A Guidebook for Women on Rites of Hajj
Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
The verbal meaning of Hajj is Intention.
In other words, through the act of performing Hajj, one declares that Allah (swt) is the Ultimate Authority. This visit to the House of Allah (swt) is the most sacred journey of one's life. It is a move from self-interest towards the Almighty. It may appear that during Hajj the physical self alone is moving, but in reality Hajj is a journey of the soul.
During this journey one adapts the appearance of apostles hoping that this will have an effect in changing the inner soul. In addition this journey removes any fear of worldly poverty. One dirham spent on this journey brings the reward of many dirhams spent elsewhere.
Unique characteristics of the Ka’ba
• It is the House of Allah (swt).
• Prophet Abraham (as) constructed it.
• Prophet Ishmael (as) helped his father in its construction.
• Prophet Adam (as) paid many holy visits to this place.
• Prophet Abraham (as) faced the most important test of his life at this place.
• Prophet Ishmael (as) offered His sacrifice at this location.
• Prophet Mohammad (saws) was granted Prophethood here.
• lmam Ali (as) was born in this sacred house.
Our journey is to offer our pledge to these Infallibles
• O! Father of humanity we will not let Satan misguide us!
• O! Friend of Allah (swt) we are answering your call to us!
• O! The offspring of a great and valiant mother, Ishmael (as), we are ready to sacrifice everything in the path of Allah (swt)!
• O! The Greatest Prophet of Allah you invited people towards the Right Path from Mount Safa, but few answered your call. We positively accept your call!
• O! The first Imam (as) people are circumambulating your birth place but have forgotten you, but we have once again come to offer allegiance to you!
Hajj is a challenge against all worldly powers. However high their expenditure, and how powerful their propaganda, no power can ever arrange such a grand religious and spiritual gathering. A gathering where people from all over the world, wearing death-like shrouds, answer the call of Allah (swt). They gather with all their love and devotion in great numbers answering the call of the Almighty (swt) despite varying weather conditions, heat, open plains, stuffy tents and living conditions that are often under the open sky.
Meeting with Allah (swt)
Hajj is an opportunity of meeting the greatest love of our life at the house of He who does not need a dwelling. Every day Muslims prostrate towards this house from thousands of miles away. When one offers daily prayers, an image of the house of Allah (swt) lingers in the mind but today as a favor of Allah to his sinful creations the sinners can see it in front of their eyes!
The sites of hajj are such sacred ground that even some of the stones found here have hidden secrets. Among them are the stones of guardianship (wilayat) and immunity (bara'at)
People circumambulate the stone of friendship (Hajr Al-Aswad). They try to touch and kiss it because it is a stone sent down from the heavens. This is one of the grand symbols of Almighty Allah (swt) on the earth as our Prophet (saws) has said:
الحجر الأسود يمين الله في أرضه.
"Hajar al-aswad represents the hand of Allah (swt) on the earth." [^1]
Touching this stone is like shaking hands with Allah (swt). On the Day of Judgment it will be a witness for those who have touched it.
One would offer allegiance that
"O! Almighty you have given a chance to our sinful souls to come and cleanse ourselves of all past sins."
This is why it is recommended to recite the following prayer when touching the stone:
امانتي اديتها و ميثاقي تعاهدته لتشهد لي بالوافاة
“O! Hajr al-aswad I have given you my trust and fulfilled my promise, now you be the witness of my faithfulness.”
The second stone symbolizes bara’at, or steering clear of Satan. Pilgrims are required to hit it with seven pebbles. In order to reach it, pilgrims must struggle through a huge crowd and then aim precisely at their target. It is not an easy task. Perhaps Allah (swt) wants us to realize that since this battle against Satan, with all its difficulty, is but symbolic and keeping satanic thoughts away from us throughout our lives and staying on the Right Path are even more difficult and indeed represent the greatest struggle (Jihad).
[^1]: راغب أصفهاني مفردات القرءان 856