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 The Fifth Pillar of islam-Hajj

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مُساهمةموضوع: The Fifth Pillar of islam-Hajj   21/08/17, 07:33 am

The Fifth Pillar of islam-Hajj
(Pilgrimage)
By: Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi
=====================
"And proclaim unto mankind the Pilgrimage (the Hajj). They will come unto thee on foot and also on every lean camel; they will come from every deep ravine that they may witness things that are of benefit to them, and mention the name of Allah on appointed days over the beast of cattle that He bath bestowed upon them. Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor and the distressed. Then let them make an end of their unkemptness and xxii: 27-29) pay their vows and go around the ancient House (the Ka'aba)."

Al-Hajj
THE FIFTH PILLAR OF ISLAM
By: Shaykh Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi
==========================
The Fifth Pillar ... 1 (Instinct of Love)
The Fifth Pillar ... 2 (The Hajj)
The Fifth Pillar ... 3 (Revolt)
The Fifth Pillar ... 4 (Absolute Obedience)
The Fifth Pillar ... 5 (Lifestory of Ibrahim)
The Fifth Pillar ... 6 (Renewal of the Call)
The Fifth Pillar ... 7 (Centre for Universal Guidance)
The Fifth Pillar ... 8 (Demonstration of Islamic Equality)
The Fifth Pillar ... 9 (City of Peace)
The Fifth Pillar ... 10 (Provisions of the Shari'ah)
The Fifth Pillar ... 11 (Sanctityof Time and Space)
The Fifth Pillar ... 12 (Farewell Hajj)
The Fifth Pillar ... 13 (Pilgrimage in Other Religions)
The Fifth Pillar ... 14 (Reformative Role of Islam)


CONTENT
THE FIFTH PILLAR OF ISLAM... 1
By Shakh Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi
==========================
INSTINCT OF LOVE
"And proclaim unto mankind the Pilgrimage (the Hajj). They will come unto thee on foot and also on every lean camel; they will come from every deep ravine that they may witness things that are of benefit to them, and mention the name of Allah on appointed days over the beast of cattle that He bath bestowed upon them. Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor and the distressed. Then let them make an end of their unkemptness and pay their vows and go around the ancient House (the Ka'aba)." (-xxii: 27-29)

ISLAM is a religion of pure monotheism. It does not admit of any intermediaries or intercessors between man and his Creator. It frowns upon all material and visible objects which might become centres of devotion and to which people paid spiritual homage in one form or another. There is no place in it for an intervening agency, a manifestation, an image or an idol. There is also no priestly class in it nor a tribe of monks or hermits.

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My Call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. (-ii : 186)

So worship Allah, making religion pure for Him (only).
Surely, pure religion is for Allah only. And those who choose protecting friends beside Him (say): We worship them only that they may bring us near unto Allah. (-xxxix : 2-3)

Islam dwells at such a high level of intellectual purity, high-mindedness, honesty of purpose and sincerity of action that it is impossible to conceive of a better ideal or a nobler concept. No other faith or philosophy in the world can compare with it in these respects, nor can anyone improve upon the description given in the Qur’aan or the Uniqueness and Excellence of God.

Naught is His likeness; and He is the Hearer, the Seer (of everything). (-xiii: 11)

Landmarks of Allah
But human nature being what it is, the quest for something within the perceptible phenomenon through which one could seek the satisfaction of the inward impulse of love, adoration and submission has always formed a part of his essential character and personality.

For the fulfilment of this need, God has appointed certain visible and material objects which are consecrated to Him and bear a special relation to His Blessed Name and are held popularly to be His own and upon which there is so much of His Grace that the mere sight of them evokes His remembrance.

Besides, with them are associated events, rites and experiences that serve as the portents of Allah, and remind us of His faith and the fortitude and endeavour of His Apostles.

He has pleased to give to these objects the name of the Landmarks of Allah, and to proclaim that to pay reverence to them is to pay reverence to Him while to show disrespect to them is to show disrespect to Him.

