Hajj, Symbol of Obedience to God (8)
Welcome to the 8th episode of an interesting account of the Hajj pilgrimage – a spiritual journey which is obligatory once in a lifetime for every able-bodied person who has the financial means to undertake it without become a pauper in doing so.
Here is an interesting account of pilgrimage to the holy Ka’ba from the life of Imam Mohammad Baqer (AS), the 5th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny).
Aflah, a servant of the 5th Imam says: I was accompanying Imam Baqer (AS) during Hajj pilgrimage. When he entered the Masjid al-Haraam or the Grand Sacred Mosque and his look fell on the holy Ka’ba, he was overwhelmed by weeping.
I said, ‘My parents be ransom for you, people are watching you, can you not lower your voice to a whisper?’
The Imam answered, ‘O Aflah, this is Allah’s House, why should I not be weeping? He will certainly look at me favorably...”
Imam Baqer (AS) taught to the Muslims the correct way of performing the Hajj pilgrimage, in accordance with the shari’a of his illustrious ancestor the Prophet. He expounded the benefits of worship at the holy Ka’ba as is evident by his statements.
For instance, he used to say: Hajj and Umrah are two bazaars of the Hereafter. The person who performs Hajj and Umrah very often is indeed the guest of God. If God keeps him alive, he is kept forgiven and if God gets his life, he will enter the Paradise.”
Aflah says: The Imam then circumambulated the holy Ka’ba, performed the Tawaf Prayer in its proper place, and went into prostration. When he raised his head, I saw that his forehead was wet with tears.
According to Imam Baqer (AS): “One Rak’at of prayer in the Sacred Mosque is better than a hundred thousand Rak’aat of prayer in other mosques.”
Another famous saying of Imam Baqer (AS), is regarding the “talabiyya” or the phrase “Allahomma Labbayk” which means O God, I am here, and which pilgrims constantly recite.
The Imam said: “Whoever says “Labbayk” seventy times out of faith and devotion, Allah will assign thousands of angels to witness him immunity from the Fire (of Hell) and schism.”
Another famous hadith from Imam Baqer (AS) reads: “There are three things that are heeded by God. His Book (the holy Qur’an), which is His order and light. His House which is the Qiblah (or focal point of the daily ritual prayer) and He accepts full attention to this direction; and the Etrat (or the blessed Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet of Islam).”
He also said: “Whoever comes to pilgrimage this house is not accepted if he/she doesn’t have these three traits:
1. Self-restraint from sinning.
2. Forbearance to control his / her anger with.
3. Treating his/her companions properly.”
Imam Baqer (AS) says: “God does not accept the Hajj and Umrah the costs of which have been paid for through illegal means property.”