Arafah: the main day of Hajj. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said in one hadith: “Hajj IS Arafah.” [Sunan Abu Dawud, book 10, #1944] How true that is–if you go to Arafah, but miss everything else, your Hajj is sound; and if you do everything else, but miss Arafah, your Hajj is not valid. How much more important can you get than that? Arafah, the day when millions of poeple gather in one place at one time to praise and supplicate to Allah.
- Take a look at the following picture. What do you see? Most people will say they see the black dot. Not the whole field of white dots. That’s people for you! Despite all the white dots around us–our health, wealth, youth, our household, our family, our fine clothing–we only see the black dots. That guy at work who’s always talking on the phone. That punk at school who keeps stealing your cookies.
- Bismillah How many times have we heard this duaa in our lives: Rabbana aatina fid-dunya hasanah, wa fil-akhirati hasanah, wa qinaa athaban naar. Have we ever contemplated how complete this duaa is? Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) says فَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلاَقٍ وِمِنْهُم مَّن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ Translation: And among the people is he who says, “our Lord, give us in this world,” and he will have in the Hereafter no share.
- What is tawaf, how do you do it, and what’s the best way to go about it? Tawaf, Islamically, means circling around the Ka’bah for Hajj in the way the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) did and told us to do. The requirements of tawaf are simple–be in a state of wudoo. The mechanics of tawaf are: You walk around the ka’bah, seven times Start at the Black Stone corner (from outside, it has a green light); raise your hand towards the Black Stone and say “Allahu Akbar” (or, if you can reach it, touch the black stone and say Allahu Akbar) For men, if possible, you walk quickly (raml, in Arabic) the first three times Make du’a, recite Qur’an, or make dhikr as you walk.
- Hajj is an amazing act of ibadah–one that requires everything: mind, body, and wealth. People invest so much time, so much energy, and so much money into Hajj–and for what? What do they get out of it? For a properly-intentioned, well-planned and correctly-executed Hajj–one free of, for example, arguing, pushing, and harming other Muslims, full of patience–there are five jackpots you cash out on when you perform Hajj: Deeds: The Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said: “Whoever performs Hajj to this house–the Ka’bah–and does not commit any obscenity and wrongdoing, he, or she, will come out as the day he or she was born,pure and free from sins.
- Did you know: The literal meaning of hajj is ‘desire’? Hajj is one of the main five pillars and all muslims desire to go for hajj. We should hasten to do it/plan for it as early as possible.  Hajj is expensive, but ALHAMDULILAH we have been given glad tidings: by the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم), who said, it eliminates poverty and sin!
- Hajj is coming. Less then two weeks remaining! But what’s the deal with Hajj shopping? Everybody tells you to take different things. Take suitcases. No, don’t take suitcases. Take lots of clothes. No, take a few clothes. Take medicine. Confusion abounds. How would you like a sneak peak at the shopping list of someone who attended Hajj several times in the last few years? Someone who changed their focus from attending Hajj to helping others excel at Hajj?