( 2 )
PART I: The Quranic Methodology in Asserting that Piety Is the Purpose of Pilgrimage

PART I: The Quranic Methodology in Asserting that Piety Is the Purpose of Pilgrimage

Contents

PART I: The Quranic Methodology in Asserting that Piety Is the Purpose of Pilgrimage (eleven chapters). CHAPTER I: Islamic Piety in Pilgrimage: Piety is the essence of Islam, Piety as the essence of Islam, "…The best among you in the sight of God is the most pious…" (49:13), Paradise is only for the pious ones among all people in general, The meanings  of piety, Piety is the basis of faith, belief, and good deeds in Islam, Piety is the main purpose of all acts of worship. CHAPTER II: Piety and God's Remembrance during Pilgrimage: Introduction, Firstly: two types of God's remembrance: Practiced remembrance, Verbal remembrance, Secondly: pilgrimage rituals as pious acts, Remembrance of God during pilgrimage rituals, Lastly. CHAPTER III: Piety Is the Basis of the Call to Perform Pilgrimage: Firstly: "…Pilgrimage to the House is a duty to God…" (3:97), Secondly: "… for all who can make the journey…" (3:97), Thirdly: "…But as for those who refuse…" (3:97), Fourthly: "God is Independent of the worlds." (3:97). CHAPTER IV: Role of Piety in Fulfilling Pilgrimage: Devils' whispers, Fulfilling one's life with obedience. CHAPTER V: Pilgrimage Quranic Legislations in Light of Piety: Introduction, Firstly: piety in commands and prohibitions, Secondly: new legislations concerning pilgrimage: when being prevented, Thirdly:  piety as a Quranic response to refute additions, distortions, and overt ostentatious religiosity before the advent of Islam, Lastly. CHAPTER VI: Ihram as the Embodiment of Piety during Pilgrimage: Introduction, Firstly: the temporal sanctuary of Ihram, Secondly: the locational  sanctuary of Ihram, Thirdly: the human sanctuary, Lastly.  CHAPTER VII: Piety and the Universality of Pilgrimage to All People: Introduction, Firstly: the Quran refutes such confining done by the Muhammadans, Secondly: the Quranic term ''people'' in pilgrimage legislations, Lastly: An Article. CHAPTER VIII: Piety and Generality of Pilgrimage Legislations for Women and Men Alike: Firstly: women have no special pilgrimage legislations in the Quran, Secondly: Quranic legislations pertaining to women between generality and special cases outside pilgrimage, Examples. CHAPTER IX: Piety Refutes the Falsehood of Performing Pilgrimage on Behalf of Others: Firstly: no one can perform Hajj instead of anyone else, Secondly: in general, no one can perform acts of worship instead of anyone else, Lastly. CHAPTER X: The Quranic Methodology in Pilgrimage Legislations: Muhammad as a follower of the religion of Abraham. CHAPTER XI: Real Pilgrimage Rituals in Islam: Firstly: Islamic pilgrimage journey and rituals within the Quranic context, Introduction, Before traveling to perform pilgrimage: the ability or physical and financial preparations of pilgrimage, Being prevented from undertaking the journey for external reasons, Preparing one's heart to pilgrimage before Ihram, Between Umrah and Hajj, Financial preparations to Hajj, Physical preparation before Hajj, Entering into the status of Ihram, Penalties for those who violate the status of Ihram, Rituals of Hajj during Ihram, Lastly: items that should never be part of Hajj rituals.

 

 

PART I: The Quranic Methodology in Asserting that Piety Is the Purpose of Pilgrimage

 

CHAPTER I: Islamic Piety in Pilgrimage

 

 

Piety is the essence of Islam:

  Piety is the foundation upon which real Islamic sharia (i.e., the Quran alone) is based; and this Quranic sharia is the one applied by Prophet Muhammad. History of the Muhammadans with all its military conquests, empires, traditions, and man-made sharia laws is mostly against the essence of Islam; accordingly, their Sunnite and Shiite sharia laws are contradicting the real Quranic sharia of Islam. For instance, within the Sunnite religion that has nothing to do with Islam, Sunnites claim that Islam is purportedly based on five pillars: the dual testimony of there is no God but Allah, Muhammad is His Prophet, performing prayers, zakat alms, fasting Ramadan, and performing pilgrimage to the Kaaba. This so-called hadith (i.e., a saying allegedly ascribed to Muhammad centuries after his death) is learnt by heart by pupils in primary schools, as if those so-called five pillars are the only parts of Islam or its essence; nothing can be further from the truth. For the Sunnites, anyone denying any, or all, of the alleged pillars are considered to be infidels or apostates. In fact, Islam has many notions, principles, and higher moralistic values than merely performing rituals; within real Islam (i.e., Quranism), we can discern the contrast and discrepancy between the Quran and those Muhammadans; Islam has but one essence or one pillar: piety. The so-called hadith of the five pillars is insulting to Islam; the following points will show further details to explain this.

1- The real testimony of Islam is found and repeated in the Quran: it is one and not dual or two-part testimony; it goes as follows: "There Is No God but Allah". this testimony has no additional words; not even a single letter to be added to it, let alone names of mortals. This real Quranic testimony implies the basic belief that God has sent prophets: we do not have to add the name of one of them at all to the testimony; otherwise, this is deemed as differentiation among prophets by making one (or more) of them placed higher than the rest. In other words, to add to the testimony the name of Muhammad is against the repeated Quranic commands of NOT to place one prophet above the others; they are in the same stature without distinguishing some as the 'best' or lowest; see these commands in 2:136, 2:285, 3:84, 4:150-152, and 46:9. In contrast, the Sunnite Muhammadans violate such commands by asserting, as part and parcel of their faith, that Muhammad is allegedly the best of human beings and the best of all prophets and messengers of God; the Sunnite Muhammadans continue their crimes of putting Muhammad's name in the call for prayers, in wall decorations of mosques beside the name of Allah, even using the same font, in mosques sermons, in reciting Quran dedicated to him, especially the Quranic Chapter One, and to offer him special prayers added to the five daily ones. This is surely deification of Muhammad as a god beside, or even above, Allah, to most Muhammadans who deem themselves as 'Muslims'. Another crime of the Muhammadans, Sunnites, Shiites, and Sufis, is to think that Muhammad is immortal and that he intercedes on behalf of his worshippers before the Almighty to save them from Hell in the Hereafter; as if their deity, whom they call Muhammad, controls the Day of Resurrection. Of course, the mortal Prophet Muhammad, mentioned in the Quran as the only true source about his lifetime, is innocent of such lies and falsehoods ascribed to him decades and centuries after his death. To believe in such falsehoods is to deny the Quran (real and only true Islam) and to disbelieve in it.

2- Within this false hadith of the so-called five pillars, the fabricator of such narrative among the ancient Muhammadans have mentioned four rituals and acts of worship (prayers, fasting, zakat, and pilgrimage), and thus, they have excluded other religious duties and obligations deemed very important by God in the Quran, such as glorification and remembrance of God which are done in certain daily times (see: 20:130, 30:17-18, 50:39-40, and 52:48-49) and certain ways (see: 3:191-194 and 7:55-205) and the reading of the Quran by true believers (see: 17:78, 27:91-92, and 35:29). Moreover, this hadith mentions the four religious obligations as if they were ends in themselves; i.e., one can perform them and enter Paradise even if one has committed so many sins. This erroneous notion contradicts the purpose of such religious practices that are not ends in themselves; rather, they are means to attain a higher, greater state: piety, the essence of Islam. As the erroneous notion of doing as much (grave and small) sins as long as one sticks to performing rituals regularly has led to the present state of affairs that the very religious Muhammadans are the worst in terms of the moralistic level, beside their hateful bigotry, fanaticism, and extremism. Inwardly, such bad people assume as if they were above the divine, Quranic laws as long as the paganize rituals and adhere to them to the letter; they assume a mission to control and dominate over others under the pretext of 'rectifying' them. The essence of Islam, piety, has three main aspects: 1) to believe in Allah alone without peers, partners, associates, or spouses and progeny beside Him, 2) to worship Allah alone, and 3) to adhere to the higher moralistic values agreed upon by humanity and by the Quranic text as well; namely, justice, mercy, peace, generosity, tolerance, charity, etc. In short, real belief in God along with performing good deeds that include worshipping God alone and to deal kindly with all people. In a nutshell: this means piety; to worship believe in God alone and to never commit injustices against people. This notion of piety is ignored by most Muhammadans past and present. With the contradiction between the Muhammadans and the Quran established within the above brief overview, let us now focus in piety as the essence of the divine religion in all its messages conveyed by all prophets of God.

Piety as the essence of Islam:

  Piety is the essence of God's religion to all people in all eras, as Islam (literally; submission to God) is the religion advocated by all prophets in all eras, each with a certain tongue or language; see 14:4, until Islam is finally revealed in Arabic in the Quran in the 7th century A.D.; see 19:97. The Quranic message is the last message from God to all human beings until the Last Day, as a warner and as mercy to them; see 21:107 and 25:1.  Piety is mentioned in the divine revelations to all prophets and messengers of God: "O messengers, eat of the good things, and act with integrity. I am aware of what you do. This nation of yours is one nation, and I am your Lord, so fear Me in piety." (23:51-52). This verse shows that it is the essence of every divine message of Go is to command adherence of piety, within the fear of God, and to perform good deeds during one's lifetime. Thus, every prophet and messenger used to advise their people to stick to piety; in the Quranic Chapter 26, this phrase is repeated by many prophets: "…Do you not apply piety? I am to you a faithful messenger. So, fear God in piety, and obey me…" (26:106-108). This very meaning is repeated elsewhere in the Quranic text. "We sent Noah to his people. He said, "O my people, worship God, you have no deity other than Him. Will you not be pious?"" (23:23). "And We sent among them a messenger from themselves: "Serve God. You have no god other than Him. Will you not be pious? "" (23:32). "And to the people of Aad, their brother Hud. He said, "O my people! Worship God; you have no god other than Him. Will you not be pious?"" (7:65). "…and remember what it contains, so that you may be saved through piety." (7:171). "Also Elijah was one of the messengers. He said to his people: "Do not you fear God in piety?"" (37:123-124). The Quranic command of piety is not confined to Quranic stories of ancient peoples; rather, it is addressed to Muhammad and to all Quran-believing people in all eras until the Last Day. Muhammad himself has been commanded in the Quran to adhere to piety: "O prophet! Fear God in piety…" (33:1). The same command is addressed to all believers in all eras: "O you who believe! Be conscious of God within piety and be with the sincere." (9:119). We do believe that the sincere ones mentioned in 9:119 are all prophets and messengers in general. "O you who believe! Do not place your opinions above that of God and His messenger, and fear God in piety; God is Hearing and Knowing." (49:1). "The believers are brothers, so reconcile between your brothers, and remain conscious of God within piety, so that you may receive mercy." (49:10). God addresses all believers to be sincere and truthful as part of piety: "O you who believe! Be conscious of God within piety, and speak in a straightforward manner." (33:70). God wants all believers to have patience as part of piety to be among winners in this world and in the Hereafter: " Say, "O My devotees who have believed, keep your duty to your Lord in piety. For those who do good in this world, is goodness. And God's earth is vast. The patient ones will be paid their wages in full infinitely."" (39:10). In the last divine message to human beings, the Quran, God orders both Muslims and People of the Book (i.e., Jews and Christians) to adhere to piety: "… We have instructed those who were given the Book before you, and you, to be conscious of God in piety…" (4:131). This is repeated to the Israelites: " O Israelites! Remember My blessings which I bestowed upon you, and fulfill your pledge to Me, and I will fulfill My pledge to you, and fear Me." (2:40). Polytheists among Arabs of Arabia during the lifetime of Muhammad used to believe in Allah, the Creator, along with other deities of their fashioning, and the Quran refutes such polytheism of theirs and orders them to adhere to piety: "… Will you not become pious?" (23:87). The divine command to stick to piety in fear of God is linked here to reminding people of their one origin and that the One Almighty God is watching over them: "O people! Fear your Lord piously, who created you from a single soul, and created from it its mate, and propagated from them many men and women. And revere God whom you ask about, and the parents. Surely, God is Watchful over you." (4:1). Piety is linked here with one's real future in the Last Day: " O people, be piously conscious of your Lord. The quaking of the Hour is a tremendous thing." (22:1).

 

"…The best among you in the sight of God is the most pious…" (49:13):

   Because piety is the essence of the divine religion of Islam to all people, God addresses all human beings in this verse: "O people! We created you from a male and a female, and made you races and tribes, that you may know one another. The best among you in the sight of God is the most pious. God is All-Knowing, Well-Experienced." (49:13). Hence, all human beings are siblings and offspring of Adam and Eve, who are to know one another and NOT to fight one another; all of them are equal before the sight of God, but the best of them in the Last Day are the most pious; not the most generous, the richer, the most famous ones. Every human being can be pious on their own accord, regardless of their positions and statuses on earth. Piety is direct contact between the pious ones and God; it is a behavior ordained and watched by God in the pious ones who are not to show off their piety before other people; this is forbidden in the Quran as hypocrisy. Real believers do not show off or brag of their pious acts to use them in trade and get material gains by deceiving people. Hence, God in the Quran prohibits one's self-praise as pious: "…So do not acclaim your own virtue; He is fully aware of the piously righteous ones." (53:32). As long as God is the Only Omniscient One who knows our minds, hearts, and intentions, He knows the really pious and righteous ones; hence, there is no room for clergymen and theologians in Islam, claiming to speak in the name of God and controlling people under this pretext; it is a sin to confiscate God's authority to oneself, as all clergymen do in all eras.

 

Paradise is only for the pious ones among all people in general:

   Dwellers of Paradise are repeatedly described in the Quranic text as the pious ones who performed good deeds and righteous acts. Thus, real acceptable belief of God alone and worshipping Him is not enough; deep true faith must go hand in hand with many good deeds that fill the lifetime of believers and of the type that would prevent them from sinning. The equation is as follows: true faith+ good deeds = piety = Paradise. This is real Islam that preserves Paradise only for the pious ones: "Beautified is the life of this world for those who disbelieve, and they ridicule those who believe. But the pious ones will be above them in the Day of Resurrection. God provides to whomever He wills without measure." (2:212). This means that disbelievers mock and ridicule believers in this world, but real pious ones will be above them in the Day of Resurrection; not ordinary believers, but only pious ones amongst them. Hence only the pious ones from among all believers will enter Paradise; this entails that some believers will NOT enter it because of lack of pious good deeds in terms of quality and quantity. In the Quranic Chapter 39, we read the scene of Hell dwellers entering it, described as disbelievers, whereas in the scene of Paradise dwellers entering it, we read that those dwellers are described as the pious ones (NOT believing ones): "Those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in throngs. …" (39:71). "And those who piously feared their Lord will be led to Paradise in throngs…" (39:73). Hence, piety – the Essence of Islam – is the key and route of human beings to Paradise, and without it, Hell is the eternal abode for the non-pious.

 

The meanings  of piety:

   The above Quranic verses give us the meanings of piety; it is to fear God that one does not sin and that one repents after sinning. This type of fear is mixed with awe and respect in submission to the Almighty; that is why piety is linked to that fear of God in the Quranic verse: " Whoever obeys God and His Messenger, and fears God, and is piously conscious of Him-these are the winners. " (24:52). Being conscious of God's presence and that He is watching over all people is one of the main meanings of piety. Real pious believers should not fear any human beings at all; they are to dear God alone; this is the meaning we discern from this harsh rebuke addressed to Muhammad: "…And you feared the people, but it was God you were supposed to fear…" (33:37). God has addressed Torah-believing Jews in the same manner: "…So do not fear people, but fear Me…" (5:44) and also the Quran-believing people: "…Do you fear them? It is God you should fear, if you are believers." (9:13). Another meaning of piety is repentance; real believers must repent as soon as possible if they fell into the trap of sinning, promising never to disobey God ever again: "And those who, when they commit an indecency or wrong themselves, remember God and ask forgiveness for their sins-and who forgives sins except God? And they do not persist in their wrongdoing while they know." (3:135). The best ones are those who remember God before they are about to sin and obey devils, and thus they reject sins before even committing them: "Those who are righteous-when an impulse from the Devil strikes them, they remind themselves of God, and immediately see clearly." (7:201).

 

Piety is the basis of faith, belief, and good deeds in Islam:

1- It might be said that piety means fear of God in all our deeds and to work on gaining His mercy to win His Paradise. Yet, this statement is not complete that way; most believing people actually fear God, but fear alongside Him other deities and gods as well. The above statement will be complete if we add that one is to fear God alone, without fearing any mortals. Arabs of the 7th century, and centuries before it, in Arabia, before the advent of Islam used to perform prayers and pilgrimage as per traditions of Abraham, with distortions of course. The Qorayish tribe for centuries used to care for the Kaaba Sacred Mosque, but they added the distorted ritual of pilgrimage to holy tombs or mausoleums and to pagan idols. Those Qorayish tribesmen used to commit massacres, raids, and all immoral acts, thinking that performing acts of worship would remove such sins totally as if they were never committed. The same corrupt notions has been fabricated and woven into false Sunnite hadiths ascribed to Muhammad centuries after his death: such as the one about pilgrimage removing all lifetime sins of pilgrims. God refutes the notion of Arab polytheists in this verse: "It is not for the polytheists to attend God's places of worship while professing their disbelief. These-their works are in vain, and in the Fire they will abide." (9:17). This means that overt religiosity or mere rituals performed regularly are not the significant elements; rather, the significance is all about attaining piety: "The only people to attend God's places of worship are those who believe in God and the Last Day, and pray regularly, and practice regular charity, and fear none but God. These are most likely to be guided." (9:18). Thus, real believers in God and in the Last day perform rituals and acts of worship and have high sense of conscience and high level of moralistic values, fearing God alone and no one else beside Him: "… so do not fear them, but fear Me…" (5:3). "… so do not fear them, but fear Me…" (2:150). Hence, fear and awe are linked to God alone: "God has said: "Do not take two gods; He is only One God; so fear only Me."" (16:51). "… and fear only Me … and be piously conscious only of me …" (2:40-41). God is the only One to have intercession using angels who see deeds of people and ask God's pardon for humans, and the Quranic command of adhering to piety is linked to denial of human intercession of all sorts, so that people would perform good deeds as often as they can and to avoid sinning, using the Quran alone as warner: "And warn with it those who fear to be gathered before their Lord-they have no protector or intercessor apart from him-perhaps they will grow in piety." (6:51). Hence, believers who adhere to piety all their lifetimes will be judged easily in the Last Day; see 84:7-8, because they have watched over their deeds and restrained their lusts and whims: "The piously righteous are in no way accountable for them; it is only a reminder, that they may be pious." (6:69). Hence, piety throughout one's lifetime assures one of escaping Hell in the Hereafter; warning is done ONLY through the Quran as a reminder, preserved by God Himself to guide people: "This is the Book in which there is no doubt, a guide for the pious." (2:2). "Surely, it is a reminder for the pious." (69:48).  Hence, the Quranic verses explain one another from inside the Quranic text itself; no human exegesis is needed at all, especially as people usually distort meanings of Quranic verses, as done by early Muhammadans in their tomes and volumes of interpretations that led people astray, away from the essence of Islam: piety. God says the following about how the Quran explains itself: "…God thus clarifies His revelations to the people, that they may attain piety." (2:187). The last one of the Quranic Ten Commandments tells us to follow the Quran alone without any other source beside it in order to attain piety: "This is My path, straight, so follow it. And do not follow the other paths, lest they divert you from His path. All this He has enjoined upon you, that you may attain piety." (6:153). Sadly, Muhammadans past and present have not heeded this commandment at all, preferring to the Quran books authored by mortal ancient humans who penned the endless books of the Sunnites, Sufis, and Shiites and made such tomes as 'divine' revelation by ascribing fabrications, falsehoods, and lies to God. Sadly, Muhammadans past and present have ignored and discarded the Quran; they have not heeded it warnings that aim to sensitize and nurture feelings of piety and fear of God: "Thus We have revealed it an Arabic Quran, and We have diversified the warnings in it, that perhaps they would become pious, or it may produce a lesson for them." (20:113). Thus, the Muhammadans have not heeded the Quranic lessons: "We have cited in this Quran for the humankind every lesson, that they may take heed. An Arabic Quran, without any defect, so they may become pious." (39:27-28). Piety is directly linked to real faith and belief in God, this is the main epithet of God's friends among human beings who will enter Paradise after an earthly lifetime of piety and belief as well as good deeds: "Unquestionably, God's allies have nothing to fear, nor shall they grieve. Those who believe and are pious." (10:62-63). When angels come to receive the souls of these pious ones, when they die, the angels gladden their hearts of the news of being accepted into Paradise after the Last Day: "Surely, those who say: "Our Lord is God," and then go straight, the angels will descend upon them: "Do not fear, and do not grieve, but rejoice in the news of the Paradise which you were promised. We are your allies in this life and in the Hereafter, wherein you will have whatever your souls desire, and you will have therein whatever you call for." (41:30-31). That is why we read descriptions of dwellers of Paradise as follows: "But the reward of the Hereafter is better for those who believe and observed piety." (12:57). "…God is the Protector of the pious." (45:19).  Hence, during the lifetime of real pious ones, they strive to be allies of God, Who is the Ally of the pious: "….His allies are the pious ones…" (8:34). In this world, God shows mercy and protection for the pious ones; He saved the ancient pious ones when He had smitten the unjust sinners; see 41:18 and 27:53.

2- As real, faithful believers observe piety in their relation with the Almighty, piety is observed by them as well in how they deal kindly, justly, and charitably with people; they are keenly conscious of piety so that they never commit injustices against anyone. This is how they attain piety through acts of worship; they lead them to fear God and never to commit sins. Hence, piety is the main purpose of all acts of worship.

 

Piety is the main purpose of all acts of worship:

  This is the greatest element in Islamic/Quranic sharia: piety within all acts of worship must be translated into observing piety in dealing with people justly and fairly. Hence, those who spent much of their lifetime in worship acts but commit injustices and aggressions against people will enter into Hell in the Hereafter in case of not repenting before their death; their lots of worship acts will be in vain and will not be of any use to them in that case. Acts of worship must be reflected in acting kindly, fairly, and charitably toward all people in one's society. This verse shows that all acts of worship are means to attain piety: "O people! Worship your Lord who created you and those before you, that you may attain piety." (2:21). Performing prayers along with reading the Quran, fasting, and glorifying God have but one goal: to attain piety by avoiding sins and immorality: "Recite what is revealed to you of the Scripture, and perform the prayer. The prayer prevents indecencies and evils. And the remembrance of God is greater. And God knows what you do." (29:45). "O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become piously righteous." (2:183).

    

 

 

CHAPTER II: Piety and God's Remembrance during Pilgrimage

 

 

Introduction:

1- Pilgrimage is a journey to provide pilgrims with piety during their lifetime: "Pilgrimage is during specific months. Whoever decides to perform it - there shall be no sexual relations, nor misconduct, nor debating during pilgrimage. And whatever good you do, God knows it. And take provisions, but the best provision is righteousness. And be mindful of Me, O people of understanding." (2:197). Travelers usually take provisions before embarking on their journeys. Our lifetime is but a journey, with time going ahead and never back until one dies or until the end of this world. Thus, between one's birth and death, life is a short journey and its provision for real believers is piety, as an asset and account filled with one's wealth to attain one's ticket to book one's place in Paradise. Pilgrimage is like a once-in-a-lifetime camp where one is tainted to attain piety.   

2- As far as piety is concerned, overt religiosity and behavior do not count at all when performing pilgrimage; God says the following to refute opinions of the Qorayish tribesmen who turned acts of worship into hypocritical overt religiosity, likened to the ones who use turnabout ways to enter houses from backdoors instead of the main gate: "…It is not virtuous that you approach homes from their backs, but virtue is to be pious. So approach homes from their doors, and observe God, that you may succeed." (2:189). Rituals of pilgrimage (i.e., Hajj in Arabic and Umrah is visiting Kaaba outside Hajj season) must be done with piety and reverence, not in hypocrisy and ostentatious behavior to catch attention and admiration of others: "…Whoever venerates the rituals ordained by God-it is from the piety of the hearts." (22:32). If piety is not observed within rituals of pilgrimage, God will punish the wrongdoers: "And carry out the Hajj and the Umrah for God. But if you are prevented, then whatever is feasible of offerings. And do not shave your heads until the offering has reached its destination. Whoever of you is sick, or has an injury of the head, then redemption of fasting, or charity, or worship. When you are secure: whoever continues the Umrah until the Hajj, then whatever is feasible of offering. But if he lacks the means, then fasting for three days during the Hajj and seven when you have returned, making ten in all. This is for he whose household is not present at the Sacred Mosque. And remain piously conscious of God, and know that God is stern in retribution." (2:196). Hence, those who just think – not act – of disobedience and sinning during pilgrimage will be punished severely by God in Hell, because piety would never be attained that way if instead one sins during pilgrimage, showing disrespect to God: "As for those who disbelieve and repel from God's path and from the Sacred Kaaba Mosque - which We have designated for all humankind equally, whether residing therein or passing through - and seek to commit sacrilege therein, We will make him taste of a painful punishment." (22:25).  

