Lessons in compliance learnt from the Hajj of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

Lessons in compliance learnt from the Hajj of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam
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All perfect praise is due to Allah.‎We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah The Almighty from the evil of our souls and from our misdeeds. Whomsoever Allah Guides, none can lead astray, and whomsoever Allah Leads astray, none can guide. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that ‎Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is His Slave and ‎Messenger.

Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Say, “I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord - let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.”} [Quran 18:110]
Commenting on this verse, Imaam Ibn Katheer Ad-Dimashqi, May Allah Have mercy upon him, said that “righteous work” is that which is compliant with the Sharee‘ah of Allah The Almighty, and “associating nothing in worship with Allah” refers to acts of worship that are intended solely for Allah The Almighty without associating any partners with Him. These are the two pillars of accepted deeds: they must be offered with full sincerity to Allah, and they must be done properly in compliance with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ).
It was narrated on the authority of Anas ibn Maalik, May Allah Be Pleased with him, that he said: “Three persons went to the houses of the wives of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) asking about the worship of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). When they were informed about it, it seems as if they considered it insufficient and consequently said, ‘Where are we in comparison to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) whom Allah Has Forgiven his past and future sins?’ Then one of them said, ‘I will ever pray throughout the night.’ Another one said, ‘I will fast throughout the year and will never break my fast.’ The third said, ‘I will avoid women and thus, will never marry.’ The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) came to them and said, ‘Are you the ones who said such-and-such things? By Allah, I am the most submissive to Allah and the most afraid of Him among you; yet I fast and break my fast, I pray and sleep and I marry women. So anyone who does not follow my Sunnah is not from me (not one of my followers).’” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
We Muslims are commanded to truly comply with the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and to follow his guidance in acts of worship and other acts that bring us closer to Allah The Almighty.
Once the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) prayed on the pulpit as narrated by Al-Hajjaaj Al-Qushayry May Allah Have mercy upon him, on the authority of Sahl ibn Sa‘d, May Allah Be Pleased with him, who said:
I had seen the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) standing on the pulpit and making Takbeer (saying Allah Akbar) and people made Takbeer right after him while he was still on the pulpit. Then he raised his head, descended and moved back until he prostrated himself next to the root of the pulpit. Then he returned until he finished his prayer, then he faced people and said: “O people, I did this to make you imitate me and to make you learn my prayer.” [Muslim]
It was narrated on the authority of Maalik ibn Al-Huwayrith, May Allah Be Pleased with him, that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Pray as you have seen me praying.” [Al-Bukhari]
The Companions of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) were wholeheartedly keen on knowing how the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) performed ablution, performed prayers and other acts of worship. As such, they set wonderful examples of obedience and response to him. Along with their compliance with the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) they were careful not to oppose him. They also warned others not to oppose his way and guidance. Relevant details are available in books of Hadeeth, creed and others.
The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) performed Hajj with his Companions, May Allah Be Pleased with them, and addressed them saying: “Learn your rituals from me, as I do not know whether I will make another Hajj after this one or not.” [Muslim, Abu Daawood and others]
This Hadeeth, as Imaam An-Nawawi, May Allah Have mercy upon him, said, indicates bidding the Companions farewell and informing them of his imminent death and consequently urging them to learn from him and benefit from his companionship in such a way as to acquire religious matters. Thus, this Hajj was named the Farewell Hajj.
Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullaah Al-Ansaari, May Allah Be Pleased with him, narrated the description of the Hajj of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) in a full account that was famously known as “the long Hadeeth of Jaabir on Hajj”. Actually, this Hadeeth is great and was narrated by Imaam Muslim, May Allah Have mercy upon him, in his Saheeh.
In his commentary on this Hadeeth, An-Nawawi, May Allah Have mercy upon him, says:
It is a great Hadeeth that includes some benefits and a precious set of important rules. It is exclusively narrated by Muslim, May Allah Have mercy upon him. This means that Al-Bukhari, May Allah Have mercy upon him, did not narrate it in his Saheeh. The same version of Muslim, May Allah Have mercy upon him, was narrated by Abu Daawood, May Allah Have mercy upon him. Al-Qaadhi, May Allah Have mercy upon him, mentioned that scholars expounded the Fiqh issues contained in this Hadeeth, and Abu Bakr ibn Al-Munthir, May Allah Have mercy upon him, authored a large volume wherein he brought to light one hundred and fifty issues concerning Fiqh. If he had studied this Hadeeth extensively, he would have unearthed almost the same number of issues.
