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Pilgrimage = (AlHajj OR AlUmrah)

Note: Video: Prophet Muhammad's Farewell (Final) Sermon.

Q: Why is there a real footprint of the prophet Abraham (Ibraheem) near the Ka'ba, to where Muslims make the pilgrimage, and Muslims pray two bows (rak'ah) in that place of Ibraheem (= Maqam Ibraheem)?
A: And when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House (of Allah = AlKa'bah) with Ishmael (= Ismaeel) (they were praying) our God accept from us for You (Allah) are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing; Our God and make us in submission (= Muslimeen) to You and from our offspring a nation in submission (= Muslimah) to you and show us our rituals and grant us forgiveness for You are the Most-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful; Our God and send among them (Arab Muslims around Prophet Muhammad) a messenger (Prophet Muhammad) from them to recite upon them Your Miraculous Signs (Qur'anic Lines) and to teach them the Scripture (of Allah = AlKitab*) and wisdom and purify them for You are the AlMighty, the All-Wise.
Translation of: Ayat 127 - 129, Surat AlBaqarah. (2:127-129)
* Remember the Origin of Allah's Scripture (= AlKitab) is kept in the Preserved Tablet (= AlLawh AlMahfoudh).
Words: Yarfa' = Raise, AlQawa'id = The Foundations, AlBayt = The House of Allah, Arina = Show us, Manasikana = Our rituals (actions and places), Tob = Grant forgiveness, Rubbana = Our God, Ib'ath = Send, Rasool = Messenger, Yatlou = To recite, Ayat = Miraculous Signs - Qur'anic Lines, AlHikmah = Wisdom, Yuzakihim = Purifies them.

Q: Who started the ritual of The Pilgrimage (AlHajj): Prophet Abraham or Prophet Muhammad?
A: And when We (Allah) appointed to Abraham (Ibraheem) the place of the House (AlKa'bah); (We told him): Do not partner with Me (Allah) anything; And purify My House for those who go around it, those who stand up for prayers, and those who bow down and prostrate (in worship).
Translation of: Ayah 26, Surat AlHajj.
Words: Idh = When, Baw'a' = Appointed, Makan = Place, AlBayt = The House (AlKa'bah), Tushrik = Partner, Shaye' = Anything, Tah'hir = Purify, Bayti = My House, Ta'ifeen = Who go around, Qaimeen Who stand up for prayer, Ruk'ke = Those who bow down, AlSujud = Those who prostrate.

Q: The Prophet Abraham, pbuh, had two sons: Ishmael (Ismaeel) and Issac (Is'haq). Who do you think is the eldest?
A: We (Allah) have revealed to you (Prophet Muhammad) as We did reveal to Noah (Nooh) and the prophets after him. And We revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob (Yaqoub), The offspring of Jacob (AlAsbat), Jesus (Issa), Job (Ayub), Jonah (Yunus), Aaron (Haroon), Solomon (Suleiman) and We gave David (Dawood) The Psalms (AlZaboor). And messengers (prophets) We had already told you about them before, and messengers We did not tell you about them and Allah spoke to Moses (Mousa) directly.
Translation of: Ayat 163 - 164, Surat AlNisa'.
Words: Awha = Revealed, Nabi = Prophet, Rusul = Messengers, Naqsus = We tell about, Kallama = Spoke, Takleem = Direct Speech.

