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Political and Social Dimensions of Hajj

Like Marxism, the school of Wahhabism too, when coming across the events and phenomenon which go against the aim of their school of thought, tend to draw a new line and issue some new commandments for the Muslims in the course of time.

The victory of Islamic revolution in Iran brought up an extraordinary fear in hearts of the political leaders of Wahhabi ideology. They became very anxious from its influence over the neighbouring regions and very the thought of awakening of their nations brought them pain and agony.

In the Hajj season, when our dear and noble country of Iran would, as a revolutionary duty, engage in demonstrations and invite the Islamic nations towards unity and cooperation against the blood-thirsty Americans and international Communism1 and Zionism the politicians of Sa’udi Arabia stretched their hands towards the clergy for conjuring up a solution about this matter so that they could finally prohibit such demonstrations.

'Abd al-'Aziz bin Baz, the Mufti of Sa’udi Arabia, prohibited demonstrations under the pretext that Hajj is a devotional deed and should not be mingled with the other matters. As a result, the police attacked the pilgrims and the honourable guests to the House of Allah with whips and arms. They entertained the pilgrims to the House of Allah with curses, blows and bullets and instigated other people against them and this incident continues every year.

This part of the book has been written in reply to the fatwa (verdict) of the Mufti of Sa’udi Arabia and the political and social dimensions of this duty have been explained from the viewpoint of verses, traditions and the common practise of the muslims.

The aim of performing Hajj duties is to call for humility before God and this matter is clear and apparent by paying attention to the Hajj rituals.

'Ibada and worship of the Lord and non-worship of other than Him is evident right from the beginning of the deeds till the last of them and it is needless to mention them, especially if these actions are accompanied with recommended prayers. We derive the following conclusions from all such deeds:

Hajj is 'ibada and worship of the true Lord in the best possible circumstances.

Hajj is expressing humility with honour before God in the best form.

Hajj is beseeching and weeping before God in its deepest form.

Hajj is such an 'ibada where all kinds of elements of expression of devotion and bondage have been collected and one can clearly witness humility, submission, piety, deliverance from desires and attachments of this world.

The pilgrims to the House of Allah exhibit their deliverance from material manifestations by wearing two pieces of cloths and in this way, show that except for Allah, they have no interest in anything even to their sons, family and relatives. The only thing which preoccupies the minds of the pilgrims to the House of Allah is the saying of labbayk in one harmonious voice.

This matter is completely evident and clear by paying attention to the obligatory acts of Hajj, the places where these acts are to be performed and the stops where the pilgrims have to make a halt. Therefore, one should consider Hajj to be the greatest devotional act and the greatest religious obligation.

However, apart from this matter, there is another matter to be looked into and that is whether this act, apart from 'ibada, has any political and social dimensions or not? Or is it that, like the midnight prayers, it ends only and only in Ibadat and worship without having any relation with the common Islamic problems!

In other words, has God made Hajj obligatory upon all the Muslims whether men or women and young or old so that with such deeds they worship their Lord and except for this worship it does not hold any political and social dimensions.

Or is it that this obligation is the point of combination for Ibadat and politics and is the centre of relating worship of God with the other social and economic matters. It is this matter which we are going to discuss and we shall see that what the Qur’anic verses, the Islamic traditions (hadiths) and the practise of virtuous companions approve is the second point.

Observing the Benefits of Hajj

The Holy Qur’an describes the Hajj of Ibrahim ('a) as follows:

وَأَذِّنْ فِي النَّاسِ بِالْحَجِّ يَأْتُوكَ رِجَالًا وَعَلَىٰ كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ يَأْتِينَ مِنْ كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ {27}

لِيَشْهَدُوا مَنَافِعَ لَهُمْ وَيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَعْلُومَاتٍ عَلَىٰ مَا رَزَقَهُمْ مِنْ بَهِيمَةِ الْأَنْعَامِ ۖ فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا وَأَطْعِمُوا الْبَائِسَ

الْفَقِيرَ {28}

ثُمَّ لْيَقْضُوا تَفَثَهُمْ وَلْيُوفُوا نُذُورَهُمْ وَلْيَطَّوَّفُوا بِالْبَيْتِ الْعَتِيقِ {29}

ذَٰلِكَ وَمَنْ يُعَظِّمْ حُرُمَاتِ اللَّهِ فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَهُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِ ۗ وَأُحِلَّتْ لَكُمُ الْأَنْعَامُ إِلَّا مَا يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ فَاجْتَنِبُوا الرِّجْسَ مِنَ الْأَوْثَانِ

