The Hajj of the Friends of God
The reverend Shaykh could never financially afford to go on the obligatory Hajj pilgrimage. His guidelines to some Hajj pilgrims, however indicates that he had been quite familiar with the mysteries of the Hajj of God's friends. He believed that the real perfect Hajj will be accomplished only when the pilgrim is in love with the Lord of the House (Ka'bah) so that he can perceive the real goals of Hajj rituals. Thus in response to someone who suggested to go on Hajj together with him, he said:
"First learn how to be a lover, then come over to go to Makkah together!"
One of the reverend Shaykh's old disciples said: 'The first time I was setting out on the Hajj pilgrimage to the Holy Makkah, I went to him to ask for guidelines. He said:
"From your departure until forty days read the noble ayah
(رب أدخلني مدخل صدق وأخرجني مخرج صدق واجعل لي من لدنك سلطاناُ نصيرا)
(O my Lord! Let my entry be by the Gate of Truth and Honor, and likewise my exit by the Gate of Truth and Honor; and grant me from Thy presence an authority to aid (me) ) (17:80), perhaps you will be able to see Wali 'Asr (aj).
Then he added:
"How is it possible that one is invited to go to someone's house and fail to see the landlord!? Be fully alert to see that blessed Imam (aj) in one of the rituals of the Hajj insha ' Allah. "
2. Forbid Love of Anything other than God while in Ihram (pilgrims' garment)
"The person who puts on Ihram in Mi’qat should know that he has come here to forbid himself from other than God, and since the moment he says labbayk, he accepts God's invitation and rendered as forbidden other than God to himself. Whatever interest in other than God is unlawful to him and he should not pay attention to other than God till the last moments of his life!"
"Circumambulating the Ka'bah is apparently turning around the House, but you should know that what is meant by this turning is to make God the axis of ones life and to annihilate completely in Him. Find a state of spirit so that you turn around Him and be sacrificed for Him."1
4. Invocation under the Golden Spout (of Ka'bah)
"In the Hijr of Isma'il and under the golden spout where the pilgrims beseech God Almighty to resolve their problems, you propose: O God! Train me for serving You and helping Your Wali, Hujjat ibn al-Hasan (aj)!"
"When you go to Mina, what do you do at the place of Sacrifice? Do you know what the philosophy of sacrifice is? Do indeed sacrifice your imperative carnal self!
(فتوبوا الى بارئكم فاقتلوا انفسكم)(So turn (in repentance) to your Maker, and slay yourselves (the wrongdoers).) (al-Baqarah: 54) Behead your carnal soul and return. Get rid of your carnal soul, instead of having it become more powerful once you return!"
Upon returning (from Hajj), I had audience with the Shaykh and said: I would like to know whether any results have come out. He said:
"Lower your head and recite the al-Hamd!"
Then he deliberated for a moment and stated what places I have passed through in the Masjid al-Haram as well as my station there to the point where he said:
"The only place that they displayed affection to you was the cemetery of Baqi' where you were in such and such a state and demanded such and such things."
Whatever I beseeched there from God was revealed to him.
After returning from Hajj, I invited the Shaykh and some others to my house for Hajj banquet. We had prepared chelowkebab for the feast. We spread a separate tablecloth for the reverend Shaykh and several other private guests up on the portico. Noticing this, the Shaykh called me and said:
"Why do you show off?! Do not be too proud of yourself! Do not discriminate among people; treat them equally! Why do you give preference to some? No! I will mingle with the others, no distinction!"