3- The act of worship that consists of remembrance of God is mentioned in the Quran in the meaning of glorification, sanctification, deification, and worshipping Him alone. Polytheists revere, sanctify, and worship names of associates/deities/saints along with God by mentioning their names reverently along with the name of Allah. When someone mentions the name of God alone in glorification or in a sermon, those polytheists would feel mad and gilled with disgust; because their saints, i.e., holy and deified men and women, are not mentioned alongside with God! The reason: the polytheists, past and present, think that such mortal deities would do them good and intercede on their behalf before God to save them from Hell in the Hereafter. The Quran refutes such falsehood in a clear manner: "Or have they chosen intercessors other than God? Say, "Even though they have no power over anything, and are devoid of reason?" Say, "All intercession is up to God. To Him belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. Then to Him you will be returned." When God alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter shrink with resentment. But when those other than Him are mentioned, they become filled with joy." (39:43-45). Indeed, the verse 39:45 applies to the Muhammadans within their earthly, man-made, fabricated religions; they never worship God alone as they make Muhammad as a deity/god alongside with Allah in their dual or two-part testimony of ''bi-theism'' of (Allah/Muhammad), used instead of the monotheistic testimony of Islam mentioned in the Quran. Hence, the place Muhammad above all other prophets - and indeed all the rest of humanity – as a sort of apotheosis after his death! Thus, they contradict the Quranic commands of God that entail us to regard all prophets within the same status/degree like one another without distinguishing of differentiation; see 2:136, 2:285, 3:84-85, 4:150-152, and 46:9. Moreover, the Muhammadans frequently mention with utmost reverence the name of their supreme god, Muhammad (i.e., an imaginary figure in Sunnite literature that has nothing to do with the historical real figure of Muhammad mentioned ONLY in the Quran), in prayers, call to prayers, and in all rituals and acts of worship, including pilgrimage. This bad habit goes on until now in all Sunnite, Shiite, and Sufi mottoes, keepsakes, knickknacks, ornaments, and paraphernalia as well as decorations inside and outside their mosques. Of course, the Muhammadans have other gods as well: the so-called companions of Muhammad (i.e., those who lived contemporary to Muhammad's lifetime), imams, saints, scholars, theologians, etc. and of course, they mention their name in reverence and sanctification alongside with God's name, Allah, even in sermons. Such people must be warned using the Quran, though they hate and disbelieve in it: "When you read the Quran, We place between you and those who do not believe in the Hereafter an invisible barrier. And We drape veils over their hearts, preventing them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears. And when you mention your Lord alone in the Quran, they turn their backs in aversion." (17:45-46). Let us ponder 17:46, as we, Dr. A. S. Mansour, used to experience it with people's reactions when we delivered sermons on Fridays within mosques of Cairo many years ago; we would preach real Islam (i.e., Quranism) from the pulpit, quoting the Quran alone and mentioning no names but God's, Allah, and we saw clearly how people looked daggers at us, as their hateful looks at us made us ponder deeply this realization of 17:45-46 and 39:45. God's verses apply to all eras, indeed; God says nothing but the Truth. 

4- mentioning and remembering God's name alone has a Quranist meaning; in the Quran, this concept covers all Islamic acts of worship: prayers, supplications, invocation, reciting the Quran, pondering it, pondering creations of God in heaven and on earth etc., as people prayer regularly five times days, apart from additional prayers offered day and night, along with reading the Quran until late by night, especially during the fasting month of Ramadan, when all acts of worship increase and people spend days on end inside mosques, in order to attain piety as the supreme goal of all acts of worship; 2:183-187. Likewise, remembrance of God and mentioning His name is directly linked to pilgrimage as one of the acts of worship done once in a lifetime. Of course, remembrance of God and glorifying His name is an act of  worship in itself done anytime, but it increases during pilgrimage in Mecca. Hence, remembrance is done daily in all daily and annual acts of worship, besides glorification the Holy Name of God: Allah, in order to be pious enough to enter Paradise. Hence, there are two types of remembrance of God by the believers.   

 

Firstly: two types of God's remembrance:

Practiced remembrance:

1- This type is closely linked to piety: it means that believers would remember God when their soul is touched by devils to urge them to commit sin or disobey God. God has told Muhammad the following: "And when a suggestion from the Devil assails you, take refuge with God. He is Hearing and Knowing." (7:200). God says the following about the pious ones: "Those who are pious, when an impulse from the Devil strikes them, they remind themselves of God, and immediately see clearly." (7:201). This means that when one remembers God, one would refrain from committing the intended sin(s). the misguide ones are tempted easily by devils into sinning: "But their brethren lead them relentlessly into error, and they never stop short." (7:202). Hence, remembering God here means to fear Him in piety to refrained from doing the thought-of sin. This remembrance is a chance for every human being to repent from sins; even God wanted Moses' Pharaoh to remember God and repent, when he said to Moses and Aaron the following: "Go to Pharaoh. He has tyrannized. But speak to him nicely. Perhaps he will remember, or have some fear."" (20:43-44).   

2- God's remembrance might occur to one after committing the sin or mistake or when disobedience of God would have happened already. The pious ones should readily repent after wrongdoing; the pious ones are described in the Quran as the ones to readily repent and imploring God's forgiveness and pardon, while being bent on never to repeat the sin/mistake again in the future: "And race towards forgiveness from your Lord, and a Garden as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the piously righteous. Those who give in prosperity and adversity, and those who restrain anger, and those who forgive people. God loves the doers of good. And those who, when they commit an indecency or wrong themselves, remember God and ask forgiveness for their sins-and who forgives sins except God? And they do not persist in their wrongdoing while they know." (3:133-135). 

Verbal remembrance:

This type includes many kinds within it:

1- Praising and glorifying God repeatedly using one's mouth with whispers in a pious manner day and night (NOT in loud coarse voices while dancing like Sufis; this is un-Islamic): "And remember your Lord within yourself, humbly and fearfully, and quietly, in the morning and the evening, and do not be of the neglectful." (7:205). This glorification is God's remembrance linked to prayers and supplication as well, as real pious righteous ones should never forget their Lord the Almighty and the Omnipotent, and they should think of Him and contemplate His great creations: "…And remember your Lord if you forget, and say, "Perhaps my Lord will guide me... " (18:24). "In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, are signs for people of understanding. Those who remember God while standing, and sitting, and on their sides; and they reflect upon the creation of the heavens and the earth: "Our Lord, You did not create this in vain, glory to You, so protect us from the punishment of the Fire."" (3:190-191). God's remembrance is also linked to patience in times of fearful ordeals; God has said this to Muhammad: "So bear patiently what they say, and celebrate the praises of your Lord before the rising of the sun, and before its setting. And during the hours of the night glorify Him, and at the borders of the day, that you may be satisfied." (20:130). God has said the following to Moses when ordered him to go to Pharaoh, as this was fearful mission: "Go, you and your brother, with My signs, and do not neglect My remembrance." (20:42). That was why Moses used to remember God a lot: "That we may glorify You much and remember you much." (20:33-34). The same repeated remembrance of God is expected to be performed by real believers of both genders in all eras: "O you who believe, remember God with frequent remembrance and glorify Him morning and evening." (33:41-42). "Muslim men and Muslim women, believing men and believing women, obedient men and obedient women, truthful men and truthful women, patient men and patient women, humble men and humble women, charitable men and charitable women, fasting men and fasting women, men who guard their chastity and women who guard, men who remember God frequently and women who remember-God has prepared for them a pardon, and an immense reward." (33:35).

2- God's remembrance is performed as well by reading the Quran itself.

2/1: the Quran describes itself as a reminder and a remembrance: "…It is only a Reminder; and a Clear Quran" (36:69). "…By the Quran of remembrance" (38:1). "This too is a Blessed Remembrance that We revealed. Are you going to deny it?" (21:50).

2/2: Human beings are of two categories in the Quran: those who follow it and take heed by it and remember its teachings, and those who are the exact opposite: they deny, ignore, discard, or ignore it. those who follow it ponder its verses with their hearts and minds so that their faith increases, among the descriptions of the servants of the Dominant Almighty God who are real faithful believers: "You warn only him who follows the Reminder, and fears the Most Gracious inwardly. So give him good news of forgiveness, and a generous reward." (36:11). "And those who, when reminded of the revelations of their Lord, do not fall before them deaf and blind." (25:73). "The believers are those whose hearts tremble when God is mentioned, and when His revelations are recited to them, they strengthen them in faith, and upon their Lord they rely. Those who perform the prayer; and from Our provisions to them, they spend. These are the true believers. They have high standing with their Lord, and forgiveness, and a generous provision." (8:2-4). As for those who discard and reject the Quran, we read about them in the following verses: "Thus We narrate to you reports of times gone by; and We have given you a Reminder from Us. Whoever turns away from it will carry on the Day of Resurrection a burden." (20:99-100). "But whoever turns away from My Reminder, for him is a confined life. And We will raise him on the Day of Resurrection blind." He will say, "My Lord, why did You raise me blind, though I was seeing?" He will say, "Just as Our revelations came to you, and you forgot them, today you will be forgotten."" (20:124-126). "Who does greater wrong than he, who, when reminded of his Lord's revelations, turns away from them, and forgets what his hands have put forward? We have placed coverings over their hearts, lest they understand it, and heaviness in their ears. And if you call them to guidance, they will not be guided, ever." (18:57). "Humankind's reckoning has drawn near, but they turn away heedlessly. No fresh reminder comes to them from their Lord, but they listen to it playfully. Their hearts distracted…" (21:1-3). God asserts that the majority of people rejects the Quranic message: "We have circulated it among them, that they may reflect, but most people persist in rejecting it." (25:50). Both categories are called upon to remember God using His Book: " The revelation of the Book, without a doubt, is from the Lord of the Universe. Yet they say, "He made it up." In fact, it is the Truth from your Lord, to warn a people who received no warner before you, that they may be guided. God is He who created the heavens and the earth and everything between them in six days, and then established Himself on the Throne. Apart from Him, you have no master and no intercessor. Will you not reflect?" (32:2:4). After this question 'will you not reflect?' that urges all people to pay heed to the Quran, in the same Quranic Chapter 32, we read description of real believers who remember God through the Quran and be filled with reverence, piety, and the fear of God: "They believe in Our Verses, those who, when reminded of them, fall down prostrate, and glorify their Lord with praise, and are not proud." (32:15). In contrast, we read here about the criminal sinners who are among the unjust: "Who is more wrong than he, who, when reminded of his Lord's revelations, turns away from them? We will certainly wreak vengeance upon the criminals." (32:22).

3- Prayers and God's remembrance: indeed, prayers are daily regular acts of remembering God, with all parts of prayers: prostration, kneeling, reading the Quran, the testimony in 3:18, glorifying God, etc. Hence, the goal of prayers is to mention God in a way that makes piety deep-rooted within one's soul on a daily basis. This is the foundation of prayers in Abraham's religion that Arabs of Arabia inherited through Ishmael: " And mention in the Book Ishmael. He was true to his promise, and was a messenger, a prophet. And he used to enjoin on his people prayer and charity, and he was pleasing to his Lord." (19:54-55); and so did the Israelites through Isaac, but both inheritors had wasted the purpose of prayers: attaining deep-seated piety, as later generations disregarded prayers and lost piety when they followed their lusts and failed to remember God, unlike their pious God-fearing ancestors: "These are some of the prophets God has blessed, from the descendants of Adam, and from those We carried with Noah, and from the descendants of Abraham and Israel, and from those We guided and selected. Whenever the revelations of the Most Gracious are recited to them, they would fall down, prostrating and weeping. But they were succeeded by generations who wasted the prayers and followed their lustful appetites. They will meet perdition." (19:58-59). Wasting one's prayers here means that they may have performed prayers coupled with committing many sins repeatedly and performing them while never really heeding God and remembering Him properly in fear; thus, piety was never achieved. Hence, Moses was told by god to perform prayers piously as per the true religion of Abraham; i.e., to mention only God while praying: " I am He; I am God. There is no God but I. So serve Me, and practice the prayer for My remembrance." (20:14). Prayers are means to attain piety along with glorifying God and reading the Quran, as God has told Muhammad in this verse: "Recite what is revealed to you of the Scripture, and perform the prayer. The prayer prevents indecencies and evils. And the remembrance of God is greater. And God knows what you do." (29:45).       

 

Secondly: pilgrimage rituals as pious acts are meant to be dedicated to mentioning and remembering God alone in piety:

  We have said above with Quranic proofs that attaining piety is the purpose of the religious duty/obligation of performing pilgrimage. Indeed, acquiring piety is the purpose of all acts of worship: prayers, zakat, fasting, glorifying God, remembering His Holy Name, and pilgrimage. We add here that piety has a unique special position while performing pilgrimage in particular. The Quranic discourse or methodology urges readers to focus on attaining piety as the purpose and goal in pilgrimage, so as not to turn rituals of pilgrimage into overt, mechanical acts of ostentation and show-off, into political propaganda, or into occasions for immorality and disobedience. Those ways of twisting and exploiting pilgrimage rituals have been committed by Arabs (especially the Qorayish tribesmen) before, during, and after the revelation of the Quran. After the death of Muhammad, Arabs restored the same distortions, immorality, decadence, and disobedience of God. Decades later, such bad state of affairs had a cover, sham 'legitimacy', and justification via the Sunnite religion, posing as 'Islam', by countless hadiths and fiqh fatwas (i.e., jurisprudence edicts by clergymen and theological scholars) that consist of falsehoods and lies. Such is the case now of the KSA with its Sunnite Wahabism which is based on the extremist  Sunnite Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Hanbal doctrine.

 

Remembrance of God during pilgrimage rituals:

1- Since the early beginning within Abraham's religion (i.e., the basis and origin of Islam: Quranism), God has linked pilgrimage to His remembrance as Abraham built the Kaaba: "We showed Abraham the location of the House: "Do not associate anything with Me; and purify My House for those who circle around, and those who stand to pray, and those who kneel and prostrate." And announce the pilgrimage to humanity. They will come to you on foot, and on every lean beast of transport. They will come from every distant point. That they may witness the benefits for themselves, and remember the name of God during the appointed days…" (22:26-28). Thus, during days of pilgrimage, we are to remember God's name with a focus on attaining piety: "And remember God during the designated days. But whoever hurries on in two days commits no wrong, and whoever stays on commits no wrong-provided he maintains righteousness. And obey God in piety, and know that to Him you will be gathered." (2:203). 

2- The Quranic Chapter 22 is titled ''Pilgrimage'', and its verses link pilgrimage rituals to God's remembrance and to piety; for example, performing rituals of pilgrimage reverently is deemed by God as a true sign of piety: "…Whoever venerates the rituals ordained by God-it is from the piety of the hearts." (22:32). The synonym of piety in the Quranic text is humbleness before the Almighty, as we read in the same context: "We have appointed a rite for every nation, that they may commemorate God's name over the livestock He has provided for them. Your God is One God, so to Him submit, and announce good news to the humble. Those whose hearts tremble when God is mentioned, and those who endure what has befallen them, and those who perform the prayer and spend from what We have provided for them." (22:34-35). Livestock slaughtered during pilgrimage to feed the pilgrims and the poor are part of rituals ordained by God, while mentioning His Name and being thankful for His Bounty, as feeding them to people during pilgrimage is art of piety: " We have made the animal offerings emblems of God for you. In them is goodness for you. So pronounce God's name upon them as they line up. Then, when they have fallen on their sides, eat of them and feed the contented and the beggar. Thus We have subjected them to you, that you may be thankful.  Neither their flesh, nor their blood, ever reaches God. What reaches Him is the righteousness from you. Thus He subdued them to you, that you may glorify God for guiding you. And give good news to the charitable." (22:36-37).

3- The Quranic Chapter 2 tells us in many legislative verses to remember God within and after the pilgrimage rituals: "…When you disperse from Arafat, remember God at the Sacred Landmark. And remember Him as He has guided you. Although, before that, you were of those astray." (2:198). "When you have completed your rituals, remember God…" (2:200). Instead of bragging of one's ancestry and lineage during pilgrimage, we are to remember God alone all the time: "…ask God for forgiveness. God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. When you have completed your rituals, remember God as you remember your parents, or even more…" (2:199-200).  As some people care only for worldly riches and forget to work for their eternal life in the Hereafter, God warns us: "Among the people is he who says, "Our Lord, give us in this world," yet he has no share in the Hereafter. And among them is he who says, "Our Lord, give us goodness in this world, and goodness in the Hereafter, and protect us from the torment of the Hell-Fire." These will have a share of what they have earned. God is swift in reckoning." (2:200-202.)

 

Lastly:

 Pilgrimage is a journey to provide us with the best provision to the route for the Eternal Abode in Paradise: piety. Remembrance of God is the main feature of attaining piety; thus, we should not remember anyone but God in the Kaaba Sacred Mosque, in Mecca, during the pilgrimage season. It is forbidden to glorify anyone beside God during pilgrimage to His Sacred House.

 

CHAPTER III: Piety Is the Basis of the Call to Perform Pilgrimage:

 

 The Almighty God says in the Quran: "…Pilgrimage to the House is a duty to God for all who can make the journey. But as for those who refuse-God is Independent of the worlds." (3:97). The Quran has a unique style in calling believers to perform pilgrimage; this style or discourse focuses on advocating people to achieve piety as the vital feature and main purpose of performing pilgrimage, based on the desire of believers to purify themselves, seeking to gratify Almighty God. Let us reflect deeply upon these two verses: "The first house established for humankind is the one at Bacca; blessed, and guidance for all people. In it are evident signs; the Station of Abraham. Whoever enters it attains security. Pilgrimage to the House is a duty to God for all who can make the journey. But as for those who refuse-God is Independent of the worlds." (3:96-97).

 

Firstly: "…Pilgrimage to the House is a duty to God…" (3:97):

1- We notice here that the call to perform pilgrimage does not come here in the directive style; rather, it comes within the declarative style, which is in this context is more compelling and imperative that direct directive style and stands for continuity of the divine command and the not for restricting the command to a certain time/tense. 

2- What asserts the declarative style, that indicates an indirect directive one, is the declarative style in 3:96 asserting that the Kaaba is the very first House God has ordained for humanity to visit in honor of the Almighty; hence, the declarative indirect directive style of the command to visit it is addressed to pious righteous believers who will perform this religious duty/obligation in reverence and in the fear of God. This duty is imperative to those pious ones who believe in God an honor Him and, of course, worship Him alone. Real believers' hearts shiver once God is mentioned in 3:97 while saying that people owe Him performing pilgrimage to Mecca, calling them to perform this great rituals dedicated to Him alone with no associates beside Him.   

 

Secondly: "… for all who can make the journey…" (3:97):

  This phrase indicates that believers who cannot make the journey to Mecca, but looking forward to perform pilgrimage if they could, are not demanded to go there. Hence, as a religious duty or obligation, pilgrimage is for those who can afford it in terms of money and health status; no clergymen or religious scholars can possibly interfere in this issue, as most of the ancient ones filled thousands of pages to indicate who can and who cannot perform pilgrimage to Mecca. This interference between God and His servants is absolutely unacceptable; no one should be allowed to meddle in or ad to God's Quranic sharia; those ignoramuses knew nothing about Islam and its Quranic sharia, especially about all acts of worship (including pilgrimage) as means to attain piety. Hence, to decide one can or cannot is left to the heart of real believers, as per their health and financial statuses and as per other social conditions an circumstances. If the pious ones have real, authentic piety, they know that God the Omniscient knows if they can or cannot perform pilgrimage. If one can deceive people, one cannot deceive God. Hence, ancient scholars meddling in that topic by their tittle and tattle and prattle is an effrontery to God as they have the presumption to dare to add their views to His sharia; as if they were talking on behalf of Him! there should be no mediators between God and people; mediation of any sort is against the Quran. This effrontery is against 3:97 that asserts that pilgrimage is dedicated to God alone, without any mortal interfering in any way, as this is the sin of self-deification. Excluding all mediators between oneself and God is an integral part of piety; direct relation between God and His believers is thus discerned in 3:97.       

 

Thirdly: "…But as for those who refuse-God is Independent of the worlds." (3:97) ''those how refuse'':

  Again, the declarative indirect directive style here invokes piety and fear within hearts of the truly believing ones; ''those who refuse'' means that those who can by all means perform pilgrimage to Mecca but reject that matter are deemed disbelievers. This type of disbelief is not rejecting God Himself, but rejection in terms of lacking faith; in that case, one is rejecting to be grateful to God for His bounties, as one is able to travel to Mecca and can perform rituals of pilgrimage but one insists to refuse to go there. God is Independent and does not need anyone; it is the pious human beings who are in need for His mercy to be saved from Hell to enter Paradise. Hence, piety here is the cornerstone and essential meaning in all acts of worship: zakat alms, jihad, fasting, prayers, and pilgrimage as well. To reject being thankful to God for His munificence and bounties is to be among miserly stingy ones entering Hell: "Those who withhold what God has given them of his bounty should not assume that is good for them. In fact, it is bad for them. They will be encircled by their hoardings on the Day of Resurrection. To God belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth, and God is well acquainted with what you do." (3:180). "Those who are stingy, and exhort people to stinginess, and conceal what God has given them from His bounty. We have prepared for the disbelievers a disgraceful punishment." (4:37).  God pre-warns believers of such fate in Hell by commanding them to spend money for His sake before they die and regret the fact that it is too late: "O you who believe! Let neither your possessions nor your children distract you from the remembrance of God. Whoever does that-these are the losers. And give from what We have provided for you, before death approaches one of you, and he says, "My Lord, if only You would delay me for a short while, so that I may be charitable, and be one of the righteous." But God will not delay a soul when its time has come. God is Informed of what you do." (63:9-11).     

 

Fourthly: "…But as for those who refuse-God is Independent of the worlds." (3:97) "God is Independent of the worlds":

  Again, the declarative style is used here to assert an eternal truth: God does not need us; we need Him. Hence, those who reject performing pilgrimage though they are able to undertake the journey are deemed disbelievers; God does not need any mortals, it is the exact opposite as mortals need Him. It is the pious mortals who need to purify themselves of sins by attaining piety. Performing pilgrimage is one of the means to achieve piety. Piety is the only Gate to Paradise that will save us eternal perdition in Hell. Contemplating the above phrase in 3:97, we state below the following Quranic facts.   

1- God in the Quran addresses people in the way and language (i.e., diction) that they can understand; as people understand what they see (anything tangible an palpable) and such diction is used even to describe the unknown and the unseen. Descriptions and Divine Epithets of God is no exception to this Quranic rule; human expression cannot possibly fully show these Divine Epithets, and thus, God uses images and metaphors to drive the ideas home by making His Epithets similar to human descriptions, despite the discrepancy between His Epithets and human ones. This is God's way to make our minds understand. For instance, the Quran talks about a ''throne'' and a ''chair'' of God to indicate absolute control and domination, and this is not to be taken as literal chairs or thrones. Other examples to ascertain this notion of divine and human epithets/acts as similar in wording and phrasing in Arabic are found in these verses: "They planned, and God planned, but God is the Best of planners." (8:30). "They plot and scheme. But I plot and scheme" (86:15-16). "They planned a plan, and We planned a plan, but they did not notice. So note the outcome of their planning; We destroyed them and their people, altogether." (27:50-51). Many examples are found in the Quranic text of acts/epithets used for both God and humankind, with vast difference in levels of meanings. Let us quote another example in the next point. 

2- God in the Quran describes some people as rich within sharia legislations about money of orphans: "…the rich shall not charge any wage, but the poor may charge fairly…" (4:6). The description 'rich' here pertains to guardians who care for orphans. One's relatives also might be rich or poor, as they are described as such in the Quran: "O you who believe! Stand firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even if against yourselves, or your parents, or your relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, God takes care of both. So do not follow your desires, lest you swerve. If you deviate, or turn away-then God is Aware of what you do." (4:135). People are rich or poor in terms of money as per varying degrees of wealth decreed by God: "God dispenses the provisions to whomever He wills, and restricts…" (13:26); "God has favored some of you over others in livelihood…" (16:71). Of course, richness and poverty are relative within psychological states of different human beings; it has nothing to do with money/wealth itself, if we talk about being content. For instance, a poor person might be penniless but never looks at other person's possessions, and there are those filthily rich who never get gratified at all because of ill-gotten money and never thinking about the Hereafter, like Arab tyrannical rulers like Mubarak in Egypt and Al-Saud royal family in the KSA. This is about richness of people, but all people are in need of God and He does not need them, as we read in this verse: "O people! It is you who are the poor, in need of God; while God is the Rich, the Praiseworthy." (35:15). The adjective ''Rich'' here in 35:15 is different than its use with people; it indicates that God does not need people, as it is the other way round.   

3- Stingy ones are mentioned in the Quran as those who decided they do not need the call for Truth (i.e., they deny and reject the Quran), as they hate Islam as it is a religion that urges social justice via Zakat alms and charity: "But as for him who is stingy and complacent, and denies Goodness, we will ease his way towards difficulty" (92:8-10). Goodness here refers to the Quran: real and only Islam. We know from the Quran that one of those affluent ones who rejected Islam was sought after by Muhammad to call him to covert, and in doing so, Muhammad ignored and drove away the poor, blind man who came to listen to the Quran so as to please the affluent one who might reject Islam as a creed of the poor and the weak. God has rebuked Muhammad because of this stance in this situation: "He frowned and turned away, when the blind man approached him, but how do you know? Perhaps he was seeking to purify himself, or be reminded and the Reminder would benefit him, but as for him who was indifferent, you gave him you attention, though you are not liable if he does not purify himself." (80:1-7). The prevailing truth is that God makes some persons  rich and some others poor, in terms of money: "And found you in need, and enriched you" (93:8). "And that it is He who enriches and impoverishes." (53:48). It is human folly that some of the rich persons would think of themselves as in no need of God and would deny the Hereafter by committing injustices using wealth and power: "In fact, man oversteps all bounds, when he considered himself in no need (i.e., of God)" (96:6-7). In sum, we assert here that richness and poverty are temporary states, and all people need God Who controls our livelihoods.       