وَاجْتَنِبُوا قَوْلَ الزُّورِ {30}

حُنَفَاءَ لِلَّهِ غَيْرَ مُشْرِكِينَ بِهِ ۚ وَمَنْ يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَكَأَنَّمَا خَرَّ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فَتَخْطَفُهُ الطَّيْرُ أَوْ تَهْوِي بِهِ الرِّيحُ فِي مَكَانٍ

سَحِيقٍ {31}

ذَٰلِكَ وَمَنْ يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ {32}

لَكُمْ فِيهَا مَنَافِعُ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى ثُمَّ مَحِلُّهَا إِلَى الْبَيْتِ الْعَتِيقِ

“And proclaim among men the pilgrimage: they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, coming from every remote path, that they may witness benefits for them and mention the name of Allah during stated days over what He has given them of the cattle quadrupeds, then eat of them and feed the distressed one, the needy. Then let them accomplish their needful acts of shaving and cleansing, and let them fulfil their vows and let them go round the Ancient House.

That (shall be so); and whoever respects the sacred ordinances of Allah, it is better for him with his Lord; and the cattle are made lawful for you, therefore avoid the uncleanness of the idols and avoid false words, Being upright for Allah, not associating aught with Him and whoever associates (others ) with Allah, it is as though he had fallen from on high, then the birds snatch him away or the wind carries him off to a far-distant place. That (shall be so); and whoever respects the signs of Allah, this surely is (the outcome) of the pity of hearts. You have benefits in them till a fixed time, then their place of sacrifice is the Ancient House. (Hajj: 27-33)”

From among all these verses consider the second verse and ponder deeply over this sentence, ليشهدوا منافع للناس so that it becomes clear that:

Firstly, what is meant by these benefits where the pilgrims to the House of Allah should be a witness. The fact that this sentence has come before the sentence ويذكروا اسم الله somewhat shows that Hajj possesses two dimensions, a devotional dimension which is embodied in praise and remembrance of Allah and the social dimension which ends in the witness of the benefits and;

Secondly: in this verse, منافع (benefits) which is an indicator to social and political dimension is prior to ذكر الله (remembrance of Allah).

Thirdly, the Holy Qur’an has brought the word of منافعin absolute terms and without any restrictions so that it includes every kind of benefits; economical, political and social and we have no right to adopt this word and restrict its meaning to a particular benefit. We should include in it, the economic benefits or social and political benefits. This word, by decree of the next sentence ويذكروا اسم الله shows that apart from devotion, Hajj possesses another domain which one should benefit from and we should not consider it to be a dry 'ibada having no relation with the lives of the muslims.

It is advisable at this stage to know in what manner, the former head of al-Azhar, Shaikh Mahmud Shaltut has interpreted this sentence.

He says: The منافع (benefits), where Hajj is the perceptional and acquirable channel for that and which has been set forth as the foremost philosophy of Hajj, is having a wide and comprehensive meaning which cannot be concluded in any special forms. Rather, this sentence, with all the universality and commonness it possesses, contains all personal and social benefits. If purification of the soul and seeking proximity of Allah are benefits, then seeking advice too is benefit. If these two are reckoned to be benefits then, inviting the Muslims for centralizing their forces for the spread of Islam too is a benefit. Therefore, according to the necessities of time and the conditions of the Muslims, these benefits differ in every era. 2

In another place too, the former Shaykh of Al-Azhar says:

‘By paying attention to the special position which Hajj enjoys in Islam and the aims which have been set forth in it for one individual and one society, it is worthy that people of knowledge, wisdom and culture, (the responsible persons in charge of administrative and political affairs, the experts in financial and economical affairs, the teachers in laws and religion and the people in the battle-front) give special importance to it (and a group derives its benefits from Hajj).

It is worthy that people from all walks of life make haste towards this divine House. It is worthy that people of knowledge, insight, ijtihad and faith and the ones possessing lofty aims gather over there so that it is seen as to how Mecca spreads its wings of mercy over them and how it collects their slogan of tawhid in and around the House and (so that) they finally engage in seeking recognition, advice and help from each other and then they leave for their respective countries as one nation and with a single heart and united goals and outlook. 3

The point which is worthy of attention is this that just after the aforesaid verses (which all manifested the position and benefits of Hajj) the Holy Qur’an concludes the discussion with verses about jihad and safeguarding of Islamic frontiers. As the Holy Qur’an says:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُدَافِعُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ خَوَّانٍ كَفُورٍ {38}

أُذِنَ لِلَّذِينَ يُقَاتَلُونَ بِأَنَّهُمْ ظُلِمُوا ۚ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ نَصْرِهِمْ لَقَدِيرٌ {39}

الَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُوا مِنْ دِيَارِهِمْ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ إِلَّا أَنْ يَقُولُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ۗ وَلَوْلَا دَفْعُ اللَّهِ النَّاسَ بَعْضَهُمْ بِبَعْضٍ لَهُدِّمَتْ صَوَامِعُ وَبِيَعٌ

