Prayer Time

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All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.

Religious obligations based on time take different forms: some obligations are yearly, like fasting the month of Ramadan; others are weekly, like the Jumu'ah prayer, while others are daily, like the five daily prayers. However, there is an obligation that is only required once in a lifetime, which is the performance of Hajj (pilgrimage).

One might ask: why was Hajj made obligatory only once in a lifetime? Is it to make things easy for people? This is possible, yet the fact that one cannot overlook is that many lessons can be learned from Hajj and that includes different great instructions that reform one's character.

If a Muslim acts upon these instructions and benefits from these lessons, they would suffice him from having to perform Hajj another time. If a Muslim performs Hajj the way he is supposed to and in a way that pleases Allah The Almighty, then he would not need to perform Hajj once more to learn or benefit from the lessons instilled in Hajj.

One of the great mercies that Allah has bestowed upon this ummah (nation, i.e., the Muslims), is that Allah has made obedience to His commands and the commands of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) subject to the condition that one be able to do them. So long as a person is able to do them, then it is obligatory for him to do what is required of him, otherwise he is not obliged to do so and he is excused. Allah says:

" لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا "

“Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope” [al-Baqarah 2:286] .

Concerning Hajj in particular, Allah says: 

وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا " "

“And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka‘bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence)” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:97] 

By His mercy He has enjoined this upon His slaves once in a lifetime, so that it will not be too difficult for them, but He urges those who are able to do Hajj and ‘Umrah more than once to do so. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Keep on doing Hajj and ‘Umrah, for they take away poverty and sins as the bellows takes away the impurity from iron.” (Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 2/4; this is a saheeh hadeeth as was stated by al-Albaani in al-Silsilat al-Saheehah, 1200).

This great act of worship was prescribed by Allah so that we might praise Him and glorify Him, and thank Him for His great blessings and bounty. The purpose of Tawaaf around the Ka’bah is not simply to go around these stones! No, rather the reason is that Allah has commanded us to go around it seven times and we obey Allah by going around it seven times, no more and no less; rather we do what He has commanded us and we feel that we are His slaves, humbling ourselves before Him and praising Him and thanking Him for choosing us to be His slaves out of all of mankind who worship various gods, and may even worship themselves or their own desires.  The same applies to all the rituals of Hajj, and indeed to all the acts of worship that Allah has prescribed for us. Praise be to Allah, Who has honored us with this great religion.

After performing that one obligatory time, it becomes only recommended to perform Hajj a second or a third time in order for these lessons to become engraved in his heart and become well founded therein; until these lessons become second nature, and he consequently becomes entitled to be showered with the Mercy of Allah and obtain the spiritual treasures.

The real essence of Hajj is to establish pure monotheism to Allah The Almighty, as was stated in the narration: "He who performs Hajj for the sake of Allah …"This means that he performs Hajj purely for Allah The Almighty as a way to testify to The Oneness of Allah.

Monotheism is an obvious feature of this act of worship from the time Allah The Almighty mandated it, and as it is noticed in its rites, from beginning to end.


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