Hajj/Pilgrimage to Makkah

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In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
DEDICATED TO
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
AND TO
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms.
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HAJJ/PILGRIMAGE

“And when We made the House a resort for men and a (place of) security. And: Take ye the place of Abraham for a place of prayer. And We enjoined Abraham and Ishmael, saying: Purify My House for those who visit (it) and those who abide (in it) for devotion and those who bow down (and) those who prostrate themselves”–(Qur’an 2:125).

   “Certainly the first house appointed for men is the one at Bakkah, blessed and a guidance for the nations. In it are clear signs: (It is) the Place of Abraham; and who-ever enters it is safe; and pilgrimage to the House is a duty which men owe to Allāh — whoever can find a way to it. And whoever disbelieves, surely Allāh is above need of the worlds”–(Qur’an 3:96-97).

And when We pointed to Abraham the place of the House, saying: Associate naught with Me, and purify My House for those who make circuits and stand to pray and bow and prostrate themselves. And proclaim to men the Pilgrimage they will come to thee on foot and on every lean camel, coming from every remote path: That they may witness benefits (provided) for them, and mention the name of Allåh on appointed days over what He has given them of the cattle quadrupeds; then eat of them and feed the distressed one, the needy. Then let them accomplish their needful acts of cleansing, and let them fulfill their vows and go round the Ancient House” –(Qur’an 22:26-29).

The Bible has Abraham building “an altar” to God in at least two places–(Genesis 12:7-8). But these were of Abraham’s own in-clination and personal worship. Unlike God’s instructions to Abraham to erect the foundation of the Ka’bah which will be the “first house” of worship and place of pilgrimage for all men.

   Abraham’s father may have been a “poor potter” but according to the Bible Abraham was a wealthy individual. It is not “scarcely credible” that Abraham “went to Mecca.” Muslims from Asia journey by foot to Makkah to perform the Hajj. Jesus traveled from Palestine to India; Hannibal crossed the Pyrenees and the Alps with elephants; Columbus, survived the Atlantic to reach the Americas; and even today there are tens if not hundreds who ride the deserts.

   The Toronto star of Saturday, March 13, 1999, reported that three Canadians crossed “Arabia’s unforgiving desert;” and that “in 1946” “British explorer Sir Wilfred Thesiger” also crossed this desert. It is very credible then that Abraham, who was of a period and people more seasoned to severe climates and rough travels, could go to Makkah, “300 leagues” away.   (Being a man of wisdom, Abraham may have camped during the day and traveled from late afternoon through the night into early morning when it was cooler).

   The Bible says that Abraham left Ur (Iraq) and went to Canaan (Palestine). Then Abraham went to Egypt and returned to Palestine. Next, Abraham has his first son, Ishmael; and that Ishmael and his mother Hagar ended up in Paran (which is in Makkah, Arabia), where his mother “took him a wife out of the land of Egypt”–(Genesis 21:21). As Abraham can travel from Iraq to Palestine to Egypt where is the difficulty in him traveling from Palestine to Makkah?

   We are next told that upon the death of Abraham that “his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him”–(Genesis 25:9). That Ishmael was at the funeral of his father clearly shows that Abraham and Ishmael were in close contact with one another –then they could have built the Ka’bah. According to Islamic tradition Abraham was with Ishmael in Arabia on at least two occasions –after Ishmael’s marriage, and at their building of the Ka’bah– Bokhari Vol. 4, #’s 583, 584).

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Islam is made up of five components:
   -Unity of Allāh, God: He is One and Only; the Eternal, Absolute, He begets not; nor is begotten; there is none like unto Him.
   -Prayer: five times daily at appointed times.
  -Charity: 2 1/2 percent of one’s net worth, above a certain base (usually determined by the Islamic authorities).
  -Fasting, in the month of Ramadan; the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, dating from the Hijrah–the Prophet’s migration from Makkah to Madinah in the year 622, of the Christian Era (C.E.). (See Fasting-reasons & benefits).
 -Hajj–a once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Makkah, subject to one’s financial and health considerations.