وَصَلَوَاتٌ وَمَسَاجِدُ يُذْكَرُ فِيهَا اسْمُ اللَّهِ كَثِيرًا ۗ وَلَيَنْصُرَنَّ اللَّهُ مَنْ يَنْصُرُهُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ {40}

الَّذِينَ إِنْ مَكَّنَّاهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَمَرُوا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهَوْا عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُورِ

“Surely Allah will defend those who believe; surely Allah does not love anyone who is unfaithful, ungrateful. Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is well able to assist them, those who have been expelled from their homes without adjust cause except that they say: Our Lord is Allah. And had there not been Allah's repelling some people by others, certainly there would have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques in which Allah's name is much remembered; and surely Allah will help him who helps His cause; most surely Allah is Strong, Mighty. Those who, should We establish them in the land, will keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and enjoin good and forbid evil; and Allah's is the end of affairs. (Hajj: 41-48)”

Is it that the presentation of verses of jihad and defence just after the verses of Hajj or so to say, the coming together of verses of Hajj and Jihad is accidental and without any reason. Never! Qur’an never brings together in one place the nonproportional verses and then fails to observe their relation.

In accordance with the unity and necessity of relation between these two sets of verses, we realize that there exists a special relation between Hajj and jihad; between the field of intellect and the field of defence and for such a relationship, the place of Hajj is the best place where the Muslims can prepare themselves mentally and spiritually so much so that they can rub the nose of the proud to the ground and pull down the knees of colonization.

Yes, this great divine Congress where the representatives of every nation gather is the best opportunity for the intellectuals amongst them to come together and discuss their political and defensive matters and form a united row before the enemies and teach them an unforgettable lesson. Even though this duty is not confined to the time and place of Hajj and rather the Muslims should face the enemies under any given situation and time, yet the time of Hajj and the gathering of Muslims at that place is the best opportunity for fulfilling this divine obligation.

It is not only Shaykh Shaltut who has interpreted منافع (benefits) which has come down in the verses in the general sense but the old exegetist of Ahl al-Sunnah al-Tabari, after commenting a few words on this matter, specifies that the most worthy utterance in the interpretation of this verse is to say: God has meant a general concept from this sentence. That is to say, the Muslims should perceive every kind of benefits which is possible at any time or to derive every kind of worldly and heavenly benefits and no tradition or rational decree has assigned any special meaning for this sentence (which is having a comprehensive meaning) 4

Ka’ba is the Existence of Life

The Holy Qur’an describes Ka'ba and Bayt al-haram by the following sentence:

جَعَلَ اللَّهُ الْكَعْبَةَ الْبَيْتَ الْحَرَامَ قِيَامًا لِلنَّاسِ وَالشَّهْرَ الْحَرَامَ وَالْهَدْيَ وَالْقَلَائِدَ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ لِتَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

“Allah has made the Ka’ba, the sacred house, maintenance for the people, and the sacred month and the offerings and the sacrificial animals with garlands, this is that you may know that Allah knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, and that Allah is the Knower of all things. (Maida: 97)”

The word of قيام which has come down in this verse, can be seen in another verse too. As:

وَلَا تُؤْتُوا السُّفَهَاءَ أَمْوَالَكُمُ الَّتِي جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ قِيَامًا

“And do not give away your property which Allah has made for you a (means of) support. (Nisa: 5)”

Here, gives the meaning of existence and in fact is synonymous with pillar and the meaning of the verse is this that the Hajj ceremonies and the ziyara of Ka'ba and one's presence near the House of Allah is the mainstay for the existence of worldly and heavenly life of the Islamic community.

Gathering during Hajj season, not only ensures the spiritual life of the Muslims but is the source of making secure every kind of element that has a great influence in one's individual and social life. Pondering over the meaning of this verse, guides us to a more comprehensive meaning i.e. whatever is related to the interests of the Muslims and are reckoned to be their life and existence is ensured in this Hajj season. With such general application and extensive saying, is it possible to conclude and limit this matter to only and only the interests related to 'ibada and worship?

What better expediency is better than one political platform that organizes and unites the Muslims against the colonists and the exploiters and makes them steadfast and encourages them to stand united in the battle against them. The Holy Qur’an does not allow the parents or guardians of the insane to give their wealth which is the source of their living and existence to them. It emphatically says:

ولا تُؤتُوا السفهاء أموالكم التي جعل الله لكم قياماً

“And do not give away your property which Allah has made for you a (means of) support. (Nisa: 5)”

Considering the contents of this verse, is it proper that the Hajj formalities should fall in the hands of those who are unaware of it and are fully heedless of the role it plays in the lives of the Muslims!

