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FaithPractice

Have we ever truly completed and understood the acts of Hajj?

FaithPractice

Have we ever truly completed and understood the acts of Hajj?

Are our actions ever fully accepted if we don’t understand the meanings behind them?

/

The Tradition of Al-Shibli is reported in Mustadrak al-Wasa”il. The hadith is in the form of a conversation that takes place between the great-grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Ali, who had recently returned from Hajj, and another pilgrim named Al-Shibli. During the course of this intriguing discourse, the Imam succinctly explains the spiritual dimensions of the Hajj rituals, and as we see at the end of the tradition, the Imam’s words have a profound effect on this pilgrim; so much so, that he makes a vow to head back to Hajj in the upcoming year to follow through on all that was discussed.

This is an essential discourse and helps for us to understand the actions and rituals performed during the Hajj pilgrimage and their spiritual significance.

The Imam: Did you perform Hajj, Shibli?
Shibli: Yes, son of Allah’s Messenger, I did.
The Imam: You stopped at Miqat, put off your sewn clothes, and washed yourself, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you stopped at Miqat, did you intend to put off the garment of disobedience (to God) and put on a garment of obedience (to Him)?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you put off your sewn clothes, did you intend to get rid of ostentation, hypocrisy, and intrusion in suspicious matters?
Shibli: No, I did not?
The Imam: As you washed yourself, did you intend to wash yourself from sins and offenses?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not really stop at Miqat, put off your sewn cloths, and wash yourself.

*

The Imam: You washed yourself thoroughly, entered the state of Ihram, and intended to perform Hajj, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you washed yourself thoroughly, entered the state of Ihram, and intended to perform Hajj, did you intend to wash yourself thoroughly with pure repentance to Allah?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you entered the state of Ihram, did you intend to abstain from every matter that Allah deems unlawful?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you intended to perform Hajj, did you intend to get rid of any pledge that you took with anyone other than Allah?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not wash yourself thoroughly, enter the state of Ihram, or intend to perform Hajj.

*

The Imam: Did you enter Miqat, offer the two-Rakat prayer of Ihram, and say Labbayk (Talbiya)?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you entered Miqat, did you intend to meet all the qualifications of the visitation of the Sacred House of Allah?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you offered the two-Rakat prayer, did you intend to seek nearness to Allah through the best deeds such as prayers and the deeds by which servants of Allah can obtain His rewards?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you said Labbayk, did you intend to utter any statement of obedience to Allah and shut your mouth against any statement of disobedience to Him?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not enter Miqat, offer the two-Rakat prayer of Ihram, or say Labbayk.

*

The Imam: You entered the Sacred Precinct, saw the Kaaba, and offered prayers there, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you entered the Sacred Precinct, did you intend to abstain from backbiting any
individual of Islam?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you arrived in Mecca, did you intend to direct towards Allah and no one else?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not really enter the Sacred Precinct, see the Kaaba, or offer prayers.

The Imam: You circulated the Holy House, touched the corners, and performed the Sa’y, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you performed the Tawaaf, did you intend to seek refuge of Allah (from the trickeries of Satan and evil temptations) and that He, the Knower of the unseen, knew this from you?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not really circulate the Holy House, touch its corner, or perform the Sa’y. You caressed the Black Stone, stopped at the standing-place of Ibrahim (as), and offered a two-Rakat prayer there, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam (as) then cried so loudly and said:
To caress the Black Stone is to shake hands with Allah. Look, poor man, do not ever waste the reward for the thing that is greatly sacred and do not breach your caressing by acts of violation (of God’s instructions) and seizure of illegal things, just like the sinful.

*

The Imam: As you stopped at the standing-place of Ibrahim (a.s), did you intend to stop at every act of
obedience (to God) and leave every act of disobedience (to Him)?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you offered the two-Rakat prayer, did you intend to offer the same prayer that was offered by Ibrahim (as) and to disappoint Satan?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not really caress the Black Stone, stop at the standing-place of Ibrahim (as), or offer the two-Rakat prayer there.

*

The Imam: You came near to Well Zamzam and drank from its water, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you did, did you intend to come near to acts of obedience (to God) and cast your sight down acts of disobedience (to Him)?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you neither really came near that well nor did you drink from its water.

*

The Imam: You roamed, walked, and frequented to Mount Safa and Mount Marwa, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you did, did you intend to be between hope and fear (of God)?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not really roam, walk, or frequent between Safa and Marwa.