It is worthwhile to know that what the reverend Shaykh has stated about the philosophy of Hajj based on his own intuitive findings are very close to what Imam Khomeini (ra) has expressed in explaining the mystical aspects of the Hajj pilgrimage, which are of interest to be touched upon here as a conclusion to this chapter:
The Secret of Frequently Uttering "Labbayk"
"Repeatedly uttering Labbayk is true for those who have heard the call of God by the ear of their soul and are responding to the call from Allah the Almighty by (His) comprehensive Name. It is the issue of being present in the Presence and witnessing the Beauty of the Beloved, as though the chanter (of Labbayk) has at this moment lost to himself and repeats the response to the call followed by denying association (with other than God) in the absolute sense of the word, (and) not simply association with Divinity, which is known to the devotees of God; although denying association in that includes all stages up to the annihilation of the world in the view of the people of knowledge and contains the entire cautionary and preferential issues. For instance, "alhamd laka wa' lni 'ma laka. .." dedicates hamd as well as the ni'ma to the Sacred Essence (of God) and denies association. This, to the people of knowledge, is the ultimate in monotheism, i. e., any praise (hamd) and blessing (ni'ma) that occur in the word is a praise to God and a blessing of God without association (with other than God). This high object prevails at every mawqif (station) and mash'ar (place of religious ritual), every stopping and moving, and every rest and action. Opposing to it means association in general, which we, the blind- hearted ones, are all suffering from."2
"Turning round the House of Allah suggests that you should not turn round other than God."3
"In circumambulating the Holy Haram of God, which is a sign of love of God, remove others from your heart and clean all fears other than fear of Allah from your soul, and in line with love' of God, disavow the greater and the lesser idols, the taghuts, and their associates,' the ones that the God Almighty and His friends disavowed from and all the liberated of the world are freed from it.4
"When touching Hajr al-Aswad (the Black Stone), make allegiance to God that you would be hostile to the enemies of God and his apostles and the pious and the liberated, and not to obey and serve them whoever and wherever they are; and to remove fear and meanness from your heart about the God's enemies, led by the great Satan (the U.S.A), even though they are superior in means of murdering and suppressing and criminal acts,"5
Sa'y (Attempt) in finding the Beloved
"In the sa'y between Safa and Marwah try sincerely and truthfully to look for the Beloved; when you find Him all the worldly knots will be untied, all the doubts will be removed, all the animal fears and hopes will be obliterated, all the material attachments will break off; nobility will flourish, and the satanic and idolatry bondages that hold the servants of God in captivity and obedience will fall apart."6
Mindfulness and 'Irfan (Gnosticism) in Mash'ar and 'Arafat
"Go on to the Mash'ar al-Haram and Arafat with mindfulness and Gnostic state and at any station (mawqif) reassure yourself more and more of God' s promises and the rule of the oppressed. With silence and dignity, deliberate over signs of the truth and think of liberating the down-trodden and the oppressed from the clutches of the world arrogance, and beseech the Almighty God, at those holy stations, to show you the ways of deliverance (and liberation)."7
The Secret of Making Sacrifices in Mina
"Then go to Mina and find out the true wishes there, where is a place for sacrificing your most favorite objects of love in the way of the Absolute Beloved. And know that you will not reach the Absolute Beloved unless you abandon such objects of love on top of which are the love of self and the love of the (material) world."8
Rajm-i 'Aqabat (Cursing the Satan by Throwing Pebbles at the Symbolic Pillars in Mina
"You go on this divine journey to throw pebbles at the Satan. If you are, God forbid, among the army of the Satan, you throw pebbles at yourselves, too. You should become Divine, so that your rajm (throwing pebble) is the stoning of the Satan by the army of the most compassionate God."9
- 1. Mizan al-Hikmah, IV, 1572: 5225; Ghurar al-Hikam, 10162. Similar concept is found in Nahjul Balagha, maxim no. 82.
- 2. Imam Khomeini's message to the Hajj pilgrims on the occasion of 'id al-Adha, Aug 29, 1984.
- 3. Ibid. act 3, 1979.
- 4. Ibid, August 7, 1986.
- 5. Ibid.
- 6. Ibid.
- 7. Ibid.
- 8. Ibid.
- 9. Sayings of Imam Khomeini (ra) at the meeting with the Ulama and directors of Hajj groups on Sep 30, 1979.