Islamic topics- Articles in Danish magazine- (article11): Committing to Islam’s Key Principles: A Basic Tenet of the Pilgrimage to Mecca
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations, and Peace and blessings be upon our prophet Muhammad, the faithful and the honest.
 Oh, Allah, we know nothing but what You teach us. You are the All- Knower, the Wise. Oh Allah, teach us what is good for us, and benefit us from what You taught us, and increase our knowledge. Show us the righteous things as righteous and help us to do them, and show us the bad things as bad and help us to keep away from them.
  O Allah our Lord, lead us out from the depths of darkness and illusion, unto the lights of erudition and knowledge, and from the muddy shallows of lusts unto the heavens of Your Vicinity.

 Sixty years ago on this day, December 10, 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And while some suggest it was the first declaration of human rights announced in the world, some historical evidence suggests otherwise.
If we travel back in time 1,376 years ago, to March 7, 632 we discover that the Prophet Muhammad stood on Mount Arafat and delivered his farewell sermon. He addressed
the crowds of pilgrims gathered for the annual Hajj pilgrimage (which incidentally commenced on December 6 this year). This sermon is considered by many Islamic scholars, to be a significant one, in which the Prophet laid down basic principles. Many argue that those principles formed the foundation for what we now consider human rights.
Principle of Human Equality Under this principle, all humans are equal. As equals they are all entitled to the same rights and freedoms. There is to be no discrimination of any kind, and all humans, regardless of race, color, sex, language, religion, politics, nationality or social status are deemed equal.

“Oh Mankind, your Allah is one and your father is one, you are all offspring of Adam and Adam was created from earth. Among you the most favorable to Allah is the one most devout to Allah. There is no favoring for any Arab over non-Arab or for white over black or for rich over poor except in piety toward Allah.”

(Prophet Muhammad’s Farwell Speech)

 Principle of Security Under this principle no one shall be subject to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his life, honor and reputation. This principle also states that no individual or nation is to build its civilization over the ruins of others or to lead its life over the death of others or to gain wealth over the poverty of others.

“Oh Mankind, your blood, your money and your honor are inviolable by one another until the day you meet Allah. All humans are brothers; no one is entitled to someone else’s money except with his own free will. You are all going to meet your Allah and he will ask you about all your deeds.”

(Prophet Muhammad’s Farwell Speech)

 Principle of Money Circulation Under this principle money is to be circulated to facilitate trade and the conduct of business and the practice of usury (loaning money and charging interest for the loan) is forbidden.

“Oh Mankind, any due loan interests are now declared void and null, you are only entitled to take back your capital without exploiting poor people nor loosing your capital. Allah forbade usury, and the first usury money I void is my uncle’s usury.”

(Prophet Muhammad’s Farwell Speech)

 Principle of Equality Between Men and Women Under this principle women are considered equal to men in all rights, honoring and respect.

“Oh Mankind, beware of Allah when treating women, women are full sisters and equal to men, I order you to exchange sincere advice to their favor.”

(Prophet Muhammad’s Farwell Speech)

 Muslims renew their vows to commit to practicing the principles included in the Prophet’s Farwell Sermon when they do their pilgrimage to Mecca. The pilgrimage to Mecca is the fifth pillar of Islam which requires every Muslim to participate in the pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. In Mecca, Muslims come face to face with the Kaaba, the inviolable place of worship which also identifies the direction they are to face whenever they pray.

“We have seen the turning of your face to heaven (for guidance, O Muhammad). And now verily we shall make you turn (in prayer) toward a kiblah which is dear to you. So turn your face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship, and you (O Muslims), wheresoever you may be, turn your faces (when you pray) toward it.”

(Al-Baqara:144)

 The Kaaba is the most sacred site in Islam. According to the Qur’an, the Kaaba was built by the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son Ishmael, on the old foundations of a house built by the first man, Adam.
 When building the house, Abraham prayed to Allah for an offspring to serve as a messenger to the masses, and the Prophet Muhammed was the realization of that prayer.

“And when Abraham and Ishmael were raising the foundations of the House, (Abraham prayed): Our Lord! Accept from us (this duty). Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Hearer,
the Knower. (127) Our Lord! And make us submissive unto Thee and of our seed a nation submissive unto Thee, and show us our ways of worship, and relent toward us. Lo! You, only you, art the Relenting, the Merciful. (128) Our Lord! And raise up in their midst a messenger from among them who shall recite unto them your revelations, and shall instruct them in the Scripture and in wisdom and shall make them grow.”

