Beloved Circle Guides and Dervishes,
May Allah the Generous multiply blessings upon you in these days of Hajj.
A few words on the greatness of Hajj….
Life is hajj.
The holy way of life is hajj
The hajj is the lover’s journey.
The hajj is the essence of life, a level that we cannot necessarily maintain every day.
Allah has ordained the Hajj for us as a way of extracting this essence of our life and sealing it upon our soul.
Assuming the pilgrim’s dress means that we enter a level of behavior that is non-violent, both in thought and action. We are in the ‘haram’ of Allah, the sacred precincts of Allah where we do not kill game or speak, think or act violently.
The Prophet of Allah, pbuh, has said that every prophet has their ‘white robed ones’, their ‘hawariyun.’
Ibn Abbas reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “No good deeds are better than what is done in these first ten days of Dhul Hijjah.”
Please forgive me for not alerting you to the intense importance of these first ten days of this month of Hajj. I have wanted to write something but the subject is so overwhelming and awesome that I have not been able to.
Insha’allah the Pirs have wrapped us in the white garbs of pilgrims, the hawariyun, and guided our hearts to pay attention to details of our behavior, inner and outer. And insha’allah through their grace we have been brought closer to Allah’s Pleasure, the greatest, whether we were aware of the importance of these days or not. A mystic community is guided, simply through the grace bestowed upon Allah’s friends, the Pirs, even though things might not be known overtly.
Following is a straightforward account, although probably much abbreviated, of the beloved Prophet’s Farewell Hajj. It is borrowed from a website called Darul Ihsan which I came across on the internet. I do not know anything else about it apart from this account.
10 years after his migration from Mecca to Medina, the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) performed his Hajj, which came to be known as the "Hajj of Farewell." The Prophet told his followers: "Learn how to perform Hajj, as after this year I may not perform it." As the news spread around, people from Medina and nearby areas started assembling there to accompany the Prophet.
On the afternoon of Thursday, 24 Dhul Qada (the month preceding Hajj month), 10 AH, the Prophet mounted his she-camel to set out for Makkah. A multitude of people, over 100,000 in number, accompanied him. Jabir, a Companion of the Prophet said, "I could see people as far as my eyes could see." On the way more people joined the caravan. When the Prophet reached a place called Dhul Hulaifa, he spent the night there and in the morning took a bath and put on Ihram, the pilgrims’ dress, made up of two unstitched sheets. Afterwards he moved towards Mecca saying the talbiyah prayer: "Here I am, O Allah, Here I am at Your service! You have no partner, here I am. All praise, grace and dominion belongs to You. You have no partner." The multitude joined him in repeating these words.
After travelling for nine days, the Prophet reached Mecca on 4 Dhul Hijjah. He first went to the Sacred Mosque. On seeing the Kabah, he said: "O Allah! increase the greatness and sublimity of Your House." And further added, "O Allah, You are peace and with You is peace. Our Lord, keep us alive with peace." Afterwards he performed tawaf—circumabulating the Kabah seven times. As he did this, he kept calling upon God: "Our Lord, give us goodness in this world and goodness in the Hereafter, and keep us safe from the fire of purification." When he had finished going round the Kabah, he prayed two rakat at the Maqam Ibrahim, the Station of Abraham, and proceeded to the Black Stone and kissed it. Then he moved towards Safa, saying that Safa and Marwa were one of the signs of Allah. He went up the Safa hill, till he could see the Kabah.
The Prophet walked briskly between the two hills seven times and ended the walk at Marwa. Some of the seven laps he did on camel-back. Perhaps he did so that people could see him from a distance. The Prophet was staying in Mecca at a place called al-Bath. After staying there for four days, he moved to Mina on 8 Dhul Hijjah and the next morning, he moved off towards Arafat. At Arafat, he stayed in a small tent in the Arnah valley. In the afternoon he rode his she-camel as far as the middle part of the Arafat valley. Here, mounted on his she-camel, he gave a sermon which is known as the Sermon of the Farewell Hajj. Today, at this very spot there stands a mosque by the name of Namirah.
