’s seventh and last voyage (1432-1433 AD / 835-836 AH), he finally reached the Holy City.

Extracted from the book: En Route to Mecca – Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries

Publisher: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

(This book is published in conjunction with the En Route to Mecca: Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries exhibition, launched in October 2009.)

A Sacred Invitation - Ludovico Di Varthema



Ludovico Di Varthema

Bologna, Italy

On Mecca 1503 AD / 908 AH

Biography


Ludovico di Varthema (c. 1479-1517 AD / 874-922 AH) was from Bologna and is believed to have travelled extensively in the first half of the 16th century. His seven year journey to the Middles East, India, Burma, Malaya, Siam and Indonesia between the years 1502 AD / 907 AH and 1508 AD / 913 AH was recorded in his famous work entitled the Itinerario (The Itinerary). His accounts of Mecca and the Hajj pilgrimage are among the earliest European records of this subject. With his status as a Muslim still in question, he cunningly managed to enrol himself with the Mamluk vanguard of the caravan that headed for the Holy City in 1503 AD / 908 AH. On the way to Mecca from Damascus, he recorded the obstacles that were encountered by Muslims pilgrims in the heart of the desert in order to fulfill this religious duty.

Extracted from the book: En Route to Mecca – Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries

Publisher: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

(This book is published in conjunction with the En Route to Mecca: Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries exhibition, launched in October 2009.)

A Sacred Invitation - Her Highness Sikandar, The Begum of Bhopal



Her Highness Sikandar,

The Begum of Bhopal

India

Hajj 1864 AD / 1280 AH

Biography


Bhopal, a Muslim state in pre-independence India, was governed by four women rulers between the years 1819 AD / 1234 AH and 1926 AD / 1344 AH. Kaikhusrau Jahan Begum, the last female ruler of Bhopal, continued her female predecessor’s reign, which started with her mother, Shah Jehan. The latter was the only daughter of Sikandar, who before had succeeded her mother as regent. Nawab Sikandar Begum’s pilgrimage to Mecca in 1864 AD / 1280 AH is acknowledged as the first Hajj account recorded by a regent.

Extracted from the book: En Route to Mecca – Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries

Publisher: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

(This book is published in conjunction with the En Route to Mecca: Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries exhibition, launched in October 2009.)

A Sacred Invitation - Muhammad Asad



Muhammad Asad

Galicia, Spain

Hajj 1927 AD / 1345 AH

Biography


Muhammad Asad was born on 2 July 1900 / 4 Rabi’ Al Awal 1318 in Eastern Galicia. Known as Leopold Weiss before his conversion to Islam, he had a distinguished career throughout his lifetime. In 1926 AD / 1344 AH, already a famous journalist in Europe, he decided to return to Germany. In the same year, at the age of 26, he married a German painter and converted to Islam. After Elsa’s conversion to Islam, which happened weeks later, both decided to fulfil their first major duty as Muslims; both headed to Mecca in order to perform their first Hajj pilgrimage.

Extracted from the book: En Route to Mecca – Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries

Publisher: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

(This book is published in conjunction with the En Route to Mecca: Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries exhibition, launched in October 2009.)

A Sacred Invitation - Lady Evelyn Cobbold



Lady Evelyn Cobbold

Great Brittain

Hajj 1933 AD / 1352 AH

Biography


Lady Evelyn Zainab Murray Cobbold (1867-1963 AD / 1283-1382 AH) was the first European women to record her personal experience of Hajj. The eldest daughter of the seventh Earl of Dunmore, she is believed to have embraced Islam during her childhood. Her pilgrimage to Mecca was permitted by King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, and she was hosted by Harry St John Philby, an intrepid British explorer and author, a Muslim convert who reach Mecca in 1931 AD / 1349 AH. At the age of 66, Lady Evelyn started her journey by ship from Cairo to the Port of Jeddah, alone.

Extracted from the book: En Route to Mecca – Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries

Publisher: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

(This book is published in conjunction with the En Route to Mecca: Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries exhibition, launched in October 2009.)

A Sacred Invitation - Malcolm X



Malcolm X

United States of America

Hajj 1964 AD / 1383 AH

Biography


Malcom X was among the most influential African-Americans in modern history. Originally named Malcolm Little, he was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1925 AD / 1343 AH. His Muslim name became El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz after making his hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in 1964 AD / 1383 AH. A year later, he was assassinated while delivering a speech at the Manhattan Audubon Ballroom.

His early life was turbulent, with constant changes of foster homes. Trapped inside the underworld of Boston and New York, he was arrested for robbery and sent to Massachusetts State Prison in 1945 AD / 1364 AH. In prison, he became a member of the Nation of Islam, a movement that generated self-esteem and self-identification for black Americans and black races in general. After his release in 1952 AD / 1371, he visited Elijah Muhammad, the head of the Nation of Islam, in Chicago and the two became close friends.

Within the Nation of Islam, ‘Malcom X’ played a role as a leader and spokesman for this movement. He propagated the rights of black Americans against racial discrimination, particularly by white supremacies. His natural talent as an orator brought him prominence, attracting many new members to the Nation of Islam. Due to conflicts about ideas and interests with Elijah Muhammad, he announced his departure from the Nation of Islam in 1964 AD / 1383 AH. In that same year, he decided to perform his Hajj pilgrimage.

Extracted from the book: En Route to Mecca – Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries

Publisher: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

(This book is published in conjunction with the En Route to Mecca: Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries exhibition, launched in October 2009.)

A Sacred Invitation - Malay Pilgrims to Mecca


Malay Pilgrims to Mecca

Malay Archipelago

15th – 20th century AD / 9th – 15th century AH

Early Pilgrims from the Malay Archipelago


Hajj pilgrimages have been recorded in Malay history since the 15th century. During the period of the Malacca Sultanate, the Portuguese apothecary Tome Pires recorded two Malaccan rulers who intended to perform Hajj in Mecca. The first, as stated by Pires, was Sultan Mansur Shah, who reigned from 1456-1477 AD / 860-881 AH.

Another part of Pires’ Suma Oriental referred to Sultan Mansur Shah’s successor, Sultan Alauddin Riayat, who reigned from 1477-1488 AD / 881-893 AH.

Tome Pires’ account should not be viewed as a record of the earliest Malay pilgrimages to Mecca. Since Hajj is an obligation, this pillar of Islam must have been practised by those who were able to perform it, since Islam first came to the Malay Archipelago. This was centuries before the period of the Malacca Sultanate.

As Mecca has long been a centre of learning, it has attracted visitors with a thirst for knowledge. The Holy City has been a magnet for ulama’ from every part of the Islamic world. This situation continues to provide opportunities for pilgrims to discuss and exchange views about their mazahib (sects), besides accomplishing their annual or minor pilgrimage (umrah). As an example, Muhammad Yusuf Ahmad or Tok Kenali, a Muslim scholar from Kelantan, furthered his religious studies in Mecca at the age of 18 in the late 19th century. After six months of sailing to Mecca, he decided to stay there to gather as much as knowledge as possible from notable Muslim scholars in that city in addition to performing his Hajj pilgrimage.

