The True Manner of Performing Hajj

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Once, one of the students of Shaykh Shibli; the great saint, came to visit him after having performed Hajj. The Shaykh asked him some questions. The student continues the story:
“The Shaykh asked me, “Did you make a determined niyah for Hajj?”

I replied, “Yes, I made a firm intention for performing Hajj.”

Shaykh: “Together with having made a firm intention for Hajj, did you also have a firm niyah of forever giving up doing all those things you did since you were born that are opposed to the spirit of Hajj?”

I replied, “No, I did not.”

Shaykh: “In that case, you had no niyah for Hajj.” Then he said, “At the time of entering into the Ihraam; did you remove your clothing?”

I replied, “Yes, I did.”

Shaykh: “At that time, did you pledge to remove from you everything except Allah?”
I replied, “No, I did not.”

Shaykh: “In that case, you did not remove your clothing. Did you cleanse yourself by means of ghusl and wudu?”

I replied, “Yes, I did clean myself in that manner.”

Shaykh: “At that time, did you also become cleansed from all evil and faults?”

I replied, “No, that I cannot say.”

Shaykh: “In that case, you did not cleanse yourself. Did you recite Labbaik?”

I replied: “Yes, I did recite Labbaik.”

Shaykh: “Did you at that time hear the answers of Labbaik from Allah?”

I replied, “No, I received no reply.”

Shaykh: “In that case, what kind of Labbaik did you recite? Did you enter the holy Haram? (i.e. area around the Kabah)”

I replied, “Yes, I did.”

Shaykh: “Did you at that time pledge to leave aside every Haraam (prohibited) act forever?”

I replied, “No, I did not.”

Shaykh: “Then you did not enter the area of the Haram Shareef at all. Did you visit Mecca?”

I replied, “Yes, I did.”

Shaykh: “When you did, did you also see the Hereafter?”

I replied, “No, I did not see anything.”

Shaykh: “Then you did not visit Mecca. Did you enter the Holy Mosque?”

I replied, “Yes, I did.”

Shaykh: “Did you then, on entering, feel the nearness of Allah?”

I replied, “No, I did not.”

Shaykh: “Then you never actually entered the Mosque. Were you present at the Kabah?”

I replied, “Yes, I was.”

Shaykh: “Did you see that entity; due to which the Kabah is visited?”

I replied, “No, I saw nothing.”

Shaykh: “Then you never saw the Kabah. Did you perform ramal (i.e. sliding ones cloth off one’s shoulder as they circle the Kabah with increased speed, a running motion)”

I replied, “Yes.”

Shaykh: “Did you at that time flee from this world in such a manner that you felt you were completely out of this world?”

I replied, “No.”

Shaykh: “In that case, you did not perform ramal. Did you place your hands on the black stone and kiss it?”

I replied, “Yes, I did.”

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The Shaykh become very pale and greatly frightened, so much so, that a shriek passed from him, and he said, “Woe unto you. Rasulullah (ﷺ) has said, ‘Whoever places his hands on the black stone is like him who actually shook hands with Allah, and whoever shakes the hand of Allah shall in every way remain safe from all things.’ Did you then feel anything about that security?”

I replied, “No, I did not.”

Shaykh: “Then you did not touch the black stone. Did you perform two rakahs at the Maqaam-e-Ibrahim (i.e. place of Hadrat Ibrahim’s (Alayhis Salaam) footprints)?”

I replied, “Yes, I did.”

Shaykh: “You were at that particular time placed on a high rank by Allah; did you carry out what is due for that high rank for which you stood there?”

I replied, “No, I did nothing.”

Shaykh: “In that case, you did not perform salaah at the Maqaam-e-Ibrahim. Did you perform Saee (i.e. running back and forth) between Safaa and Marwa, and did you ascend the Safaa?”

I replied, “Yes.”

Shaykh: “And what did you do there?”

I replied, “I recited takbeer, thrice, and prayed to Allah to accept my Hajj.”

