The Path

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar radiyalaahu anhuma had mentioned, "Whoever wishes to follow the way of another, should follow the ways of those who have passed away. These were the companions of Muhammad sallalaahu alayhi wassalam, who were the best people of this Ummah. Their hearts were most pious, their knowledge was deepest and they were least pretentious. They were people whom Allah Ta'ala had chosen to be companions of His Nabi sallalaahu alayhi wassalam and for the transmission of His Deen. You people should emulate their character and mannerisms. By the Rabb of the Kaabah! The Sahabah radiyalaahu anhum of Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam were correctly guided."

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Journey Towards Al-Khaliq - Part 12

I spend a lot of time by simply looking at the Ka'abah. I would sat down leaning forward close against the railing on the top floor of Masjidil Haram watching thousands of hajis circumbulating the Holy Ka'abah. It was mainly due to my laziness, but never lost my hope in getting rewards from Allah Ta'ala. 

Keeping on reading Fadha'il Hajj had helped me a lot. In 45 days of my hajj journey, sometimes laziness overcame me. Alhamdulillah, by the grace of Allah, the kitaab had kept me going. In one hadith, Hazrat Ibn Abbas radiyalaahu anhu reports that the Messenger of Allah said, "One hundred and twenty mercies descend upon the Ka'abah every day and night; sixty for those performing tawaaf, forty for those performing solaah and twenty for those merely looking at Ka'abah." Merely looking at the Ka'abah is a form of Ibadaah. Hazrat Saeed ibn Musayyib rahmatullah alayhi the well-known Tab'iee use to say that whoever merely looks at the Ka'abah with complete faith, becomes so cleansed of his sins as the day he was born. Subhanallah! How great is the mercy of Allah to this ummah!

In the midst of thousands of pilgrims encircling the Ka'abah, I caught a glimpsed of a towering man walking slowly towards Hajarul Aswad assisted by two men. It was a unique scene. The people made way for the towering man approaching the Hajarul Aswad. Normal men's height only barely reached his waist. I recognised the towering man from a news report I read before. At 7' 8", Haji Alam Channa of Sindh, Pakistan, the tallest man in the world at the time, kissed the Hajarul Aswad with much difficulty.

Friday, 14 January 2011

The Journey Towards Al-Khaliq - Part 11

When I first arrived in Makkah a couple of weeks before wukuf at the Plains of Arafah, performing tawaf around the Kabaah at the ground floor square was an uphill task at any time with thousands of people cramming at one place. It was alarming and distressful to watch hundreds of people tried to squeezed in the corner of the Kaabah where Hajarul Aswad or the Black Stone is situated.  No doubt the kissing of Hajarul Aswad is a sunnah and a gesture of love to the Prophet sallalaahu alayhi wassalam.  But how could those people justify the hardship caused by them to others when they forced their way through to the corner?

At this point, I have to reveal a despicable violation by certain few hajj pilgrims, right in front of the house of Allah.  It is not to my enjoyment to bring out into open something that could disgrace other hajj pilgrims, but I consider it something beyond contempt that all of us should avoid when, by the grace of Allah, we are accepted to perform hajj or umrah. A handful Indonesian brothers, without shame, had taken advantage of the hajj season to provide an unsanctioned services of getting women pilgrims to kiss the Hajarul Aswad. It is not as honourable as it sound, in fact the manner in which they provide the so-called services was just simply tastless and nasty. 

First, two men would approach women hujjazs to provide 'assistance' for them to kiss the Hajarul Aswad for a fee. An over-enthusiastic woman who agreed to their proposal would then be forcefully pushed towards the corner of the Kaabah, sandwiched between two men. She would have to hug from behind the man in front of her, whilst the man behind her would tightly hug her. I've seen a couple of women were in terrifying tears while being pushed forward without being able to back-off. Another woman was being pulled out by another couple of pervert men (perhaps after managing to kiss the Black Stone) in a condition that her hijab was pulled off and her hair disheveled. Once I walked near two men who were negotiating the service and I could not help but sternly rebuked the two Indonesian men. What a shameful act to promote!

May Allah Ta'ala have mercy on us all.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Journey Towards Al-Khaliq - Part 10

Up to the time of hajj, I had always been comfortable wearing only Pakistani kurta (shalwar and kamis). Only after hajj, I started to wear jubah as well. Hence, the whole time when I was performing hajj that year, I had only wore kurta whenever I was not in ihraam. It was rather amusing that I had been stopped a couple of time in Makkah by the Masjid al-Haram's security men, when I walked holding hands with my wife. On both occasions, they were shouting, "Haram! Haram!" causing other peoples' attention towards us. Apparently, the security men had mistaken me as a Pakistani Pushtun man holding hands with a non-mahram Malaysian woman. The fact that my wife wore white hijab that has a word "Malaysia" spelled in Arabic letters at the back of her head also contributed to the confusion. 

On the first occasion, I tried in vain explaining to them our relationship as husband and wife from the same country. Even the stainless steel chain on my wrist with the word "Malaysia" that all Malaysian hajj pilgrims were required to wear as an identification would not convinced them of my identity.  Only after I showed them a hajj identity card that has a photo of me did they notice the truth. Well, on the second occasion, I had the ID well-prepared and straight away showed it to them. And on both occasions they blushingly offered kind words of apology to us for the mistake. It was hilarious, really. 

