History of Hajj(Muhammad Kabir Haruna Gombe)

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Hajj started with Ibraheem (Peace
be upon him) who left his legacy
both in the Hanifiyah, the pristine
religion of Islam and in Hajj. The
legacy of Ibraheem (A) was his
millah, way, of true submission to
Allah. He was the first one who
used the word “Islam”. He named
anyone holding to the same faith
as him a Muslim meaning the one
that surrenders and submits to the
will of the Creator, Allah. We read
in Surat al-Hajj,
“And strive in His cause as you
ought to strive, (with sincerity and
under discipline). He has chosen
you, and has imposed no
difficulties on you in religion; it is
the way of your father Abraham. It
is He who has named you
Muslims, both before and in this
(Revelation); that the Messenger
may be a witness for you, and you
are witnesses for mankind! So
establish regular Prayer, give
regular Charity, and hold fast to
Allah! He is your Protector, the best
to protect and the Best to
help!” (22:78)
His submission and total surrender
to the Will of Allah is related to his
establishment of Hajj. Even if
Ibraheem (A) did not remain in
Makkah to the end of his life, he
laid the foundations of the Ka’bah
in the middle of Makkah valley as
well as the principles of Tawheed,
genuine monotheism, in the heart
of his son Ismaeel (A). The latter
was also a prophet and a
messenger of Allah, who kept the
promise to preserve and guard
Ka’bah as well as the Islamic faith.
Later on, one of his descendents
through Kedar – the second son of
Ishmael as prophesied in Genesis
25:13 and a few other places –
Muhammad (S), who was also a
Hanif, rejected the idolatry and
paganism brought to Makkah and
called to the same faith as his
forefathers Ibraheem (A) Ismaeel
(A). He was chosen by Allah to be
the last Messenger sent as Mercy
to the world. He restored that
legacy, Islam, and preserved the
Ka’bah from the alien beliefs and
practices. He reminded people of
the religion of Ibraheem (S) and its
tenets and called everyone to the
religion of Ibraaheem (Peace be
upon him).
The building of the Ka’bah was by
Ibraaheem and his son Ismaeel
(Peace be upon them). This house
was named “Ka’bah” after its cubic
shape. It is the center point for
Muslims all over the world. When a
Muslim wants to pray, he, or she,
must face Qiblah – the direction
towards Makkah. Hajj also cannot
be performed except in Makkah
and its vicinity. The al-Masjid al-
Haraam, holy mosque, was the first
mosque built in the world. It is
today the most visited place on
earth and that is why it is called al-
Bayt al-‘ateeq meaning the ancient
house. One prayer in this mosque
equals one hundred thousands
prayers elsewhere as stated in a
few authentic hadiths.
When Ibraaheem (A) finished the
construction of Ka’bah, he called
people to Hajj and prayed to Allah
to bless Makkah and its vicinity and
to make people come visit it until
the Day of Judgement though it
was remote and in the desert.
“Remember Abraham said: “O my
Lord! Make this city one of peace
and security: and preserve me and
my sons from worshipping idols. “O
my Lord! They have indeed led
astray many among mankind; he
then who follows my (way) is of
me, and he that disobeys me, but
You are indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most
Merciful. “O our Lord! I have made
some of my offspring to dwell in a
valley without cultivation, by Your
Sacred House; in order, O our
Lord, that they may establish
regular Prayer: so fill the hearts of
some among people with love
towards them, and feed them with
Fruits: so that they may give
thanks.” (14:35-7)
Allah (swt) always relates the story
of Hajj and Ibraheem to Tawheed
and Islam, which is the way of
Ibraheem, Muhammad, and all the
prophets (Peace be upon them).
“Remember We made the House a
place of assembly for men and a
place of safety. And take the
Station of Abraham as a place of
prayer; and We covenanted with
Abraham and Isma’il, that they
should sanctify My House for those
who compass it round, or use it as
a retreat, or bow, or prostrate
themselves (therein in Prayer). And
remember Abraham said: “My
Lord, make this a City of Peace,
and feed its People with fruits’ such
of them as believe in Allah and the
Last Day.” He said: “(Yes), and
such as reject Faith, for a while will
I grant them their Pleasure, but will
soon drive them to the torment of
Fire, an evil destination (indeed)!”
And remember Abraham and
Isma’il raised the foundations of the
House (with this prayer): “Our Lord!
Accept (this service) from us: for
You are the All-Hearing, the All-
Knowing. “Our Lord! Make of us
Muslims bowing to Your Will); and
of our progeny a people Muslim,
bowing to Your (Will); and show us
our places for the celebration of
(due) rites; and turn unto us (in
Mercy); for You are the Oft-
Returning, Most Merciful. “Our
Lord! Send amongst them a
Messenger of their own, who shall
rehearse Your Signs to them and
instruct them in Scripture and
Wisdom, and sanctify them: for You
are the Exalted in Might, the Most
Wise.” And who turns away from
the religion of Abraham but such
as debase their souls with folly?
