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Thursday 26th of May 2022
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REFLECT FOR AN HOUR

REFLECT FOR AN HOUR

Amid all acts of worship, reflecting on the philosophy of the Hajj rites, staying in al-Mash’ar al-Haram and the praiseworthy act of gathering pebbles and the mysterious acts in Mina as well as reflecting on all these acts is a superior act of worship. The Holy Prophet (saw) says:

 

فِكْرَةُ ساعَةٍ خَيرٌ مِن عِبادَةِ سَنَةٍ.

 

“An hour of reflection is better than a year of worship.”[145]

 

Imam Reza (a.s) says:

 

ليسَ العِبادَةُ كَثْرَةٌ الصّيامِ والصّلاةِ وإنمّا العِبادةُ كَثْرَةُ التَّفَكُّرِ في أمْرِ اللهِ

 

“Worship is not an excess of praying and fasting, rather it is reflection on Allah’s creation.”[146]

 

NIGHT IN AL-MASH’AR AL-HARAM AND REFLECTION

 

Night in al-Mash’ar al-Haram is opportune time for reflection. The sky there with the radiance of its stars creates a heavenly and spiritual state in man and takes to a world above other worlds.

 

THE PHILOSOPHY OF STAYING OVERNIGHT IN AL-MASH’AR

 

Let us reflect on the philosophy of staying overnight in al-Mash’ar, perhaps a door of God’s mystery will be opened to us. We have come to al-Mash’ar to have full cognition of God and to renew our covenant with Him. Let us follow the duaa of Imam Hussein made on the day of Arafat:

 

أَيَكُونُ لِغَيرِكَ مِن الظُّهورِ ما لَيسَ لكَ حَتّى يكونَ هو المَظهَرَ لك؟ مَتى غِبتَ حتى تحَتاجَ  إلى دَليلٍ يَدُلُّ عليكَ؟ ومتى بَعُدتَ حتى تَكونَ الآثارُ هِي الّتي تُوصِلُ إليكَ؟ عَمِيَتْ عَينٌ لا تَراكَ علَيها رَقِيباً وخَسِرَت صَفْقَةُ عَبدٍ لم تجعَلْ لهُ مِن حُبِّكَ نصِيباً

 

“Is there any being more bright than You in whose light to find You? When have You been hidden to seek You under guidance? When have You been far away to turn to You through a sign? Let those eyes not seeing You watchful be blind and let the servant who has no love of You suffer losses and gain nothing.”[147]

 

Al-Mash’ar al-Haram is the manifestation of God-seeking motto.

 

فَإِذَا أَفَضْتُمْ مِنُ عَرَفَاتٍ فَاذْكُرُوا اللهَ عِنْدَ المَشْعَرِ الحَرَامِ

 

“So, when you hasten on from Arafat, then remember Allah near the Holy Monument— Al-Mash’ar al-Haram. (The Holy Quran; 2:198)”

 

Al-Mash’ar al-Haram is dark and nothing but God prevails it. The light of God’s cognition has filled a pilgrim’s heart so much so that everything is effected in its light:

 

عَظُمَ الخالِقُ في أنفُسِهِم فَصَغُر  ما دونَهُ في أعيُنِهِم

 

“The greatness of the Creator is seated in their hearts, and so, everything else appears small in their eyes.”[148]

 

وَكانَت دُنياهُم أقَلَّ عِندَهم ممّا يَطَؤونَهُ بِأرجُلِهِم

 

“The world of the mammonists is worthless than what trodden on.”[149]

 

PRAISEWORTHINESS OF PICKING UP PEBBLES IN AL-MASH’AR

 

A pilgrim’s recommended act in al-Mash’ar is to pick up pebbles as many as seventy to take them to Mina to be thrown at the symbolic Satan. This act, yet not much pleasant, is a sign of man’s obedience to God’s command.

 

AL-MASH’AR AL-HARAM, A SIGN OF ISLAMIC EDUCATION

 

The educational school of Islam displays the world and its pleasures to the eyes of a Muslim as worthless as pebbles, for all crimes and corruptions in the world are the result of love of the world in a way the Holy Prophet (saw) says:

 

حُبُّ الدّنيا رَأْسُ كلِّ خَطيئَةٍ

 

“Love for this world is the source of all wrongdoings.”[150]

 

On the other hand, if a man is destitute, the desires which are inherent in his being and have not been properly satisfied will overflow making him rebel and disobedient especially if he lives in an environment with injustice and class differences. Imam Ali (a.s) says to his son Mohammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah:

 

يا بُنيّ، إنّي أَخافُ عَليكَ الفَقْرَ فَاستَعِذْ باللهِ منهُ. فَإن الفَقْرَ مَنقَصَةٌ لِلدّينِ، مَدهَشَةٌ لِلعَقلِ، داعِيَةٌ للمَقْتِ.

