Shaykh Aayid bin Umar accompanied King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz into the Prophet’s Chamber, located in Madinah Mosque, and found that there were locked boxes made of iron. He did not know what was inside them.
In a video uploaded to YouTube, Sheikh Aayid said that King Faisal (reign from 1964 to 1975) ordered that a committee be formed to register the contents of the Chamber.
“We were ordered to enter the Chamber after the evening prayers. We catalogued the contents of the Chamber with the aid of a jewellery expert and historical records to identify items. The first box was examined and we found gold and jewellery. The second box contained chains of silver… We also found some private correspondences linked to the Prophet,” said Shaykh Aayid.
He said that the committee continued to catalogue the contents of the chamber for 15 days. The jewellery was moved to Madinah museum and the correspondence was handed over to the education ministry for further study.
I cannot help, when talking about Hajj safety, but remember the British researcher Alistair, whom I met three years ago who was in the company of an Australian friend of his. He told me that he was investigating the issue of the safety of communities, and Hajj was one of the environments selected for test and study. After a few trials with the Saudi embassy in England, they finally agreed to grant him a visa to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to be around the pilgrims and join the pilgrims in their journey between the different rites.
He was a non Muslim, but no sooner did the season of Hajj finish that he announced his reversion to Islam and he returned the next year to Saudi Arabia as a Muslim to perform the rituals of Hajj.
The main reason behind him embracing Islam, as per his statement, was the result of the study he conducted during Hajj. He discovered the miraculous divine sign in the issue of safety during Hajj.
He said, “When I compared the results of the studies I conducted in the smallest community during football games that were held between the famous teams, the number of fans was around one hundred thousand people. In Hajj, on the other hand, the number was two million people in precise, relatively small areas that were connected areas. The requirements of performing these rites dictate that people are on the move around the clock. People move in a very short period in huge numbers. When comparing the two situations of the games in England and Hajj in Saudi, I noticed a massive and astonishing difference with regards to crime cases. Even though the means and causes for crime are facilitated, like the huge congested crowd, the closeness of people (especially during tawaf) and the set up of accommodation in Mina. Despite all of that, the crime rate there is not even one tenth that of the crime rate during the games in England in small communities. Additionally, the crime cases in Hajj are limited to theft and some fights due to disputes amongst pilgrims and some traffic violations. However, in England during games, the matter reaches murder, kidnapping, rape, robbery and ruining public property. […] I was certain after my experience that the safety aspect during Hajj cannot but be a divine gift granted by the Lord and a sign that calls people to ponder upon the greatness of Islam and that it is the True religion. This is why I decided to embrace Islam and have changed my name to Ilyas.”
Imam Al-Qurtubi said, “Makkah continues to be a sacred place which is safe and protected against earthquakes and other disasters that afflict other places. Allah made people glorify it and fear to commit evil in it to the extent that it became known and famous for its safety.”
“Have we not established for them a safe sanctuary (Makkah) to which are brought the fruits of all things as provision from Us? But most of them do not know.” [28:57]
“And (mention) when We made the House (K’abah) a place of return for the people and a place of security.” [2:125]
“By the fig and the olive. And by Mount Sinai. And by this secure city (Makkah).” [95:1-3]
“Have they not seen that We made (Makkah) a safe sanctuary, while people are being taken away all around them?” [29:67]
These verses and others prove that the safety and security of Makkah continues to be from Allah, and it is indeed a sign from Allah to all people to ponder upon and reflect.
There are several righteous deeds that are equal in reward to Hajj and Umrah. Some of these deeds are:
1. Dhikr after the five daily prayers
A group of poverty stricken people came to the Prophet salla Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam and said, “O Messenger of Allah, the wealthy people will have higher grades and will have permanent enjoyment in high levels in Paradise. They pray like us and fast as we do, but they have more money by which they perform the Hajj, ‘Umrah, participate in honourable battle and give in charity.” The Prophet replied, “Shall I not tell you something upon which if you acted you would catch up with those who have surpassed you? Nobody would surpass you and you would be better than the people amongst whom you live except those who would do the same. Say ‘Subhan Allah’, ‘Alhamdulillah’ and ‘Allahu Akbar’ thirty-three times each after every (compulsory) prayer.’” Reported by Al-Bukhari.
This means that dhikr (words of remembrance) after each prayer equals to Hajj and ‘Umrah for Muslims.
2. Praying the ‘Isha and Fajr prayers in congregation
In a similar report to the above, the Prophet answered with another response. He said, “Has Allah not rendered for you the ‘Isha prayer in congregation equal to Hajj, and the Fajr prayer in congregation equal to ‘Umrah?” Reported by Muslim.
3. Praying the Fajr prayer in congregation and staying in the mosque until sunrise to perform the Duha prayer
The Prophet salla Allahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “Whoever prays the Fajr in congregation, then sits remembering Allah (dhikr) until the sun rises, then prays two units, he will receive the rewards of a complete Hajj and ‘Umrah – he repeated that thrice.” Reported by Al-Tirmidhi.
