Hajj Reflections 3
Yawm At Tarwiyah
On the 8th of Dhul Hijja when Hajjis go to Mina, it is known as the Yawm At Tarwiyah. This name originates from:
1. The process of filling bottles with water to take to Mina. Therefore, when someone is thirsty and then drinks until they are full they are tawar i.e. full.
2. The day Ibrahim (peace be on him) saw a vision (Surah As Saffat) from Allah Almighty in which he was asked to sacrifice his son Ismail (peace be on him). When Ibrahim (peace be on him) told Ismail (peace be on him) of this request, Ismail (peace be on him) replied,
‘Oh my father, do whatever you have been asked to do and you will find me patient.’
Ibrahim (peace be on him) saw the vision on the 8th and so he began to think, is it from Allah Almighty or is it from Shaytan? Tarawa means pondering or thinking. The idea was not to rush things but to ponder and think.
The fact that Ibrahim (peace be on him) could think that an idea may have been from Shaytan shows that he (peace be on him) was not arrogant. The vision was repeated three times, so he knew for sure it was from Allah Almighty.
On the third day he took Ismail (peace be on him) to be slaughtered, and this day is known as Yawm Al Nahr. However, a sheep appeared and Ibrahim (peace be on him) was told to slaughter this instead of Ismail.
Choosing between Our Will and Allah’s Will
Yawm At Tarwiyah is about how to respond to the call of Allah Almighty.
There are very spiritual dimensions to the religious acts that we do, as they are not just rituals. It is about how we respond to Allah Almighty’s call and put His commands at the front of our priorities – even if they are something we might hate to do. Who would want to sacrifice his son? The nature of a test is that you may have to do something that you hate.
Hajj tests you by requiring you to sacrifice your wealth, time and leisure to please Allah Almighty. Therefore, Hajj is about training our responses to Allah Almighty’s commands. We need to train ourselves. We are asked to choose between following our likes and Allah Almighty’s commands outside of Hajj as well.
Apply this test whenever choosing – am I bothered about the people or Allah Almighty’s commands?
Following Allah’s Commands Out of Trust
Ibrahim (peace be on him) was the father of the Prophets (peace be on him), yet he was human. Put yourself in his position of being told to sacrifice a son. It is a very hard test – obeying a command from Allah Almighty versus something or someone that you love. This is a test you experience daily in different forms. Do you follow Allah Almighty’s commands or do you follow what you love?
We have to make this choice all the time; it is a real test because to follow Allah’s command could involve a requirement to overcome your love for your children, who are the peak of your love, or love for things like your job, study or business. So when you have this test are you bothered about the people or reward from Allah Almighty?
Ibrahim (peace be on him) did something very difficult which showed that he had full commitment to Allah Almighty. Now look at this from the point of view of what Ismail (peace be on him) did. He showed full submission and obedience, not because he was following his father’s orders (you have to obey your parents but if asked to do something that isn’t right or very strange you must discuss it with them without being argumentative). He obeyed the order to be a sacrifice not because Ibrahim (peace be on him) was his father but because he was a Prophet (peace be on him). Ismail saw the obedience and trust firstly in Allah Almighty because Ibrahim (peace be on him) was a Prophet (peace be on him) and then secondly in his father Ibrahim (peace be on him).
Over and over again you are taught that you have to trust in Allah Almighty. If He is commanding you to do something, do it and trust Him. One warning to us though – dreams of the Prophets (peace be on him) are commands or revelations whereas dreams of people are not.
Do not just act on your dreams. Dream interpretation is a special science and needs to be done by experts. It is not enough for someone to read Ibn Sireen’s book to be able to interpret dreams. A person that interprets dreams has to have some knowledge of Qur’an and Sunnah and some element of inspiration.
Ismail (peace be on him) didn’t hesitate, he had full trust in Allah Almighty. Just like his mother Hajar (may Allah be pleased with him), right there in Haram, she fully trusted in Allah Almighty. It is important to teach children to have full trust in Allah Almighty. The Prophet (peace be on him) went to Mina and slept there and left after Fajr on the 9th of Dhul Hijja. On the 8th of Dhul Hijja whilst in Mina there are no rituals except to pray and it is sunnah to sleep there during the nights of Hajj.
Stopping (wuquf) at Arafah is one of the pillars or fards of Hajj. There are three pillars and 6 wajibs (obligations) in Hajj. The three pillars are: Ihram, Arafah and tawaf al Ifada. Without any of these there is no Hajj. If any of these are missed or there is a mistake it is impossible to rectify. The wajib, however, can be rectified if a mistake is made in them.
The Prophet (peace be on him) went from Mina to Arafah on Yawm Al Arafah. It is like the Day of Gathering (a time when all people from Adam (peace be on him) to the Day of Gathering will be waiting. The day of Arafah during Hajj reminds you of this (when all the pilgrims will be waiting for the sun to set) because on the Day of Gathering people will be waiting and waiting. Some people will just have sweat on their foreheads whilst others will be drowning in sweat up to their knees or waist, depending on their sins. In addition, they will be naked, forgetting their awrah and everything else. Some hadith say the wait will be 40 years whilst others mention 40,000 years. People will be waiting on the same ground but the time will be different for different people. For the believers it will feel like the time taken to pray two rakats whilst for others it will feel like days or years.
