Sunday, February 19, 2012

Preparation For Haj

The servant's preparation for Hajj is from the most important matters that helps in performing the pilgrimage in the legislated manner and ensuring that one's hajj is in shaa' Allah accepted. From matters that require emphasis in preparation for Hajj are the following:

1. Examining and rectifying one's relationship with Allah ta`ala, by sincerely repenting and fulfilling the well-known conditions of repentance.

2. Seeking His help and guidance, manifesting one's need of Him, fear of Him and hope in His reward. This is from the most important matters, for it is not permissible for a person to rely solely on his material means.

3. Relieving oneself of one's obligations towards others, one's trusts and debts.

4. Writing of one's will, as travel exposes one to various dangers.

5. Preparation of provisions for those the pilgrim is responsible for until he returns, advising them with good and appointing someone to take care of their matters, so that his concern and attention be devoted to performance of the pilgrimage.

6. Taking a convenient journey and good, halal provision. For provision obtained through haram is from matters that cause one's worship not to be accepted. It is related from At-Tabarani in a marfoo` tradition, “When a person leaves for Hajj with good provision, places his foot in the stirrup (of his mount) and calls, “Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk” Here I am at Your service, O Allah! Here I am at Your service], he is called from the heavens: “Labbayka wa Sa`dayk [may your call be replied and happiness be your reward], your sustenance is halal, your journeying is halal, and your Hajj is accepted.” And when he leaves with corrupt provisions and places his foot in the stirrup (of his mount) and says, “Labbayk”, he is called from the heavens, “La Labbayka wa la sa`dayk dayk [may your call not be responded to and happiness not be your reward], your provision is haram, your sustenance is haram and your Hajj is not accepted.” (13)

Today we live at a time when haram earnings have become widespread, and when questionable wealth has increased, except for those that Allah has mercy upon. So let every servant fear His Lord and remember his saying, “Allah is Good (Tayyib) and does not accept except what is good.” (13)

It is recommended for a servant to increase one's halal provisions according to his abilities, so that one does not depend on others and in order to show kindness to the weak (by giving money in charity).

7. Selection of a righteous company that will help one in moments of weakness, remind him when he forgets, teach him when he does not know, order him to good and forbid him from evil. So let the servant beware of the following two types of companies: a corrupt company that leads to sinfulness and falsehood, and a company that spends its time in what brings no benefit in the hereafter.

8. Learning rules of Hajj and its manners, as well as rules related to travel, including al qasr (shortening prayers), al jam` (joining prayers), at tayammum, al mash (wiping) etc. The Prophet, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, said, “Whoever Allah wishes good, He gives him understanding of the Deen.” (14)

What helps a person in this is obtaining books and tapes by people of knowledge, and accompanying them while performing pilgrimage. Likewise, accompanying people who are familiar with places and times of different Hajj rituals.