Islam! Hajj, or the Pilgrimage, is the last among those acts of worship
which Islam enjoins upon
you,Like the Prayer, Fasting and Alms giving, it moulds your life and
prepares you so that you may live in surrender to Allah;
The world Hajj means to make a resolve
to visit a holy place: visiting the Ka’ba in Makka is, therefore, called
Hajj.How did it begin? The origin of Hajj is rooted in the Prophet
Ibrahim’s life, peace be on him. That story is very instructive, and
illustrative, too, of the true meaning and significance of Hajj. That story
you must know tofullyunderstandthebenefitsHajjcan bring to you.Life and
of the Prophet Ibrahim
Which Muslim, Christian or Jew does not know the name of
Ibrahim(peace be on him)! Two-thirds of mankind revere him as their leader.
The Prophets Musa, Isa and Muhammad, peace be on them, are all his
descendants. It is the lampfguidance lit by him that has long illuminated
the whole world.
born in what is now
, over four thousand years ago. At that time the people had forgotten the
One God. No one recognized Him as the Master, no one lived in surrender and
obedience to him. The people among whom Ibrahim was born, while the most
advanced in the world in art and science, industry and agriculture, were
also the most steeped in ignorance and error. One simple thing they,
despite their technological advance, could not understand: anything which
has itself been created cannot be worthy of worship. Idolatry was the norm.
Superstitions like astrology, idol-worship,divination, witchcraft and use
of talisman amulets were widespread. A priest class controlled the
temples, supervised worship rites and rituals, conducted marriage and
funeral ceremonies, and claimed to be oracles, able to disclose the
unknown, foretell the future, and determine Divine wishes. And the people,
in general, believed that they indeed had such powers, that they had access
to their behalf or invoke their wrath to fall upon them. For them the
priests were the lords of their fate.
The kings were in collusion with the priests,
the two sides working together to keep the people under their
servitude.They gave full backing to the
priests, and the priests made the people believe that the king of the day,
as well as being the owner of his country and complete master
of his subjects, was also a god among other gods. His word was the supreme
law; his power over their lives and properties was absolute. Indeed,
worship rites were performed for and before the king so that the belief in
his godhood came to be entrenched in the minds of his subjects.
In times like this, the Prophet
Ibrahim was born into a family of privileged priests. His forefathers were
high priests and it was quite natural that he should follow in their
footsteps. He received the same education and training; the same gifts and
offerings were awaiting him. Many adherents were eagerly waiting for the
moment when they could bow their heads before him with folded hands. The
ancestral seat of priestly power could be his for the taking.
In this dismal darkness, where not a
single soul existed who knew or believed in the Truth, it would not
ordinarily have been possible for a man like Ibrahim to find its light, nor
break away from the life of comfort and power mapped out for him by his
Commitment to the Truth
But the Prophet Ibrahim was no ordinary man;
he was made of different stuff. On reaching maturity he began to reflect
thus: How can the sun, soon or stars, which are rotating as if by order
like slaves, and these stone idols, which are made by man himself; and
these kings, who are human beings like our selves, be gods? What is there
in these powerless objects, which cannot move of their own volition, which
have no power to help themselves and have no control over their own lives
and deaths, that man should worship them, seek fulfillment of his wants
from them, fear their powers and submit in obedience to them? Among all the
objects on earth and in the heavens, there is not a single one which itself
is not subject to some higher power and which does not fade away into
oblivion at some time or other. When none of them is my
creator, when neither my life nor death is in the hands of any of them,
when none ofthempossesses the key to my means of sustenance or the
fulfilment of my needs, why should I accept them as lords, surrender to
them, and obey them? Only that Being can be my Lord who created all things,
on whom depends everything and in whose hands are the lives and deaths of
These thoughts led the Prophet Ibrahim to the decision that he would
never worship the deities which his people worshipped, as he openly
declared before them:
O my people, I am quite of all those you take as gods beside God. I
have turned my face unto Him who brought into
being the heavens and the earth, having turned away from all false gods;
and I am not of those who take gods beside God
(al-An’am 6: 79--80)
sooner had he made this declaration than tribulations and calamities of the
greatest magnitude descended on him. His father threatened him with
expulsion from the family home. His community warned him that no one among
them would give him refuge. And the government officials insisted on his
case being brought before the King. But Ibrahim, lonely and forsaken by his
relatives and friends, stood firm as a rock in the cause of Truth. He told
his father respectfully: The knowledge I have has not been vouchsafed to
you. As such, instead of my following you, you should follow me [Maryam
-5]. In answer to the
threats of his community he broke their idols with his own hands to prove
how powerless they were [al-Anbiya’
—70]. In the court of the
King, he boldly declared: You are not my Lord. My Lord is He in whose hands
are your life and death as well as mine, and within the bounds of whose law
even the movements of the sun are circumscribed [al-Baqarah 2: 258]
The royal court decided the Ibrahim should be burnt alive and he
willingly came forward to suffer this horrible punishment for the sake of
his unshakable faith in the One God. After Allah with His supreme power
saved him from this fate, he abandoned his home, his relations, his
community and his country. He set out with his wife, Sarah, and a nephew,
Lut, to wander from one land to another.
To this man the undisputed religious leadership of his people had
been available. Yet he gave up wealth and power and preferred the life of a
homeless and destitute wanderer rather than have to mislead people into
continuing worship of false gods. He chose to live for the purpose of
summoning people to their true God, even though he would be driven from
place to place.
leaving his home, the Prophet Ibrahim wandered in
Arabia. God, alone, knows what sufferings he went
through on his journeyings. He had no money or possessions nor did he have
time to earn his livelihood. His sole vocation, day and night, was to bring
people to the worship of the One God. If a man of such ideas could not be
tolerated by his own father and his own community, how was he going to be
any more successful elsewhere? Where would he be welcomed? Everywhere the
same temple priests and kings claiming godhood held sway; everywhere the
same confused and ignorant common men lived, who were completely hoodwinked
How could, then, Ibrahim live peacefully in such an environment?
For, not only was he himself not ready to accept the godhood of anybody
except God, but he was also committed to proclaiming to the people that
none except Allah was their Master and Lord and that, therefore, they
should ignore the authority of their leaders and demi-gods and submit only
to that One Being.Thus condemned to a nomadic existence, wandering through
and the vast deserts of
Arabia, he passed his whole adult life.
Raising a New Generation
last period of his life, when he was eighty-six and had despaired of
offspring, Allah gave him a child, Ismail. But even then, this loyal
servant of Allah did not think that, having himself wrecked his own home
life, he should at least prepare his children to earn their living. No. His
only concern was that the mission on which he had spent his whole life
should be carried after his death. It was for this purpose that he had
prayed to Allah to grant him children [al- Baqarah 2: 128]: And when Allah
granted his request, his only thought was to educate and train them to
continue his mission.
The life of this perfect man was the life of a true and genuine muslim. In
early adulthood, when he had found God, God asked him: ‘aslim’, that is,
enter Islam, surrender yourself totally to Me, be solely Mine. In reply, he
gave the pledge: ‘aslamtu li-rabbi’l-alamin’, that is, I have entered
Islam, I belong to the Lord of the worlds, I have entrusted myself wholly
to Him, I am ever-ready to obey (al-Baqarah
To this pledge Ibrahim remained true throughout his life. He gave up, for
the sake of the Lord of the worlds, his ancestral religion together with
its beliefs and rituals and renounced all the material benefits he could
have derived from it. He braved the danger of fire, suffered homelessness,
wandered from country to country, but spent every moment of his life in
obedience to the Lord and in propagating His Din.
The Greatest of Trials
after all these tribulations, there was still one trial left to determine
whether Ibrahim’s love for his Lord was supreme above all else. Before the
birth of his second son, he was asked to sacrifice what was then his only
child to God [al-Saffat 37: 99---111]. When Allah had shown that Ibrahim
was prepared to slaughter his son for His sake with his own hands, He said:
‘You have fully vindicated your claim to be a totally true Muslim. Now you
deserve to be made the leader of the whole world. This act of investiture
has been described in the Qur’an thus:
And when his Lord tested Ibrahim with [His] commands, and he
fulfilled them all, He said, Behold, I make you a leader of mankind. Said
he [Ibrahim]: And of my offspring [will they too be leaders]? He said: My
convenant shall not reach the evil-doers (al-Baqarah 2: 124).
The Universal Islamic Movement
In this manner
Ibrahim became a pioneer of the universal Islamic movement and set about
establishing permanent missions in different regions. In this task he was
aided by his nephew, Lut, his eldest son, Ismail who, on learning that the
Lord of the worlds wanted the sacrifice of his life, had him self willingly
placed his neck under the knife, and his younger son, Ishaq.
Ibrahim settled his nephew, Lut, in Soddom, which was infamous for its
moral depravity. Ibrahim’s objective was to reform the people and also to
influence the far-flung area around; traders traveling between
used to pass through the region, and it was, therefore, an ideal place from
which to spread God’s message.
son, Ishaq, was settled in
. This region, situated between
, and being on the coast, was also a good centre for spreading Ibrahim’s
message. From this region the Islamic movement reached
through Ishaq’s son, Ya’qub(whose name was also
), and through his grandson, Yusuf, peace be on all of them.The elder son,
Ismail, was assigned his headquarters at Makka in the Hijaz and Ibrahim
himself stayed with him for a long time to propagate the teaching of Islam
Construction of the Ka’ba
It was in
Makka that Ibrahim and his son built the Holy Ka’ba, the centre of the
Islamic movement, on a site chosen by Allah Himself. This building was not
intended for worship only, as mosques are; its purpose was to act as the
centre for spreading the universal movement of Islam, a world-wide
gathering point for believers in the One God to assemble to worship Allah
in congregation and go back to their respective countries carrying with
them the message of Islam. This was the assembly which was named Hajj.
