Editorials

Hajj: A Journey of devotion and unity

By Imam Sultan R. Muhammad | Last updated: Sep 1, 2017 - 11:05:32 AM

Bookmark and Share

What's your opinion on this article?

hajj.jpg

(Editor’s note: This week we offer our editorial page for an important message from Sultan Rahman Muhammad, student national imam of the Nation of Islam, about this special time of year for Muslims worldwide.)

“And everyone has a goal to which he turns (himself), so vie with one another in good works. Wherever you are, Allah will bring you all together. Surely Allah is Possessor of power over all things. And from whatsoever place thou comest forth, turn thy face towards the Sacred Mosque. And surely it is the truth from thy Lord. And Allah is not heedless of what you do.” —Holy Qur’an 2:148-149

If we reflect over the series of ancient rites presented in the actions of the Muslim Pilgrimage (Hajj), we see signs of guidance that help us in our pilgrimage of self, family, and nation. What is your goal in life and where do you seek the ability to fulfill our life’s purpose?

Hajj is an Arabic word meaning to undertake, contend with, to intend to target, aim at, and to go on a pilgrimage. The Hajj is the Pilgrimage of Muslims to the Holy City Mecca, one of five obligatory Islamic principles of action. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad stated in Message to the Blackman in America, “The main principles of action in Islam: (are) keeping up prayer, spending in the cause of truth, fasting especially during the month of Ramadan, (and) pilgrimage to Mecca. ... ”

Wednesday, Aug. 23, marked the 1st of the 10 days of Dhul Hijja, the Islamic Holy month of Hajj in which three million Muslims worldwide, including more than 11,000 from America, gathered in the Holy City of Mecca. “By the dawn; By the ten nights (of Dhul Hijja)!” Quran 89:1-2.

For Muslims that do not attend Hajj heighten their observance of good works, prayer and fasting. Muhammad the Prophet (PBUH) in an authentic saying states, “There are no days more loved to Allah for you to worship Him therein than the ten days of Dhul Hijja. Fasting any day during it is equivalent to fasting one year and to offer salatul tahajjud (Resurrection or late-night wake-up prayer) during one of its nights is like performing the late night prayer on the night of power. [i.e. Lailatul Qadr].”

Allah (God) says He will raise us from where we are to a praiseworthy position through observance of this special prayer, “and during a part of the night, keep awake by it, beyond what is incumbent on thee; maybe thy Lord will raise thee to a position of great glory.” Holy Qur’an, 17:79.

The oft-emphasized night Wake up prayer (tahajjud), known as the Resurrection prayer (salaat-ul-qiyaam), was an obligation on the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and is considered an observance of the foremost in devotion, yet, is an additional prayer but not morally required to be done. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad writes about the importance of devotion and prayer as part of our life’s expression as Muslims stating referencing the Resurrection (salaatul- qiyaam) prayers in Message to the Blackman, “Prayer is at sunrise, noon, mid-afternoon, sundown and before retiring. On awakening during the night, another prayer is made. In fact, two prayers should be said during the night, making a total of seven prayers a day. There is no worship of a Sunday or Sabbath in Islam. All the days are worship days.”

Islam and Muslims have grown throughout the earth; there are nearly two billion Muslims on the planet. But something happened after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) laid the foundation, carried by the four Caliphs after him. Divisions crept into the House of Islam, the House became divided and the power of the Islamic Nation that ruled the known world for centuries declined. Allah (God) did not reveal the Qur’an to foster nationalism or sectarianism—divide us into Egyptian, Libyan, Syrian, Turkish; Sunni, Shi’a, Hanbali, Maliki, etc. Allah (God) is building One Nation (ummah) from one prayer among The Righteous and purified.

Let us embody unity and devotion as the Muslim world joins in worship these 10 days of Dhul Hijja. As Pilgrims in Mecca engage in sacred rites of Hajj, let us at home engage in the Resurrection of our people observing the Resurrection (salatul tahajjud) prayer, fasting, and struggling to defend the issues of the poor and oppressed. Our Work is not only in the masjid or mosque, church, and synagogue, but in the streets among people in need of the life-giving Message of Allah (God). “Surely Allah changes not the condition of a people, until they change their own condition.” Holy Qur’an, 13:11.

Allah, Most High, shows us in the Signs and rites of Hajj our unification can put an end to poverty, immorality, ignorance, and war. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan explains, “The very ritual of Hajj is a sign of what the world will be like in totality when The Mahdi establishes the Kingdom of Islam. In that day, there will be no racism to corrupt the Spirit of Islam. There will be no sexism, there will be no materialism and there will be no nationalism. All of the corrupters of the True Spirit of Islam will be completely destroyed.”

As the foundation of the Ka’bah was raised by Abraham and Ishmael, on them be peace, our people are rising in stages to perfect our devotion here in the Wilderness of North America. “And when Abraham and Ishmael raised the foundations of the House: ‘Our Lord, accept from us; surely Thou art the Hearing, the Knowing. Our Lord, and make us both submissive to Thee, and (raise) from our offspring, a nation submissive to Thee, and show us our ways of devotion and turn to us (mercifully); surely Thou art the Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.’ ” Holy Qur’an, 2:127-128.

Their prayer that would raise the future nation of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) demonstrates the evolution of a devotion now shining through our unity and way of devotion here in the West unto the East. We must remain united, “and hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves.” Holy Qur’an, 3:103.

Sultan R. Muhammad serves as national student imam of the Nation of Islam and is based in Chicago.

Bookmark and Share