4- Hence, the Only Rich One is God Who does not need anyone or anything from any mortals, and all human beings are always poor as they are in need of Him: "O people! It is you who are the poor, in need of God; while God is the Rich, the Praiseworthy. If He wills, He can do away with you, and produce a new creation. And that would not be difficult for God." (35:15-17). "Kind words and forgiveness are better than charity followed by insults. God is Rich and Clement." (2:263). "…And know that God is Rich and Praiseworthy." (2:267). "Whoever strives, strives only for himself. God is Independent of the beings." (29:6). "…But if you refuse-to God belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. God is in no need, Praiseworthy." (4:131). "…He who is grateful, his gratitude is to his own credit; but he who is ungrateful-my Lord is Rich and Generous." (27:40). "If you disbelieve, God is Independent of you, yet He does not approve ingratitude on the part of His servants. And if you are thankful, He will approve that in you.…" (39:7). "…So they disbelieved and turned away. But God is in no need. God is Rich and Praiseworthy." (64:6). But God cares for people who seek His aid: "Say, "What are you to my Lord without your prayers?..."" (25:77).

5- God has asserted freedom of every individual to choose either belief or disbelief, while bearing the responsibility of each stance: "Whoever strives, strives only for himself. God is Independent of the beings." (29:6). "If you work righteousness, you work righteousness for yourselves; and if you commit evil, you do so against yourselves…" (17:7); "Whoever is guided-is guided for his own good. And whoever goes astray-goes astray to his detriment…" (17:15). Accordingly, those who perform pilgrimage are doing good to themselves, and those who reject it are being stingy to their souls and their eternal life in the Hereafter; within this light, we understand 3:97. Hence, real believers do not brag their faith before God, but they thank God for providing guidance: " hey regarded it a favor to you that they have submitted to God. Say, "Do not consider your submission a favor to me; it is God who has done you a favor by guiding you to the faith, if you are sincere."" (49:17). Hence, some silly persons think they have done God a favor if they perform prayers; if they are guided indeed, they would know that they thus serve themselves and take steps toward their eternal life in Heaven by performing as many good deeds as possible within piety, because only the pious enter to Paradise: "" (35:18). Hence, God's calling people to perform pilgrimage is directly linked to piety.    

  Finally, it is one's absolute freedom of choice between belief and disbelief, a freedom which is followed by bearing consequences and responsibility. One is to choose between belief, obedience, and piety on the one hand, and disobedience, denial, and disbelief on the other hand. One's choice will be rewarded with either eternity in Paradise or eternity in Hell: "And say, "The truth is from your Lord. Whoever wills-let him believe. And whoever wills-let him disbelieve". We have prepared for the unjust a Fire, whose curtains will hem them in. And when they cry for relief, they will be relieved with water like molten brass, which scalds the faces. What a miserable drink, and what a terrible place. As for those who believe and lead a righteous life-We will not waste the reward of those who work righteousness. These will have the Gardens of Eden, beneath which rivers flow. Reclining on comfortable furnishings, they will be adorned with bracelets of gold, and will wear green garments of silk and brocade. What a wonderful reward, and what an excellent resting-place" (18:29-31). The pious believers needs to evade Hell and desires to enter Paradise: "What would God accomplish by your punishment, if you have given thanks, and have believed? God is Appreciative and Cognizant." (4:147).

 

 

CHAPTER IV: Role of Piety in Fulfilling Pilgrimage

 

1- The Quran has its unique style in urging real believers to perform pilgrimage while adhering to piety during the whole journey, by ordaining those who commit any mistakes there in Mecca during pilgrimage to make amends, so that they would return home after winning God's reward desired by all pilgrims. Some people perform rituals of pilgrimage in the right manner overtly and superficially but without piety and reverence, and they might commit mistakes or sins there, despite being warned by the Quran not to do certain things there. Those persons might return home after pilgrimage while they are estranged and distanced from God, despite their money, time, and energy spent during pilgrimage rituals.     

2- Pilgrimage is a religious duty with an annual season; one is required to perform it once in a lifetime, and its location and timing are like a camp for training believers in adhering to piety for the rest of their lifetimes. Thus, this religious obligation is akin to a spiritual course for souls to learn sublimation, purification, and piety, within so different an atmosphere in terms of time and location and what is prohibited and what is not. Namely, what is not prohibited in ordinary times is prohibited during performing pilgrimage; having sex with one's spouse, hunting, and removing hair from one's body. Even sinning is graver and more enormous during performing pilgrimage with due punishment in Hell, such as the sin of having evil intentions to harm others or to do injustices to them at this time and location during the pilgrimage season. Hence, performing pilgrimage entails psychological preparation to enter into the efforts of this experience from the very beginning till its end, as those who would fail passing this experience will be the ones deprived from the gains and rewards of performing pilgrimage s per scales of God.      

3- We add here that performing pilgrimage is like fasting during the lunar month of Ramadan; eating, drinking, and having sex with one's spouse is not prohibited within the nights of Ramadan, but they are prohibited during its days. The fasting persons and the pilgrims are watching over themselves, piously and in the fear of God, Who is Omnipotent and Omniscient. Such experiences, i.e., pilgrimage and fasting, require its fulfillment successfully over a certain period of time; as if one in a training sports camp. What matters is the final results in both cases; with one attaining piety by the end of pilgrimage journey and the month of Ramadan. During both occasions, piety is being trained on daily as a necessary thing. Not surprisingly, the Quranic text repeats the phrase "" in relation to both fasting and pilgrimage in the Quranic Chapter Two: "And remember God during a specified number of days…" (2:203). "O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you… For a specified number of days…" (2:183-184). Hence, really pious and devout believers take the decision to adhere to God's commands during days of Ramadan and during days of the pilgrimage season. Both acts of worship has annual season, and one is making sure that the experience is successful without fault(s). That is why we find that the Quranic text uses the verb 'fulfill' linked to both pilgrimage and fasting, to focus on the final result of obeying God and attaining piety: "And fulfill the Hajj and the Umrah for God…" (2:196). "…Then fulfill the fast until nightfall…" (2:187). Using the verb ''to fulfill'' here indicates that both religious duties must be fulfilled successfully by the end of rituals; sadly, most people do not fulfill both duties successfully, as God' wrath over them increases and devils have deceived them.

 

Devils' whispers:

  Piety has degrees that might increase and decrease with the passage of time; piety does not retain the same level all one's lifetime. Degrees of piety might increase and decrease as per how one is dealing inwardly within the conflict between one's tendency to goodness and one's propensity to some particular evil. This conflict involves other dichotomies, such as whims vs. fear of God and devils vs. innate nature of humankind, as God has created our souls encoded with both good and evil to make us choose freely between them: "And the soul and He who proportioned it. And inspired it with its wickedness and its righteousness." (91:7-8). This conflict or struggle lasts for a lifetime; whereas devils control the souls of infidels and disbelievers, pious and righteous believers manage to defeat devilish whispers inside their souls. Of course, some might fall into mishaps, mistakes, and similar traps, but they readily implore God's pardon and aim for atonement, repentance, and making amends. When real believers defeat and vanquish their lusts, whims, and caprices, the struggle ends when they die as pious ones who deserve Paradise. Readers are to ponder upon how the Devil controls souls of polytheists: "He has no authority over those who believe and trust in their Lord; his authority is only over those who follow him, and those who associate him beside the Lord." (16:99-100). God has said this to Satan: ""Over My servants you have no authority, except for the sinners who follow you."" (15:42). What makes such inner struggle more difficult inside souls of pious ones is when they intermingle and interact with the outside world within the social environment in which they live. The reason: in that case, one does not observe piety only in solitude; rather, one is to adhere to piety as one deals fairly and kindly to people; one is to do acts of charity and perform good deeds in one's society. Of course, no one is infallible or without faults; sometimes, one might be negatively affected by certain ordeals, trials, and tribulations, and one might sometimes succumb to whims, caprices, and devilish traps. In such cases, piety is lessened or disappears, and one is to readily repent and feel pangs of remorse if one wants to regain piety. When one fully controls one's whims, caprices, and lusts, one will control one's soul to evade sinning and disobedience to maintain piety. One has to bear in mind that piety levels change (increase and decrease) during one's lifetime. Once pious persons commit sins, as this is bound to occur, they repent as fast as they can with the intention not to fall into that trap again, thus regaining their piety as long as they keep their word/promise never to be deceived by devils again. "And those who, when they commit an indecency or wrong themselves, remember God and ask forgiveness for their sins-and who forgives sins except God? And they do not persist in their wrongdoing while they know." (3:135). Hence, to readily repent and atone from sins is part of descriptions of the pious ones who firmly and faithfully intend to avoid sinning as much as they can. Hence, piety is in a state of flux and change as long as one is alive; it increases as one constantly remembering God in fear of Him while performing all acts of worship: "Those who are righteous-when an impulse from the Devil strikes them, they remind themselves of God, and immediately see clearly." (7:201). We do not imply here at all that piety is static within minds, hearts, and souls of pious believers; that is why God has ordained acts of worship as means to attain piety and to maintain it by strengthening one's ties to the Almighty. Glorifying God's name is an act of worship that can be done anytime anywhere, and the five daily prayers are performed all one's lifetime; fasting is done one month per year, whereas pilgrimage is required for once in a lifetime. Pilgrimage is a condensed time and location for more piety and sublimation that elevates the souls of pious pilgrims; it is necessary that they would succeed in this test of performing pilgrimage that is fulfilling piety. Some rich people perform pilgrimage more than one time; but what really counts is  to perform pilgrimage in the best way possible to attain the blessings of God after earning His satisfaction and saving oneself from tricks and traps of devils. Satan is bent to misguide and tempt children of Adam, but God has told him the following: ""Over My servants you have no authority, except for the sinners who follow you." And Hell is the meeting-place for them all." (15:42-43); ""As for My devotees, you have no authority over them." Your Lord is an adequate Guardian." (17:65). By fulfilling fasting and pilgrimage  as well as prayers and other duties as best as pious people can and when keeping on atonements, making amends, imploring God's forgiveness and pardon, Satan and his devils can never tempt the pious ones: "He has no authority over those who believe and trust in their Lord; his authority is only over those who follow him, and those who associate him beside the Lord." (16:99-100). God will say the following to human sinners in the Day of Resurrection: "Did I not covenant with you, O Children of Adam, that you shall not serve the Devil? That he is your sworn enemy? And that you shall serve Me? This is a straight path. The Devil has misled a great multitude of you. Did you not understand? This is Hell-Fire, which you were promised. Roast in it today, because you persistently disbelieved." (36:60-64). Then, such sinners will be thrown in Hell along with devils, with both parties quarreling with each other: "Then they will be toppled into it, together with the seducers. And the soldiers of Satan, all of them. They will say, as they feud in it. "By God, We were in evident error. For equating you with the Lord of the Worlds. No one misled us except the sinners. Now we have no intercessors, and no sincere friend." (26:94-101). Satan in Hell will disown the human sinners: "And Satan will say, when the issue is settled, "God has promised you the promise of truth, and I promised you, but I failed you. I had no authority over you, except that I called you, and you answered me. So do not blame me, but blame yourselves. I cannot come to your aid, nor can you come to my aid. I reject your associating with me in the past. The wrongdoers will have a torment most painful."" (14:22). Among such sinners are those who could not fulfill their pilgrimage dedicated to God; i.e., those who performed pilgrimage in a faulty manner of the Saudi Wahabism that makes the pilgrimage season an occasion for sinning, immorality, disobedience, and thriving business.

 

Fulfilling one's life with obedience:

1- God has given each soul a certain lifetime on earth while wearing human bodies after descending on earth from the souls' original location, called Barsakh in the Quran; this time-limit begins with one's birth and ends in one's death. When one dies, the soul leaves the body to enter once more into Barsakh, waiting for resurrection after fulfilling its predestined lifetime. As lifetime is a test, a soul is free as per what to choose among ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and deeds. Reckoning and judgment is in the Last Day, and as per one's beliefs and deeds, one is to meet one's eternal fate. Paradise will be entered only by the pious ones; readers are to ponder upon these verses: "They have not esteemed God as He ought to be esteemed. The entire earth will be in His grip on the Day of Resurrection, and the heavens will be folded in His right. Immaculate is He, and Transcendent He is beyond the associations they make. And the Trumpet will be sounded, whereupon everyone in the heavens and the earth will be stunned, except whomever God wills. Then it will be sounded another time, whereupon they will rise up, looking on. And the earth will shine with the Light of its Lord; and the Book will be put in place; and the prophets and the witnesses will be brought in; and Judgment will be passed among them equitably, and they will not be wronged. And every soul will be fully compensated for what it had done. He is well aware of what they do. Those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in throngs. Until, when they have reached it, and its gates are opened, its keepers will say to them, "Did not messengers from among you come to you, reciting to you the revelations of your Lord, and warning you of the meeting of this Day of yours?" They will say, "Yes, but the verdict of punishment is justified against the disbelievers." It will be said, "Enter the gates of Hell, to abide therein eternally." How wretched is the destination of the arrogant. And those who feared their Lord will be led to Paradise in throngs. Until, when they have reached it, and its gates are opened, its keepers will say to them, "Peace be upon you, you have been good, so enter it, to abide therein eternally."" (39:67-73). 

2- If one's soul desires to dwell for eternity in Paradise, its lifetime on earth must be spent and fulfilled in piety until one dies. Hence, early repentance is a must, the earlier the better, as repentance when one is dying is quite useless: "Repentance is available from God for those who commit evil out of ignorance, and then repent soon after. These-God will relent towards them. God is Knowing and Wise. But repentance is not available for those who commit evils, until when death approaches one of them, he says, "Now I repent," nor for those who die as disbelievers. These-We have prepared for them a painful torment." (4:17-18). Thus, faith and belief are not sufficient in themselves; adherence to piety within good deeds is a must until one dies: "O you who believe! Revere God with due reverence, and do not die except as Muslims (i.e., literally, submitters to God alone)." (3:102). Joseph had asked God to die as a Muslim (i.e., submitter to God): ""My Lord, You have given me some authority, and taught me some interpretation of events. Initiator of the heavens and the earth; You are my Protector in this life and in the Hereafter. Receive my soul in submission, and unite me with the righteous."" (12:101). Therefore, to pass the test of lifetime successfully, it is not only required of us to fulfill pilgrimage in a manner acceptable to God, but this goes for all acts of worship during our lifetime in piety and in the fear of the Almighty, within all good deeds to make us righteous enough to enter Paradise.

 

 

CHAPTER V: Pilgrimage Quranic Legislations in Light of Piety

 

 

Introduction:

1- The three orbits or spheres of Islamic legislation in the Quran are as follows: (1) commands, obligations, or duties, (2) prohibited items, and 3) what is lawful, allowed, and permissible. The methodology of the Quran is to specify meticulously nos. (1) and (2), while never mentioning items of no. (3). Hence, anything that is not mentioned as prohibited in the Quran is permissible of course. If past divine legislations, before the advent of Islam, used to prohibit something but the Quran allows it as permissible, the item is mentioned as something permitted within a new legislations; for instance, in this verse: "Permitted for you is intercourse with your wives on the night of the fast…" (2:187). Yet, the Sunnite religion has changed, added, prohibited, and allowed items in a bizarre way; its authors have made orbits or spheres of legislation as five by dividing no. (3) (i.e., what is lawful, allowed, and permissible by being NOT mentioned in the Quranic text) into two degrees/spheres: the hated items and the desired items. For the Sunnite scholars past and present, the hated items are things allowed and permissible but should be avoided, but they are lesser in degree than the outright prohibited items; as for the desired items, they are permissible items that ought to be followed or done, but they are lesser in degree than the outright religious duty or obligation. Such Sunnite additions by introducing new sharia notions or spheres, never endorsed by God in the Quran and are deemed as violation of the Quranic sharia, has led to two results. Firstly, adding new concepts foreign to the Quranic sharia is an insult to God; as if the Quran were not complete in itself; see 5:3 that shows that God has perfected religion for us. The so-called ''hated items'' by Sunnites contradict the Quranic description of hateful items, which indicates the worst types of prohibitions: "…But God has given you the love of faith, and adorned it in your hearts, and made disbelief, sinning, and disobedience hateful to you…" (49:7). We see here in this verse that what is described by God as ''hateful'' is items of disbelief, sinning, and disobedience, while God loves or desires in His faithful believers true faith and belief. Other verses are detailing disbelief, sins, and disobedience; such as fornication, confiscation of orphans' money to oneself, murder and killing, theft and robbery, disobeying parents, denial of the Quran and of God …etc. as deadly sins in the Quranic Chapter 17: " The evil of all these is hateful to your Lord." (17:38). We see here that such sins are described as hateful. This has nothing to do with the Sunnite notion of hated items that are NOT prohibited by Sunnites; in fact, the Quran makes hated items as strictly prohibited ones. Secondly, the Sunnite new notions have restricted the sphere of lawful, allowed, permissible items by making many of them as hated that should be rejected; this needless interference in God's sharia by addition or omission is presumptuous, unsolicited, and insulting to God; God is the Only Legislator in Islam (the Quran alone) and one is not to add details of any kind. Indeed, the devil lies in the details in that case.

2- As for our topic of this book, pilgrimage, the Quran contains all its required commands and prohibitions, and between two spheres are allowed, lawful, and legal items while piety underlying all rituals all the time when performed by righteous believers. We explain this further below.

 

Firstly: piety in commands and prohibitions:

1- God says the following in the Quranic Chapter Two about pilgrimage: "The Hajj is during specific months. Whoever decides to perform the Hajj-there shall be no sexual relations, nor misconduct, nor debating during the Hajj. And whatever good you do, God knows it. And take provisions, but the best provision is righteousness. And be mindful of Me, O people of understanding." (2:197). This means that pilgrims are not to have sex with spouses, or even to talk about it or do foreplay of any kind at all. Pilgrims are to avoid also any misconduct, which includes all sins, disobedience of God, and small mistakes, as well as debating with any person at all for whatever reason over whatever topic(s). This means that despite the lawfulness of having sex with one's spouse and debating anytime is suspended during pilgrimage. Of course, misconduct or sinning is never allowed anytime, during or outside pilgrimage season, but pilgrims are prevented from even merely thinking or intending to do evil or to commit sins: "… and seek to commit sacrilege therein-We will make him taste of a painful punishment." (22:25). Hence, such special legislations pertaining to pilgrimage is directly linked to reminding real believers with the vital importance of piety within one's lifetime, as a journey provision before death, in general and during pilgrimage in particular: "…And take provisions, but the best provision is righteousness. And be mindful of Me, O people of understanding." (2:197).  Let us contemplate upon the beginning of this verse: "The Hajj is during specific months. Whoever decides to perform the Haj…" (2:197); we see here that the verb ''decided'' refers to believers themselves who want to perform pilgrimage, and it does not refer to God; this means that piety is of vital importance during pilgrimage and it is one's responsibility to do one's best to attain it. Other Quranic commands makes obligation comes from God Himself; for instance, let us quote these verses: "A chapter that We have revealed, and made obligatory, and revealed in it clear Verses, that you may take heed." (24:1); "He Who ordained the Quran for you will return you Home. Say, "My Lord knows best who comes with guidance, and who is in manifest error."" (28:85); "There is no blame on the Prophet regarding what God has ordained for him. Such is the pattern of God among those who passed before. The command of God is an absolute decree" (33:38); "…We know what We have ordained for them regarding their wives and those their right-hands possess. This is to spare you any difficulty. God is Forgiving and Merciful." (33:50); "God has decreed for you the dissolution of your oaths. God is your Master. He is the All-Knowing, the Most Wise." (66:2). Let us quote here some verses about obligations concerning dealing fairly with people, such as paying dowries for wives: "…This is God's decree, binding upon you. Permitted for you are those that lie outside these limits, provided you seek them in legal marriage, with gifts from your property, seeking wedlock, not prostitution. If you wish to enjoy them, then give them their dowry-a legal obligation. You commit no error by agreeing to any change to the dowry…" (4:24); "You commit no error by divorcing women before having touched them, or before having set the dowry for them. And compensate them-the wealthy according to his means, and the poor according to his means-with a fair compensation, a duty upon the doers of good. If you divorce them before you have touched them, but after you had set the dowry for them, give them half of what you specified-unless they forego the right, or the one in whose hand is the marriage contract foregoes it. But to forego is nearer to piety. And do not forget generosity between one another. God is seeing of everything you do." (2:236-237). Hence, it is only in one case in the Quranic text, in 2:197, that obligation should spring from the persons themselves: those who seek to perform pilgrimage to seek God's gratification and achieve piety by obeying His orders. This is a sort of commitment that one must impose on oneself; as we understand 2:197. Pilgrims must know that God the Omniscient knows who is pious indeed and who is not, as implied in the same verse: "…And whatever good you do, God knows it…" (2:197).

2- let us ponder on the following verses: "O you who believe! Fulfill your commitments. Livestock animals are permitted for you, except those specified to you; but not wild game while you are in pilgrim sanctity. God decrees whatever He wills. O you who believe! Do not violate God's sacraments, nor the Sacred Month, nor the offerings, nor the garlanded, nor those heading for the Sacred House seeking blessings from their Lord and approval. When you have left the pilgrim sanctity, you may hunt. And let not the hatred of people who barred you from the Sacred Mosque incite you to aggression. And cooperate with one another in virtuous conduct and piety, and do not cooperate with one another in sin and hostility. And fear God in piety. God is severe in punishment." (5:1-2). We see clearly that prohibitions here are never to Do not violate God's sacraments, etc. and never to commit aggression during pilgrimage. The commands in these verses  are to cooperate within piety and virtue in all matters. The commands and the prohibitions combine in these verses as in 5:1 especially what is related to the permissible, concerning never to hunt during pilgrimage, but after it, as piety is the basis in all such matters: "…And fear God in piety. God is severe in punishment." (5:2). 

3- Let us dissect the following verses in the same manner: "O you who believe! God will test you with something of the game your hands and spears obtain, that God may know who fears Him at heart. Whoever commits aggression after that will have a painful punishment. O you who believe! do not kill game while you are in pilgrim sanctity. Whoever of you kills any intentionally, its penalty shall be a domestic animal comparable to what he killed, as determined by honest persons among you-an offering delivered to the Kaaba. Or he may atone by feeding the needy, or its equivalent in fasting, so that he may taste the consequences of his conduct. God forgives what is past. But whoever repeats, God will take revenge on him. God is Almighty, Avenger. Permitted for you is the catch of sea, and its food-as sustenance for you and for travelers. But forbidden for you is the game of land while you are in pilgrim sanctity. And fear God in piety, to whom you will be gathered. God has appointed the Kaaba, the Sacred House, a sanctuary for the people, and the Sacred Month, and the offerings, and the garlanded. That you may know that God knows everything in the heavens and the earth, and that God is Cognizant of all things. Know that God is severe in retribution, and that God is Forgiving and Merciful." (5:94-98). Prohibitions here include not to hunt during pilgrimage, while obligations include to atone for infringement of that command, while assuring that fishing is OK during pilgrimage. Piety is above all things in such legislations, as we read clearly in this phrase: "…And fear God in piety, to whom you will be gathered." (5:96). Hence, it is a test to see wild animals during pilgrimage, only the pious ones will leave those animals in peace to obey God; see 5:94. God wants pilgrims to watch over themselves within application of this legislation; as those who intentionally infringe such laws must readily resort to atonement themselves in fear of God. No human being is to watch over pilgrims here; piety must be observed by pilgrims themselves as per their conscience; this is the test of piety during pilgrimage. Hence, the verses 5:95-98 warn all pilgrims against any infringement.

 

Secondly: new legislations concerning pilgrimage: when being prevented:

1- The Quranic command to perform pilgrimage to Mecca in the Kaaba Mosque is addressed to all people on earth: "We showed Abraham the location of the House: "Do not associate anything with Me; and purify My House for those who circle around, and those who stand to pray, and those who kneel and prostrate." And announce the pilgrimage to humanity. They will come to you on foot, and on every lean beast of transport. They will come from every distant point." (22:26-27). Yet, at one point in time, the Qorayish tribesmen prevented Muhammad and the early believers with him to ever enter into Mecca to perform pilgrimage; and God has said the following about those tribesmen: "As for those who disbelieve and repel from God's path and from the Sacred Mosque-which We have designated for all humankind equally, whether residing therein or passing through-and seek to commit sacrilege therein-We will make him taste of a painful punishment." (22:25). God has said the following about those tribesmen who prevented Muhammad and early believers from entering Mecca: "It is they who disbelieved, and barred you from the Sacred Mosque, and prevented the offering from reaching its destination. Were it not for faithful men and faithful women, whom you did not know, you were about to hurt them, and became guilty of an unintentional crime. Thus God admits into His mercy whomever He wills. Had they dispersed, We would have punished those who disbelieved among them with a painful penalty. Those who disbelieved filled their hearts with rage-the rage of the days of ignorance. But God sent His serenity down upon His Messenger, and upon the believers, and imposed on them the words of righteousness-of which they were most worthy and deserving. God is aware of everything. God has fulfilled His Messenger's vision in truth: "You will enter the Sacred Mosque, God willing, in security, heads shaven, or hair cut short, not fearing. He knew what you did not know, and has granted besides that an imminent victory."" (48:25-27).