Exactly how this centre was constructed, with what hopes and prayers both
father and son raised its walls, and how Hajj was initiated are described
thus in the Qur’an:
The first House ever set up for mankind was indeed that at Bakkah, a
blessed place, and a guidance unto all beings; wherein are clear
sings---the place whereon Ibrahim stood; and whosoever enters it finds
peace (Al ‘Imran 3: 96---7).
Have they not seen that We have made the sanctuary immune [from violence],
while men are being carried away by force all around them (al-‘Ankabut 29:
Peace always reigned in and around the Ka’ba, when all around it were
rampant plunder, murder, devastation, conflict, and warfare—such was its
sanctity that even the Bedouins who respected no law, if they detected in
its precincts the murderer of even their father, did not dare to touch him.
Prayers of Ibrahim
Ibrahim’s prayers to find out what the real purpose and significance of
And when We made the House a place of visitation for mankind, and a
sanctuary: take, then, the place whereon Ibrahim stood for place of prayer.
And We commanded Ibrahim and Ismail, ‘Purify My House for those who will
walk around it, and those who will abide there in worship, and those who
will bow down and prostrate themselves’. And when Ibrahim prayed: My Lord!
Make this a land secure and provide its people fruits, such of them as
believe in God and the Last Day……..
And when Ibrahim was raising the foundations of the House, and Ismail,
[they prayed]: Our Lord! Accept Thou this from us. Thou, Thou alone, art
the All-hearing, the All-knowing. Our Lord! And make us surrender ourselves
unto Thee, and out of our offspring make people surrender themselves unto
Thee; and show us our rites of worship, and turn toward us; surely Thou
alone turnest, and art the Mercy-giving. Our Lord! Do Thou send to them a
Messenger, from among them, who shall convey unto them Thy revelations, and
teach them the Book and the Wisdom, and purify and develop them. Thou alone
art the All-mighty, the All-wise! (al-Baqarah 2: 125 ---9).
And when Ibrahim prayed, My Lord! Make this land secure, and keep me
and my sons away from worshipping idols. My Lord! They have led astray many
people. Hence whoso follows me truly belongs to me; and whoso disobeys
me—surely Thou art All-forgiving, Mercy-giving. Our Lord! I have settled
some of my offspring in a valley where are no arable lands, near Thy
sanctified House, our Lord, so that they may perform the Prayer, and Thou
make people’s hearts to incline towards them, and provide them fruits so
that they may be thankful (Ibrahim 14: 35-7).
And when we assigned unto Ibrahim the place of the House, [We said]: You
shall not take any god beside Me, and purify My House for those who will
walk around it and those who will stand, and those who will bow down and
prostrate themselves. And proclaim unto mankind the Pilgrimage; and they
will come unto you on foot and on every lean mount, they will come from
every deep ravine, so that may witness things that are of benefit to them,
and mention God’s name during the days appointed over such heads of cattle
He has provided them. Eat, then, thereof, and feed therewith the
unfortunate poor (al-Hajj
-8)Brothers in Islam! This
is the story of the beginning of that Hajj which is the fifth pillar of
Islam. You now understand that Makka was the headquarters for the mission
of the first Prophet appointed to propagate the message of Islam. The Ka’ba
was the focal point from where this preaching was spread across the world,
and the worship rites of Hajj were introduced so that all those who chose
to live in surrender to God alone should belong to one centre where they
could assemble every year, and go around it again and again. Their lives of
faith were to belike the wheel tied to and revolving around its axle.
Brothers in Islam! Hajja, or the Pilgrimage, was instituted by the Prophet
Ibrahim to serve as the focal meeting place for all believers in the One
God. Thus he made Makka the centre of the world-wide Islamic movement and
installed his elder son, the Prophet Ismail, there to continue his mission.
Idol worship Among Ibrahim’s
Gods knows exactly how long Ismail’s children stayed on the right path. But
within a few centuries of the death of Ibrahim and Ismail people had
abandoned their teachings and had gradually gone astray like all other
people around them. Hundreds of idols were installed in the sacred Ka’ba,
which had been built as a centre for the worship of the One God. Ironically
enough, idols were made of Ibrahim and Ismail too, whose whole lives had
been spent eradicating idol-worship. The descendants of Ibrahim, who had
repudiated all idols, began to worship idols like Lat, Manat, Hubal, Nasr,
Yaghuth, ‘Uzza, Asaf, Nailah and many more. They also worshipped the sun,
moon, Venus, and Saturn. They also worshipped jinns, ghosts, angels and the
spirits of their dead ancestors. Superstition rose to such a level that if
they did not have the family idol with them while away from home, they
worshipped any stone they cane across on their way. Or, if no stone was
available, even a round ball made of clay with a sprinkle of Goat’s milk
over it served as their god. Reverting to the same kind of priesthood which
Ibrahim had fought so fiercely against in
, they turned the ka’ba into a sort of temple and installed themselves as
priests there. Adopting all the tricks of priests, they began accepting
gifts and offerings from pilgrims flocking from the four corners of
. In this way all the work done by Ibrahim and Ismail was destroyed and the
purpose for which they had introduced the system of Hajj was superseded by
different types of objectives.
How Corrupted Hajj Became
A Yearly Carnival
degree of which Hajj was corrupted in that period of Ignorance can be
gauged from the fact that it degenerated into an annual carnival. For many
tribes from near and far, Hajj became an important social event. Poets and
clowns used it to brag and boast about the bravery, renown, dignity,
strength and generosity of their tribes. They even resorted to hurling
insults at one another. The chiefs of the tribes vied which each other in
flaunting their generosity. They slaughtered camel after camel with the
sole purpose of extolling their name, generosity and hospitality. Singing,
revelry, drinking, and adultery were part and parcel of the festivities.
The thought of God scarcely occurred to anybody.
Circumambulation[tawaf] of the Ka’ba did continue, it is true; but in what
form? Men and women walked together around God’s House stark naked, saying,
‘We go before God just as our mothers gave birth to us’. Worship also
continued to be performed in the mosque of Ibrahim, but again, in what
form? By clapping hands, by whistling and by blowing horns. The name of God
was proclaimed, but with what words? They said: Here am I, my Lord, I am
preset. No one is Thy partner except the one who is Thine. Thou art its
master, of whatever it possesses.
make sacrifices in the name of God. But the blood of the sacrificial
animals was split on the walls of the Ka’ba and their flesh thrown at its
door in the belief that Allah needs that flesh thrown at its door in the
belief that Allah needs that flesh and blood.
Sacrilege of Sacred Months
declared four months of Hajj are sacred and had directed that no warfare
should be waged in these months. These people partially observed this
sanctity; but if they wanted to fight during the sacred months, they simply
declared Ibrahim’s ruling null and void for a particular period and added
extra ‘holy months’ the following year.
who were sincere towards religion were led into strange, excessive ways by
their ignorance. Some people used to set out for Hajj without any
provisions for the journey and lived by begging food. They considered this
an act of piety, claiming that they had full trust in God and, while
proceeding towards the House of God, had no need of worldly goods. Doing
business or working during the Hajj journey were generally considered
unlawful. Many people gave up food and water during Hajj, and regarded this
abstention as worship. Others stopped speaking while on Hajj, which they
called al-Hajju’l-Musmit, the dumb Pilgrimage.There were countless other
customs of this type which I do not want to waste your time describing.
Restoration of Hajj
Fulfilment of Ibrahim’s Prayer
situation lasted for about two thousand years. No prophet was born in
Arabia during this long period nor did any prophet’s
genuine teachings reach the people of
Arabia. Finally, however, the time arrived for
granting Ibrahim’s prayer which he had made while raising the walls of the
Our Lord! Do Thou send to them a Messenger,
from among them, who shall convey unto them Thy revelations, and teach them
the Book and the Wisdom, and purify and develop them (al-Baqarah 2: 129).
The perfect man who descended from Ibrahim was Muhammad Ibn Abdullah,
blessings and peace be on him.
Just as Ibrahim was born into a family of priests, so was Muhammad,
blessings and peace be on him, into a family which had been for centuries
priests of the ka’ba. Just as Ibrahim struck a blow with his own hands
against the priesthood of his family, so did Muhammad, blessings and peace
be on him, finally eradicating it for good. Again, just as Ibrahim strove
to end the worship of false gods and bring people under submission to the
one God, so did the Prophet Muhammad, blessings peace be on him, revive the
same pure Din which had been introduced by Ibrahim. After 21 years, when he
had completed this work, once again, at God’s command, he declared the
Ka’ba the centre of all those in the world who surrendered to God alone and
issued the same summons to the people to come to it for Hajj as had Ibrahim.
A duty owed to God by all men is the Pilgrimage to the House, if one is
able to make his way there. And as for disbeliever, God is All sufficient,
needing nothing from all the worlds (Al Imran 3: 97).
Revival of Ibrahim’s Ways
the renewal of Hajj in its proper form came an end to the customs of the
time of Ignorance which had persisted for two thousand years.
End of Idolatry
idols in the Ka’ba were smashed. The worship of any and every object other
than God was completely eliminated. All fairs and sports were closed down
and it was laid down that worship would be carried out only in the manner
ordained byGod.And remember Him as He has guided you, for formerly you had
gone astray(al-Baqarah 2: 198).
Prohibition of Indecent Acts
acts were strictly banned. Whoso undertakes the Pilgrimage in those[months]
should abstain from lewd speech, from iniquity, and from quarrelling during
the Pilgrimage(al-Baqarah 2: 197).