The Hajj or pilgrimage consists of:

  1. Circumambulating the Ka’bah –This order to circumambulate the Ka’bah predates the “pagan” Arabs and even the Arab nation. Allah “pointed” out the place of the Ka’bah to Abraham and instructed Abraham and Ishmael to purify the Ka’bah for those who “compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow or prostrate themselves (in prayer)–(Qur’an 22:26; 2:125). Notably, as Allāh raised messengers among all people it is within reason that at least some these mess-engers were given Books as Moses, David, Jesus and Mohammad were given. For Allāh tells us that Abraham also was given a book: “He indeed is successful who purifies himself…Surely this is in the earlier scriptures The scrip-tures of ABRAHAM and Moses”–Qur’an 87:14-19). Thus, Allāh pointing out the place of the Ka’bah and instructing Abraham and Ishmael to purify the Ka’bah must have been in the Book given to Abraham.

Muslims circumambulating the Ka’bah is symbolic of the Angels worshipping Allāh.

   Since Allah God “pointed” out the place of the Ka’bah to Abraham–(Qur’an 22:26, which seemed to predate Abraham–Qur’an 14:37); and Abraham and Ishmael raised the foundation of this House–(Qur’an 2:127); and Allah God covenanted with Abraham and Ishmael to sanctify His house (the Ka’bah) “for those who compass it round”–(Qur’an 2:125); and all this was done before idolatry, and before Judaism.

   And if the Ka’bah later became under the possession of the idolaters who undertook the practice of making circuits (all be it naked) round the Ka’bah, and when the Ka’bah came into the control of Muslims who then observed this injunction to “com-pass” the Ka’bah that Allah gave to Abraham and Ishmael, it cannot be said that Muslims copied this circuit round the Ka’bah from the idolaters; when in fact, it was the idolaters who adopted this act which was enjoined by Allah God.

“To say that tawaf of the Ka’bah is a remnant of idolatry is to force a meaning on idolatry which it has never borne. Circumambulation of an object which is considered sacred is met with in the history of the Israelites, “where the altar is circumambulated once on the first six days and sometimes on the seventh” (En. Is., art. Tawaf), yet no critic has ever asserted that the altar was worshipped by the Israelites. And, of all men, the Muslim would be the farthest from the idea of idol-worship in his tawaf of the Ka’bah, when he feels himself in the presence of the One God, crying aloud, labbaika Allahumma labbaika, la sharika laka labbaika, “Here am I, O Allah! here am I in Thy presence, there is no associate with Thee, here am I.” (Muhammad Ali, The Religion of Islam, pp. 519, 520).

  1. Running between the two hills of Safa and MarwahThe Safa and Marwah are two hills in Makkah. When Abraham left his wife and son, Lady Hajra (Hagar) and Ishmael, in the desert, she ran to and fro between these hills in search of water. Allah God revealed in the Qur’an: “The Safa and the Marwah are truly among the signs of Allah, so whoever makes a pilgrimage to the House (Ka’bah) or pays a visit (to it), there is no blame on him if he goes round them.…” (Qur’an 2:158)

   Muslims are enjoined to imitate this action of Lady Hajra, as a lesson in patience, which is rewarded by Allah. Allah reveals to us in the Qur’an that He raised up messengers among all nations/ peoples; and that He appointed to every nation rites and ceremonies–(Qur’an 22:67). Since one of the acts of devotion for Muslims is the traversing between the hills of Safa and Marwa, which affords us the lesson of faith, patience and perseverance, it could hardly be considered an “absurd ritual.” (These physical acts of devotion are training for our moral and spiritual enhancement).

“On the Safa was an idol called Usaf, and on the Marwah one called Na’ilah, which the pilgrims touched in the days of ignorance, and hence the apprehensions of the Muslims in going round them (IJ). “The people of Madinah were averse to going round the Safa and the Marwah”, though no reason for their aversion is given (B. 65: ii, 21).” (M. Ali, comm. #’ 200).

