Thousands of years ago…
“And when Abraham said, “My Lord, make this a secure city and provide its people with fruits – whoever of them believes in Allah and the Last Day.” (Qur’an 2:126)
Labbayk Allahumma. Labbayk
Here I am at Your service. Oh Allah, here I am.
Labbayka, La shareeka laka. Labbayk.
Here I am. You have no partner. Here I am,
lnnal-hamda wan-n’imata laka wal- mulk.
Truly, all the praise and the favor is Yours, and the dominion.
La shareeka lak’.
You have no partner.
A dua’a made in the most uncivilized part of the world, a barren desert yet unknown to the people, with nobody but him, his son and for his Master to hear. With the purest of hearts by the leader of people…our father Ebrahim aleyhi salam.
And his Master had heard the supplication made from a heart filled with light and complete submission to Him and He answered his prayer. A prayer that shall go on until the end of this world.
“And when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House along with Ismael [saying], “Our Mater, accept from us. No doubt, You are the Hearing, the All Knowing.” (Qur’an 2:127)
When no one was there to hear, to know, to believe…Ibrahim was commanded to raise the foundations of a city, along with Ismael (alayhuma-salam), which will become the capital of Islam…the centre of this Deen. The city where his descendent, the last Prophet will be sent to.
A place that at the time was deserted and none but a few people knew about it let alone settling in it, will become one day a place where there won’t be enough space for the people to fit in but to get pushed alongside.
A land in which there was nothing but a black stone. A well. And a gleaming sun. A father, a son and their Master…
…would be a land in which there will be the House of Allah, sought by every believer’s eyes, then filled with tears of joy. A well of ZamZam sought by every believer with the hope and trust for its healing blessings. And a gleaming sun which will represent the heart of every believer walking under its shade barefooted with sweat rolling over their foreheads, solely for the sake of their Master. Believing men, believing women and their Master.
Every rukun, every ritual performed in Hajj ties us back to our father’s footsteps:
-The seven rounds of Sa’ey between Safa and Marwah: reminding us of the sacrifice of a mother Hajar (aleyha salam) when Ibrahim (aleyhi salam) left her and their son in a deserted valley of Makkah, solely for the sake and order of our Creator.
-Jamarat stoning the devils: represents the reputation of an individual’s self and the act of casting aside one’s low desires and wishes.
-Tawaf, I’tikaf, Rukoo’ and Sujood: Ibrahem aleyhi salam was the first one to perform these acts of ibadah around the Ka’aba and he was the one to whom Allah gave the responsibility to purify this House for whoever perform them.
-Hajj: one of the pillars of Islam that Allah revealed first and foremost to Ibrahim aleyhi salam in order to proclaim the pilgrimage to the mankind.
“And when We showed Ibrahim the site of the House, saying: Ascribe not anything with Me, and sanctify My House for those who walk around it, and those who stand up, and those who bow and make prostration. And proclaim to mankind the Hajj. They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant mountain highway.” (Al-Hajj, 22:26-27)
And not only the rukun of Hajj but also, four out of the five pillars of Islam are actually connected to our Father in some way or another:
-Tawheed: Ibrahem aleyhi salam‘s religion is based on Tawheed. In fact he is declared as the Imam of the people because of his absolute belief in the Oneness of Allah.
“When his Lord said to him, “Submit”, he said “I have submitted [in Islam] to the Lord of the worlds.” (Qur’an 2:131)
-Salat/Prayer: When Ibrahem aleyhi salam showed to the people how the Oneness of God cannot be identified in the sun, moon or stars and with that proved that indeed only the One up in His Throne is worthy of worship. And if you take a careful look at the timing of the five daily prayers, you can easily apprehend that they rotate around the Sun and its setting, indicating that the Sun might disappear but the power of Allah and his right of being worshipped will never diminish.
-Sawm/Fasting: Ibrahem aleyhi salam made a dua’a:
“Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (Qur’an 2:129)
And on the Night of Power (laylat ul qadr) that dua’a was answered, therefore because of the magnificence of its fulfillment, we celebrate an entire month for the fulfillment of Ibrahem aleyhi salam‘s dua’a.
-Hajj: As stated above, almost every ritual that a believer has to perform in Hajj is derived and directly connected to Ibrahem aleyhi salam.
So in these remaining blessed five days of Dhul Hijjah, when millions of Muslims embark on their journey for Hajj, let us remind ourselves about the one who raised the foundations of Allah’s House and with that I introduce to you The Hajj Series: Learning Our History, a series where I will be talking about the rituals of Hajj in-depth, their meaning behind and their connection with Ibrahem aleyhi salam. إن شاء الله