*

The Imam: You then left for Mina, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: Did you intend to save people from your tongue (words), heart (ill intention), and hand (deeds)?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not really leave for Mecca.

*

The Imam: You halted in Arafat, mounted Jabal al- Rahma (Mount Mercy), recognized Nemira Valley, and supplicated to Allah at al-Mil and Jamarat, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you halted in Arafat, did you intend to recognize Allah, Glorified is He, and His knowledge, and recognize that He is holding on the record of your deeds and that He has full acquaintance with your secrets?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you mounted Jabal al-Rahma, did you recognize that Allah would have mercy upon every believing man and woman and see to every Muslim male and female?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you were on Nemira, did you recognize that your advice and warnings to people are fruitless unless they are originated from Allah’s instructions?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you stopped at al-Alam and an-Nemirat, did you recognize that these signs would testify for your acts of obedience (to God) and would keep you like the Keeping Angels whose mission is to keep you according to Allah’s instructions?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not really stop on Arafat, Mount Jabal al-Rahma, recognize Nemira,
supplicate to Allah, or stop at an-Nemirat.

*

The Imam: You passed by the Two Signs (al-Alamain) , offered a two-Rakat prayer before so, walked in Muzdelifa, picked up pebbles there, and passed by al-Mash’aral-Haram, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you offered the prayer, did you intend it to be thanksgiving that saves from every hardship and alleviates all difficulties?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you walked between the Two Signs without turning to right or left, did you intend not to turn away from the right religious with heart, tongue, or other organs?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you walked in Muzdelifa and picked up pebbles, did you intend to get rid of every act of disobedience and every item of ignorance and to fix in your behaviors every item of knowledge and good deed?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you passed by al-Mash’ar al-Haram, did you intend to carry in heart the slogan of the pious people and the God-fearing ones?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not really pass by the Two Signs, offer a two-Rakat prayer, walk in al-Muzdelifa, pick up pebbles there, or pass by al-Mash’ar al-Haram.

*

The Imam: You reached in Mina, threw the pebbles (i.e. performed the Ramy al-Jamarat), had your hair cut, slaughtered your sacrificed animal, offered prayer in Kheif Mosque, returned to Mecca, and performed Tawaf al Ifadha, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you arrived in Mina and threw these pebbles, did you feel that you achieved your aim and that your Lord would settle all your needs?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you threw these pebbles, did you intend to stone Eblis, your enemy, and challenge him through your precious Hajj?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you shaved your head, did you intend to purify yourself from all filth and liabilities of people that lie on your shoulders, and to get rid of sins as if your mother had just given birth of you?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you offered prayer in Kheif Mosque, did you intend that you would never fear anything except Allah and the responsibilities of your (past) sins and that you would hope for nothing except Allah’s mercy?
Shibli: As you slaughtered your sacrificial animal, did you intend to cut off the throat of greed by clinging to the reality of piety, and to follow the exemplary tradition of Ibrahim (as) who intended to slaughter his dear son (so as to carry our God’s order)?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you returned to Mecca and performed Tawaf al-Ifadha, did you intend to supply yourself with Allah’s mercy, return to the obedience to Him, cling to His love, perform all His precepts, and seek nearness to Him?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you neither reached Mina, nor did you throw these pebbles on Satan, nor did you shave your head, nor did you perform the rituals of the Hajj, nor did you offer prayer in Kheif Mosque, nor did you perform Tawaf al-Ifadha, nor did you offer sacrifice for the Lord. Go back, for you did not perform the Hajj.

As he heard these words, Al-Shibli wept heavily for the shortcomings of his performance of Hajj and decided to perform Hajj again the next year, and he did.


What we need to learn from this is that at times, we tend to believe that we fully understand the actions we do and their significance. However, this shows us that when we stop to reflect, and to truly understand the magnitude of our actions, and whom we are doing them for, that’s when they are accepted and they elevate our status in the eyes of the Almighty Allah (swt).

Whilst you’re here…

The Muslim Vibe is a non-profit media platform aiming to inspire, inform and empower Muslims like you. Our goal is to provide a space for young Muslims to learn about their faith as well as news stories affecting them, so we can reclaim the Muslim narrative from the mainstream.

Your support will help us achieve this goal, and enable us to produce more original content. Your support can help us in the fight against Islamophobia, by building a powerful platform for young Muslims who can share their ideas, experiences and opinions for a better future.

Please consider supporting The Muslim Vibe, from as little as £1 – it will only take a minute. Thank you and Jazakallah.

Keep Reading

Share your thoughts!