Q: To celebrate the Muslim Eid AlAdha (Feast of Sacrifice) after the completion of the Pilgrimage (AlHajj), Muslims sacrifice a lamb or any type of cattle. Who started the Sacrifice Ritual: The Prophet Abraham or The Prophet Muhammad? (Please note in the answer Allah gives Prophet Abraham, in two separate Qur'anic Lines, the good news of the birth of two sons. The first news was for the birth of Ishmael (Ismaeel) and the second news for the birth of Isaac (Ishaq).
A: They (Disbelievers at time of Prophet Abraham) said build him a furnace and throw him in the blazing fire; And they wanted to plot against him so We (Allah) made them from the inferiors (losers); And he (Abraham) said I am going towards my God (towards Bilad AlSham at that time) - He will guide me; (Abraham prayed) My God grant me (a son) from the righteous ones; So We (Allah) gave him the good news of a tolerant boy (Ishmael = Ismaeel). And when he (Ishmael) reached (the age of) work (around 13) with him, he (Abraham) said: I see in my sleep that I am sacrificing you so see what you think - he (Ishmael) said do what you are commanded to do you will find me with the willing of Allah from the patient ones; So when they both submitted themselves to Allah, and he laid him down on his forehead; And We (Allah) called O Abraham; You have fulfilled the vision (dream) - indeed We (Allah) in this way reward those who perfect their Religion (= AlMuhsineen); Indeed this certainly is the obvious hard test;
And We (Allah) ransomed him (Prohet Abraham's first son Prophet Ishmael) with a huge sacrifice (sheep); And We passed him (Prophet Abraham's name)* over to people coming after; Peace be upon Abraham; In this way We (Allah) do reward those who perfect their Religion; Indeed he is from Our believing servants.
And We gave him the good news of Isaac to be a prophet from the righteous; And We blessed him (Abraham) and Isaac (Prophet Abraham's second son) and from their offspring who perfects his Faith (= Mohsin)** and who to himself is obviously unjust (= Dhalim).
Translation of: Ayat 97 - 113, Surat AlSaffat. (37:97-113)
* Prophet Abraham's name will be remembered as distinguished for ever. And his name will be especially remembered every "Eid AlAdha" - when Muslims offer (cattle) sacrifices in Allah's Name.
** 'Mohsin' from 'Ihsan'- the perfection of one's Faith. (refer to the Note under Surat AlImran)
Note: The meat of the sacrifices is used by humans - rich and poor, and Allah gets the obedience of those who heeded Allah's call for such sacrifices.
Words: Ibnu (plural) = Build, Bunyan = Furnace - Any building, Alquh = Throw him, AlJaheem = Blazine fire, Kayd = Plot, Asfal = Inferior - Loser, Thahib = Going to, SaYahdeen = He will guide me, Heb = Give me, Saliheen = Righteous ones - Good doers, Bashshara = Gave good news, Ghulam = Boy, Haleem = Tolerant - Patient, Balaga = Reached, AlSaye = Work, Manam = Sleep, Athbah = I Sacrifice, Tara = Think, Abati = My father, If'al = Do, Sabir = Patient, Tala = laid him down - Pulled him gently, Naada = Called him, Sadaqta = You fulfilled, Ru'ya = Vision - Dream, AlMuhsineen = Those who perfect their Religion - The good doers, Bala' = Hard Test, Fadaynahu = We ransomed him, Thabh = Sacrifice (sheep - ram - cattle); Tarakna Alayhi = We passed over - we made his name be remembered forever, Aakhereen = People coming after, Thuriyah = Offspring, Mohsin = Who perfects his Faith, LiNafsihi = To himself, Dhalim = Unjust - Transgressor, Mubeen = Obviously.

Q: Is there an announcement of the beginning of AlHajj, nowadays done by the Government of Saudi Arabia?

A: And call people for AlHajj - they will come to you on foot and on every (animal - means of transport) wasted-away physically (= Dhamir*) coming from every distant way.
Translation of: Ayah 27, Surat AlHajj. (22:27)
* Means of transport which become wasted away physically due to long and repeated travel. Animals in the past, added planes and cars nowadays.
Words: Aththen = Call for, Ya'ti = Will come, Rijalan = On foot, Kul = Every, Dhamer = Wasted-away physically - Became skinny - Became thin, Kulli = Every, Faj = Way, Ameeq = Distant - Far.

Q: Prophet Abraham left his son Ishamel (Ismael) and his mother 'Hagar' in Mecca near The Sacred House of Allah. What did Abraham pray for when he was leaving them there?
A: And when Abraham said my God make this place (Mecca) peaceful and prevent me and my offspring from worshipping idols; My God they (idols) had misguided a lot of people so whoever follows me he is from me and who disobeys me then You (Allah) are Most-Forgiving Most-Merciful; Our God ideed I made (Prophet Ishmael) from my offspring to dwell in a valley without agriculture near Your Sacred House - our God so that they perform the prayer so (Allah) make hearts from the people to love them and grant them from the fruits so that they may be thankful; Our God You know what we conceal and what we reveal and nothing is hidden from Allah (be it) on earth or in Heaven; Praise to Allah Who granted me in old age Ishmael and Isaac indeed my God is certainly A Listener to the call (Supplication-Prayer).
Translation of: Ayat 35 - 39, Surat Ibraheem. (14:35-39)
Words: Aaminan = Peaceful, Na'bud = Worship, Assnam = Idols, Adhllena = They had misguided, Kastheeran = A lot, Nas = People, Tabiani = Followed me, Assani = Disobeyed me, Askantu = I made to dwell, Wadi = Valley, Zare' = Agriculture, Salat = Prayer, Af'idah = Hearts, Tahwi = Loves, Urzuk = Grant, Sthamarat = Produce - Fruits, Ta'lam = Know, Nukhfi = We Conceal - Hide, Nu'lin = We Reveal, Wahaba = Granted, Kibar = Old Age, Dua' = Call - Supplication - Prayer.