I would like to say that a prominent landmark and a great lesson in compliance that is learnt from this Hadeeth is the keenness of the Companions, May Allah Be Pleased with them, to perform Hajj with the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) thus, forming a splendid companionship with him in the context of a great pillar of Islam, which they performed in response to the Call of Allah The Almighty, Who Says (what means):
  • {And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass.} [Quran 22:27]
  • {And [due] to Allah from the people is a Hajj to the House - for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves - then indeed, Allah Is Free from need of the worlds.} [Quran 3:97]
In his description of the Hajj of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) Jaabir Al-Ansaari, May Allah Be Pleased with him, says:
The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) stayed nine years without performing Hajj. In the tenth year, however, it was announced among people that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) would make Hajj. So, Al-Madeenah witnessed the arrival of multitudes of people, all of them sought to be led by the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and act like him.
This highlights the quick response to the command of the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) after his intention of performing Hajj was announced. All people desired to be guided by him and take him as a role model and thus, apply his deeds. Jaabir, May Allah Be Pleased with him, described the Companions’ gathering around the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) saying: “I looked as far as I could and saw a lot of people riding and walking in front of him, the same was on his right, the same was on his left and the same was behind him.”
He further said: “The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was among us and the Quran was revealed to him. He was familiar with its interpretation, and everything that he applied thereof we applied.”
The Companions, May Allah Be Pleased with them, quickly complied with the Commands of Allah The Almighty and His Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) not only in matters pertaining to Hajj but also in every thing. They were exactly as Allah The Almighty Described His believing slaves and Praised them in (what means): {The only statement of the [true] believers when they are called to Allah and His Messenger to judge between them is that they say, “We hear and we obey.” And those are the successful.} [Quran 24:51] The Companions are the worthiest and the first to be included among the believers who are meant in this verse.
Jaabir, May Allah Be Pleased with him, further said: “Asmaa’ bint ‘Umays gave birth to Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr, and she sent someone for consulting the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) on what she should do. In response to her, the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, ‘Have a bath, wrap your private parts and make Ihraam.’”
Muslim sisters are expected to consider the situation of Asmaa’ Al-Khath‘amiyyah, May Allah Be Pleased with her, as she asked the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) about what she should do when she gave birth to her baby boy. Her shyness did not prevent her from asking about a religious matter for knowing the Sharee‘ah ruling about it. This indicates the extent to which the female Companions were keen on complying with the Sunnah of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ).
In this regard, ‘Aa’ishah, May Allah Be Pleased with her, said: “Great, indeed, were the women of the Ansaar, for their shyness never prevented them from endeavoring to understand religion.” [Muslim]
Jaabir, May Allah Be Pleased with him, further added the saying of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ): “If I had the chance to undo what I have already done, I would have not driven the sacrificial animal and would have made Ihraam for ‘Umrah first. So, let anyone of you who has no sacrificial animal end his Ihraam.” Jaabir, May Allah Be Pleased with him, added:
‘Ali came from Yemen driving camels that belonged to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). He found that Faatimah, May Allah Be Pleased with her, had ended her Ihraam and had worn dyed clothes and applied kohl. Hence, he rebuked her for this, yet she told him that her father commanded her to that effect. ‘Ali used to tell people in Iraq that he went to the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) to incite him against Faatimah for what she had done. He sought the Fatwa of the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) on what Faatimah reported him to have said. He told the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) that he rebuked her, and the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said twice that Faatimah had spoken the truth.
This is further evidence of compliance with the Sunnah of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) embodied in Faatimah, May Allah Be Pleased with her, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and in her husband ‘Ali, May Allah Be Pleased with him. As she did not bring a sacrificial animal with her, Faatimah, May Allah Be Pleased with her, immediately ended her Ihraam for Hajj and made Ihraam for ‘Umrah upon hearing the command of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) to that effect. When her husband returned from Yemen and found her out of the state of Ihraam as she wore dyed clothes and applied kohl, he rebuked her, for how could she do that while still being in the state of Ihraam? As he was unaware of the order of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) on ending the state of Ihraam for the people who had not driven sacrificial animals, ‘Ali, May Allah Be Pleased with him, went to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and blamed Faatimah, May Allah Be Pleased with him, for what she had done and sought the Fatwa of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) regarding what she had reported him as having commanded. The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) answered ‘Ali, May Allah Be Pleased with him, saying: “She said the truth, she said the truth.” The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) confirmed that Faatimah, May Allah Be Pleased with her, did this in compliance with his order.
The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) asked ‘Ali, May Allah Be Pleased with him: “What did you say when you contemplated the performance of Hajj?” ‘Ali, May Allah Be Pleased with him, said: “I said, ‘O Allah, I am making Ihraam for whatever Your Messenger made Ihraam.’”