2- Within such circumstances, a new legislation about pilgrimage is mentioned in the Quran: about being prevented from entering the Kaaba Mosque: "And carry out the Hajj and the Umrah for God. But if you are prevented, then whatever is feasible of offerings. And do not shave your heads until the offering has reached its destination. Whoever of you is sick, or has an injury of the head, then redemption of fasting, or charity, or worship. When you are secure: whoever continues the Umrah until the Hajj, then whatever is feasible of offering. But if he lacks the means, then fasting for three days during the Hajj and seven when you have returned, making ten in all. This is for he whose household is not present at the Sacred Mosque. And remain piously conscious of God, and know that God is stern in retribution." (2:196). We see in this verse that commands are intertwined with prohibitions; those who were prevented from performing pilgrimage, for reasons beyond their control of course, should send the sacrificial animals to the Kaaba, and they should not shave until those animals reach there; moreover, if they have to shave beforehand, they are obliged to fast, or pay alms, or to perform rituals or acts of worship to atone or it. In case of being allowed to safely perform Umrah shortly before Hajj season, it is permissible to wait in Mecca to perform Hajj, provided that sacrificial animal is presented to the Kaaba, or else to fast for three days during pilgrimage and seven days back home, and we see that such legislations are closely linked to piety: "…And remain piously conscious of God, and know that God is stern in retribution." (2:196).

 

Thirdly:  piety as a Quranic response to refute additions, distortions, and overt ostentatious religiosity before the advent of Islam:

1- In general, the Quranic sharia legislations refutes additions and distortions of the Qorayish tribesmen committed against the religion of Abraham; they had undermined piety by turning it into overt ostentatious religiosity empty of any meaning for the sake of trade and money-making as well as political hegemony. Historically, the Qorayish tribesmen had invented rituals of their own fashioning to distinguish themselves from other tribes during pilgrimage, such as entering their houses in Mecca from backdoors instead of the main doors, to give the false impression of being pious and righteous. Piety is inside one's mind and heart and not within overt ostentatious behavior; that is why God has criticized this in His Quran: "…It is not virtuous that you approach homes from their backs, but virtue is to be pious. So approach homes from their doors, and observe God, that you may succeed." (2:189).    

2- The Qorayish tribesmen considered themselves as friends or allies of God as they cared for the pilgrimage, pilgrims, and the Kaaba Sacred Mosque, and despite their rejection of the Quran, they reserved to themselves the false rights to ''own'' the Kaaba and to prevent their foes from performing pilgrimage. God has refuted such claims in the following verses that assert that only the pious persons are allies of God: "And they said, "Our God, if this is the truth from You, then rain down on us stones from the sky, or visit us with a painful affliction." But God would not punish them while you are amongst them. And God would not punish them as long as they seek forgiveness. Yet why should God not punish them, when they are turning others away from the Sacred Mosque, although they are not God's allies? The real allies of God are the pious; but most of them do not know." (8:32-34).  

3- Thus, the Qorayish tribesmen deemed themselves as the ''best'' persons or believers as they cared for the pilgrimage, pilgrims, and the Kaaba Sacred Mosque, and they forgot that real care is to be done through piety and to allow the pious into the Kaaba Sacred Mosque; polytheists can never be purified within God's House at all, whatever they do there: "It is not for the polytheists to attend God's places of worship while professing their disbelief. These-their works are in vain, and in the Hell-Fire they will abide. The only people to attend God's places of worship are those who believe in God and the Last Day, and pray regularly, and practice regular charity, and fear none but God. These are most likely to be guided. Do you consider giving water to pilgrims and maintaining the Sacred Mosque the same as believing in God and the Last Day and striving in God's path? They are not equal in God's sight. God does not guide the unjust people." (9:17-19). Pondering these verses, we see how they apply to the unjust, tyrannical Saudi royal family in the KSA in modern times.

4- When the Qorayish tribesmen meddled in the pilgrimage rituals, they made moving to and fro between the two mounts of Safa and Marwa as an obligatory duty, but God asserts in the following verse that this is not obligatory but might be done voluntary, based on piety of pilgrims: " Safa and Marwa are among the rituals of God. Whoever performs the Hajj or the Umrah to the House commits no error by circulating between them. Whoever volunteers good-God is Appreciative and Cognizant. (2:158). 

5- There is no harm for those who seek to seize the chance of the pilgrimage season to earn money within permissible means, while feeling the bountifulness of God to earn His blessings: "You commit no error by seeking bounty from your Lord…" (2:198).

 

Lastly:

  Piety surrounds all rituals, commands, permitted things, and prohibitions pertaining to pilgrimage; there is no room during pilgrimage for overt, ostentatious religiosity of hypocrites that most of the masses, and their imams and preachers, commit as they fall into the traps of earthly, man-made religions that made the three spheres into five as we have explained above in this CHAPTER. Further details of this will be discussed when we tackle pilgrimage in the Sunnite religion, showing how the Sunnites have exceeded the Qorayish polytheists in distorting pilgrimage rituals and in ignoring piety altogether, especially by designing special clothes for pilgrims as an ostentatious, overt sign instead of piety in one's heart and mind.  

 

 

 

CHAPTER VI: Ihram as the Embodiment of Piety during Pilgrimage:

 

 

Introduction:

1- Piety is epitomized during pilgrimage by Ihram. Ihram means to enter into the state of piety before entering into Mecca. Sadly, the Muhammadans have made Ihram to mean wearing special clothes reserved for pilgrims. The male pilgrims of today wear pieces of cloth that show them as semi-naked and hinder their movement during circumambulation, prayers, and the rest of the rituals. As far as Quranism is concerned, Ihram means to adhere to piety within the three Ihram sanctuaries combined during pilgrimage: the time (i.e., pilgrimage season months), the sacred location in the Sacred Kaaba Mosque in Mecca, and the human heart where piety should be located. The third sanctuary about piety in pilgrims' hearts is mentioned in the Quranic context related to rituals of pilgrimage in the Quranic Chapter 22 titled ''Pilgrimage/Hajj'': "…Whoever venerates the sacraments of God-it is from the piety of the hearts." (22:32).        

2- The sacredness of the location of Kaaba in Mecca means a place to protect and fight for ensuring its being a safe sanctuary never to be desecrated or violated. The pilgrimage combines three sanctuaries: the sanctity of place, time, and pilgrims' pious hearts. This way, the human beings are included in this equation of piety; this is real meaning of the Ihram concept: i.e., to perform pilgrimage rituals in Mecca in the Sacred Kaaba Mosque during any days of the four sacred months of the pilgrimage season with hearts filled with piety. This sanctuary of hearts is the third sphere/field ignored by so many pilgrims among the Muhammadans. Thus, the universality of pilgrimage is understood; the call for it comes from God, the Creator of all people and of the whole universe, addressed to all people to visit, during the sacred months, the House of God in Mecca, the very first one made for people for their blessings and guidance. Let us tackle some points in detail below.

 

Firstly: the temporal sanctuary of Ihram: Ihram and the sacred months:

1- This time sanctuary is the four sacred months specified by God, when no human being should commit injustice against another human being; thus, no fighting is allowed within these four sacred months except in cases of self-defense. This Quranic legislation fits all humanity in all locations and eras: "The number of months, according to God, is twelve months-in the decree of God-since the Day He created the heavens and the earth, of which four are sacred. This is the correct religion. So do not wrong yourselves during them…" (9:36). Of course, pilgrimage is visiting the House of the Lord, i.e., the locational  sanctuary, during the specified four sacred months. God calls these months in the Quran as ''sacred''. Of course, the pilgrimage rituals in themselves take few days, but one can perform these rituals anytime during the specified four sacred months, and then one returns home. The pilgrimage season extends from the opening time, the very first week of the lunar month of the Arab/Islamic Hijri calendar Zu Al-Hijja until the last day of the lunar month Rabei Awwal. We discern from the Quran that as a sort of facilitation or alleviation by allowing pilgrims to start performing their rituals two days before the beginning of Zu Al-Hijja and to stay for more two days (in the lunar month Rabei Thani) after the end of Rabei Awwal that marks the end of the pilgrimage season.  

2- As for the sacred months of pilgrimage season, we read the following about them in the Quran: "The Hajj is during specific months…" (2:197). As the names of these months are not mentioned in the Quran, this indicates that these months were known by Arabs in the 7th century until now. Those who wish to perform pilgrimage during the specific months must adhere to Ihram and obligations of rituals within the House of God, and all of these rituals are done within some days: circumambulation, standing within Arafat mount, circulating between Safa and Marwa mounts, offering sacrificial animals, and removing head hair partially or wholly. Those who are obliged as time presses them can begin rituals two days before the season and can stay after it for two days, provided that piety is maintained, as per this verse: "And remember God during the designated days. But whoever hurries on in two days commits no wrong, and whoever stays on commits no wrong-provided he maintains piety. And obey God, and know that to Him you will be gathered." (2:203). We see here how pilgrimage is referred to in 2:203 by the phrase ''remember God'', as we have detailed in a previous chapter of this book about linking pilgrimage to piety in Quranic verses. We understand here that the duration of pilgrimage rituals are few days to remember God within these rituals by applying Ihram as described above. These designated days are described as such because piety (or applying Ihram) is counted by the day, hour, and minute; i.e., how piety is maintained and attained within these days when the conscience of believing pilgrims as they achieve remembrance of God for continuous time as a spiritual encounter or experience, where the locational , temporal, and human heart sanctuaries are interconnected to elevate the soul with piety.   

3- The three sanctuaries are linked together in the Quranic text in one verse: "O you who believe! Do not violate God's sacraments, nor the Sacred Month, nor the offerings, nor the garlanded, nor those heading for the Sacred House seeking blessings from their Lord and approval. When you have left the pilgrim sanctity, you may hunt. And let not the hatred of people who barred you from the Sacred Mosque incite you to aggression…" (5:2). That is, people perform pilgrimage to the Kaaba during the sacred months within which God prohibits any sort of violations in this location at that specific time, while the pious human heart as the third sanctuary is not mentioned in words but implied to by the fact God in 5:2 addresses hearts of believers telling them never to commit violations during Hajj and never to commit aggressions; that is why 5:2 ends in these words: "… And cooperate with one another in virtuous conduct and conscience, and do not cooperate with one another in sin and hostility. And piously fear God. God is severe in punishment." (5:2). We discern here how adherence to piety (i.e., applying real Ihram) is strictly advised to distinguish pilgrimage season apart from other days, as pilgrims can only hunt after they finish all rituals of pilgrimage: "God has appointed the Kaaba, the Sacred House, a sanctuary for the people, and the Sacred Month, and the offerings, and the garlanded…" (5:97). Thus, the locational  sanctuary is the Kaaba and the temporal one is the sacred months, but also the pious human heart sanctuary is discerned in the command to fear God in piety: "…that you may know that God knows everything in the heavens and the earth, and that God is Cognizant of all things. Know that God is severe in retribution, and that God is Forgiving and Merciful. The messenger's sole duty is to convey. God knows what you reveal and what you conceal. Say: "The bad and the good are not equal, even though the abundance of the bad may impress you. So be piously conscious of God, O you who possess intelligence, that you may succeed."" (5:97-100). God prohibits aggression and fighting in both the locational  and temporal sanctuaries, as He says the following about the aggressive polytheists who begin committing aggression against peaceful believers: "…But do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque, unless they fight you there. If they fight you, then kill them…" (2:191). Adherence to piety is advised strongly by the end of the Quranic discourse about the temporal sanctuary: "The sacred month for the sacred month; and sacrilege calls for retaliation. Whoever commits aggression against you, retaliate against him in the same measure as he has committed against you. And be piously conscious of God and know that God is with the righteous." (2:194). And then, details of pilgrimage rituals are mentioned in 2:196-197.         

4- The pilgrimage season begins with the lunar month of Zu Al-Hijja, and the Quran asserts the fact that the sacred months are four: "The number of months, according to God, is twelve months-in the decree of God-since the Day He created the heavens and the earth, of which four are sacred. This is the correct religion. So do not wrong yourselves during them…" (9:36). The very next verse shows how Arabs had distorted the counting of these sacred month: "Postponement is an increase in disbelief-by which those who disbelieve are led astray. They allow it one year, and forbid it another year, in order to conform to the number made sacred by God, thus permitting what God has forbidden. The evil of their deeds seems good to them. God does not guide the disbelieving people." (9:37). 

5- This distortion in sacred months goes on after Muhammad's death; the Muhammadans in later centuries have made the lunar month of Rajab as one of the four sacred month, though it stands alone away from the original and known four consecutive ones; this of course violates God's sharia. The books of hadiths authored by Al-Bokhary, one of the main numerous deities of the Sunnite religion, show distortions of the timing of the sacred months; the hadith of Abdullah Ibn Omar: (… the months of hajj are Shawal, Zu Al-Qaida, and the very first ten days of Zu Al-Hijja …); the hadith of Ibn Abbas: (… no one is to perform hajj unless in the four months of hajj  …)(Al-Bokhary vol.2/no.173). whereas months of pilgrimage by Al-Shafei, another Sunnite god, in his book titled "Al-Um" are three: Shawal, Zu Al-Qaida, and Zu Al-Hijja, (Al-Um: 2/132). Similarly, Ibn Katheer asserts in one book of hadiths authored by him that the known months of hajj are Shawal, Zu Al-Qaida, and Zu Al-Hijja, despite the fact that the Quran tells us clearly they are four consecutive months. Yet, Ibn Katheer shows in his book of interpretation of the Quran, titled Tafseer Ibn Katheer, that many doctrines differ within the topic of specifying the months of pilgrimage season: (… some scholars assert that Ihram and pilgrimage can be done all year long, as per doctrines of Abou Hanifa, Malik, Ibn Hanbal, Isaac Ibn Rahawein, Al-Nakhay, and Al-Leith Ibn Saad … Al-Shafei asserts another view that hajj is only acceptable within specific months marking the pilgrimage season …) (Tafseer Ibn Katheer 1/235, 1/236). Such contradictions fill the books of the Sunnite religion. 

6- The Quranic Chapter Nine gives us a clue to get to know the real sacred months of pilgrimage in Islam (the four consecutive lunar sacred months: Zu Al-Hijja, Muharram, Saffar, and Rabei Awwal). Historically, Muhammad performed Hajj shortly before his death in the sacred month of Zu Al-Hijja in 10 A.H., and we know that the Quranic Chapter Nine was revealed at that time, with rejection of aggressive polytheists who renege on their words and violate mutual treaties. Such declaration was pronounced, as per the Quranic Chapter Nine, during the early days of pilgrimage season, as God has given the aggressive polytheists the period of four months, that is, the four sacred ones, to enter into peace (i.e., Islam in terms of behavior) by stopping their aggression and respecting the peace treaties, as we understand from the following verses: "A declaration of immunity from God and His messenger to the polytheists with whom you had made a treaty. So travel the land for four months, and know that you cannot escape God, and that God will disgrace the disbelievers." (9:1-2). When did this four-month period begin? We deduce the answer from the very next verse: "And a proclamation from God and His Messenger to the people on the day of the Greater Pilgrimage, that God has disowned the polytheists, and so did His Messenger. If you repent, it will be better for you. But if you turn away, know that you cannot escape God…" (9:3). The phrase '' the day of the Greater Pilgrimage'' indicates the opening days of the pilgrimage season that goes on for four consecutive months. We discern here that the period of the declaration goes on for the whole pilgrimage season. Thus, we conclude safely that the four sacred months of pilgrimage are as follows: (Zu Al-Hijja, Muharram, Saffar, and Rabei Awwal). It is impossible that this declaration in 9:1 would refer to earlier months like Shawal and Zu Al-Qaida at all; as we read this verse: "When the Sacred Months have stripped away, kill the polytheists wherever you find them…" (9:5). This verse indicates that the months that have passed are consecutive and successive; hence, there is no non-sacred month in between the four sacred ones. The idea of successiveness in 9:5 is repeated in the Quranic tongue in another verse: "Another sign for them is the night: We strip the day out of it-and they are in darkness." (36:37). Hence, the separate lunar months of Shawal and Zu Al-Qaida can never be part of the four sacred successive months specified for pilgrimage and truce/peace.      

7- It is a sign of God's mercy that He has ordained pilgrimage rituals to be performed within days, and this is linked to more facilitation for the sake of pilgrims: "And remember God during the designated days. But whoever hurries on in two days commits no wrong, and whoever stays on commits no wrong…" (2:203). This means one can perform the rituals two days before the beginning of Zu Al-Hijja or even two days after the end of Rabei Awwal, as long as one adheres to piety: "Pilgrimage is during specific months. Whoever decides to perform it - there shall be no sexual relations, nor misconduct, nor debating during pilgrimage…" (2:197). Hence, this means clearly that a pilgrim can perform days pilgrimages anytime within the above-mentioned specified lunar months of the Islamic calendar: Zu Al-Hijja, Muharram, Saffar, and Rabei Awwal, and this period includes even two days before Zu Al-Hijja and two days after Rabei Awwal. Of course, piety in pilgrimage entails Ihram within three sanctuaries of one's heart, the location of Kaaba, and the time of pilgrimage season. Sadly, people centuries ago until now make the pilgrimage season confined to the very first week of Zu Al-Hijja, forgetting that this was the opening of the pilgrimage season and not all of it. people ignored the fact that "Pilgrimage is during specific months…" (2:197). Consequently, pilgrimage season nowadays has become real torment when millions of people are gathering in one limited time and one place, causing stampedes and suffocation, apart from other accidents bound to occur in such situations.    

8- Facilitation, easiness, and alleviation within the celestial, divine religion of the Quran is in contrast with the complications, difficultness, bigotry, and extremism of the earthly, man-made religions of the Muhammadans, especially the Wahabi Sunnite one. God says in the Quran: "…He has chosen you, and has not burdened you in religion-the faith of your father Abraham. It is he who named you Muslims before…" (22:78). "…God does not intend to burden you…" (5:6). "God intends to lighten your burden, for the human being was created weak." (4:28). "…This is an alleviation from your Lord, and a mercy…" (2:178). "…God desires ease for you, and does not desire hardship for you…" (2:185). Facilitation and ease are shown more in Quranic legislations pertaining to pilgrimage: its days can be chosen anytime within four consecutive months, not just within the very first week of Zu Al-Hijja, and even more facilitation is ordained by God in 2:203, as we have explained above. Hence, being overcrowded in the Sacred Kaaba Mosque as millions gather there simultaneously is utterly wrong; this makes one not obliged to perform pilgrimage within such inhuman conditions because of inability, hardships, and incapability; people should be able to perform rituals of pilgrimage any week within the four sacred months, bearing 2:203 in mind as well. Sadly, the evil Al-Saud royal family has confined pilgrimage to the very first week of Zu Al-Hijja. They would readily stop and prevent anyone trying to perform pilgrimage during any other time within the four sacred months. When one is restricted and prevented in that case, one can remain home and send sacrificial animals to the Kaaba and maintains the status of Ihram at home, and not to remove head hair (partially or wholly) until the time specified for all rituals ends. Of course, much luxury is provided now in the Sacred Kaaba Mosque; no one is obliged to send sacrificial animals to it, to avoid piling up of slaughtered animals there and to avoid their being thrown away and wasted; instead, one is to send the sacrificial animals to countries suffering famines, while dedicating one's piety to God alone, as the supreme goal of pilgrimage.        

9- The question posed now is as follows: how come that people have ignored the four sacred months of pilgrimage and confined it to the very first week of Zu Al-Hijja? The answer is as follows: the reason of this fatal error is politics; major political events and theological studies took place in different cities during the very first century A.H. within the Umayyad Era and within later centuries during the Abbasid Era: Kufa, Damascus, Cairo, etc. As a result, Arabia began since the 3rd century A.H. to change gradually into pre-Islamic conditions as it lost political grip and religious influence; this made Arabian Bedouins return to the bad habit of raiding other tribes for loot as well as pilgrimage caravans. Such sad state of affairs led to the historical fact that – even during the start of the era of writing down traditions – groups of pilgrims had to gather in one procession or caravan at one time, while the caravans were protected by troops led by a military leader who was called by the title ''Emir or Hajj''. Hence, groups of pilgrims came from everywhere within caravans heavily guarded with military troops to defend pilgrims against Bedouin raids. Sadly, it is a historical fact that some of the raids against pilgrimage took political and religious banners (within man-made creeds of the Muhammadans) as perpetrated by rebels of Al-Khawarij, Al-Zanj, and the Qarmatians. Such man-made, fabricated religions and their notions spread among Arabian tribes, especially in the area of Najd. History pages are filled with heinous crimes and massacres committed by the Qarmatians against pilgrims and against the Sacred House itself. The Qarmatians raids became prominent in lines of history because they were linked to political movements and rebellions. This was apart from 'ordinary' raids of other tribes for loot, which were commonplace for their livelihoods sustained by raiding pilgrimage caravans.  Gradually, all groups of pilgrims had to gather in a way so as to reach Mecca in the opening of the pilgrimage season alone. As such policies to avoid raids and other dangers became systematic, they were coincided with the onset of an era of the systematic writing down of traditions and theological thought, in the 3rd century A.H.; hence, the so-called hadiths, fabricated by so many men in the Abbasid Era, have made it part of the Sunnite sharia to confine pilgrimage to the very first week of Zu Al-Hijja. Fabrication and concoction of hadiths was a popular demand and paid-for mission at the Abbasid Era. Hadiths authored by certain men began to be spread limitedly within oral traditions in the Umayyad Era, mainly for political reasons. Writing hadiths down began in the Abbasid Era. Sadly, it is a historical fact that all caliphs of all eras/caliphate manipulated the pilgrimage season for the purpose of political propaganda; let us remember that this was the Middle-Ages means of communications in the Arab world, as all people gather in Mecca and hear such propaganda organized and orchestrated by caliphs of all royal households throughout history, as a chance seized to control all subjects of the Arab empire at the time. Another reason for making pilgrimage season a political tool was to mobilize the masses anytime for any reasons. Eventually, the collective memory at the time has registered that pilgrimage (i.e., Hajj and not Umrah) is exclusively performed during the very first week of Zu Al-Hijja.    

 

Secondly: the locational  sanctuary of Ihram: Ihram in the Sacred House (the Kaaba):

1- The Kaaba is the very first House made sacred since the beginning of the human existence on earth: "The first house established for humankind is the one at Bacca; blessed, and guidance for all people" (3:96). This is the most ancient Sacred House of the Lord on earth since humanity peopled planet earth. God showed its location for Abraham and ordered him to raise its foundations; this means that the Sacred House was known long ago before the time of Abraham, as God ordered him to purify the Kaaba location from all signs of polytheism put there by ancient people who existed before Abraham. "We showed Abraham the location of the House: "Do not associate anything with Me; and purify My House for those who circle around, and those who stand to pray, and those who kneel and prostrate."" (22:26). The Kaaba has continued to be the Sacred House of the Lord in the pre-Islamic era; God has made the Qorayish tribe live in peace and security around the Kaaba: "Let them worship the Lord of this House, Who has fed them against hunger and has secured them against fear" (106:3-4). "…Did We not establish for them a Safe Sanctuary, to which are brought all kinds of fruits, as provision from Ourselves? …" (28:57). "Do they not see that We established a Secure Sanctuary, while all around them the people are being carried away? …" (29:67). God ordered Muhammad to say the following: "I was commanded to worship the Lord of this town, who has sanctified it…" (27:91). The Kaaba remains until now the Sacred House of the Lord despite the distortions imposed by the earthly, man-made, fabricated religions of the Muhammadans. 

2- This Sacred Kaaba Mosque is made sanctuary by also stressing the act that those who enter it should be safe and secure: "…Whoever enters it attains security…" (3:97). "And We made the House a focal point for the people, and a sanctuary…" (2:125). Hence, all pilgrims should enjoy full security and safety, along with all sacrificial animals: "O you who believe! Do not violate God's sacraments, nor the Sacred Month, nor the offerings, nor the garlanded, nor those heading for the Sacred House seeking blessings from their Lord and approval…" (5:2). All birds and wild animals must enjoy safety inside Mecca during pilgrimage: "…Livestock animals are permitted for you, except those specified to you; but not wild game while you are in pilgrim sanctity. God decrees whatever He wills." (5:1). "O you who believe! do not kill game while you are in pilgrim sanctity…" (5:95). "Permitted for you is the catch of sea, and its food-as sustenance for you and for travelers. But forbidden for you is the game of land while you are in pilgrim sanctity. And fear God, to whom you will be gathered." (5:96). Even killing insects is prohibited during pilgrimage, even living organisms inside one's head; that is why people are advised to shave and/or cut off some or all head hair before pilgrimage. Fighting inside Mecca is prohibited, unless in cases of self-defense against aggressors: "…But do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque, unless they fight you there. If they fight you, then kill them. Such is the retribution of the disbelievers." (2:191). The command here to kill refers to the just retribution, and the order is NOT to fight them back, but to deter them so as to spare those who refrain and stop their aggressions. Yet. At one point in history, during the revolt of Ibn Al-Zubayr against the Umayyads, Arabs of the 1st century A.H. fought one another around the Kaaba itself over political reasons and for the sake of the transient world gains, causing the Kaaba to be burnt!

3- Mecca is the city surrounding the Kaaba; this is the locational  sanctuary where the last divine message of God, the Quran, was revealed to the whole world, and the Quran will go on existing till the end of this world when the Last Day comes. This sanctuary is the place where Muslims direct themselves during five daily prayers, and where they go to perform pilgrimage. Mecca has many names in the Quranic text, including ''Umm Al-Qura'' (i.e., in Arabic: Mother of all Villages). This name is linked to the notion that the Quranic message is sent for all humanity in all eras until Doomsday, and the light of this universal divine message began in Mecca, shortly before the end of the world; hence, Mecca is the center of the planet earth: "Thus We inspired you with an Arabic Quran, that you may warn Umm Al-Qura and whoever is around it, and to warn of the Day of Assembly, of which there is no doubt…" (42:7). So, Mecca is the center of the world and located in the center of planet earth with all countries to the west, east, north, and south of Mecca. God says the following about the world and its cities and villages (i.e., all human societies in general): "Your Lord never destroys cities without first sending a messenger in their midst, reciting to them Our revelations. And We never destroy the cities, unless their people are wrongdoers." (6:59). That is why the Kaaba is the very first, most ancient House of the Lord since human existence on earth, toward which people pray daily and where they perform pilgrimage.    

