Hajj According to our Imaams (A.S)

It is reported of Imam Zainul Abideen, Ali bin al-Hussein bin Ali bin Abi Talib (A.S.) that when he returned from Hajj, he was met by one of the pilgrims by the name of Al-Shibli.

Imam (A.S.) asked, “O Shibli, have you performed Hajj?”
He said, “Yes, O Prophet's son.”

Then Imam (A.S.) asked, “Did you come down at Meeqat, remove your sewn clothes and take a bath?”

He said, “Yes”.

Imam (A.S) asked, “So when you came down at Meeqat, did you intend that you were removing the garments of sin and putting on the garments of obedience?”

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “So when you removed your sewn clothes, did you intend that you were getting rid of showmanship, hypocrisy and of getting entangled in doubts?”

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “Then when you bathed, did you intend that you were washing off your lapses and sins?”

He said, “No.” 

Imam (A.S) said, “In that case, you have not arrived at Meeqat, nor did you remove you sewn clothes, nor did you take a bath.” Then Imam (A.S.) asked, “When you cleansed yourself, put on Ihram and tied the knot for Hajj, did you think that you were getting cleansed by the light of sincere repentance to Allah, Most High?”

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “And when you put on Ihram did you think that you have forbidden to yourself all that Allah, Most High, has forbidden?”

He said, “No”.

Imam (A.S) asked, “And when you tied the knot for Hajj, did it occur to you that you have untied all the knots which were for other than Allah?”

He said, “No”.

Imam (A.S.) told him, “You did not cleanse yourself, nor did you put on Ihram, nor did you tie a knot for Hajj.”
Then Imam (A) asked, “Did you enter into Meeqat, praying two Rakaats and then say Talbiyyah?”

He said, “Yes.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “When you entered Meeqat, did it occur in your mind that you are visiting (Allah)?”

He said, “No.” 

Imam (A.S) asked, “And when you prayed two Rakaats, did you intend to get closer to Allah through the best of acts of worship, which is Salaat?”

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) said, “Then you have not entered into Meeqat, nor have you uttered Talbiyyah.”
Then he (A.S.) asked him, “Did you enter the Haram, see the Kaaba and pray?”

He said, “Yes.” 

Imam (A.S) asked, “When you entered the Haram, did you intend that you forbid yourself to backbite any Muslim brother?” 

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “When you reached Makkah, did you truly, with all your heart, intend none but Allah?”

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) said, “Then you have not entered Haram, nor have you seen Kaaba or prayed.”
Then he (A.S.) asked, “You went round the House of Allah and touched its foundations, and did the Tawaaf around it?”

He said, “Yes.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “Did you think that you were actually escaping from all others unto Allah, and that the Knower of the Hidden Things (i.e. Allah) knows it?”

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) said, “Then you have not been around the House, nor have you touched the foundations or performed the Tawaaf.” Then he (A.S.) asked, “Did you touch the Holy Stone, stand at the Maqaam of Ibrahim and pray two Rakaats there?”  

He said, “Yes.”

(Upon hearing this) Imam (A.S.) heaved a deep sigh and cry, as if he were to part from this world and said, “Ah! Ah! Whoever touches the Stone, it is as if he/she has given his/her hands to Allah, Most High. Look, O Poor! Do not allow the sanctity of this to be wasted, by spoiling this touch of hand through committing a sin, or taking into grasp that which is not lawful, like the transgressors.”
Then he (A.S.) asked, “Did you intend to remain steadfast on all obedience when you stood at the Maqam of Ibrahim?” Did you turn your back to all your sins?”

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) Asked, “And when you prayed two Rakaats, did it occur to you that you were praying the prayers of Ibrahim, peace be upon him, in defiance of Shaitan?”

He said, “No.”

Then Imam (A.S.) said, “So you have not touched the Black Stone, nor have you stood at the Maqam or prayed there two Rakaats.”
Then Imam (A.S) asked, “Did you arrive at the well of ZamZam and did you drink from its water?

“He said, “Yes.”

Imam (A.S) Asked, “Did you intend that you were arrived at the place of obedience and did you cast down your glance from sins?”

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) said, “Then you have not been there, nor have you drunk from its water.”
Then he (A.S.) asked, “Did you do Saee between Safa and Marwa? Did you walk to and fro between them?