Him We chose and rendered pure
in this world: and he will be in the
Hereafter in the ranks of the
Righteous. Behold! His Lord said to
him: “Bow (your will to Me):” he
said: “I bow (my will) to the Lord
and Cherisher of the Universe.”
And this was the Legacy that
Abraham left to his sons, and so
did Jacob; “O my sons! Allah has
chosen the Faith for you; then die
not except in the state of
submission (to Allah)” (2:125-32)
And talking about the first call to
Hajj, Allah (swt) says,
“Behold! We gave the site, to
Abraham, of the (Sacred) House,
(saying): “Associate not anything
(in worship) with Me; and sanctify
My House for those who compass
it round, or stand up, or bow, or
prostrate themselves (therein in
prayer). And proclaim the
Pilgrimage among people; they will
come to you on foot and (mounted)
on every kind of camel, lean on
account of journeys through deep
and distant mountain highways.
That they may witness the benefits
(provided) for them, and celebrate
the name of Allah, through the
Days Appointed, over the cattle
which He has provided for them
(for sacrifice): then eat thereof and
feed the distressed ones in want.
Then let them complete the rites
prescribed for them, perform their
vows, and (again) circumambulate
the Ancient House. Such (is the
Pilgrimage): whoever honors the
sacred rites of Allah, for him it is
good in the sight of his
Lord” (22:26-30)
As we see here, Hajj was practiced
before Prophet Muhammad (S)
came, but the latter removed the
false worshipped idols and ended
all pagan beliefs and practices,
which had changed gradually the
way of Ibraheem and Ismaeel (A)
as well as the Ka’bah’s sanctity.
Many rituals were innovated by
people over time, but Prophet
Muhammad (S) showed his
companions with every detail how
to perform the best pilgrimage. He
(S) said,
“O people! Learn from me the way
how to perform your Hajj rituals for
I do not know if I will be able to
make Hajj next year or
not.” [Muslim, An-Nassaa’i, Abu
Dawud, and Ahmad].
Hajj: A station of
When we perform Hajj, we should
relate the rituals to our forefathers
and ancestors in faith: Ibraheem,
Ismaeel, Haajar, and Muhammad
(S) as well as the first generations
of Muslims. In Hajj, we
commemorate them as well as
their sacrifice, sincerity, dedication
and patience, which constitute the
main elements of their legacy. We
should not perform Hajj only
physically, but spiritually as well.
We should try to understand the
meaning of every thing we do and
see what lessons we can draw.
The following points are some
reflections on the pillars of Hajj
and some other rituals:
– In the state of Ihram we wear for a
couple of days a seamless
garment, which is exactly like a
shroud. It is a symbol of total
renunciation of worldly life in order
to get purified and to raise the soul
to a high spiritual level of
consciousness of Allah and the
Eternal life. It makes the pilgrim
humble, equal to others, and
helpless as if it is the Day of
The restrictions of the state of
Ihraam are very rigorous in terms
of the way the pilgrim behaves with
others, with himself, and with Allah
and also in terms of using regular
worldly things such as putting
perfume, cutting one’s hair…etc.
This makes Hajj a school of
discipline, taqwah and self-control.
A school, which can produce
righteous, decent, honest and
hardworking people as the five
daily prayers and the fasting of
Ramadan and the pillars of Islam
– In Tawaaf – Circumambulating
around Ka’bah- the pilgrims walk
fast to commemorate the first
generation of Muslims who came
with the Messenger of Allah (S) to
perform Hajj. When the Polytheists
of Makkah started saying that the
Prophet’s companions were sick
because they were effected by the
fever of Madinah, the Prophet (S)
wanted to disappoint them and
show the opposite. That is why
men almost jog with short steps in
the first three circumambulations
and uncover their right shoulders
during all the tawaaf.
We also imitate the angels who
circumambulate around al-bayt al-
Ma’amour – the filled house – above
in the seven Heaven as reported in
many authentic hadiths.
When we kiss the Black Stone,
which was brought from Jannah,
we remember the other life and
pray to Allah that Paradise will be
our abode. In the Hadith , the
Prophet (S) said that when the
Black Stone was brought from
Jannah., it was very white, but it
darkened and became black
because of the sins of human
beings. We kiss it because we saw
the Prophet (S) doing it and it is
simply an act of following. The
stone cannot bring any benefit or
harm to us. All the rituals, the
pillars of Islam and our lives should
be established by following the
best. If we understand deeply the
meaning of “I bear witness that
Muhammad is the servant and
Messenger of Allah” as following
the pattern of the model chosen by
God Almighty, we will certainly
reach Jannah through the straight
path, which is drawn by that model
– In as-Safaa and al-Marwah we
commemorate Haajar (Peace be
upon her), the mother of Ismaeel
(A) and the wife of Ibraheem (A).
She performed Sa’y when she was
looking for water for her son. After
she relied on Allah and assured
Ibraheem that Allah won’t leave
them without help (he left with them
some dates and water but soon it
was finished after a couple of
days…). She was certain that Allah
would not forsake her and her son.
