Tag Archives: humbleness

Ihram

Although clichéd, it truly is the best way to begin with…So here we go:

As we have studied in the article titled “Components of Hajj” we know that Ihram is the first pillar of Hajj, therefore common sense dictates us to realize that our first step for performing Hajj would be to assume Ihram.

In the previous article, we already discussed the sites wherein Ihram has to be assumed from, so In Sha Allah in this article we shall see how is Ihram assumed.

Now, most probably, most of you may already know how to do this, but I still urge you to continue reading, not only because I want you to read this article, written by yours truly, but also, maybe just maybe, you may come across something that you weren’t aware of, and reading an Islamic article is always beneficial. Think about the 101 times you spent reading the lamest jokes ever witnessed on planet Earth! Remember reading this with the correct intention will enable you to get ajar In Sha Allah.

Now, enough with the lecturing and now to the topic of interest:

When we think about Ihram, the first picture that floods our minds are that of white unstitched clothes (something which I used to unfortunately think of as large towels when I was young…) However, ihram does not mean donning on unstitched white clothes, rather this is one of the actions that one does to assume Ihram. Ihram is the ritual consecration either during Hajj or Umrah and is defined as the “intention” to start the rites.

Ihram is derived from the Arabic word “haram,” which means “forbidden” or “prohibited.” Now I am certain we don’t need really need Mr. Sherlock Holmes to conjecture that it is so named because there are certain acts that are prohibited in the state of Ihram, although they are permissible when not in Ihram, we shall mention those actions in a while.

الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَاتٌ ۚ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ ۗ وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّهُ ۗ وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَىٰ ۚ وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ

“Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do – Allah knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding.” (Al-Baqarah, 2:197)

Now it is important to realize that there are certain pre-requisites for assuming Ihram. To illustrate this Shaykhul- Islam Ibn Taiymiyyah said:

A man is not considered in a state of Ihram once he intends, with his heart, to perform Hajj, for the intention is already in his heart since he has left his hometown (heading for Makkah). So there must be specific words or deeds through which he becomes in a state of Ihram.”

There are mainly 4 pre-requisites before assuming Ihram:

By fulfilling the aforesaid prerequisites, a pilgrim is thus prepared to be in a state of Ihram, but such acts themselves are not called Ihram as many people mistakenly believe. Thus, a pilgrim is not considered to be in a state of Ihram just by wearing the aforementioned clothing of Ihram without having the intention of starting performing the rites of Hajj or Umrah.

As for a female Muhrim, she may wear whatever cloth she likes black or any other color, so long as she avoids wanton display (tabarruj) or clothes of fame and vanity such as tight, see-through, short, thin or decorated clothes. Women must also be careful to avoid clothes that resemble the clothes of men or the kuffaar.
However, she isn’t permitted to wear a burqa (a veil that covers the face and has 2 eyeholes for vision). In this case, the lady covers her face with other things such as a khimar (shawl like clothing that covers the head and shoulders) and a gown.
Moreover the female Muhrim shouldn’t wear gloves

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin: Riders would pass us when we accompanied the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) while we were in the sacred state (wearing ihram). When they came by us, one of us would let down her outer garment from her head over her face, and when they had passed on, we would have uncover our faces.

A pilgrim is free to choose either of the 3 kinds of Ihram

Steps of Assuming Ihram:

  1. The intention:
    The intention for Ihram is made in the heart, and accompanied by the following wordings:

  • The one who is performing Hajj or Umrah on behalf of someone else should say: “Labbayka an Fulaan” (I am here at the service of so and so) and if he has forgotten their name, he can say “for the one who assigned me.”
  1. If one fears that he or she will not complete the Umrah or Hajj due to illness, he should say:

Allaahumma mahillee haithu habastanee.

O Allah, my place is wherever you prevent me.

  • The benefit of making this condition upon entering the state of Ihram is that if the person is unable to complete his Hajj then he can discontinue (leave the state of Ihram) and he does not have to expiate for it, there is no recommendatory sacrifice due upon him and there is no sin on him.
  • It is not lawful for the pilgrim to make a condition unless he fears that something will prevent him from completing the ritual
  • Making a condition is done when entering the state of Ihram and it must be uttered, as merely having the intention does not suffice.
  • It is not permissible to make the condition a long period after entering the state of Ihram.
  1. Then he should stand facing the Qiblah and say

اللَّهُمَّ حِجَّةٌ لاَ رِيَاءَ فِيهَا وَلاَ سُمْعَة ‏‏
“Allaahumma haadhihi hijjah laa riyaa’a fiha wa la sum’ah
(O Allah, this is a pilgrimage in which there is no showing off or seeking reputation).”

The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him), was reciting this: “O Allah make this Hajj one that has no show or fame.”

  1. Then he should chant the Talbiyah.
  • The virtue of saying the talbiyah is indeed great as we derive form the following hadith:

Sahl bin Sa’d narrated that: The Messenger of Allah said:
“There is no Muslim who says the Talbiyah except that – on his right and left, until the end of the land, from here to there – the rocks, or trees, or mud say the Talbiyah.”

It will be chanted by everything on his right and his left, especially when he ascends or descends somewhere

  • What the Talbiyah means is responding to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, because the word “labbayk” means: I am responding to You. He should continue reciting the Talbiyah until he begins the tawaaf of umrah
  • And the one saying the Talbiyah is ORDERED to raise his voice with it, as the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) said:

“Jibreel came to me and ordered me to order my companions and those with me to raise their voices with Talbiyah

A woman should recite in such a manner that those who are beside her can hear it, unless there is a man beside her who is not one of her mahrams, in which case she should recite it silently.