The Intercession of the Prophet (peace be on him)
Allah Almighty will give you something that day and you will be pleased with it. This is the intercession by the Prophet (peace be on him) to start the Day of Reckoning. People will ask each other, who can intercede? They will go to Adam (peace be on him) first who will say ‘I can’t because I know I made a mistake’ and they will go to other Prophets (peace be on him) who will say the same thing until finally they will go to the Prophet (peace be on him) who will say ‘Yes’ and will then go and prostrate beneath the throne of Allah Almighty. Here the Prophet (peace be on him) will ask Allah Almighty to open his heart to supplicate then Allah Almighty will tell him to raise his head. This is only for the Day of Judgement to begin (many more events pass before getting to the part about seeking the Prophet’s (peace be on him) intercession by His asking for Jannah for those who followed his way.
A similar thing will happen on the day of Arafah. We will be waiting and supplicating. It’s about connection with Allah Almighty. Arafah will help you to do more supplications and be connected with Allah Almighty. The ritual itself is about connection with Allah Almighty. The Prophet (peace be on him) said, ‘Hajj is Arafah.’ Why did he not say this about tawaf or sa’ee? In Arafah there is
nothing there! It is just a plain with mountains. There is nothing there because it is about nothing being between your connection with Allah Almighty. Be very careful, don’t let anything ruin your Hajj, e.g. enmity or envy. Ask yourself what to do in Arafah. The most important thing is to feel that you have nothing – whom do you go if you feel you have a vacuum inside you? You go to Him Almighty. Allah Almighty wants you to feel that you have nothing. All that we have is from Him Almighty. He wants you to leave everything behind and go to Him Almighty. He is saying ‘I am the One Who gave you these things, luggage etc. and can take them at any time. He Almighty is asking us to supplicate to Him.
The Prophet (peace be on him) said that the best dua is the dua of Arafah: ‘Laa ilaaha illallaahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu lahul mulku wa lahul hamdu wa Huwa alaa kulli shay’in Qadeer’. You should have full tawheed and connection with Allah Almighty. Feel like you are nothing – humble yourself, forget about everything, feel like the dust i.e. like nothing. Ask Allah Almighty to accept you and to forgive you.
After sunset you leave Arafah and go to Muzdalifah where you pray Maghrib and Isha together, collect pebbles and sleep. When you combine the prayers you do not read any sunnah prayer in between because it will ruin the combining of the prayers. The main thing in Muzdalifah is to stick together and not start making your own way.
Stay up in Muzdalifah only as much as you can or else performing rituals the next day will be difficult. Arafah is about being fully connected with Allah Almighty and forgetting about the dunya (although you can ask for the dunya in the supplications that you make).
Most of the time during Hajj we are reciting the Talbiyah. The meaning of the first part of the Talbiyah i.e. ‘Labbaik’ is ‘Here I am, at your service’, it is the same as what your reply when your parents call you. Surah Mulk mentions that Allah Almighty created the universe and all that is in it and it all belongs to Him Almighty. He put in our amanah (trust), our brains, muscles, jobs, money, health, everything that enabled us to do Hajj. The means and efforts that we used to get here i.e. job, money, annual leave, time is all from Allah Almighty. So we are declaring:
‘Everything is from You (Allah), the blessings are from You and we have nothing.’
Allah Almighty chose us to come here; we are responding to His call. The Talbiyah ends in the same manner as it starts:
‘You have no partner’
again declaring the Oneness of Allah Almighty. It literally exposes you to all that is around you.
In ‘The Wisdoms’ by Ibn Ata’illah there is a special section at the end talking about intimate discourse between him and Allah Almighty:
‘My Lord what did he find who lost you and what did he lose who found you.’
This is a very deep statement saying that: When you are connected with Allah Almighty, even if you have nothing, you have everything. And when you are not connected with Allah Almighty, even if you have everything, you have nothing. So we can feel these meanings in the Talbiyah.
Sovereignty, Kingdom, ownership belong to Allah Almighty, we are just trustees and we will be asked about this trust. When we read the Talbiyah we can see that it is very comprehensive. So repeat it and it will instil in your hearts this beautiful, sweet meaning which will connect you with Allah Almighty and it will be a real deep connection not just a superficial one. Hence, the Prophet (peace be on him) chose the Talbiyah as the slogan for Hajj as it encompasses all this.
This journey is a journey to test your patience. You need to develop your connection with Allah Almighty to give you tranquillity and serenity in your heart. So if interrupted by something (you don’t like), you show patience and continue in tranquillity. Don’t let the interruption affect the serenity in your heart. At these times remember Ibn Ata’illah’s statement. Allah Almighty will test your patience. You are here only to seek Allah Almighty’s pleasure, so obey His commands fully and be obedient.
Can you do perform tawaf by itself?
You can do tawaf on its own as nafl tawaf but you cannot perform sa’ee on its own. Sa’ee has to be preceded by tawaf.
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