By the age of 40, Tok Kenali returned to his home town in Kelantan and established a
learning centre, known as Pondok Kenali, in order to disseminate religious knowledge to others. There have been many other Muslims scholars from the Malay Archipelago who have taken advantage of Mecca’s intellectual tradition. Among the most prominent are Hamzah Fansuri, who undertook his pilgrimage at the end of the 16th century, and Abdul Rauf Singkel, who went for Hajj in 1643 AD / 1052 AH.

By the 19th and 20th centuries there was more abundant evidence of hajj activities among Malays. Manuscripts, printed material and photographs offer first-hand sources about Malay pilgrimages to Mecca. Munshi Abdullah, an educated man from the Archipelago, recorded the details of his pilgrimage in 1854 AD / 1270 AH in his famous travel account Hikayat Pelayaran Abdullah.

Malay Travelogues

The more learned and literate Malays have tended to preserve their experiences in writing so that they might share their knowledge. Some manuscripts that have been discovered in the Malay Archipelago, written in Jawi script, touch on many aspects of Hajj, including personal accounts as well as the religious elements of the pilgrimage.

With the development of printing technology, the hand-written manuscript was replaced by printable materials. For example, the Malay scholar Harun Aminurashid wrote of his travels to Mecca in 1960 AD / 1379 AH in a book entitled Chatetan ke-Tanah Suchi. This work, which is based on his journey to Mecca on board a ship named Anshun, is supported by photographs of himself. In one part of his writing, he brings readers inside a pilgrim ship.

Harun Aminurashid was not alone in sharing his excitement at performing Hajj and preparing a visual trail to Mecca for his readers. Accounts of this kind were also made by Jaafar bin Jusoh Al-Haj in a work entitled Periahal Pemergian ke Mekah dan Madinah that appeared in 1937 AD / 1355 AH. Another example is the account of Haji Ismail bin Haji Ishak with his Ke Mekah Mengikut Jalan Darat in 1975 AD / 1394 AH. Their approaches differ, but an element of hardship is always present.

Extracted from the book: En Route to Mecca – Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries

Publisher: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

(This book is published in conjunction with the En Route to Mecca: Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries exhibition, launched in October 2009.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

En Route to Mecca - The Sanctuary





“Behold, the first Temple ever set up for mankind was indeed the one at Bakkah: rich in blessing and a (source of) guidance onto all the worlds.” (Surah Ali Imran: 96)

The Ka’bah has never been worshipped in itself. Instead, it has been the holiest site in Arabia and is central to the lives of Muslims around the world. Since the time of the Prophet Ibrahim its role has been a sanctuary. Retracing the early history of Islam, it is recorded that Ibrahim had left his wife Hajar and their infant son Ismail in the barren valley of Mecca, described in the Qur’an as, “the valley without cultivation.” (Surah Ibrahim: 37)

Mecca became a centre of nourishment for travellers and pilgrims after a spring emerged in that desolate place. This had happened with Ismail crying from thirst and tapping his feet on the ground, which by God’s grace had caused water to burst forth from the ground. In an attempt to contain the spring that appeared in between her son’s feet, Hajar repeatedly commanded ‘zam zam’, meaning enclosing or stop flowing. Is it now known to countless pilgrims as the Well of Zamzam.

With the assistance of his son, the Prophet Ibrahim laid the foundations of the Ka’bah. Many traditions remain from that time. Today, pilgrims will find his footprints on the stone that is known as ‘Maqam Ibrahim’ (the Station of Ibrahim). As the Qu’ran mentions, ‘take the, the place whereon Ibrahim once stood as your place of prayer. And thus did We command Ibrahim and Ismail: “Purify My Temple for those who will walk around it, and those who will abide near it in meditation, and those who will bow down and prostrate themselves (in prayer)”.’ (Surah Al-Baqarah: 125). In addition, adjacent to one of the Ka’bah walls stood a structure known as Hijr Ismail. This was where Hajar and her son Ismail placed their tent after being left in this sacred land. Being part of the Ka’bah, the ritual of tawaf (circumambulation) includes this semi-circular building.

Owing to periodic floods and fires, the Ka’bah has been through several re constructions. The most significant work was during the time of the Quraysh, when the shape became a cube as is seen today. Upon completion of work on the Ka’bah, there was a dispute between the leaders of the different tribes over who should place the Hajar Al-Aswad (the Black Stone) back in its original location. To resolve the issue, one of the tribal leaders suggested letting the decision be made by the first person who entered the mosque on the following day. This turned out to be the Prophet Muhammad (bpuh), whose solution to the problem was to put the Hajar Al-Aswad on a large cloth. Each of the leaders held an edge, and together they returned the stone to it original position. This has since marked the starting point of tawaf.

Reflecting the sanctity of the Ka’bah, it has long been a tradition to cover the structure appropriately. It is reported that during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (bpuh) the Ka’bah was covered with brocade, Yemeni cloth and a white Egyptian cloth known as qibati. In the period of the Ummayad dynasty (662-750 AD / 41-132 AH), the Ka’bah cover was changed twice every year, once with brocade during the 9th of Zulhijjah and the other with qibati for celebrating Eid Al-Fitr. Transporting the Kiswah to Mecca from Egypt was always a celebration. For centuries a huge annual parade consisting of the Mahmal and military escorts carrying the Kiswah would precede the Hajj season. The tradition of draping the Ka’bah has continued until today. The most significant change was when King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud established an institution that was responsible for producing the Kiswah in Saudi Arabia during the 1920s. Since 1977, every Kiswah has been made in Mecca. Although the factory is fully equipped with the most modern machinery, the embroidery work is still done by hand.

God has provided peace and security in this holy land. As the Qur’an states: “Let them, therefore, worship the Sustainer of this Temple; who has given them food against hunger, and made them safe from danger”. (Surah Quraysh: 3-4). In addition to fellow pilgrims, trees and plants being protected, so are animals, which it is forbidden to engage in hunting.

From the very beginning, members of the Quraysh divided the responsibilities for Hajj affairs among the tribe’s different families. Prominent examples include the Bani Abd Al-Mutallib, who were given the privilege of providing food and drinks for pilgrims, and the Bani Shaiban, who still hold the key to the Ka’bah.

The focus of Mecca was not solely as a place of worship. Visitors from near and far came for another reason: trade. They travelled to this arid land, bringing with them goods and merchandise, transforming a desert into a fertile centre of commercial activity.

The Fifth Pillar


In Islam, the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca was decreed on every Muslim adult, male and female “who can afford the journey” (Surah Ali Imran: 97). In addition to having the financial means to undertake the journey, the health of pilgrims is a vital concern, as is preventing hardships for their dependants.

The five pillars of Islam describe the obligations of every Muslim towards his Creator and to his fellow Muslims. Hajj, the fifth pillar, combines a Muslims’s duty towards God and humanity. Acknowledging the Oneness of God with sincerity is essential to carrying out the pilgrimage rituals. At the same time, the hajj offers a strong sense of kinship and sharing among Muslims as an ‘Ummah’.

Each year, around two to three million pilgrims camp at Mecca during Zulhijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic calendar. As well as being performed within the area of the Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca, this journey of a lifetime continues to a number of other locations, including Arafah, Muzdalifah and Mina.

