Hajj: A virtual travel in history!
Prof. Dr. Anwar Ul Haque
The world witnesses every year an ocean of people walking into virtual history. Right now over 20 million people are walking on the footsteps of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his family in the ancient city of Makkah (Mecca). The Makkah is rightly called Ummul Qurah or the mother of all cities as there is no parallel city in the world where such a grand activity had been regularly taking place since its inception 5000 years back. Makkah is the center and the heart of the earth. It is the city of Peace. Will you like a ride with us this trip through time Zone of 5000 years back. We can assure that you will find this trip most amazing and uplifting. The phenomenon is that of star war type as it is real rather than fictional and it connects our present with the past. It is not a mere visit; it has the potential to make you higher and mightier than Himalaya. So please fasten your seat belt and come along us. Birth of the City under the heel of an infant!Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) is the hub of three monolithic religions i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam. For Muslims there is no difference between all three as they consider all of the three Islam, two albeit distorted due to the dust and rust of the time. The God (In Arabic; Allah) had ordered Ibrahim (PBUH) to leave his first son Ismaeel (Ishmael) and 2nd wife Hajira (Hagar) in a desert place with no water and no shade. With no water the death was certain in a few days time for both mother and wife. For Ibrahim (PBUH) it would have been a great pain. But for Ibrahim (PBUH), every thing belonged to Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of every thing so if He asked to do some thing which even apparently meant taking back his beloved wife and the most precious child and the only child at that time, the orders had to be carried out. The faithful wife didn't quarrel with Ibrahim (PBUH). She simply asked is this act of leaving them in a hot desert is on the order of Allah and when Ibrahim replied yes, she didn't ask any further question. She submitted also to the will of Allah gladly and patiently. Ibrahim (PBUH) left them and went back. After a little time, the water which was brought by Hajirah finished and infant Ismaeel started crying due to thirst. His cries made mother restless. In order to save his life, Hajirah desperately ran between the hills of Safa and Marwah to see any trace of water anywhere. She would climb to the hill and look desperately and after not finding any water she would run to the other hill, climb and look for water! She did this 7 times. Some times she walked slowly between the hills praying to the God All Mighty to bring water to her. Sometimes she almost ran in hurry in a hope to find water from the heights of the hills. After 7th trips between the hills she went to see her baby if he is alright. To her utter astonishment and surprise a fountain gushed from under the heels of baby Ismaeel. She thought this water may stop soon so she put stones around it in order to store the water. She immediately gave water to her child and thanked Allah for this great miracle. However the water did not stop and keep flowing in great amount. She made the water fountain her home. Seeing the water from the skies, the birds started arriving and sipping the water. A caravan was passing from some distance to the place. The people saw birds on the sky. The wise among them thought of presence of water here. They came and saw a noble lady sitting with her son. The asked the permission to take some water which she gladly allowed. And thus soon caravans kept coming and the some people startled settling in this area and a city was born. Building of the House of Allah: Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) regularly visited his wife and son. He was very happy to see the water and thanked Allah for His great bounties. When Ismaeel was in his teens, Ibrahim (PBUH) asked the son to give a hand to build a house of Allah for His exclusive worship. Both father and son built the first House of Allah for worshipping none but Allah, the God. Strange Dream & Ultimate Sacrifice: One day Ibrahim saw the strange dream. He saw slaughtering Ismaeel. Initially he though it was just one of the meaningless dreams. However the dream kept repeating and he understood being a Prophet that he had been commanded to sacrifice his only and very beloved and dear son Ismaeel. Ishaq (Isaac) was not born yet. Allah had given Ismaeel to Ibrahim in quite old age. However the utmost sincerity, honesty and fairness were the most fundamental ingredients of personality of Ibrahim (PBUH). If Allah wanted His thing, then Ibrahim was not to ask why and when. He asked his beloved son after telling him the dream. The son was like father. Instead of running away or quarrelling he said do whatever Allah had commanded you to do. So Ibrahim took the son and laid him on the earth and blindfolded himself so that he may