Q: AlSafa and AlMarwah are two hills near Allah's Sacred House. Hajar (Hagar), Ishmael's mother ran between them seven times looking for water, after the prophet Abraham had left her there. During the pilgrimage muslims do the same, is it a ritual?
A: Indeed AlSafa and AlMarwah (two hills) are from Allah's rituals (Sha'aiir). So who has gone on a pilgrimage to The House (Hajj) or on a voluntary pilgrimage (Umrah), he has no objection in passing around them; And who volunteers righteously; It is Allah Who is Thankful and Knowledgeable.
Translation of: Ayah 158, Surat AlBaqarah.
Words: Sha'aiir = Rituals - Symbols of Worship, I'tamar = Has gone on a voluntary pilgrimage. Junah = Objection, Yattawaf = Pass around - Move around, Tattawa' = Volunteers, Khairun = Righteously - Out of goodness, Shakir = Thankful.

Q: During the Pilgrimage why do Muslims slaughter an animal (cattle) in the Name of Allah?
A: And We made for every (believing) nation* a ritual (= Mansak**) so that they mention the Name of Allah on what He provided them from the cattle among animals; Because your God is One God so to Him submit (all of you) and (Prophet Muhammad) give the good news to those who peacefully humble themselves: Those when the Name of Allah is mentioned their hearts become filled with fear and those who remain patient over what has afflicted them and the performers of the prayer and from what We (Allah) gave them they spend;
And the well-fed cattle We made them for you from the rites (Sha'aiir***) - in them is good (deeds) for you so mention the Name of Allah over them while they are standing up and when their sides are collapsed (after slaughtering) then eat from them and feed the satisfied (who has money) and the unfortunate (poor) - this is how We made them (cattle) yield to you so that you might be grateful; It is not their meat or their blood that will reach Allah but your piety reaches Him - in this way He (Allah) made them (cattle) yield for you so that you glorify Allah for what He guided you and do give the good news to those who perfect their Religion.
Translation of: Ayat 34 - 37, Surat AlHajj. (22:34-37)
* Examples Islamic Nation, Christian Nation, Jewish Nation. Example Prophet Suleiman's sacrifice. (refer to Surat Saad)
** Definition of Mansak: Ritual (consists of rites). (established form for a ceremony, source: Merriam Webster's Deluxe Dictionary).
*** Definition of Sha'aiir (in the above mentioned source): Plural of Sha'eerah: Rite (ceremonial act or action, source: Merriam Webster's Deluxe Dictionary), Religious ceremony, cultic practice.
Words: Ummah = nation, Mansak = Ritual - Religious Heritage, Yathkur = Mentions, Ism = Name, Razaqa = Provided, Baheemat AlAn'am = Cattle among animals, Wahid = One, Aslim = Submit, Bashshir = Give Good News, AlMukhbiteen = Those who peacefully humble themselves, Thukira = Mentioned, Wajilat = Became filled with fear, Quloub = Hearts, Saabir = Patien, Asaba = Afflicted - Made them suffer, Yunfiq = Spends, Budn = Animals with well-fed stout bodies, Sha'aiir = Rites - Religious ceremonial acts, Khair = Charity, Uthkur = Mention, Sawaf = Standing up, Wajabat = Collapsed, Junoub = Sides, Kulu = Eat (plural) At'im = Feed, Qani' = Satisfied, Mu'tar = Unfortunate - Poor, Sakharraha = Made them yield, Yanal = Reach, Luhoum = Meats, Dima' = Blood, Taqwa = Piety - Devoutness, Tukabbir = You glorify, Hada = Guided, AlMuhsineen = Those who perfect their Religion - The good doing believers.

Q: During The Pilgrimage, pilgrims stand one day from sunrise to sunset glorifying Allah on the Mount of 'Arafat' which has a marked place indicating where our forefatherIs Arafat mentioned in The Qur'an?
Note: Mount Arafat is from the verb arafa = met. Our forefather Adam peace be upon him met Eve when both were cast out to earth from Paradise.

A: There is no objection upon you to seek favour (do business) from your God and when you (big crowd) pour out of Arafat, then mention Allah near the sacred monument (in Muzdalifa*) and mention Him as He guided you (to The Truth) because before that you were from the misguided.
Translation of: Ayah 198, Surat AlBaqarah. (2:198)
* From Muzdalifa, the pilgrims gather 21 stones to ,symbolically, stone three satans,as Abraham did, when they reach Mina, The satans tried separately to lure Abraham away from sacrificing his son Ishmael. So he stoned them to cast them away.
Words: Juhnah = Objection, Tab'taghi = seek, Afadhtum = Pour out (because of the huge crowd) - Move spreading - Spread, Mash'ar = Ritual - Sign, Hada = Guided, Dhal = Misguided.