The Farewell Hajj


During the ‘era of ignorance’ (Jahiliyyah) before the widespread acceptance of islam, the Ka’bah changed its role. The Quraisy converged at the Ka’bah with numerous idols and performed rites and rituals which were quite unlike those introduced by the Prohpet Ibrahim. Pagan poetry was hung on the walls of the Ka’bah. During the Conquest of Mecca in 630 AD / 8 AH, the Prophet Muhammad (bpuh) destroyed all 360 of the idols that were placed at the Ka’bah. The purpose and integrity of the House of God were restored in a great victory for the Muslims.

In the 10th year after the migration to Medina in 622 AD / 1 AH, the Prophet Muhammad’s (bpuh) mission had almost come to an end. Up to that point he had not yet performed the ultimate obligation upon all Muslims, the Hajj. On hearing the announcement of the Prophet’s intention to march on a blessed journey to Mecca, Muslims from a wide area of the Arabian Peninsula congregated in Medina. The crowds were massive and tents were erected to welcome their Muslims brothers.

Together with the Prophet Muhammad (BPUH) they prepared themselves for the journey. In the afternoon of the 25th of Zulkaedah, the roads of Medina filled with thousands of Muslims who setting forth to Mecca. Either on foot or mounted on the back of horses and camels, from every plain and desert they came with the same intention. As they rode, the talbiyah chant filled the air: “Here I am, O’Allah, here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily the praise and blessing are Yours, and all sovereignty, You have no partner.”

A few days later, on the 4th of Zulhijjah, the Prophet and the other pilgrims reached the Masjid Al-Haram. All were in their state of consecration (ihram). Led by the Prophet, they performed tawaf, circumambulating the Ka’bah seven times. Then they strode to and from Mounts Safa and Marwah.

The pilgrims stayed for a few days before they departed to Mina. After spending a night there, their journey continued to Arafah. Mounted on his she-camel, Al-Qaswa, the Prophet Muhammad (bpuh) went down to the Valley of Uranah. Surrounded by other pilgrims, he delivered his sermon. In simple words he laid the foundation and guidance for Muslims in their daily life. Among the issues he covered were those relating to ownership, commercial transactions, relationships between husbands and wives, and between all the different components of humanity. As he completed his speech, a verse of the Qur’an on the perfection of the religion descended upon him. “Today have I perfected your religious law for you, and have bestowed upon you the full measure of My blessings, and willed that self-surrender unto Me shall be your religion.” (Surah Al-Ma’idah: 3)

The journey continued, with the pilgrims camping next at Muzdalifah, where they picked up pebbles and threw them at the Jamarat pillars, symbolising stoning the devil. After this they continued to Mecca for the sacrifices that are now known as Eid Al-Adha. Next, they returned to Mina. Before leaving for Medina, they once again performed tawaf around the Ka’bah.

All of these rituals were to commemorate the actions of the Prophet Ibrahim. They marked the same rites of hajj that are still practised by Muslims today. This event, known as Hajjatul Wada’ (the Farewell Hajj), took place in the year that the Prophet Muhammad (bpuh) was called by his Creator.

Extracted from the book: En Route to Mecca – Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries

Publisher: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

(This book is published in conjunction with the En Route to Mecca: Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries exhibition, launched in October 2009.)

En Route to Mecca - A Spiritual Bond





“O men! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another...” (Surah Al-Hujurat: 13)

Why is Hajj so significant to Muslims? Unlike other journeys, this is a spiritual expedition with the sole intention of worshipping Allah in His house. Pilgrims sacrifice their time, money, comfort and worldly pleasures as they seek to surrender to Allah and seek His mercy. The send of obligation ordained upon Muslims has given them the strength to endure hardships and to be parted from their families. In retracing the footsteps of the prophets, Hajj provides an unforgettable lesson about piety and virtue.

Hajj is more than just the sum of its rituals. It is a transformation of the pilgrim into a better person. In common with the other four pillars of Islam, Hajj creates a strong spiritual bond between mankind and its Creator. As guests of Allah at His Sacred House (Baitullah Al-Haram) all pilgrims should strive to understand deeply the meaning behind each ritual. The essence of the sweetness of faith is sought after by every pilgrim.

The journey starts long before the pilgrims head for the Holy City of Mecca. As this undertaking is considered to be a testament of the physical, mental and spiritual determination of each believer, it requires considerable preparation. Mecca and its environs are stations of renewal for the faith of believers. Pilgrims learn lessons at every stop and hope to leave the city of Mecca with all their sins wiped out and their heart’s purified. In many hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (bpuh) said: “Whosoever performs Hajj and does not commit any obscenity (rafath) or commit any evil will go back (free of) sin as on the day his mother bore him.”

Mecca is not, however, the ultimate destination. The journey continues until the pilgrims are back in the arms of their family. This is the time for them to put into practice the lessons they have learned from their Hajj. It is a training to be a better Muslim, with pure hearts and chaste manners. Stories of their experiences are not only to be told but also demonstrated in their daily lives. By merely imitating the actions that were set by the Prophet Muhammad (bpuh) without synchronisation of thoughts and feelings, a pilgrim might return to his homeland with an empty mind and soul.

As the largest annual congregation of faith, Hajj unites those believers who come to the Baitullah Al-Haram from every corner of the earth. It is a manifestation of brotherhood, equality and unity. Hajj celebrates unity in faith from the diversity of culture, race and nationality. Beyond the act of worship, Hajj encourages pilgrims to exchange cultural norms, hospitality and ideas, opening minds at the same time. Pilgrims from all corners of the world assemble at one location with a single intention. A strong sense of brotherhood develops during this great meeting. Members of the Muslim community realise that they were never strangers, despite the differences that they possess. Lending a helping hand and showing tolerance of different customs are common.

All males, regardless of status and colour, wear the same seamless white garments in the state of ihram. Their female counterparts are attired in garments that reveal only the face and hands, the same clothing they wear for prayers. These clothes are a manifestation of renunciation of worldly concerns while striving for greater spiritual awareness. They proclaim simplicity and unity at this great congregational event, with pilgrims about to enter their new abode in total surrender to Allah.

The removal of headgear is compulsory upon all male pilgrims as these items usually act as symbols of social status. All should appear equal in the eyes of Allah. There must be no distinction between one believer and another: “Verily the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is deeply conscious of Him.” (Surah Al-Hujurat: 13)

Pilgrims who speak different languages chant the same talbiyah, responding to the call of their Lord. Whatever time zone they may live in, Muslims come to the House of Allah obeying His command within the period of time that has been fixed for them. While performing the tawaf, they move in the same direction. They stand shoulder to shoulder in lines while performing the daily prayer. Rich or poor, black or white, they follow one imam, the leader of prayer.

Road to Unity


The road to Mecca is open for both commerce and faith. Before Islam, it was an important centre of trade as well as serving as a shrine. From the time of Farewell Hajj, led by the Prophet Muhammad (bpuh), Muslims have flocked to Mecca, following in his footsteps. As Islam spread to a wider geographical area, the number of Muslims who made their way to this holy land increased each year, especially during the month of Hajj.

In earlier days, travel to Mecca was full of adventure. A journey that was already arduous had the added element of danger. The path was exposed to the hazards of bandits, bad weather, disease and political upheaval. Many pilgrims perished along the way; others lost their bearings entirely. None of this discouraged Muslims from observing the duty of Hajj.