Bragging and Showing Off
among poets, boasting of forefathers’ achievements, contests in satire and
sycophancy were all stopped.
And when you have completed your rites, then remember God as you remember
your fathers, or yet more intensely (al-Baqarah 2: 200).
End of Ostentatious Generosity
All competitions in so-called generosity which
were meant solely for ostentation and fame were banned, and in their place
was revived the customs of Ibrahim’s days of slaughtering animals
exclusively in the name of Allah, so that the sacrifice made by the
well-to-do people provide poor pilgrims with meat.
Eat and drink, but be not wasteful. Surely He loves not the wasteful (al-A’raf
So mention God’s name over them [the animals] when they are lined up; then,
when their sides fall[dead], eat of them and feed the beggar and the
Spattering of Blood and Flesh
of spattering the blood of the sacrificial animals on the walls of the
Ka’ba and throwing their flesh at its door was stopped.Never does their
flesh reach God, and neither their blood, but godliness from you reaches
Prohibition of Perverse
Circumambulation in the state of nudity was strictly prohibited:
Say: ‘Who is there to forbid the adornment which God has brought forth for
His servants’(al-A raf
Say: ‘Never does God enjoin indecent acts’ (al-A’raf
Children of Adam! Take to your adornment for every act of worship(al-A raf
Changing the Months of Hajj
Interchanging the months of Hajj so as to make fighting permissible was
prohibited:Postponing [of a sanctified month] is but an increase in
disbelief where by Kafirs are led astray. They allow it one year and forbid
it another year, to agree with the number of the months which God has
sanctified and thus they allow what God has forbidden (al-Tawbah 9:37).
Hajj Provisions Made
prohibited from starting out on Hajj without taking adequate provisions.
Clarification was made that not taking provisions of a journey in this
world did not mean, as was popularly believed, that one was thereby taking
provisions for the Hereafter:And take provision for yourselves, but the
best provision is God-consciousness (al-Baqarah 2: 197).
Permission to Work During Hajj
belief that it was an act of piety not to work for money or earning a
livehood during Hajj was refuted:It is no sin for you that you seek bounty
from your Lord [by trading](al-Baqarah 2:198).
End of Other Customs
of performing Hajj, while remaining silent, hungry and thirsty were also
ended.After abolishing all perverse customs of the pre-Islamic days, Hajj
was made a model of piety, fear of God, purity, simplicity and austerity.
The pilgrims were ordered to purify themselves spiritually, to give up
worldly things, to avoid all sexual desires, even refrain from intercourse
with their wives, and to totally refrain from using bad and abusive
were defined on all roads leading to the Ka’ba to indicate the points
beyond which no pilgrims were allowed to proceed without putting on two
seamless garments, the Ihram, or the robes of poverty, so that the rich and
the poor would become equal, distinctions of nationality would arrive at
the court of Allah in a state of oneness as humble suppliants.
Ensuring Peace and Security
prohibited to kill any animal while wearing Ihram, let alone a human being.
The object was to ensure that peace and security prevailed, aggressiveness
was controlled, and spiritually gripped the hearts and minds of the
pilgrims. The four months of Hajj were made sacred so that no fighting took
place during this period, peace reigned on all the roads leading to the
Ka’ba and no pilgrims were molested en route.
When the pilgrims reached the Ka’ba, there were no funfairs, no carnivals.
Instead, there was remembrance of God at every step. There were Prayers,
sacrifices and circumambulation (tawaf) of the Ka’ba. The only cry that one
could hear was that which arose from the heart of the pilgrim:Here am I
before Thee, O God, doubly at Thy service. Before Thee I am, there is no
partner unto Thee, doubly at Thy service here am I. All praise and
blessings are Thine, and power. There is no partner unto Thee.
selfless and sincere Hajj the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, has
described thus:Whosoever performs Hajj solely for the sake of God and, in
the course of it, abstains from sensuality and disobedience, he returns
from there as immaculate as a child just born (Bukhari, Muslim).
Importance of Hajj
how important this Hajj is. Allah says:A duty owed to God by all men is the
Pilgrimage to the House, if he is able to make his way there. And as for
the disbeliever, God is All-sufficient, needing nothing from all the worlds
(Al Imran 3:97).Here, failure to perform Hajj if you have the means to do
so, is described as Kufr. Its explanation is found in two Hadith of the
Prophet, blessings and peace be on him:Whosoever possesses provisions and
conveyance for a journey to the House of God, but, in spite of this, does
not perform Hajj, then his dying is like the dying of a Jew or a
Christian(Tirmidhi).Whosoever is not prevented from proceeding for Hajj by
any clear, dire need that he must fulfil, or by a tyrant ruler, or by a
disease which confines him, and yet he fails to perform Hajj and dies in
this condition, he may as well choose to die either a Jew or a Christian (Darimi).
this Hadith, ‘Umar said: I wish to impose jizyah (poll tax meant
specifically for non-Muslims who were exempt from conscription) on those
who do not perform Hajj in spite of possessing the required means. They are
not Muslims, they are not Muslims!
commandment of Allah and its elucidation by the Prophet, blessings and
peace be on him, and his Caliph, You can clearly see that Hajj is not
something which may or may not be performed according to personal whim. It
is obligatory at least once in a life time on all Muslims, wherever they
live in the world, who can afford to make the journey and who are
physically able to. Responsibilities to one’s family or business are no
grounds for exemption.
Those who, despite the necessary means, put off Hajj year after year on
some pretext or other should take care of the state of their Iman. As for
those who never bother to think about performing the Hajj at all, but who
nonetheless manage to travel all over the world, perhaps even passing
within a few hours’ journeying time of Makka on their way to Europe—such
people are certainly not Muslims. They lie if they call themselves Muslims,
and people who consider them Muslims are ignorant of the Qur’an. At least
their hearts are devoid of any feeling in His commandments.
Islam! What are the blessings of Hajj? One may describe them in great
detail. But, in the Qur’an, where Allah instructs Ibrahim to invite people
to come for Hajj, it is said:
So that they may witness things that are of
benefit to them(al-Hajj
).Hence, the real blessings
of Hajj can only be experienced by those who actually perform it. Imam Abu
Hanifah, it is narrated, was unsure which act of worship was more excellent
among the various ones laid down by Islam. But once he had performed Hajj,
he had no hesitation in declaring that Hajj was the most excellent of all.
Still, I shall now try to give you, briefly, some idea of its blessings.
think of journeys as of two kinds: those made for business and those made
for pleasure. In both cases, it is to fulfil your worldly desires and
benefit yourselves that you leave your homes, separate from families, spend
money---all is done for your own sake. No question arises of sacrifice for
any higher, sublime purpose.
journey that is the Hajj is quite different in nature. This is not meant
for any personal end. It is undertaken solely for Allah, and the
fulfillment of the duty prescribed by Allah. Nobody can be prepared to
undertake this journey until and unless he has love of Allah in his heart
as well as fear of Him, and is convinced that Allah wants him to do what he
is doing. That you are willing to bear the privations arising from
separation from your family, to incur great expenses on a journey that will
bring no material rewards and to suffer any loss of business or hob, all
are signs of certain inner qualities: that you love and fear Allah more
than anything, that you have a strong sense of duty to Him, that you are
willing to respond to His summons and ready to sacrifice your material
comforts in His cause.
Virtue and Piety
find that your love of God heightens as you start preparing for your
pilgrimage journey, with the sole intention of pleasing Allah. With your
heart longing to reach your goal, you become purer in thought and deed. You
repent for past sins, seek forgiveness from people whom you might have
wronged, and try to render your due to others where necessary so as not to
go to God’s court burdened with injustices that you may have done to your
fellow beings. In general, the inclination for doing good intensifies and
abhorrence for doing evil increases.
After leaving home, the closer you get to the House of God, the more
intense becomes your desire to do good. You become careful so that
you harm nobody, while you try to render whatever service or help you can
to others. You avoid abuse, indecency, dishonesty, squabbles and bickerings,
because you are proceeding on the path of God. Thus your entire journey
constitutes an act of worship. How can, then, you do wrong? This journey,
in contrast to every other, is a continuing course through which a Muslim
attain a progressive purification of the self.On this journey, then, you
are pilgrims to God.
pilgrim reaches a certain point in his journey on the way to Makka, he must
put on Ihram, the mendicant-like clothes consisting of two unsewn sheets of
cloth and a pair of sandals. What does putting on Ihram symbolize: whatever
your position in the world, before God you must come as a beggar and
destitute, as in outward appearance so in the depths of your heart. Take
off your colourful clothes; put on simple ones. Do not wear socks. Keep
your heads bare. Do not use any perfume, nor comb your hair. Do not use any
kind of adornment. Stop sexual relations with your wives, refrain even from
any gestures which may arouse eagerness for, and be a reminder of, these
relations. Do not hunt, and do not help anyone you see hunting. Adopting
such outward postures will influence your inner lives also. You will
develop an ascetic attitude. Pride and vanity will disappear. Humility and
peace of mind will grow. The impurities that have sullied your souls due to
indulgence in worldly pleasures will be removed and a feeling of godliness
will dominate both your internal and external selves.
Talbiyyah: the Cry of Response
putting on Ihram the pilgrim utters certain words that he must repeat in a
loud voice after every Prayer, when climbing a height and descending from
it, when meeting other pilgrims and when getting up in the mornings. These
Labbyk, Allahumma labbayk, labbayk,
la sharika laka labbauyk, inna ‘l-hamda wa
‘n-ni’mata laka wa ‘l-mulka la sharika lak Here am I before Thee, O God, doubly at Thy service. Before Thee I am,
there is no partner unto Thee, doubly at Thy service here am I All praise
and blessings are Thine, and power. There is no partner unto Thee.