   As this event–Lady Hajra running between the two hills– (occurred about 2500 BC), before the populating of Makkah, the idolaters worship of Usaf and Naila have no relevancy to the Hajj. Muslims do not engage in this act of running between Safa and Marwah so as to acquire “luck” or “good fortune.”

   The idolaters running between Safa and Marwah in an effort to acquire “luck” or “good fortune” would seem to be in imitation of Lady Hajra’s running and finding water.

  1. The Sermon on Mount Arafatis an address by the Prophet (and now the Imam) to the pilgrims. This is not of “pagan” origin or a “superstition” or “adopted” from the Jews.
  1. Pelting stones at the Devil –is in remembrance of Abraham’s temptation by the Devil. It is a symbolic expression for the pilgrims to fight off evil temptations.
  1. The sacrifice at Minna1–is in memory of Abraham’s intended sacrifice of his then “only son,” Ishmael. The signi-ficance of the animal sacrifice being, as man has control over the beast, just as much Allāh, God, has control over man, who should give himself in sacrifice to the cause of Allāh, God, the Glorious and the High. This animal-sacrifice is obligatory on who can afford, or must fast–(Qur’an 2:196; 22:28, 30, 36-37. Bokhari Vol. 2, #71, 750; Vol. 3, #217). Hajj is the only Divinely instituted pilgrimage.

That Abraham “deserted” Hagar. Was Moses “deserted” when his mother put him in a basket in the water?

   God instructed Abraham to do as Sarah bid him–Gen. 21:12. Abraham obeying the instructions of God is not “desertion.” Abraham was instructed by God to sacrifice his “only son,” Ishmael, if Abraham had done so would God have hold him guilty of murder?

   Clearly, in asking Abraham to send Hagar away, God was advancing His purpose of sending to the Arabs and the world Mohammad, the Comforter, who guided us into “all truth,” and would abide “for ever” through the Qur’an.

Again, when Hagar’s “water was spent” “God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water”–Gen.21:15, 20. A person is never “deserted” when God is with her or him. Conversely, she or he is “deserted” when God is not with her or him even though she or he has the entire world at her or his feet.

   According to Islamic tradition, Abraham was with Ishmael in Arabia on at least two occasions; after Ish-mael’s marriage and at their building of the Ka’ba–Bokhari Vol. 4, # 583, 584).

(6) Kissing the Black Stone: Muslims also kiss the Qur’an, this is not an act of worship. Kissing the Black Stone may be pagan in origin; and this kissing may have been an act of stone-worship of the pagans. But this stone does not possess the power to harm or to benefit; and Muslims only worship the only One Who has the power to effect harm and to confer benefit–Allāh, God!

   There are different kinds of ‘kiss,’ and with different significance. A man kissing his mother and daughter does not carry the same meaning as when he kisses his wife. Muhammad Ali ex-plains:

“…it must be remembered that the Ka’bah has never been supposed by any Muslim to possess any Divine attribute. The strange conclusion drawn by some Christian writers that the honour thus given to the Ka’bah is a remnant of the pre-Islamic Arab polytheism or idolatry, is quite erroneous. (These Christians should lament their own religion which stands on the foundation of paganism). The Muslims honour the Ka’bah because it is their Spiritual Centre; they do not worship it. (A Divinely ordained Spiritual Centre that Christians do not have). Even the idolatrous Arabs never worshipped the Ka’bah, though they placed idols in it which they worshipped.

