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Hajj Organizers vs. the Man with the Crook

Jaabir, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said in a Hadeeth (narration) in which he described what he saw in Paradise and Hell during the eclipse prayer: “Hell was displayed to me and that is when you saw me moving backwards for fear that its heat might touch me. I saw therein a man with a crook dragging his intestines in the fire - he used to steal from the pilgrims with his crook. If he was discovered he would say, ‘It got caught on my crook’; but if he was not noticed then he would take it.” [Muslim]

In another narration, ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘Aas, may Allah be pleased with them, said that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “I saw a man with a crook reclining on his crook in Hell. He used to steal (the belongings) of pilgrims with his crook. If he was noticed he would say, ‘I am not stealing from you, but it got caught on my crook.’” [Ahmad]
In a third narration, ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘Aas, may Allah be pleased with them, said that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “…until I saw in it (Hell) a man with a crook, who used to steal from pilgrims with his crook, reclining on his crook in Hell saying ‘I am the thief with the crook.’” [An-Nasaa’i]
 
This man with the crook combined two grave sins: the sin of stealing plus the sin of transgressing against the visitors of the most Merciful. Yes, the one who performs Hajj or ‘Umrah is the visitor of Allah The Almighty. Ibn Khuzaymah, may Allah have mercy upon himtitled a chapter in his Saheeh indicating that pilgrims are the visitors of Allah The Almighty. Ibn Hibbaan, may Allah have mercy upon him, did the same and he cited the narrated Hadeeth on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “The guests of Allah are three: the one who is fighting in the Cause of Allah, the one who is performing Hajj and the one who is performing ‘Umrah.” [Ibn Hibbaan and An-Nasaa’i]
 
Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “The one who goes to fight in the Cause of Allah, the one who is performing Hajj and the one who is performing ‘Umrah are the guests of Allah whom He Invited and they accepted His invitation and asked from Him and He Gave them.” [Ibn Maajah]
 
“Guests of Allah” means those who walk to Allah and go to Him since they intend -- by their travel -- the pleasure and reward of Allah.
 
Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Had those who reside known the right of the pilgrims upon them, they would have gone to them when they arrived and kissed their mounting animals because they are the delegates of all people to Allah The Almighty.” [Al-Bayhaqi]
 
Once Al-Husayn bin ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, met pilgrims who said, “We want to go to Makkah.” He told them, “You are visitors of Allah. So, when you reach Makkah ask Allah for all your needs.” [Ibn Abi Shaybah]
 
Let us ponder on this following great Qudsi Hadeeth. Abu Sa‘eed Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Allah The Almighty said: ‘A slave whose body I made healthy for him and increased his provision, and five years pass without him visiting Me; indeed, he is deprived.’” [Ibn Hibbaan and Al-Bayhaqi]
 
Pilgrims are the visitors of Allah. They travel seeking the reward of Allah The Almighty and leave for His Sacred House which is made a place of return and security for people as Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And [mention] when We made the House a place of return for the people and [a place of] security.} [Quran 2:125] that is to say that people feel secure and safe for their souls and properties.
 
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, pointed out that robbing a pilgrim is a sin and a shame:
 
‘Abdullaah bin ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said on the pulpit: “May Allah forgive the tribe of Ghifaar! And may Allah save the tribe of Aslam! The tribe of ‘Usayyah have disobeyed Allah and His Messenger.” [Al-Bukhari]
 
Ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy upon him, said in Fat-h Al-Baari, “Banu Ghifaar used to rob pilgrims during the pre-Islamic era, so the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, supplicated Allah for them after their reverting to Islam in order to have their shame removed.”
 
Although “Reverting to Islam wipes out the sins committed before it,” the Prophet’s asking Allah The Almighty to forgive the tribe of Ghifaar after they reverted to Islam indicates how shameful and grave their sin was as Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {and (you) thought it was insignificant while it was, in the Sight of Allah, tremendous.} [Quran 24:15]
 
The clever thief and the organizers of Hajj campaigns:
 
Beware and contemplate… the man with the crook who is mentioned in the Hadeeth is what modern law calls “the clever thief”. He does not kill or physically harm anyone. He does not burglarize any building or break its locks. He does not carry a weapon to threaten and terrify those whom he robs. However, he commits a grave sin because he transgresses against the visitors of Allah The Almighty. This is a very heinous crime which exceeds the crime of theft. Accordingly, those who organize Hajj campaigns should beware of being gathered on the Day of Resurrection with the man of the crook if they transgress against pilgrims by taking their money unjustly. For example, they may promise the pilgrims services and advantages to be delivered in Hajj whereas these promises are mere lies to steal from them and usurp their money.
 
Flag of the angel and flag of the devil:
 
Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “No one comes out of his home but there are two flags in his hand: a flag that is held by an angel and a flag that is held by a devil. If he goes out for whatever pleases Allah The Almighty, the angel will follow him and he will remain under the flag of the angel until he returns home. If he goes out for whatever displeases Allah, the devil will follow him and he will remain under the flag of the devil until he returns home.” [Ahmad]
 
Hence, those who go out to perform Hajj or in the service of pilgrims enjoy the shade of the angel’s flag. It is a magnificent pride and honor and a great reward. On the other hand, those who go out for the sake of robbing pilgrims and usurping their money are wretched under the flag of Satan. What a humiliation, and what a sin and punishment!
 
Beware of consuming any ill-gotten gain:
 
The one who used to steal from the pilgrims with his crook will drag his intestines in Hell. Why will he drag his intestines and not any other part of his body in Hell?
 
That is because the intestines are the resting place of the ill-gotten gains which he made out of stealing from pilgrims. It is from that ill-gotten food that his flesh grew on and with which his body became strong. Jundub bin ‘Abdullaah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that he heard the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, saying: “The first thing to rot in the human’s body after death will be his abdomen, so let him only eat food from lawful gains.” [Al-Bukhari]
 
In this Hadeeth, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, pointed out that the first thing to rot after the person’s death is the abdomen. He urges us to eat only what is gained by lawful means so that our end will not be like that of the man with the crook who filled his stomach with ill-gotten gains. Ka‘b bin ‘Ujrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said to him: “O Ka‘b ibn ‘Ujrah, no flesh grows that is nourished by unlawful gain but Hell is more befitting for it.” [At-Tirmithi]
 
There is no blessing in unlawful gains and the person who consumes it will not find rest in this worldly life, and in the Hereafter his end will be Hell.

Tuesday 26/10/2010

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