This, in fact, is an answer to that general proclamation which Ibrahim, as
commanded by Allah, made more than four thousand years ago: O slaves of
Allah! Come to the House of Allah. Come from every corner of the earth,
either on foot or by transport.Thus, with every cry labbayk the pilgrim
answers God’s summons; every time he answers His summons which has been
inviting to true and genuine worship of the One god since the time of
Ibrahim and Ismail. The distance in time of four and a half thousand years
vanishes and it appears as if Ibrahim is here calling on behalf of Allah
and the pilgrim is answering his call.At the every step, as the pilgrim,
thus responding to Ibrahim, proceeds further and further, the yearning and
longing get more and more intense. At every ascent and descent the voice of
Allah’s proclaimer rings in his ears and he goes on and on welcoming it
with labbayk. Every group of pilgrims appears to him like a message-bearer
of his Lord; and, like a lover, on getting the message from his beloved, he
cries out: ‘I am present, I am present’. Every morning is a message from
his Friend to which he has but one answer: ‘I am at Thy service’.
This recurrent cry of labbayk in conjunction with the ascetic dress of
Ihram, the special nature of the journey and the feeling of getting nearer
and nearer to the Ka’ba combine to produce in the pilgrim the feeling of
being enveloped in Divine love; nothing of any importance any longer
resides in his heart except the remembrance of his Friend.
overwhelmed with the love of God, the pilgrim reaches Makka, and
immediately proceeds towards the sacred precincts to which he has been
summoned. He kisses the ‘threshold’ of his Friend’s house. Then he goes
round and round it, the focus of his faith. The hub of his life, every
round he starts and ends by kissing His ‘doorstep’, symbolizing a renewal
of his pledge of allegiance and loyalty and obedience to his Lord and
After completing the seven rounds, he goes to the place where lies the
stone on which Ibrahim stood and called men to the House of God, called the
Muqam Ibrahim. He then offers two rak’ahs of prayer to thank God.
Sa‘i: Hurrying Betweem Safa’
Ibrahim he proceeds to climb the hillock of Safa’, from where he looks down
at the Ka’ba and cries out:
La ilaha ill ’allah wa la na‘ budu illa iyyahu mukhlisina lahu’d-dina wa
law kariha ’l-kafirun There is no god but Allah. We worship none but Him, making exclusive
for Him our submission, even though Kafirs may dislike it.Then he hurriedly
walks between Safa’ and the other hillock, Marwah. This act, which is
called Sa‘i, symbolizes that the pilgrim will be ceaselessly endeavouring
to serve his Master and seek His pleasure. In the course of this Sa‘i, he
may say:Allahumma ista’milni bi sunnati nabiyyika wa tawaffani ‘ala
millatihi wa a‘idhni min mudillati’l-fitan
Grant me to live, O God, the way as was Thy Prophet’s way, and to die on
his path. Protect me from trials which lead astray.
Or he may say:
Rabbi ghfir warham wa tajawaz ‘amma ta‘lam, innaka anta ’l-a’azzu ’l-akram. O Lord! Forgive me and have mercy on me and overlook all that Thou
knowest I have done wrong. Thou art the Mightiest and the Noblest.
Wuquf (Stay) at Mina’, ‘Arafat
completion of the Sa‘i, the pilgrims become like soldiers in the cause of
Allah. Now they have to live a camp-like life for five or six days. For one
day they will camp at Mina’,* and the next day at ‘Arafat#
where they will hear their commander’s directives, too. Returning from
‘Arafat, they encamp for the night at Muzdalifah.#
Rami Jimar: Stoning the
At daybreak, the pilgrims march back toward
Mina and throw stones at the pillars which mark the place where the army of
Abraha, the Christian king of
Yemen, known as the Ashabu ’l-fil(the
people of elephants), had reached in their effort to demolish the Ka‘ba.
While throwing each stone, the soldiers in the cause of Allah say:
Allahu akbar, raghman li’sh-shaytani wa hizbihi
Allahumma tasdiqan bi kitabika wa ittiba’an li
Sunnti nabiyyk God is the Greatest, I throw these stones against Satan and his party,
testifying to the truth of Thy Book, O God, and following the way of Thy
By throwing these tones the pilgrim reaffirms his pledge: ‘O God! Like
this, I will fight whosoever rises to destroy Your Din and subdue Your
word, and thus I shall strive to make Your word supreme.
After throwing stones, animals are sacrificed. This sacrifice demonstrates
the intention and resolve of the pilgrim to give his life in the way of
God, whenever required.
After sacrifice, the pilgrims return to the Ka’ba just as a soldier, having
performed his duty returns triumphantly to his headquarters. After
performing another round of tawaf and offering two rak’ahs of Prayer,
Ihram, the dress of consecration, is removed. Whatever was especially
prohibited (Haram) during the period of consecration now again becomes
permissible (Halal) and the pilgrims’ lives resume their normal pattern.
They now come back to Mina’ and continue to camp there for another two or
three days. The following day they again throw stones at the three pillars.
These are called jamarat and serve to remind them of the defeat and
destruction of that elephant army which we have just referred to. It was in
the year of the birth of the Prophet, blessings and peace be on him that
invaded Makka at the time of Hajj to demolish the House of Allah, but
which, the command of Allah, was destroyed by stones dropped by birds. (it
is often said that this act of flinging stones is done in commemoration of
the incident which happened to Ibrahim when he was about to sacrifice
Ismail: satan tried to tempt him, and he flung stones at him. It is also
said that when a lamb was given to Ibrahim to sacrifice in place of Ismail,
the lamb ran away and Ibrahim threw stones at it. But in no authentic
Hadith has these incidents been narrated from the prophet, blessings and
peace be on him, as the background of rami jimar.) After finally throwing stones at these pillars on the third day, the
pilgrims return to Makka and perform seven circumambulations of the centre
of their Din. This is called tawaf
wada(tawaf for taking leave) and completing it means the
completion of Hajj.
It is now easy to see that for two to three months, (this
was the average duration of time required to perform Hajj in 1928, when
this address was delivered. In this jet age it may take as few as seven
days.) from the time of deciding and preparing for Hajj to the time of
returning home, a tremendous impact is made on the hearts and minds of
pilgrims. The process entails sacrifice of time, sacrifice of money,
sacrifice of comfort, and sacrifice of many physical desires and
pleasures---and all this simply for the sake of Allah, with no worldly or
selfish motive.Together with a life of sustained piety and virtuousness,
the constant remembrance of God and the longing and love for Him in the
pilgrim leave a mark on his heart which lasts for years. The pilgrim
witnesses at every step the imprints left by those who sacrificed
everything of theirs in submission and obedience to Allah. They fought
against the whole world, suffered hardships and tortures, were condemned to
banishment, but ultimately did make the word of God supreme and did subdue
the false powers which wanted man to submit to entities other than God. The
lesson in courage and determination, the impetus to strive in the way of
God, which a devotee of God can draw from these clear signs and inspiring
examples, can hardly be available from any other source. The attachment
developed with the focal point of his Din by walking round (tawaf) the
Ka’ba, and the training received to live a Mujahid’s life through the rites
(manasik) of Hajj (such as running from place to place and repeated
departures and halts) are great blessings indeed.
Combined with the Prayer, Fasting and
Almsgiving, and looked at as a whole, you will see that Hajj constitutes a
preparation for the great task which Islam wants Muslims to do. This is why
it has been made compulsory for all who have the money and the physical
fitness for the journey to the Ka’ba. This ensures that, in every age,
there are Muslims who have passed through this training.
Hajj, a Collective Worship
blessings of spiritual and moral regeneration which Hajj imparts to each
person are before you. But you cannot fully appreciate the blessings of
Hajj unless you keep in view the fact that Muslims do not perform it
individually; hundreds of thousands perform it communally during the time
fixed for it. At one stroke Islam achieves not one or two but
a thousand purposes.
The advantages of performing the Prayer singly are by no means small, but
by making it conditional with congregation and by laying down the rule of
Imamah (leadership in the Hajj) and by gathering huge congregations for the
Friday and ‘Id Prayers, its benefits have been increased many times. The
observance of the Fasting individually is no doubt a major source of moral
and spiritual training, but by prescribing that all Muslims must fast in
the month of Ramadan those benefits have been greatly increased. The
Almsgiving, too, has many advantages even if dispensed individually, but
with the establishment of a centralized
Baytulmal (exchequer of the
Islamic state for its collection and disbursement its usefulness is
increased beyond measure.
The same is true of Hajj. If everyone were to perform it singly, the effect
on individual lives would still be great. But making it a collective act
enhances its effectiveness to a point which gives it a new dimension
Brothers in Islam! Muslims who should perform Hajj, because they have the
means to do so, are not few in number. They are found in thousands in every
city and hundreds of thousands in every country. Many of them set out every
year to perform the Pilgrimage. Imagine how, in every part of the world
where Muslims live, the life of Islam becomes alive as the season of Hajj
approaches, and how this sense of lively purpose extends over many months
of the year.
From the month of Ramadan till Dhu ‘l-Qa’dah, many people from different
parts of the world start off for Hajj, while afterwards, from the last part
of Dhu ‘l-Hijjah till the month of Rabi’u ‘l-Thani, the homeward journey
continues. For these six to seven months an incessant religious movement
prevails among Muslims throughout the world. Those who go to perform Hajj
and return home are no doubt enraptured with devotion to God. But even
those who do not go receive some share of the experience by virtue of the
emotional farewells and homecoming welcomes they accord to the pilgrims,
and listening to their accounts of Hajj.