4. Attending the congregational prayers at the mosque, and walking to the mosque to perform voluntary prayers
The Prophet said, “Whoever walks to complete an obligatory prayer in congregation, it is like Hajj [in terms of rewards], and whoever walks to complete a voluntary prayer, it is like a voluntary ‘Umrah [in terms of rewards].” Walking to the mosque to complete sunnah prayers such as the Duha prayer as mentioned in the version of Abu Dawud.
5. Offering prayers in Quba Mosque
The Prophet said, “He who purifies himself at his home and comes to Masjid Quba and prays therein will have the reward like that of ‘Umrah.” Reported by Ahmad.
‘A’ishah bint Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas said, “I heard my father saying, ‘It is dearer to me to pray two units in Quba’ Mosque than visiting Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa twice. If people only knew the virtues of praying in Quba Mosque, they would fight over it.’”
8th Dhul Hijjah – Yawm-ut-Tarwiyah
The first day of Hajj is the 8th day of Dhul-Hijjah, known in Arabic as Yawmut-Tarwiyah (the day of fetching water and quenching thirst).
It is known as Yawm-ut-Tarwiyah because in the past there was no source of water on the actual plains of Arafah and Mina. The plains for the most part are wide, open valleys—dry and barren.
Because of the scarcity of water in the area, the pilgrims were instructed to prepare for the long days ahead by feeding and supplying their animals and riding beasts with sufficient water. The pilgrims would also gather water for themselves and fill their water containers. It is for this reason the day was given the name Yawmut-Tarwiyah (the day of fetching water and quenching thirst).
Yawmut-Tarwiyah is a preparation for the days to follow and in particular the 9th day—the anticipated day on which The King of the worlds descends. The pilgrim looks forward to this meeting; he is eager to meet Allah and is rewarded with the like, “Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah will love to meet him. Whoever dislikes to meet Allah, Allah will dislike to meet him.” Reported by Al-Bukhari.
What do pilgrims do on the 1st day of Hajj?
1. Regardless of their location—whether they are in a hotel, in Mina or in Makkah—the hujjaj (pilgrims) prepare themselves to enter the state of ihram: clipping their fingernails, trimming their moustaches, shaving their underarms and pubic areas and taking a thorough shower. Men put on perfume and wear the two white garments, and women may wear their regular clothes.
2. When the pilgrims are ready to travel to Mina, they pronounce the talbiyah of Hajj and enter ihram, “Labbayk Allahumma Hajj,” which epitomizes the purpose of this journey, “Here I am O Allah, for the Hajj.”
3. In Mina, the pilgrims generally remain there for the entire day and night until after Fajr the next day.
9th Dhul Hijjah – Yawmul-Arafah
The second day of Hajj is the 9th day of Dhul Hijjah, known in Arabic as Yawmul-Arafah (the day of Arafah).
There are different opinions as to why this day was called Arafah or Arafat. Three are as follows:
1. The root letters of Arafah linguistically mean ‘to be acquainted with, to know.’ It is said that Arafah was the place where Adam and Eve reunited when they were sent down to reside on earth. They came down on two different spots but eventually were able to meet and recognize each other on this plain.
2. Since pilgrims spend most of that day on the same plain, some become acquainted with others. So it is a place of ta’aruf (getting to know one another), and because of the great number of people making ta’aruf the word Arafat was coined.
3. It is the place where pilgrims acquaint themselves with their King and Master. They raise their hands beseeching Him, asking for their needs and wants. They empty their hearts to Him, speaking of every fear and regret, seeking His forgiveness and counsel, asking for His grace and favour.
The Day of Arafah is certainly a tremendous day; a blessed day chosen by Allah; an immense gathering of goodness, iman, and taqwa. A day wherein the King draws close to His faithful subjects; He speaks of them with happiness and satisfaction—rather He boasts of them. A day when many tears are shed and prayers pour forth in succession, one after the next; an abundance of mercy descends, and mistakes and errors are pardoned. It is a grand occasion of worship and obedience, of joy and happiness for both the King and His honoured slaves and visitors.
The day of Arafah is a special day. A blessed day. A day of hope and renewal. The sun has not risen on a day better than it!
On this promising and sacred day, Allah frees many from the Hellfire; purifying them and breaking the shackles that once bound them. He then generously gives His believing slaves from His immense kingdom and speaks proudly of them to an audience(angels) who have especially gathered to witness their every statement and action, “There is no day on which Allah frees more servants from the Fire than the Arafah Day. He draws near and speaks of them proudly in …
لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ ، لَبَّيْكَ لا شَرِيكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنَّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ لا شَرِيكَ لَكَ
Just as the takbir (Allahu Akbar) is repeated throughout salah, so too is the talbiyah repeated throughout Hajj. It signifies a transfer from one state to another or one rite to the next just like the takbir in salah is an indication of change from one of its pillars to another.
