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The Peaceful Journey To The Secure Land

"And when Ibrahim said: My Lord! Make this city secure, wad sai'e me wad my sons from worshipping idols." Holy Qur'an (14:35)

Allah made a secure land for the people, and a place for peace. Its remembrance fills people with security and calm. Its rites widely spread on earth peace and deep respect for life. Within man the incentives for vice and aggression diminish, and also those impulses which call him to unjustly shed blood and transgress the limits set by Allah. It was so heinous a behaviour that the angels wondered before the creation of man: How can man be qualified to be the viceroy of Allah on earth when he makes mischief on earth and sheds blood.

"Will You place on it one who will corrupt therein and shed blood, while we extol Your glory wad sanctify You?" Holy Qur'an (2:30)

Is it not sufficient for him to be doomed to death and nonexistence that he holds such criminal tendencies? Is it not fair that he who celebrates the praise of Allah and extols His holiness is qualified to inhabit the earth, respect life, and Allah's will and wisdom?

For the purpose of completely wiping this crime off the face of the earth and obliviating it, Islam plants in the Muslim who performs Hajj an inclination to call for security and peace. Its growth inculcates in him the percept of the holiness of life, so that he perceives that nobody deserves to live except he who respects life. Those who humbly celebrate the praise of Allah, who know Him are qualified to inhabit the earth..

The pilgrim finds the rites of Hajj an enlightenment urging him to respect life, practiced and deeply felt in the secure land of Mecca; the land of security and peace. So, Allah has made the Sacred House and the sacred city (Mecca) a pilgrimage for people, and a secure place towards which the fearing souls resort. Near it, the hearts that have lost the delectation of life find refuge.

Not only worldly fears dissipate in the Sacred House, but sins are also shed. It is the place where one repents returning to his Creator, winning His remission. In the Qur'an, many verses emphasize the security and sanctity of the Sacred House. Words like "security and "haram are repeatedly mentioned, to show man the value of his life Thus man is disillusioned from fear, his greatest complex, and the misadventure that follows him everywhere:

"So let them serve the Lord of this House, Who feeds them against hunger and gives them security against fear". Holy Qur'an (106:3-4)

"And when Ibrahim said: My Lord, make this city secure, and save me and my sons from worshipping idols." Holy Qur'an (14:35)

"Therein are clear signs - the station of Ibrahim, and whoever enters it is secure." Holy Qur'an (3:97)

"And We made the House (the Ka'ba in Mecca) a resort and a sanctuary for the people.." Holy Qur'an (2:125)

"I swear by the fig and olive, And mount Sinai. And this city made secure." Holy Qur'an (95:1-3)

"I am commanded only that I should serve the Lord of this city: Who has made it sacred, and His are all things, and I am commanded that I should be the first of those who submit." Holy Qur'an (27:91)

"Allah has made the Ka'ba, the Sacred House, as livelihood for people, and the sacred month." Holy Qur'an (5:97)

"And forbidden to you is the game of the land, so long as you are on pilgrimage." Holy Qur'an (5:96)

"0 you who believe, violate not Allah's rites, nor the sacred month." Holy Qur'an (5:2)

The above cited texts are by no means the only ones referring to the security, peace, holiness and respect of life, rather, these are only a few of the Qur'anic verse mentioning the holiness of the Sacred House (Ka'ba), the sacred land (Mecca), and the sacred month (the pilgrimage month). They emphasize forbiddance of such aspects of Hajj as the killing of animals or hunting them,

cutting trees or shrubs growing in the sanctum sanctorum, killing any living thing, including pests like insects and reptiles, as long as they are on pilgrimage. By so doing, Islam aims at implanting within man respect of security, love of peace, and save him from mischief, crime and the shedding of blood.

Hajj is genuinely a peaceful trip to the city of security and peace. It is a journey through which the pilgrim feels the value of security in himself and the community. Thus, he becomes aware of the Omnipresence of his Creator Who made this sacred place a secure one. In it, his self feels calm. He could seek refuge Allah's wrath by hoping for His remission, feeling His ever-close mercy, and entering under His protection. The pilgrim returns ready to repent, and plans a new phase of his life.

How beautiful is the discernment of this truth by Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (a.s.) when he addresses the pilgrims by saying:

"And move into Allah's security, His shade and protection, His help to you to attain your goal of entering the sanctuary, and entering the House while deeply knowing the greatness of its owner; His Highness and Omnipotence." 4


4. Shaikh Muhammad al-Na'ini, Rawai Mukhtara min al-Hajj (Excellent Chosen Texts from al-Hajj, p.33, Quoted from al-Bihar, Chapter of al-Hajj, p.38.

Adapted from the book: "The Hajj As Worship and Education" by: "Al-Balagh Foundation"

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