Growth in God-Consciousness
As soon as
the intending pilgrim makes up his mind to perform Hajj, fear of God,
piety, repentance, seeking forgiveness from God, and desire to do good
begin to blossom within him. As he starts saying good bye to his relatives,
friends and associates and settles all of his pending affairs, everyone can
notice that he is no longer the same man as before: his heart is now pure
and clean because of the newly kindled spark of love of God. It is easy to
imagine the effect of the changed condition of the pilgrim on the people
around him. And if every year all over the world hundreds of thousands of
pilgrims prepare for Hajj in this manner, the aura cast by their enthusiasm
and renewal must improve the moral state of vast numbers of people.
As the pilgrims’ caravans pass through various places the hearts of more
and more people are warmed by seeing them, meeting them and by hearing from
them the cry of labbayk, labbayk
( I am present before Thee). There must be many whose thoughts will be
redirected towards Allah and His House, and the eagerness for Hajj will
reawaken their slumbering souls.
And when the pilgrims, enthused with the spirit of Hajj, return from the
centre of their Din to their cities and towns and villages in all parts of
the world, they are met and welcomed by all those who have stayed at home.
Their words and deeds telling the story of the Pilgrimage must rekindle the
devotional feelings of those listening to them.
A season of Reawakening
As such it will not be wrong if we say that just as the month of
Ramadan is a season of God-conscious-ness and piety throughout the Islamic
world, so also is the Hajj one of reawakening rebirth of hearts and
societies. The wise one who has given us the Shari’ah has thus ensured that
whatever adverse turn world conditions may take and however bad times may
become, they will never succeed in erasing the universal Islamic movement
so long as the Ka’ba is there.
For, it has been placed in the body of the Islamic world just like a heart
like a heart in a man’s body. As long as the heart beats, a man cannot die.
In exactly same way this ‘heart of the world’ draws blood from its far-off
veins and circulates the blood back into each and every artery. As long as
this throbbing of the heart continues and as long as this process of
drawing the blood and circulating it lasts, it will be impossible to end
the life of this body of the Muslim Ummah, however run-down diseases may
have made it.
Inspiring Spectacle of Unity
eyes and visualize what it must be like to see people from countless
communities and countries converging on one ‘Centre’ through a thousand and
one routes---from the east and from the west, from the north and from the
south. Their faces are different, their colours are different, their
languages are different, but on a reaching a frontier near the ‘Centre’ all
exchange the varied clothes they are wearing for a simple uniform of the
same design. This single, common uniform of Ihram distinguishes them as the
army of one single King. It becomes the insignia of obedience and service
to one Being; all are strung in one cord of loyalty and are marching toward
one ‘Capital’ to file past their ‘King’.
When these uniformed soldiers move beyond the frontier, the same cry issues
forth loudly from their mouths:
Labbayk, Allahumma labbayk, la sharika laka labbayk Here am I before Thee, O God, doubly at Thy service, There is no
partner unto Thee, here am I.
There languages are different but the words they utter are the same; they
have the same meaning.
As the centre approaches, the circle containing the pilgrims contracts.
Caravans from different countries continue joining each other. All perform
their Prayers together in one and the same manner. All are dressed in
similar uniforms, all are led by one Imam(leader), all are moving
simultaneously, all are now using the same language, all are rising,
sitting, bowing down (ruku) and
prostrating themselves ( sujud)
at one signal of Allahu akbar, and all are reciting and listening to one
Arabic Qur’an. In this way the differences of nationality, country and race
are obliterated and a universal community of God worshippers is
When these caravans pass on, loudly raising with one voice the call of
labbayk, labbayk when at every
ascent and descent the same words resound, when at the time of meeting of
caravans these same voices are raised from both sides, and when at the time
of every Prayer and at dawn these exclamations reverberate, a unique
atmosphere is created whose exhilarating effect makes a man forget his self
and become absorbed in the ectasy of
labbayk. After reaching the Ka’ba comes the act of circumambulation, then the
doing of Sa’I by all together between Safa and Marwah, then the encampment
of all at Mina’, then the departure of all towards ‘Arafat and the
listening to their leader’s address, then a night’s sojourn by all at
Muzdalifah, then the return of all together towards Mina’, then the
throwing of stones in unison by all at
jamarat, then the animal
sacrifice performed by all, then the return of all together to the Ka’ba
for further circumambulation, and then the offering of Salah
by all together around the centre---all this carries within itself an
effect which has absolutely no parallel.
Greatest Movement for Peace
This assembling at one centre of people drawn from all nationalities of the
world, and that, too, with a remarkable unity of heart and purpose,
identity of thought and harmony of feeling, pure sentiments and noble
objectives and deeds, is the greatest gift of Islam to the children of
Adam. The nations of the world have long been meeting
each other, but in what circumstances? On battlefields, cutting each
other’s throats; or at peace conferences, carving up countries and nations
for themselves; or in the
League of Nations, indulging in deception and
plotting against each other or conspiring against each other. The meeting
of common men of all nations, with sincerity and love, with mental and
spiritual affinity, with unity in thoughts, deeds and aims---and not only
once but always at the same centre every year---is a blessing available to
mankind nowhere else but in Islam. Has anyone else devised a better system
than this for establishing peace in the world, for removing hostility among
nations and for creating in the place of quarrels and bickering an
atmosphere of love, friendship and brotherhood?
Nor do the blessing of Hajj in establishing peace stop here. During the
four months fixed for Hajj and ‘Umrah(the lesser pilgrimage performed
outside the days of Hajj), every effort must be made to maintain peace on
all roads leading to the Ka’ba.‘This is the greatest movement of a
permanent nature for the establishment of peace in the world. And if the
reins of world politics were in the hands of Islam, it would be the
Muslims’ main concern to ensure that no disturbances took place in the
world that would disrupt Hajj and Umrah’.
Centre of Peace and Equality
Islam has given to the world an inviolable territory,
a city of peace till Doomsday. Within the prescribed boundaries around the
Ka’ba, called the Haram, the
hunting and shooting of animals is strictly prohibited, the cutting of
grass is not allowed, thorns may not be pruned, nor fallen articles picked
up. And, of course, no human being may be harmed.
Islam has given to the world a city where it is forbidden to bring arms,
where it is tantamount to ‘heresy’ to hoard cereals and other articles of
common need and sell them at a higher price, and where those doing wrong to
others or oppressing them are thus threatened by Allah:We shall cause them
to taste a painful punishment(al-Hajj
has given a centre to the world which is defined as;A place where the
resident and the visitor are equal (al-Hajj
This means that the rights of all human beings are equal here. Whoever
acknowledges the sovereignty of God and accepts the leadership of Muhammad,
blessings and peace be on him, enters the brotherhood of Islam, no matter
if he is American African, Chinese or Indian. If one has become a Muslim,
his rights are identical to those of the Makkans themselves.
The position of the whole area of the
Haram is similar to that of a
mosque in that if anyone moves into any part of a mosque that portion
belongs to him. Nobody can remove him or ask for rent from him. But, at the
same time, he has no right to call it his property, even if he lives there
for his whole life. Nor can he sell it or rent it to anybody. When this
person leaves his place in the mosque, another person has the same right to
occupy it as he had.This is exactly the position of the whole of the
Haram at Makka. The Prophet,
blessings and peace be on him, said: Whosoever first comes to this city and
settles at a place, that place is his.‘Umar is issued an order to the
people of his time not to fix doors on the compound around their houses so
that whoever wanted to could come and stay in the compound. Some jurists
have gone so far as to say that nobody has the right to own houses in Makka
or to leave them to their heirs when they die.
Brothers! This is the Hajj about which it was said: ‘Undertake it and see
how many blessings it has in store for you’. No words are adequate to
express all of its advantages; you can only get a glimpse of them from the
brief sketch that I have tried to give here.
Our Lack of Appreciation
to the voice of my afflicted heart! We, the preset-day born Muslims, are
like a child born in a diamond mine. He may have diamonds all around, but
if he plays with them as if they were stones, these diamonds become as
valueless for him as stones. Our attitudes towards Islam are exactly
similar, because the treasures which the world is searching for, and is
suffering through being deprived of, have all been given to us by virtue of
our having been born Muslims.
The Kalimah tawhid (the creed of
Oneness of God), which shows men the right way to lead their lives, has
been drummed into us from our earliest childhoods; those priceless
prescriptions of Salah and Sawn, which elevate men from a mere animal
existence to the human level, we have inherited, without effort, from our
forefathers; that matchless practice of Zakah, which purifies the heart as
well as the financial systems of the world, without which people of the
world are at loggerheads with each other, is ours as our birthright.
Similarly Hajj has been part of our heritage for hundreds of years. This
magnificent way is more effective and powerful than any other ever
conceived to propagate our movement throughout the world and keep it alive
for all eternity. This universal movement is more powerful than any other
to draw out human beings in the name of God and make them into a
brotherhood transcending race, colour and nationality.We are surrounded by
treasures, but how do we treat them? We play with them in the same way as
that ignorant child who, surrounded by diamonds, regards them as stones. My
heart bleeds when I see us frittering away such tremendous wealth ad power
through ignorance foolishness.
My dear brothers! You must have heard this couplet of the poet:
If the ass of Jesus goes to Makka.
It remains an ass when it returns.
That is to say, an ass, even one living in the company of a Prophet like
Jesus, cannot benefit from a visit to Makka; it would still be as
unenlightened as before. Today we have at our disposal gifts like the
prayer, Fasting and Pilgrimage. But these devotional acts are meant to
train human beings, not to tame animals. Although the people carry out the
external trapping of these precious gifts, their minds have no concept of
their inner significance. They have no concern for their outcome. They
imitate the actions of their forebears, but it is a stereotyped imitation,
devoid of comprehension or spiritual content. How can good results be
expected out of such exercises?Every year thousands of pilgrims go to the
centre of Islam and come back after having had the privilege of performing
Hajj without that experience having had the slightest effect on them. Nor
do they make any impact on those they meet upon their return or live with.