The means of transport used to be quite different, although whatever route they took, pilgrims had to enter Mecca through one of several Hajj routes. The most important were those which led from Cairo, Baghdad and Istanbul. Until the 19th century, camel caravans were essential. They were packed with enough provisions to sustain them during their journey. Security was another consideration. The poor often travelled individually, making stops to earn money as they ran out of supplies. Their journey could take many years.

Realising the importance of Hajj as a social phenomenon, rulers and wealthy patrons helped to ease the pilgrims’ journey. A system of caravanserais providing water and security was one of their contributions. Wells, dams and bridges were built along the way to facilitate the progress of travellers. With the opening of the Suez Canal, the Hijaz Railway and Jeddah airport, the transport system gradually improved. The experience of travelling to Mecca has changed beyond recognition in the 21st century and the risks are almost negligible. At the same time, the spiritual rewards are as great as they have ever been.

Extracted from the book: En Route to Mecca – Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries

Publisher: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

(This book is published in conjunction with the En Route to Mecca: Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries exhibition, launched in October 2009.)

En Route to Mecca - Sense of Purpose





“For Hajj are the months well known. If anyone undertakes that duty therein, let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling on the Hajj. And whatever good ye do (be sure) God Knoweth it. And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is right conduct. So fear Me, O ye that are wise.” (Surah Al-Baqarah: 197)

Despite being a less rigorous experience than it was in the past, Hajj is undertaken with the utmost conviction. Since the earliest days, communities have participated in this by offering prayers that seek the safe return of those on ‘Hajj Mabrur’ (a Hajj graced with Diving acceptance and pleasure).

The impact of this incomparable journey on the pilgrims begins as early as the preparation stage. Their whole disposition changes as the focus turns to gaining the approval of Allah. In order to achieve this goal, pilgrims have to rectify their relations with Allah and fellow Muslims. It is essential to repent for all sins, whatever the intention. At the same time, forgiveness is sought from family, relatives and friends for any misbehaviour.

Hajj cannot be undertaken in pursuit of material reward. The aim is Hajj itself, and the reward is Jannah Al-Firdaus (Paradise). As recorded by Al-Bukhari, the Prophet Muhammad (bpuh) said, “The performance of Umrah is expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous ones. And the reward for Hajj Mabrur is nothing but Paradise.”

As with other types of accomplishment, Hajj Mabrur requires from the pilgrim continuous effort and prayer. For do’a (prayer) is the weapon of the believer, as mentioned in the Qur’an, “But your Sustainer says: ‘Call unto Me, (and) I shall respond to you’!” (Surah Al-Ghafir: 60)
Among the signs bestowed upon a pilgrim who has been granted Hajj Mabrur by Allah is becoming a new person. As mentioned in the previous chapter, Hajj plays a role in transforming the spiritual boundaries. Its appreciation leads to the betterment of the pilgrim’s mind and soul. Pondering its rites from different dimensions, Hajj alleviates weaknesses and drives the pilgrims to improve as a Muslim. The fulfilment of inner peace is manifested outwardly. Refraining from committing sins is also that an individual’s Hajj has been accepted by Allah.

Remembrance of Allah, combined with total submission and obedience to Him, does not end with the completion of Hajj rituals. After returning home, pilgrims have to maintain these observances in the same manner, constantly devoting themselves to Allah and being committed to the Sunnah of the prophet. They must also remain part of their community. Even before the time of the prophet Muhammad (bpuh), the title ‘Hajji’ was an honour given to male pilgrims, whilst Hajjah was the female equivalent. The expectations of those around them were high. Hajj pilgrims are required to set an example for others who are still waiting for their call. The Hajji and Hajjah find themselves frequently receiving guests who are yearning for the same experience. Hearing from those who have returned successfully adds to the resolve of aspiring pilgrims who yearn for contentment in the holy land of Mecca.

Hajj is unquestionably a migration. In fulfilling their potential as Muslims, pilgrims perpetuate the missions of all prophets, using inner struggle (jihad al-nafs) to dispossess the ego. The greatest challenge, however, is what comes next. When pilgrims return to their everyday lives, will they uphold the same standards that they observed during their hajj? Will those around them be shown sincerity, compassion, humanity, respect, integrity and forgiveness? The answer differs with every individual and their level of personal contemplation as well as the lessons learnt on this journey.

Misconceptions


Although Hajj encourages sincerity in making sacrifices for the sake of Allah, it is not uncommon for Muslims to misunderstand the meaning and purpose behind the journey. At one extreme are pilgrims who relinquish everything that they own, selling their worldly property to fund the journey to Mecca. Such an interpretation can do irreparable harm to themselves and their dependants. For this reason, Hajj is only an obligation for those who are truly able to undertake the journey and to leave their family behind in an acceptable state.

Given that Hajj can remove pilgrims’ sins, it is important for Muslims to really understand the concept. Hajj is not an act of worship to replace any deficiencies in a pilgrim’s other obligations. Observance of all five pillars is required to build a strong structure and to complete a Muslim’s duties.

The intention among many Muslims is to wait until old age before carrying out the obligation of hajj. This can be dangerous. In fact, performing Hajj during younger years has an advantage, as the rituals demand physical and mental strength. Furthermore, the Prophet Muhammad (bpuh) encouraged those who have enough provisions to perform Hajj as soon as possible, since they may be unable to do so later.

While away from their daily routine, pilgrims should not seek luxurious accommodation, transportation or food. The Hajj undertaking is not a holiday. The best provision that pilgrims should take with them is taqwa (piety). The hardships that pilgrims encounter during their journey are part of the great lesson that is to be pondered.

Reflections on Art

Images of the Masjid Al-Haram, especially the Ka’bah, can be found in countries creative media. Embroidered on textiles, painted on canvas or woven into an exquisite carpet, the Ka’bah has been highlighted extensively. Runners painted with an image of the Ka’bah have also been used as coffin covers. These depictions can be souvenirs of hajj or a reminder that one day the beholder should be setting foot in the sacred land.

In a quite different medium, the Masjid Al-Haram is often found illuminating pages of the most celebrated manual of blessings and prayers upon the Prophet Muhammad (bpuh). The Dala’il Al-Khayrat is among the works of the famous Sufi Imam Al-Jazuli and depicts the masjid Al-Nabawi in Medina as well as the Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca. On a larger scale are murals painted on the exterior walls of buildings, especially private houses of North Africa. These show, above all, an expression of longing for the House of Allah. Inspired by the stories found in the Qur’an, as well as the experiences of those who have undergone the Hajj journey, these paintings serve the same purpose as travel accounts.

In the hope that their experiences will benefit others, it is common to find that pilgrims out in writing an assortment of feelings, views and thoughts on every incident of their journey. Sometimes these can acquire a unique style of tjeir own, such as a 19th century account by an unknown pilgrim, composed in rhythmic poetry.