It should also be borne in mind that the famous Black Stone was not one of the Arab idols, nor can the kissing of it in performing the pilgrimage be looked upon as a remnant of idolatry. That stone stands only as a monument: “The stone which the builders refused is become the head-stone of the corner” (Ps. 118:22). Ishmael was looked upon as rejected, and the covenant was considered to have been made with the children of Isaac, yet it was that rejected stone, for which the Black stone at the Ka’bah stands as a monument, that was to become “the head-stone of the corner.” The Black Stone is unhewn, so it is the stone that was “cut out of the mountain without hands” (Dan. 2:45). Jesus Christ made this clear in the parable of the husbandmen, when he plainly told the Israelites that the vineyard (i.e. the kingdom of God) would be taken away from them and given to “other husbandmen”, i.e. to a non-Israelite people, giving indication of that people in the words: “Did ye never read in the Scripture, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? (Matt. 21:42).And he added: “The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (Matt. 21:43), thus showing that he was referring to a rejected nation. Hence if the Black Stone is kissed, it is not kissed as an idol or as a god, but as a monument of the rejection of a nation which was to become the cornerstone of the Divine kingdom.”(Comm. 191a).

   “There is not the least indication to show where this stone came from and when it was placed there, but as it was there before the advent of Islam and was even kissed, it must have been there at least from the time of Abraham, as the main features of the hajj are traceable to that patriarch. Yet it is remarkable that though the Ka’bah had 360 idols within its walls before the coming of Islam, the Black Stone was never regarded as an idol by the pre-Islamic Arabs, nor was it ever worshipped by them like the idols of the Ka’bah. …..

…It [the Black Stone] was kissed but it was never taken for a god, though the Arabs worshipped even unhewn stones, trees and heaps of sand. And the Mus-lims, to say nothing of the Prophet, were so averse to idolatry that when they saw two idols, the Usaf and the Nailah, on the hills of Safa and Marwah respectively, they refused to make the sa’y between these two mountains, until a verse was revealed: “The Safa and the Marwah are truly among the signs of Allah, so whoever makes a pilgrimage to the House or pays a visit to it, there is no blame on him if he goes round them both” (2:158). …The Muslims so hated idolatry that they could not brook the thought of idols being connected in any way with their religious practices. How could they think of worshipping the Ka’bah and the Black Stone, which even the idolaters had never worshipped? Had the idea of idolatry been connected in the least with the circuits round the Ka’bah and the kissing of the Black Stone, the Muslims would never have resorted to those practices.

…And it has just been shown that the Prophet once made circuits of the Ka’bah on the back of a camel; he also touched the Black Stone with the rod in his hand; all of which goes to show that the Muslims never entertained the idea of the worship of these things, nor was their attitude towards them at any time that of the worshipper towards the object of his worship. The Black Stone was not kissed alone; the Prophet kissed both the Black Stone, which is in the Eastern corner, and the Yaman corner, while some of the Companions kissed all the four corners of the Ka’bah.”

“That the Ka’bah was rebuilt by Abraham is an historical fact. The Black Stone has been there ever since the Ka’bah has been known to exist, there is not the least reason to doubt. That it was a stone sent down from Paradise, or that it was originally white and became black on account of the sins of men, there is no reliable tradition to indicate.”2

   There is no basis for the assertions that many of the practices of Islam are “continuations” from Paganism; or that the Pilgrimage is “rooted” in ancient Arabian “tribal” worship.

   It would be against reason to entertain that Mohammad, who as a minority fought against Paganism, would, as a majority and with worldly treasures at his command, imitate Paganism.

The Ka’bah–The House of God’s glory: The Prophet David says:

“O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee…. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well…. every one of them in Zion appeareth before God”–(Psalms 84:3-7).

   This “house of God to which David refers was no other but the one at Bakka, for the holy temple in Jerusalem had not been built at that time and God lived in Zion (a tent).” David came to Bacca “to seek blessing from the house of God” that was built by Abraham. “‘Appearing before God in Zion’, refers to the annual pilgrimage at Mecca,” explains Abdul Haque Vidyarthi–(Muhammad in World Scriptures, pp. 224, 225).      

   And the Book of Isaiah says: “All the flocks of Kedar” “shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory”(Isaiah 60:7). Muhammad Ali says, “Christianity, in its present form, being opposed to the true teachings of Christ, is thus the only Antichrist known to the Qur’an.”–(Qur’anic comm. # 1478).

