Hajj-e-Baytullaah - One of the pillars of Islaam
A Birth place of Ameer ul-Mumineen Saiyed ul-Wasiyeen Maulaana Ali ul-Murtazaa (as) where every Ambiyaa-e-Kiraam and Du'aat-e-Ezaam did Du'aa for the maghferat of mumineen
A glimpse of basic elements and rituals of Hajj according to Isma'ili Taiyebi tenets

Imaam Ahmad ul-Mastoor (AS), the 9 th Faatemi Imaam, quotes in the sixth epistle (which deals with the nature of the mankind) of the second part of his book Rasaa'il Ikhwaan us-Safaa, “O my brother, may Allah guide you and me through His holy soul, you be aware that this earth is the centre of the universe and the wind and the skies surround it from all the sides compactly. It resembles the Ka'bah which is in the centre of the Haram. All the skies makes the earth its centre and revolves around it just like the pilgrims circumambulates the Ka'bah during the period of Hajj. The fixed stars which are located in the uppermost skies resemble the worshippers everywhere who offer their prayers facing the Ka'bah. The moving stars which change their orbits from higher to lower and from lower to higher in their path resemble the Hajjaaj who converge towards Kaabah on departure from their home for the Hajj and then after offering the rituals of Hajj, again returns back to their homes. The Hajjaaj bring the precious gifts, valuable and exquisite things to Makkah from their home town. All the precious and wonderful things thus get collected in Makkah and the Hajjaaj exchange those things among themselves. And while returning from the Makkah, they take with them not only these attractive gifts, but also salvation, forgiveness and blessings from the Almighty Allah. The same rule applies to Falak-e-Moheet, and the Fixed Stars and the other celestial bodies, who impart to this world their characteristic powers, and after a time when souls climb up, and then descend, some of them become useful and some of them become harmful.

Remember O my brother, may Allah guide you and me with his divine intervention! Please understand the process of your ascent of your soul, at the time of death, from this mortal world to the immortal world! Remember brother the rituals, customs and the tenets of Hajj are the examples, which Allah Ta'aala has revealed to us and they exactly resemble the process of salvation and redemption. Everything has to return back to the point of its origin. It is the point of thought and contemplation for the intellectuals that they have to get ready to return from this world, and this fact is clearly mentioned in Surat ul-Fajr in Quran Shareef that, “O the serene soul, return back to your Lord, you are pleased by Allah and Allah is pleased by you. Now you have entered in the group of my followers and you are bound to enter into my Paradise .” Answer to this divine call, “Allaahumma labbayk laa shareeka laka labbayk.” Take a lesson my brother, Hajjaaj returns from the pilgrimage and meets other Hajjaj on their way, they exchange their experiences; supports and helps each other and they take their belongings. In the same way, for advancing in the next world, one needs the assets and resources for the life Hereafter. You alone cannot reach that place; the path is long, crooked and horrifying. Shaitaan is ready to incite you for the evil deeds and mislead you at every step. You need help of your loyal and faithful brother under whose guidance and help you will be saved from the Hell and enter the heavenly abode, in the Paradise.

O my brother. Face to the Ka'ba and hopefully you will recognize the real facts from the knowledgeable people by staying back for a while at the place of ‘Arafat. Then advance your steps towards Muzdalefa and then to Minaa and fulfill your wishes. Be aware of this fact that, the one who performs Hajj without recognizing and understanding the laws and tenets and performs all the rituals without knowing its purpose then indeed it becomes a game and play for him, and becomes just a type of picnic where he just enjoys good food, travel and stay. He will surely disregard the spiritual and divine importance of Hajj and will consider it as a matter of triviality and will surely deviate and stray from the right path of the religion. In the same way, in every community there are basic rules and regulations as well as customs for not only prayers but also for other rituals! Hazrat Ibraheem (AS) had set an example in the similar way. He built Ka'bah and placed the Hajr-e-Aswad in its place. He educated the people about the basic tenets. Now if any single person understand all these tenets with knowledge and truth then certainly he will understand the purpose of Hazrat Ibraheem (AS).