4- The walls of the Kaaba are NOT sacred or holy, as those walls were destroyed, built, and rebuilt many times. These walls were built by Abraham and Ishmael, and they were rebuilt repeatedly by Arabian tribes, and even the Qorayish tribesmen had rebuilt them several times during Muhammad's lifetime. This had reoccurred in later eras, by Ibn Al-Zubayr and others. Hence, we refute here the Sunnite faulty notion of the stones of the Kaaba as being sanctified or coming from heaven. In fact, stones used to build and rebuild the Kaaba came from the lands around Mecca, like any other building materials. Hence, those pilgrims circumambulate the Kaaba must be made aware of these facts; piety in one's heart and sanctification are for God, not for any stone made 'holy' by the ignoramuses; therefore, there is no materials or things of any kind (and also mortals) sanctified or made holy in Islam (i.e., real Islam = Quranism). What is important is Ihram in this House of the Lord, with its corners showing the center of this earth surrounded by the city of Mecca, as understood from the Quranic description of it as ''Umm Al-Qura''. What is most important is that God the Almighty has chosen this location as His sanctuary and made us worship in that direction (or Kiblah in Arabic) during pilgrimage and prayers.    

 

Thirdly: the human sanctuary: the pious heart in Ihram during pilgrimage to get nearer to God:

1- As per relativity theory, a place is the mass with its three dimensions, while the time is the fourth dimension to a given place; we see the places but we never see time that covers all places. Therefore, the human body consists of physical materials belonging to the mass of the physical universe; time is the dimension covering this human body, as each of us is like a passenger in the train of time that moves within the speed of 60 sec./min., 60 min/h, and 24 h/day. The soul enters the body of its embryo inside the womb, and the human passenger enters the train of lifetime once born, leaving it once dead, as the soul leaves its body. The material mass of the living human body is imbued with the soul, which belongs to the unknown realm of the Barsakh. All deeds, good or bad, of the soul during its life on earth are registered in a record/book, and such a record is the basis of judgment and reckoning during the Day of Resurrection. The good deeds, of course, are performing religious duties and acts of worship to attain piety to the souls, and such acts of worship includes performing pilgrimage to Mecca. Ihram during pilgrimage should makes the soul attain the zenith of piety and righteousness, as Paradise are only for the pious ones.      

2- The Kaaba itself is a locational sanctuary, while the four sacred months are the temporal sanctuary, as this is ordained by God since He has created the universe: "The number of months, according to God, is twelve months, by the decree of God, since the day when He created the heavens and the earth, of which four are sacred months. This is the correct religion…" (9:36). The topic of time is very complex as a scientific domain of knowledge; no mortals know why God has chosen these four lunar months in particular for pilgrimage. But we do know that the lunar calendar is best to make the pilgrimage season vary within the solar calendar; hence, the season is sometimes in summer, sometimes in winter. Of course, pilgrims must unite the temporal and locational sanctuaries with sanctity of hearts filled with piety in the fear of God. Pilgrims are both bodies and souls, and both components must be pious; pilgrims during pilgrimage cannot shave, engage into quarrels or idle talks, or have sex with one's spouse, and their senses and hearts are never to think of evil or unholy thoughts – this is the spiritual elevated level that one should strive to attain during the visit in God's House – the locational sanctuary – and the temporal sanctuary of the sacred months. Hence, Ihram means as well that things ordinarily permissible in everyday life are prohibited temporarily - during the performance of pilgrimage.        

3- Let us remember that the atom consists of electrons revolve forever (or circumambulating) around the nucleus anticlockwise; this is the obedience of God ordained on all materials, and thus, this is how each creature praise and glorify God, as we read in the following verse: "Praising Him are the seven heavens, and the earth, and everyone in them. There is not a thing that does not glorify Him with praise, but you do not understand their praises…" (17:44). So, electrons are created that way: obliged to obey the divine order to revolve forever around the nucleus of the atom. The human beings are the creatures who have freedom to obey or disobey based on their choices. Thus, believers choose to obey God willingly, not unwillingly like non-human creatures. In case of Ihram during pilgrimage, pilgrims of both genders circumambulate around the Kaaba willingly anticlockwise – and they have to feel as 'neutral' and as submissive to God in obeying that order, just like electrons. How is that done? By forgetting sexual instincts of their bodies and being elevated and purified spiritually, without evil thoughts or intentions in their hearts or sins committed by their senses and body parts at all. As electrons obey the divine command, pilgrims circumambulate the Kaaba anticlockwise in Mecca, in the center of the globe. Hence, as God has His temporal and locational sanctuaries made for people, without anyone sharing such divine commandments, God also has to have the sanctuary of the souls/hearts of pious pilgrims, as the Omniscient God: "He knows the deceptions of the eyes, and what the hearts conceal." (40:19). No mortals can know what is inside hearts and minds of people; God has told Muhammad the following about some of his contemporaries who lived around him: "Among the Desert-Arabs around you there are some hypocrites, and among the inhabitants of Yathreb too. They have become adamant in hypocrisy. You do not know them, but We know them…" (9:101). Thus, hearts, souls, and minds of pilgrims are never fully known to mortals; rather, they are fully known to God alone, and they must be purified and dedicated to God alone, free from all evil tendencies while dealing directly with God in fear and piety during rituals of Hajj. This is real status of Ihram. If believers passed this test successfully, they will attain piety and achieve the goal of pilgrimage. Those who do evil deeds during pilgrimage are forewarned with divine punishment: "…and seek to commit sacrilege therein-We will make him taste of a painful punishment." (22:25).    

 

Lastly:

1- Within Islam (i.e., Quranism), there is only One God who created time, space, and human beings. God has three sanctuaries to be fulfilled during pilgrimage: the locational one in the Sacred Kaaba Mosque, the temporal one of the sacred months, and the pilgrims themselves. The Omniscient God alone knows what is inside hearts, minds, and souls and knows the real pious ones. Within the earthly, man-made, fabricated religions of the Muhammadans, there are many deities and gods who are imams, saints, and companions of Muhammad. Such faulty notions of faith by deifying dead persons lead as well to faulty acts of worship like visiting mausoleums and tombs and supposedly holy sites related to such deities to worship at such locations, especially the devilish mausoleum in Yathreb known as the tomb of Muhammad. Such satanic work of devils is so holy to the polytheistic Muhammadans that the early Muhammadans had forged hadiths especially to sanctify it, like the hadiths about those who perform pilgrimage must visit such tomb or be deemed as enemies of Muhammad, and the other hadiths about a paradise between such tomb and the pulpit of such mosque in Yathreb.       

2- Of course, such major sins in terms of faith by deifying tombs and dead persons and in terms of practices by visiting them as an act of worship are prohibited all the time, let alone during Ihram. How come a heart/soul filled with such polytheism be purified and elevated?! Sadly, most pilgrims circumambulate the Kaaba while their hearts are clinging to the devilish tomb in Yathreb, ardently desiring to touch it to gain benediction! No one of them can hardly imagine performing pilgrimage in Mecca without visiting their 'second' sanctuary in Yathreb: the so-called Mosque of the Prophet where such mausoleum is located. The head of the Sunnite clergymen has the formal title of ''The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques'', as apart from the only God's House, the Kaaba Mosque, they insist on adding another 'holy' site to them as sanctuary, pertaining to their imaginary deity the immortal Muhammad, as a supreme deity equal to, or surpassing, Allah. By ascribing such devilish mausoleum to Muhammad decades after his death, they fabricated a Sunna (i.e., a tradition ascribed to him) to visit such site; as if Muhammad had performed pilgrimage to his own grave during his lifetime! Such mythology is typical of all earthly, man-made religions based on falsehoods, lies, and fabrications made holy with the passage of time and maintained through centuries as no one would dare to question and refute them. When a free thinker, like ourselves, has dared to refute such polytheistic practices and notions, accusations of apostasy and heresy have been leveled at him by all the mobsters!     

3- Since such faulty notions of faith and worship practices prevail and spread, most pilgrims of today ignore the real meaning of Ihram explained in this CHAPTER. The Muhammadans have turned it into mere pieces of cloth revealing male bodies, making them revive pre-Islamic era practice of circumambulating the Kaaba in the nude! This encourages fornication and homosexuality, and let us not forget the notoriety of the Saudis, and many Gulf countries men, in both fornication and homosexuality, both prohibited in the Quran. More details on that topic when we discuss in a coming chapter the Sunnite sharia laws that waste away and distort pilgrimage.      

4- We have to bear in mind the following: Ihram is never achieved by such laughter-inducing pieces of cloth wrapped around naked male bodies of pilgrims while revealing parts of their bodies, as Bedouins used to wear in ancient times. Ihram is real piety and dedicating one's heart, mind, and soul to God alone during the performance of pilgrimage rituals in the locational and temporal sanctuaries ordained by God. The third sanctuary is pilgrims' bodies or hearts by obeying all the Quranic commands of God pertaining to pilgrimage. These commands include temporary abstention from permissible things (such as hunting and having sex with one's spouse), while purifying one' heart from all evil tendencies of all types, as no injustices are permitted during pilgrimage, while preserving lives of living creatures inside the Sacred Kaaba Mosque, to the extent that no one is to shave one's head hair so as not to kill insects or lice, until pilgrimage days are over. Thus, Ihram is a state when one will purify one's heart and experience highest levels of piety in the temporal and locational sanctuaries. Ihram should begin upon entering the locational sanctuary, God's House, while wearing the best of clothes as per this verse: "O Children of Adam! Dress properly at every place of worship…" (7:31). Hence, it is useless and futile to set certain points or locations to begin Ihram as per one's homeland: Sunnites have for centuries designated locations outside Mecca to begin Ihram for those coming from Egypt and North Africa, those coming from Iraq, those coming from the Levant, etc. while forgetting those coming from Europe, North and South America, and Australia, as the Sunnites had created a religion as per their limited scope of knowledge and as per fitting to their interests alone. Another major sin of theirs had been to ignore the Quranic commands by confining pilgrimage to 'Muslims' alone as local religious duty, while God makes it permissible to all human beings indiscriminately in all eras.          

 

 

CHAPTER VII: Piety and the Universality of Pilgrimage to All People

 

Introduction:

  As the Quranic command to adhere to piety is addressed to all people, pilgrimage to the Kaaba as an act of worship is another Quranic command addressed to all human beings in all eras, as a means to attain piety. One of the features indicating fanaticism and extremism in the Sunnite religion is to confine pilgrimage to 'Muslims' alone; i.e., they had made it among stipulations of pilgrims to be 'Muslims' while preventing non-Muslims from ever entering into Mecca and any Sunnite 'holy' site, in Yathreb for instance. Hence, such Sunnite Muhammadans had committed a crime against God by turning Islam (God's only true religion) into a local cult excluding others and is confiscated by Wahabi Sunnites. They ignored the universality of the duty of pilgrimage, of the sacred months, and the Kaaba as a location dedicated as God's House to be visited by all people, without discrimination, as a safe haven and sanctuary providing security to whomever enters it.         

 

Firstly: the Quran refutes such confining done by the Muhammadans:

  Pilgrimage in particular is the closest act of worship linked to Abraham's religion, which was never confined to a certain category or group of people; rather, Abraham's religion (i.e., Islam: submission to God alone) is a general call to all human beings in all eras, regardless of gender, groups, ethnicities, etc. God addresses all people in these verses: "And who is better in religion than he who submits himself wholly to God, and is a doer of good, and follows the faith of Abraham the monotheist? …" (4:125). "Who would forsake the religion of Abraham, except he who fools himself? We chose him in this world, and in the Hereafter he will be among the righteous." (2:130). God calls People of the Book (i.e., Jews and Christians) to follow Abraham's religion that includes pilgrimage to the Kaaba: "Say, "God has spoken the truth, so follow the religion of Abraham the monotheist; he was not a polytheist." The first house established for humankind is the one at Bacca; blessed, and guidance for all people. n it are evident signs; the Station of Abraham. Whoever enters it attains security. Pilgrimage to the House is a duty to God for all who can make the journey. But as for those who refuse-God is Independent of the worlds. Say, "O People of the Scripture, why do you reject the Revelations of God, when God witnesses what you do?"" (3:95-98). God's House in Mecca is the very first one made for all people, under God's guidance, and all verses related to pilgrimage is addressed to all people who can do it, as a universal duty ordained by God to all people.            

 

Secondly: the Quranic term ''people'' in pilgrimage legislations means all human beings:

1- The Quranic term ''people'' is used sometimes to indicate certain groups defined by time and place and by being associated with certain elements or aspects. For instance, the term ''people'' in the following verse refers only to those contemporary with Abraham: "They said, "Bring him before the eyes of the people, so that they may witness."" (21:61). It refers to inhabitants of Madian in this verse: "And when he arrived at the waters of Madian, he found there a crowd of people drawing water…" (28:23). It refers to the Egyptians in this verse: "He said, "Your appointment is the day of the festival, so let the people be gathered together at mid-morning."" (20:59). It refers to rulers of Egypt in the story of Joseph in this verse: "…so that I may return to the people, so that they may know." (12:46). It refers to People of the Book in this verse: "…We revealed to you the Reminder, that you may clarify to the people what was revealed to them, and that they may reflect." (16:44). It refers to Arabs contemporary with Muhammad in this verse: "Do they not see that We established a Secure Sanctuary, while all around them the people are being carried away? …" (29:67). In many cases, the term ''people'' refers to different groups in certain situations, times, and places: "Those to whom the people have said, "The people have mobilized against you, so fear them." But this only increased them in faith…" (3:173). 

2- The Quranic term ''people'' is used sometimes to indicate all humanity in all locations and eras, as words associated with the term show this. Let us quote some verses to prove this point. God says the following about the Day of Judgment: "Our Lord, You will gather the people for a Day in which there is no doubt…" (3:9). "…That is a Day for which humanity will be gathered together-that is a Day to be witnessed." (11:103). "O people, be conscious of your Lord. The quaking of the Hour is a tremendous thing. On the Day when you will see it: every nursing mother will discard her infant, and every pregnant woman will abort her load, and you will see the people drunk, even though they are not drunk-but the punishment of God is severe." (22:1-2). God associates people to Himself as pertaining to Him as His creatures; see the Quranic Chapter 114. The Quranic text repeats phrases such as ''among the people'', "O people!", and "most people". This association indicates all humanity at large without reference to certain times and places. Let us quote some verses to clarify this point. "Yet among the people are those who take other than God as equals to Him. They love them as the love of God…" (2:165). "O people! Fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul, and created from it its mate, and propagated from them many men and women…" (4:1).  "O people! We created you from a male and a female, and made you races and tribes, that you may know one another…" (49:13).  "O people! Worship your Lord who created you and those before you, that you may attain piety." (2:21).  "O people! Eat of what is lawful and good on earth, and do not follow the footsteps of Satan…" (2:168).  "O people! The messenger has come to you with the Truth from your Lord, so believe, that is best for you…" (4:170).  "O people! A proof has come to you from your Lord, and We sent down to you a clear light." (4:174).  "But most people, for all your eagerness, are not believers." (12:103).  "…but most people do not believe" (13:1).  "Among the people are those who argue about God without knowledge and follow every defiant devil." (22:3).   

3- The Quranic term ''people'' is used within pilgrimage legislations to indicate association of pilgrimage to all people in general in all locations and eras, as a clear sign of the universality of this religious duty. Let us quote some verses below to prove this point.

A) "The first house established for humankind is the one at Bacca; blessed, and guidance for all people. In it are evident signs; the Station of Abraham. Whoever enters it attains security. Pilgrimage to the House is a duty to God for all who can make the journey. But as for those who refuse-God is Independent of the worlds." (3:96-97). In these verses, we see that the term ''worlds'' refers to the general public of all people, and the fact is solidified by stating the fact that God's house is established for the humankind and that all people are commanded to perform pilgrimage to God's house.

B) "And We made the House a focal point for the people, and a sanctuary. Use the Station of Abraham as a place of prayers. And We commissioned Abraham and Ishmael, "Purify My House for those who circle around it, and those who seclude themselves in it, and those who kneel and prostrate."" (2:125). This verse shows clearly that God's House is for all people as a place of prayers and worship and a sanctuary for all people; in the jungle of life, all people need such a safe haven, build by Abraham and Ishmael to worshippers within all people at large, and not a certain race or group of people.

C) "God has appointed the Kaaba, the Sacred House, a sanctuary for the people, and the Sacred Month, and the offerings, and the garlanded…" (5:97). This verse shows clearly that God's House is established by God as sanctuary to all people, and so are the sacred months; thus, the temporal and locational sanctuaries pertain to all people indiscriminately. 

D) God has said the following about aggressive polytheists of the Qorayish tribe when they prevented early believers from entering the Sacred Kaaba Mosque: "As for those who disbelieve and repel from God's path and from the Sacred Mosque-which We have designated for all humankind equally, whether residing therein or passing through-and seek to commit sacrilege therein-We will make him taste of a painful punishment." (22:25). This indicates clearly that God has ordained His House to be visited by all people without discrimination, and that those who prevent others from coming to it would be committing a grave sin punishable by God. This crime was committed by some Qorayish tribesmen during Muhammad's lifetime when they prevented peaceful early believers from entering Mecca. This very crime is repeated as a legislation in the Sunnite religion now; as the KSA authorities apply such legislations today by never allowing ''non-Muslims' into Mecca, as if the Kaaba were a private property of Al-Saud royal family! 

 

Lastly:

  We have written earlier an article calling for freeing Mecca and God's House from the control of the KSA and its Saudi royal family. We re-publish it below as a reminder.

  (Article title: Until When God's Sacred House and Pilgrimage Will Remain Hostage to Saudis? Until When Will Such Violation of God's Sharia Continue?!

 

Firstly:

 Hundreds of deaths occur annually during the pilgrimage season because of gathering of millions of pilgrims within one week of pilgrimage. We assert here that the Quranic verse "The Hajj is during specific months…" (2:197) indicates clearly that pilgrimage as a religious duty can be performed any week within the four months of Zu Al-Hijja, Muharram, Saffar, and Rabei Awwal. This Quranic command ignored for centuries must be applied now to facilitate pilgrimage by making its reason four months as ordained by God in the Quran; facilitation and easiness of religious duty is ordained by God in the Quran as well, as the Quran is real and only source of Islam, whereas the Wahabi religion is based on extremism, complexity, and complicating matters. Wahabism is based on blind imitation of the revered and venerated forefathers and following their footsteps in all cases; those forefathers had political circumstances (plus the reason of avoiding raids of looting Bedouins, especially those Bedouins of Najd) that drove them to confine pilgrimage (i.e., Hajj) to the very first week of Zu Al-Hijja, which was originally the opening week of the pilgrimage season that is the duration of the four sacred months. Such raids of Bedouins and rebels within the past centuries made pilgrimage caravans costly as they were heavily guarded with troops led by emirs of Hajj, and this led people to confine Hajj to the very first week of Zu Al-Hijja, in contrast to God's command in 2:197 about specific months for Hajj. As for the present, the Wahabi religion, whose center was also the Najd area, is the responsible factor of allowing the KSA to steal millions of pilgrims annually by imposing exorbitant prices for the journey, and despite all that, they overstuff Mecca with millions of people in one week annually, and many people die of being trampled by stampedes or by being suffocated. This grave sin contradicts Islam in the Quran.

 

Secondly:

  This is not the only violation against the Quran by the Wahabi KSA during pilgrimage; we have written before in the 1990s about the fact that visiting the Kaaba, God's House, must be made available for all people. This is God's only Sacred House on the globe for all people indiscriminately, and so are the four sacred months, as God is the Only True God for all humanity. Within Mecca, all souls of pilgrims must be elevated and refined so as to be purified of all evil tendencies and all whims and bad intentions, away from sexual instincts as well, as no sex is allowed between spouses during pilgrimage as well, and away from quarreling and debating as well. All pilgrims must enjoy safety and security inside Mecca and while traveling toward it as per 5:2. Even all birds and animals are to enjoy safety and not to be killed by hunting at all during pilgrimage. This is real meaning of Ihram, distorted by the earthly, man-made, fabricated creeds of the Muhammadans by avoiding piety and focusing on imposing on male pilgrims the laughter-inducing hideous pieces of cloth that show them as semi-naked and revealing their flesh to the attentive eyes, to encourage sexual desires and fornication! As usual, no one cared or paid attention to what we have written in the 1990s. We reassert below the same facts affirmed before by us in our writings.      

1- Pilgrimage and the Kaaba are not confined to those who deem themselves as ''Muslims''; it is God's House established for all humankind and the Hajj is ordained by God for all who can perform it among all people: "The first house established for humankind is the one at Bacca; blessed, and guidance for all people. In it are evident signs; the Station of Abraham. Whoever enters it attains security. Pilgrimage to the House is a duty to God for all who can make the journey. But as for those who refuse-God is Independent of the worlds." (3:96-97).

2- Hence, God's House is a sanctuary from all people who come to it and who must enjoy safety and security in it, as per the divine commands given to Abraham and Ishmael: "And We made the House a focal point for the people, and a sanctuary…" (2:125).

3- Therefore, all people are equal peers before God in the Sacred Kaaba Mosque, whether they travel toward it or those who reside in Mecca near it all their lives. Those who by control and authority prevent others from entering into Mecca and the Sacred Kaaba Mosque are punished by God: "As for those who disbelieve and repel from God's path and from the Sacred Kaaba Mosque - which We have designated for all humankind equally, whether residing therein or passing through - and seek to commit sacrilege therein, We will make him taste of a painful punishment." (22:25). We notice in this verse the use of the present tense; an indication that such crime/sin perpetrated by Qorayish tribesmen will be repeated later on after the revelation of the Quran, by controlling the Sacred Kaaba Mosque and turning pilgrimage into trade and looting money from pilgrimage. Such crime is being perpetuated annually now by the Saudi authorities that control the pilgrimage season and the Sacred Kaaba Mosque and violates Quranic teachings pertaining to pilgrimage in Islam. We notice also in 22:25 the use of the present tense in how merely having bad intentions of committing evil or sacrilege is punished by God.      

4- God says the following in the very next verse: "We showed Abraham the location of the House: "Do not associate anything with Me; and purify My House for those who circle around, and those who stand to pray, and those who kneel and prostrate." And announce the pilgrimage to humanity. They will come to you on foot, and on every lean beast of transport. They will come from every distant point." (22:26-27). This is related to those who come to God's House, established for all humankind coming from everywhere. This means that all people from the four corners of the world can come to Mecca and worship at the Kaaba.

5- God's House is the haven of safety, peace, and security for all humankind, and even for animals and birds as hunting is forbidden during pilgrimage and Ihram. Hence, there should be no room for aggressors who disturb this peace, commit violations against peaceful people, and threaten lives of pilgrims. Let us be reminded of the fact that the term ''Islam'' itself in Arabic literally has two levels of meanings: in terms of faith, it means to submit to the will of God alone, with no other associates and partners alongside with Him. "Say, "My prayer and my worship, and my life and my death, are devoted to God, the Lord of the Worlds. No associate has He. Thus I am commanded, and I am the first of those who submit." (6:162-163). This aspect of faith is linked directly to one's special relation with God, based on one's freedom to believe or to disbelieve. No one is to ever interfere or mediate between God and people. Each individual bears the responsibility for their choices before the Almighty during the Day of Resurrection. In terms of demeanor, Islam literally means peaceful behavior: Islam is peace. Hence, all peaceful persons are Muslims overtly by their peaceful behavior, regardless of their faiths/beliefs, or even lack of them. Hence, we have the right to judge others as either peaceful (literally, Muslims, is derived from the Arabic word salam: peace) or non-peaceful (i.e., criminal aggressors and violators) as per their demeanor. Divine laws as well as man-made laws are there to preserve and protect human rights against all transgressions. Likewise, disbelief/polytheism has two layers of meanings. 1) When one is covering the innate nature in our instinct or even DNA by associating other gods, saints, and deities alongside with the True One God, the Creator of the universe. Such polytheism or disbelief is judged by God alone in the Hereafter; He will judge and settle disputes of people concerning religion, as all believers within all religious denominations see themselves as in the right and their foes as ones in the wrong. 2) The other meaning of polytheism or disbelief is to commit injustices, aggression, violations, and transgressions against others. Such type of disbelief in terms of demeanor (i.e., aggression, violence, murder, etc.) is judged and punished by human beings to protect societies and preserve human rights.

