The concrete pillar stood yonder and as I approached it with a handful of pebbles, I felt a certain stir of emotion.
I was brought up on the foundations that there are no idols to be worshipped and that we need no props to reach our Creator, and here I stood ready to pelt an innocuous looking concrete tower, called the Big Satan with stones.
Before I stopped and renounced my obligation of doing what had been ordained, the significance of the ritual I was supposed to embark upon struck me. Yes, we needed no idols but here is Allah Subhanahu wa Taala, telling us that we need to stone this idol called Satan. This exercise meant going against the conventions that I have become used to. This exercise meant that while no props were required for reaching out to Allah, but here we were to violate this conventional wisdom by seeing a concrete pillar as the accursed one and then pelt it with stones. This was an exercise to instill in us the reality that the All-Powerful can command us to accept what is beyond reality as and when He pleases.
The shattering of this mindset also testifies to the fact that the Hajj is beyond symbolism and a set package of exercises, as many would have us assume. The mere act of stoning a concrete pillar was an act to inform us that the Hajj is not an ordinary event but an extraordinary experience where even conventions change. The rituals of Hajj are not to make the pilgrims to go mindlessly through the motions prescribed in textbooks and return home with a 'certificate' of having been there.
The act of gathering Muslims from all corners of the inhabited world is much more than making them go through a set of prescribed rituals. If it were so, then we could have been asked to gather in congregations like we do on the two Eids and conduct such an exercise.
However, the largest congregation of people on earth in a single space needs to be examined from the perspective of the Prophetic advise contained in his last Hajj sermon to the believers where he directed them to convey the message to those who were absent from this great assembly.
The fact that he said that the message be conveyed to those absent is not just an old message but it is also an obligation to experience anew and then convey this new experience to those who could not come. In a world that counts more than 1.25 billion Muslims this also means that Muslims are required to focus on the need to develop, advance and utilize means of mass communication, even if we are to suppose that only Muslims are the 'absent' ones to be addressed. In reality, the entire humanity is the real focus of this command. Thus, the Muslim responsibility stretches to not only developing means of mass communications but such means of mass communications that it will convey the message of 'Peace' to the entire humanity.
This should make the Muslims reflect on how far behind we are in fulfilling this duty, especially when we see that we did not invent the printing press nor did we excel in using it and that we neither own the networks, nor did we develop the satellites and cables that carry these networks. The need to rectify these shortcomings should be addressed from a host of aspects: the entrepreneurs must seek ways to developing media ownerships, the youth should seek the scientific empowerment to be able to develop and control new and more effective means of mass communications, and those blessed with chores of leadership need to introduce policies that encourage such pursuit.
|The pillar of temptation signifies the place where Satan tried to tempt Prophet Abraham to disobey God.|
The Hajj experience starts with the donning of the Ihram, a uniform for all surpassing all socioeconomic divisions. This means that all classes that are normally held away from each other due to social barriers are now free to communicate with each other to learn and share. The coming together of so many experiences is an occasion for the Muslim Ummah to keep abreast of what is happening in the Muslim and other non-Muslim lands all over the world. The sharing of joys and pain carries another significance beyond the mere act of socialization. It needs to be understood in the light of the Qur'anic admonition that the Ummah is like one body, feeling its joys and pains. Thus, when the pilgrim from Chechnya, Palestine, Iraq or Kashmir relates his tales of sufferings, the other Muslims need to go beyond just giving him their box of Kleenex. They need to take actions that can promote justice in these areas and anywhere else where their might be suffering and injustice.
The actions required to stop things that are bad from perpetuating have been made clear by Prophet Muhammad .. If someone sees corruption taking place then they should stop it with their hands, if they cannot do that they should change the condition by speaking against it and if they cannot do that they should at least condemn it in their heart, and that is the minimum of faith.
The social dimension of Hajj is to help Muslims refocus their energies so that they do not forget what is happening the world over and take time to examine their situation. They need to examine their situation such as the inability of the Muslim leadership to respond to the growing challenges. The stones that we throw at the Satans need to picked up and recast against the barriers that block our spiritual and physical progress and development.
But no doubt the writer forgot. And we all forget, being human. May Allaah forgive me and him and all who strive in obedience to Him. Ameen.
Just for correction:
maybe this brother can not see the logic of what he says:
"there are no IDOLS to be WORSHIPPED"
later he said:
"Yes, we needed no idols but here is Allah Subhanahu wa Taala, telling us that we need to stone this idol called Satan..."