   The Church “being opposed to the true teachings of Christ,” could not be the house of Christ. Much more, the house of God’s “glory.” Prof. Dawud (the former Rev. David Benjamin Keldani) says in his revealing book Muhammad in the Bible:

“The flocks of Kedar…have never come to the Church of Christ; and it is a fact that the villages of Kedar and their inhabitants are the only people in the whole world who have remained impenetrable to any influence of the Church of Christ.” (p. 6).

   The Church could not be the “house” of God’s glory” when the “flocks of Kedar” “have never come to the Church of Christ,” and when the fulfillment of the prophecy necessitates the coming of the “flocks of Kedar” to this “house.” Neither could a mortal-appointed shrine be the house of God’s “glory.”

The house of God’s “glory” has to be a Divine designated sanctuary. Such is the house at Makkah–the Ka’bah. That the Ka’bah in Makkah is the “house of my glory” is borne out by the Qur’an and history: “Certainly the first house appointed for men is the one at Bakkah, blessed and a guidance for the nations”–(Qur’an 3:95).

   “Bakkah is the same as Makkah…. The Jews and the Christians are told that the Temple at Jerusalem was erected long after Abraham, while the Holy House at Makkah was there even before Abraham, and was, in fact, the first House on earth for the worship of the Divine Being.” (M. Ali Qur’anic comm. # 467)

“And when We made the House a resort for men and a (place of) security. And: Take ye the place of Abraham for a place of prayer. And We enjoined Abraham and Ishmael, saying: Purify My House for those who visit (it) and those who abide (in it) for devotion and those who bow down (and) those who prostrate themselves”–(Qur’an 2:125).

   “History bears out these three distinguishing characteristics of the Ka’bah. It exists from the remotest antiquity; it was visited annually by people from the most distant corners of Arabia; and its sacredness was respected by the whole of Arabia. Thus writes Muir: “A very high antiquity must be assigned to the main features of the religion of Mecca.…Diodorus Siculus, writing about half a century before our era, says of Arabia washed by the Red Sea: ‘There is in this country a temple greatly revered by the Arabs’. These words must refer to the Holy House of Mecca, for we know of no other which ever commanded such universal homage …Tradition represents the Ka’bah as from time immemorial the scene of pilgrimage from all quarters of Arabia: from Yemen and Hadramaut, from the shores of the Persian Gulf, the deserts of Syria, and the distant environs of Hira and Mesopotamia, men yearly flocked to Mecca. So extensive a homage must have had its beginnings in an extremely remote age” (Life of Mahomet).” (M. Ali, comm. #168a)

   The Ka’bah is“the place of Abraham….and pilgrimage to the House is a duty which men owe to Allah–whoever can find a way to it”–(Qur’an 3:96). The Qur’an is the only revealed Scripture to define a “first house” of worship and place of pilgrimage. Some five thousand years ago the prophet Abraham was instructed by Allāh, God to purify this “house of my glory” –the Ka’bah–for the devotees of Allah–(Qur’an 2:125).

   Some three thousand years after Abraham, Allāh, God instructed the Prophet Mohammad to “proclaim to men the Pilgrimage: they will come to thee on foot and on every lean camel, coming from every remote path”–(Qur’an 22:27). Some 1400 years after this revelation to the Prophet Mohammad, the fulfillment of this mighty prophecy of the Qur’an is evident as males and females from all over the world journey by air, land, and sea to the Ka’bah in Makkah.

   God says (in Deut. 33:2) that He “shined forth from mount Paran” with 10,000 saints. And as Prof. Abdul Ahad Dawud –the former Reverend David Benjamin Keldani– points out that in “the whole history of the wilderness of Paran”

“you will find no other event but when Mecca was con-quered by the Prophet. He comes with 10,000 followers from Medina and re-enters “the house of my glory.””3

   The Religion from God is Islam. The comprehensive law of God is the Qur’an. The Universal Prophet of God is Mohammad. The world language from God is Arabic. The House of Gods’ “glory” is the Ka’bah at Makkah. This gathering to the “house of my glory” at Makkah is, in the history of religion, the only Divinely ordained pilgrimage.