Worse, many of them continue to exhibit their bad habits and bad manners;
thus the very name of Islam is tarnished by their behaviour. Not only in
the eyes of strangers but also among Muslims. Eventually some young Muslims
who have not themselves been on Hajj have come to question its value.
Year after years for centuries, hundreds of thousands of the adherents of a
powerful movement, Islam, gather at one place, travel along various routes,
pass through villages, towns and cities and demonstrate their faith through
their words and deeds. How can, one wonders, such an event fail to impress
people with blessings it can bring.
Yet is only Hajj was performed as it was intended it should be, even the
blind would see its benefits and the deaf would hear of its advantages!
Every year it would change the lives of millions of Muslims, and attract
thousands of non-Muslims to Islam!
Deriving Full Benefit From
To derive the full benefits from Hajj, what we need at the centre of Islam
are such hand that could make it effective, suchheartsthat could pump pure
blood into the body of the Ummah, such minds that could turn the pilgrims
in to ambassadorsofIslamicarrying its Message far and wide. At least Makka
should have been a living example of IslamAlas, this is not the case at
present. For the time of the Abbasids till the Ottomans, the kings of every
period, in order to serve their political ends, tried to weaken the Arabs.
They brought them to the lowest levels of the decadence in knowledge,
morals and culture. The result was the land from which emanated the light
of Islam spreading its rays to all corners of the world, reached almost the
same state of ignorance in which it was before the advent of Islam. There
is little knowledge of Islam or Islamic life. People from far-off places
flock to the sacred precincts of the
Haram with the deepest devotion, only to find ignorance, filth, greed,
indecency, love of this world, bad manners and disorganization. The result
is that, for many, the experience of Hajj, instead of strengthening their
faith, weakens it.
Priestly exploitation which was imposed in the Ka’ba after Ibrahim and
Isma’il, and which was abolished by the Prophet, blessings and peace be on
him, has again been revived. The administration and the Mu’allimin (who
guide the pilgrims) have again adopted the ways of priests. The House of
God has become their property and Hajj a source of business. They consider
the pilgrims as their customers. Agents have been appointed in different
countries on big salaries to canvas and bring in these customers. Every
year a whole army of brokers leaves Makka to seek out and fetch them from
all parts of the world. People are induced to perform Hajj by having
Quranic verses and Hadith suited at them. The motive is not to remind them
of the duty imposed by Allah but to make money.
It almost looks as if Allah and His Messenger initiated Hajj for the sole
purpose of sustaining the Mu’allimin
and brokers. Trading in religion,
Mu’allim, Mutawwif, their
attorneys, keepers of keys to the Ka’ba---all confront a pilgrim at every
stage. They and the Government itself are all co-shares in the Hajj
‘industry’. The performance of the rituals of Hajj is conducted on payment
and even the door of the Ka’ba is only opened for a fee. How a strange that
such is the condition of the followers of a religion which abolished all
How can the
true spirit of worship survive where the work of conducting it has become a
source of wage-earning and trade, where sacred places are exploited for
personal gain, where sacred places are exploited for personal gain, where
Divine commandments are employed to lure people to empty their pockets,
where a man is obliged to make payment for every rite he performs, and
where Din has become a business commodity?( This address was given in 1938.
Conditions have now greatly improved and the Saudi Arabian Government is
trying to enforce further reforms. Two matters require special attention.
Firstly, two sacred precincts of Makka and Madina must be protected from
the onslaughts of Western civilization. Second, the methods and procedures
employed by Mu’allims should be improved. May god enable the Saudi
government to adopt correct measures in this regard!
mentioning these facts I do not intend to cast blame on anyone. My purpose
is simply to point out what factors have so seriously weakened such a
potentially tremendous source of spiritual, moral and social power as Hajj.
There should be no misunderstanding in anybody’s mind that this state of
affairs is due to any deficiency in Islam. The deficiency lies with those
who do not follow Islam correctly. The situation is like that of an expert
physician whose prescriptions fall into the hands of quacks and thus become
useless and possibly positively harmful.
Islam! The Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving, and Pilgrimage are so important
that they are described as the pillars of Islam. They are not, however,
like the worship rites in others religions. This we must understand
clearly. Nor are they meant to please Allah by their mere outward
observance. These acts of worship have in fact been ordained to prepare us
for a greater purpose and to train us for a greater duty. Now that we have
seen in some detail the nature of this training and the mode of this
preparation, let us come to the most crucial question: What exactly is that
great ultimate purpose?
The Ultimate Objective
simply: the ultimate objective of Islam is to abolish the lordship of man
over man and bring him under the rule of the One God. To stake everything
you have-including your lives—to achieve this purpose is called Jihad. The
Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving and Pilgrimage, all prepare you for Jihad. But
as you have long since forgotten this objective as well as the mission
entrusted to you, and because all acts of worship have been reduced to
their spiritual contents, this brief statement may be difficult to
understand. Explanation is, therefore, necessary.
Root of All Evil
is the root of all the evils you find in the world. Governments have access
to power and resources; they frame laws; they control administration, they
possess the instruments of coercion like the police and army. Evils exist
and flourish in the life of society because governments themselves either
spread them or condone them. Obviously the power required to make anything
prevail lies with governments.
why is adultery being openly indulged in, why is prostitution carried out
publicly? Only because adultery is not a crime in the eyes of those who
govern. They themselves indulge in it as well as allowing others to do so.
If they wanted to stop it, it could not flourish.
interest rampant? Why are the rich sucking the blood of the poor? Because
governments themselves acquire wealth through interest and help others to
do the same. Big money-lending houses and banks flourish only because of
You also notice that moral depravity and permissiveness are increasing.
Why? Simply because that is how governments have educated and trained
people. If you want to produce a different kind of man, you simply do not
possess the resources to provide a different kind of education. And even if
you somehow do produce a few people, where will they find jobs? All means
of livelihood and employment are controlled by corrupt governments.
Fighting and killing are taking place across the world on an unprecedented
scale. Knowledge so assiduously acquired by man is being employed to
exterminate man himself. The hard-earned fruits of human civilization are
being put to the fire. Precious lives are being destroyed with less thought
than would be given to the fate of a potter’s vessel of clay. Why is this
so? Simply because the most wicked and mischievous among the children of
Adam have come to command authority and leadership over the nations of the
world. Since they hold the reins of power, the world must go the way they
want to take it. (This was the time
when the second world war (1939-45) was about to start.). Knowledge,
wealth, labour, lives, all are directed towards the goals they have chosen.
Oppression prevails throughout the world. The weak are denied justice. The
poor find life a hard burden. Courts have become shopes where justice can
be bought in return for money. Exorbitant taxes are levied upon people,
which are then wasted on high salaries for public officials, on giant
buildings, on armaments and on other extravagances. Feudal lords,
money-lenders and creditors, religious leaders, dealers in pornography,
gambling bosses, drug pushers, manufacturers of alcohol, and pimps are
ruining the life, wealth, honour and morality of God’s creation and there
is nobody to stop them.
Why is all this happening? Simply because governments are corrupt, the
hands that hold power an evil. They themselves perpetuate oppression and
side with oppressors. The perversion of thinking, the degeneration of
morals, the misuse of human capacities and capabilities, the dishonest and
exploitive business practices, oppression and injustice, and destruction of
God’s creation, all result from this: the keys of power are in the wrong
hands. So long as power is wielded by wicked and evil hands, human society
cannot be set on the right course.
The First Step
well-being and happiness, therefore, will only come about by attacking the
evil afflicting society at its roots, that is, by getting rid of all powers
based on rebellion against the laws of God.
If people are free to commit adultery, no amount of sermons will stop them.
But if governments forbid adultery, people will find it easier to give up
this evil practice. Similarly, it is not enough to preach sermons against
drinking, gambling, usury, bribery, pornography and morally corrupting
education if the overall environment of the surrounding society encourages
or at least condones these things. Power, however, can do much to eradicate
Likewise, merely exhortations and good counsels will not help if you want
to eradicate exploitation of man by man, prevent misuse of human wealth and
talent, stamp out oppression establish justice, erase corruption, stop
bloodshed, give dignity to the down-trodden, restore equality, prosperity
and peace to all. What is needed is a demonstration from those in power
that corruption, oppression, injustice, exploitation, immortality and
godlessness will not be tolerated; and that positive actions will be taken
in accordance with God’s laws to promote the creation of a just,
God-fearing and God-loving society.
So, I say to you: if you really want to root out corruption now so
widespread on God’s earth, stand up and fight against corrupt rule; take
power and use it on God’s behalf. It is useless to think you can change
things by preaching alone.
Origin of Corrupt Rule
is the root cause of corrupt rule? What is the most fundamental change that
would prevent power from becoming corrupt?
The lordship of man over man is the root cause of all corrupt rule. The
only way to reform and change is to accept the sovereignty of God over man.
Do not be surprised at hearing such a brief answer to the complex and
profound question of the origin of evil in the world today. Search as long
as you like for other answers, you will not find any.
Let us ask ourselves a few simple questions. Has the earth we live on been
made by God or by some other being? Have the human being who inhabit the
earth been created by God or by somebody else?
Have all the countless necessities of our
lives been provided by God or by somebody else?
If the answer to these questions is God, if the earth, human beings and all
the things needed to sustain them have been created by God alone, then
obviously the land belongs to God, the wealth belongs to God and the people
belong to God.