The pen is held and dipped in ink
The mouth recites and the hand inscribes
One night, the humble servant contemplates
Reflecting upon his fate
The small pen takes the ink
The poem is written as a lesson
Dear friends lend me your ears
I, the humble servant, have written verses about Mecca and Medina
I am stating simple facts
So as to excite the pious
About three-and-a-half months from Kedah
My ship sails across the seas
If the wind blows from behind
I will reach Jeddah, the peaceful day
Upon my arrival in Jeddah, my travels are delayed
This is where I shall go ashore
A Sheikh in Jeddah awaits and recollect
Where we shall come and get you
Dear friend, if there are pilgrims from Aceh
Have them return to Sheikh Muhammad Saleh
The pious and exalted
He is well versed and eloquent
Of others you have met
Bukasar, Melaka, Kelantan and Patani
In Rawah, Bangkahulu, Bentan adn betawi
Their Sheikhs have also received revelation
You have stayed in Jeddah for two nights
Now you will walk to Mecca
Rent a camel that is convenient for you
It is smaller than an elephant

Extracted from the book: En Route to Mecca – Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries

Publisher: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

(This book is published in conjunction with the En Route to Mecca: Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries exhibition, launched in October 2009.)

En Route to Mecca - Rites and Rituals




Umrah

Umrah is a lesser Hajj. It has fewer rites and can be done at any time of the year. The five rites are performed only in the Masjid Al-Haram.

Niyyah (intention)

Entering the state of Ihram and declaring the intention to perform Umrah at certain place (miqat) outside the Haram precincts.

Stepping into the Masjid Al-Haram while reciting the talbiyah and supplicating to Allah.

At the first sight of the Ka’bah, it is recommended to proclaim Allahu Akbar and the Shahadah as well as bestowing Praise upon the Prophet Muhammad (bpuh).

Tawaf

Circumambulation of the Ka’bah seven times, starting with the Hajar Al-Aswad (Black Stone) corner. Touching the Hajar Al-Aswad, or just pointing towards it, marks the starting of tawaf.

Wudu’ (ablution) is essential for tawaf.

The pilgrim’s left shoulder should face the Ka’bah, making the movement anti-clockwise.

Male pilgrims should bare their right shoulder only during the tawaf, an act known as ittiba’.

After finishing the seventh circle, the two rakaat nafl prayers are offered behind the Maqam Ibrahim (Station of Ibrahim).

Saie

Striding between two hills of Safa and Marwah seven times.

Starting with Safa, the pilgrims are encouraged to climb up the hill until they can see the Ka’bah. After this they offer the do’a and recite dhikr.

The seventh trip ends at Marwah.

Tahallul by halq or taqsir

Shaving and cutting hair should be done right after Saie.

Shaving the whole head is preferable for men but forbidden for women.

Cutting a minimum of three strands of hair is sufficient for women.

By doing this, the restrictions of Ihram are lifted from the pilgrims.

Tartib (in sequence)

Umrah is complete only if the rites are performed in sequence.

Hajj


As with the other four pillars of Islam, hajj is an obligation that should be performed in specific ways. There are three forms; Hajj Ifrad, Hajj Qiran and Hajj Tamattu’. The most highly regarded of these is Hajj Tamattu’, as performed by the Prophet Muhammad (bpuh). The rites are performed not solely in the Masjid Al-Haram but also in its vicinity: Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafah. The first two locations are inside the Haram precincts whilst the latter is outside. The time for entering the state of Ihram and declaring he intention of performing Hajj depends on the type of Hajj that is to be performed. Listed below are the simplified steps.

Day 1
8th Zulhijjah

Preparation for the Hajj ritual begins

In readiness for Ihram, pilgrims are encouraged to comb their hair, cut their nails and trim their beard and moustache.

Ablutions as preparation for Ihram.

Wearing two seamless white garments for men and ordinary cloth in prayer for women.

Men are not allowed to cover their head for the duration of Ihram.

Performing two rakaat nafl prayers for Ihram.

Saying the niyyah (intention) for Hajj.

Uttering the words of talbiyah.

From this point of time, the prohibitions of Ihram start.

After sunrise, pilgrims proceed towards Mina.

At mina, Zuhr, Asar, Maghrib and Isya’ prayers are performed. Camping overnight.

Day 2
9th Zulhijjah


Fajar prayer. Proceed to Arafah for Wukuf which starts with the lowering of the sun and continues before the sunrise of the next day.

It is best to spend the time within this duration engaged in do’a, Quranic recitation and other types of ibadah.

Zuhr and Asar prayers at Namirah mosque. It is recommended to combine and shorten both prayers. Listening to the sermon of Arafah.

After sunset, the next destination is Muzdalifah, where Magrib and Isya’ prayers are offered.

Collecting of 49 pebbles if the intention is to engage in the stoning of the Jamarat for three days or 70 pebbles if it is for four days.

Camping overnight.Return to Mina after Subh prayer.

Day 3
10th Zulhijjah


Stoning Jamarat Al-Aqabah in Mina with seven pebbles.

Sacrificing animals; either the pilgrims do this themselves or ask others to perform this duty on their behalf. Designated days for sacrifice are prolonged to the 13th Zulhijjah.

Tahallul – by shaving or cutting the hair. Women are not permitted to shave the entire head; to cust three strands of hair is sufficient. With that, the prohibitions of Ihram are lifted

Stoning, sacrificing and shaving or cutting the hair should be done in sequence, otherwise dam (atonement) is required as a penalty.

Back to Masjid Al-Haram to perform tawaf, al-ziarah and saei.

Return to Mina. Camping overnight.

Muslims around the world celebrate Eid Al-Adha on this day.

Day 4
11th Zulhijjah


Throwing pebbles at Jamarat Al-Ula, Al-Wista and Al-Aqabah.

For those who cannot make the tawaf al-ziarah on the 10th Zulhijjah, it is advisable to do so on this day and return to Mina to camp overnight.

Day 5 & 6
12th and 13th Zulhijjah


Stoning the three Jamarat with seven pebbles.

The last opportunity for tawaf al-ziarah.

There is an option for the pilgrims to leave for Mecca, unless the time of departure is after sunset, in which case they have to remain in Mina for a third night and resume with the stoning of Jamarat in the same order.

Whenever the pilgrims intend to return home of visit other places such as Medina, there is an obligation to perform tawaf al-wada’ (farewell tawaf).

Visiting the Masjid Al-Nabawi in Medina is not part of Hajj or Umrah rites. However, it is strongly recommended. As reported by Al-Baihaqi, the Prophet Muhammad (bpuh) said: “The person who performs Hajj and then visits my tomb, will be regarded as though he had seen me in my worldly life.”

Extracted from the book: En Route to Mecca – Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries

Publisher: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

(This book is published in conjunction with the En Route to Mecca: Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries exhibition, launched in October 2009.)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Do not be sad – Stop to reflect

Do not be sad – for sickness is a transient state of being; the sin can be forgiven; the debt will be repaid; the captive will be released; the beloved one who is abroad will return; the sinner will repent; and the poor will be increased in their wealth.

Do not be sad, for do you not see how the black clouds disperse and the violent winds subside? Your hardships will be followed by comfort and your future is bright.

Do not be sad – for the blaze of the sun is extinguished by luxuriant shade; the thirst of noon is refreshed by fresh water; the pangs of hunger find relief in warm bread; and the anxiety of sleeplessness is followed by calm repose; the pains of sickness are soon forgotten after tge return of health. It is only upon you to forbear for a short time and to be patient for a few moments.

