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Acts of Worship New Muslims

The Ka`bah: History and Significance

Kabah

The Ka`bah was the focal point from where this preaching was spread across the world, and the worship rites of Hajj were introduced

 

It was in Makkah that Ibrahim and his son built the holy Ka`bah, the center of the Islamic movement, on a site chosen by Allah Himself. This building was not intended for worship only, as mosques are; its purpose was to act as the center for spreading the universal movement of Islam, a world-wide gathering point for believers in the One God to assemble to worship Allah in congregation and go back to their respective countries carrying with them the message of Islam.

This was the assembly which was named Hajj. Exactly how this center was constructed, with what hopes and prayers both father and son raised its walls, and how Hajj was initiated are described thus in the Qur’an:

The first House ever set up for mankind was indeed that at Bakkah (Makkah), a blessed place, and a guidance unto all beings; wherein are clear signs – the place whereon Ibrahim stood; and whosoever enters it finds peace. (Aal `Imran 3:96, 97)

Have they not seen that We have made the sanctuary immune (from violence), while men are being carried away by force all around them. (Al-`Ankabut 29:67)

Peace always reigned in and around the Ka`bah, when all around it were rampant plunder, murder, devastation, conflict, and warfare – such was its sanctity that even the Bedouins who respected no law, if they detected in its precincts the murderer of even their father, did not dare to touch him.

Prayers of Ibrahim

Look at Ibrahim’s prayers to find out what the real purpose and significance of Hajj is:

And when We made the House (at Makkah) a resort for mankind and sanctuary, (saying): Take as your place of worship the place where Abraham stood (to pray). And We imposed a duty upon Abraham and Ishmael, (saying): Purify My house for those who go around and those who meditate therein and those who bow down and prostrate themselves (in worship), and when Abraham prayed: My Lord! Make this a region of security and bestow upon its people fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day…

And remember Abraham and Isma`il raised the foundations of the House (With this prayer): “Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us: For You are the All-Hearing, the All-knowing.

Our Lord! Make of us Muslims, bowing to You, and of our progeny a people Muslim, bowing to You; and show us our place for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us (in Mercy); for You are the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.

Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall rehearse Thy Signs to them and instruct them in scripture and wisdom, and sanctify them: For Thou art the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (Al-Baqarah 2:125-129)

And in another surah:

Remember Abraham said: “O my Lord! make this city one of peace and security: and preserve me and my sons from worshipping idols.

O my Lord! They have indeed led astray many among mankind; He then who follows my (ways) is of me, and he that disobeys me,- but You are indeed Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Your Sacred House; in order, O our Lord, that they may establish regular prayer: so fill the hearts of some among men with love towards them, and feed them with fruits: so that they may give thanks.” (Ibrahim 14:35-37)

And when We assigned unto Ibrahim the place of the House, (We said): You shall not take any god beside Me, and purify My House for those who will walk around it and those who will stand, and those who will bow down and prostrate themselves. And proclaim unto mankind the Pilgrimage; and they will come unto you on foot and on every lean mount, they will come from every deep ravine, so that they may witness things that are of benefit to them, and mention God’s name during the days appointed over such heads of cattle He has provided them. Eat, then, thereof, and feed therewith the unfortunate poor. (Al-Hajj 22:26-28)

Brothers in Islam! This is the story of the beginning of that Hajj which is the fifth pillar of Islam. You now understand that Makkah was the headquarters for the mission of the first Prophet appointed to propagate the message of Islam.

The Ka`bah was the focal point from where this preaching was spread across the world, and the worship rites of Hajj were introduced so that all those who chose to live in surrender to God alone should belong to one center where they could assemble every year, and go around it again and again. Their lives of faith were to be like the wheel tied to and revolving around its axle.

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The article is an excerpt from Abul A`la Al-Mawdudi’s book “Let Us Be Muslims”. 

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Acts of Worship New Muslims

How Should I Be Spending These 10 Days Of Dhul-Hijjah?

Why are these 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah important? How should I be spending these 10 days?

These 10 days of are the best days of the year. They are even more sacred and rewarding than the last 10 days of Ramadan. An effort to increase good deeds is something every person must be doing. Why are these days so important? What are some of the thing I can be doing during these 10 days?