  • The muhrim (person who has entered Ihram) should recite the Talbiyah a great deal, especially when circumstances and times change, such as when going up to a high place or going down to a low place, or when night or day begin
  • The one performing Umrah should discontinue the Talbiyah when starting Tawaaf (circumambulating the Ka’bah) and the pilgrim should stop before throwing pebbles at Jamrat Al-‘Aqabah.

The Talbiyah is:

Labbaik allaahumma labbaik labbaika laa shareeka laka labbaik innal hamda wan ni’mata laka wal mulka laa shareeka laka

Here I am O Allah, here I am, there is no partner for You, here I am, Verily all praise is for You, and every bounty is from You, and all dominion is Yours – You have no partner.

And now finally to the last topic of this article. I am aware that this article was extremely long, but Ihram is a long topic, so please be patient and may Allah reward you in quest of knowledge.

The last thing that we shall be talking about are the acts that are forbidden in Ihram,

Abstaining from the actions that are unlawful during Ihram is a form of honoring Allah’s sacred ordinances, some of these include:

And with this we come to our long awaited conclusion

I applaud all those who have reached it till here and pray to Allah that he rewards you abundantly for your patience and earnestness.

Watch out for the next article in the Hajj series.

Lack of Composure in Prayer

 

pray

Khushu’ or humility in the prayer, is of utmost importance and integral to the validity of one’s prayer.  We rush through the prayer eager to get it over and done, as though it is a heavy burden weighing down on our backs.

How can our worries end, if we don’t communicate with Allah properly? We stand before the greatest of all kings, the king of all kings, yet we do not give Him his due attention. We stand on the prayer mat for a few short minutes, yet somehow manage to go shopping, browsing through the isles, we even pop into the bank, check our accounts, do the washing up and clean our houses all whilst we stand before our Creator. Are we not ashamed?!

I’m not saying Khushu’ is easy to achieve. No. Even the most righteous of our salaf struggled to attain Khushu’, but they put the effort in, and they were rewarded, by tasting the sweetness of iman. May Allah reward them for their devotion. Khinzib and his associates work tirelessly to distract us from our Salaah, he has been assigned specifically for the task and he does not give us a break. Nevertheless, we should take pride in our Salaah and enjoy every moment of it.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘prayer was made the coolness of my eyes.” (Ahmad and An-Nisa’i) In Salaah one finds peace and tranquility; it is a break from the rat race, from the rushing to and fro.

One who does not observe his prayers with the correct etiquettes, is referred to as stealing from his prayer. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “‘the worst type of thief, is the one who steals from his prayer.’ The people asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, how can one steal from his prayer?’ He said, ‘by not doing ruku’ and sujood properly.’” (Ahmad 5/310, Saheeh Al-Jami’ no 997)

When one prays he should allow his bones time to settle with each move he makes. When he bows (ruku’) he should ensure that his back is flat and leveled, such that one is able to put a glass of water without it spilling over. He should hold his position long enough for him to recite the recommended supplications without rushing them. Similarly, when one prostrates in Sajdah, he should be sure that the seven parts of his body required to touch the ground do so, and he should pause long enough for him to supplicate Allah.

Posture is one of the pillars of the Salaah, and the Prophet warned us severely when he said, “a man’s prayer is not good enough until his back is straight in ruku’ and sujood.” (Abu Dawud 1/533, and Saheeh Al-Jami’ number 7224)

The Prophet compared one who bows and prostrates hurriedly to a crow pecking. Abu Abdullah Al-Ash’ari reported that the Prophet led his companions in prayer, then he sat with a group of them. A man came in and began praying, but made his movements rapid. The Prophet commented saying, “do you see this? Whoever dies having done this has died outside the community of Muhammad and his prayer is like a crow pecking blood. The person who bows and then pecks in his sujood is like a hungry man who eats no more than one or two dates; what good will that do to him?”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) disassociated himself from one who prays as such!

However, posture is not limited to ruku’ and sujood. Your posture throughout the entire Salaah has to be in accordance with the Sunnah.

Brothers and Sisters, many of us have a busy day scheduled, and we rush our Salaah. I urge you to take heed; plan your day and chores around your Salaah, not your Salaah around your day. Don’t squeeze in your Salaah, like it is an inconvenience. We were created for, and our sole purpose is to worship Allah, and Salaah is the core of that worship. Pray like you mean it. I’m sure we want to be amongst the Ummah of Muhammad, and we love him dearly, but what good is love without action? Pray as the Prophet taught us to pray with Khushu’. Ramadaan is here, and through the Taraweeh we stand long hours. So why not carry on that good, by keeping up Salaah with beautiful recitation and increased concentration?

I leave you with one last point, The Prophet once saw a man praying hurriedly. The man completed his prayer and approached the Prophet. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “go back and repeat your prayer, for you have not prayed.’ The man again prayed, and came to Rasoolullah, the Prophet repeated his instruction, and again the same thing happened. (Bukhari and Muslim) The Prophet was not shy to tell the man to repeat his prayer, due to the defects in it, because he rushed.

My question is, what would the Prophet say to us if he saw the way we prayed? How many times would he ask us to repeat our Salaah?