   The link between the above paragraph and pilgrimage is as follows: all peaceful human beings, regardless of their professed faiths, have the right to visit the Kaaba as pilgrims and enter into Mecca all year round, and the ones to be prevented from entering into Mecca and the Sacred House are those who carry arms and weapons to disturb peace and commit violence. Hence, security must be guaranteed to all guests of God the Dominant, as we understand from the context of the following verse: "O you who believe! The polytheists are polluted, so let them not approach the Sacred Mosque after this year of theirs. And if you fear poverty, God will enrich you from His grace, if He wills. God is Aware and Wise." (9:28). We discern here that the term ''polytheists'' are those aggressors and criminals who used to attack and raid pilgrims for the sake of looting and they used to breach all pacts; that is why God in 9:1-10 has declared war against them after the truce of the peaceful four sacred months of pilgrimage, after giving aggressors the chance to repent and stop their violence; otherwise, they had to be fought and deterred. Their aggression was the reason and NOT their polytheistic beliefs (or their disbelief in the Quran), as we discern from this verse: "Towards a believer they respect neither kinship nor treaty. These are the transgressors." (9:10). If they would repent and stop aggression, they would be deemed brethren if they would adhere to peace: " But if they repent, and perform the prayers, and give the obligatory charity, then they are your brethren in faith …" (9:11). Yet, self-defense fighting would be allowed in case they return back to their aggression against peaceful ones: "But if they violate their oaths after their pledge, and attack your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief-they have no faith-so that they may desist." (9:12). Hence, such aggressors must be stopped from entering into Mecca so as to prevent them from committing violence and aggressions against pilgrims, and they are to be prevented from entering into the Sacred House, the safe haven ordained by God; this is the context through which we understand 9:28, which is about how to deal with aggressors who commit murder, violence, etc. against innocent peaceful ones in Mecca and inside the Sacred Kaaba Mosque.            

 

Thirdly: the Wahabi Saudi regime violates the teachings of Islam regarding all of the above:

1- The ancestors of Al-Saud family in the Najd area used to raid caravans of pilgrimage for loot during the eras of the Umayyad, Abbasid, and Mameluke eras, within ''secular'' raids that offer no religious justifications of such crime. When such crimes are justified by pretexts derived from Wahabi religion, this is a catastrophe, as heinous crimes of aggression, murder, rape, and theft are regarded as 'jihad'. Such crimes were committed by the Najd people, the ancestors of the Al-Saud royal family members under the banners of the Qarmatians. Those Qarmatians did not stop attacking and raiding caravans of pilgrims; they also attacked Mecca itself, massacring all people inside it and throwing their corpses inside the Zamzam water well, and they stole the so-called black-stone, as per many known and acknowledged historical accounts. Centuries later, the rebels of the Qarmatians have been reincarnated under the banner of Wahabism sponsored by the Al-Saud family, as they have repeated the same heinous crimes of aggression, murder, rape, and looting under the banner of Wahabi jihad to establish the very first Saudi kingdom (1745:1818). This first Saudi kingdom used its troops to conquer and occupy Hejaz and Mecca in 1805, and it raided and looted Yathreb and stopped all caravans of pilgrims in 1806. This drove the Ottoman Empire in 1807 to enlist the help of the powerful governor of Egypt, and later its king, Muhammad Ali Pacha to liberate Hejaz area (that include Mecca and Yathreb), and he attacked Wahabis there in 1811, declaring full-fledged war against the first Saudi kingdom. In September 1818, the war ended by destruction of the Saudi capital, named Al-Dariyya. Later on, Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud had established the third, current Saudi kingdom within the period 1902:1932. To establish his kingdom, Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud committed many horrendous massacres in Arabia, Iraq, and the Levant. Most of victims of such massacres were peaceful civilians among city-dwellers and villagers. The troops of Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud were called the Najd Brothers, and they were the ones to raid, loot, rape, massacre and commit all sorts of aggressions under his commands in Arabia, Iraq, and the Levant. Before the Najd Brothers are killed by Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud and Great Britain, they had massacred more than half a million persons, and victims includes people in Hejaz who came to perform pilgrimage. On their way to conquer Hejaz, the Najd Brothers had committed in June 1919 the massacre of Turba, and bloodshed caused rivers of blood to flow, as per and eye-witness named Al-Sharif Awn who fled the battle as a child of 15 years old, and their worst more savage massacre was the massacre of Al-Ta'if in September 1924 that killed off all residents of Al-Ta'if city, all men, women, children, and the elderly ones. Such savagery of the Saudis and their Najd Brothers drove the Meccans as well as residents of Yathreb and Jeddah to surrender without fighting one month after this heinous massacre. Let us be reminded of the 1979 crime of occupying the Sacred Kaaba Mosque by the terrorist Juhayman Al-Otaybi and his murderers, who was a disciple of the late famous Wahabi Saudi high-rank scholar Ibn Baz. Hence, all crimes perpetrated by the disbelievers of Qorayish in the 7th century A.D. denounced by the Quran are nothing in comparison to the crimes committed by the Al-Saud royal family members and their ancestors.     

2- As Wahabi Saudis control everything in Arabia, people are being terrorized, chased, and tortured by religious police until now in their everyday life, whether those people are  residing as citizens in Arabia or those pilgrims and visitors inside the KSA. Yet, the religious policemen cannot venture to accuse or arrest members of the royal family or their high-rank officials appointed by them, despite their immorality, sins, violence, transgressions, and crimes.   

3- As for pilgrimage and pilgrims, the Saudi regime allows itself to verify that those coming to perform pilgrimage are 'Muslims', especially non-Arabs. This is utter disgrace; this is self-deification to allow Saudis to check people's hearts and faiths. Supervising pilgrimage does not include such utter humiliation of checking people's belief and hearts; instead, it includes checking their baggage and luggage to make sure no arms and weapons are being smuggled inside Mecca to commit terrorist acts, a measure taken in any other airport worldwide.  

4- The worst is not the crime of the KSA in trying to impose its Wahabism on people by its huge propaganda during pilgrimage; rather, the real worst thing is that the KSA is manipulating its full control over Mecca and all Hejaz to persecute pilgrims who are Shiites, pilgrims of the Ahmadiyya faith, Sufis, Shiite Iranians, etc. among all non-Wahabis in general. Moreover, the KSA is manipulating the pilgrimage season to engage into huge propaganda and overpraise in favor of Al-Saud royal family members among the hypocrites who brag of what they do and spend to serve pilgrims, despite the fact that what they spend is nothing in comparison to what West charity foundations and churches spend on poor Muslims in the West. Besides, what the Saudi royal family spend to care for pilgrims is nothing in comparison to oil revenues that entails huge zakat (i.e., tithes) to be paid. In addition, such money spent by the Saudi royal family to care for pilgrims is nothing in comparison to its annual revenues and exorbitant prices of Hajj and its taxes and fees. The worst crime yet of Al-Saud royal family is distorting Islam and tarnishing its image worldwide.     

5- Al-Saud royal family deserve the description in 22:25, as per their foul deeds, regardless of their faith tenets: "As for those who disbelieve and repel from God's path and from the Sacred Mosque-which We have designated for all humankind equally, whether residing therein or passing through-and seek to commit sacrilege therein-We will make him taste of a painful punishment." (22:25).

6- History of the Saudi royal family and their heinous crimes of today as well as their Wahabism contradict Islam (i.e., the Quran alone); how come they would regard themselves as custodians of pilgrimage and God's House? Until when free Muslims worldwide would go on in their silence regarding such effrontery and violation of Islam?! Is the Kaaba owned by the Saudi royal family and Wahabis?! Why would they solely be in full control of Mecca?! They have no proof to support such stance, of their controlling Mecca, in the Quranic verses and not even in their Wahabi writings of their man-made creed. Their conquering Mecca by their troops in 1924 never lends them legitimacy of any kind to control and administrate pilgrimage as per their Wahabi sharia that contradicts the Quranic sharia. Let us remember that the Wahabis have committed a massacre in Al-Ta'if city on their way to conquer Mecca to terrorize the Meccans to force them to accept the Saudi conquest and surrender quickly. Would such aggressions be the way to impose their rule and their control of pilgrimage and the Kaaba?! Such aggressions must be refuted by the Quran and all Muslims worldwide must engage into peaceful jihad to remove the Saudi control of the Kaaba, God's House, even if the KSA would have to be removed from the map and collapse by getting rid of the rule of this cursed Saudi royal family.   

Lastly:

   We assert here that freeing the Sacred Kaaba Mosque from the occupation of Al-Saud royal family is a jihad to support God's true religion of Islam as per the Quran. Let us begin this peaceful intellectual jihad by raising awareness of all Muslims worldwide within conferences and forums that discuss and narrate all what is unspoken-of within history of Arabs and the unrevealed facts and tenets of true Islam in the Quran.)

   The article ends here, but the tragedy has not ended yet, as it will remain as a veritable threat and danger as long as the Al-Saud royal family, axis of evil and worldwide terror, remains in power in Arabia, controlling Mecca.

 

 

 

CHAPTER VIII: Piety and Generality of Pilgrimage Legislations for Women and Men Alike

 

 

Firstly: women have no special pilgrimage legislations in the Quran:

1- If women had some special legislations as far as pilgrimage is concerned, the Quran would have shown this clearly. The Quranic text contains no such thing; rather, all pilgrimage legislations come in general terms and addressing all believers in both genders, and including both genders is conveyed by many words, including the term ''people''. This reminds us of the way God addresses all human beings of both genders in many verses; for instance: "O people! We created you from a male and a female, and made you races and tribes, that you may know one another. The best among you in the sight of God is the most pious. God is All-Knowing, Well-Experienced." (49:13). Hence, all of human beings, male and female, are children of Adam and Eve and are sisters and brothers in humanity despite different colors, races, cultures, tongues, etc. and the best of us before the almighty are the most pious ones. Piety is commanded by God to all people of both genders: "O people! Fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul, and created from it its mate, and propagated from them many men and women. And revere God whom you ask about, and the parents. Surely, God is Watchful over you." (4:1). All human beings are ordered by God to worship Him alone to achieve piety: "O people! Worship your Lord who created you and those before you, that you may attain piety." (2:21); and performing pilgrimage is one of the means to attain piety.

2- Rituals of pilgrimage are general to both genders alike, as the word ''people'' is used in verses pertaining to pilgrimage. The term ''people'' includes both genders of course in the Quranic text, especially in verses related to pilgrimage.

A) Let us focus on these verses: "The first house established for humankind is the one at Bacca; blessed, and guidance for all people. In it are evident signs; the Station of Abraham. Whoever enters it attains security. Pilgrimage to the House is a duty to God for all who can make the journey. But as for those who refuse-God is Independent of the worlds." (3:96-97). We notice here that God's House has been established to all people, and this includes men and women, and both genders are to perform pilgrimage there if they possibly can. Hence, if a female believer can travel there and have strength to perform this act of worship, she should go, whereas a male who cannot because he is too poor or too weak, he should not travel. Hence, gender has nothing to do with Hajj as there is no certain stipulations related to gender mentioned in the Quran. Both genders inside the Sacred Kaaba Mosque should feel secure and safe, as per 3:96-97.

B) Let us focus on this verse: "And We made the House a focal point for the people, and a sanctuary. Use the Station of Abraham as a place of prayers. And We commissioned Abraham and Ishmael, "Purify My House for those who circle around it, and those who seclude themselves in it, and those who kneel and prostrate."" (2:125). Again, the term ''people'' here shows that this sanctuary is for both genders alike to worship there as equal peers without any differences at all.

C) Let us focus on this verse: "God has appointed the Kaaba, the Sacred House, a sanctuary for the people, and the Sacred Month, and the offerings, and the garlanded…" (5:97). Clearly, we notice here that the Kaaba is a sanctuary for people of both genders and so does the temporal sanctuary of the sacred months.

D) God has said the following verse about the Qorayish polytheists when they prevented early believers  from entering the Sacred Kaaba Mosque: "As for those who disbelieve and repel from God's path and from the Sacred Mosque-which We have designated for all humankind equally, whether residing therein or passing through…" (22:25). This means that God's House is open for all human beings alike, of all races and both genders, whether passing by Mecca or residing there temporarily or permanently. All those who can perform pilgrimage should perform it, regardless of gender as we know from all verses related to Hajj.  

3- The generality of pilgrimage rituals include men and women using other terms apart from the term ''people'', as we read in the Quranic Chapter Two; God addresses all human beings of both genders in 2:196, as follows: "And carry out the Hajj and the Umrah for God…" (2:196); this is in normal ordinary times. What in cases of different conditions that prevent men and women from performing pilgrimage? Again, legislations of preventing includes both genders, as we read here: "…But if you are prevented, then whatever is feasible of offerings. And do not shave your heads until the offering has reached its destination. Whoever of you is sick, or has an injury of the head, then redemption of fasting, or charity, or worship. When you are secure: whoever continues the Umrah until the Hajj, then whatever is feasible of offering. But if he lacks the means, then fasting for three days during the Hajj and seven when you have returned, making ten in all. This is for he whose household is not present at the Sacred Mosque. And remain piously conscious of God, and know that God is stern in retribution." (2:196). The same way of address is adopted in the very next verse as well, and how pilgrims of both genders are to preserve status of Ihram within piety and in the fear of God, seeking to fully attain piety: "Pilgrimage is during specific months. Whoever decides to perform it - there shall be no sexual relations, nor misconduct, nor debating during pilgrimage. And whatever good you do, God knows it. And take provisions, but the best provision is righteousness. And be mindful of Me, O people of understanding." (2:197). The rest of the verses pertaining to pilgrimage address both genders as well: "You commit no error by seeking bounty from your Lord. When you disperse from Arafat, remember God at the Sacred Landmark. And remember Him as He has guided you. Although, before that, you were of those astray. Then disperse from where the people disperse, and ask God for forgiveness. God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. When you have completed your rituals, remember God as you remember your parents, or even more. Among the people is he who says, "Our Lord, give us in this world," yet he has no share in the Hereafter. And among them is he who says, "Our Lord, give us goodness in this world, and goodness in the Hereafter, and protect us from the torment of the Hell-Fire." These will have a share of what they have earned. God is swift in reckoning. And remember God during the designated days. But whoever hurries on in two days commits no wrong, and whoever stays on commits no wrong-provided he maintains righteousness. And obey God, and know that to Him you will be gathered." (2:198-203). In a previous verse of the same Quranic Chapter, God addresses both genders as well: "Safa and Marwa are among the rituals of God. Whoever performs the Hajj or the Umrah to the House commits no error by circulating between them. Whoever volunteers good-God is Appreciative and Cognizant." (2:158).

 

Secondly: Quranic legislations pertaining to women between generality and special cases outside pilgrimage:

  As pilgrimage is only one of many rituals or acts of worship within Islam, for more clarification, we give below an overview of general legislations related to both genders and those special legislations linked to women alone.

Examples of general legislations pertaining to men and women concerning acts of worship:

1- Within the Quranic Ten Commandments: "Say, "Come, let me tell you what your Lord has forbidden you: that you associate nothing with Him; that you honor your parents; that you do not kill your children because of poverty-We provide for you and for them; that you do not come near indecencies, whether outward or inward; and that you do not kill the soul which God has sanctified-except in the course of justice. All this He has enjoined upon you, so that you may understand." And do not come near the property of the orphan, except with the best intentions, until he reaches maturity. And give full weight and full measure, equitably. We do not burden any soul beyond its capacity. And when you speak, be fair, even if it concerns a close relative. And fulfill your covenant with God. All this He has enjoined upon you, so that you may take heed. This is My path, straight, so follow it. And do not follow the other paths, lest they divert you from His path. All this He has enjoined upon you, that you may refrain from wrongdoing." (6:151-153).

2- Within performance of prayers and zakat, we see that the Quranic commands are general and thus addressing both genders: "This is the Book in which there is no doubt, a guide for the pious. Those who believe in the unseen, and perform the prayers, and give from what We have provided for them." (2:2-3). And we read this within voluntary prayers offered at night and reading the Quran: "…So read of it what is possible for you, and observe the prayers, and give regular charity, and lend God a generous loan. Whatever good you advance for yourselves, you will find it with God, better and generously rewarded. And seek God's forgiveness, for God is Forgiving and Merciful." (73:20). Friday congregational prayers are also for believing men and women together: "O you who believe! When the call is made for prayer on congregation day, hasten to the remembrance of God, and drop all business. That is better for you, if you only knew." (62:9). Within prayers in cases of fear: "Guard your prayers, and the pious prayer, and stand before God in devotion. But if you are in fear, then on foot, or riding. And when you are safe, remember God, as He taught you what you did not know." (2:238-239). "When you travel in the land, there is no blame on you for shortening the prayers, if you fear that the disbelievers may harm you. The disbelievers are your manifest enemies." (4:101). 

3- Within legislations of performing complete ablution: "O you who believe! Do not approach the prayer while you are drunk, so that you know what you say; nor after sexual orgasm-unless you are travelling-until you have bathed. If you are sick, or traveling, or one of you comes from the toilet, or you have had intercourse with women, and cannot find water, find clean sand and wipe your faces and your hands with it. God is Pardoning and Forgiving." (4:43). " O you who believe! When you rise to pray, wash your faces and your hands and arms to the elbows, and wipe your heads, and your feet to the ankles. If you had intercourse, then purify yourselves. If you are ill, or travelling, or one of you returns from the toilet, or you had contact with women, and could not find water, then use some clean sand and wipe your faces and hands with it. God does not intend to burden you, but He intends to purify you, and to complete His blessing upon you, that you may be thankful." (5:6).   

4- As far as the Quranic verses are concerned, women's period never stops or prevents their performing any act of worship (pilgrimage, fasting, prayers, reading the Quran, etc.), unlike what the distorted misogynic Jewish and Sunnite creeds tell us.  The period prevents women only of having sex with their husbands: "And they ask you about menstruation: say, "It is harmful, so keep away from women during menstruation. And do not approach them until they have become pure. Once they have become pure, approach them in the way God has directed you." God loves the repentant, and He loves those who keep clean." Your women are cultivation for you; so approach your cultivation whenever you like, and send ahead for yourselves. And fear God, and know that you will meet Him. And give good news to the believers." (2:222-223). 

5- Within fasting, we see it is commanded for both genders with exceptions addressed for them both as well: "O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become righteous. For a specified number of days. But whoever among you is sick, or on a journey, then a number of other days. For those who are able: a ransom of feeding a needy person. But whoever volunteers goodness, it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew. Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed. Guidance for humanity, and clear portents of guidance, and the Criterion. Whoever of you witnesses the month, shall fast it. But whoever is sick, or on a journey, then a number of other days. God desires ease for you, and does not desire hardship for you, that you may complete the number, and celebrate God for having guided you, so that you may be thankful." (2:183-185). And even retreat in mosques is for both genders, provided they abstain from sex with one's spouse: "…Then complete the fast until nightfall. But do not approach them while you are in retreat at the mosques. These are the limits of God, so do not come near them. God thus clarifies His revelations to the people, that they may attain piety." (2:187). 

6- Within immigration to evade persecution, with exceptions covering both genders as well: "While the angels are removing the souls of those who have wronged themselves, they will say, "What was the matter with you?" They will say, "We were oppressed in the land." They will say, "Was God's earth not vast enough for you to emigrate in it?" These-their refuge is Hell. What a wretched retreat! Except for the weak among men, and women, and children who have no means to act, and no means to find a way out. These-God may well pardon them. God is Pardoning and Forgiving." (4:97-99). 

7- Within self-defense fighting for God's sake, the commands are addressed to both men and women, and in cases of exceptions as well: "Let those who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter fight in the cause of God. Whoever fights in the cause of God, and then is killed, or achieves victory, We will grant him a great compensation." (4:74). "There is no blame on the blind, nor any blame on the lame, nor any blame on the sick. Whoever obeys God and His Messenger-He will admit him into gardens beneath which rivers flow; but whoever turns away-He will punish him with a painful punishment." (48:17).   

8- Within active charitable participation within one's society: "…And cooperate with one another in virtuous conduct and conscience, and do not cooperate with one another in sin and hostility. And fear God. God is severe in punishment." (5:2). "O you who believe! Be upright to God, witnessing with justice; and let not the hatred of a certain people prevent you from acting justly. Adhere to justice, for that is nearer to piety; and fear God. God is informed of what you do." (5:8).  "O you who believe! Stand firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even if against yourselves, or your parents, or your relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, God takes care of both. So do not follow your desires, lest you swerve. If you deviate, or turn away-then God is Aware of what you do." (4:135).  "The believing men and believing women are friends of one another. They advocate virtue, forbid evil, perform the prayers, practice charity, and obey God and His Messenger. These-God will have mercy on them. God is Noble and Wise." (9:71).   

9- Within penalties specified in the Quran: "The adulteress and the adulterer-whip each one of them a hundred lashes…" (24:2). "As for the thief, whether male or female, cut their hands as a penalty for what they have reaped - a deterrent from God..." (5:38).   

 

Examples of special cases of legislations pertaining to women alone:

1- Within inheritance: "Men receive a share of what their parents and relatives leave, and women receive a share of what their parents and relatives leave; be it little or much-a legal share." (4:7). "God instructs you regarding your children: The male receives the equivalent of the share of two females. If they are daughters, more than two, they get two-thirds of what he leaves. If there is only one, she gets one-half…" (4:11). "You get one-half of what your wives leave behind, if they had no children. If they had children, you get one-fourth of what they leave. After fulfilling any bequest and paying off debts. They get one-fourth of what you leave behind, if you have no children. If you have children, they get one-eighth of what you leave. After fulfilling any bequest and paying off debts…" (4:12).

2- Within certain duties and social responsibilities of individuals, such as the fact that men should pay dowries for women they will marry: "Give women their dowries graciously. But if they willingly forego some of it, then consume it with enjoyment and pleasure." (4:4); the duty that husbands are to treat their wives kindly: "…And live with them in kindness. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike something in which God has placed much good." (4:19); the duty that husbands are to spend money on their wives and provide and care for them: "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, as God has given some of them an advantage over others, and because they spend out of their wealth…" (4:34); the duty that husbands are to provide money and housing for the divorced wives: "Allow them to reside where you reside, according to your means, and do not harass them in order to make things difficult for them. If they are pregnant, spend on them until they give birth. And if they nurse your infant, give them their payment…" (65:6); the duty that widows are to be provided for within wills of dead husbands: "Those of you who die and leave wives behind-a will shall provide their wives with support for a year, provided they do not leave. If they leave, you are not to blame for what they do with themselves, provided it is reasonable. God is Mighty and Wise." (2:240); and divorced wives have the same right: "And divorced women shall be provided for, equitably-a duty upon the righteous." (2:241) as well as waiting period for the divorced wives and widows: "Divorced women shall wait by themselves for three months…" (2:228); "As for those of your women who have reached menopause, if you have any doubts, their term shall be three months-and also for those who have not menstruated. As for those who are pregnant, their term shall be until they have delivered…" (65:4); "As for those among you who die and leave widows behind, their widows shall wait by themselves for four months and ten days. When they have reached their term, there is no blame on you regarding what they might honorably do with themselves …" (2:234).

3- Within how to dress and wear accessories:  "And tell the believing women to restrain their looks, and to guard their privates, and not display their beauty except what is apparent thereof, and to draw their coverings over their breasts, and not expose their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, their brothers' sons, their sisters' sons, their women, what their right hands possess, their male attendants who have no sexual desires, or children who are not yet aware of the nakedness of women. And they should not strike their feet to draw attention to their hidden beauty. And repent to God, all of you believers, so that you may succeed." (24:31).

 

 

CHAPTER IX: Piety Refutes the Falsehood of Performing Pilgrimage on Behalf of Others

 

 

Firstly: no one can perform Hajj instead of anyone else:

  Within God's Quranic sharia, nothing is mentioned about anyone being permitted to perform pilgrimage on behalf of anyone else; real believers must perform rituals themselves. This applies to all acts of worship as well, without exceptions. As for pilgrimage, it must be a personal, first-hand experience and it cannot be performed by someone else instead of the pilgrim. This experience is a must for those who can afford it in terms of money and health in order to purify the soul with piety; how come anyone would dare to suggest to hire someone to perform Hajj instead of a pilgrim?! Pilgrims must perform all rituals themselves within the three sanctuaries of time, place, and heart, within adherence to piety and attaining it within the maximum level, within spiritual atmosphere and certain psychological preparation before the journey itself to pass the experience successfully from beginning to end to please God and attain piety, not to fail and gain nothing at all. Hence no one is to perform Hajj on behalf of anyone else. Let us quote some lines of evidence below.   

1- "And announce the pilgrimage to humanity. They will come to you on foot, and on every lean beast of transport. They will come from every distant point. That they may witness the benefits for themselves…" (22:27-28). We notice here that the phrase ''they will come'' indicates the fact that pilgrims should come themselves, not sending others to perform pilgrimage on their behalf; they are to witness the rituals themselves.

2- Supposedly if the one who is performing Hajj instead of a pilgrim commits sins that violate the sanctuary (disobeying God, hunting, having sex with spouse, quarreling with people, etc.), then who would be to blame as sinner?! The deputy or the supposed 'pilgrim' who remains behind?! Who of them would atone for such sins by ransom to make amends?!

3- Who would be the one to attain the rewards of Hajj if performed nit e best possible manner?! The deputy or the supposed 'pilgrim' who remains behind?!

4- Intentions is of vital importance during pilgrimage; what if the supposed deputy goes hunting?! Let us read again the verse on that subject: " O you who believe! do not kill game while you are in pilgrim sanctity. Whoever of you kills any intentionally, its penalty shall be a domestic animal comparable to what he killed, as determined by honest persons among you-an offering delivered to the Kaaba. Or he may atone by feeding the needy, or its equivalent in fasting, so that he may taste the consequences of his conduct. God forgives what is past. But whoever repeats, God will take revenge on him. God is Almighty, Avenger." (5:95). Clearly, we discern that doing something intentionally to violate rules is linked to personal will of the individual who will bear responsibility for this before the Almighty Omniscient Lord in the Hereafter: "He knows the deceptions of the eyes, and what the hearts conceal." (40:19). Of course, God pardons mistakes unintentionally committed: "…There is no blame on you if you err therein, barring what your hearts premeditates…" (33:5). This is something special in the relation between God and His obedient servants, with no room for intercession or intervention of mediators. Hence, no one can perform acts of worship or atone for mistakes instead of anyone else at all. That is why those who intentionally errs during ihram will be punished by God: "As for those who disbelieve and repel from God's path and from the Sacred Mosque-which We have designated for all humankind equally, whether residing therein or passing through-and seek to commit sacrilege therein-We will make him taste of a painful punishment." (22:25), but what about the deputy of the supposed pilgrim?! Who would bear the blame in such cases?!