Shaykh: “Did the angels also recite the takbeer with you, and did you have any knowledge of the significance of your own takbeers?”

I replied, “No.”

Shaykh: “Then you actually did not recite the takbeer. Did you descend from Safa?”

I replied, “Yes.”

Shaykh: “When you descended, did you feel all evil and every weakness departing from you, and inner cleanliness entering yourself?”

I replied, “No.”

Shaykh: “Then you never ascended Safaa nor descended from it. Did you run between Safaa and Marwa?”

I replied, “Yes.”

Shaykh: “At that time of running, did you feel yourself running away from everything else; besides Allah, and reaching Him? (referring to the Quranic verse: ‘And I fled from you when I feared You’ -Surah Shu’ra; and: ‘And flee towards Allah.’)”

I replied, “No.”

Shaykh: “Then you never ran. Did you ascend Marwa?”

I replied, “Yes.”

Shaykh: “While on Marwa, did you perceive the great inner calmness and peace that descended upon you?”

I replied, “No.”

Shaykh: “Then you never ascended Marwa. Tell me, did you proceed to Mina?”

I replied, “I did.”

Shaykh: “While you were there, did you attain such hopes in Allah that have nothing to do with evil?”

I replied, “No.”

Shaykh: “Then you never went to Mina. Did you visit Masjid-ul Khaif?”

I replied, “Yes.”

Shaykh: “And did you then experience such fear for Allah that you have never ever experienced before?”

I replied, “No.”

Shaykh: “Then you never entered Masjid-ul Khaif. Did you reach the plain of Arafaat?”

I replied, “Yes.”

Shaykh: “And on Arafaat, did you recognize the cause for your coming into this world, what you are doing here, and where you shall proceed to afterward; and did you recognize the thing that points towards these things?”

I replied, “No.”

Shaykh: “Then you never visited Arafaat. Did you visit Muzdalifah?”

I replied, “Yes.”

Shaykh: “And did you remember Allah there; so much so, that everything else was forgotten; as Allah has mentioned? (referring to the Quranic verse: ‘And remember Allah at the Masharul Haraam [plain of Muzdalifah]’)

I replied, “No.”

Shaykh: “In that case, you never reached Muzdalifah. Did you perform Qurbani at Mina?”

I replied, “Yes.”

Shaykh: “Did you then sacrifice your own self?”

I replied, “No.”

Shaykh: “Then you performed no Qurbani. Did you perform Rami? (i.e. pelting the Shaytan)”

I replied, “Yes.”

Shaykh: “With every stone that you threw, did you feel yourself shaking off you every form of ignorance and feel your knowledge increasing?”

I replied, “No.”

Shaykh: “Then you did not actually perform Rami. Did you perform the Tawaaf-uz-Ziyaarah?”

I replied, “Yes.”

Shaykh: “Did you experience any spiritual enlightenment at that time, and from Allah did honor and respect descend upon you? for Rasulullah (ﷺ) said, ‘One who performs Hajj or one who performs Umrah is Allah’s guest; and when a visitor visits somoene, it is only correct that he should be honored.'”

I replied, “No, I experienced nothing.”

Shaykh: “Then you never actually performed Tawaaf-uz-Ziyaarah. Did you then release yourself from Ihraam?”

I replied, “Yes.”

Shaykh: “Did you at that time promise to adhere to strictly to Halaal earnings at all times?”

I replied, “No.”

Shaykh: “In that case, you did not become Halaal (released from Ihraam). Did you perform the farewell tawaaf?” I replied, “Yes.”

Shaykh: “Did you then say a complete farewell to your whole self, your desires, and your passions?”

I replied, “No.”

Shaykh: “Then you did not perform Tawaaful Widaa (farewell tawaaf). Go back and perform Hajj again; and peform it in the manner which I have described for you.” 

The following story was related by the author of It-haaf. May Allah in His infinite grace and mercy grant us all this type of Hajj. Ameen.

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