In such a situation, how can it be right and proper for anyone to establish
his rule on God’s earth or govern God’s subjects by any law except that of
God? Do you find it reasonable that the land be owned by one being but
another being rules over it, that a property belongs to one person but some
other person is treated as its owner, that the subjects belongs to one
sovereign but another sovereign reigns over them? Such things clearly run
contrary to reality, reason and justice. And because of this, wherever and
whenever such a situation is found, the results are always disastrous.
Human beings who assume absolute powers to
make laws of their own are bound to make mistakes because of their
ignorance, and act unjustly and oppressively because of their selfish ends.
First, they do not possess sufficient knowledge to frame correct and just
laws for human life; and, second, devoid of fear of God and not seeing
themselves accountable to God, they assume absolute powers.Being in power,
they control people’s means of livelihood; they are absolute masters of
their lives and properties; they subject them to total obedience. Do you
think, therefore, that, in such circumstances, they can be trusted to
govern according to the tenets of truth and justice? Can you expect them to
be proper trustees of public money? Can you hope that they will refrain
from usurping people’s rights, from collecting illegal wealth, and from
subjugating God’s creation to their own desires? Is it possible that such
people will follow the right path and encourage others to walk along it?
Never! Never! Thousands of years of human experience testify to the
contrary. Witness those who feel no fear of God today, and are heedless of
accountability in the Hereafter. How great despots, oppressors, betrayers
of trust, and evildoers have they become after they have acquired power
Lordship Over Man
should rule over another man; all men should live under the One God. Thus
fundamental change is needed in the framework of all human governments.
Those who govern must not become masters but, recognizing God as their only
Sovereign, must rule as His deputies and trustees. They must discharge
their responsibilities with the consciousness that ultimately they will
have to give an account of their trust to that King who knows both the seen
and unseen. All laws should be based on the guidance of that god who has
knowledge of all realities, who is the source of all wisdom. Nobody has the
power to change God’s laws or to amend them or to repeal them, otherwise
corruption will creep in due to human ignorance, selfishness and desires.
What Islam demands from those who submit to God as the real Sovereign,
their only Ruler, and who accept to abide by His laws as brought by His
Prophet, blessings and peace be on him, is quite obvious. They should rise
to bring their King’s land under His law, to destroy the power of those
rebels among His subjects who have set themselves up as sovereigns, and to
free His subjects from the burden of slavery to others.
Merely believing in God as God and in His law as the true law is not
enough. As soon as you believe in these two things, a sacred duty devolves
upon you: wherever you are, in whichever country you live, you must strive
to change the wrong basis of government, and seize all powers to the rule
and make laws from those who do not fear God. You must also provide
leadership to God’s servants and conduct the affairs of their government in
accordance with God’s law, remaining fully conscious of living in God’s
presence and being accountable to Him in the Hereafter. The name of this
striving is Jihad.
Temptation of Power
We all know
that power can corrupt. Temptations rise within our hearts to behave as
gods once we acquire control over the lives and wealth of people. Taking
power is less difficult than protecting ourselves from abusing that power
when it is taken. The problem is how to stop ourselves turning ourselves
into gods rather than being servants of God. For what benefit is it to
anyone if we get rid of one Pharaoh and promptly replace him with another?
Therefore, before calling upon us to undergo this severe trail of having
power, Islam considers it necessary to prepare us for it.
You have no right to start fighting for power until you have cleansed your
hearts of all selfishness. You should develop such purity of heart that
when you fight you do not fight for personal or national aggrandizement,
but solely to secure Allah’s pleasure and to improve the lot of His
creation. Merely on the basis of reciting the Kalimah, Islam does not
permit you to wage war against God’s creation do, in the name of God and
His Messenger, the same evil acts which the oppressors ad rebels of God
perpetrate. You must, therefore, have the necessary strength to shoulder
such heavy responsibility.
Rituals, a Training Course
The Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving and Pilgrimage at
their deepest level provide preparation and training for the assumption of
just power. Just as governments train their armies, police forces and civil
services before employing them to do their job, so does Islam, the Din
given by Allah. It first trains all those who volunteer for service to God
before allowing them to undertake Jihad and establish god’s rule on earth.
There is one fundamental difference however.
The work for which the secular governments employ their servants do not
require qualities like fear of God, moral excellence and piety. Their
employees can be adulterers, drunkards and liars, and it will not matter as
long as they can carry out the task they have been given. But the work
which Allah entrusts to His servants is wholly of a moral character. It is,
therefore, essential that such men should be God-fearing and virtuous.
Indeed, their training aims to make them morally so strong that when they
rise to establish the caliphate of God on earth, they will be equal to this
If they fight, they do not fight to acquire for themselves wealth, property
and land, but to secure Allah’s pleasure and for the benefit and well-being
of His creation. If they gain victory, they must not become proud and
arrogant; rather their heads should be bowed before their God. If they gain
victory, they must not become proud and arrogant; rather their heads should
be bowed before their God. If they become rulers, they should not enslave
people; rather they themselves should live as God’s slaves, allow none to
be a slave of anyone except God. If they acquire control over wealth, they
should not fill their own pockets nor those of their relatives or their
community; rather they should distribute these God-given treasures
equitably among all His subjects according to their needs and
No other method of training people to assume such great responsibilities
exists except the ‘ibadat (act
of worship) that Allah has enjoined upon you: Salah, Sawm, Zakah and Hajj.
Only when Islam has prepared its men does it tell them: Now you are the
most pious slaves of God on earth. So go forward and fight; dislodge the
rebels of God from the government and take over the powers of caliphate.
You are the best community brought forth for mankind. You enjoin the doing
of right and forbid the doing of wrong; and you believe in God(al ‘Imran
Governments Run by
what a happy state God’s creation will be where the army, police,
judiciary, tax authorities and all the other government functionaries are
God-fearing and consider themselves accountable to Him in the Hereafter
where all government policies and laws are formulated on the basis of
Divine guidance, where unjust actions have no place, where evil is quickly
rectified by a government constantly ready to promote virtue with all its
power and resources.
Such a government will quickly be able to reform the people; it will shut
the door against oppression, exploitation, immorality and other prevalent
vices; it will reform education to develop the right kind of thinking and
attitudes. Once people have the chance to live in a just and fair, peaceful
and moral society, eyes turned blind by long exposure to a godless
leadership will, sooner or later, begin to perceive and recognize the
Truth. Likewise, hearts furred up by vices surrounding them for centuries
will become clear again and being to see the Truth. No more, then, will
people find any difficulty in understanding the simple truth that Allah
alone is their God and they should serve no one else, and that the prophets
who claimed to have brought His guidance were truthful.
Thoughts which today look extremely difficult to instill into the minds of
people will penetrate automatically. Teachings which cannot be explained
today through speeches and books will be understood immediately. For they
will see with their own eyes the vast difference between a world run on
man-made laws and one governed by Divine guidance. Submitting to the One
god and accepting the truthfulness of His Prophet, blessings and peace be
on him, will be very easy; to reject them will be almost impossible. I
doubt that more than a handful of people in a thousand will display such
great obstinacy as to reject the truth of Islam in preference to Kufr. Who
will choose a thorn as against a flower?
For a long time, brothers, you have been performing the various acts of
worship without giving any thought to the ultimate purpose behind them.
Never did you prepare yourselves for that purpose. But now, I say, you must
understand that a heart devoid of any intention to undertake Jihad will
find all ritual worship empty of meaning. Nor will those acts bring you any
nearer to your God.
Islam! Why is Jihad so central to Islam? To understand this, let us first
recollect the meanings of three keywords: Din, Shari’ah and ‘Ibadah.
Din means obedience and submission.
Shari’ah tells us how to obey and submit; it the law.
Ibadah means worship
Din, Shari’ah and ‘Ibadah
Acknowledging that some one is your ruler to whom you must submit means
that you have accepted his Din. He now becomes your sovereign and you
become his subjects. The commandments and the codes that he gives you
constitute the law or the Shari’ah which you must follow. Once you live in
obedience to him according to the law laid down by him, you are serving and
worshipping him: this is ‘Ibadah. You, then, give him whatever he demands,
obey whatever he orders, abstain from whatever he forbids, observe whatever
he instructs or decides in all your affairs.
Din, therefore, actually means the same thing as state and government;
Shari’ah is the law of-that state and government; and ‘Ibadah amounts to
following and complying with that law. Whenever you accept someone as your
ruler and submit to his orders, you have entered that person’s Din. If you
accept that Allah is your ruler, you have entered Allah’s Din; if your
ruler is some particular nation you have entered that nation’s Din; and if
it is your own nation or your people, then you have entered the people’s
Din. To whatever you submit yourselves, you have entered its Din; and you
are performing the ‘Ibadah of the whose laws you are following.
Duality of Din
necessary to spell out this point because, once you have grasped it, you
can see that it is impossible for you to follow more than one Din at a
time. Of various rulers, only one can rule your lives; of various systems
of law, only one can become the law of your lives. And of the various
objects of worship, it is only possible for you to worship one god.
You may object that this is not strictly true; as a matter of belief we can
accept one ruler, even if in practice we obey another; we can worship one
god, even if we submit to someone else; our hearts can believe one law,
even if the affairs of our lives are regulated by another law.
In reply, I say: ‘No doubt this can be done, and in fact it is being done;
but this is Shirk---and this Shirk is sheer falsehood’. In reality, you are
followers only of that being’s Din whom you are actually obeying. Is it not
then utter hypocrisy to call that being your ruler and to claim to belong
to his Din whom you do not obey? What benefit will such belief give you if
only your tongues ad hearts subscribe to it? Is it not meaningless to
assert that you have faith I his Shari’ah when all your
Affairs are conducted in violation of this Shari’ah and in fact you follow
another Shari’ah? Is it noa pseudo-exercise to accept a certain being as
your object of worship and bow your heads o the ground before hi when in
practice you give service to another being?