5- Someone might argue and pose this question: what about those who have money but cannot physically for health reasons travel to Mecca to perform rituals? Cannot they hire a deputy in that case? We say the answer is no; those who cannot perform Hajj or travel to Mecca for health reasons should not perform Hajj at all then. Those who can must be able to perform this religious duty in terms of both money and health. We discern this from the following verse: "…Pilgrimage to the House is a duty to God for all who can make the journey…" (3:97). As for those who cannot make the journey because of external reasons or conditions, legislations of being prevented apply here; they are not to come to Mecca because of such fear or terror, and God knows their state and conditions. 

6- Another Wahabi falsehood is to perform Hajj on behalf of a deceased person who never performed this duty. This is utter nonsense; a deceased person is no longer here in this life, and his/her deeds – good or bad – had come to an end forever in death; no one can add to the deceased person's works or deeds at all; and all human beings will be resurrected during the Last Day to see their deeds done during their lifetimes: "And that the human being attains only what he strives for. And that his efforts will be witnessed." (53:39-40). When dying, persons will see angels of death telling them their final destination either in Hell or in Paradise, as their fate is decreed as per their belief and deeds: "Those wronging their souls while the angels are taking them away-they will propose peace: "We did no wrong." Yes you did. God is aware of what you used to do." Enter the gates of Hell, to dwell therein forever. Miserable is the residence of the arrogant." (16:28-29). "Those who are in a wholesome state when the angels take them-will say, "Peace be upon you; enter Paradise, for what you used to do."" (16:32). "So when it has reached the throat, as you are looking on. We are nearer to it than you are, but you do not see. If you are not held to account, then bring it back, if you are truthful. But if he is one of those brought near, then happiness and flowers and Garden of Delights. And if is one of those on the Right, then peace to you from those on the Right. But if he is one of the misguided deniers, then a welcome of Inferno and burning in Hell. This is the certain Truth; so glorify the Name of your Lord, the Magnificent." (56:83-96). Hence, no one could remove anything or add to good deeds of dead persons, who will never gain benefit if living ones do anything on their behalf at all; dead persons do not own money given to inheritors. 

 

Secondly: in general, no one can perform acts of worship instead of anyone else:

  Islam is based on religious freedom and bearing responsibility of each individual soul, for its lifetime choices, during the Last Day before the Almighty. If souls are purified and pious, they will be rewarded in Paradise; otherwise, if souls have chosen sinning and disobedience of God, they will reside in Hell. No human soul will bear the burdens or sins or another soul. Hence, no one can perform any act of worship on behalf of others at all. Such Islamic/Quranic facts are ignored, ignored, and contradicted by those who adhere to the earthly, man-made, and fabricated religions of the Muhammadans, especially Sunnite Wahabism. Wahabism  contradicts Islam (i.e., the Quran alone) in particular; let us give below an overview of Quranic facts and tenets denied and rejected worldwide by Sufis, Shiites, and the terrorist Wahabis, especially the terrorist MB and Salafists. 

1- The Quran speaks clearly about absolute religious freedom to all human souls, along with bearing responsibility for one's choice in the Hereafter; see 18:29-31. Read 17:107 to know the Quranic stance of stressing the freedom of choice offered to all human beings to believe or to disbelieve in the Quran. Read 41:40 about the liberty of humans to attempt refuting or undermining Quranic verses and how God knows it and threatens to punish such distorters. Hence, no human being can punish another for abusing the Quran or distorting its meanings; this is God's business and not any mortals'. 

2- No soul will bear burdens or sins of any other soul; all of us will return to God when the Last Day comes: the Day of Judgment when our differences and disputes in religion will be settled by God; see 35:18, 6:194, 17:15, 39:7, and 53:38-42. 

3- Guidance or misguidance is an individual responsibility; each person is to think of his/her soul and future, and to choose certain stances toward life and religion, bearing the full personal responsibility as per choices done; see 17:15 and 45:15; there will be no injustices at all during the Resurrection Day; see 41:46. Each soul will be put into account for its deeds; this is true as much as the fact that God created the heavens and the earth; see 45:22. Shouldering such responsibility is fitted to one's ability and energy; see 2:286, as disbelievers will be punished in Hell whereas believers perform deeds  to pave their way toward Paradise; see 30:44, 31:12, and 27:40. Hence, the reward of Hajj is for those pious, righteous, God-fearing pilgrims who pave their way to Paradise; God is Independent of all human creatures; we need Him not He us; see 3:97.   

4- To pave one's way to the Eternal Hereafter in Paradise by doing good deeds and performing charity and acts of worship etc. is also an individual responsibility ; God created inside us evil and goodness to choose from; see 91:7-10. To succeed in this test of lifetime means to attain the highest degrees in Paradise; see 20:76. Paving one's way to Paradise is a personal choice based on how one can control oneself and one's will through achieving piety, seeking to please and gratify the Lord. We talk here about the superego or one's conscience inside each person that makes one avoid wickedness and sins; see 79:40-41. This is unlike the case with those who were enslaved to their caprices, lusts, whims, evil ways, … etc. see 79:37-39.  There are many ways and means to elevate one's soul and pave one's way to Paradise within piety and righteousness: God's remembrance; see 3:135 and 7:205, performing prayers; see 87:14-15, and paying zakat alms (charity or donation money); see 92:17-21. 

5- The real pious ones know quite well that God is Omnipresent, Omniscient, and Omnipotent; the Lord is Watchful over all people; see 50:45 and 13:33-42. Hence, real pious believers fear God in private and in public; see 67:12-14. The real pious ones are reforming themselves constantly and need reminders and preaching all the time; see 35:18 and 36:11. Hence, paving one's way to Paradise by doing good deeds is a special and private relation between believers and their Lord, who perform acts of worship and charity willingly in piety, without control of any social or political authority. In real Islam, there is no persons at all forming religious authority of any type; accordingly, there is no room for such notion as somebody be deputy to perform any acts of worship on behalf of someone else.

6- Mechanism of judging people upon the Day of Judgment denies the false notion of appointing someone as deputy to perform pilgrimage instead of anyone; all our deeds and words are derived from our souls and registered by angels in records; this is understood from this verse: "There is no soul without a checker over it" (86:4). Thus, our deeds will determine our fate in the Hereafter: "Every soul is hostage to what it has earned." (74:38). Within the Day of Judgment, no intercessions of mortals will be allowed at all: "The Day when no soul will avail another soul anything; and the decision on that Day is God's." (82:19); "And beware of a Day when no soul will avail another in the least, nor will any intercession be accepted on its behalf, nor will any ransom be taken from it, nor will they be helped." (2:48). Each soul will argue for itself: "On the Day when every soul will come pleading for itself, and every soul will be paid in full for what it has done, and they will not be wronged." (16:111). No soul (both obedient and disobedient ones) on that Last Day can talk unless with a permission of the Lord: "On the Day when it arrives, no soul will speak without His permission. Some will be miserable, and some will be happy." (11:105); "Lord of the heavens and the earth, and everything between them-The Most Merciful-none can argue with Him. On the Day when the Spirit and the angels stand in row. They will not speak, unless it be one permitted by the Most Merciful, and he will say what is right. That is the Day of Reality. So whoever wills, let him take a way back to his Lord. We have warned you of a near punishment-the Day when a person will observe what his hands have produced, and the faithless will say, "O, I wish I were dust."" (78:37-40). Each soul will find justice within the Last Day as per chosen beliefs and deeds done during the earthly lifetime within the physical body it has taken, and later forsaken by death, and that is why God warns us beforehand: "And every soul will be fully compensated for what it had done. He is well aware of what they do." (39:70). "That God may repay each soul according to what it has earned. God is Quick in reckoning." (14:51). "How about when We gather them for a Day in which there is no doubt, and each soul will be paid in full for what it has earned, and they will not be wronged?" (3:25). "And guard yourselves against a Day when you will be returned to God; then each soul will be rewarded fully for what it has earned, and they will not be wronged." (2:281).

   Accordingly, there is no room for injustices during the Last Day as far as weighing souls' deeds done during their lifetimes on earth: "We will set up the scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection, so that no soul will suffer the least injustice. And even if it be the weight of a mustard-seed, We will bring it up. Sufficient are We as Reckoners." (21:47). These accurate scales will decide the fate of sinners' souls in Hell for eternity: "But those whose scales are light-those are they who have lost their souls; in Hell they will dwell forever." (23:103). Winning and loss in this transient lifetime are changeable and temporary, and all end by one's death. Real, tangible loss is to lose one's soul in Hell for eternity: "…The losers are those who lose their souls and their people on the Day of Resurrection. That is indeed the obvious loss." (39:15); "…The losers are those who lost themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. Indeed, the evildoers are in a lasting torment." (42:45). Losers who will be Hell dwellers (because of disbelief and bad deeds) are of two types as per the degree of how they have committed injustices to their souls; the most losers are clergymen and their cronies and likes who use creeds for trade and getting ill-gained money, as they ascribe fabrications, lies, and falsehoods to God by their own forged and imposed legislations, sayings, rules, accounts, narratives, etc. while rejecting God's verses in the Quran, thus gain riches and worldly material possessions by distorting and manipulating religion: "Those are the ones who lost their souls, and what they had invented has strayed away from them. Without a doubt, in the Hereafter, they will be the biggest losers." (11:21-22). This is the fate allotted for the unrepentant ones among Wahabis, Salafists, and the terrorist MB members. The same fate will be shared by the unrepentant clergymen of all types; their real loss is to enter Hell without hope of ever getting out of it. Losers include those who committed injustice toward their souls by doing evil deeds. The exact opposite is the fate of those who adhere to piety and doing good deeds all their lifetime. The unjust ones will see that their injustice turned into torment in Hell for eternity: "On that Day, every soul will be recompensed for what it had earned. There will be no injustice on that Day. God is quick to settle accounts." (40:17); "On that Day, no soul will be wronged in the least, and you will be recompensed only for what you used to do." (36:54). This is further explained by the example of those stingy one who never spend for God's sake: "On the Day when they will be heated in the Fire of Hell, then their foreheads, and their sides, and their backs will be branded with them: "This is what you hoarded for yourselves; so taste what you used to hoard."" (9:35). "Those who withhold what God has given them of his bounty should not assume that is good for them. In fact, it is bad for them. They will be encircled by their hoardings on the Day of Resurrection…" (3:180). This applies to those stingy ones who never spend at all for charity and as per commands of God in the Quran; let alone those who loot and steal and rob possessions and money of others. What about corrupt rulers, presidents, and kings who confiscate to themselves resources of nations, while covering up their loot by raising religious banners? What about filthily rich royal family members of the KSA who impose heavy fees on pilgrims and controlling the Kaaba as if it were their private property?! This is indeed ill-gotten money, especially when pilgrims are mostly poor ones. The Saudi royal family is the axis of evil on our planet indeed. We warn such wretched royal family members against the real loss in the Hereafter in Hell as long as their evildoing goes on. In the Quranic Chapter 50, God tells us about stages of the soul in this world and the next and asserts the individual responsibility of every soul and how all deeds of all souls are registered and recorded: "We created the human being, and We know what his soul whispers to him. We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. As the two receivers receive, seated to the right and to the left. Not a word does he utter, but there is a watcher by him, ready." (50:16-18). Death is feared and its mention is avoided and forgotten by most people: "The daze of death has come in truth: "This is what you tried to evade."" (50:19). When all souls die and the universe is destroyed, the Last Day will come and all souls will be resurrected: "And the Trumpet is blown: "This is the Promised Day."" (50:20).  Those angels recording our deeds will be drivers and witnesses of souls: "And every soul will come forward, accompanied by a driver and a witness." (50:21). These angels are ethereal beings, never seen before by human beings in their lifetimes when humans were wearing the physical body; they will be seen in the Last Day, and that is why God tells us: ""You were in neglect of this, so We lifted your screen from you, and your vision today is keen."" (50:22). Losers who will enter into Hell will see the devils that succeeded in tempting them escorting the to Hell, and they will disown one another and quarrel with one another: "And His escort will say, "This is what I have ready with me." "Throw into Hell every stubborn disbeliever. Preventer of good, aggressor, doubter. Who fabricated another god with God; toss him into the intense agony." His escort will say, "Our Lord, I did not make him rebel, but he was far astray."" (50:23-27). God will respond to their quarreling by asserting this speech about divine justice: "He will say, "Do not feud in My presence-I had warned you in advance. The decree from Me will not be changed, and I am not unjust to the servants."" (50:28-29). Hell will be filled with the unjust, the sinners, and the evil ones who never repented before death, and there will be more room inside it: "On the Day when We will say to Hell, "Are you full?" And it will say, "Are there any more?"" (50:30). The real pious ones will enter Paradise: "And Paradise will be brought closer to the pious, not far away. "This is what you were promised-for every careful penitent. Who inwardly feared the Most Gracious, and came with a repentant heart. Enter it in peace. This is the Day of Eternity." Therein they will have whatever they desire-and We have even more." (50:31-35). This means that Paradise is the fate for eternity for all those who return to their Lord and repent and implore for God's pardon and live in piety. They will enter Paradise in peace for eternity, as during their lifetime on earth they were inclined to peace by all means and on all levels and submitted to the will of God and obeyed His commandments. The Quranic Chapter 50 ends by this verse addressed to Muhammad: "We are fully aware of what they say, and you are not a dictator over them. So remind by the Quran whoever fears My warning." (50:45). This means that Muhammad's only mission was confined to remind, warn, and convey God's message to people. As for being guided, this is an individual, personal responsibility as far as real Islam (Quranism) is concerned. The exact opposite is found in earthly, fabricated, man-made religions all over the globe; they are manipulated to gain money, possessions, and riches by selling indulgences and spreading falsities and fake narratives of intercessions and saints …etc. Hence, within such man-made forged creeds of the Muhammadans, acts of worship turn into trade and money-gaining source of business by hiring a deputy to perform pilgrimage instead of someone else. This turns acts of worship from means to attain piety to means to fall into sinning, especially by the false Wahabi Sunnite claim that people may lead a lifetime of grave sins and prohibited carnal lusts and pleasures and then perform Hajj to wipe out all sins since the day they were born! Shame on them! They will wish in Hell that they were never born!                              

 

Lastly:

   Those persons who perform pilgrimage without a real inner desire to attain real piety and win the favor of God will never gain rewards and benefits of pilgrimage; those who hire a deputy to perform pilgrimage on their behalf, or on behalf of a dead person, will gain nothing at all and will lose their money in vain. Those who perform pilgrimage while their hearts and minds are filled with polytheistic notions will never gain any rewards from their journey and their pilgrimage will be to no avail. Their pilgrimage will be in vain, and so are those who perform Hajj while they are addicted to sinning and disobeying God. The same goes for those who perform Hajj in Mecca while their hearts are clinging and longing to the devilish pagan mausoleum in Yathreb; they are indeed the real enemies of Prophet Muhammad.  

 

 

CHAPTER X: The Quranic Methodology in Pilgrimage Legislations

 

 

1- Pilgrimage is an act of worship directly and closely linked to the religion of Abraham; he was the one that God directed to the location of the Kaaba to establish and erect it and to purify the place from all idols and polytheistic signs previously surrounded the place during rituals: "We showed Abraham the location of the House: "Do not associate anything with Me; and purify My House for those who circle around, and those who stand to pray, and those who kneel and prostrate."" (22:26); "…We commissioned Abraham and Ishmael, "Sanctify My House for those who circle around it, and those who seclude themselves in it, and those who kneel and prostrate."" (2:125); "As Abraham raises the foundations of the House, together with Ishmael, "Our Lord, accept it from us, You are the Hearer, the Knower." (2:127). Abraham was the one to call people to perform pilgrimage within God's House, dedicating this act of worship to God alone: "And announce the pilgrimage to humanity. They will come to you on foot, and on every lean beast of transport. They will come from every distant point." (22:27). Abraham was the one to leave Ishmael, and later on Ishmael's progeny, in that location that was deserted, to fill it with people in later eras, with the big nation of Ishmaelite Arabs, thus answering part of the prayers of Abraham mentioned in the following verse: ""Our Lord, I have settled some of my offspring in a valley of no vegetation, by Your Sacred House, our Lord, so that they may perform the prayers. So make the hearts of some people incline towards them, and provide them with fruits, that they may be thankful."" (14:37).  

2- Part of the prayers of Abraham and Ishmael was that their progeny will have a prophet/messenger to complete their mission and call people to believe in the One True God: "Our Lord, and make us submissive to You, and from our descendants a community submissive to You. And show us our rituals, and accept our repentance. You are the Acceptor of Repentance, the Merciful. Our Lord, and raise up among them a messenger of themselves, who will recite to them Your revelations, and teach them the Book and wisdom, and purify them. You are the Almighty, the Wise."" (2:128-129). Of course, this is prophet or messenger was Muhammad, the descendant of Ishmael. At the time when Muhammad first received the divine revelation, Arabs for centuries and generations had distorted rituals of pilgrimage; the Quranic verses show the true rituals while ordering real believers to follow the true religion of Abraham. Thus, the Quran corrects and rectifies all such distortions of pilgrimage rituals. Hence, some of the inherited traditions of pilgrimage were correct and some were distorted.   

3- Thus, we are to understand that the Quranic sharia is not wholly new in everything, as far as Abraham's religion is concerned, as the Quran orders us to follow the religion of Abraham which essentially means utmost piety and dedicating one's acts of worship to God alone, including pilgrimage to the Kaaba; the Quran shows what is right and wrong in pilgrimage while asserting the element of piety that strongly contradicts habits of people of the pre-Islamic era as they had been manipulative of creeds to make money and focusing on ostentatious and hypocritical signs of religiosity. We give below some details on that topic.

 

Muhammad as a follower of the religion of Abraham:

  Unlike what has been spread about Muhammad by the clergymen and scholars of the earthly man-made religions of the Muhammadans (i.e., the Sunnites, Shiites, and Sufis), Muhammad has been ordered in the Quran to follow the religion of Abraham, the one that the Quran came to correct and restore its fundamentals and drive away distortions occurred to it. God has told Muhammad the following: "Say, "My Lord has guided me to a straight path, an upright religion, the creed of Abraham the Monotheist, who was not a polytheist." Say, "My prayer and my worship, and my life and my death, are devoted to God, the Lord of the Worlds. No associate has He. Thus I am commanded, and I am the first of those who submit. Say, "Am I to seek a Lord other than God, when He is the Lord of all things?"…" (6:161-164). God has praised Abraham in the Quranic text in a way that exceeds the praise given to any other figure in the Quran: "Abraham was an exemplary leader, devoted to God, a monotheist, and was not of the polytheists. Thankful for His blessings. He chose him, and guided him to a straight path. And We gave him goodness in this world, and in the Hereafter he will be among the righteous." (16:120-122). And in the very next verse, God has ordered Muhammad to follow the religion of Abraham: "Then We inspired you: "Follow the religion of Abraham, the Monotheist. He was not an polytheist."" (16:123). Hence, we discern now why the order of following the religion of Abraham is repeated in the Quranic text.

1- At the time when the Quran was revealed to Muhammad, some pilgrimage rituals of Arabs were correct and some were corrupted; the Quran endorses the correct ones and rectifies the corrupted ones within all verses tackling the topic of pilgrimage. Some new Quranic legislations are introduced as well; this refutes any distortions bound to occur in following eras after Muhammad's death. Hence, it is all about reflecting and contemplating deeply upon Quranic verses to know the truth about correct pilgrimage.      

2- The Qorayish tribesmen in Mecca cared for pilgrims and provided for them, but they had distorted some pilgrimage rituals, and the affluent ones among them who ruled and controlled everything at the time disbelieved in the Quran. God has told them the following: "Do you consider giving water to pilgrims and maintaining the Sacred Mosque the same as believing in God and the Last Day and striving in God's path? They are not equal in God's sight. God does not guide the unjust people." (9:19).

3- Hence, the Quran corrects all additions, distortions, and fabrications introduced to pilgrimage rituals by the fanatics and bigots of the Qorayish tribe, who made themselves as sources of religious legislation about pilgrimage as they are the ones controlling Kaaba and caring for pilgrims at the time. Their self-imposed mission included to teach pilgrims about fabricated rituals, including making the elite members of Qorayish in status of Ihram enter their houses from back doors instead of front gates, as if this were a sign of piety! God has told them: "…It is not virtuous that you approach homes from their backs, but virtue is to be pious. So approach homes from their doors, and observe God…" (2:189). Another fabricated addition by the Qorayish fanatic bigots was never to allow coming pilgrims to circumambulate the Kaaba in their clothes; rather, they had to buy expensive Ihram clothes from the Qorayish tradesmen or else circulate around the Kaaba in the nude! Another fabricated addition by the Qorayish fanatic bigots was never to allow coming pilgrims to eat any food they brought with them inside Mecca; rather, they had to buy expensive food items from the Qorayish tradesmen and never to dress neatly and properly during performance of rituals. God refutes such insolence in this verse: "O Children of Adam! Dress properly at every place of worship, and eat and drink, but do not be excessive. He does not love the excessive. Say, "Who forbade God's finery which He has produced for His servants, and the delights of livelihood?" …" (7:31-32). Another fabricated addition by the Qorayish fanatic bigots was not to stand at Arafat mount like the rest of non-Qorayish pilgrims, and God refutes this in this verse: "Then disperse from where the people disperse, and ask God for forgiveness…" (2:199). Satan had fooled the Qorayish tribesmen; as immorality and moral degeneration spread at the time of pilgrimage before the advent of Islam, when pilgrims circled the Kaaba in the nude. Thus, immoral sexual behavior increased at the time along with quarreling and debating hotly, and some even had sex with their spouses during Ihram. This is why God has told us this verse: "The Hajj is during specific months. Whoever decides to perform the Hajj-there shall be no sexual relations, nor misconduct, nor quarrelling during the Hajj. And whatever good you do, God knows it. And take provisions, but the best provision is righteousness. And be mindful of Me, O people of understanding." (2:197). And this is why God warns the wrongdoers during Hajj: "As for those who disbelieve and repel from God's path and from the Sacred Mosque…and seek to commit sacrilege therein, We will make him taste of a painful punishment." (22:25). Pilgrims before Islam committed other distortions of rituals such as going hunting during the status of Ihram and shaving their heads before ending Ihram; remedies for that are found in 2:196 and 5:94-95. In addition, in their gatherings during Hajj, they used to brag of their forefathers and lineage in councils to chant verses after performing rituals, and God has called them to remember Him more than their ancestors: "When you have completed your rituals, remember God as you remember your parents, or even more…" (2:200). They used to hold markets for trade in goods especially sacrificial animals, and Gad allows and permits this trade during pilgrimage in the following verses: "You commit no error by seeking bounty from your Lord…" (2:198); "That they may witness the benefits for themselves, and celebrate the name of God during the appointed days, for providing them with the animal livestock…" (22:28).       

4- We understand that the Quranic legislations regarding pilgrimage have been revealed to advise, correct, prohibit, rectify, and comment on certain items. For instance, we discern from this phrase "You commit no error by seeking bounty from your Lord…" (2:198) that there were debates and contentions about whether engaging in activities of trade during pilgrimage was right or wrong, and this verse shows it is OK. Other debates revolved around if pilgrims should move to and fro Safa and Marwa mounts many times after performing other rituals of pilgrimage, and the answer is found in the following verse: "Safa and Marwa are among the rituals of God. Whoever performs the Hajj or the Umrah to the House commits no error by circulating between them. Whoever volunteers good-God is Appreciative and Cognizant." (2:158). 

5- New circumstances and conditions took place that entailed new legislations to be introduced in the Quran in detail; a prominent example is when the Qorayish tribe prevented Muhammad and early believers coming from Yathreb to perform Hajj and the prevented them from entering Mecca in the first place, and the Quranic legislation concerning cases of such prevention has been revealed in the longest verse about pilgrimage: 2:196.  

6- Between correcting distortions and introducing new details of legislation, the Quran mentions briefly the correct rituals of pilgrimage known very well and performed by Arabs, such as: circumambulation around the Kaaba, standing at Arafat mount, sacrificial animals as offerings, and removing (partially or wholly) head hair. Mentioning these correct items are found in verses calling to purify rituals from all signs of polytheism and to increase God's remembrance; see 2:198-208 and 22:25-37. 

7- After Muhammad's death and the completion of the Quranic revelation, distortions of pilgrimage rituals have occurred yet again under the auspices and sponsorship of the Sunnite religion and its mortal deities. Such distortions are similar to the ones added and fabricated by the Qorayish tribesmen before the advent of Islam to the religion of Abraham and to pilgrimage. Among such distortions is the so-called two pieces of cloths for male pilgrims in the status of Ihram; such Sunnite laughter-inducing garment is akin to circumambulating the Kaaba naked within the pre-Islamic era. Hence, corrections introduced by the Quranic verses revealed to Muhammad can be used to correct and annul fabricated additions to pilgrimage rituals introduced in later eras after Muhammad's death, including the so-called ihram clothes imposed by Sunnites.  

8- Details of the Quranic verses contain refutations of all fabricated additions to pilgrimage rituals in the eras after Muhammad's death and the completion of the Quranic revelation: such as 1)paying visits to Yathreb as a part of pilgrimage rituals, 2) offering slaughtered animals and oblations to other locations apart from the Kaaba, God's Sacred House, and 3) the throwing of stones at a pillar symbolizing Satan.