He has permitted, or, rather, invited mankind to gratify its innate urge for love, closeness and observation through them.

That is (the command). And whoso magnifieth the Landmarks of Allah, it surely is from the devotion of the hearts. (-xxii: 32)

That is (the command). And whoso magnifieth the Landmarks of Allah, it will be well for him in the sight or his Lord. (-xxii: 30)

Instinct of Love
Man is neither wholly a rational animal nor is he so helpless as to be obliged to make his submission to any law or authority. He is also not a part in a machine which moves alone, a set course and according to a fixed law. He is mind as well as heart, faith as well as intuition and submission as well as love. It is in the many-sidedness of his personality that lies the secret of his greatness and nobility and it is through it that he has been able to overcome seemingly insuperable obstacles and perform superhuman deeds. What is more, it was on account of this grand peculiarity of his being that he was entrusted with the 'responsibility' the heavens, the earth and the mountains had declined to shoulder and has succeeded in rising to heights that are the envy of the angels.

The bond between man and his Creator is not only of a legal or logical character that may be limited to the payment of dues the observance of laws and the enjoyment of rights. It is also a bond of love and other sublime emotions like those of devotion, tenderness and self-effacement and its scope is so wide that no human thought or deed has remained unaffected by it.

Islam does not forbid this love. On the other hand, it calls us to it, encourages it and sustains it.

Says the Quran: Those who believe are stauncher in their love for Allah. (-ii : 165)

Say (O Mohammad): If your fathers, and your sons, and your brethren, and your wives, and your tribe, and the wealth you have acquired, and merchandise for which you fear that there will be no sale, and dwellings ye desire are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His way: then wait till Allah bringeth His Command to pass. Allah guideth not the wrongdoers. (-ix: 24)

The Qur’aan, while speaking of the Divine Apostles, draws pointed attention to their qualities of love, earnestness and sacrifice. Of Prophet Yahya (John), for instance, it says: ‘And We gave him wisdom when a child. And compassion from Our presence, and purity; and he was devout.’ (-xix: 12-13)

The wonderful episode of Hadhrat Ibrahim (Abraham) is a saga of love and dedication. The Qur’aan specifically mentions how Hadhrat Ibrahim placed the knife on the throat of his son and did not remove it till God had witnessed the depth and intensity of his sincerity, fortitude and sacrifice. ‘We called unto him: O Ibrahim! Thou hast already fulfilled the vision. Lo! Thus do We reward the good.

Lo! That verily war a clear test. (-xxvii: 104 - 6)
Again, in the praise of Hadhrat Ibrahim it says: Lo! Ibrahim was mild, imploring, and pertinent.’ (-xi: 75)


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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: The Fifth Pillar of islam-Hajj   21/08/17, 07:37 am


THE FIFTH PILLAR OF ISLAM ... 2
By Shakh Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi
Love is generated by the Knowledge of the Attributes
If the Qur’aan has dwelt at length on the Attributes, Functions and Bounties of the Lord it is mainly because of the knowledge of the Divine Attributes and devotion.

Scholars like Ibn Taymiya have defined the Qur’aanic method of explaining the Essential and Permanent Qualities of the Almighty Creator as ‘conciseness of the negative' and 'diffuseness of the positive'. It is the detailed description of the Benevolent Attributes of God and their signs and portents that feeds the flame of love within the human breast and fills it up with fervour and enthusiasm. If the negative Attributes are the mentors of the mind, the positive Attributes are the mentors of the heart.

Without the knowledge of the Beautiful Names of God and His Immaculate Qualities, with which the holy Quran and the Traditions are replete and which have been a constant source of joy and inspiration to His devoted servants, faith would have got reduced to a dogma and lost its capacity to stir the innermost recesses of the heart and move it to its depths with sincerity and humbleness during prayer and repentance. Without it the relationship between God and man would have been a mechanical, qualified and restrained relationship in which there was neither breadth nor flexibility nor vitality nor enthusiasm, and life, a dull, dry and narrow affair, bereft of the sweet madness of love and the delightfully poignant bite of desire.