Only that being is your object of worship, and only him are you worshipping
whose orders you obey, whose prohibitions you observe, whose limits you do
not violate, whose code you follow in all your affairs, whose procedures
regulate your transactions, whose decision you always seek and submit to,
whose Shari’ah governs your dealings with other people, and on whose
summons you surrender all your talents and powers, your hearts ad brains,
hands and feet, all your possessions, even your lives.
Whatever you say your beliefs are, it is your actual practice which
constitutes the reality, mere lip-service carries no weight. It you obey a
king’s Din, Allah’s Din will have no room in it. And if you submit
to popular sovereignty, or to the Din of Britons or Germans, or to your
nation and motherland, then again Allah’s Din will have no place in it. But
if, in reality, you are adherents of Allah’s Din, there will be no room for
any other Din.
Every Din Wants Power
A total Din,
whatever its nature, wants power for itself; the prospect of sharing power
is unthinkable. Whether it is popular sovereignty or monarchy, communism or
Islam, or any other Din, it must govern to establish itself. A Din without
power to govern is just like a building which exists in the mind only. But
it is the building which actually exists, in which you actually live, that
is important. Through its door you go in, through its door your come out.
Its roof is above you, its walls surround you. You arrange your living
pattern according to its shape and facilities.
What point is there, while living in a building whose architectural design
obliges you to adopt certain living patterns, in pretending that you
believe in a different sort of building altogether or that you are ‘really’
living therein. You cannot live in a building which exists only in your
heads. In exactly the same way, there is no meaning in asserting that a
certain Din is true while living your lives according o another Din. That
Din alone is real and genuine whose authority is established on earth,
whose laws are followed, and according to whose rules and regulations one’s
affairs of life are conducted. Let us look at some examples.
sovereignty’ means that people of a country are its paramount sovereign; so
it is a Din. Now their lives should be governed by a Shari’ah which people
have themselves framed; and all the inhabitants of that country should obey
and serve their own authority. How can this din be established unless the
sovereignty of people reigns supreme in the country, and unless a Shari’ah
framed by people’s representations is enforced? And if it is, there can be
no room there for monarchy, for foreign rule, or for anyone else.
means that a king is the paramount sovereign of a country; so it is a Din.
Now he alone shall be obeyed and his Shari’ah alone enforced. If not, then
it is futile to acknowledge the king as the sovereign and paramount ruler
and his Shari’ah as the supreme law. If popular sovereignty is supreme or a
foreign power takes over, no trace will be left of the monarchy nor will
anyone be able to follow it.
1938-39 India was rules by the British.) the Din of the British
prevails. It prevails because the Indian Penal Code and the Civil Procedure
Code are enforced by British power. All your affairs are carried out within
the limits prescribed by the British and all of you bow your heads in
obedience to their orders. As long as this Din prevails, no other Din, no
matter how fervently you profess to follow it, can have any reality. And if
the Indian Penal Code and the Civil Procedure Code ceased t operate and
British orders were not obeyed, then ‘Din of the British orders were not
obeyed, then ‘Din of the British’ would lose all meaning.
Din of Islam
similar is the position of the Din of Islam. This Din means that Allah
alone is the Lord of everything on earth ad He alone is the Sovereign.
Thus, He alone must obeyed and served, His Shari’ah alone must govern all
affairs of our lives.
Allah’s sovereignty imply? That His write must run supreme in the world:
legal judgements must be based on His Shari’ah, the police must operate
according to His commandments, financial transactions must be carried out
in conformity with His laws, taxes must be levied as directed by Him and
spent as specified by Him, the Civil Service and the army must obey His
code, people must devote their abilities, capacities, and efforts to
fulfilling His desires. Further, Allah alone must be feared, His subjects
must submit to Him only, and man must not serve anyone but Him.
God is established, these
objectives cannot be realized. How can Allah’s Din accept to co-exist with
any other Din, when no other Din admits of such partnership? Like every
other Din, Allah’s Din, too, demands that all authority should genuinely
and exclusively be vested in it. If it is not, the Din of Islam will not be
there, and it will be futile to pretend that it is. That is the point which
the Qur’an has repeatedly stressed:
And they were not enjoined anything but that they should serve God, making
submission exclusively His, turning away [from all false gods](al-Bayyinah
It is He who has sent forth His Messenger with the Guidance and the way of
Truth, o that he makes it prevail over all ways[religions], however must
Mushriks [who take gods beside God] may dislike it (al-Tawbah 9: 33).
And fight them, until there is no rebellion [against God], and all
submission is to God alone (al-Anfal
Authority [to lay down what is right and what is wrong] belongs only to
God; He has commanded that you shall not serve any but Him (Yusuf
So whoever hopes to meet his Lord, let him do righteous deeds, and let him
not make anyone share in his Lord’s service (al-Kahf 18: 111).
Have you not seen those who assert that they believe in what has been sent
down to you, and what was sent down before you, and yet desire to summon
one another to the rule of powers in rebellion against God, although they
have been commanded to reject them……We have not sent any Messenger, but
that he should be obeyed by God’s leave (al-Nisa’ 4: 60-4).
Read these Quranic Ayahs bearing in mind the true meanings of Din, Shari’ah
and ‘Ibadah, and you will understand their message.
Jihad in Islam
The din of
Allah, like any other Din, does not allow that you merely believe in its
truth and perform certain worship rites. If you are a true follower of
Islam, you can neither submit to any other Din, nor can you make
Islam a partner of it. If you believe Islam to be true, you have no
alternative but to exert your utmost strength to make it prevail on earth:
you either establish it or give your lives in this struggle.
By this criterion alone can be tested the sincerity of your faith. With a
sincere belief, you will fid it impossible even to sleep comfortably if you
are made to live under another Din, not to speak of giving service to it,
getting rich under it, or enjoying its comforts. Every moment you spend
under another Din will be a bed of thorns; every morsel of food a poison.
Even if you passively accept to live under another Din, you are not a
believer in the true sense of the term, no matter how assiduously you offer
one Prayer after another, how many long hours you spend in meditation, how
beautifully you explain the Qur’an and how eruditely you write and speak on
Islam. But, if some people actively serve another Din and fight its wars,
no words are enough to describe their abominable behaviour. A day will soon
come when they will meet their Maker and taste the wages of their sins. If
they consider themselves Muslims, they are deluding themselves. With a
little common sense, they could have understood how illogical it is to
accept one Din as true and then, at the same time, agree to the dominance
of another contrary Din, or actively work for it. Fire and water may exist
together, but not such conduct with faith in Allah.
All that the Qur’an says in this regard cannot be reproduced here, but I
cite a few Ayahs:
Do men think that they will be left to say, ‘We believe’, and they will not
be tested? And, indeed, We tested those who were before them. God will
surely mark out those who speak truly, and He will surely mark out the
liars (al-‘Ankabut 29: 2-3).
And some men there are who say, ‘We believe in God’, but whenever they are
made to suffer I God’s cause, they take the persecution by man as it were
God’s punishment. And, then, if help comes from your Lord, they will say,
‘we have always been with you’. What, is not God fully aware of what is in
the hearts of all beings? God will surely mark out who believe, and He will
surely mark out the hypocrites (al-‘Ankabut 29:10—11).
And God is not such that He will leave the believers in the state in which
you are, till He shall distinguish the bad from the good (Al Imran 3:179).
Do you think you would be left [alone] while God has not yet seen which of
you have struggled, and taken not---apart from God and His Messenger and
the believers---any helper (al-Tawbah9: 16).
Have you not seen those who would be friends with people with whom God is
angry? They are neither of you nor of them…Those are Satan’s party, who are
the losers. Surely, those who oppose God ad His Messenger [work against the
establishment of the Religion of Truth], those are among the most abject.
God has ordained, ‘I shall surely prevail, I ad My Messengers’. Surely God
is All-strong, All-mighty (al-Mujadalah 58: 14---21).
Recognizing True Believers
believers carry only one identification: all their efforts are directed to
eradicating every false Din—and every Din other than Allah’s is false—and
establishing in its place the true Din. They live, suffer losses, and die
in His cause. Whether they succeed or fail matters little. On the contrary,
if they reconcile themselves to the domination of a false way of life or
help make it dominant, they are liars if they claim to possess Iman.
Change Only Through Struggle
use the difficulty of establishing the true Din as a pretext for not trying
to do so have their answer in Qur’an. Obviously, whenever you rise to
establish the true Din, some false Din is already in a position of power,
controlling all resources. Otherwise there would, by definition, be nothing
to topple. It is, therefore, equally obvious that the replacement of this
false Din by the true Din will always be a long and hard struggle. It
cannot be accomplished, now or ever, easily and without any sacrifice. It
is impossible to claim that you want the establishment of true Din while at
the same time continuing to tolerate those parts of the false Din which
appear to be of benefit to you personally. True Din can only be established
precisely when people are prepared to give up the benefits and privileges
they enjoy under the false Din.
Jihad fi sabili ‘llah is never easy. It is meant only for those who
have the will to fight for their cause; and such people are always few in
number. Let those who claim to follow the true Din but are not prepared to
make any sacrifice continue to serve their self-interests. While sacrifices
are being made in the cause of Truth, such people are nowhere in evidence;
when the battle is won, they will appear as if from nowhere, saying: ‘Inna
kunna ma’akum’ (we have always been with you; now come and give us our
Let us not be like those who claim to believe in Allah, but give neither
time, money, nor lives for the sake of His Din. Let us come forward and
fight in Allah’s cause with whatever we possess.