Are our actions ever fully accepted if we don’t understand the meanings behind them?

The Tradition of Al-Shibli is reported in Mustadrak al-Wasa”il. The hadith is in the form of a conversation that takes place between the great-grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Ali, who had recently returned from Hajj, and another pilgrim named Al-Shibli. During the course of this intriguing discourse, the Imam succinctly explains the spiritual dimensions of the Hajj rituals, and as we see at the end of the tradition, the Imam’s words have a profound effect on this pilgrim; so much so, that he makes a vow to head back to Hajj in the upcoming year to follow through on all that was discussed.

This is an essential discourse and helps for us to understand the actions and rituals performed during the Hajj pilgrimage and their spiritual significance.

The Imam: Did you perform Hajj, Shibli?
Shibli: Yes, son of Allah’s Messenger, I did.
The Imam: You stopped at Miqat, put off your sewn clothes, and washed yourself, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you stopped at Miqat, did you intend to put off the garment of disobedience (to God) and put on a garment of obedience (to Him)?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you put off your sewn clothes, did you intend to get rid of ostentation, hypocrisy, and intrusion in suspicious matters?
Shibli: No, I did not?
The Imam: As you washed yourself, did you intend to wash yourself from sins and offenses?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not really stop at Miqat, put off your sewn cloths, and wash yourself.

*

The Imam: You washed yourself thoroughly, entered the state of Ihram, and intended to perform Hajj, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you washed yourself thoroughly, entered the state of Ihram, and intended to perform Hajj, did you intend to wash yourself thoroughly with pure repentance to Allah?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you entered the state of Ihram, did you intend to abstain from every matter that Allah deems unlawful?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you intended to perform Hajj, did you intend to get rid of any pledge that you took with anyone other than Allah?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not wash yourself thoroughly, enter the state of Ihram, or intend to perform Hajj.

*

The Imam: Did you enter Miqat, offer the two-Rakat prayer of Ihram, and say Labbayk (Talbiya)?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you entered Miqat, did you intend to meet all the qualifications of the visitation of the Sacred House of Allah?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you offered the two-Rakat prayer, did you intend to seek nearness to Allah through the best deeds such as prayers and the deeds by which servants of Allah can obtain His rewards?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you said Labbayk, did you intend to utter any statement of obedience to Allah and shut your mouth against any statement of disobedience to Him?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not enter Miqat, offer the two-Rakat prayer of Ihram, or say Labbayk.

*

The Imam: You entered the Sacred Precinct, saw the Kaaba, and offered prayers there, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you entered the Sacred Precinct, did you intend to abstain from backbiting any
individual of Islam?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you arrived in Mecca, did you intend to direct towards Allah and no one else?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not really enter the Sacred Precinct, see the Kaaba, or offer prayers.

The Imam: You circulated the Holy House, touched the corners, and performed the Sa’y, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you performed the Tawaaf, did you intend to seek refuge of Allah (from the trickeries of Satan and evil temptations) and that He, the Knower of the unseen, knew this from you?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not really circulate the Holy House, touch its corner, or perform the Sa’y. You caressed the Black Stone, stopped at the standing-place of Ibrahim (as), and offered a two-Rakat prayer there, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam (as) then cried so loudly and said:
To caress the Black Stone is to shake hands with Allah. Look, poor man, do not ever waste the reward for the thing that is greatly sacred and do not breach your caressing by acts of violation (of God’s instructions) and seizure of illegal things, just like the sinful.

*

The Imam: As you stopped at the standing-place of Ibrahim (a.s), did you intend to stop at every act of
obedience (to God) and leave every act of disobedience (to Him)?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you offered the two-Rakat prayer, did you intend to offer the same prayer that was offered by Ibrahim (as) and to disappoint Satan?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not really caress the Black Stone, stop at the standing-place of Ibrahim (as), or offer the two-Rakat prayer there.

*

The Imam: You came near to Well Zamzam and drank from its water, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you did, did you intend to come near to acts of obedience (to God) and cast your sight down acts of disobedience (to Him)?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you neither really came near that well nor did you drink from its water.

*

The Imam: You roamed, walked, and frequented to Mount Safa and Mount Marwa, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you did, did you intend to be between hope and fear (of God)?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not really roam, walk, or frequent between Safa and Marwa.

*

The Imam: You then left for Mina, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: Did you intend to save people from your tongue (words), heart (ill intention), and hand (deeds)?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not really leave for Mecca.