Were this celestial wealth to be taken away from man what would there be to distinguish between life and death, between humanity and the vegetable kingdom?

Worthless is the Cup that Never Overflows To quench the thirst of the spirit and to calm down the flame of love it was needed that the heart and the eyes of a Muslim should overflow from time to time, and, thus, provide an outlet for the agonizing feelings of loneliness and separation that are rising within the depths of his being. Of what use is the cup that gets filled to the brink but never overflows?

The Hajj
Imam Ghazali was alive to the fact that love was the genuine need of a sensitive human being which he was always seeking to satisfy. The House of Ka'aba (at Mecca) and all the Landmarks of Allah that are associated with it and the Hajj with the rites and formalities which go to make it contain an ideal provision for the gratification of this basic human urge and necessity.

And remember when We prepared for Ibrahim the place of the holy House, saying: Ascribe thou nothing as partner unto Me, and purify My House for those who make the round thereof and those who stand and those who bow and make prostration. And proclaim unto mankind the Pilgrimage.

They will come unto thee on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every deep ravine. That they may witness things that are of benefit to them, and mention the name of Allah on appointed days over the beast of cattle that He hath bestowed upon them. Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor and the distressed. Then let them make an end of their unkemptness and pay their vows and go around the ancient House.(-xxii 26-29)

Imaam Ghazali writes, "If there is an earnest desire for nearness to God a Muslim will be compelled to strive for it. A lover is passionately attached to everything that bears an association with the beloved. The House of Ka’aba is associated with God and a Muslim should, therefore, instinctively feel drawn to it, to speak nothing of the attraction of the Recompense promised on it."

Writing in the same vein, Hazrat Shah Waliullah remarks, "Sometimes when a man is overcome with the desire for his Lord and love surges powerfully in his breast and he looks around for the satisfaction of his inner urge it appears to him that the Hajj alone is the means to it".

The Salaat a man offers up a several times a day could be regarded as sufficient to fulfil the need of soothing and gratifying his emotions. It could have provided him with an opportunity to give a vent to his feelings and to alleviate the agony of separation by shedding a fate tears during it. But then tears could not quench his thirst. They could only suppress it for the time being for they did not possess the power to put down the all-consuming fire of love which, sometimes, turned the heart into a blazing furnace.

Golden Cage of Materialism
Likewise, fasting could be helpful in slaking the thirst of the soul and curbing the intensity of animal appetites for hunger and abstinence do possess a purificatory quality. But the hours of fasting are limited and they are also often surrounded by things that do not go well with it. An atmosphere of slothfulness and gormandizing gets created around the person who fasts and the society in which he lives has itself become so permissive of sensuality and godlessness that he feels isolated like an island in a sea.

A Muslim, therefore, had to be furnished with an opportunity to take a bold and adventurous plunge which could break his chains and release him from the old and dingy prison-house of everyday existence.

It was to be in the nature of a leap which could, in one stride, carry him from this rotten, hide bound, calculating and artificial life to a new, fascinating and boundless world where love reigned supreme and the heart held sway over everything, where he was delivered from every kind of servitude and deification, and the man-made limitations of race, geography and politics died away and melted into nothingness, and where the creed of pure and unalloyed Monotheism - of the unity of Godhead, Providence, humanity, faith and purpose - became the bedrock of his way of living and he, along with his brethren, sang enthusiastically the praises of the Lord and raised the heartwarming cry of; ‘O God, here I am! Here I am in Thy Presence!

Thou art without a partner! Here I am! All praise is for Thee and from Thee are all Blessings! To Thee alone belongs Power and Rule! Thou art without a Partner!

Even after the prayer-service a Muslim celebrates regularly every day, the fasting he observes yearly in the month of Ramdhaan and the poor-due he pays, provided that he possesses taxable minimum of wealth, at the end of each year there was the need for him of a special period of time, of a season of enchantment and adoration, accentricity and infatuation.


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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: The Fifth Pillar of islam-Hajj   21/08/17, 07:44 am