(Al-Baqara: 126)

 Road to Pilgrimage Muslims head to Mecca on the first week of the twelfth month in the lunar calendar.
 They leave behind the hardships of work and life, and all that is attached to our earthly existence. Wearing white garments to symbolize their human equality and unity before Allah, pilgrims to Mecca enter into ihram, a spiritual state of purity during which they
avoid quarreling, committing any act of violence or engaging in sexual activity.
 Walking side by side, as brothers in their humanity, they gather together as equals. Whether rich or poor, a member of a royal family or a simple peasant, white or black, old or young they come together, as equals, to renew their commitment to Allah, and ask for his forgiveness and blessing.
 They all say in one voice: “Here I am! At Your call, here I am, testifying there is no Allah but you, here I am testifying that gratitude and thanks are only to You as well as the ownership of all is only to You, with no partner to You.”
 (Pilgrim slogan)
 Gathered together in equality and unity of purpose, they sense Allah’s presence and accept his invitation:
 Come along my faithful slaves, come and feel the taste of my love; the taste of intimate speech with me; come along and let me show you my marvelous wonders. I will show you the Kingdom of heaven and earth and I will lighten your soul with my own light that lights all darkness. Come fill your heart with a joy that many have renounced.
 Come fill your soul with satisfaction and wealth.
 Come take yourself out from the mud of earthly desires to the paradise of my proximity. Come and I will rescue you from the fright of infidelity and humiliation of hypocrisy and welcome you to the comfort of my unity and the glory of my obedience.”
 And as they all walk together around the inviolable house of worship (Kaaba), a required task in the pilgrimage, they feel as if Allah is talking to them, saying:
 “Come along My faithful slave and walk round the house (Kaaba) just as the lover walks around his beloved ones, come and shed tears on the past time of your life you wasted in many things other than the main reason you were created for, shed tears and renew your vows to leave sins, wrong deeds and to start good deeds, charitable, be for Me as I wish so I can be for you as you wish, be for me as I wish and never bother to tell me what good you want, if you be for me as I wish I will fulfill all your wishes, but if you don’t become what I wanted for, I shall make you weary of what you want and eventually you will only get what I want. I have created the universe for you so don’t bother yourself, I created you for Me so don’t play around, so by what you owe to Me, don’t get busy with something I guaranteed for you from doing what I want you to do.”
 One of the rituals of the pilgrimage is for each Muslim to throw stones at three symbols of the Devil and to slaughter a sheep on the day of Eid and give the meat to the poor. These rituals, replicate the same acts of the Prophet Abraham when he was ordered by Allah to slaughter his own dear son (Ishmael) as a test of his love to Allah.
 As Abraham was leading his son to be slaughtered by his own hand the devil came to him in the shape of a wise man and tried to sway him from obeying Allah’s order, advising him to not kill his own son. Abraham threw stones at the devil and the pilgrims undertake this same act during Hajj.
 When Abraham and Ishmael reached the place of slaughtering Abraham put Ishmael to the knife. Then, through Allah’s power, the knife didn’t cut and Allah called Abraham saying, ‘You have been put to the most difficult test and proven your obedience to Allah, therefore I will send you a sheep from heaven to cut, instead of your own son,
to fulfill Allah’s order.

“My Lord! Vouchsafe me of the righteous. (100) so we gave him tidings of a gentle son. (101) and when (his son) was old enough to walk with him, (Abraham) said:
O My dear son, I have seen in a dream that I must sacrifice thee. So look, what thinkest
thou? He said: O my father! Do that which thou are commanded. Allah willing, thou shalt find me of the steadfast. (102) Then, when they had both surrendered (to Allah), and he had flung him down upon his face, (103) We called unto him: O Abraham! (104) Thou hast already fulfilled the vision. Lo! thus do We reward the good. (105) Lo! that verily was a clear test. (106) Then We ransomed him with a tremendous victim”

(Saffat: 100)

 It is because of this, the pilgrims throw stones on symbols of the Devil during their pilgrimage to Mecca. In fact, through this act the pilgrims are declaring enmity against
the devil and his temptation to sway humans from worshipping Allah.

“Lo! The devil is an enemy for you, so treat him as an enemy. He only summons his faction to be inhabitants of the flaming Fire.”

(Fatir: 6)



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