He said, “Yes.”
Imam (A.S) said, “Did you feel that you were between fear and hope?”
He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) said, “Then you have not done Saee, and have not walked (between the two mountains), nor have you gone to and fro.”
Then he (A.S.) asked, “Did you go to Mina?”,

He said, “Yes.”
Imam (A.S) said, “Did you intend to keep all people safe from your tongue, heart and your hands?”
He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) said, “Then you never went out to Mina.”
Then he (A.S.) asked, “Did you put up for a while at Arafah? Did you climb the Mount of Rahmah, and did you see the valley of Namrah? And did you pray to Allah between those posts and stones?”

He said, “Yes.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “Did your station at Arafah make you conscious of knowing Allah? Knowing His Creation and the Sciences? Did you realise His full control over your exterior, and His full knowledge about your secrets and your mind?“

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “And when you ascended the Mount of Rahmah, did you realise that Allah is merciful to all the believers, male and female? And that He befriends all Muslims, men and women?

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “Did you intend at Namrah that you will not enjoin until you have acted accordingly yourself, and that you will not admonish till you have refrained from it yourself?” 

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “Then when you reached al-Alam (the post), did you feel that it was a witness for you over your acts of obedience, protecting you with the protecting angels, at the command of the Lord of the Heavens?”

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) said, “Then you did not have any station at Arafah, nor did you go up the Mount of Rahmah, nor did you know Namrah, nor did you pray or stay at the Valley.”
Then he (A.S.) asked, “You passed by the two Alams (the sign posts), and prayed two Rakaats before crossing, then you walked into Muzdalifah, picked up the pebbles and passed by the sacred Mash'ar?”

He said, “Yes.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “Did it occur to you while praying two Rakaats that you were giving thanks on the eve of the tenth day, so that all difficulties are warded off, and all ease is made available? 

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “When you walked between the two sign posts (Alamain), without wavering right or justify, did it occur to you that you shall not swerve sideways on the right path, not by your heart, nor by your tongue, nor by your limbs?”

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “And when you walked into Muzdalifah, picking up the pebbles, did you intend to cast off all sins and ignorance from yourself, and to establish knowledge and act?”

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “And when you passed by the sacred Mash'ar, did your heart have the feelings, like those of the people of piety and did it experience fear of Allah?”

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) said, “Then you have not passed by the two sign posts, nor have you prayed two Rakaats, nor did you walk into Muzdalifah, nor did you pick up any pebbles, nor did you pass by the sacred Mash'ar.”
Then he (A.S.) asked, “You arrived at Mina, and cast the pebbles at Jamrah, shaved off your head, slaughtered your animal of sacrifice, and prayed in the mosque of Kheef, and returned to Makkah to perform the Tawaaf before dispersal?”

He said, “Yes.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “Did you realise upon arrival at Mina and having hit the Jamarats, that you had achieved your purpose, and that Allah, Most High, had fulfilled all your wishes?”

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “And when you hit the Jamarats, did you intend to strike at your enemy, Iblis, and defy him through you pilgrimage?”

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “And when you shaved off your head, did you intend thereby to cleanse yourself of all dirt, and of all the lapses of humankind, thus emerging from all the sins as clean as you were on the day of your birth?”

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “Then when you prayed in the mosque of Kheef, did you intend not to fear anyone but Allah and your own sins, and to have hope for nothing but His Mercy?” 

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “When you slaughtered your sacrificial animal, did it occur to you that you were in effect cutting off the throat of greed, by adhering to the truth of piety, and that you were following the path of Ibrahim (peace be upon him) who was set to sacrifice his own son, the fruit and flower of his heart, and the need to follow his tradition for the sake of nearness to Allah?”

He said, “No.”

Imam (A.S) asked, “And when you returned to Makkah and performed the final Tawaaf, did you intend to proceed from the Mercy of Allah and return to His obedience, and adhere to His love, having fulfilled the obligations and sought nearness to Him.”

He said, “No.”

     Then Zainul Abideen, peace be upon him, said, “You have not reached Mina, nor did you strike the Jamaraats, nor did you shave off your head, nor did you slaughter, nor did you fulfil your worship, nor did you pray in the mosque of Kheef, nor did you perform the final Tawaaf, nor did you seek nearness (to Allah). Go back, for you have not performed Hajj.”

     Shibli began to weep over the shortcomings in his performance of Hajj, and continued to learn more till the ensuing year, when he went for Hajj with knowledge of Allah and certitude.

     This is how the Imams of Ahlul Bayt - peace be upon them - performed their acts of worship, and this is how they trained the Muslims to understand the true meaning of their worship, and to know their faith; so that they did what they did with fuller and better understanding.