Ustadh Ammar Al-Shukry explains in the video below….

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Source: Faith IQ

 

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ABC's of Islam New Muslims

A Brief Guide to Hajj By E Da`wah Committee (EDC)

A Brief Guide to Hajj…

Islam organizes the spiritual and moral life of man as well as the practical side in order to live a normal balanced life. Every act of worship in Islam has a meaning, a purpose and a significance, and of great spiritual, moral, and physical benefits.

Hajj, one of the five main pillars of Islam, gives a specific and practical example of acts of worship in Islam. As a rich spiritual experience, Hajj has a great message and lessons for the benefit and well-being of man and all humanity, resulting in spiritual and behavioral development in the life of a Muslim.

Hajj is a life-time journey; if conducted properly, it will erase all sins of the pilgrim. So, every Muslim intending to undertake this journey should first learn well its rituals and how to perform them correctly.

The E-Da`wah Committee presents this brief guide to Hajj for those intending to make this life-time journey…

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Source: E-Da`wah Committee

 

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Acts of Worship New Muslims

The 5 Places of Miqat by E-Da`wah Committee (EDC)

Miqat is a place at a distance outside Makkah, which pilgrims must not cross before they are in a state of Ihram if they intend to enter Al-Masjid Al-Haram for Hajj or `Umrah.

Pilgrims go to different Miqats according to their different places around the world from which they head.

1- Zulhulaifah (Abyar `Ali Mosque)

It is almost 10 kilometers from Madinah, in the direction toward Makkah, and about 450 kilometers from Makkah. It is the miqat for those who live in Madinah and for those who approach Makkah from that direction.

So if your Hajj/`Umrah trip starts with visiting Madinah, no matter where you’re from, your Ihram starts from this miqat.

2- Zat `Irq

This miqat is about 94 kilometers towards the northeast side of Makkah. This is the miqat for the people of Iraq, Iran, and beyond.

3- Qarn Al-Manazil

It is a hilly place about 94 kilometers to the east of Makkah.

This is the miqat for the people of Najd, Kuwait and for those flying through the air space of that direction and those coming from Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and the surrounding areas.

4- Al-Juhfah

It is about 190 kilometers to the northwest of Makkah. This is the miqat for the people who come from the direction of Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Morocco, Spain and other countries from that direction.

5- Yalamlam

This one is a hilly area about 50 kilometers to the southeast of Makkah.

This is the miqat for the people of Yemen and others coming from that direction including the pilgrims from China, Japan, India, Pakistan, Malaysia who come by ship.


Source: E-Da`wah Committee

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New Muslims Pilgrimage

The Story of the Rites of Hajj (Pilgrimage in Islam)

By Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Al khalidi 

Hajar and Isma’il alone in the Desert

Pilgrimage is connected with Messenger Ibrahim (Khalil Al Rahman), his wife Hajar and his son Isma’il (PBUT). Prophet Ibrahim was inspired to leave both his wife and baby (Isma’il) alone in a deserted dry valley in Makkah (Ummul Qura). Ibrahim’s wife (Isma’il’s mother) was worried when Prophet Ibrahim intended to leave her alone with her baby; that is why she asked him if Allah (Exalted be He) commanded him to do so. When she became sure that Allah had inspired Ibrahim to leave them alone, she felt reassured and unconcerned.

However; no sooner had the water Ibrahim (PBUH) left for his wife and son been used up than the baby began crying out of thirst and hunger. That is why Hajar soon started looking for water to quench the thirst of her child. First, she mounted Safa Mountain and looked for water, but she saw no water from that direction; hence she ran toward Marwa Mountain and climbed it looking for a caravan or anybody carrying water.

The archangel Gabriel and the well of Zamzam

“..and We covenanted with Abraham and Isma´il, that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer).”

Unfortunately, she saw nothing there. She went back running to Mount Safa for the same purpose, but again she found nothing. The concerned kind mother repeated that for seven times without finding any drop of water. At that time, the Archangel Gabriel dug the earth with his heel or wing till water flowed from that place. Once Ismael’s mother saw that, she happily ran toward her son to make something like a basin around the water saying zummi, zummi; that is to say, keep constricted! Keep constricted! That is why it has been called Zamzam. However, there are other opinions about this.