Q: Why did the late scholar of Islam 'Muhammad Mutawalli AlSha'rawi' mention that the pilgrimage to Mecca (AlHajj) conveys the Message of harmony between man and nature?

A: O those who believed do not kill the prey (animals or birds) while you are in the state of pilgrims - and whoever kills it from you on purpose so his repayment is like what (number-worth) he killed from the cattle - to be judged by two fair persons from you as sacrifical offering (only for the poor = Hadyyan) reaching the Ka'bah OR as an atonement (for his sin) feeding some poor OR the equivalent of that in fasting in order to taste the evil consequences of his deed - Allah has forgiven what is past (done before this command) and whoever repeats so Allah will take revenge from him and Allah is Omnipotent Holder of Revenge; It is allowed for you sea fishing and its food as temporary enjoyment for you and the travellers - and hunting* on land is forbidden for you as long as you are in the state of pilgrims and protect yourselves by fearing Allah to Whom you will be gathered back.
Translation of: Ayat 95 - 96, Surat AlMa'idah. (5:95-96)
Note: The Government of Saudi Arabia had already declared the beginning of the Pilgrimage season for the year 2008.
* Hunting for fun is not allowed in Islam. Hunting even for food is not allowed during the Pilgrimage.
Words: AlLatheena Aamanou = Those who believed - Believers, La Taqtulou = Do not kill, Sayd = Prey that is hunted, Hurum = In the state of pilgrims, Mutaamid = On purpose, An'am = Cattle, Hadyyan = Sacrifical offering - Offering for sacrifice - Special sacrificed animals, Baligh = Reaching, Kaffarah = Atonement for sin, Ta'am = Feeding, Wabal Amr = Evil consequences, Thou Intiqam = Holder of Revenge, Bahr = Sea, Mata' = Temporary enjoyment, Hurrima = Is forbidden, Sayyarah = Travellers, Etaqqou = Protect yourselves by fearing Allah - Fear Allah, Tuhsharoun = Are gathered back.

Q: Are Muslims commanded to rid their bodies of the superfluous growth on their bodies?
Note: Reference is to Toronto Star's article New debate on circumcision By Megan Ogilvie, First Page, July 5, 2010.
Hint: The mentioned Islamic rituals take place towards the ending of the Pilgrimage (= Hajj).
A: Then let them (Pilgrims) complete their cleansing rituals*, fulfill their vows (to Allah) and let them circle the Ancient House (of Allah in Mecca).
* Such as trimming their nails and hair.
Translation of: Ayah 29, Surat AlHajj.
Note: In a summary of a saying of the Prophet Muhammad: Allah's creating nature upon which He created man (= AlFitrah: Nature chosen by Allah) is five or five are from "AlFitrah": Circumcision (= AlKhitan), Shaving off the pubic hair (= AlIstihdad), Removing the hair from the armpit (= Natf AlIbt), Trimming the nails (= Taqleem AlAthafir), and cutting the moustache (= Qass AlSharib). Source: AlLou'lou' walMarjan feema etafaqqa alayhi alSheikhan AlBukhari wa Muslim. page 58, in Arabic.
Words: Lyaqdou = Let them complete, Tafasthahum = Their cleansing rituals, Lyufou = Let them fulfill, Nuthourahum = Their offerings, AlBayt = House, AlAteeq = The Ancient.

Q: During the pilgrimage Muslims repeat what the Prophet Muhammad said. What were the Prophet's words based on?
Hint: Based on the Qur'an.
A: So eat of what He (Allah) provided you halal (lawful) and good (food) and thank the blessing of Allah if you are Him worshipping.
Translation of: Ayah 114, Surat AlNahl. (16:114)
A Side Note: In Arabic "Labayk = Answering your call" can be said to any living person. In religion only Allah should be called by "Labayk".
Note: During the pilgrimage ritual Muslims repeat 'We are answering Your call our God We are answering Your call - We are answering Your call there is no partner with You - For the Praise and the Blessing is Yours as well as the Absolute Supremacy (Kingdom) - There is no partner with You' = Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk - Labbayk la shareeka laka Labbayk - InnaAlHamda welNi'mata Laka welMulka - La shareeka Lak.
Note: The white mark on the top of Mount Arafat. During the Pilgrimage, many years ago, we were told that this the place where humanity's forefather Adam and Eve (Hawwa) met for the first time after they were placed on the earth.
Words: FaKulou = So eat, Halal = Lawful - Allowed by Allah, Tayyeban = Good, Ushkorou = Thank - Praise, Ni'mat = Blessing - Favour, Iyyah = Him, Ta'bodoun = Worshipping.