To acquaint the respected readers with the views of the commentators who focused on the same axis, we present here some of their views regarding the sentence of قياماً للناس

Al-Tabari says: “God has bestowed Ka'ba and Bayt al-Haram as a life for the people!

Moreover, he later says:

وجعلها معالم لدينهم ومصالح أمورهم

“He has made Ka'ba the place of signs of people's beliefs and the base for their interests and affairs.” 5

The author of Al-Manar in interpreting the afore-mentioned verse, says:

“God has made the Ka'ba a pillar for the people's religious affairs in such manner that it refines their morals and trains them. These are achieved through the Hajj obligations which is the greatest foundation of our religion and it is an 'ibada which is spiritual (but) containing the economic and social dimensions. "

Then, he continues and says: "This جعل in the verse حعل الله refers to both تكويني (creation) and تشريعي (laws) which guarantees every kind of worldly and heavenly interests of the people." 6

Expression of Aversion On The Occasion Of Hajj

Even if you doubt in the generality of the sentence ليشهدوا منافع لهم and orقياماً للناس yet you cannot doubt in the action of the Holy Prophet’s (s) representative in the Hajj season which was totally a political affair.

Because, in the year 9th Hijri, the Holy Prophet (s) gave charge to Ali (‘a) to read out a letter which contained expression of disgust towards the polytheists. This was at the time when 16 verses from the beginning of Sura Bara'a (Tauba) were revealed to the Prophet (s) which comprises of the following:

بَرَاءَةٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ إِلَى الَّذِينَ عَاهَدْتُمْ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ {1}

فَسِيحُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ أَرْبَعَةَ أَشْهُرٍ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّكُمْ غَيْرُ مُعْجِزِي اللَّهِ ۙ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ مُخْزِي الْكَافِرِينَ {2}

وَأَذَانٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ إِلَى النَّاسِ يَوْمَ الْحَجِّ الْأَكْبَرِ أَنَّ اللَّهَ بَرِيءٌ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ۙ وَرَسُولُهُ ۚ فَإِنْ تُبْتُمْ فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ ۖ

وَإِنْ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّكُمْ غَيْرُ مُعْجِزِي اللَّهِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ

"(This is a declaration of) immunity by Allah and His Apostle to wards those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement. So go about in the land for four months and know that you cannot weaken Allah and that Allah will bring disgrace to the unbelievers. And an announcement from Allah and His Apostle to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah and His Apostle are free from liability to the idolaters, therefore if you repent, it will be better for you, and if you turn back, then know that you will not weaken Allah; and announce painful punishment to those who disbelieve. (Tauba: 1-3)”

After reciting these verses, Amir al-mu'minin (‘a) issued a four-point resolution as such:

Behold O polytheists!

(a) The idol-worshippers have no right to enter the House of Allah.

(b) Circumambulation in the state of uncovered body is prohibited.

(c) Henceforth, no idol-worshipper will take part in the Hajj ceremony.

(d) Those that have signed a non-aggression treaty with the Holy Prophet (s) and have been loyal in their treaty will be faithfully respected. However, for those polytheists who are not having any pact with the Muslims or have intentionally dishonoured their pact, they will be given from this date (10th Dhu'l hijja) four months to clarify their stance before the Islamic Government or will have to join the monotheists and break-off from polytheism and dualism or prepare themselves for war. 7

What deed can be more political than this action where, in the midst of Hajj duties when the Muslims and polytheists were engaged in circumambulation, Ali (‘a) climbs a high place and starts nullifying some of the points of treaty and gives a four month deadline to either discard polytheism and join the ranks of the monotheists or face the consequences of a war.

Political Elegy of Farazdaq in Masjid al-Haram

Once, during Hajj time, when Hisham son of 'Abdul Malik was circumambulating the Ka’aba amidst a huge crowd, he tried many times to kiss al-hajar al-'aswad. However, due to the enormous crowd, Hisham did not get a chance and helplessly sat at one corner and glared at the people. Suddenly he saw a thin, good-looking, divinely-bright personality gradually advancing towards al-hajar al-'aswad. The people respected him and involuntarily moved back so that he could easily reach al-hajar al-'aswad. The people of Syria who were around Ibn 'Abdul Malik asked him: Who is this man? Hisham, even though he knew that personality very well refrained from introducing Imam and instead lied and said: I don’t know him.

