Mounts As-Safa and Al-Marwah are Among the Symbols of Allah

Mounts As-Safa and Al-Marwah are Among the Symbols of Allah
  • Publish date:10/09/2010
  • Section:Landmarks
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Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Indeed, As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the Symbols of Allah. So whoever makesHajj to the House or performs ‘Umrah [lesser pilgrimage] - there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good - then indeed, Allah is Appreciative and Knowing.} [Quran 2:158] Sa‘y (walking) between Mounts As-Safa and Al-Marwah has been among the rituals of Hajj from the time of Prophet Ibraaheem (Abraham), may Allah exalt his mention, as a reminder of the favor of Allah upon Haajar and her son Ismaa‘eel (Ishmael) when Allah saved him from thirst. This is proven in an authentic Hadeeth where Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “She left him, for she could not endure looking at him, and found that the mountain of As-Safa was the nearest mountain to her on that land. She stood on it and started looking down at the valley intensely so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody. Then she descended from As-Safa and reached Al-Marwah mountain where she stood and started looking, expecting to see somebody, but she could not see anybody. She repeated that (running between As-Safa and Al-Marwah) seven times.”

Ibn ‘Abbaas added, “The Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), said:‘This is the origin of the tradition of Sa‘y.’" [Al-Bukhari]
 
Anas ibn Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, was asked about As-Safa and Al-Marwah, and he said, "We used to consider (i.e. going between) them a custom of Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance), so when Islam came, we gave up going between them. Then Allah revealed (what means): {Indeed, As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the Symbols of Allah.}" [Al-Bukhari]The majority of scholars hold that Sa‘y between As-Safa and Al-Marwah is one of the pillars of Hajj without which it becomes invalid based on this verse and the action of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), in his Farewell Hajj. Jaabir, may Allah be pleased with him, described the Hajj of the Messenger of Allah,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), saying: "… When he finished his Tawaaf, he returned to the corner (the Black Stone) and kissed it. He then went out of the gate to As-Safa and as he reached it he recited: {Indeed, As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the Symbols of Allah.}Then, he said:‘I begin with what Allah began (since Allah The Almighty mentioned As-Safa before Al-Marwah in the verse).’" [Muslim] Moreover, the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), said: "Learn your [Hajj and ‘Umrah] rituals from me." [Muslim]
 
Ibn Muhaysin, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I saw the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) performing Sa’y between As-Safa and Al-Marwah. People were before him and he was behind them making Sa’y strongly to the extent that his knees were exposed and his lower garment was revolving, saying:‘Perform Sa’y, for Allah has enjoined Sa’y on you.’" [Ahmad] [Hasan chain of narrators]
 
Allah The Almighty Says (what means): "There is no blame upon him for walking between them." Blame here means sin. The verse apparently signifies that Sa’y between As-Safa and Al-Marwah is not obligatory, but the fact is otherwise. The Hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, expounded the meaning of the verse. ‘Urwah ibn Az-Zubayr  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said,
 
Once, when I was young, I said to ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah eb pleased with her, "Have you heard the saying of Allah (which means):{Indeed, As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the Symbols of Allah.}?It thus follows that there should be no harm for someone who does not go between them.‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, "No. If it were as you say, then the verse would have read as: ‘There would be no blame upon him for not walking between them.’ The case is that this verse was revealed about the Ansaar [helpers]. They used to make pilgrimage to Manaat (an idol) and they used to avoid going between As-Safa and Al-Marwah, and when Islam came they asked the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) about this. Accordingly, Allah The Exalted revealed (what means):{Indeed, As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the Symbols of Allah.}" [Maalik]
 
The verse, as stated by the Hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, was revealed to expel the ill thoughts and embarrassment of the Muslims who abstained from walking between As-Safa and Al-Marwah on the pretext that idols were worshipped in their vicinity in the pre-Islamic era. Allah The Almighty removed the blame to expel this misunderstanding, and not to state that Sa’y between them is not required, as the apparent meaning of the verse reflects. In another narration, she said, "The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) ordained Sa`ee between them, so nobody is allowed to leave Sa`ee between them."[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 
Limiting the removal of blame in the verse to the one who makes Sa`y [between As-Safa and al-Marwah] for Hajj and ‘Umrah indicates that the Muslim cannot draw closer to Allah by making Sa’y independently and must do so only during Hajj or ‘Umrah. This is unlike Tawaaf around the Ka‘bah; which is permissible for the Muslim to make independently outside Hajj and ‘Umrah.
 
Allah The Almighty Says (what means): "And whoever volunteers good – i.e. does a good deed, "- Then indeed, Allah is Appreciative and Knowing.}" He gives reward for obedience and nothing is hidden from Him.
 
Allah The Almighty explained that all goodness lies in the acts of obedience that the slave does and the acts of worship which bring him closer to his Lord. The more the slave obeys his Creator, the more he attains goodness and perfection and the higher his degree will be in the sight of Allah. The verse adds another point, which is understood from confining volunteering to goodness. That is, whoever volunteers religious innovations or acts that Allah did not ordain, or carries out the orders of Allah in a manner which He does not ordain, his acts will not be accepted and he will find nothing but the suffering and hardship of doing that deed.  Whoever is in such a state falls under the saying of Allah (which means): {Say, [O Muhammad], "Shall we [believers] inform you of the greatest losers as to [their] deeds?[They are] those whose effort is lost in worldly life, while they think that they are doing well in work."} [Quran 18:103-104]
 
Allah The Almighty Says (what means): "Allah is Appreciative
and Knowing." This shows that Allah The Almighty accepts even the small works and deeds of His slaves and rewards them abundantly. It also reflects that whoever leaves something [unlawful] for the sake of Allah, Allah will compensate him with a better thing, and whoever draws closer to Him one hand-span, He will draw closer to him one cubit. Surely, Allah The Almighty is All-Aware of the circumstances of His creation and who deserves reward or punishment. The verse generally indicates that the pilgrim who performs Sa’y between As-Safa and Al-Marwah should feel his helplessness and humbleness to his Creator, and his need of Him in terms of guiding his heart, and maintaining his affairs, forgiving his sins. He should know the there is no resort from Allah except to Him. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {O mankind, you are those in need of Allah, while Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy.} [Quran 35:15]

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