In his message to humanity, the Prophet emphasized the highest moral values. Here the Prophet announced: "No Arab is superior to a non-Arab and no non-Arab is superior to an Arab. No black man is superior to a red man and no red man is superior to a black, except through taqwa or fear of Allah. The most noble among you is the one who is most deeply conscious of God."
While the Prophet was praying here, the very last verse of the Qur’an was revealed to him, and so the Holy Book was completed.
This day I have perfected your religion for you, and I have completed My blessing and favor upon you, and I have chosen as your religion submission to Me.” 5:3
After delivering the sermon, the Prophet performed two prayers together—Zuhr and Asr. After prayers, the Prophet came to the spot in Arafat which known as the "standing place". Here, mounted on his she-camel, the Prophet prayed to his Lord until sunset. He said that the prayer of this day was the best of all prayers. He prayed intensely, and while he was praying the people around him were praying, some standing, some mounted on their animals—weeping and crying to their Lord for His favors, asking for forgiveness and craving His blessing. It was such a great moment that the Prophet said, "Arafat is Hajj." He prayed, "O Allah, You are listening to me. You are seeing me. You are aware of my hidden and open affairs. I am lowly and needy, I am pleading to You. Asking your protection..."
After sunset, the Prophet rode towards Muzdalifa. He asked Usama ibn Zayd to ride his camel too. He went on saying Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk—"Here I am O Lord, Here I am". And the people were chanting the same. The Prophet asked people not to run, but to move slowly and calmly. On reaching Muzdalifa, the Prophet asked his Companion, Bilal to give the call for prayers. There he said the Maghrib and the Isha prayer together. The Prophet took rest at night and in the morning after praying, he went towards a place called Mashar Haram where he offered more prayers. Before sunrise, the Prophet left Muzdalifah for Mina, after taking seven small pebbles from there. On the way, passing through the valley of Muhssar, he asked people to move fast, as this was the place, where the People of the Elephant, who came to destroy the Kabah, were punished by Allah. This incident happened in the year in which the Prophet was born. Riding on, he reached the Jamarah, the three pillars at Mina, at which he cast seven pebbles, saying Allahu Akbar each time. The Prophet gave his second sermon at Mina, which was similar to the previous one at Arafat. Afterwards the Prophet offered his sacrifices, shaved his head and took off the ihram—the pilgrims’ dress. That was the day of the feast—(today we remember that day as Id al-Adha).
On the same day, the Prophet rode to Mecca, performed Tawaf, drank water at Zamzam and returned to Mina. At Mina people came to him, asking many questions about the pilgrimage. Some said, "I delayed in doing so and so," or "I performed something before it was due," and so on. But the Prophet would tell them: "No objection, no objection! Objections are only for the person who wrongfully violates the honor of his fellow human being."
At Mina the Prophet spent three more days for the throwing of stones. In the afternoon of Tuesday, the Prophet moved to Mecca, where he stayed in a tent and slept briefly. Before the morning prayer, he went to the Sacred Mosque and performed the Tawaf of Farewell.
The Prophet stayed in Mecca during Hajj for 10 days. Afterwards he left for Medina. At a place called, Dhul Hulaifa he rested for the night, and at the sunrise, entered his beloved city—Medina, the Radiant. When he first saw the city dwellings from a distance, words of praise started pouring from his lips: "Allah is most High. There is no deity save Him. He is One. No one is His partner. He is Lord of everything. All praise belongs to Him and He empowers all things. We are returning repentant, praying, prostrating ourselves, praising our Lord. Allah has kept His promise."
The Prophet passed away two months after performing his Hajj.
May our All Merciful Lord and Lover include us in the Hajj of our beloved Prophet and his wives and companions.
Insha’allah we will send another letter for the Day of Arafat, which is this Monday.
What the Prophet, may he be enveloped in divine peace, has said of prayer on the Day of Arafat,
The best of supplications is the supplication on the day of Aarafat, and the best which I and the Prophets before me have said is:
“One Reality alone exists, without any other secondary reality. To that One, Hu, belongs the entire Creation and all sovereignty within it. The praise and the glory arising from all beings in Creation flows to that One alone, all Powerful and Merciful.”
Laa ilaaha ill-allaahu, waḥdahu laa shareeka lah, lahul-mulku wa lahul-ḥamdu, wa huwa ‛alaa kulli shay’in qadeer