Saturday Sermon: Hajj a special worship that lasts for several days
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Dr. Mohammad Omar
Hajj and The Ka'bahHajj or pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the five pillars of Islam. Hajj is an act of worship, just like the five daily prayers and fasting in the month of Ramadan. Muslims from all over the world gather in Mecca in the last month of the Muslim calendar and worship Allah. Hajj is a special worship that lasts for several days. This is an occasion that brings Muslims of all countries to one place - the Ka'ba.
The focus of the pilgrimage is Ka'ba, which was rebuilt by Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) some 4,000 years ago. Today, Ka'ba stands in the middle of a large courtyard of The Sacred Mosque.
Ka'ba is the first house ever that was built for the worship of One and Only God, Allah. It is also called (House of Allah), (the Oldest House).
Muslims, all over the world, face toward Ka'ba to offer their prayers. Allah the Exalted, says in the Holy Quran:
"Surely, the first House founded for mankind is that at Becca (the valley of Mecca), abounding in blessings and a guidance for all peoples. In it are manifest signs; it is the place of Abraham; and whoso enters it, enters peace." (3:96-97)
Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) laid a foundation stone for a community in a deserted place by the order of All-Mighty Allah. Then he settled his wife, Hajira, and his son, Ishmael, at this place. There was no water at this place, and it was not a part of any thoroughfare. The ultimate goal of this unparalleled sacrifice was that his place should serve as a center of universal guidance; that from the progeny of Ishmael living in this area would come the greatest prophet whose advent marked the sole cause for the creation of this universe and who would be a mercy for all mankind. The teaching that he brought down would be for the entire world and for all times. In spite of having no sign of any provisions at this place, Ibrahim's (peace be upon him) expectations were superseded. Allah made provisions for water at that place. Slowly the place became populated and was called Becca or Mecca. The Quran says:
And remember when Abraham and his son (Ishmael) were raising the foundations of the House (the Ka'bah at Makkah), (saying), "Our Lord. Accept this service from us. Verily. You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.
"Our Lord. And make us submissive unto You and of our offspring a nation submissive unto You, and show us our ceremonies of pilgrimage, and accept our repentance. Truly, You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.
"Our Lord. Send amongst them a Messenger of their own (and indeed Allah answered their invocation by sending Muhammad peace and blessings be up on him), who shall recite unto them Your verses and instruct them in the Book (this Qur'an) and wisdom, and sanctify them. Verily. You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise." (2:127-129)
Dr. Mohammad Omar is past imam of the Victoria Islamic Center.