(7) Muzdalifah: Allah God assigns acts of devotion to man. If Pre-Islamic Muzdalifah was a place of “fire worship,” this Pagan custom has no connection to Muslims Hajj journey from Arafat to Muzdalifah to Minna.

   The Prophet Mohammad allowed the visiting Christians of Najran to offer their prayers in his Masjid/Mosque. These Christians in all likelihood sat facing the front of the Masjid which faced the Ka’bah. These Christians, by supplicating in this Masjid and facing the Ka’bah, were not honoring the Ka’bah as their Qiblah and accepting Allah as their God.

   Likewise, Muslims associating with Arafat and Muzdalifah and Minna cannot be taken as an acceptance of paganism.

   There are churches that have been converted into Masjids; Muslims who offer prayer in these churches are not conferring Divinity to Jesus Christ. Likewise, Muslims associating with Arafat and Muzdalifah and Minna cannot be taken as an acceptance of paganism.

   In some countries the Ka’bah lies in an easterly direction, but Muslims do not worship the rising sun as the pagans did.

   Only in two places are Muslims forbidden to prostrate ourselves in worship –in a cemetery and washroom. And only three times of day –while the sun is rising but not yet fully ascended from the horizon, at its zenith (midday), and when it is setting but not yet fully set– for these were the times when the pagans worshipped the sun. At every other place and time Muslims can worship Allah God, irrespective of the history of the place.

(8) Shaving the head:This shaving of the head is a sign of the pilgrim getting out of the “state of ihram (ceremonial garment).

   The Prophet is reported as saying that one who completes the Hajj is like a newborn baby.  As Islam requires the head of the newborn be shorn, this shaving of the pilgrim’s head is symbolic of that birth. For women, clipping of a lock of hair is sufficient.

   It is only ignorance to claim that the Hajj was “shamelessly” adopted from “pre-Islamic practice.” The Prophet, in order to disassociate the practice of Muslims with anything relating to paganism went so far as to forbid Muslims to pray at the time of the rising of the sun, its zenith, and its’ setting. It is not credible that he would then incorporate other aspects of paganism into the religion of Allah God.

   The Muslim acts of prayer, fasting, and hajj are the greatest levelers of ranks. They compel the stiff-kneed, the proud, and the vain to bend in ranks with the poor, to feel their hunger and thirst, and to dress in the bare essentials.

   In his ritual of five prayers daily, Muslims achieve exercise, morality, and meditation. The body is exercised through the phy-sical movements; morality is strengthened through implementing the prayer into practice; and spirituality is strengthened through meditating on the Power that shaped us –Allāh, God!  

Prior to his Call, the Prophet Mohammad spent time meditating in a cave in Mount Hira. Upon the revelation of the Qur’an, he spent the last ten days of the month of Ramadan in retreat to the Masjid–(Qur’an 2:187. Bokhari Vol. 3, #’s 242, 243, 251).

While there are Muslims who spend the last ten days of Ramadan in the sanctuary of the Masjid in meditation, Muslims in general, who offer daily prayers engage in meditation some five times a day. One who is in harmony with the physical, moral, and spiritual may be said to be at peace.

   Rewards of the Hajj: This place of pilgrimage –the Ka’bah and other sites– is located in a place of rock, sand, and stifling heat. Allāh, God, could have had His sacred House in a place of lush valleys and shady trees and cool breeze–a place of comfort and pleasure. Why did Allāh, God, choose the desert instead? In the words of Hazrat ‘Ali, the fourth Caliph:

“the Lord wants to test the quality of faith and the sincerity of His creatures through hardships and sufferings. He wants to test and see how they bear troubles and sufferings in obedience to His commands, how happily they offer their prayers and thanks in the midst of troubles and worries, adversities, and reverses, or distresses and disappointments, so that their minds may be cleansed of pride and vanity as well as arrogance and self conceit. And through meekness, humility, faith and sincerity they may gain His favors and may find place in His Heaven.” (Nahjul Balagha, sermon # 197, p. 358).

