October 15

‘Philosophy of Hajj’ by Sheikh Safdar Razi

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In Hajj Allah is calling you, it’s like death, as when the Angel of death comes, it is because Allah is calling you to Him.



When you are doing Ghusul, remember that one day you will be washed. You are washing yourself from your sins.

When you wear your ihram it’s like wearing your shroud.



In Tawaf you walk in the anticlockwise direction. Everything in the universe goes Anticlockwise, the solar system goes anticlockwise, the atoms go anticlockwise. The whole universes circulation is anticlockwise.



We are promising Allah, O God, my focal point is you, you are the centre of my life, I will always 7 days of my week for my whole life be around you, worshipping you. I will not deviate left or right I will always be in an orbit around your existence.



You then pray behind the footsteps of Prophet Ibrahim, what message do you get here? O God, Prophet Ibrahim sacrificed, he did not follow Shaitan, he did not let his ego come, so I will follow him, I will try to do my best to be your friend O God. I will try and pelt my ego with my intellectual stones, whenever anything comes I will sacrifice for your sake I will keep you above my ego.



When you are praying behind someone you are following that person you are listening to that person, so when we are praying behind Prophet Ibrahim’s footsteps that are engraved on the stone, it means we are following in HIS footsteps.



The walk between Safa and Marwa. When Prophet Ibrahim came with Hajar and Ismael, Prophet Ibrahim was order to leave by Allah. Ismael was thirsty, so Hajar started to look for water, she was walking from Mount Safa to Marwa, and again she was struggling just to take care of her child. After the 7th round at Marwa Allah brought forth a miracle – a spring of water started to gush and gush this was zam zam, which means ‘stop stop’. If Ismael hadn’t said stop stop they would drowned, when he said stop stop, the springs became slower. When water is present birds start to come, so the distant tribes saw the birds which meant water is there, so the tribes came and Makkah was established as a city. The next visit of Prophet Ibrahim, him and Ismael built the holy kaaba.



Arafat – the land of resurrection. On the Day of Judgement you will be accounted, and you will read your book. This is an opportunity to remember all the sins you have done in your life and ask forgiveness. On this day you can account yourself and seek forgiveness, but on the Day of Judgement you will be accounted but can’t ask for forgiveness, account yourself before you are accounted.



The Day of Arafat means Marifa, when you die you come into the realm of knowing Allah there is no material barrier. Whoever knows his soul will know his Lord. Contemplate.



In Muzdalifa there are no tents. There are no barriers.



When you pick your stones ask Allah to protect you from the biggest devil, which isn’t Iblis or Shaitan, it is our ego.



From Muzdalifa to Mina You see the light, you are back to the world and it is as if you are newly born. Just as a new born baby has their hair shaved, you shave your hair.



Just as you pelt the Shaitan with 7 stones, pelt your ego whenever it comes 7 days a week.



The are 3 Shaitans, the big one, medium one and small one. These places are where Shaitan came to Prophet Ibrahim, Hajar and Ismael trying to deceive them and they pelted Shaitan with stones.



So when Shaitan comes to us telling us not to obey Allah, take the stones of your will and pelt the ego and Shaitan and don’t let him distract you. The big pillar is like shirk. Rely on Allah not people. Medium Shaitan is like the sins of the rights of the people and the small Shaitan is like the Sins of yourselves. Make promises to Allah in Mina.



The sacrifice has a big meaning, imagine the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim. He waited for about 80 years to have a son, then he was blessed with Ismael. What a difficult test for Prophet Ibrahim, he waited 80 years for a Son, and he has to give his son back to Allah. Prophet Ibrahim controlled his desires, and said to Allah everything is for you.

When we go and sacrifice, whenever there is a conflict between Allah and your desires, Allah and your ego, Allah and your material entertainment, prefer Allah, prefer your salaat, prefer Fasting, prefer Allah in every single moment of your day and night.



There is another sacrifice which is the sacrifice of the holy Prophet with his grandson Imam Hussain. The Prophet knew before Imam Hussain was born what was going to happen in Kerbala, imagine the test of the Prophet. He told Imam Hussain about being martyred in Kerbala, he didn’t tell Imam Hussain not to go to Kerbala. Imam Hussain was be-headed there was no ram replaced there instead, the Holy Prophet and Lady Fatima and Imam Ali were all watching how difficult it was for them. Imam Hussain has to witness all his family being slaughtered in front of his eyes.



To appreciate the blood of Imam Hussain, avoid committing sins, avoid your ego, just remember did Imam Hussain give his life for us commit sins? Keep the values of Imam Hussain alive.



This is like the journey of the dead, you die when you go from Makkah to Arafat, you are basically in your grave. Then you are resurrected in Arafat the land of resurrection. After accounting and seeking forgiveness you come back to life as you have been given another opportunity of life.



Reference: http://www.awaitedone.org/resources/videos/hajj-lessons-sh.-safdar-razi.html

January 28

The Mayonnaise Jar

When  things in your life seem almost too much to handle, When 24  hours in a day is not enough; remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of  coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy  class and  had some items in front of him.  When the class began, wordlessly, he  picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and start to fill it with  golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and  poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.  He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded With an unanimous  ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the  table
and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the  professor, as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things – Friends,  family,
children, health, and favourite passions. Things  that if everything else was lost and  only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car.
The sand is everything else — The small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar  first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf  balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy  on the small stuff, You will never have room for the things that  are important to you.

So…
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play with your children.
Take time to get medical check ups.
Take your partner out to dinner.
There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.
‘Take care of the golf balls first –  The things that really  matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.’

One of the students raised her hand  and inquired what the coffee represented. The  professor smiled.

‘I’m glad you asked’.

It just goes to show you that  no matter how full your life may seem,
there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend..’