At this moment, a poet by the name of Farazdaq who enjoyed special freedom and liberty un-hesitantly recited some poems and in this way, introduced Imam al-Sajjad ('a) very nicely. Some of the verses of his poem are as follows:

هذا الذي تعرف البطحاء وطأته والبيت يعرفه والحِل والحرم

هذا ابن خير عباد الله كلهم هذا التقي النقيّ الطاهر العلم

هذا ابن فاطمة إن كنت جاهله بجده انبياء الله قد خُتم

تكاد يُمسكه عِرفان راحته رُكن الحطيمم إذا ما جاء يستلم

“He is someone who, the soil of Batha' is aware of his footprints and Ka'ba, the House and its exterior are well-acquainted with him; He is the son of the best servants of Allah; He is pious, pure, holy and well-known. If you are unaware of him, he is the son of Fatima, (daughter of the Holy Prophet (s). Soon, when he will touch al-Hajar-ul-Aswad, it will not release his well-recognized hand.” 8

The poem of al-Farazdaq had such far-reaching effect that Hisham became wild and angry and immediately ordered for his arrest. When Imam ('a) became aware of this matter, he consoled al-Farazdaq very much.

Political and Social Dimensions of Hajj in Islamic Traditions

So far, it has somewhat become clear from the verses and ways of the Holy Prophet (s) that Hajj, while being one devotional deed, is evidently having a political aspect too where sometimes the Holy Prophet (s) himself considered them as identical. The Holy Prophet (s) has also referred to this aspect in traditions which we shall now mention a few of them:

In the book of Al-Taj al-jami' li al-'usul fi ahadith al-Rasul, vol. 2 pages 98-99, one can find the Holy Prophet (s) narrating as such:

(I) The best jihad is the Hajj which has been accepted. 9

(II) Hajj and 'Umra is a universal jihad and in that, men, women, the weak and the powerful participate. 10

(III) Is there a jihad for women? Yes! there is jihad for women wherein there is no battle but taking part in the Hajj ceremony. 11

(IV) The chosen ones before Allah are these: Those participating in jihad and the pilgrims to the House of God for Hajj and for Umra. 12

In this tradition, Hajj has been introduced as universal jihad and as jihad for women and in the last part of the tradition, those participating in jihad and those participating in Hajj are introduced as the chosen ones whom Allah has invited.

If in this tradition, Hajj has been called as jihad, (then) there should exist a kind of sign and similarity between these two that one can apply the word of jihad to another. One of the reasons why Hajj is called a jihad is because Hajj is similar to jihad in its objectives and effects. This divine obligation, apart from being 'ibada, is also an occasion for special endeavour in pre-determined matters. The strategies for practical jihad and the means and method of cooperation between the Muslims are set forth on this very occasion.

Political Speech of the Holy Prophet (s) at the Time of Hajj

A great and splendid gathering had taken place in Masjid al-Haram around the House of God. The Muslims and polytheists, the friends and foes had all come together and an aura of greatness had surrounded the environment of the mosque due to the magnificence of Islam and the greatness of Holy Prophet (s)

At such a moment, the Holy Prophet (s) began to speak by describing for the people the actual visage of his invitation which had taken twenty years from the date of its commencement. We bring here some of those historical sayings:

(a) O people, under the light of Islam, God took away from you the (so called) glories and the impunable acts attributed to your genealogy which was prevalent during the period of ignorance (jahiliyyah). All have come into existence from Adam and he too has been created from soil. The best of the people is he who refrains from sins and disobedience. 13

(b) O people, being an Arab is not a part of your nature. Rather, it is only a lip-service. Anyone who is negligent in his duties then the glories of his fathers and forefathers will be of no avail and will not make any amends for his shortcomings. 14

(c) All the people of the past and present are similar and equal like the teeth of a comb and no Arab is having preference over non-Arab nor the white over the black. The standard for excellency is piety and fear of God. 15

(d) I abrogate all the claims related to life and property and all the delusive glories of the pars period and declare all of them as baseless. 16

(e) A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim and all the Muslims are brothers to each other and before the strangers they have one common order. Their blood is the same as each other and the lowest amongst them can make a commitment on behalf of the Muslims. 17

(f) After accepting this religion, do not take an about turn where in such instances has resulted in the deviation of some and caused them to become the owners of each others. 18

(g) Your blood and your property are forbidden for you and are honourable like the honour of this day, this month and this city. 19

(h) All the blood which has been shed in the period of ignorance is declared to be in vain and the first blood which I keep under my foot is the blood of Rabie son of Harith. 20

(i) Every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim and all the Muslims are brothers (to each other). Nothing from his property is permissible for another except if he gives him as a good -will. 21

(j) There are three things which the heart of a believer is never disloyal to:

(i) Sincerity in action for the sake of God.
(ii) Wishing goodness for the true leaders.
(iii) Attending the gathering of the believers. 22

Political Poems at the Time of Victory of Mecca

At the time of victory of Mecca, the Muslims, before the very perplexed eyes of the polytheists were ordered, apart from performing their Hajj obligation, to call out and say the following du'a which is full of monotheism and epic.

لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وله المُلك وله الحمد يُحيي ويُميت وهو على كل شئ قدير. لا إله إلا الله وحده أنجز

وعده ونصر عبده وهزم الأحزاب وحده.

"There is no god except Allah; there is no partner for Him and the Kingdom belongs to Him. (All) Praise is for Him; He gives life and causes death and He is Powerful over all things. There is no god except Allah; He is alone. He has fulfilled His promise and helped His servant and alone He has destroyed the collective powers." 23

Signals and Implications

The Holy Prophet (s) has not restrained himself with such type of expressions in determining the political dimension of Hajj. Sometimes, through signs and indication, he showed that the most trivial actions of Hajj are not far from political dimensions.

In so much as in the endeavour between Safa and Marwa at one particular place, he increased his speed in walking so that in this way he wanted to reject the gossip of the polytheists who spread rumours that due to the inclemency of the weather of Medina, the Muhajirs (immigrants) and helpers of Prophet (s) had become weak. Therefore in "Umra-Qadha" he ordered the people to walk faster in the endeavour (between Safa and Marwa) and while circumambulating in order to show their strength to the polytheists. 24

In the prayers of tawaf the Holy Prophet (s) recited Sura al-Tawhid in the first unit and Sura al-Kafirun in the second unit. All are aware what dimensions, the contents of these two Suras have and how they refute and forbid every kind of nonmonotheistic thoughts or unity with any side from the camps of disbelief (kufr).

It is seen in history that at the time of touching or kissing al-hajar al-'aswad, the Muslims used to recite the following:

بسم الله والله أكبر على ما هدانا لا إله إلا الله لا شريك له أمنت بالله وكفرت بالطاغوت

“In the name of God, and God is great for He guides us, there is no God save Allah, there is no partner to Him, I believe in God and I deny Taghut (Tyrant)” 25

Political Dimensions of Hajj in the Words of Inerrant Leaders

(a) Imam al-Sadiq (‘a): About the philosophy of Hajj and the secrets of its legislations Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) say as such:

وجعل فيه الإجتماع من المشرق والمغرب والمغرب ليتعارفوا ولتُعرف اثار رسول الله وتُعرف اخباره ولا تُنسى ولو

كان كُل قوم إنما يتكلون على بلادهم وما فيها هلكُوا وخربت البلاد وسقط الجَلب والأرباح وعميت الأخبار ولم

يقفوا على ذلك وذلك علة الحج.

"In the land of Mecca, there manifested a gathering from East and West so that the people recognize each other and the effects of the Holy Prophet's works (traditions) are recognized and not forgotten. If every group depended upon what was taking place in their own lands, they would be destroyed, the cities would head towards ruin, the trade and economic affairs would collapse and the news and information would not reach the people. This is the philosophy of Hajj.” 26

This sentence shows that Hajj possesses scientific, economic and political aspects. In fact, Hajj is a connecting chain between the Muslims of the world who in this way engage in exchange of news and current situation of the world and acquire knowledge of the traces and Sunnah (practices) of the Prophet (s) which has been disseminated through the companions, disciples of the companions and the scholars of Hadith from the East and West. Meanwhile, every group present their goods over there and the method of trade and commerce is acquired and recognized.

(b) Again Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) says:

ما مِن بُقعة أحب إلى الله مِن المسعى لأنه يُذل فيه كل جبار

No spot of the world is more lovable to Allah than the place of endeavour between Safaa and Marwa because in this place all the stubborn people become abject and miserable and exhibit their servitude and bondage.” 27

(c) History, very clearly reports that the companions and the disciples of the companions derived benefits from this occasion to the advantage of Islam and the Muslims. The seed of most of the uprisings and movement for freedom originated from here and on such an occasion the nations would be invited to fight and combat the unjust rulers. Suffice it is in this case to listen to the words of al-Husayn ibn Ali ('a) on the day of Mina. At Hajj time, he called together the names of the sons of Ibn Hisham, the great personalities, their women and even the Ansars who had interest in him such that more than one thousand people attended his speech. At this moment, when the companions and their sons were listening to his speech, he began his speech as such

أما بعد فإن هذا الطاغية قد صنع بنا ما قد علمتم ورأيتهم وشهدتم وبلغنكم وإني أريد أن أسئلكم عن أشياء فإن صد

فصدقوني وإن كذبت فكذبوني اسمعُوا مقالتي واكتُموا قولي ثم إرجعوا إلى امصاركم وقبائلكم من امَّنتُموه ووثقتم

به فادعُوهم إلى ما تعلمون فإني اخاف أن يندرس هذا الحق ويذهب والله مُتِم نُوره ولو كره الكافرون