   To every pilgrim Hajj may be a different experience. Hajj may make one realize that whereas formerly he worshipped Allah God because of fear of the Fire and for want of Paradise; that, though he still prefers Paradise over Hell, he now worships Allah because of His goodness, His mercy, His magnificence.  

   Hajj may give an understanding as to how the prophet Jesus was content with the earth as his bed and the rock as his pillow.

   Hajj may give an insight as to how the Prophet Mohammad, being the king of Arabia with all the treasures at his command, was content with a bed made of palm leaves, and a wooden scepter.

   Hajj may give an understanding as to how the Caliphs ‘Umar and ‘Ali were content with wearing worse than the poorest of their subjects.

   Hajj may give a glimpse of what those righteous people were seeing of the Glory of Allah. Enough of an insight to know that those people in whose hearts burn the desire to make the Hajj, not because it is a command or a duty, but of their love and gratitude to our Lord, that they will go even if you were to tell them that they have to pass through a wall of fire. They will go!

The Hajj is the only Divinely ordained pilgrimage for man.

Prayer, Zakaat/Charity, Fasting and Hajj are nutrients for the soul.

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NOTES

1. Swami Prabhupada, commenting on the Bhagavad Gita As It Is 18:3, states: “Although animal killing in a sacrifice is recom-mended in the Vedic literature, the animal is not considered to be killed. The sacrifice is to give a new life to the animal. Sometimes the animal is given a new animal life after being killed in the sacrifice, and sometimes the animal is promoted immediately to the human form of life.”

In which event the Muslims annual sacrifice of Eid-ul-Adha might be doing a tremendous good to millions of souls trapped in animal forms by freeing them “immediately to the human form of life.” Perhaps even freeing the Swami’s parents and/or relatives; and the Swami himself. Hindus are to be eternally grateful to Muslims for this tremendous humanitarian sacrifice to benefit them. (This sacrificing of animals cannot be restricted to Hindu-ism. For, as Lord Krishna says in the Gita 4:6-8: “I still appear in every millennium” “Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice” “To deliver the pious…;” and since the Arabs of 7th Century Arabia were in a “decline in religious practice,” Lord Krishna, according to his saying, must have ‘appeared’ to the Arabs.

As the Qur’an sanctions the slaughter of animals for food, any preaching against the eating of meat would seem to be a preaching against Lord Krishna. It is against reason that Lord Krishna would sanction the eating of animals [and fish] if the killing of animals cause “karmic reaction.” If Lord Krishna came as Mohammad, he revealed the Qur’an to himself; and has given conflicting doctrines–Resurrection and Judgment to Islam versus Karma and Reincarnation to Hinduism. But the Gita “Being opposed to the Veda, it cannot be held to be an authority,” says Swami Dayananda Saraswati, “Krishna could never be God,” he says–(Light of Truth, p. 219).

That animal “sacrifice is recommended in the Vedic literature,” (even if the animal is given “a new animal life” or “is promoted immediately to the human form of life”), seems to be a contra-diction of the teaching that “killing an animal interrupts its progressive evolution through the species,” as The Higher Taste says (p. 44).  In some parts of India “gramadevatas” (village deities) are appeased with “animal sacrifices as a way of warding off and removing epidemics, crop failures, and other natural disasters”–(Ency. Brit. 15th Edn; art. gramadevata, Vol. IV, p. 667).  Goats are “sacrificed” to the goddess Kali “daily.” And “to avert cattle epidemics a bull is sacrificed to Rudra” (who is Shiva in another form)–(Hamlyn, Man and his Gods, p. 180).

2. Muhammad Ali, The Religion of Islam, pp. 517, 518, 519, 520.  Muhammad Ali has dealt in depth with the rites and places of Hajj in this book.

3. Prof. ‘Abdul Ahad Dawud –the former Reverend David Benjamin Keldani– Muhammad in the Bible, p. 6.

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