New Birth after Hajj

New Birth after Hajj
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In the previous article, we examined the idea of how the pilgrim strove against his self, received the provision of piety, spent money, sustained difficulties so as to get high degrees, and went back as the day that his mother gave birth to him with a white page free of sins. Now how could he blacken it with some sins or return to bad deeds that he has repented of after tasting the sweetness of obedience and worship?

How can the Muslim adhere to obedience and worship? How can he adhere to the way of uprightness and steadfastness? How can he preserve his new birth?

The one who is not a pilgrim has also strived in the first ten days (of Thul-Hijjah) to conclude the year with good deeds, then how can one keep doing them to have a good end?

I have mentioned some of these matters that help one keep doing this, such as sincerity, compliance with the sharia, having noble morals, seeking the provision of piety, striving against oneself, being keen on lawful earnings, seeking the provision of knowledge, having good friends, repenting, restoring the rights of people, and being keen on doing righteous deeds after doing acts of obedience.

When the pilgrim returns like a newborn individual, he should not surrender except to the command of Allah Almighty, apply nothing except what Allah Almighty has prescribed, adhere to nothing but to the Book of Allah Almighty, and follow nothing but the way of the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). He is a newborn individual. One should not follow the eastern way, be fond of man-made laws, and reject the Laws of Allah Almighty. One should not apply a western constitution but rather apply the rules of the Noble Quran and the Sunnah; commit oneself to drawing close to Allah Almighty by doing the obligations and supererogatory acts that Allah Almighty has enjoined on us, for they are the best thing that the slave may do to draw closer to his Master; and keep oneself away from religious innovations and renounce misdeeds as a whole. So if one deals in riba (interest), then let him know that Islam has prohibited it. Rather, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) affirmed such a fact in the farewell khutbah (sermon), in which he laid down the rules of the comprehensive Islamic methodology that befits all walks of life, such as rule, economy, supporting women, forbidding bloodshed, and preserving rights.

The pilgrim has learnt great lessons in his Hajj and thus one has to adhere to them after Hajj. He has been trained to organize his time and link it to performing prayers in their due times. One also has learnt, while performing the rituals of Hajj, the value of arrangements and preserving order. One has learnt that Muslims are a great power when they are united, then why should one not be keen on adopting intimacy and congregation? If the pilgrim has done a great deal of thikr (remembrance of Allah Almighty), supplication, and reciting the Quran, then he should know that this is the weapon of the believer. Therefore, he has to adhere to reciting the Book of Allah Almighty and applying the Sunnah of the beloved Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) so that one may surrender to the Command of Allah Almighty, feel proud of his religion and of being a Muslim, praise Allah Almighty for the favor of Islam, and prefer the judgment of Islam to anything else.

The pilgrim has learnt to submit himself to Allah Almighty in his Hajj; thus, one kisses a stone that neither benefits nor harms, only as a way of complying with the Sunnah of the beloved Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ); throws the pebbles; and circumambulates the sacred Ka‘bah that is built from stones. One does all such things to declare that he is a Muslim who submits himself to the Religion of Allah Almighty. So how can he dare to go against His commands? Allah Almighty says (what means): {And whoever submits his face to Allah while he is a doer of good – then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold. And to Allah will be the outcome of [all] matters.} [Quran 31:22]

Amongst the matters that help one keep doing righteous deeds are:

The pilgrim who has concluded a covenant with his Lord at the Black Stone and completely surrendered to Him should wonder: how can he dare to breach such an agreement? Allah Almighty says (what means): {So remain on a right course as you have been commanded.} [Quran 11: 112] Also, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Say, ‘I believe in Allah,’ then remain steadfast.”

The pilgrim has already succeeded in fighting the devil and taking him as an enemy and has felt the taste of gaining victory over him, then how can one dare to obey him again? Allah Almighty says (what means): {Indeed, Satan is an enemy to you; so take him as an enemy. He only invites his party to be among the companions of the Blaze.} [Quran 35: 6]

The pilgrim also felt proud when he achieved victory over his own self, restrained it, strove against it, and refused to follow its desires. Allah Almighty says (what means): {And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good.} [Quran 29: 69] Then why does one follow the soul that is a persistent enjoiner of evil? Allah Almighty says (what means): {Indeed, the soul is a persistent enjoiner of evil, except those upon which my Lord Has mercy. Indeed, my Lord is Forgiving and Merciful.} [Quran 12: 53]

Accordingly, one has to keep pushing his own self and try to change it into the reproaching or reassured soul. Whoever strives against his self and fights his devil will be able to strive against his enemies and will succeed in fighting the hypocrites.

If his foot slips or his soul becomes weak, then he has to hasten to vex the devil and go back to obeying Allah Almighty through renewing his feelings of regret, turning to Him with repentance, resolving never to go back to such sins or misdeeds, and doing a great deal of seeking forgiveness. Surely, repentance will be added to his record. Allah Almighty says (what means): {And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself but then seeks Forgiveness of Allah will find Allah Forgiving and Merciful.} [Quran 4: 110]