Do not be sad, for even doctors, wise men, scholars and poets are weak and unable to defy or change that which has been decreed. ‘Ali ibn Jabla said:

“Perhaps a way out will come, perhaps,
We comfort ourselves with perhaps,
So do not despair when you meet
With affliction that weakens your spirit,
Since the closest one comes
To relief, is when he loses all hope.”

Do not be sad: select for yourself that which Allah has chosen for you.

Stand if he causes you to stand and sit if he orders you to sit. Show patience if He has made you to be poor and be thankful if He makes you to be rich. These points are understood from the statement, “I am pleased with Allah as my Lord, with Islam as a Religion, and with Muhammad as a Messenger.”

And an Arab poet said:

“Do not weave a plan for yourself,
The people of plotting are destroyed,
Be contented with our decree,
We are worthier to plan for you than you yourself.”

Do not be sad – overlook the action of others.


They can lay no claim on giving benefit or harm, death or life, reward or punishment.
Ibraheem ibn Adham said:

“We live such a life (of amazing pleasure in the worship of Allah) that if the kings knew about it, they would fight us over it with swords.”

Ibn Taymiyah said:

“Sometimes the heart is in such a state, that I say: if the people of Paradise experience this, then they indeed have a wonderful life.”

He said on another occasion:

“The heart sometimes dances rapturously, from the happiness of remembering Allah and of feeling close to Him.”


He also said upon entering prison, as the guards were closing the doors upon him:

(So a wall will be put up between them, with a gate therein. Inside it will be mercy, and outside it will be torment.) (Qur’an 57:13)

He said while he was in prison:

“What can my enemies do to me! My garden and my paradise are in my breast, wherever I go they are with me. If my enemies kill me, I become a martyr and if they banish me from my country, I go abroad as a tourist; and by imprisoning me, they allow me to have solitude (so that I can worship Allah).”

A wise person once said:

“What has he found who has lost Allah, and what has he discovered who has found Allah? They can never be equal; the one who has found Allah has found everything and the one who has lost Him has lost everything.”

Do not blindly feel grief; instead, make sure you know the value of the thing over which you feel sad.


The Prophet (Blessings and Peace be upon him) said:

“For me to say, ‘How perfect is Allah, All praise is for Him, there is none worthy of worship except Him, and Allah is the greatest,’ is more beloved to me than all that the sun rises upon.”

Of rich people, their castles, houses, and wealth, one of our pious predecessors said:

“We eat and they eat. We drink and they drink. We see and they see. We will not be called to account and they will be held accountable (i.e. for their wealth, how it was acquired and how it was spent).”

In the words of a poet:

“The first night in the grave causes one to forget,
The castles of Khosaru and the treasures of Caesar.”

Allah said:

(And truly you have come unto Us alone [without wealth, companions or anything else] as We created you the first time.) (Qur’an 6:94)

The believers say:

(This is what Allah and His messenger [Muhammad] had promised us, and Allah and His messenger had spoken the truth.) (Qur’an 33:22)

And the hypocrites say:

(Allah and his Messenger promised us nothing but delusions!) (Qur’an 33:12)
Your life is the product of your thoughts. The thoughts that you invest in will have an indelible effect upon your life, regardless of whether they are happy thoughts or miserable thoughts.

A poet said:

“Fear does not fill my heart before the occurrence of that which is feared,
And I don’t become overly distressed if that event does occur.”

Do not feel sad over fears for what may happen

In the Torah, the following has been related:

“Most of what is feared to occur never happens!”

This means that most apprehensions and fears of impending difficulty fail to take shape in reality. Conjectures of the mind are far greater in number and in scope than the things that actually happen in life.

An Arab poet said:

"I said to my heart when it was attacked by a fit of anxiety,
Be happy, because most fears are false.”

This implies that if you hear of an impending calamity, or hear of oncoming disaster, don’t be overly alarmed, especially since the majority of predictions about impending harm are false.

(...’And my affair I leave it to Allah. Verily, Allah is the All-Seer of [His] slaves.’ So Allah saved him from the evils that they plotted [against him]...) (Qur’an 40: 44-45)

Do not be sad – Repel anxiety

Idleness is destructive, and most people who suffer from worries and anxieties are the same people who are idle and inactive. Rumors and gossips are the only dividends for those that are bankrupt of meaningful and fruitful work.

Apply yourself to something and word hard at it. Read, recite, and glorify your lord with praises. Write, visit friends, and benefit from your time. In short, do not give a single minute away to idleness. The day that you do will be the day that anxieties and worries will find their way into your life. Superstition and evil whispers will enter your mind, allowing you to become a playground for the games of the devil.

Do not grieve over the person who forgets or denies the favors you once gave to him, for your desire should be solely for the reward of Allah.

Perform righteous deeds purely and sincerely for the pleasure of Allah, and do not expect either congratulation or gratitude from any person. Do not take it to heart if you confer a favor upon someone and he then turns out to be ungrateful, showing no sign of appreciation for what you have done. Seek your reward from Allah. Allah says of His righteous slaves:

(They seek Bounties from Allah and His pleasure.) (Qur’an 59:8)

(Say: ‘No reward do I ask you for this’...) (Qur’an 25:57)

(And have in his mind no favor from anyone for which a reward is expected in return.) (Qur’an 92:19)

([Saying]: ‘We feed you seeking Allah’s Countenance only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you.) (Qur’an 76:9)

So make your dealings with Allah alone, as he is the One Who rewards people for good deeds. He gives and he bestows, or He punishes and He takes to account, being pleased with those who do well and angry with those who do evil.
Martyrs were killed in Qandahar, and ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) asked the companions, “Who was killed?” They mentioned some names to him, and then they said., “And people whom you do not know.” ‘Umar’s eyes filled with tears and he said, “But Allah knows them.

A pious person fed the best and finest of food to a blind man. His family said to him, “This blind man does not know what he is eating (so give him something of lower quality).” He replied, “But Allah knows!

Since Allah knows your deeds, knows of the good you do and the help you give to others, remain carefree and untroubled about what people think.

Do not be sad – Never lose hope of Allah’s mercy

(Certainly no one despairs of Allah’s Mercy, except the people who disbelieve.) (Qur’an 12:87)

([They were reprieved] until, when the Messengers gave up hope and thought that they were denied [by their people], then came to them Our Help...) (Qur’an 12:110)

(And We delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believer.) (Qur’an 21:88)

(And you were harboring doubts about Allah. There, the believers were tried and shaken with a mighty shaking.) (Qur’an 33:10-11)

Do not grieve over the hurt that is inflicted upon you by others, and forgive those that have ill-treated you.

The price of jealousy and rancor is enormous; it is the price that the revengeful person pays in exchange for his malice towards others. He pays with his heart, flesh, and blood. His peace, his relaxation, and his happiness – these he forsakes because he desires the sweetness of revenge and because he resents others.

Jealousy and rancor are illnesses for which Allah has given the cure and remedy:

([Those] who repress anger, and who pardon men...) (Qur’an 3:134)

(Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish [i.e. don’t punish them].) (Qur’an 7:199)

(Repel [the evil] with one which is better [i.e. Allah ordered the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly], then verily! He, between whom and you there was enmity, [will become] as though he was a close friend.) (Qur’an 41:34)

Do not grieve over that which has passed you by in life, for indeed you have been blessed with much.