It is mentioned in our books that just as the fixed stars are surrounded by Falak-e-Moheet, in a similar way multitude of angels surround the Arsh of Allah reciting tasbeeh and seeking forgiveness for believers on earth. Just as the Hajjaj circumambulate the Kaabah, in similar way, Angels circumambulate the Bait-e-Ma'moor which is there in the skies and correspond exactly to the Ka'bah of Earth.

And O believer you better understand that, just as there is diversity in prescription of different doctors for the same disease in a similar way there is diversity in the shari'ah brought by different Prophets. But there is only One Universal Religion which guides the Ummat to the Path of Salvation from the Path of Perdition, just as all doctors have a common cause of curing the disease.

So awake yourself and perform good deeds so that you get elevated to the status of Angels! And never be amongst those who get entangled in the pleasures of this mortal world and forget the journey to the Other world! May Allah save you from the punishment of Hell and “ Veritably Allah is capable of doing anything and everything .”

Bayt ullaah is in the middle of Masjid-e-Haraam and the latter is in the middle of Haram and the latter is still in the middle of Hijaaz, and the latter is in the middle of all Islamic cities as well as the entire world. Just as the earth is in the centre of the ball of atmosphere and surrounding it is the orbit of moon and surrounding it are the orbits of different planets and surrounding them are the constellations, in a similar way the Hajjaaj revolve around the Ka'bah in different circles. Just as the lights of all these celestial bodies converge on Earth, in a similar way all the Hajjaj circumambulate the Ka'bah, always keeping it to the left, some people takes larger circles, some smaller ones, some finishing the revolution fast and some taking longer time if they are far from Ka'bah.

Bayt ullaah or Ka'bah is the beauty and honour of the entire Islamic World. And Hajj is the ultimate spiritual experience that purifies the soul of believers. Ka'bah is the land of Ambiyaa , the recluse of Awsiyaa (sa), the place of prayers, and lastly the place of salvation. Towards it all believers direct their prayers, it is their Qiblah, and just looking at it is perceived to be a type of prayer! It is the place where there is a perennial shower of Allah's blessings, the Du'aa is accepted, Wishes are fulfilled, and the love for Ambiyaa, Awsiyaa and A'immat is increased. And we get lessons of fortitude, forbearance, supplication and truthfulness! And we get a golden opportunity to attain Heaven and the nearness to Allah, and after our death Hajj promises to enlighten our dark graves.

O Brother, Endeavour to reach this holy place, and it will enable you to pray with peace, supplication and clear mind, away from the vagaries and vicissitudes of life. Upon the order of Allah, Ibraaheem Khaleelullaah (as), constructed the Ka'bah, raised its four walls and corners and at one of the corner he could not get an appropriate stone despite searching hard! Jibra'eel then brought a divine stone from Heaven called Hajr-e-Aswad, which was then positioned at that corner and the construction was complete! During the time of Mohammad Rasoolullaah (saws), reconstruction of Ka'bah was undertaken by Quraish tribe and there occurred a dispute as to who would depute Hajr-e-Aswad at its place! The dispute was resolved by the Prophet, asking all the chieftains to hold the edges of the cloth sheet, in the centre of which Hajr was put and finally at the exact place the Prophet himself placed it.

Hajr-e-Aswad symbolizes Misaaq! And to kiss it is like giving misaaq to Imaam uz- Zamaan (as). Hence while starting the tawaaf as well as ending the tawaaf, kissing or doing Istelaam is compulsory and a du'aa is recited meaning “O Allah, I have submitted my promise and the oath of allegiance, so that this stone must be a witness for me before you that I have completed my obligation.”

Hajj is one of the best deeds, the pillar of Islam and the fortification of Imaan. Tawaaf ensures purification of sins, to stand on Mount Arafat till sunset ensures acceptance of all du'aa and repentance, sacrifice (zabeehat) in Mina washes away all sins, wickedness and vices, stone throwing ritual is a way to distance ourselves from the wicked plots and designs of Shaitaan and expending 1 dirham in the name of Allah is like multiplying our wealth. Just as Hajj, Umrah is also recommended but the believer should attain Hajj first, at all possible ways. And for all the Mumins who recite Labbayk Allaahumma Labbayk, there is a swift reply from Allah the Almighty that, “O my believer, since you have come in my abode away from your near and dear ones; I am here ready for you to bless you with all my Bounties and Beneficence.”

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