By Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh
The Status of Haramayn Sharīfayn
Makkah Al-Mukarramah and Al-Madīnah Al-Munawwarah are by far the most important and virtuous places in Islām. They are held in high esteem by every Muslim and demand respect and honour from all. Makkah Al-Mukarramah and Al-Madīnah Al-Munawwarah are both located in Al-Hijāz. Al-Hijāz is a state of the Arabian Peninsula located on the coast of the Red Sea and is known in the Tawrāh as Fārān. Being a mountainous area of rugged and rough terrain with an extreme climate, outwardly it appears to be one of the most uninhabitable places on earth. Yet, it is the mother of all lands and the land blessed by Allāh ta‘ālā, possessing endless virtues. The Messenger of Allāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said at the liberation of Makkah:
Indeed Allāh had sanctified Makkah the day He created the heavens and the earth; hence it is sanctified by Allāh until the Day of Judgement. (Al-Bukhārī)
In a another hadīth, we find the Messenger of Allāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam saying:
Dajjāl shall enter every city except Makkah and Al-Madīnah. There is not a single entrance of Makkah and Al-Madīnah but that there are rows of angels guarding it. (Al-Bukhārī)
The Haramayn Sharīfayn are sanctified by Allāh ta‘ālā, hence these places demand from us love, honour and respect. In fact, to love, honour and respect these places is a sign of true piety. Allāh ta‘ālā says in the Qur’ān:
The one who observes the sanctity of the Symbols of Allāh, then such things emanate from the piety of the hearts. (22:32)
In the above verse the “Symbols of Allāh” refer to everything which is associated with Allāh ta‘ālā, in particular anything to do with the rites of Hajj and ‘Umrah. The Haramayn Sharīfayn are without doubt from the Symbols of Allāh ta‘ālā and their sanctity is a clear indication of taqwā held in the heart.
Love for the Haramayn Sharīfayn
Makkah Al-Mukarramah and Al-Madīnah Al-Munawwarah are the most beloved places to Allāh ta‘ālā and our beloved Messenger Muhammad sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam. At the time of Hijrah (the migration from Makkah to Al-Madīnah), when leaving Makkah Al-Mukarramah, the Messenger sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam turned around and looking back at Makkah Al-Mukarramah said:
By Allāh, you are the best of Allāh’s earth, and the most beloved of Allāh’s earth to Him. If I were not forced out from you, I would not have left you. (At-Tirmidhī)
We also find the Messenger sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam supplicating to Allāh ta‘ālā with the words:
O Allāh, make Al-Madīnah beloved to us just as Makkah is beloved; or even more… (Al-Bukhārī)
The love of Allāh ta‘ālā and His Messenger sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam for Haramayn Sharīfayn necessitates every Muslim to have love for them and to yearn and desire to visit them. If one truly has love for Allāh ta‘ālā and His Messenger sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam then every pebble and stone of the Haramayn Sharīfayn will become beloved and precious in his eyes. The walls and buildings of the Haramayn, the people and even the animals of the Haramayn shall all become beloved because of their proximity to the Haramayn. This is the sign of ‘ishq i.e. true love.
It is a reality that when one has true love for someone or something then the heart will inevitably love everything associated with the beloved. ‘Allāmah Al-Ālūsī Al-Baghdādī rahimahullāh explaining love says, “Whosoever loves someone, loves the close ones of his beloved. He loves everything connected to his beloved be they: his servants; his home; his property; his locality; the walls of his home; his dog; and donkey etc. This is the manifestation of ‘ishq and the rule of mahabbah. Majnūn ‘Āmirī has captured this in his couplet regarding his beloved Laylā. He says:
I pass by the homes of Laylā; I kiss this wall and that wall;
It is not the love of the walls which has engulfed my heart; it is the love of she who dwells within them…”
The Journey to the Haramayn; a Journey of Love
The traveller to the Haramayn expresses this very love in his journey to the blessed lands. The whole structure of this journey resembles the obsession and enthusiasm of a true ‘āshiq (lover), leaving behind and bidding farewell to everyone and everything to join his beloved.
When the moment arrives to travel to the blessed lands, his manner is that of a true ‘āshiq who can no longer bear his distance from the blessed lands of his beloved Allāh ta‘ālā, the Haramayn. His condition is such that his heart and mind are calling out to Allāh ta‘ālā:
To live in separation from you is not possible for a human;
I am very grateful this life is not eternal.
This ‘āshiq then leaves his home overwhelmed by love, oblivious of the difficulties and burdens of the journey, as he is to join the gathering of the ‘ushshāq (lovers) at the House of the Beloved.
I seek your permission so I may also join them;
I have heard the ‘ushshāq are to gather at your House soon.
Thereafter, he dons the two cloths of ihrām. Without normal clothing, perfume or any other adornment; he is the sight of a pauper. These are no longer important; he is required by His beloved to don the clothing of love. His garments mean nothing; he is entranced by the love and desire to reach the blessed lands. His tongue is moist with the remembrance of Allāh ta‘ālā, reciting on each step his message of love:
Here I am at Your service, O Allāh, Here I am at Your service. Here I am at Your service, You have no partner, Here I am at Your service. Indeed all praise, favour and kingdom is Yours, You have no partner.
This is the call of the ‘āshiq to his beloved. As he draws ever closer his heartbeat quickens and his desire increases. When finally he reaches his condition is such that he feels:
My heartfelt desire has brought me to the home of my beloved;
I have entered the garden of Jannah alive.
This is the condition of a true ‘āshiq and the same should be the case of every believer blessed with travelling to the Haramayn; the fire of true love for Allāh ta‘ālā burning in his heart.
Love Demands Adab (Good Conduct) and Obedience
True love compels a person to honour, respect, act with adab and obedience to the beloved. Hadrat Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Zakariyyā rahimahullāh would often quote the famous saying:
Love itself will teach you the etiquettes of love.
If one claims to have true love for someone or something, yet fails to honour, respect, act with adab and obey that person, their claim shall be deemed false. The following couplet is attributed to the undisputed Imām of Hadīth and Fiqh, ‘Abdullāh ibn Mubārak rahimahullāh:
You disobey Allāh whilst outwardly displaying His love? This is indeed a repulsive action;
If your love was true you would have obeyed Him; The lover is always obedient to the beloved.
The famous sūfī and shaykh of the third hijrī century, Ruwaym ibn Ahmad rahimahullāh was asked to define love. He said, “Love is obedience in all situations.”
Therefore, our love for the Haramayn Sharīfayn demands that we keep in mind all the etiquettes of the Haramayn Sharīfayn and act accordingly. The pinnacle of these etiquettes is to spend time in the Haramayn Sharīfayn in total obedience to Allāh ta‘ālā; fulfilling every compulsory action, refraining from everything unlawful and detested, along with trying our utmost to practice the optional and preferred actions. The slightest disrespect to anything or anyone there should be unthinkable.
May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us His true love which will lead to love and adab for everything associated with Him, including the Haramayn Sharīfayn. Āmīn.
© Riyādul Jannah
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