The Prophet’s treatment of the people during Hajj

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The manner in which the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) treated his people during the Hajj is indeed astonishingly magnanimous. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) educated and led the masses simultaneously. It is needless to say that his deeds always measured up to his teachings. Every thing he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) did was an indication of his greatness and nobility. Here are some examples:

1.    Educating Muslims

Allah sent the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) as an educator who would made people's lives and acts of worship easier. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) undoubtedly, excelled in his mission. People bore witness that they had never experienced any type of education better than his. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) publicly announced his intention to perform the Hajj, in order to give those who wished to accompany him the opportunity to prepare themselves for the journey. The crowds flocked to Madeenah, hoping to learn from the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and to follow in his footsteps. [Muslim] Throughout the Hajj, he mingled with the pilgrims and appeared for the public all the times. [Muslim] Nobody was beaten or turned away from him [Ibn Majah]. No one was mistreated or got hurt in his presence. [Muslim]

Having been keen on delivering the message in full, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) used various methods of discourse and education. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) reasoned with his people, urged them to learn, and made them listen to what he said and focus on what he did. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) ordered Muslims to learn the Hajj rituals from him as he made it clear that it probably could be the last time he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) performed Hajj. [Al-Bukhari] He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) asked the people to bear witness that he had delivered the message fully. On many occasions he would ask them: "Have I conveyed the message to you?" [Muslim] "We bear witness," they would reply, "that you have delivered the message, turned in the trust, and given exhortation." [Abu Dawood]

 2.    Iftaa’ (giving a religious verdict)

Iftaa’ was one of the important tasks performed by the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) in his Hajj. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) gave religious verdicts concerning issues on which he was asked. One famous fatwa (verdict) of his was given to a woman from Khath'am tribe who asked him if she could perform Hajj on behalf of her aging father. "He cannot ride his camel," she said. "Perform Hajj on his behalf," the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) replied. [Al-Bukhari] Furthermore, the answer he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) gave to anyone who asked about postponing or bringing forward the rituals due on Slaughter Day was "Do it, no problem." [Al-Bukhari]

3.    Preaching

Allah sent Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) to simultaneously warn people and to give them good tidings. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) excelled in preaching and in showing his followers the righteous path. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) urged them to do good and prohibited them from doing wrong.

The Hajj offered ample opportunity for preaching. Time and again he would remind the Muslims of some important rules. [Ahmad] He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) tackled a number of vital subjects in his preaching. Here are some important examples:

He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) ordered people to observe righteousness and to be religious. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) explained to them the deeds they should do in order to enter Paradise. "Obey your Lord," he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said in one of his sermons, "Offer your five prayers, observe the fast in the month of Ramadan, give Zakah (alms) due on your wealth, and obey your rulers so that you may enter Paradise." [Ibn Majah]

He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) made it clear that we are each responsible for our own deeds on individual basis before Allah. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "Nobody is held responsible for somebody else's sins. No father is held accountable for the sins of his child, and no child is held accountable for the sins of his father." [Al-Bukhari]

He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) urged people to avoid disobedience and wrongdoing when performing their rituals. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) asked them to occupy themselves with only that which is useful. "He who performs the Hajj without any wrong doing," the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, "will return free of all sins, like the day he was born." [Al-Bukhari]

4.    Unifying Muslims and warning them against trials and disunity

Despite all the feelings and emotions it represents for Muslims, the Hajj is a unique opportunity to unify and to warn the nation against trials and afflictions. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) gave great attention to this point. For instance:

He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) declared that all Muslims are equal, and that Taqwa (fear of Allah) is the only basis for discrimination among them. "Your Lord is One," the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, "Your father is one. No Arab is superior to a non-Arab, and no black person is superior to a red person, or a red person to a black person except in the way of fearing Allah." [Muslim]

He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) ordered complete obedience to the righteous ruler who adheres to the Book of Allah and to the Muslim congregation. In one of his sermons, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) exhorted the nation "If a black slave were made your ruler," he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said, "you should owe him allegiance and obedience provided that he adheres to the rulings of Allah's Book." [Muslim]

At the same time, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) warned against the intrigues of Satan saying "Satan has despaired of being worshipped by those who offer the prayer in the Arabian Peninsula but not of scheming against them." [Ibn Majah]

He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) also warned against introducing heresies into the religion. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "I am going to save people, and will be called upon to save people; I will say, ‘O Lord how about my companions?’ and He (Almighty) will reply: ‘You have no knowledge of what they introduced after your death.’” [Al-Bukhari]

Further, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) warned against all that may cause trials and dissention in Muslim society, such as fighting among Muslims. Having asked pilgrims to keep quiet, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "Never revert to disbelief after my death, killing each other." [Al-Bukhari]

He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) warned people against indifference for Muslim's blood, possessions and other sanctities. In his sermons on the days of 'Arafah, Nahr (slaughter) and on the second day of Tashreeq, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) warned: "Your blood, your possessions and your sanctities are all as sacred as this day of yours, as this month of yours, and as this land of yours." [Ahmad]

5.    Preaching submission to Allah and unifying the sources

Islam means total submission and humility to Allah Alone on the one hand, and observance of the teachings of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) on the other. Being a true Muslim requires undisputed submission to the divine revelation. The Hajj represents submission par excellence. It is a school of surrender to the will of Allah. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) told his companions  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them to unite in following his example and emphasized the necessity for adhering to his teachings. "The Prophet is with us," Jaabir  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him reported, "and the divine inspiration is being revealed to him. He knows best how to interpret it, and whatever he does, we will follow in his foot-steps." [Muslim] The outcome of this excellent education was enormously successful and blessed by Allah, Almighty.

On many occasions, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) ordered his companions to follow his example when he mentioned that it might well be the last time he performed Hajj. "Learn your rituals from me," he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said:"I'm not sure that I will perform Hajj again." [Muslim]

In his sermon delivered on the Day of 'Arafah, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) urged the pilgrims to hold on to the Quran and its teachings as the only way to deliverance from sins. "I have left you with the Quran," he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "you will never go astray if you adhere to it." [Ibn Majah]

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) warned against following personal whims and introducing heresies into the religion. Addressing the pilgrims from the back of his she-camel at 'Arafah, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "I will beat you to the Hawdh (water fountain), and with your numbers I will compete with other nations. Do not let me down; I will be saving people, and will be called upon to save people. I will say ‘O Lord, what about my companions?’ Allah (Almighty) will reply, ‘You have no knowledge of what they introduced after your death.’" [Mukhtasar As-Seerah]

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The Prophet’s treatment of the people during Hajj

The manner in which the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, treated his people during the Hajj is indeed astonishingly magnanimous. He, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, educated and led the masses simultaneously....More