Al Adaab: An Ahl as Sunnah Perspective

Traditional Islamic Resources

The Uncovering of the Eighth Veil: Concerning the Pilgrimage

Posted by al Adaab on October 24, 2009

Excerpt from “Kashful Mahjub: The Unveiling of the Veiled”

Data Darbar

Sayyidinaa Sheikh Abul Hassan ”Ali bin Uthman bin ‘Ali al Jullabi

Al Ghaznawi al Hujwiri Radhi Allahu ‘anhu

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Wa Sall Allahu ta ‘ala ‘alaa Sayyidinaa wa Mawlaana Muhammadin wa ‘alaa Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa sallim

The Pilgrimage (Hajj) is binding on every Muslim of sound mind who is able to perform it and has reached manhood. It consists in putting on the pilgrim’s garb [Ihram] at the proper place, in standing on Arafat, in circumambulating the Ka’bah, and in running between Safah and Marwah. One must not enter the sacred territory without being clad as a pilgrim (bi ihram). The sacred territory (Haraam) is so called because it contains the Station of Abraham (Maqami Ibrahim). Sayyidinaa Ibraham alaihi salaam had two stations: the station of his body, namely Makkah, and the station of his soul, namely friendship (khullat). Whoever seeks the bodily station must renounce all lusts and pleasures and put on the pilgrim’s garb and clothe himself in a winding sheet (kafan) and refrain from hunting lawful game, and keep all his senses under strict control, and be present at Arafat and go thence to Muzdalifah and Mash’ar al-Haraam, and pick up stones and circumambulate the Ka’bah and visit Mina and stay there three days and throw stones in the prescribed manner and cut his hair and perform the sacrifice and put on his ordinary clothes.

But whoever seeks his spiritual station must renounce familiar associations and bid farewell to pleasures and take no thought of other than Allahu ta ‘ala (for his looking towards the phenomenal world is interdicted); then he must stand on the ‘Arafat of gnosis (ma’arifat) and there set out for the Muzdalifah of amity (ulfat) and from there send his heart to circumambulate the temple of Divine purification (tanzih), and throw away the stones of passion and corrupt thoughts in the Mina of faith, and sacrifice his lower soul on the altar of mortification and arrive at the station of friendship (khullat). To enter the bodily station is to be secure from enemies and their swords, but to enter the spiritual station is to be secure from separation (from Allahu ta ‘ala) and its consequences.

His Eminence Sayyidinaa Muhammad b. Al-Fadl radhi Allahu ‘anhu says: “I wonder at those who seek His temple in this world: why do they not seek contemplation of Him in their hearts? The temple they sometimes attain and sometimes miss, but contemplation they might enjoy always. If they are bound [by sacred law if one has the means] to visit a stone which is looked at only once a year, surely they are more bound to visit the temple of the heart, where He may be seen three hundred and sixty times in a day and night. But the mystic’s [the one who seeks intimacy with Allahu ta ‘ala, the object of all true lovers] every step is a symbol of the journey to Makkah, and when he reaches the sanctuary he wins a robe of honor for every step”.

His Eminence Sayyidinaa Abu Yazid [Bistami] radhi Allahu ‘anhu says: “If anyone’s reward for worshipping Allahu ta ‘ala is deferred until tomorrow he has not worshipped Allahu ta ‘ala right today”, for the recompense for every moment of worship and mortification is immediate. And Sayyidinaa Abu Yazid radhi Allahu ‘anhu also says: “On my first pilgrimage I saw only the Ka’bah; the second time, I saw the Ka’bah and the Lord of the Ka’bah; and the third time I saw the Lord alone.” In short, where mortification [Mujahidah bin Nafs] is, there is no sanctuary; the sanctuary is where contemplation is. Unless the whole universe is a man’s trysting place where he comes near unto Allahu ta ‘ala and a retired chamber where he enjoys intimacy with Allahu ta ‘ala, he is still a stranger to Divine love; but when he has vision the whole universe is his sanctuary.

“The darkest thing in the world is the Beloved’s house without the Beloved.”

Accordingly, what is truly valuable is not the Ka’bah, but contemplation and annihilation in the abode of friendship, of which things the sight of the Ka’bah is indirectly a cause. But we must recognize that every cause depends on the author of causes (musabbib), from whatever hidden place the providence of Allahu ta ‘ala may appear, and when the desire of the seeker may be fulfilled. The object of mystics (mardan) in traversing wilderness and deserts is not the sanctuary itself, for to a lover of Allahu ta ‘ala it is unlawful to look upon His sanctuary. No; their object is mortification to a longing that leaves them no rest, and eager dissolution in a lover that has no end.