Q: Why does the Government of Saudi Arabia that takes care of Allah's House in Mecca defend it with strict rules?
Note: The beginning of the coming Ayah makes clear who has the intention of disbelieving in Allah's House and vice versa.
A: Indeed those who disbelieved and are preventing from the Path of Allah and the Sacred House which We (Allah) made it for all people (= lilNas) - equally the resident worshipper and the visiting (worshipper) and whoever intends* in it any (act of) disbelieving out of transgression (against Allah's Commands) We (Allah) make him taste a severe punishment.
Translation of: Ayah 25, Surat AlHajj. (22:25)
* Even Muslims who visit there should believe in The Testimony of Islam: There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's messenger.
(Note: It is basicly implied in the Testimony that the Prophet Muhammad is the seal of Allah's prophets). The rejectors are banned from pilgrimage to Mecca.
Words: Yasoddoun = They prevent, Sawa'an = Equally, AlAakif = The resident worshipper, AlBadi = The visiting (worshipper), Yurid = Intends - Has a purpose - Wants, BiIlhad, = Any disbelieving, BiDhulm = Out of transgression - Out of injustice, Nuthiqhu = We make him taste, Aleem = Severe.

Q: When performing the pilgrimage rituals how do Muslims publicly announce their sincere love for Allah?
Note: Please read first the translation of the preceding Line 27 in Surat AlHajj.

A: (Pilgrimage is) To attain benefits (= manafi'e) for them (pilgrims) and to mention* the Name of Allah in fixed days - (and mention the Name) over what sustenance He (Allah) provided them from the cattle among animals** - so do eat from them and feed the miserable poor person.
Translation of: Ayah 28, Surat AlHajj. (22:28)
* Such as AlTakbeer "Allah Akbar = Allah is the Greatest" and 'AlTalbiyah'. Allah's Name is mentioned sincerely to show readiness to abide with Allah's commands.
= Response to the call to visit Allah's House.
** Cattle are slaughtered in AlHajj and their meat are distributed.
Words: LiYashhadou = To attain, Manafi'e = Benefits, Yathkorou = Mention, Ma'lomat = Fixed, Razaqahum = Sustenance He provided them, Baheemat AlAn'am = Cattle among animals - Livestock among animals, AlBa'is = Miserable, AlFaqeer = Poor person.

Q: What is the major sin which is "= AlHinsth AlAdheem" because it makes one break his Covenant (= Yahnusth Qasamhu) with Allah?
A: (Performing the Pilgrimage while)) Being monotheists devoted entirely to Allah (= Hunafa') - not joining any partner with Him - and whoever joins a partner with Allah so as if he has tumbled (helplessly) from the sky so the birds (of prey) snatch* him or the wind blows him down into a bottomless place*.
Translation of: Ayah 31, Surat AlHajj. (22:31)
* Why there is no hope or any supporter at all for him to save him from Allah? (refer to Surat AlNisa').
Words: Hunafa' = Being monotheists devoted entirely to Allah - Worshippers of Allah Alone as the One and Only God, Ghayr Mushrikeen = Not joining any partner, Kharra = Tumbled - Fell suddenly and helplessly, FaTakhtafohu AlTayr = So birds snatch him, Tahwi Bihi = Blows him down - Pushes him down, AlReeh = Wind, Makan = Place, Saheeq = Bottomless.

Q: Why do Muslims perform diligently Allah's rituals for example pilgrimage rituals, and the sacrificing of cattle ritual after Eid AlAdha prayer even by Muslims not performing the pilgrimage?
Note: Please read first (above) the translation of the preceding Line 31 in Surat AlHajj.
A: Besides that (performing Allah's rituals) and whoever holds with honour Allah's rituals* so they (Allah's rituals**) surley show the piety of hearts.
Translation of: Ayah 32, Surat AlHajj. (22:32)
Note: Each and every human made a covenant with Allah before even we were born.
* Note Islamic rituals are ordained by Allah
Examples of rituals not practiced by the Prophet Muhammad and not ordained by Allah:
An example of grief-showing practice.
Another example (images may be disturbing for some).
** Such as cattle slautering ritual in the pilgrimage.
(Remember the ritual reminds us that Allah commanded Prophet Abraham to sacrifice a cattle).
Words: Yuadhdhem = Holds with honour, Sha'air = Rituals - Rites, FaInnaha Min Taqwa AlQuloub = They surely show the piety of hearts.