*

The Imam: You halted in Arafat, mounted Jabal al- Rahma (Mount Mercy), recognized Nemira Valley, and supplicated to Allah at al-Mil and Jamarat, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you halted in Arafat, did you intend to recognize Allah, Glorified is He, and His knowledge, and recognize that He is holding on the record of your deeds and that He has full acquaintance with your secrets?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you mounted Jabal al-Rahma, did you recognize that Allah would have mercy upon every believing man and woman and see to every Muslim male and female?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you were on Nemira, did you recognize that your advice and warnings to people are fruitless unless they are originated from Allah’s instructions?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you stopped at al-Alam and an-Nemirat, did you recognize that these signs would testify for your acts of obedience (to God) and would keep you like the Keeping Angels whose mission is to keep you according to Allah’s instructions?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not really stop on Arafat, Mount Jabal al-Rahma, recognize Nemira,
supplicate to Allah, or stop at an-Nemirat.

*

The Imam: You passed by the Two Signs (al-Alamain) , offered a two-Rakat prayer before so, walked in Muzdelifa, picked up pebbles there, and passed by al-Mash’aral-Haram, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you offered the prayer, did you intend it to be thanksgiving that saves from every hardship and alleviates all difficulties?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you walked between the Two Signs without turning to right or left, did you intend not to turn away from the right religious with heart, tongue, or other organs?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you walked in Muzdelifa and picked up pebbles, did you intend to get rid of every act of disobedience and every item of ignorance and to fix in your behaviors every item of knowledge and good deed?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you passed by al-Mash’ar al-Haram, did you intend to carry in heart the slogan of the pious people and the God-fearing ones?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you did not really pass by the Two Signs, offer a two-Rakat prayer, walk in al-Muzdelifa, pick up pebbles there, or pass by al-Mash’ar al-Haram.

*

The Imam: You reached in Mina, threw the pebbles (i.e. performed the Ramy al-Jamarat), had your hair cut, slaughtered your sacrificed animal, offered prayer in Kheif Mosque, returned to Mecca, and performed Tawaf al Ifadha, did you not?
Shibli: Yes, I did.
The Imam: As you arrived in Mina and threw these pebbles, did you feel that you achieved your aim and that your Lord would settle all your needs?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you threw these pebbles, did you intend to stone Eblis, your enemy, and challenge him through your precious Hajj?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you shaved your head, did you intend to purify yourself from all filth and liabilities of people that lie on your shoulders, and to get rid of sins as if your mother had just given birth of you?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you offered prayer in Kheif Mosque, did you intend that you would never fear anything except Allah and the responsibilities of your (past) sins and that you would hope for nothing except Allah’s mercy?
Shibli: As you slaughtered your sacrificial animal, did you intend to cut off the throat of greed by clinging to the reality of piety, and to follow the exemplary tradition of Ibrahim (as) who intended to slaughter his dear son (so as to carry our God’s order)?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: As you returned to Mecca and performed Tawaf al-Ifadha, did you intend to supply yourself with Allah’s mercy, return to the obedience to Him, cling to His love, perform all His precepts, and seek nearness to Him?
Shibli: No, I did not.
The Imam: In that case, you neither reached Mina, nor did you throw these pebbles on Satan, nor did you shave your head, nor did you perform the rituals of the Hajj, nor did you offer prayer in Kheif Mosque, nor did you perform Tawaf al-Ifadha, nor did you offer sacrifice for the Lord. Go back, for you did not perform the Hajj.

As he heard these words, Al-Shibli wept heavily for the shortcomings of his performance of Hajj and decided to perform Hajj again the next year, and he did.


What we need to learn from this is that at times, we tend to believe that we fully understand the actions we do and their significance. However, this shows us that when we stop to reflect, and to truly understand the magnitude of our actions, and whom we are doing them for, that’s when they are accepted and they elevate our status in the eyes of the Almighty Allah (swt).

Whilst you’re here…

The Muslim Vibe is a non-profit media platform aiming to inspire, inform and empower Muslims like you. Our goal is to provide a space for young Muslims to learn about their faith as well as news stories affecting them, so we can reclaim the Muslim narrative from the mainstream.

Your support will help us achieve this goal, and enable us to produce more original content. Your support can help us in the fight against Islamophobia, by building a powerful platform for young Muslims who can share their ideas, experiences and opinions for a better future.

Please consider supporting The Muslim Vibe, from as little as £1 – it will only take a minute. Thank you and Jazakallah.

Keep Reading

Share your thoughts!

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