This is further evidence of the compliance of ‘Ali, May Allah Be Pleased with him, with the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) as he made Ihraam in exactly the same manner that was done by the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). Actually, he neither saw nor knew what the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said in his Hajj. Hence, he said: “O Allah, I am making Ihraam for whatever Your Messenger made Ihraam.” This is the true and required compliance, which indeed was the practice of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ).
Furthermore, Jaabir, May Allah Be Pleased with him, narrated the great Khutbah (sermon) of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) which he delivered at Namirah and in which he said:
Your blood and property are as inviolable to you as the inviolability of this day, this month and this land. All evil practices of the pre-Islamic era are abolished, and all blood (retaliation for it) that was shed in the pre-Islamic era is abolished as well. The first blood of ours that I do abolish is the blood of Rabee‘ah ibn Al-Haarith, who was breastfed in the Banu Sa‘d and was killed by the Huthayl tribe. Riba, which was common in the pre-Islamic era, is abolished as well, and the first Riba that I do abolish is that of Al-‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib, all of which is abolished. Fear Allah regarding your wives, for you took them (in marriage) by virtue of the Covenant of Allah, and you had lawful sexual intercourse with them pursuant to the Word of Allah. As a right to you over them, they must not allow anybody whom you hate to enter your homes; if they did so, you might beat them lightly. As a right to them over you, they are entitled to reasonable provision and clothing. I have left you something, which if you hold fast to, you will never go astray: the Book of Allah. When you will be asked about me, what will you say?” They replied: “We testify that you have conveyed (the message), delivered (the trust) and advised (the Ummah). Hence, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) pointed his forefinger to the sky and beckoned to people saying three times: “O Allah! Be my witness.”
Actually, this Khutbah contains great significance, concepts and dimensions, one of them is the saying of the Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ): “I have left you something, which if you hold fast to, you will never get astray: the Book of Allah.”
By saying that, the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) established indisputable awareness and he also clarified that people who adhere to the Quran and hold fast to it will save themselves from misguidance and wretchedness. The Quran is the evident Book of Allah that includes guidance and light and is in no way approached by falsehood.
Among other things referred to in the Quran, the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is pinpointed, and its status in legislation is indisputably clear for every Muslim. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.} [Quran 4:59] Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the Sunnah is included in what Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Indeed, it is We Who Sent Down the Quran and indeed, We Will Be Its Guardian.} [Quran 15:9] That is because the Sunnah expounds the Quran as Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {[We Sent them] with clear proofs and written ordinances. And We Revealed to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought.} [Quran 16:44] The Sunnah is also a Divine Revelation, for Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed.} [Quran 53:3-4]
Jaabir, May Allah Be Pleased with him, reported the exact way the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) threw the pebbles: “He threw seven pebbles, saying Allah Akbar each time he threw a pebble, which was so small that he threw it with the help of his fingers.”The proper act of the Sunnah, based on this Hadeeth, is to throw pebbles exactly as the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) threw them without exceeding the boundaries.
We are forbidden in the Quran and the Sunnah to commit excess. Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
·        {O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion.} [Quran 4:171]
·        {Say, “O People of the Scripture, do not exceed limits in your religion beyond the truth.} [Quran 5:77]
This prohibition is placed on the Ummah owing to its status as a moderate nation that believes in a moderate religion. In this regard, Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And thus We Have Made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you.} [Quran 2:143]
Apart from the Quranic evidence, there are many Hadeeths that forbid excessiveness, and some of these Hadeeths are cited on throwing pebbles. In a Hadeeth on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas, May Allah Be Pleased with him, he said: “The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) asked me on the Day of (Jamrat) Al-‘Aqabah to collect pebbles for him while he was riding his she-camel. I picked for him pebbles that were as small as beans. When I put them in his hands, he said, ‘Throw the like of these, and be careful not to be excessive in religion, as people of the preceding generations were destroyed by nothing but their excess in religion.’” [An-Nasaa’i and Ibn Maajah]
A good lesson for us to learn from these situations is the compliance with the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) in his Hajj and all of his acts of worship, as I mentioned before, compliance is a prerequisite for deeds to be accepted.
Pilgrims are sincerely advised, as long as they have the intention of performing Hajj and enduring its hardships, to dedicate that solely for the Sake of Allah The Almighty and to follow the guidance of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ).
I finally supplicate Allah The Almighty to Accept all of our acts of worship, to Grant us sincerity, to Help us avoid minor and major acts of Shirk and truly follow the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) sayings and practices.
May Allah The Almighty Confer His peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) his family and Companions. All perfect praise is due to Allah.

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