 

 

CHAPTER XI: Real Pilgrimage Rituals in Islam

 

 

Firstly: Islamic pilgrimage journey and rituals within the Quranic context

Introduction:

  Within separate groups of verses in the Quranic text, we read how the Quranic context comes to correct and rectify rituals of pilgrimage inherited from the religion of Abraham, as they had been distorted. Within the margin of such reforms, God has shown to us in the Quran all rituals of pilgrimage. We show in this CHAPTER how the Quran tells us all about the journey and rituals of pilgrimage.

 

Before traveling to perform pilgrimage: the ability or physical and financial preparations of pilgrimage:

1- God says the following in the Quran: "…Pilgrimage to the House is a duty to God for all who can make the journey…" (3:97). This means that only those who can afford the journey to the Kaaba should perform pilgrimage. Being able to afford the journey covers the measures and steps from one's house in which one lives to God's House. It also means that one can undertake this journey health-wise and money-wise. The boundaries of ability in Islam is limited to what is within one's capacity and capability: "…No soul shall be burdened beyond its capacity…" (2:233); "God does not burden any soul beyond its capacity…" (2:286);  "…God never burdens a soul beyond what He has given it…" (65:7);  "…We do not burden any soul beyond its capacity…" (6:152);  "…We never burden any soul beyond its capacity…" (7:42);  "We never burden any soul beyond its capacity…" (23:62). Hence, Islamic sharia laws in the Quran are based on facilitation and easiness: "…God desires ease for you, and does not desire hardship for you…" (2:185); "God intends to lighten your burden…" (4:28); "…God does not intend to burden you…" (5:6); "And strive for God…He has chosen you and has not burdened you in religion-the faith of your father Abraham…" (22:78). Of course, piety comes before and after this legislation; this means that the pious ones can decide their capabilities health-wise and money-wise to determine to perform the journey and rituals of pilgrimage or not, bearing in mind that God is Omniscient: "He knows the deceptions of the eyes, and what the hearts conceal." (40:19).     

2- Money affordability does NOT include to perform pilgrimage and undertake the journey using someone else's money, by borrowing money and running debts, or by donations or alms money. It is better to pay up one's debts, in case of being indebted to anyone. It is better to spend money on one's familial obligations instead of performing Hajj. A mother or a father are not to perform Hajj at the expense of their offspring; sons and daughters are not to hire someone to help an aging mother or father during pilgrimage journey, as the lack of physical ability means not to perform Hajj in the first place.   

3- It is never acceptable to God to cover expenses of Hajj using ill-gotten money or using sums of money that never part of them were paid as zakat, alms, and charity donations. One must pay zakat first for the poor, the impoverished, orphans, impecunious relatives, etc. and then perform Hajj with the rest of the money.

 

Being prevented from undertaking the journey for external reasons:

  We mean by this when one is prevented from performing pilgrimage or making the journey to Mecca for reasons part from financial and physical capacity. There are two types of external reasons.

1- Being prevented from reaching the Kaaba during one's route to it: this case means when one is able an can afford the journey with the intention to perform pilgrimage, but a sudden event would prevent you such as raids on caravans, ailment or illness, wars launched, political decision taken that stopped one's journey from ever reaching Mecca, etc. In such cases and similar ones, the Quranic legislation concerning being prevented was revealed, after the Qorayish tribe prevented Muhammad and the early believers from reaching the Kaaba: "It is they who disbelieved, and barred you from the Sacred Mosque, and prevented the offering from reaching its destination…" (48:25). God says the following about the legislation concerning being prevented: "And carry out the Hajj and the Umrah for God. But if you are prevented, then whatever is feasible of offerings. And do not shave your heads until the offering has reached its destination. Whoever of you is sick, or has an injury of the head, then redemption of fasting, or charity, or worship…" (2:196). We discern here that the rituals can be carried out when one has reached the Kaaba safely, but if one is prevented from reaching Mecca or the Sacred Kaaba Mosque itself, the sacrificial animals must be sent to the Kaaba. This new legislation, not known before the Quranic revelation, can be applied in all eras for all conditions: if pilgrims are prevented because of war, illness, disease, etc. and they are not to shave their heads (i.e., partially or wholly) until making sure that the sacrificial animals have reached the Kaaba. If shaved before that, then redemption of fasting, charity, or worship is due. If the sacrificial animals reached the Kaaba, prevented pilgrims have done their religious duty. In some cases, sending the sacrificial animals to the Kaaba is not possible, and pilgrims in such state should slaughter the animals among other prevented pilgrims, while sending the slaughtered animals to the poor. Surely, as we have explained before, no one is to perform pilgrimage on behalf on anyone else.       

2- Being prevented from reaching the Kaaba before making the journey in the first place: this is when a decision is taken by the unjust to prevent a certain group of people from entering Mecca. For instance, the KSA authorities prevents Ahmadiyya denomination from entering Mecca, because the Saudi authorities deem them as 'non-Muslims'. Another prominent example are most Quranists known through the internet; they cannot possibly travel to the KSA for fear of getting killed, because the Saudi authorities deem them as 'apostates'. In such cases, people are not to perform Hajj, even if they can afford it money-wise and health-wise. Yet, they can stay home and send sacrificial animals to Mecca and not to shave until they make sure that the sacrificial animals reached there, if they want to feel piety inside their hearts. This is NOT pilgrimage of course. Of course, one can send such animals to areas suffering famine instead of Mecca, where affluence cause slaughtered animals to be thrown away sometimes, as we are told, while one is feeling piety one's heart during the sacred lunar months, bearing in mind that piety is the supreme goal of Hajj.

 

Preparing one's heart to pilgrimage before Ihram:

  Before entering into the temporal and locational sanctuaries, pilgrims have to purify hearts and body to prepare one's experiencing the status of Ihram; thus, the third sanctuary, the human beings, is prepared to complete Ihram, with true devoted intentions to seize the occasion of Hajj to achieve piety, repentance, moral elevation, and to purify one's faith. Of course, one may perform Umrah before or after Hajj in order to combine Umrah and Hajj in one journey.

 

Between Umrah and Hajj:

  The Quran indicates clearly that Umrah can be performed any time all year long, during the four sacred months or the other lunar months as well as long as one is not prevented by external factors: "And carry out the Hajj and the Umrah for God. But if you are prevented, then whatever is feasible of offerings…" (2:196). The very next verse refers to the fact that Hajj is during the specific sacred months: "The Hajj is during specific months…" (2:197). The Quran did not name such months because they were known very well to all Arabs in Arabia, and they knew the fact that Umrah can be performed anytime all year round as well. The new legislation in the Quran here entails that one who performs both Umrah and Hajj to offer sacrificial animals.

 

Financial preparations to Hajj by bringing sacrificial animals:

  Preparation for the Hajj journey including bringing sacrificial animals or money to buy and slaughter them to feed pilgrims and/or the poor, as referred to in this verse: "It is they who disbelieved, and barred you from the Sacred Mosque, and prevented the offering from reaching its destination…" (48:25). Thus, the early believers who were prevented by Qorayish from entering Mecca brought sacrificial animals with them as part of the rituals, and these animals were usually beautified by garlands to distinguish them from the rest of animals to ensure their being spared from being slaughtered until pilgrims reach the Kaaba. Of course, God prohibits attacking caravans of pilgrims and all its possessions, and we discern from this verse that some Arabs at the time used to bring the sacrificial animals with them within their journey toward Mecca: "O you who believe! Do not violate God's sacraments, nor the Sacred Month, nor the offerings, nor the garlanded, nor those heading for the Sacred House seeking blessings from their Lord and approval…" (5:2). Thus, those caravans were sanctuary as they were heading the temporal and locational sanctuaries. The number and quality of the sacrificial animals is left to each pilgrim to decided, based on piety and financial status, as we understand from this verse: "… When you are secure: whoever continues the Umrah until the Hajj, then whatever is feasible of offering…" (2:196).

 

Physical preparation before Hajj by shaving one's hair partially or wholly before entering into the status of Ihram:

   Shaving one's hair shortly before Ihram is an assertion of peace, safety, and security, as we discern from this verse: "…You will enter the Sacred Mosque, God willing, in security, heads shaven, or hair cut short, not fearing…" (48:27). Hence, the early believers shaved before entering Mecca, or before they were prevented from entering it, so as to avoid shaving inside Mecca in status of Ihram, a mistake that entails atonement (by fasting, more worship acts, giving money to the poor, or sacrificing an animal, etc.). hence, shaving one's head before Ihram is for men and women, either partially or wholly, and we tend to think that the term ''partially'' is easiness and facilitation for the sake of female pilgrims.

 

Entering into the status of Ihram:

1- Once entering the Sacred Kaaba Mosque, Ihram status of pilgrims begins in terms of hearts, bodies, and manners. There is a vast difference here between this Quranic sharia of Islam that entails faithfulness of the heart and the superficial Sunnite religion sharia focusing on the overt and the ostentatious. Real Islam entails Ihram that includes piety in the heart reflected in high morals and elevated levels of manners during faithful devotion of performance of pilgrimage rituals, dedicated to God alone. God's remembrance should increase during Hajj, while one experiencing peace, security, safety, mercy, and charity and purifying one's heart and mind from evil tendencies, envy, and grudges against people when dealing with others daily. As for the Sunnite religion, Ihram is merely two pieces of white cloth worn over naked male bodies exposing their genitals during prayers and exposing their flesh to the female attentive eyes while hindering their movement during rituals.        

2- Ihram is a chance for us to discard bad habits prohibited by God in the following verses: "O you who believe! No people shall ridicule other people, for they may be better than they. Nor shall any women ridicule other women, for they may be better than they. Nor shall you slander one another, nor shall you insult one another with names. Evil is the return to wickedness after having attained faith. Whoever does not repent-these are the wrongdoers. O you who believe! Avoid most suspicion-some suspicion is sinful. And do not spy on one another, nor backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would detest it. So remain mindful of God. God is Most Relenting, Most Merciful." (49:11-12). Hence, pilgrimage is a chance to repent from such sins mentioned in the previous two verses.

3- Within such spiritual atmosphere, pilgrims can peacefully get to know one another: "O people! We created you from a male and a female, and made you races and tribes, that you may know one another. The best among you in the sight of God is the most righteous. God is All-Knowing, Well-Experienced." (49:13). Ihram is a chance to know one another as brethren in humanity, regardless of our colors, races, cultures, nationalities, and social and financial levels. All such people come to the center of the globe, Mecca, at God's House, the locational sanctuary of the Kaaba, within the temporal sanctuary of the sacred months to explore feelings of human brotherhood and equality, while being assured that no one is better than the other before the sight of our Lord except by the degree of piety, decided only by God Who will be our Sole Judge in the Hereafter. As for this life, let all human beings live in peace within equality; this is Islam in terms of behavior and demeanor. Thus, God's House is the place of security and safety for all people regardless of their faiths and beliefs, for all those who side with peace, security, and safety.      

4- Applying Ihram status is manifested clearly in stressing the avoidance of all sins, the intentions to do evil things, hunting, killing any living organisms or creatures, quarrelling and debating, and sex with one's spouse during Ihram status. Thus, even some permitted items in ordinary life are prohibited strictly during Ihram: "The Hajj is during specific months. Whoever decides to perform the Hajj-there shall be no sexual relations, nor misconduct, nor quarrelling during the Hajj…" (2:197). "As for those who disbelieve and repel from God's path and from the Sacred Mosque…and seek to commit sacrilege therein-We will make him taste of a painful punishment." (22:25).  "O you who believe! do not kill game while you are in pilgrim sanctity. Whoever of you kills any intentionally, its penalty shall be a domestic animal comparable to what he killed, as determined by honest persons among you-an offering delivered to the Kaaba. Or he may atone by feeding the needy, or its equivalent in fasting, so that he may taste the consequences of his conduct.…" (5:95). "…And do not shave your heads until the offering has reached its destination. Whoever of you is sick, or has an injury of the head, then redemption of fasting, or charity, or worship…" (2:196). Having sex with one's wife is not allowed during her period (i.e., menstruation), during days of fasting Ramadan from sunrise to sunset, and during Ihram. Immoral behavior and sinning are not allowed anytime, while debating which is allowed in a gentle manner in ordinary times is strictly prohibited during Ihram. God will punish those who merely intends committing any sacrilege and sins, and this means those who actually commit them intentionally will be tormented by God. Even 5:95 tell us about those who must atone for the sin of killing and hunting animals, as God warns those who seek to hunt during Ihram in this verse: "O you who believe! God will test you with something of the game your hands and spears obtain, that God may know who fears Him at heart. Whoever commits aggression after that will have a painful punishment." (5:94). After specifying means of atonement, God says to those who seek hunting during Ihram: "…God forgives what is past. But whoever repeats, God will take revenge on him. God is Almighty, Avenger." (5:95).                     

 

Penalties for those who violate the status of Ihram:

1- As per the Quranic sharia, means of atonement are specified in two cases; those who hunt and kill animals and those who had to shave before ending Ihram because of any ailment. But other prohibitions during Ihram status (having sex with spouse, immorality, sinning, disobedience of God, causing harm to anyone, omitting violence, committing sacrilege etc.) have no atonements, and God will punish the sinners for it.  

2- Estimating means of atonement for hunting during Ihram: it is mentioned in the  Quran that those who renege on their oaths and swear in the name of the Lord but eat their words must either feed 10 poor people or fast for three consecutive days: "…The atonement for it is by feeding ten needy people from the average of what you feed your families, or by clothing them, or by freeing a slave. Anyone who lacks the means shall fast for three days. That is the atonement for breaking your oaths when you have sworn them…" (5:89). Therefore, we can use this measure to judge and estimate the atonement of hunting during Ihram: "O you who believe! do not kill game while you are in pilgrim sanctity. Whoever of you kills any intentionally, its penalty shall be a domestic animal comparable to what he killed, as determined by honest persons among you-an offering delivered to the Kaaba. Or he may atone by feeding the needy, or its equivalent in fasting, so that he may taste the consequences of his conduct…" (5:95). This means that atonement is a sacrificial animal proportional to the animal hunted and killed, or feeding the poor, and in case of lack of necessary money for this or that, days of fasting is required, bearing in mind prices of items (food and animals and daily cost of feeding one poor person) to determine the duration of such fasting or the price of animal(s) to be slaughtered as offering or the money to feed the poor as per the enormity of the hunted animal during Ihram. Of course, the pilgrims here must repent and feel remorse and desire in piety to expatiate and atone for his/her sin sincerely; trying to evade such atonement will be severely punished by God. Hence hunting intentionally during Ihram is a sin that requires conscience of pilgrims and high degree of piety to atone for such transgression in a way acceptable to God. This is why God stresses such restrictions during Ihram; this is a time and place to learn piety and discarding one's desires and lusts to attain piety and apply patience and reverence in the fear of God during Ihram. Once rituals are over and Hajj is performed, one may hunt if they wish: "…When you have left the pilgrim sanctity, you may hunt…" (5:2), and all permitted things made temporarily illegal and impermissible during Ihram can be performed as well, such as having sex with spouse, shaving, and hunting.  

3- The ways to atone for shaving one's head before ending Ihram and pilgrimage rituals are specified also in the Quran as either fasting, money donations (alms), sacrificing more animals, feeding the needy, or additional rituals, leaving the choice to pilgrims as per their piety level and their financial status. Let us also remember that sacrificing animals during Ihram or in cases of being prevented to enter Mecca and God's House (see 2:196), God leaves the choice of animals to pilgrims by not mentioning specific animals: sheep, goats, cows, camels, etc.   

 

Rituals of Hajj during Ihram:

1- Remembering God: pilgrims' hearts, souls, and minds must be filled with God's remembrance in the whole duration of performing rituals, while never mentioning or remembering any human beings, even fathers, forefathers, relatives, lineages, etc. In a previous CHAPTER in this book, we have asserted the link between God' remembrance and pilgrimage, and we stress here on two points. 1) God's remembrance is performed everywhere all the time during the Hajj rituals and by means of prayers, as per the following verse: "…Use the station of Abraham as a place of prayer, and We commissioned Abraham and Ishmael, "Sanctify My House for those who circle around it, and those who seclude themselves in it, and those who kneel and prostrate."" (2:125); "…and purify My House for those who circle around, and those who stand to pray, and those who kneel and prostrate." (22:26). 2) All pilgrims must adhere to Quranic commands concerning performing prayers, supplication, and glorifying God in piety, fear, imploring tone, and low voices: "Call upon your Lord humbly and privately. He does not love the aggressors." (7:55); "…and pray to Him with fear and hope…" (7:56); "And remember your Lord within yourself, humbly and fearfully, and quietly, in the morning and the evening…" (7:205). Hence, raising one's voice and chanting ''God is the Greatest'' and other similar phrases is not acceptable at all; one is to glorify God in low voices in fear and piety, as higher voices in such cases is deemed by God as transgression as per 7:55.       

2- Circumambulation around the Kaaba is the very first and most prominent ritual of pilgrimage, and after it, pilgrims are to pray and stay there to perform acts of worship for hours, as per Abraham's religion: "And We made the House a focal point for the people, and a sanctuary. Use the station of Abraham as a place of prayer. And We commissioned Abraham and Ishmael, "Sanctify My House for those who circle around it, and those who seclude themselves in it, and those who kneel and prostrate."" (2:125); "We showed Abraham the location of the House: "Do not associate anything with Me; and purify My House for those who circle around, and those who stand to pray, and those who kneel and prostrate."" (22:26). After rituals, pilgrims circumambulate the Kaaba as a farewell gesture: "Then let them perform their acts of cleansing, and fulfill their vows, and circulate around the Ancient House." (22:29). Hence, upon entering the Sacred Kaaba Mosque, circumambulation is obligatory for one time; yet, one can do it as many times as pilgrims can during days of Hajj, and this includes one last time before leaving Mecca and before ending Ihram status and rituals. Of course, God does not specify in the Quran how to pray, kneel, prostrate, and remember the name of God during rituals and Ihram or even specify the number, name, and quality of sacrificial animals; as Hajj is a chance to purify the heart and soul to attain piety as much as one can by doing as many good deeds as possible. This is important: pilgrims are not to touch, kiss, sanctify, or revere the so-called black stone; this is not part of rituals and this is not an Islamic behavior. This stone is put there merely for designating the start-point and end-point of circumambulation, as we have detailed in an article of ours. Another prohibited thing is to touch the Kaaba itself; circumambulation consists merely of seven rounds without touching the Kaaba at all; so as not to turn it into a pagan idol and not to engage oneself within worship of stones. So, the Kaaba is just a cube-shaped stone building that shows the center of the globe, whose four walls are built that way to make us circumambulate seven times around it to obey God's command. Such circumambulation is directly linked to hearts filled with obedience of God, not hearts filled with worshipping stones and buildings. Humans are to obey God as did angels when asked to kneel to Adam once created, without protest or questioning, except Iblis (i.e., Satan) who disobeyed and God turned him from being an angel into a Devil/Jinn.          

3- Another ritual mentioned in the Quran about Hajj is to stand within or around Arafat mount while remembering and mentioning God's name, as per this verse: "…When you disperse from Arafat, remember God at the Sacred Landmark. And remember Him as He has guided you. Although, before that, you were of those astray." (2:198).

4- Sacrificial animals: we have mentioned above the those prevented from reaching Mecca should send the sacrificial animals to Mecca "…But if you are prevented, then whatever is feasible of offerings…" (2:196), and such offering is imposed on those who perform Umrah and Hajj successively: "…When you are secure: whoever continues the Umrah until the Hajj, then whatever is feasible of offering. But if he lacks the means, then fasting for three days during the Hajj and seven when you have returned, making ten in all. This is for he whose household is not present at the Sacred Mosque…" (2:196). Offering sacrificial animals is obligatory as atonement for hunting while being within Ihram status: "O you who believe! do not kill game while you are in pilgrim sanctity. Whoever of you kills any intentionally, its penalty shall be a domestic animal comparable to what he killed, as determined by honest persons among you-an offering delivered to the Kaaba…" (5:95). Otherwise, the sacrificial animals are offered voluntary by pilgrims before ending the status of Ihram. Usually, these animals to be slaughtered there are garlanded and no one is to harm them by any means on their way to the Kaaba, as they are to feel safe just like pilgrims: "O you who believe! Do not violate God's sacraments, nor the Sacred Month, nor the offerings, nor the garlanded, nor those heading for the Sacred House seeking blessings from their Lord and approval. When you have left the pilgrim sanctity, you may hunt…" (5:2); "God has appointed the Kaaba, the Sacred House, a sanctuary for the people, and the Sacred Month, and the offerings, and the garlanded…" (5:97). Buying and selling stock animals are beneficial for people throughout the pilgrimage season of four sacred months; this is why God mentions these animals as linked to benefits and that God's name is to be mentioned before slaughtering them; the meat of these sacrificial animals should be distributed to the poor who ask for it and those shy to ask for it: "That they may witness the benefits for themselves, and celebrate the name of God during the appointed days, for providing them with the animal livestock. So eat from it, and feed the unfortunate poor." (22:28). God makes these sacrificial animals linked to rituals ordained by God and sacraments of the sacred months of Hajj: "All that. Whoever venerates the sanctities of God-it is good for him with his Lord. All livestock are permitted to you, except what is recited to you…" (22:30); "…Whoever venerates the sacraments of God-it is from the piety of the hearts. In them are benefits for you until a certain time. Then their place is by the Ancient House. We have appointed a rite for every nation, that they may commemorate God's name over the livestock He has provided for them…" (22:32-34); "We have made the animal offerings emblems of God for you. In them is goodness for you. So pronounce God's name upon them as they line up. Then, when they have fallen on their sides, eat of them and feed the contented and the beggar. Thus We have subjected them to you, that you may be thankful." (22:36). Thus, Hajj sacrificial animals during Ihram symbolize direct and absolute obedience of God without questioning divine commands; as these animals are garlanded to be offered reverently to God, seeking to gratify and please God, while restricting hunting and imposing atonement for those who violate this order. Thus, obedience of God is in both slaughtering the sacrificial animals and avoiding hunting. Hence, pilgrims obey God in the way angels obeyed God when asked to kneel before Adam once created, while Iblis (i.e., Satan) disobeyed and became a cursed devil and no longer an angel. Hence, offering sacrificial animals is linked to supreme piety and obedience of God. It is linked to pilgrims as God's guests; God has made Zamzam water well that never ends to water the thirst of pilgrims, while they can eat from the meat of the sacrificial animals to feed one another, both who are poor and those who are not. All guests of God at the Kaaba can eat from it along with the poor elsewhere, as per this verse: "We have made the animal offerings emblems of God for you. In them is goodness for you. So pronounce God's name upon them as they line up. Then, when they have fallen on their sides, eat of them and feed the contented and the beggar. Thus We have subjected them to you, that you may be thankful." (22:36).  God tells us that piety is of paramount importance as far as sacrificial animals are concerned: "Neither their flesh, nor their blood, ever reaches God. What reaches Him is the righteousness from you. Thus He subdued them to you, that you may glorify God for guiding you. And give good news to the charitable." (22:37). This is the only Quranic verse in which God says that something is reaching Him from human beings, though He is Independent of the worlds: "…Pilgrimage to the House is a duty to God for all who can make the journey. But as for those who refuse-God is Independent of the worlds." (3:97). If He so wills, God would have sent to pilgrims quail and manna like the Israelites in Sinai, but He wills to test His servants the pilgrims at His House to feed one another in the way as God has provided never-ending water. Offering sacrificial animals is part of Hajj rituals directly linked to piety, and pilgrims are honored enough in 22:37 and they must reverently offer the sacrificial animals in piety and in the fear of God.                        

5- Hajj ends in standing within Arafat mount and offering sacrificial animals, and the last voluntary act of worship is to circulate between Safa and Marwa mounts (after performing rituals of Hajj or Umrah), as we understand from this verse: "Safa and Marwa are among the rituals of God. Whoever performs the Hajj or the Umrah to the House commits no error by circulating between them. Whoever volunteers good-God is Appreciative and Cognizant." (2:158). This shows that the ritual of Safa and Marwa comes after finishing the rest of rituals of Hajj or Umrah, and this means that this ritual of Safa and Marwa is voluntary and not obligatory. The last obligatory ritual is to circumambulate the Kaaba for the last time as a gesture of farewell before going home.

 

Lastly: items that should never be part of Hajj rituals:

 We mean here to state rituals being done nowadays but must be avoided because they are never mentioned in the Quran: such as pre-Islamic habit of staying over at a location called ''Mena'' before standing at Arafat mount. Another unneeded addition is to stay over at a location called ''Muzdalifa'' after leaving Arafat mount, and combining such fabricated rituals with combining two obligatory prayers at the same time needlessly. Of course, such fabrications are brought about because of the original sin of confining the pilgrimage season to one week (the very first one of Zu Al-Hijja) while ignoring the rest of the four sacred months. Another added fabricated ritual is the so-called stoning of Satan; a gross deception and a pagan/heathen falsehood. In PART II of this book, we will discuss in detail all such fabrications added by the deities of the Sunnite religion.     

Pilgrimage between Islam and the Muhammadans
Authored by: Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour
Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

ABOUT THIS BOOK:
This book covers how to perform pilgrimage (Hajj) in Islam, as per the Quran, and how the Qorayish tribe in Mecca and the Muhammadans, past and present, have distorted the pilgrimage rituals in the Sacred Kaaba Mosque. This book comprises three parts that include 34 chapters.

more




مقالات من الارشيف
more