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For Hajj rites not to trade in narcotics

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2016 Hajj

2016 Hajj

In the name of the Almighty, the Beneficent, the Merciful

“The Hajj (pilgrimage) is (in) the well-known (lunar year) months (So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein by assuming Ihram), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj. And whatever good you do, (be sure) the Almighty knows it. And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness, etc.). So fear Me, O men of understanding!” (Quran 2: 197)

Brethren, in continuation of our sermon, last Friday, since it was their first time, most of the pilgrims could not but wonder about the ‘miracle’ of the airplane.

Peeping through the window of the aircraft, one of them whispered querulously into my ear: “My brother, are we moving on or we are rooted to the same spot? Are we above the heavens or in-between two skies? Are we moving northwards or eastward? Isn’t this a miracle?” I paused a moment in order to ponder my brother’s questions. Indeed once an airplane is in the skies, it would take a very perceptive looker with zero knowledge about aeronautics to track its movements.

But I thought the questions provided an opportunity, particularly for the thinker, to derive “sense” from “nonsense”. I therefore queried in response: of what value is the big airplane without an engine to propel it into the skies? Of what value is the human soul without the strong faith with which it would ascend to the highest regions beyond the capacity of the best space shuttle on earth? Is it possible for the airplane to function successfully without a manual that would guide the pilot? Can we imagine a world without a ‘manual’ (the Quran) from its ‘manufacturer’ (the Almighty”) for its users (humanity)? Is it not true that some of us do not know exactly where we are presently, where we should be and how we can get there? Is it not true that some among us do not know whether, in relation to their Creator, they are actually ‘moving up’ or going down? I told my fellow passenger that the airplane is actually moving on towards a definite destination the same way the world is headed to a particular location.

I told him that the pilot knows exactly where we are headed based on the knowledge yielded to him by the Almighty who knows where each and everyone of us is headed and the ultimate end of life in this world. I told him we were in-between the skies; in-between the extremely inimitable mercy of the Almighty and the portentous gravitas of His anger. I told him, dear brethren: if indeed the airplane in the sky is a miracle, what about the unseen pillars which hold the heavens from crashing down on the earth?

Brethren, about five and half-hours after our departure from Nigeria, our planed landed safely and to the glory of Almighty, in Madinah. Soon thereafter, the “miracles’ of the city of Madinah began to unfold for most of the pilgrims. They were welcome into an extremely beautiful environment devoid of the insuperable exteriorities of some of our Airports.

They were invited to take their seats while the immigration officials went about the provision of inoculation vaccines to all of them. They rode in fully air-conditioned buses and Lexus cars the like of which were exclusive preserve of the rich in our country. They arrived their hotels only to be told they would ride in escalators that would take them from the ground floor to levels beyond their imagination. They spent days in the desert city of Madinah and conveniently forgot what is NEPA or PHCN. The city of Madinah was beginning to unravel itself. How is it possible for a land devoid of good vegetation to boast of such plenitude and abundance? They wondered.

Brethren, visit to Madinah is one of the activities usually earmarked to commemorate the Hajj exercise. The city, aside from its other significances, is home to the second holiest sanctuary (haram) in Muslim annals. The Prophet (upon him be peace and blessings of the Almighty) alluded to this years ago when he said: “I declare sacred that area between the rocky lands on both sides of Madinah, that it’s vegetation be not cut down nor that animals be hunted within its area. For the believer, Madinah is the best place.

If only they could understand its virtue fully, they would never leave it, and whoever departs from Madinah, having become disenchanted with it, the Almighty will send someone better to replace him. And whoever bears patiently the ordeals of Madinah, for him shall I be an intercessor (or witness) on the Day of Qiyaamah”. He says again: “One prayer in my mosque is better than a thousand prayers in other mosques except Masjid-ul Haraam in Makkah”. May the love we have for the Prophet count on a day when everything else will be useless. Aamin.
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