In that remote place, water sprung
out from under the feet of Ismaeel
the baby. After the certitude she
had, her strong faith in Allah, her
sacrifice of searching for water by
going back and forth between as-
Safaa and al-Marwah, Allah
answered her du’aa and blessed
her with a water that run and never
stopped in an arid and rocky land.
She left a great legacy in sacrifice,
piety, trust in Allah, and patience.
Allah wants us to learn from her to
the point that he made Sa’y
between as-Safaa and al-Marwah
one of the pillars of Hajj and
Umrah. He says,
“Behold! As-Safa and al-Marwah
are among the Symbols of Allah.
So if those who visit the House in
the Season or at other times,
should compass them round, it is
no sin in them. And if any one
obeys his own impulse to Good, be
sure that Allah is He Who
recognizes and knows.” (2:158)
– In Arafaat we commemorate the
Success of Muslims over the
pagans of Makkah. It was the
success of truth over falsehood.
There, the Muslim remembers that
truth always prevails no matter how
long it takes for falsehood and
delusion to last and deceive.
‘Arafaat is also the symbol of unity
and solidarity because it is a pillar
of Hajj that should be done by all
the pilgrims in the same place and
at the same time following the
same way. The day of Arafah
reminds us also of the Day of
Judgement when we will all stand
up waiting for the Just Judgement
of Allah Almighty.
Arafaat is also another symbol of
manifestation of Tawheed in terms
of the unified collective standing of
all the pilgrims at the same time in
the same place. Moreover, when
Prophet Muhammad (S) performed
Hajj he stood on Arafaat as his
forefather Ibraheem used to do
instead of standing on Muzdalifah
as the Quraish pagans used to do
because they believed they should
not go beyond al-Haram
boundaries. This was also another
example of the distortion of the
religion of Ibraheem and Ismaeel
– In the Stoning at al-Jamaraat, we
commemorate Ibraaheem (A) and
remember how strong and firm he
was against Shaytan – our enemy
since the time of Adam (A). We
should remember how Satan does
his utmost effort to distract us from
doing what we’re supposed to do
to become closer to Allah and to
enter Paradise. Allah has told us
that Satan is our enemy and that
we should be constantly in this life
in a state of war with him,
“Then We said: “O Adam! Verily,
this – Satan – is an enemy to you
and your wife: so let him not get
you both out of the Garden, so that
you are landed in misery.” (20:117)
“Verily Satan is an enemy to you:
so treat him as an enemy. He only
invites his adherents, that they may
become companions of the Blazing
Fire.” (35:6)
We also reflect on the great
sacrifices and trials Ibraahem had
to undergo such as offering his son
Ismaael that he had to wait for his
birth for many decades. In the
middle of joy and happiness for
becoming a father, Allah wanted to
see how strong was his
commitment to Him. He ordered
him to offer the most valuable thing
he had; his only son at that time.
Ibraheem and Ismaeel did not fail
in that very difficult test and earned
the pleasure of Allah. Allah called
this trial a great one when He said,
“For this was obviously a great
“So when they had both submitted
their wills (to Allah), and he had
laid him prostrate on his forehead
(for sacrifice), We called out to him,
“O Abraham! You have already
fulfilled the vision!” thus indeed do
We reward those who do right. For
this was obviously a trial. And We
ransomed him with a momentous
sacrifice” (37:103-07)
The most important thing we
should keep in our minds is that
Allah knows better than we do
even if we sometimes think that a
certain action is not clear to us or
does not make a sense to us and
why do we have to perform it. Of
course Allah orders only what is
good and just for us and all
mankind. We should accept and
submit to Allah. As a matter of fact,
one of the meanings of Islam is
In commemorating this, the pilgrim
should think whether he, or she, is
ready to offer the dearest thing to
his, or her, heart for the sake of
Allah. This religion cannot survive
in the hearts of people without
sacrifices, devotion, sincere love,
commitment, and dedication. Allah
(swt) says,
“By no means shall you attain
righteousness unless you give
(freely) of that which you love; and
whatever you give, of a truth Allah
knows it well.” (3:92)
Lessons and Reflections:
– Hajj is an act of Worship – not
tourism or promenade – which
requires a physical and spiritual
– It is a station of renewing Iman as
many other stations where sins are
wiped out by forgiveness and
where faith, trust, and love of Allah,
His Messengers, and the believers
increase. The pilgrim gets purified
and comes out of his sins like a
newborn baby.
– It is a school of training for
Taqwah – consciousness of one’s
duties towards Allah -, good
character and discipline like in the
other schools of the pillars of Islam.
– It is a manifestation of
brotherhood, equality and Unity.
The Muslims are like different
branches but from one tree. In
Hajj, we learn how to develop the
Spirit of Unity.
– It is an annual Muslim convention
attended by Muslims from different
horizons, colors, races, and
tongues… They exchange ideas
and news and celebrate their unity
in faith and diversity in culture.
They meet in their center-point
Makkah (Qiblah). Muslims always
have to have a center-point and
should be constantly focused on
their noble goals.


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