Not worshipping Idol and stoning in direction of a pillar, can never ever contradict one another.
instead of asking scholars in Makkah to enlight you and make your Hajj based on facts not your thoughts, you prefered to stay AS IS...Subhana Allah, He gives wisdom to whom He likes... your pen wrote here unconscious message to the whole Islamic world saying "I don't know that much about Hajj, but I did it"
congratulation brother :). May Allah accepts your Hajj and the conventional wisdom requires you to learn alots about Hajj for next time. Insha Allah.
Yaa Allah, overcome our mistakes and help us, without your help we are just easy prey for satan. Ameen
"Yes, we needed no idols but here is Allah Subhanahu wa Taala, telling us that we need to stone this idol called Satan."
This is absurd, where did Allah or Muhammad (SAW) said ...when we do stoning at Hajj we stone Satan! Well may be the hujja exists I may not know, I stand to be educated. Even from the name of the activity itself no where is it mentioned as "jamratul Shaitan" why this connotation then? May be you may go forward to explain the kissing of the black stone, also.
My humble submission is that these are part of what Allah mentioned as "mutashabihat". If you are a good Muslim (one who submits to Allah) then u go ahead and perform the rituals, Why you do them should not bother you the least not to talk of interpreting them.
As I said I stand to be corrected: ..Hatu Burhanakum...
While I commend you vividly for seeing this ritual in a larger way than just hitting a cement cone in Hajj, I'd like to draw your attention that it does not go against the conventional wisdom. Islam states there are (or there should be) no idols to "WORSHIP". It does not deny there are endless numbers of idols to fight. Satan is the leader of idols muslim fight everyday. We are told to say "a3oudo billah mina shaitan arrajim" before we read the quran, when we do something wrong, or when we forget something, etc... Everytime we utter those words seeking divine protection against Satan we are casting pebbles against the unfmaous idol. God also informs us in teh quran that "Wa ja3alnaha Roujouman li Shayateen." God created star that hit Shayateen continously. The Hajj ritual is sybloic of all this ongoing struggle against an evil that swore by teh almighty's power, he will set u astray; away from "sirataka Lmoustaqim".
The ritual is in the heart and goes along with the teachings of Islam. There is hardly anything in the teachings that goes against conventional wisdom.
Allah is behind my intentions. I ask Him to reward you highly for your concerns for our Umma and to forgive me/us for mispeaking if we did at all. He is All-Aware and All-Able to reward. Wa Salat wa salam 3ala Mohammed wa Alih wa sahbihi Amen.
pebbles at the three pillars of temptation, satan
is constantly throwing his forces at the Three major religions. His aim is to break the faith of Muslims ,Christians and Jews.
The writer is to the point. And the barriers that we erect within our minds need to be broken with the stone hard blows of Allah's truth, as exemplified in the uswahtoon hasan of His final Prophet, Muhammad (s.).
We need to know and understand his life and the life of his sahabah in order to develop into the Adam that he created us to be. We must learn to overcome the evil insinuations within ourselves by stoning them with the Qur'an.
May Allah help us, lead, govern, guide, protect and sustain us until we reach his goal(s) for us members of the family of Adam? Amin.
We need to start purification of the heart at home and in the family. Then our friends and neighbours and rest of our community. Then comes the big challenge. The will and determination to stone our self appointed leaders and the puppets of imperialism.Until we do not destroy these symbols and representaives of colonialism we wil be encapsulated within the mindset of subservience . Its time to pull out your Ahya al Uloom and do some self search.
Thank You and Happy Eid
May Allah's Peace and Mercy be upon all, and may Allah give Mankind Hidaya. The Muslim Ummah must wake up and meet the challenges of this world head on! Let us scrape away the rust on our hearts and become true believers for whom no challenge is too big.
Peace be upon all.
No muslim hate other people of any faith. This the one of the basic teachings of ISLAM (REFER-Quran- chapter-109 Kaafiroon.)
All they do not like is double or multiple standard policies against muslims(including vetoing innumerable UN resolutions)
Let them live in peace,prosper, and let them follow their faith.(Do not send missionaries taking advantaage of conditions or creating such conditions.)
This is all propaganda to grab the resources- oil, gas,wealth, faith etc) of Muslim countries.
Show me the example where muslims in the world were saved or rescued from NON-MUSLIMS...-NO-
In fact muslims were killed,tortured,abused directly or indirectly(Iran/Iran war,Gulf War where Muslims against muslims indirectly).
GOD (ALLAH)is great and watching you and all. Beware of HIS WRATH.