Contemplate the many favors and gifts that Allah has bestowed upon you and be thankful to Him for them. Remind yourself of Allah’s many blessings, for He, the Almighty, said:

(And if you would count the graces of Allah, never could you be able to count them.) (Qur’an 16:18)

(And [Allah] has completed and perfected His Graces upon you [both] apparent [i.e. Islamic Monotheism, and the lawful pleasures of this world, including health, good looks, etc.] and hidden [i.e. One’s Faith in Allah (of Islamic Monotheism) knowledge, wisdom, guidance for doing righteous deeds, and also the pleasures and delights of the hereafter in Paradise, etc].) (Qur’an 31:20)

(And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allah. Then, when harm touches you, unto Him you cry aloud for help.) (Qur’an 16:53)

Allah said, establishing His favors upon man:

(Have we not made him a pair of eyes; and a tongue and a pair of lips? And shown him the two ways [good and evil]?) (Qur’an 90:8-10)

Life, health, the faculties of hearing and seeing, two hands and two legs, water, air, food – these are some of the more visible blessings in this world, while the greatest of all blessings is that of Islam and correct guidance. What would you say to someone who offered you large sums of money in return for your eyes, your ears, your legs, your hands, or your heart? How great is your wealth in reality? By not being thankful, you do not render justice to Allah’s countless favors.

Do not be sad: Seek forgiveness from Allah often, for your lord is Oft-Forgiving

(I [Noah] said [to them]: ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord; verily, He is Oft-Forgiving. He will send rain to you in abundance; and give you increase in wealth and children; and bestow on you gardens; and bestow on you rivers.) (Qur’an 71: 10-12)

So seek forgiveness from Allah more often and you will reap the benefits of doing so: peace of mind, lawful provisions, righteous off-springs, and plentiful rain.

(And [commanding you]: ‘Seek the forgiveness of your lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed. And that He may bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace [i.e. the one who helps and serves the needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words].) (Qur’an 11:3)

And the Prophet (Blessing and peace be upon him said:

“Whosoever seeks forgiveness (from Allah) often, then Allah makes for him a good ending for every matter of concern and provides for him a way out of every situation.”

Related in Bukhari is a hadith that is known as the chief of Al-Istighfaar (i.e. of supplications with which one asks Allah for forgiveness):

“O’ Allah, You are my Lord and none has the right to be worshiped except you. You have created me and I am your slave; and I am upon your covenant and promise as much as I am able to be. I seek refuge in You from the evil that I have perpetrated. I confess to You Your favor upon me, and I confess to You my sin, so forgive me; for verily, none forgives sins except You.”

Do not be sad – Wait patiently for a happy outcome

The following hadith is found in the book of At-Tirmidhi:

“The best form of worship is to wait (patiently) for a happy outcome.” (Qur’an 11:81)

(Is not the morning near?) (Qur’an 11:81)

The morning of the afflicted is looming, so watch for it. An Arab proverb says, “If the rope becomes too tight, it will snap.”

In other words, if a situation reaches the level of crisis, then expect a light and an opening to appear. Allah says:

(and whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will remit his sins from him, and will enlarge his reward.) (Qur’an 65:5)

(And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matter easy for him.) (Qur’an 65:4)

In an authentic hadith, the Prophet (Blessings and Peace be upon him) relates this saying from Allah:

“I am with the thoughts of My slave towards Me, so let him think of Me as he pleases.”

Allah, the Almighty, says:

([They were reprieved] until, when the Messengers gave up hope and thought that they were denied [by their people], then came to them Our Help, and whosoever We willed were delivered.) (Qur’an 12:110)

Know that, truly, with hardship there is relief. Some commentators of the Qur’an said (considering it to be a hadith) that:

“One hardship cannot overcome two reliefs.”

The Prophet (Blessings and Peace be upon him) said in an authentic hadith:

“And know that victory comes with patience and that relief comes with hardship.”

An Arab poet said:

“Some eyes were restless while others are in sleep,
In meditating that which may or may not occur,
So leave worrying as much as possible,
As carrying the burdens of anxiety is madness,
There is your Lord, who provided you with solutions to yesterday,
And He will similarly provide for what is to come tomorrow.”

Another said:

“Let events flow in their predestined path,
And do not sleep except with a clear mind,

Between the period of the blinking of the eye and its opening, Allah changes things from one state to another.”

Sunday, January 10, 2010

25 Nama Nabi dan Rasul yang wajib kita ketahui



1. Adam AS.
2. Idris AS.
3. Nuh AS.
4. Hud AS.
5. Soleh AS.
6. Ibrahim AS.
7. Luth AS.
8. Ismail AS.
9. Ishak AS.
10. Yakub AS.
11. Yusuf AS.
12. Ayub AS.
13. Sueb AS.
14. Musa AS.
15. Harun AS.
16. Zulkifli AS.
17. Daud AS.
18. Sulaiman AS.
19. Ilyas AS.
20. Ilyasa AS.
21. Yunus AS.
22. Zakaria AS.
23. Yahya AS.
24. Isa AS.
25. Muhammad SAW.

Nabi yang mendapat julukan Ulul Azmi atau Nabi/Rasul yang memiliki ketabahan yang luar biasa dalam menjalankan kenabiannya :
1. Nuh AS.
2. Ibrahim AS.
3. Musa AS.
4. Isa AS.
5. Muhammad SAW.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Do not be sad – Everything will occur according to pre-ordainment

Everything occurs according to preordainment and according to what has been decreed. Such is the belief of Muslims, the followers of Muhammad (Blessing and Peace be upon him). And nothing happens in the Universe except through Allah’s Knowledge, Permission and Divine Plan.

(No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees – [Al-Lauh al-Mahfuz], before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah.) (Qur’an 57:22)

(Verily, We have created all things with Qadar [Divine Preordainments of all things before their creation, as written in the Book of Decrees – Al-Lauh al-Mahfuz].) (Qur’an 54:49)

(And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to the patient ones.) (Qur’an 2:155)

And in a hadith, the prophet (bpuh) said:

“Wonderful is the affair of the believer! His affairs in their entirety are good for him: if good befalls him, he is thankful, and that is good for him. And if harm befalls him, he is patient, and that is good for him. And this (prosperous state of being) is only for the believer.”

In an authentic hadith, the Prophet (bpuh) said:

“If you ask, then ask of Allah, and if you seek help, then seek it from Allah.
And know that if the whole of the nation were to rally together in order to bring benefit to you in anything, they would not benefit you except with that which Allah has written for you. And if they were to gather together in order to inflict harm upon you with something; they would not harm you except with that which Allah has written upon you. The pens have been raised and the pages have dried.”

The Prophet (Blessings and Peace be upon him) also said:

“And know that what has befallen you was not going to miss you, and that which missed you was not meant to befall you.”

In another authentic hadith, the prophet (bpuh) said:

“Strive for that which will benefit you, seek help from Allah, do not be weak, and do not say: IF I had done such and such, the situation would be such and such. But say: Allah has decreed and what He wishes, He does.”

And in another authentic hadith, the Prophet (bpuh) said:

“Every matter that Allah decrees for His slave is better for him.”


