On Pilgrimage – Imam ‘Abdullah al-Haddād

Hasten to perform the obligations of Hajj [Pilgrimage] and ‘Umra [the Smaller Pilgrimage] as soon as you are able. Beware of postponing them while able for you may lose the ability or die while this duty is still incumbent and you will then be deemed neglectful. The Prophet has said, may blessings and peace be upon him: ‘The one who is not hindered by an obvious necessity, a disabling sickness, or a tyrannical ruler, and who dies without having performed the Hajj, let him die a Jew if he so chooses, or a Christian if he so chooses.’

Also, whenever able, perform supererogatory acts of Hajj and ‘Umra, just as you perform any other supererogatory devotion. It has been handed down that God the Exalted has said: ‘Any servant whose body I have made healthy and whose wealth I have made abundant, and who lets five years go by without coming to Me, is an evil servant indeed.’

APTOPIX Mideast Saudi Arabia HajjWhen you decide to go on Hajj, you must learn its necessary acts, its sunnas, and its invocations. You must also learn how to locate the Qibla, the concessions allowed during a journey and the associated proprieties, and the invocations to be said during it.

Do not intend both Hajj and commerce at the same time. You should only take such worldly goods as you intend to spend on the road. If you must [trade], then avoid anything that may distract you from the correct performance of and the due respect for the rites ordained by God.

You must visit the Messenger of God, may blessings and peace be upon him, for visiting him after his death is likevisiting him during his life. He is alive in his grave as are all the other Prophets. It is churlish to go to the House of God for Hajj and then neglect to visit God’s Beloved for no overwhelming reason. Know that if you had come [walking] on your head from the farthest land of Islam to visit him, may blessings and peace be upon him, you would not even have begun to render thanks for the guidance that God gave you through him.

When you wish to do something of consequence such as traveling or marrying, consult one of your brothers in whose knowledge and awareness you are confident. If the advice he gives you conforms to what you have in mind then pray two supererogatory rak’as with the intention of making the right choice [Istikhara] and say afterwards the well-known prayer. The Prophet has said, may blessings and peace be upon him: ‘The one who does istikhara never fails, and the one who consults [others] never regrets it.’

If you ever make a vow [nadhr] to God, whether it takes the form of prayers, charity, or anything else, hasten to fulfill it and do not get used to making frequent vows, for Satan may lure you into this to induce you to default.

If you swear to do something, and then find it better not to do it, or vice versa,versa, then do whatever is best and expiate for your oath. Beware of swearing or testifying on the basis of conjecture, even if you are almost certain, let alone when it is illusory or dubious.

If your oath ever leads you to take another Muslim’s money [wrongly], your duty is to return what you have taken and expiate for your oath. This consists in either feeding ten indigent people with a measure of food for each, or clothing them, or setting free a slave. If you can do none of these things then fast three days.

Never swear falsely, for this destroys homes and plunges the one who does it in the fire of Hell.

Beware greatly of false testimony, for it is one of the greatest sins, and the Prophet, may blessings and peace be upon him, has associated it with idolatry. If to abstain from testifying [when able to] is a great sin, what then must be the case with deliberate falsification? We ask God for safety before the advent of regret.

- Imam ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Alawi al-Haddad, Book of Assistance, by Dr Mostafa al-Badawi

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