Allah (Exalted be He) eternalizes those hastening races of the believing anxious mother who was worried about her son, and has kept the blessed Zamzam water all these long centuries for the Mekkans as well as the pilgrims to drink and carry portions of it to dear persons in their countries.

The greatest test ever!

Ibrahim (PBUH) was exposed to several severe Divine tests; however, he always proved to be a sincere great believer in his Lord. This time, he saw in a dream that he was slaughtering his dear son Isma’il. And since Prophets’ dreams are true, he intended to fulfill this dream and obey His Lord in spite of his great love to his son. Thus, Ibrahim and Isma’il were exposed to hard test when Ibrahim told Isma’il (PBUT) that he had to slaughter him. Isma’il passed the hard test successfully, when he surrendered to Allah’s will and told his father to carry out what he was inspired to do. What is more, he assured his father that he would be patient.

O my son! I have seen in a vision that I offer you in sacrifice: what is your view!(The son) said: “O my father! Do as you are commanded: you will find me, if Allah so wills, one practicing patience and constancy (Quran 37: 102)

Ibrahim stones the devil

When both father and son obeyed Allah and submitted to His will, they went out toward the sacrifice place to carry out the Divine command. On their way, the devil whispered to Ibrahim so as to bend him from executing the command of Allah on his beloved son, so Ibrahim (PBUH) threw the devil with seven gravels.  From this incident came Al-Aqabah in Mina (the big pillar—a ritual in Hajj where people throw stones at the place where the devil was when he spoke to Ibrahim

Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) went on accompanying his son to the sacrifice place so as to carry out the Divine command. Then, the devil appeared for the second time and whispered to Prophet Ibrahim; but again he rejected that and stoned the devil with seven gravels. This became Al-Jamra Al-Wusta (the Middle Pillar).

The devil insisted on misleading Ibrahim (PBUH); so it appeared to him for the third time, so that he might stop him from fulfilling His Lord’s command. However, Ibrahim, again, did not listen to the devil’s speaking, and stoned it with other seven gravels insisting on fulfilling His Lord’s revelation. This then became Al-Jamra Al-Sughra (the small Pillar).

At length, when they reached the sacrifice place Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice), then he passed the knife over Isma`il’s neck, but it did not cut him at all; as Allah (Exalted be He) stopped it to work, and ransomed Isma’il with a big ram coming down from heaven. Thus, from this incident pilgrims have to offer sacrifice as a part of Haj rituals till today.

So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice), We called out to him “O Abraham! “Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!” – thus indeed do We reward those who do right. For this was obviously a trial- And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice (Quran 37:103-107)

Rebuilding the Ka’bah

Then, Isma’il (PBUH) grew up and became a young man, he occupied a considerable position among the tribes that abode near Zamzam well.

Later, Allah (Exalted be He) authorized both Prophets to build up the Holy House of Allah (Al Ka’bah) upon its old bases and commanded them to purify the House of Allah and prepare it for those who perform tawaf or stay in it worshipping Allah or praying for Him.

“..and We covenanted with Abraham and Isma´il, that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer).”  (Quran 2:125)

Moreover, Allah (Exalted be He) has eternalized Hajer’s seven races between Safa and Marwah up till today. Thus, pilgrims follow the steps of Isma’il’s mother when they make the races between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah every time they come for Hajj or Umrah.

Likewise, Allah (Exalted be He) has eternalized what Prophet Ibrahim (the caring father) did when he threw seven gravels at the devil every time, of the three times, it appeared to him with the aim of persuading him not to accomplish the command of Allah.

Undoubtedly, these great incidents reflect the great faith Prophet Ibrahim, his son and wife enjoy within their hearts in spite of all the severe incidents they experienced. Besides, such incidents reveal the absolute wisdom and mercy of Allah upon Ibrahim, his son and wife as well as the pilgrims who visit the house of Allah and carry out the required rituals necessary for Hajj or Umrah.

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About the author:

Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Al khalidi is Researcher and translator, E L teacher and lecturer, an old member in the Islam Presentation Committee (IPC), Kuwait.

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