Syakh al-Imam Ibn Taymiyah was asked about sin: Is it good for someone? He said:

“Yes, with the condition that it is followed by being remorseful and repentant, by seeking forgiveness, and by being sincerely moved (to submission) on the inside.”
Allah, the Exalted, says:

(And it may be that you dislike a thing, which is good for you and that you like a thing, which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.) (Qur’an 2:216)

Being sad is not encouraged in our religion

(So do not become weak [against your enemy], nor be sad...) (Qur’an 3:139)

(And grieve not over them, and be not distressed because of what they plot.) (Qur’an 16:127)

(Be not sad, surely Allah is with us.) (Qur’an 9:40)

Referring to true believers, Allah informs us that:
(... upon such shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve.) (Qur’an 2:38)

Sadness enervates the souls’ will to act and paralyzes the body into inactivity.

Sadness prevents one from action instead of compelling one towards it. The heart benefits nothing through grief. The most beloved thing to the devil is to make the worshiper sad in order to prevent him from continuing on his path. Allah, the Exalted says:

(Secret counsels [conspiracies] are only from Shaytan (Satan)], in order that he may cause grief to the believers.) (Qur’an 58:10)

In the following hadith, the Prophet (bpuh) said:

“In a company of three, it is forbidden for two to hold secret counsel to the exclusion of the third, since doing so will be a cause of sadness for him.”

Contrary to what some believe (those who have an extreme ascetic bent), the believer should not seek out sadness, because sadness is a harmful condition that afflicts the soul. The Muslim must repel sadness and fight it in any way is permissible in our Religion.

There is no real benefit to sadness; the Prophet (bpuh) sought refuge from it in the following supplication:

“O’ Allah, I seek refuge in you from anxiety and grief.”

Grief is coupled with anxiety in this hadith. The difference between the two is that if a bad feeling is related to what is going to happen in the future, then one is feeling anxiety. And if the cause of this feeling concerns the past, then one is feeling grief. Both of them weaken the heart, causing inactivity and a decrease in will power.

Despite what has been mentioned above, grief may sometimes be both inevitable and necessary. When they enter Paradise, its dwellers will say:

(All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has removed from us [all] grief.) (Qur’an 35:34)

This verse implies that they were afflicted with grief in this life, just as they were afflicted with other forms of hardship, both of which were out of their control. So whenever one is overcome by grief and there is no way to avoid it, one is rewarded, because grief is a form of hardship, and the believer is rewarded for going through hardship. Nonetheless, the believer must sward off grief with supplication and other practical means.

As for the saying of Allah, the Almighty:

(Nor [is there blame] on those who came to you to be provided with mounts and when you said: ‘I can find no mounts for you,’ they turned back, while their eyes overflowing with tears of grief that they could not find anything to spend.) (Qur’an 9:92)

They were not praised for their grief in itself, but for what that grief indicated and pointed to – namely, strong faith. This occurred when they remained behind during one of the Prophet’s expeditions, due to their inability to find the necessary resources needed to make the trip. The verse also exposed the hypocrites, because they did not feel grief when they remained behind.

Therefore the good kind of grief is that which stems from missing out an opportunity to do a good deed or from performing a sin. When one feels sad because he was negligent in fulfilling the rights of Allah, he shows a characteristic of a person who is on the right path. As for the hadith,

“Whatever befalls the believer in terms of anxiety, hardship or grief is a trial with which the believer is afflicted, and through which some of his sins are atoned for. However, it does not indicate that grief is something to be sought after; the believer should not seek out means of finding grief, thinking that he is performing an act of worship. If this were the case, then the Prophet 9bpuh) would have been the first to apply this principle. But he didn’t search out for misery; rather, his face was always smiling, his heart was content, and he was continually joyful.

As for the hadith of Hind, “He was continually sorrowful,” it is considered to be unsubstantiated by scholars of hadith, because among its narrators is someone who is unknown. Not only is the hadith weak because of its chain of narrators; it is also weak because it is contrary to how the Prophet (bpuh) really was.

How could he have been continually in grief when Allah had informed him that he was forgiven for everything (guaranteeing his entry into Paradise) and had protected him from feeling grief over matters pertaining to this life: for example, Allah forbade him from feeling grief over the actions of the disbelievers? How could he have felt grief all the time his heart was filled with the remembrance of Allah, and when he was at peace with Allah’s promise? In fact, he was always pleasant and his teeth were always visible due to his constant smiles. Whoever delves deeply into his life will know that he came to remove falsehood and to eradicate anxiety, confusion, and grief. He came to free our soul from the tyranny of doubt, disbelief, confusion, and disorder. He came to save our souls from destruction. So many indeed are the favors that were bestowed upon mankind through him (Blessings and Peace be upon him).

And as for the alleged hadith, “Verily Allah loves all sad hearts, “the chains of its narrators is unknown, so it is not an authentic hadith, especially in view of the fact that the basic principles of our religion are contrary to it import. Even if we were to suppose the hadith to be authentic, then its meaning would be that sadness is one of the hardships of life imposed upon the worshipper as a form of trial. And if the worshipper is tested by this trial, and if he preserves through patience, then Allah loves him. As for those who have praised melancholy and have lauded its many virtues (while claiming that our religion encourages it) then they are very mistaken. In fact, every text from revelation that touches upon sadness forbids it and orders its opposite; namely, that we should be content with the mercy and blessings of Allah, and happy with that which has been sent with the Messenger of Allah (Blessings and Peace be upon him).

Those who incline towards extremes in asceticism also relate the following narration:

“If Allah loves one of his slaves, He makes that slave’s heart that of a weepers.
And if he hates one of his slaves, then he places a flute in his heart (thus making him constantly light and happy).”

First, we must note that this is an Israelite tradition, which is claimed to be found in the Torah. Nevertheless, it does have a correct meaning since, truly, the believer feels grief due to his sins and the evildoer is ever playful and frivolous, light and joyful. So if the hearts of the faithful grieve, then it is only due to opportunities lost in terms of righteous deeds or because of sins committed. This is contrary to the sadness of the evildoers, whose grief is caused by losing out on physical pleasure or worldly benefit. Their yearnings, anxieties, and sadness are always for these ends and for nothing else.

In this verse, Allah says of his Prophet Israa’eel (Israel): (And he lost his sight because of the sorrow he was suppressing.) (Qur’an 12:84)

Here we are informed of his grief over losing his beloved son. Simply informing about something does not in itself signify either approval or disapproval of that thing. The fact is what we have been ordered to seek refuge from sadness, as it is a heavy cloud that hangs above its victim, and is a barrier that prevents one from advancing to higher aims.

There is no doubt that sadness is a trial and a hardship, and is in some ways similar to sickness. However, it is not a stage, level, or condition that the pious should actively seek out.

You are required to seek the means of happiness and peace, to ask Allah to grant you a good life, one that gives you a clear conscious and a mind at peace. The achievement of this is an early reward, a point that is underscored by the saying of some, “In this world is a paradise, and whoever does not enter it shall not enter the Paradise of the Hereafter.”

And we ask Allah to open our hearts to the light of faith, to guide our hearts to His straight path, and to save us from a miserable and wretched life.