Amongst the causes of accepting deeds is that the Muslim should belittle his deeds and not feel proud of them; he should also beware of not being sincere or remind his Creator of it. Rather, one should strive, sincerely implore Allah Almighty, and supplicate Him to accept his deeds. One should also faithfully ask Allah Almighty to make him keep doing such deeds for this kind of deed is one of the most beloved deeds to Allah Almighty and His Messenger, as the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, “The dearest of actions to Allah is that which is done regularly, even if it is small.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Rather, the Muslim has to fear that his deeds may not be accepted for any reason, such as lacking sincerity, shirk (associating partners with Allah in worship), or not following the prescribed laws of Islam. Our righteous predecessors used to pay much heed to the idea of accepting deeds, and every one of them used to fear that his deeds might be rejected or that Allah Almighty might not accept them. Allah Almighty says when describing the conditions of those who fear that their deeds may not be accepted (what means): {And they who give what they give while their hearts are fearful because they will be returning to their Lord. It is those who hasten to good deeds, and they outstrip [others] therein.} [Quran 23: 60-61] This verse is explained by the following weak hadith, “They are the ones who pray and fast and give in charity while fearing that it will not be accepted from them. It was also reported that ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Focus on having the deed accepted a lot more than on the deed itself. Have you not heard Allah Almighty say (what means): {Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him].} [Quran 5: 27]”

Amongst the matters that help one keep on obeying Allah is to remember the favors and graces of Allah Almighty. The Muslim individual has to remember that all his deeds cannot in any way fulfill appreciation and thankfulness for even one of the several favors that Allah Almighty has conferred upon His slaves; such favors that we cannot count in any way. So we have to thank Allah Almighty for them and remember the saying of Allah Almighty (which means):
{And whatever you have of favor – it is from Allah.} [Quran 16: 53]
{And if you should count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. } [Quran 16: 18]

Amongst the other matters that can help one remain steadfast in performing acts of worship is to remember death. It is the spoiler of pleasures and the disperser of gatherings. It comes when it is least expected, and no one can escape it. Allah Almighty says (what means): {Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you should be within towers of lofty construction.} [Quran 4: 78]

Whoever observes the several accidents that occur daily will come to know that death may snatch him at any time and that he will not be able to repent (at that time). So we ask Allah Almighty to grant us a good end.

Amongst the matters that help in this regard is to remember the grave. It is the first stage in the Hereafter in which one will be asked about his Lord, his religion, and his messenger. No one will be guided to the correct answer except the one whose deeds are righteous. The grave is the box of deeds, and nothing can benefit in it except the righteous deeds and a sound heart. Allah Almighty says (what means): {The Day when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children. But only one who comes to Allah with a sound heart.} [Quran 26: 88-89]

To make the soul feel eager to do righteous deeds, keep doing them, keep away from doing misdeeds, and renounce immorality is to remind oneself of the great reward that he will receive because of doing such acts. Out of the mercy of Allah Almighty, He favored us with great rewards for every single act that we do, even if it is small. Urging the soul will also make it feel eager to enter the Garden of Pleasure and follow the footsteps of its people. One should frighten his soul from Hellfire and its flames. Thus, it will keep away from the way of misguidance and firmly adhere to the way of uprightness.

Whoever does not find the strong impetus, strong desire, and active enthusiasm to compete in doing acts of worship and righteous deeds in himself after coming back from Hajj, all previous styles of encouragement and intimidation were of no avail to him, and his heart is still hard and unsound, may slacken off for sometime, or feel lazy after being active; such person has to remember that life is short, that age is limited, and that happiness in the worldly life and comfort in the Hereafter cannot be achieved except by the one who continues to adhere to the command of Allah Almighty and strives to remain steadfast in doing righteous deeds. Allah Almighty says (what means): {Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do.} [Quran 16: 97]

Otherwise, one will feel regret on the Day of Reckoning for what he neglected concerning the Rights of Allah Almighty. Accordingly, the Muslim should strive hard in obeying Allah Almighty, and that is for his interest so that he may reach the highest degrees, for whoever does righteous deeds will reach the highest degrees. Allah Almighty says (what means): {Indeed, whoever comes to his Lord as a criminal – indeed, for him is Hell; he will neither die therein nor live. But whoever comes to Him as a believer having done righteous deeds – for those will be the highest degrees [in position].} [Quran 20: 74-75]

The one whose heart cannot be woken up by such matters has to wake himself up and purify his heart by visiting graves and standing there for a while to think about his fate and contemplate the end of living creatures. One may also perform the funeral prayer and then carry and bury the deceased. Or one may visit sick people; especially those who have the diseases that are brought about by catastrophic accidents. Surely, the soul will be affected and the heart will be softened. It will begin to feel regret for its carelessness, renew repentance, and intend to do good deeds in the future.

Amongst the other matters that can help one remain steadfast in performing acts of worship and succeed in pushing his soul, preparing it to attain piety, and providing it with great determination to enter Paradise is that the Muslim should push himself; meaning that one has to adhere to reciting the Quran, listening to it, contemplating its verses, acting upon it, accepting its judgments, and seeking its remedies. Also, one has to take it upon himself to attend lectures of tafseer (interpretation, explanation) of the Noble Quran and lessons of knowledge in general and earnestly try to attend the lectures of the scholars, for they (such lessons) increase faith and help one remain steadfast.

One should also read the biographies of the Prophets and study the seerah (biography) of the beloved Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and that of the scholars and the righteous people.

To make the Muslim eager and keep doing acts of obedience, one should remember the power of falsehood and the attack of the enemies with all means against the forts of Islam. One should contemplate the earnest efforts that the people of falsehood make to defend their falsehood, for this may make one feel jealous enough to defend Islam, care for the issues of Muslims, and help the needy.

One should also attentively think about the elements that can establish a powerful state and help make a successful and sustainable civilization. He will find that amongst the most important causes of this is adhering to the methodology of Islam, sincerely and faithfully seeking knowledge, and adjusting his track. Muslims have the rightly-guided methodology of Allah Almighty. They have to feel proud of it and introduce it to others. They should continuously work and always correct mistakes. The success and superiority of states or the continuation of a civilization does not take place due to deceptive manifestations or empty materialistic matters; rather, it depends on adhering to values, acting upon principles, and feeling proud of the methodology.

 

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