The monthly word Dhul-Qa’dah 1428
Hajj and the Imperative of Unity
By: Al-Habib Umar bin Hafiz, Director, Dar al-Mustafa for the Islamic Sciences (Tarim, Yemen)
Translated by: Khalil Abu Asmaa (of www.ReflectOnThis.com)
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and may Allah send blessings and peace upon his servant and beloved one—the chosen (al-Mustafa) and trustworthy (al-Amin)—and upon his family and companions, and their followers with excellence until the Day of Recompense. To proceed:
To our brethren the world over, to the followers of this great religion: may the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be upon you all. The sacred month of Dhul-Qa’dah is upon us. It is a month in which this Ummah turns in preparation to establish the rites of one of the pillars of Islam—the exalted obligation of Hajj. So let us take (while we are in the midst of the circumstances and conditions that have befallen the nation of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) from the secret of this gathering another monumental obligation that Allah has obligated upon both the individuals and groups of this Ummah. Remissness and negligence with regards to this [monumental obligation] has resulted in many adversities, tribulations, and hardships. Indeed, it is the obligation of gathering (ijtima’), of unity (wahdah), of cooperation (ta’awun), solidarity (takatuf), bonding (takhalul), complementation (takamul), and agreement (takaful), all of which are translated in the obligation of Hajj. [It is an event] in which people come together on one plane, under one banner, while turning to the One Lord, facing one house of worship, and following one Imam—the one who is the most glorious and distinguished one, the master of every one who bows and every one who prostrates (blessings and peace be upon him and his family).
When looking at this matter it is necessary that every individual Muslim be aware of his duties with regards to this unity that Allah has spoken about in His Book: “This community of yours is one—and I am your Lord: be mindful of Me” [23:52]. We should also know the types of deficiencies that have occurred in implementing this unity, as both individuals and groups within the nation of Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him and his family). The pristine sacred law (al-shari’ah al-mutahharah) has clarified the danger of neglecting the implementation of this unity on both the individual and group level, so much so that the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him and his family) has informed of the rejection of a person’s deeds and his various acts of worship if he harbors rancor in his heart against even a single individual amongst the Muslims. So what if he exceeds this and launches his tongue in speech in order to defame him and diminish his honor and dignity? In this regard we have the following hadith: “Cursing a Muslim is disobedience (fusuq), and fighting against him is severe ingratitude (kufr).”
There are many factors that lead to the proper implementation of unity and the strengthening of it. [These factors are there] in order for those of intellect and innermost core (ulul-albab) to take heed from such divine legislation, thereby taking care to look closely at what originates from them in both deed and speech. For He (glorified and elevated is He) said in His Book: “[Prophet], tell My servants to say what is best. Satan sows discord among them…” [17:53]. Such is a clear indication as to the effect that speech has in inciting dissension (fitnah), evils (shuroor), disputation (tanazu’), and argumentation (takhasum) between people. He (blessed and exalted is He) said: “…speak good words to all people…” [2:83]. And He (glorified and exalted is He) said: “Good and evil cannot be equal. [Prophet], repel evil with what is better and your enemy will become as close as an old and valued friend, but only those who are steadfast in patience, only those who are blessed with great righteousness, will attain to such goodness” [41:34-35].
It is quite befitting for you, O believer, to reflect on the fact that everything that has come down [to us] concerning the censure of arrogance (kibr), conceit (‘ujb), and self-deception (ghurur) has a direct connection to what we are talking about here, namely, establishing unity in the Ummah. In addition, everything that has come down [to us] concerning the prohibition to speak without knowledge or to speak in haste, and the prohibition to make a judgment concerning a thing without knowledge, or that a man should relay everything that he hears. [Coming to grips with] all of this builds in us the proper meaning of ‘unity’. Furthermore, everything that has come down [to us] concerning the censure of obscene and indecent speech (hujr and fuhsh), and everything that has come down [to us] concerning the censure of backbiting (ghibah), talebearing (namimah), and lying (kadhib) has an intimate connection to what we are talking about here.
In like manner, everything that has come down [to us] concerning the merits of beneficence (ihsan), righteousness, family ties, charity, visiting people, brotherhood, and love, all have an intimate connection to what we are talking about here. Each one of these things is a factor that comes to strengthen the meaning of unity in the Ummah. Likewise, everything that has been mentioned about the prohibition of abandoning a Muslim (hajr), cutting him off, breaking family ties, and recalcitrance towards parents is all connected to what we are talking about.
Similarly, everything that has been mentioned about the merits of charity, zakah, presents, gifts, and the preference of others over one’s self (ithar) all has a connection to what we are talking about. All this is in addition to many other aspects of our immense sacred law, such as the merits of handshaking (musafahah), the actual obligation of Hajj itself (which points directly to what we are talking about), the merits of praying the obligatory prayer in a congregation, or other prayers that are to be prayed in a group, and so on. These are all doors that come together to strengthen the meaning of this brotherhood.
It is from this vantage point that we realize the neglect that many people have fallen into and the bigotry (‘asabiyyah) and vain desires (hawa) that have overcome the hearts and souls which has lead to the belittlement of putting down others, fabricating lies, or attempting to divert people from this or that person for some personal, party, political, or material (worldly) reason. This has occurred because the aforementioned neglect has spread amongst both individuals and groups and its calamities and harms and the dangers of its [rotten] fruits are now to be seen in the state of the Ummah.
Therefore, it is high time that we take a lesson from our reflection [on these matters], especially as we are welcoming in these sacred months (al-ashhur alhurum), in order that we may work together to put affairs in order and to heal this wound that is profusely bleeding in the body of the Ummah. We are witnessing the results of this wound in the current state of affairs today, with some now attacking physical bodies, after having wounded the metaphysical body first.
Oh Allah, relieve us of our distresses and those of the Muslims, and wake us up—as well as the followers of this religion—to that which will cause these wounds and injuries to heal, unification to take place, and that which will bring unity after separation and disparity so that we may attain to what You have bestowed on us of blessings: “Remember God’s favor to you: you were enemies and then He brought your hearts together and you became brothers by His grace…” [3:103].
Oh Allah, move the hearts and resolves so that individuals, families, societies, groups, organizations, parties, and countries will call themselves to account for what has emanated from them of words and deeds which have led to unification, good, and togetherness, or the opposite of these things, in order that they may beware of what they are falling into: corrupting that which is between people and inciting enmity and hatred, the grave danger of which has clearly been reported to us from You and from Your Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him).
Oh Allah, save us, and the Ummah, and quickly relieve us with a divine rain, by Your mercy.
And all praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.