A certain man came to His Eminence Sayyidinaa Junayd [al Baghdadi] radhi Allahu ‘anhu. Sayyidinaa Junayd radhi Allahu ‘anhu asked him whence he came. He replied: “I have been on the pilgrimage”. Junayd radhi Allahu ‘anhu said: “From the time when you first journeyed from your home have you also journeyed away from all sins?” He said: “No.” “Then”, said Sayyidinaa Junayd radhi Allahu ‘anhu, “You have made no journey. At every stage where you halted for the night did you traverse a station on the way to Allahu ta ‘ala?” He said: “No.” “Then,” said Sayyidinaa Junayd radhi Allahu ‘anhu, “You have not trodden the road stage by stage. When you put on the pilgrim’s garb at the proper place did you discard the attributes of humanity as you cast off your ordinary clothes?” “No.”. “Then you have not put on the pilgrim’s garb. When you stood on ‘Arafat did you stand one instant in contemplation of Allahu ta ‘ala?” “No.” “Then you have not stood on Arafat. When you went to Muzdalifah and achieved your desire did you renounce all sensual pleasures?” “No.” “Then you have not gone to Muzdalifah. When you circumambulated the Temple [Ka’bah] did you behold the immaterial beauty of Allahu ta ‘ala in the abode of purification? “No.” Then you have not circumambulated the Temple”.

“When you ran between Safah and Marwah did you attain the rank of purity (safa) and virtue (muruwwat)? “No.” “Then you have not run. When you came to Mina did all your wishes (munyatha) cease?” “No”. Then you have not yet visited Mina. When you reached the slaughter place and offered sacrifice did you sacrifice the objects of sensual desire?” “No.” “Then you have not sacrificed. When you threw the stones did you throw away whatever sensual thoughts that were accompanying you?” “No.” “Then you have not yet thrown the stones, and you have not yet performed the pilgrimage. Return and perform the pilgrimage in the manner in which I have described in order that you may arrive at the station of Abraham [Maqami Ibrahim]”. The Honorable Fudayl b. Iyad radhi Allahu ‘anhu says: “I saw at Mount Arafat a youth who stood silent with bowed head while all the people were praying aloud, and I asked him why he did not pray like them. He answered that he was in great distress, having lost the spiritual state (waqi) which he formerly enjoyed, and that he could by no means cry aloud unto Allahu ta ‘ala.

I said: “Pray, in order that through the blessings of this multitude Allahu ta ‘ala may accomplish thy desire”. He was about to lift his hands and pray, when suddenly he uttered a shriek and died on the spot”. His Eminence Sayyidinaa Dhu ‘l-Nun the Egyptian radhi Allahu ‘anhu says: “At Mina I saw a young man sitting quietly while the people were engaged in the sacrifices. I looked at him to see what he was doing. He cried: “O Allah, all the people are offering sacrifices. I looked at him to see what he was doing. He cried: “O Allahu, all the people are offering sacrifice. I wish to sacrifice my lower soul to Thee; do Thou accept it”. Having spoken, he pointed with his forefinger to his throat and fell dead—may Allahu have mercy on him!”

Pilgrimages, then are of two kinds: (1) in absence (from Allahu ta ‘ala) and (2) in presence (of Allahu ta ‘ala). Anyone who is absent from Allahu ta ‘ala at Makkah is in the same position as if he were absent from Allahu ta ‘ala in his own house, and anyone who is present with Allahu ta ‘ala in his own house is in the same position as if he were present with Allahu ta ‘ala at Makkah. Pilgrimage is an act of mortification [Mujahidah bin Nafs] for the sake of obtaining contemplation and mortification does not become the direct cause of contemplation, but is only a means to it. Therefore, inasmuch as a means has no further effect on the reality of things, the true object of pilgrimage is not to visit the Ka’bah, but to obtain contemplation of Allahu ta ‘ala.

Salawaatullahu Barrur Rahim, wa Malaaikatil Muqarrabeen, ‘alaa Sayyidil Mursaleen, wa Imaamil Muttaqeen, wa Qaaidil Ghurril Muhaajjaleen,

Habibunaa Muhammadin, wa ‘alaa Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa Awliyaaihi wa Ummatihi sallim.


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