Q: What do people do with the cattle before they are slaughtered on the day of the 'Feast of Sacrifice = Eid AlAdha' towards the end of the pilgrimage?
Note: Please read first the translation of the preceeding Line 32 in Surat AlHajj.
A: For you, pilgrims, in them (cattle before being slaughtered) benefits (manafi'e)* to an appointed time** then their destination is towards the Ancient House (Allah's House called AlKa'bah***).
Translation of: Ayah 33, Surat AlHajj. (22:33)
* Besides the religious ones there are other benefits for the pilgrims during the pilgrimage.
** 10th of the Islamic lunar month Thul-Hijjah which the is the 'Feast of Sacrifice' Day.

*** A SIDE NOTE: The ultimate direction of Muslims around the world is AlKa'bah (= 'Bayt Allah AlHaram' or 'AlBayt AlAteeq' = 'Allah's Sacred House' or the 'Ancient House') built by the Prophet Abraham and his son Prophet Ishmael on the same spot that Adam peace be upon him built it to worship Allah).
1. What is around (AlKa'bah) is called (the Sacred Mosque = AlMasjid AlHaram or AlHaram). So Muslims in it pray towards AlKa'bah.
2. Muslims in Mecca pray towards the Sacred Mosque.
3. Muslims around the world pray towards Mecca.
Words: Manafi'e = Benefits, Musamma = Appointed - Stated, Mahilluha = Their destination, AlBayt AlAteeq = The Ancient House (of Allah).

Q: Why should Muslims obey Allah even in things some of us may consider not important in life?
Note: The translation of the succeeding Lines 95-96 in Surat AlMa'idah.
A: O those who believed Allah is certainly going to put you to the test through some prey (animals-birds) - your hands or your spears will catch it so that Allah makes known who fears Him (Allah) in the Unseen* - so whoever transgresses after that (this Command) then for him is a severe punishment (in the Other World).
Translation of: Ayah 94, Surat AlMa'idah. (5:94)
* Without being able to see Allah.
Note: The pilgrimage season 2014 has begun.
Words: LaYablowannakum = Is certainly going to put you to the test, , BiShaye'en = Through some, Tanaluhu = Will catch it, LiYa'lam = Makes known, BilGhayb = In the Unseen - In the Invisible, E'tada = Transgresses - Goes beyond the limits.

Q: Why is Allah's commands (and not humans' secular laws) better for humans for this life and the Other Life?
Note: Please read first the translation of Ayah 2 in Surat AlMa'idah.
A: Allah had made AlKa'bah (which is part of) the Sacred House (sacred) for accomplishment (of religious and daily life activities) as well as (also sacred) the Sacred Month* and the sacrifical offering (special sacrificed animals = AlHadyya**) and the garlands*** - that is so that you (plural) know that Allah knows what is in the Heavens and the earth and that Allah of everything is All-Knowing.
Translation of: Ayah 97, Surat AlMa'idah. (5:97)
* The Muslim Month of Thu AlHijjah (ThulHijja). (Pilgrimage takes place in it).
** AlHadyy (different from 'AlUdhiya' which Muslims sacrifice on 'Eid AlAdha'): Animal offerings to be sacrificed and their meat to be distributed only among the poor. They can be atonement from sin like the sin of hunting during the pilgrimage. (in Surat AlMa'idah)
** The garlands which mark special animals to be sacrificed and distributed among the poor and the needy.
Note: Remember Muslims pray towards AlKa'bah. (in a Side Note)
Words: Qiyamman = Accomplishment - Performance, AlShahr = Month, AlHadyya = The sacrifical offering - The offering for sacrifice - Special sacrificed animals.

Q: Confusion about celebrating Eid AlAdha (year 2014 = Islamic year 1435 AH) in Toronto!
Note: There is correlation (interconnection – interdependence) in the Qur’anic Ayat.
Sometimes concentration on words rather than their meanings in correlation with other Qur’anic Ayat can create confusion.
A: Read an article Eid al-Adha or Eid al-Hajj? by Hilal Committee of Metropolitan Toronto & Vicinity
Note: After animal sacrifices on the Eid Day many people come out from their Iharm.
Read Ayat 34-38 in Surat AlHajj (22).
Also read Ayah 28 in Surat AlHajj (22)

1. Prophet Abraham's name is remembered forever by Muslims. When the Prophet Muhammad was asked about the sacrifices of animals the Prophet answered “the way of your father Abraham ( = Sunnat abeekum Ibraheem).
Allah showed Prophet Abraham how to celebrate his thanks to Allah by sacrificing an animal (Abraham's son "Ishmael" was saved).
Similarly should not the pilgrims thank Allah for giving them a chance to visit His House and complete the pilgrimage by sacrificing an animal (Prophet Abraham's way of thanking)?
Muslims around the world, as they fast with the pilgrims on the Day of "Arafah" before the Eid, they celebrate with them their success in performing the pilgrimage by offering sacrifices of animals hoping to have rewards from Allah just like the pilgrims.
2. Note: Name of Prophet Abraham will be remembered for ever
and so will the names of some other prophets because in the Qur'an it is mentioned they will be remembered for ever
All in Surat AlSaffat (37 in the Qur’an) the phrase is (We passed him (his name) over = “wa Tarakna Alayhi Fi AlAkhireen”)
Name of Prophet Abraham will remain distinguished for ever.
Name of Prophet Noah will remain distinguished for ever.
Names of Prophet Moses and Aaron will remain distinguished for ever.
Name of Prophet Ilyas (Elijah)will remain distinguished for ever.
And Allah knows Best!