"After praising Allah and sending salutations upon the Holy Prophet (s), he said: O people, Know that what evils this tyrant (Mu'awiya) has committed against us to which you are all knowing and are aware about. I ask you of some affairs which if you find truth in them, then approve my saying and if I speak false, then reject my sayings. Now, listen to my talks and keep them hidden in your hearts and thereafter return back to your towns and among your tribes. You invite every person whom you trust and have confidence towards what you have knowledge (religious duty). I fear that the true religion gets eroded and nullified even though God is the terminator of His light and the unbelievers dislike it.” 28

Thereafter, al-Husayn ibn Ali ('a) recited some verses which has been revealed in favour of the Household of the Prophet and promised the people that when they returned back to their home-towns, they should relate his speech to the people whom they trust. Then he descended from his pulpit and the people dispersed.

It was not only al-Husayn ibn Ali ('a) who had taken advantage of this great gathering. Even the Christians and Jews who were living under the protection of Islamic Government would, at times when their rights were violated, plead for justice on such an occasion and demand back their right from the Islamic ruler. This is a witness to the presence of such a Sunnah (practice) amongst the Muslims. History has recorded it:

One of the coptics of Egypt, during the time of governership of 'Amr bin al-'As, entered into a competition with the son of the ruler and won the competition. The victory of one coptic over the son of ruler who was dear to 'Amr bin al-'As and his son finally lead to his beating through the son of 'Amr bin al-'As.

The coptic related the matter to the ruler of the time (‘Umar bin al-Khattab) during Hajj time and explained his innocence. ‘Umar called for the 'Amr bin al-'As and accounted a famous sentence in this regard:

متى استعبدتم الناس وقد ولدنهم أمهاتهم أحرارً

“Since when you have taken the people as your slaves whereas they have been born free from their mothers!?” 29

Thereafter he took revenge for the beaten one from the one who had beaten him.

History has narrated such incidents on so many occasions that it itself is a witness to the fact that Hajj is not only for worship and 'ibada and void of other dimensions. When Hajj is the centre of setting forth complaints, then why it cannot be the centre of setting forth complaints about the tyrant rulers of the East and West.

Sayings of Contemporary Thinkers about The Philosophy of Hajj

Now it is proper to narrate few sayings of the Islamic researchers about Hajj responsibilities. We shall narrate three sayings from three contemporary writers and one of them is the member of advisory board of Abdul Aziz University in Sa’udi Arabia. Here is some portions of their sayings:

(a) Farid Vajdi in the Islamic Da'irat al-Ma'arif writes about the matter of Hajj as such:

“The philosophy of divine legislation of Hajj is not something which can be explained in this book. What passes in one's mind is this that if all the Islamic Governments take advantage from this occasion in establishing Islamic unity amongst the Muslim nations, they will achieve a perfect result because a gathering of tens of thousands of people from different places in one common place and the attentiveness of their hearts to those things which are inspired to them in this place creates a special kind of impression in them and all return back to their respective countries with one heart and there, they propagate to their brothers whatever they have heard and learnt.

The example of this group is like the example of members of one big congress which gather from all corners of the world and after the termination of the congress disperse to different parts of the world carrying a message. Whatever may be the result of this magnificent Congress, gatherings on such occasions and later, the dispersion to the home-towns bears the same result.

(b) Doctor al-Qardawi, the contemporary writer, writes in the book al-'Ibadah fi al-Islam as such:

The greatest result which can be achieved from this gathering is that Hajj is the most important factor for awakening the Islamic ummah from its long sleep. For this reason, some of the puppet governments and invaders of Islamic states become an obstacle for the Muslims from visiting the House of Allah since they know that if the slightest movement is set up amongst the Muslims, then no factor can stop them from such a movement.

He writes in the book: al-Din wa al-hajj 'ala al-madhahib al-'arba'a, on page 51 as such:

“Hajj is a means of acquaintance among the Muslims and the source of forming affection and relation among the various kinds of people who live under the banner of monotheism. This is because at such times their hearts become one and their voice becomes united. Then, they embark on rectifying their own condition and setting right the defects of their own society.”

Doctor Muhammad Mubarak, advisor of al-Malik 'Abdul Aziz’ University writes as such:

"Hajj is a world congress where all the Muslims gather in one line for worshipping God. But this worship is not un-mixed and separate from their lives. Rather, it possesses a special relation with their lives."

In this regard, the Holy Qur’an says:

لِيَشْهَدُوا مَنَافِعَ لَهُمْ وَيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَعْلُومَاتٍ …

“That they may witness advantages for them and mention the name of Allah during stated days ….. (Hajj, 22: 28)”

By witness of the benefits and perception of the benefits nothing is meant but a common purpose encompassing all the aspects of the affairs of the Muslims.