The ulama' say that when Allah Ta'ala gave the glad tiding to Ibrahim alayhi salam about the coming of his first son to be born, Ismail alayhi salam, through His malaikat (angels), they told Ibrahim alayhi salam that his wife would bear a son whom the called "haleem"; the forbearing son. Certainly true to their status, the Arabs, the descendants of Ismail alayhi salam, are charitable people, most clement and considerate, patient and thoughtful towards millions of the hajj pilgrims that poured into Hijjaz every year. They, the Arabs, are certainly most suitable to be the hosts and guardians of the two holy cities.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Journey Towards Al-Khaliq - Part 9

In Makkah, the fitnah of television set in each and every hotel rooms was indeed menacing and alarming. Even Madinah, the city of our beloved Prophet sallalaahu alayhi wassalam was not spared of the raging fitnah. 

The non-believers are prohibited from entering the holy lands of Makkah Mukarammah and Madinah Munawarrah. However, the enemies of Islam had sketched a master plan to destroy the sanctity of our holy lands. Though unable to be physically present at the holy cities, they seemed to had reached their goal by filing the holy cities with harmful and deleterious products - the most damning of all are television sets. They had cracked their heads for so long, thinking how to corrupt the minds of Muslims all over the world, even at their centre of devotion, during the acts of worship that suppose to be the harvest of piety. It looks like their strive and struggle had achieved fruitful results now that just a few metres away from the entrances of Masjid al-Haram, from every angles, vileness, indecency and vulgarity are being played and watched over the television sets in the premises surrounding the Masjid al-Haram.

Thus, the very moment that we discovered a television set was placed on the wall  in each room in our hotel in Makkah, we resolved amongst us karkuns that everyone need to be told of its evil. Each and everyone of us would start among their respective room-mates. We started to convey the message to our room-mates of the fact that although a single good deed practiced in Makkah Mukarramah would equal 100,000 thousand good deeds practiced elsewhere, it was utmost important also to restraint ourselves from doing even a single bad deed, as it would also equal 100,000 bad deeds practiced elsewhere. Alhamdulillah, most of the hujjazs in our group shared our concern except for only a handful addicts who could not seem to resist the impulsion for the small screen.

As for me, nothing was more captivating than watching Pok Soh smiled broadly whilst I pushed him on a wheelchair towards Masjid al-Haram, with my wife pushing Mok Su's wheelchair, tailing not far behind, across a sea of devotees. Sometimes I would giggle with my wife whenever we heard Pok Soh mumbled, "Please don't trample me. I'm just a small-sized man." Probably the scene I cherished most was when. in one occasion, Pok Soh was carried on a stretcher by two strong and tall dark African men on their shoulders making tawaf around the Kaabah.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

The Journey Towards Al-Khaliq - Part 8

Every morning after subuh prayer I would rush back to the residential hotel. We would gather in a room that we had collectively agreed upon for our gathering place every morning for our daily mesywarah or consultation. Before the consultation started, someone would deliver an early morning bayan or a talk exhorting the listeners for the effort on deen. As the room was just enough to accommodate 4 beds, sometimes the many people that attended the morning consultation would spilled outside the room. Blankets were spread on the floor for us all to sit. We took turn between ourselves in conducting the consultation. The consultation generally discussed to what extent our effort in the work of dakwah and tabligh among the hujjazs in Makkah for the last 24 hours, and what would be the extent of our effort for the next 24 hours. It was also decided who would conduct the daily reading of the kitaab (book) Fadha'il Haji, Umrah and Ziyarat by Sheikhul Hadith Hazrat Maulana Zakariyya Kandhlawi rahmatullahu alayhi, and who will deliver the early morning bayan the next morning.

At approximately 10am every morning, we would spread blankets on the floor outside an appointed room and one of us would begin reading the Fadha'il Hajj. After sometime, a pair of us would go from room to room exhorting and urging the hujjazs to join in the assembly of the reading of hadiths relating to the virtuous deeds of hajj, umrah and ziyarat. A few minutes after the pair had join back the assembly, another pair would continue to make a round from room to room urging the same thing from the hujjazs.  The rounds would continue until the assembly dispersed after about 2 hours for everyone to get prepared for midday solaah. The assembly would usually attracted a handsome number of hujjazs sitting in the circle of ta'leem.Sometimes during the rounds, we learnt that a hajji was sick and we would find time to visit him again later. These are the daily routines of our effort. My wife, on the other hand, would also read the Fadha'il Hajj to her room mates at an appointed time daily in her room. Alhamdulillah, we find ourselves absorbed and occupied during the whole duration of our journey for hajj. This was only due to the great blessing from Allah Most High.

One of my room mates was a hardcore PAS or Islamic Party of Malaysia's member. He used to say in amazement that even in Makkah and Madinah the tablighis were on the move with their programmes. His words caused a broad smile on my face although they were not actually 'programmes'. In fact, they were aamal or devine practices that Rasulullah sallalaahu alayhi wassalam and his blessed Companions radiyalaahu anhum had taught and passed on to the ummah after them.