Q: A Kind remainder and opinion for consideration about sighting the Eid!
A: Blessed Eid (2014 C.E. = 1035 A.H.) to all Muslims who celebrated their first day of Eid on Saturday, Sunday or (Monday for example in some areas of Pakistan)
The Prophet Muhammad said when the moon is sighted (seen = LiRo'yatihi) (by who and where?). And peace be upon him did not say "when you see it".
The Prophet Muhammad ment what he said.
Remember the saying of the Prophet Muhammad about an old woman who wanted the Prophet to pray for her to enter Paradise.
The Prophet said old women do not enter Paradise. The woman went away crying.
The Prophet told the companions to tell her that all will be young (age of Jesus "34") in Paradise. Source will be added later insha Allah.
Nowadays the globe is becoming one via mass media. So hopefully Muslim religious leaders manage to unite Muslims in their Eid in the future.
And Allah knows best.

Q: Why non Muslims and those who join any partner with Allah are advised to stay away from the City of Mecca where Allah's First House built by Prophet Abraham is located?
A: And then We (Allah) made the House (of Allah in Mecca) a place of return* for people and security - and (to Muslims) do take up from the station of Abraham (= Maqam)** a praying place - and We entrusted Abraham and Ishmael (Prophet Ismaeel) that (both of you***) do PURIFY MY HOUSE for those who do "Tawaf****" and the resident worshippers (staying in the Holy Mosque) and those who kneel and prostrate (in prayer).
Translation of: Ayah 125 , Surat AlBaqarah. (2:125)
* Muslims visit it for pilgrimage.
** Pilgrims pray two kneeling down (= Rak'ah) in "Maqam Ibraheem". Its historical significance.
*** Prophet Muhammad is a descendant of Prophet Ishmael (the eldest son of Prophet Abraham, and the half brother of Prophet Isaac).
**** Moving around AlKa'bah - the House of Allah in Mecca.
Words: Masthabatan = A place of return, Ith = Then, Maqam = Station - Standing place &@61; Staying place, Ibraheem = Abraham, Tahhira = Both of you purify, Ta'ifeen = Who move around AlKa'bah, AlAkifeen = the resident worshippers - Worshippers staying in the Holy Mosque, AlRuka' = Those who kneel - bow, AlSujoud = Those who prostrate.

Q: For the sake of whom did Prophet Abraham (Ibraheem) pray to Allah?
A: And when Abraham (Prophet Ibraheem) said O my God make this (Mecca) a secure land and provide its people with (agricultural) produce whoever believed of them in Allah and the Last Day (Day of Judgement) - He (Allah) said and whoever disbelieves so I will provide him with temporary enjoyment for some time then I will oblige him to the punishment of Fire (in Hell) and what a miserable ending.
Translation of: Ayah 126 , Surat AlBaqarah. (2:126)
Words: Baladan = Land - Country, Aminan = Safe, AlSthamarat = Produce, FaUmate'uhu = So I will provide him with temporary enjoyment for some time, Sthumma Adhttaruhu = Then I will oblige him.

Q: What develops a Muslim's behavior and makes him a righteous (= Salih) person after performing a pilgrimage?
A: And do remember (by mentioning the Name of) Allah during (some) appointed days (of pilgrimage) so whoever makes haste in two days then no blame (sin) on him and whoever stays longer then no blame on him for whoever protects himself (by fearing Allah) and do protect yourselves by fearing Allah and let it be known to you that to Him you (plural) are going to be gathered.
Translation of: Ayah 203, Surat AlBaqarah. (2:203)
Words: WUthkorou = And do remember - And do mention the Name of- Ma'doudat = Appointed - Enumerated, Ta'ajjala = Makes haste, Takhkhara = Stays longer, Ishtm = Blame - Sin, Tuhsharoun = Be gathered.