Conclusion

If truly the obligatory act of Hajj possesses such a place and position which the Holy Qiran and Sunnah; the past practices of the Muslims and the views of the contemporary writers guide us towards that then why should we neglect in making use of it?

If Hajj is the means of introducing monotheism in the hearts and forming a united front for the Muslims, then why shouldn't we mobilize through this means, the Islamic forces and powers against the aggressors who have committed oppression against the Islamic lands such as occupied Palestine!? If Hajj exhibits scientific, cultural and economic dimensions, then why shouldn't the Muslims during such an occasion find a solution and ease their economic problems and other twisted matters?

Why shouldn't the oppressed ones of Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and Lebanon be given the opportunity to cry out (their problems) in the ears of the Muslims and why shouldn't they seek help from the Muslims in defending their just rights?

During Hajj, why shouldn't vast and extensive gatherings and congregations be held against the Eastern and Western Colonists and to expose their plots so that the Muslims return back to their respective countries with bright thoughts and united plans and programmes? For how long should we lose such golden opportunities and bear these losses?

We hope for the day when the foreign hands, who are at work behind the screen, are cut-off from the two holy shrines and the divine tombs and the places of Islam are looked after by a group selected from the Islamic society and the objectives of Hajj and its valuable effects are fulfilled in its real sense.

  • 1. Russia was united at the time when this book was written
  • 2. Al-Shari'a wa al-'aqida, page 151.
  • 3. Al-Shari'a wa al-'aqida, page 150.
  • 4. Tafsir al-Tabari, vol.17 page 108 (Beirut print).
  • 5. Tafsir al-Tabari, vol. 7 page 49.
  • 6. Al-Manar, vol.7 page 11
  • 7. Tafsir al-Tabari, vol.10 page 47; Sira Ibn Hisham, vol. 4 page 545.
  • 8. Al-Aghani 5 vol. 21 page 376-377; Manaqib Ibn Shahr Ashub, vol. 4 page 169. The afore-said elegy of al-Farazdaq has come in most of the historical and literary books. To doubt in the authenticity of this poem is one kind of opposition with the reliable traditions.
  • 9. افضل الجهاد حج مبرور
  • 10. جهاد الكبير والصغير والضعيف والمرأة الحج والعمرة
  • 11. نعم عليهم جهاد لا قتال فيه الحد والعمرة
  • 12. وقَّد الله ثلاثة الغارى والحاج والمُعتمر
  • 13. ايها الناس إن الله قد أذهب عنكم نحوة الجاهلية وتفاخرها بابائها ألا أنكم من أدم وأدم من طين إلا أن خير عبد اتقاه
  • 14. ألا أن العربية ليست "اب" والد ولكنها لسان ناطق فمن قصر عمله لم يبلغ به حسبه.
  • 15. إن الناس من لدن ادم إلى يومنا هذا مثل اسنان المشظ لا فضل للعربي على العجمي ولا للأحمر على الأسود إلا بالتقوى
  • 16. ألا إن كان مالٍ كان مال وماثرة ودمٍ في الجاهلية تحت قدمى هاتين
  • 17. المسلم أخ المسم والمسلمون اخوة وهم يد واحدة على من سواهم تتكافور مائهم يسعى بذمتهم ادناهم
  • 18. لا ترجعوا بعدي كفار مضلين يملك بعضكم رقاب بعض
  • 19. إن دمائكم وأموالكم عليكم حرام كحُرمة يومكم هذا في شهركم ه1ا في بلدكم هذا.
  • 20. ودماء الجاهلية موضوع وأول دمٍ أضعه دم ربيعة بن حارث.
  • 21.
  • 22. كل مسلم أخ المسلم وإن المسلمين اخوة فلا يحل لا مرئ من أخيه إلا ما أعطا عن طيب نفسه منه. إن
    Our references for these are: Rawdat al-kafi, page 246; Sira Ibn Hisham, vol. 2 page 412; al- Manar, al-Waqidi vol. 2 page 826 and others.
  • 23. Refer to the books of Hajj of Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and others.
  • 24. Jami' al-'usul, vol. 4 Book of Hajj.
  • 25. Abu Walid al-'Azarqi, Ta'rikh Makka, vol.1 page 339.
  • 26. Bihar al-'anwar, vol. 99 page 33, narrated from 'Ilal al-shara'i', by al-Saduq.
  • 27. Bihar al-'anwar, vol.19 page 49.
  • 28. Kitab Sulaym b. Qays al-Kufi, page 18.
  • 29. Farid Wajdi, book of Hajj vol.3 page 350 (Da'irat al-ma'arif).

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