Labbayk Allahumma labbayk
This part of the talbiyah is commonly translated as ‘O Allah, here I am. Here I am.’ As is normally the case, much of the meanings and connotations are lost in translation.
The word ‘labbayk’ has many uses or meanings. They include:
Response. Labbayk is said to someone who calls or invites you. It is incorrect, linguistically, to respond using this word to someone who did not call you.Therefore, the pilgrim says the talbiyah responding/answering the call of Allah, “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.” [22:27]
Love. Labbayk is only said to someone whom you love or admire. Therefore, the pilgrim responds to the call lovingly and with excitement as opposed to burden and dislike.
The word labbayk connotes meanings of nearness, sincerity, perseverance and humility. All of these meanings stem from different Arabic constructions based on the same root letters. This means the pilgrim exhibits these meanings when saying the talbiyah and throughout the Hajj.
The word labbayk is constructed in the dual form. This implies a reiteration or repetition of what has preceded with regards to its meanings. It is like saying, “O Allah! I answer your call, and again I answer it…” In this case, the dual form connotes love upon love, closeness upon closeness, sincerity upon sincerity… etc.
Innal-hamda wan-n’imata laka wal-mulk
This part of the talbiyah is commonly translated as ‘Verily all praise and bounties are Yours, and all the kingdom.’
Hamd means praise. But what does it mean to praise someone? A person praises someone when he recognises good qualities in that person for which he should be praised. Accordingly, hamd is affirmed for Allah in the same light. The pilgrim praises Allah, particularly for honouring and being kind to him by calling and inviting him to His House, and facilitating that, despite the pilgrim’s shortcomings―only so that Allah may forgive him.Additionally, the Arabic word hamd is not completely equivalent to the English word praise. Hamd connotes love and truthfulness among other qualities. Therefore, if someone is praised for qualities he does not possess, or a slave praises his master without admiration or believing in that praise, it is not hamd. This is like a commoner praising a tyrant king in the hope of ridding himself of his tyranny. There is no love or admiration, just empty words and insincere flattery.
N’imah means bounty. In this case, it is the recognition that all favours and bounties are from Allah. It evokes a sense of gratitude.
Mulk means dominion. It is an affirmation that to Allah alone belongs the kingdom, and no true sovereignty belongs to anyone other than Him. It is the recognition that all languages, shapes, colours…, all times (eternal and temporal) and all places, etc. belong to Him alone. Mulk does not only incorporate land but it includes everything other than Allah ‒ the entire creation in all its forms and qualities. He is Sovereign over it all. There is no will except that He is over it sovereign. There is no means except that He is over it sovereign ‒ it is all from His mulk. Fire is a means by which something is burnt but Allah is sovereign over it, and that is why the fire which Ibrahim was thrown into became a means of coolness and not heat, it became a means of refuge and not pain. His rule is over all beings and characteristics.
The words ḥamd, n’imah and mulk are preceded by the Arabic definite article ‘al’ which denotes every kind of praise, bounty and dominion.
In this part of the talbiyah, the pilgrim is simultaneously affirming dominion, bounty and praise for Allah. Combining words and phrases is another manner of praising Allah and differs from saying them independently/singly (e.g. subhanAllah is a single praise whereas subhanAllahi wa bihamdihi is a compounded or combined praise).
This phase …
Some mistakes that occur during tawaf (circling Ka’bah) are:
1 – Uttering the intention aloud. For example, the pilgrim stands facing the Black Stone and says, “O Allah, I intend to do seven circuits of tawaf for Umrah” or the like.
2 – Pushing and shoving. This is especially true when people go to touch the Black Stone. They are disturbed by others and then go onto disturb others themselves. Instead, he should remain calm and dignified, so that he will have the proper presence of mind for worshipping Allah. The Prophet said, “Tawaf around the House, the running between Safa and Marwah, and the stoning have only been prescribed so remember Allah (dhikr).”
3 – Tawaf is not valid unless one kisses the Black Stone. This is a mistaken notion. Kissing the Black Stone is a sunnah (recommended act). Moreover, it is not an independent sunnah either, rather it is sunnah for the one who is doing tawaf. If there is a lot of crowding then pointing is better than touching, because this is what the Messenger of Allah did when the place was crowded, and because by doing this a person avoids harm that he may do to others or that others may do to him.
4 – Kissing the Yemeni Corner. There is no authentic proof concerning this from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
5 – Touching the Black Stone with the left hand. It is customary to use the right hand in matters of respect.
6 – Touching the Black Stone just for the sake of it or as part of a “bucket list.” The purpose of touching the Black Stone or wiping it or kissing it is to glorify Allah. Hence, when the Prophet touched the Black Stone, he said: “Allahu Akbar,” as an indication that the purpose of this action is to glorify Allah.