Q: We are all on a journey back to our Creator to the Day of Judgement. What is the best provision we can take on such a journey?
A: The pilgrimage (= AlHajj) is (during) known months* so whoever imposes in them (during the months) the pilgrimage (upon himself) then no obscenity** nor sinfully straying away (from Allah's Path) neither disputing during the pilgrimage - and whatever good you do Allah knows it and take (enough) provision for indeed the best provision is piety (Allah-fearing = AlTaqwa) and do protect yourselves by fearing Me (Allah) O you men of understanding.
Translation of: Ayah 197, Surat AlBaqarah. (2:197)
* People start to prepare for the pilgrimage from the months of ""Shawwal, ThulQa'dah" which come before "ThulHijja" - the month which contains the pilgrimage rites (= Sha'air).
** Immorality in language or behavior.
Words: Ma'loumat = Known, Faradha = Imposed, Rafasth = Immorality in language or behavior, Fosouq = Sinfully straying away from Allah's Path, Jidal = Disputing - Quarreling, Tazawadou = Take provision, AlTaqwa = Piety - Allah-fearing - Protecting oneself by fearing Allah, Uli AlAlbab = Men of understanding.

Q: What does "Hajj" the pilgrimage to Allah's House in Mecca motivate us to do?
A: So when you (plural) finish your (pilgrimage) rituals then remember Allah like the remembering of your parents or even more remembrance - and among people who (after pilgrimage) say our God grant us (good) in this life and for him in the Other World there is no* destined share (of good things).
Translation of: Ayah 200, Surat AlBaqarah. (2:200)
* People who disobey Allah would have enjoyed their destined share of good things in this life. (Refer to the translation of Ayah 69 in Surat AlTawbah (translation edited today)
According to the translation of " Abdullah Yusuf Ali" in "The Holy Qur'an: English Translation of the Meanings and Commentary", page 86: The proper Muslim attitude is neither to renounce this world nor to be so engrossed in it as to forget the future life.
Words: Qadhaytum = You finish, Manasikakum = Your rituals, Khalaaq = Destined share of good things - Share of the qualities of religion.

Q: Why should people think of others' comfort even when performing the rituals of AlHajj?
Note: The translation of the preceding Ayah 198 in Surat AlBaqarah.
A: Then (after standing on Arafat) pour out* (move spreading) from where (Arafat) people* poured out and ask Allah for forgiveness indeed Allah is Most Forgiving Most Merciful.
Translation of: Ayah 199, Surat AlBaqarah. (2:199)
* Before Islam during polytheism the Tribe of Quraysh was the host for pilgrims. They had the habit of waiting in AlMuzdlifah while other pilgrims go to Arafat. The command was to Prophet Muhammad and all Muslims to stand on Arafat. Source: Tafseer Ibn Kastheer, volume 1, page 351.
Note: According to the translation of " Abdullah Yusuf Ali" in "The Holy Qur'an: English Translation of the Meanings and Commentary", page 85: Towards the end of the pilgrimage the crowd is very great ... the pace has therefore to be quick for every one. Every member must think of the comfort and convenience of the whole mass.
Note: Rituals of the Pilgrimage (= Sha'air AlHajj).
Words: Afeedhu = Pour out - Flow - Move Spreading - Spread.

Q: What is important in the rituals of pilgrimage and shows obedience to Allah and SHARING with others?
A: And complete the pilgrimage (= AlHajj*) and the minor pilgrimage (= AlUmrah**) for (the Sake of) Allah but if you are held back (without completing it) so (slaughter) whatever sacrifical offering (= AlHadyy) is accessible and do not shave*** your heads until the offering for sacrifice reaches its place (done) but whoever among you is ill or feels harm because of his head**** then a ransom of fasting or (giving) charity or (performing) a ritual (sacrificing a cattle) - so when you feel secure then whoever enjoyed***** (doing) minor pilgrimage (Umrah) to pilgrimage (Hajj) then (sacrifice) whatever offering for sacrifice is accessible - but whoever does not find (to sacrifice) then doing fast for three days during the pilgrimage and seven (days) when you (plural) go back - those are complete ten (days) - that is for the one whose immediate family is not present at the Sacred Mosque (not for locals) and protect yourselves by fearing Allah and let it be known to you that Allah is Severe in the punishment******.
Translation of: Ayah 196, Surat AlBaqarah. (2:196)
* Compulsory upon who has the means and capability to perform the pilgrimage = AlHajj.
** Voluntary action other than "AlHajj".
*** Ritual of pilgrimage.
**** Like uncontrollable lice. Source: Ibn Kashtheer, volume 1, page 337.
***** Some people especially locals near Mecca can manage to enjoy doing both Umrah followed by Hajj when its time arrives.
****** Do not play tricks or evade Commands of Allah.
Words: AlHadyy = Sacrifical offering - Offering for sacrifice - Sacrificing any type of cattle, Uhssirtum = Held back - Detained - Besieged, Amintum = You feel secure, Hadhiry = Present.

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