 

“O my son, I fear lest destitution overtakes you. So, you should seek Allah’s protection from it, because destitution is deficiency of religious belief, perplexity of intelligence, and it is conductive to hatred of obstinate people.”[151]

 

The Holy Prophet (saw) says:

 

كادَ الفَقْرُ أنْ يَكونَ كُفْراً

 

“Destitution is very close to the boundary of disbelief.”[152]

 

Today, material manifestations have become criteria of supremacy. If the ummah do not care about material manifestations, they will be undermined. In addition, since some Muslims do not enjoy sound religious training and they are not people who “shall not fear the censure of any censurer (The Holy Quran; 5:44),” they should not only promote their moral and spiritual virtues, but they should have enough wealth to preserve their supremacy in the world and honor and prosperity in the Hereafter. The Holy Quran says:

 

وَأَعِدُّوا لَهُمْ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ مِنْ قُوَّةٍ وَمِنْ رِباطِ الخَيْلِ تُرْهِبُونَ بِهِ عَدُوَّ اللهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمْ

 

“And prepare against them what force you can and horses tied at the frontier, to frighten thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy. (8:60)”

 

Imam Kazim (a.s) says:

 

إنّكُم قَومٌ أعداؤكُم كَثيرةٌ، يا مَعاشِرَ الشّيعَةِ، إنّكُم قَد عاداكُمُ الخَلقُ فَتَزيَّنوا لهُم بما قَدِرتُم عليهِ

 

“O Shiites, you have lots of enemies looking for a pretext to attack and humiliate you. So, be prepared against them as much as you can.”[153]

 

HALTING PLACE VI: MINA, THE PLACE OF SACRIFICE

 

Thanks to God, we have completed staying in al-Mash’ar al-Haram. We now move to Mina after sunrise of Eid ul-Adha, with a heart full of God’s love and ready for offering our sacrifices. We are going to display in Mina what we have gained spiritually in Arafat and al-Mash’ar. Mina is the place of sacrifice. We intend to sacrifice the world for the satisfaction of God. Our wealth, position, reputation, and even our children have to be sacrificed for God. Mina displays the world people spiritual assets of perfect men who represent prophets. It is the manifestation of God’s special favor to men of heart:

 

فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ إِنَّكَ بِالوَادِ المُقَدَّسِ طُوى

 

“Therefore, put off your shoes; surely you are in the sacred valley, Tuwa. (The Holy Quran; 20:12)”

 

You have been so honored that you are qualified to stand before God! Imam Sadiq (a.s) says:

 

إذا أَخَذَ الناسُ مَنازِلهُم بمِنَى نادَى مُنادٍ: يا مِنَى قدْ جاءَ أهْلُكِ فَاتَّسِعي في فِجاجِكِ واتْرَعي في مَثابِكِ، ومنادٍ يُنادي: لو تَدرون بمَن حَلَلتُم لأيقَنتُم بِالخَلفِ بَعدَ المَغفِرَة.

 

“When people arrive in Mina, a herald will call out: ‘O Mina, your dwellers have come! Open your arms and fill your pools with water!’ Another herald will call out: ‘If you know before Whom you have come, you will gain certitude about forgiveness and compensation of what you have spent.”[154]

 

This is certainly a reference to the Quranic Verse:

 

وَمَا أَنْفَقْتُمْ مِنْ شَيءٍ فَهُوَ ُيخْلِفُهُ

 

“Whatever thing you spend, He exceeds it in reward. (34:39)”

 

Although Mina is no more than a small valley, it extraordinarily accommodates a crowd several times its capacity and the abundance of food, welfare, and comfort in this place comes from invisible source. In this relation, Ibn Abbas says:

 

إنَّ مِنى يَتَّسِعُ لأَهلِهِ كَما يتَّسِعُ الرَّحِمُ لِلوَلَدِ

 

Mina is extended for its dwellers in the same way that a mother’s womb is extended for the fetus.[155]

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