not feel mercy as he looks at his son. He took the knife and in his way sacrificed the little child suddenly he heard a voice that We have accepted your sacrifice and instead put a lamb in the place of Ismaeel. Ismaeel was unhurt. This is the 3rd time Ibrahim was tested and he passed with flying colors. First time Ibrahim was tested when he did not accept the wrong traditions of his nation, his father, challenged the practice of star worship and king worship. Ibrahim did not apology and challenged the King to bring son from West if he is really god, the King had no answer but to throw him in the blazing fire in front of a crow of people. Ibrahim did not apologize and did not beg for his life. Had he done so he would not be rewarded the great honor and respect he commands among Muslims, Jews and Christians. He is father and grand grand father of many Prophets including Ismaeel, Ishaq (Isaac), Ya'qoob (Jacob), Yusuf (Joseph), Jesus and Muhammad (Peace be upon all of them)Great Rewards!In addition to his honor and string of Prophets in his progeny, Ibrahim is saluted five times a day by hundreds of Millions of Muslims during their regular prayers. Ibrahim and his families' virtues had been preserved in Quran. Muslims face toward Ka'bah in every prayer. They perform great pilgrimage which is going on right now and in their pilgrimage they run like Hajirah 7 trips between the hills of Safa and Marwah. They drink the water of Zam Zam which first began under the heel of Ismaeel. Millions of gallons of water gush from this fountain still today. Ibrahim once prayed for the great messenger to come in this city and the city be provided with good and bountiful resources and food. Both prayers were accepted. The final Prophet of Allah i.e. Muhammad was born in this city and the city is full of all sorts of fruits and sustenance. Not only in Hajj, the City and the Ka'bah is always full of people going in circles around the house first built by Ibrahim. The house which was built for pure worship of Allah alone had been contaminated by the statues of pagans which were finally removed by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). As one great Islamic scholar puts down that the annual pilgrimage is like cardiopulmonary system. Where fresh oxygen in injected in the blood of the faithful. Their sins and shortcomings are removed. Today the event of ultimate sacrifice of Ibrahim for utmost truth and honesty is celebrated all over the world by over a billion of Muslims. Animals are sacrificed and their meat is distributed among poor and it is consumed by friends and relatives. The festival is full of meaning and purpose. It is not just the sacrifice, it is renewal of commitment with the God All Mighty that thanking of His countless bounties and mercies we are ready to sacrifice our most beloved things for the purpose of truth and honesty. And like Ibrahim (PBUH) we reject all false gods and we have full determination and capability to take these up front. The sacrifice produces the determination to ward off evil. To the God, this intention determination reaches and not the blood or the meat of the animals. Humanity versus SAM: In a beautiful Surah titled "The Figs" the Quran refers to five great Prophets i.e. Isa (Jesus) (Figs and Olive, Palestine), Moosa (Moses) (Mount Sinai), Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismaeel (Ishmael) and Muhammad (This peaceful city i.e. Makkah) and makes the point that We (Allah) have created the man in the best form and potential so that he can reach to such heights. However the man is then reduced to the lowest of the low. Now when we look today there is a constant war between worshippers of Sub-Animal Materialism (SAM) and those great human beings who hold ethical and moral values as the crown of humanity. For the former groups i.e. the lowest of the low all sorts of lies, deception and terrorism (Global, state and individual) is kosher while for the latter group to uphold the humanity is the most important which invariably also means the challenging and overpowering the real terrorists. When I look at the injured face of innocent Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and her three children of 7, 5 and ½ year it tells me the entire story. Please do not tell me that her six month toddler was a terrorist and Bush had all the right to abduct and torture him. So at this occasion let us have the courage and determination of Ibrahim and Ismaeel o not to accept any falsehood and stand up to the false gods even if you are alone. All praises to the Allah Ta'lah, the Creator and Sustainer of all the worlds who made Ka'bah an eternally adored and visited place and Who created in Ibrahim an example to take no god beside Allah for worship.
Prof. (Dr.) Anwar Ul Haque 116. St. 49 F 11/3 Islamabad 44000Phone: 2294099 P.S: There no copyrights as the truth must sunshine and no reward of any kind is accepted as spreading the sunshine of truth is in itself a reward and Allah is the best rewarding. Please feel free to publish.
Anwar Ul Haque