It's been awhile hasn't it? October came & ended in a blink of an eye. And now November has graced us with it's presence and Alhamdulillah, if you're reading this - it means Allah loves you & you're given the opportunity to still live in this wonderful creation of his, that is the dunya... :)
I hope all of you are well. Alhamdulillah for me, October was a month of celebrations. There are a lot of things that I'd like to share with you, but I guess it is suffice to say that I've been utterly blessed to be given the opportunity to experience a lot of wonderful 'happenings' last month.. :)
Having said that, us Muslims would celebrate Eid ul-Adha on Sunday, November 6th 2011 (Malaysia). Talking about it bring back lots of fond memories of my late grandparents and I when we went to perform our umrah about a decade ago! It was so surreal, and I know I am blessed because I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the holy land and perform my prayers directly in front of the Ka'aba...SubhanAllah...
And I remember repeating the phrase below over & over again while performing my tawaf around the Ka'aba;
It was a beautiful and memorable experience that I will personally treasure for the rest of my life; and given the opportunity, I would love to go to Mecca & Medina again. People from all over the world, young and old, regardless of their gender, race and color are united as one in the holy place of Mecca. There, you are at peace. Your sole purpose of being there amongst others is to pray to HIM, to seek HIM, to purify yourself of all of your past sins and to seek for HIS forgiveness.
As we are in the month of Dhul-Hijjah, and it is the month where Muslims all around the world would gather in Mecca to perform their Hajj, I found an interesting article on TUMBLR which I'd like to share with all of you. Below is the article that could provide us, me included a little bit more info about Hajj and it's importance.
Each year in the 12th month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims around the world begin observing activities associated with the annual Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. Hajj is one of the “five pillars” of the Islamic faith. Hajj activities take place during six days (8th-13th) of the Islamic lunar month of Dhul-Hijjah. Pilgrimage is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for those Muslims who have the physical and financial ability to undertake the journey. It is also a form of worship that involves the entire being: body, mind and soul.
What does the Qur’an say about Hajj?
In the Qur’an, God says: “Thus We settled Abraham at the site of the House (the Ka’aba) [saying]: ‘Do not associate anything with Me, and purify My house for those who walk around it, and those who stand there (praying), and those who bow down on their knees in worship. Proclaim the pilgrimage among mankind: they will come to you on foot and on every lean (beast of burden); Let them come from every deep ravine, to bear witness to the advantages they have, and to mention God’s name on appointed days…” Chapter 22, verses 26-28
What do Muslims believe they gain from Hajj?
The main benefit of Hajj for many people is the sense of purification, repentance and spiritual renewal it instills. The rituals of the Hajj entail great wisdom and excellent lessons, the most important of which is a manifestation of humility to God The Almighty. This is because the pilgrim leaves a life of luxury and adornment to wear the clothes of Ihraam (two pieces of unsewn white cloth), declaring his dire need for his Lord. In this journey, he frees himself from the worldly life and its occupations that divert him from God The Almighty and to receive forgiveness and mercy from his Lord.
In Hajj, all differences and distinctions vanish i.e. the differences of wealth and poverty, race and color, and the differences of tongues and languages. The gathering unifies all humans, making it full of goodness, blessings, mutual consultation, advice and cooperation in righteousness and support. During the Hajj, people cooperate in righteousness and piety, advise each other to adhere to the truth and patience and take care of the interests of the Ummah. The sublime aim behind such a great conference and gathering is to link worldly goals to heavenly ones. Hajj leads to precious memories which instill in souls the spirit of endless and complete servitude and submission to the commands of God The Almighty.
Why does Hajj begin on a different day each year?
Because Dhul-Hijjah is a lunar month, it begins about eleven days earlier each year.
Why do Muslims sacrifice a lamb or other animal during the festival of Eid ul-Adha?
The sacrifice commemorates the Prophet Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son, identified in Islam as Ishmael, at God’s request. This is not a blood offering. In the Quran God states: “Neither their meat nor their blood ever reaches God, but heedfulness on your part does reach Him.” (Chapter 22, verse 37) The meat is distributed to relatives and to the needy.
Is Hajj an obligation on all Muslims?
Yes, but only for those who are physically and financially able to make the trip.
What are the most visually striking aspects of Hajj?
All pilgrims must do tawaf, or circling the Ka’aba. This obligation creates a stunning scene as thousands of people circle the building at all times of the day and night. Also, the standing at Arafah on the 9th day of the Islamic month of Dhul-Hijjah presents a scene in which several million people all dressed alike and with the same intention to worship God, gather on a barren plain.
Before I end this entry of mine, I'd like to send my best wishes to all the Muslims who would be celebrating Eid ul-Adha. May this celebration bring us joy, happiness, peace, love and most of all harmony & unity amongst ourselves. May Allah bless all of you and your loved ones, insyaAllah. Love more and hate less, please. :)
p.s. Below is the video that I'm currently listening to; makes me feel as if I'm in Mecca doing my tawaf around the Ka'aba....