Hajj Benefits, Keeping Calm, Daily Meditation
Issue 810 » October 3, 2014 - Dhul-Hijja 9, 1435
Al Hajj (The Pilgrimage) - Chapter 22: Verse 28 (partial)
The benefits that pilgrims receive are manifold. The pilgrimage is a season of trade and worship, and a conference where people get to know each other and establish close cooperation. It is a religious duty in which objectives pertaining to this life converge with those that pertain to the life to come. Near and distant memories of true faith are also grouped together. Business people find pilgrimage to be a high season for their merchandise. Pilgrims come from every country and area of the world bringing with them their best goods that have different seasons. This makes the pilgrimage an all-embracing exhibition and an annual international market place.
It is at the same time a season of worship, when souls feel their purity as they sense that they are close to God in His Sacred House. People's spirit roam around the House, recalling memories that are associated with it, and see near and distant images.
But the pilgrimage is also a conference at which all Muslims gather. In it they find the beginning of their community, going back ages in time to none other than their first father, Abraham (peace be upon him). There at the Pilgrimage they find the force that brings them all together, their qibla to which they all turn as they stand up in prayer. They also find the banner under which they unite, namely, the banner of faith under which all distinctions of race, colour or nationality are non-existent. They sense their power, of which they may often be oblivious; that is the power of their unity, which is capable of sweeping everything before it, when they are united by faith alone.
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 12, pp. 124 - 126
A man might look calm and composed on the outside, but be a raging volcano within. If you can keep calm when you are angry, then you have genuine self-control.
We should always be just and balanced in what we choose to say, whether we are happy or upset, whether we like what is happening or detest it. Calm manifests itself in our tone of voice, in the words we choose, in our gestures, our facial expressions, and our deportment.
We should keep in mind that our worship is not restricted to prayer, fasting, and the pilgrimage. Life itself is worship. We need to conduct ourselves accordingly.
Abu Hurayrah relates that a man approached the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allah! There is a woman who is well-known for how much she prays, fasts, and gives in charity, but she abuses her neighbours with her tongue.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “She is in Hell.” [Musnad Ahmad and Sah?h Ibn Hibb?n]
Self-control means to refrain from responding recklessly to what goes on around us. It means to condition ourselves to respond appropriately according to our personal past experience and what we learn from the experience of others.
Composure resides in the fraction of a second between the provocation itself and the gut reaction to it. This is why the prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Patience needs to be exercised when calamity first strikes.” [Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahi? Muslim]
We need to deal with every provocation in our lives as if it is being monitored by a hidden camera waiting to record our reaction to it and broadcast that reaction to the world. This will make us react more judiciously and help us learn to control ourselves. This is because we know that composure and self-control are praiseworthy qualities, while reacting recklessly is a sign of feeblemindedness and weakness of character.
"Keeping Calm is a Skill" - Salman al-Oadah
Zayn al-Abideen, the great-grandson of the Prophet (peace be upon him), once said:"Eight thoughts doggedly pursue me wherever I go:
1. That Allah demands that I fulfill His rights upon me.
2. That the Prophet wants me to follow his Sunnah.
3. That my family relies on me to provide for them.
4. That my carnal soul wishes for me to cater to its needs
5. That Satan is always whispering to me.
6. That the two scribes, who are ever present with me, are diligently recording my every move.
7. That the angel of death is waiting around the corner ready to seize my soul.
8. That the ground is ever-ready to receive my body. "