Answering Islam Email Dialogs
Topic: The Hajj
Received: 18 May 2005
aslam-u-alikum, i am writiing some articles on hajj and i cant find the number of people that went to hajj each year, please can u send me the chart which shows the no of people went to hajj in different years, i am living in australia therefore i have no such opportunity to find in the islamic books, pls kindly as soon as possible send to me. tanks alot, A-----. take care
Wa Aleikum Salama. Thank you for your questions and requests. However, I must inform you that we here at Answering-Islam.org are followers of Jesus. We are not an Islamic web site although several of the contributors are indeed former Muslims. However, knowing that God is the Overseer of all things, we must assume that He guided you to "mistakenly" write to us. As such, I would encourage you to ask yourself why He may have done this. I hope that you will not be offended if I offer a likely possibility. Perhaps it is that God loves you and desires you to discover the Truth - the truth which can set you free - truth which cannot be found in Islam.
You asked the question about those who go to Hajj every year. Perhaps the better question is: "Why do people go on Hajj every year?"
How does a person or God benefit from someone running around the Ka'aba or throwing stones at stone obelisks? Is one drawn closer to God when they kiss a black stone of unknown origin?
Muslims often like to chide Christians saying that it is foolish to believe that placing one's faith in the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus can cleanse one's soul from sin. Yet this belief system is rooted in thousands of years of solid prophetic traditions rooted in the age-old message as taught by all of the prophets. But on what rational basis does one think that God would forgive sins based on doing such inconsequential exercises such as running around the Ka'aba? How does this particular act or the act of kissing a stone cause one to become "born anew"? Can you explain this satisfactorily to me or anyone else?
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Whoever performs Hajj for Allah's pleasure and does not have sexual relations with his wife, and does not do evil or sins then he will return (after Hajj free from all sins) as if he were born anew." (Sahih Bukhari 2.596)
Let me ask you A-----, the day after Hajj, when you are allegedly born anew - it is any easier to avoid sinful thoughts or sinful behavior? Is there any genuine change in your heart that causes you to desire to live a more kind, loving and righteous life? This is the type of experience that millions of people all describe after they confess their sinful condition to God and trust HIM to forgive them based on the work of the Messiah on the cross.
I would appeal to you to consider that the rituals performed at the Hajj are traceable to the pagan rituals that were practiced well before Muhammad came along. “Narrated Abu Huraira: In the year prior to the last Hajj of the Prophet when Allah's Apostle made Abu Bakr the leader of the pilgrims, the latter (Abu Bakr) sent me in the company of a group of people to make a public announcement: 'No pagan is allowed to perform Hajj after this year, and no naked person is allowed to perform Tawaf of the Kaba.'” (See Hadith No. 365 Vol. 1) (Sahih Bukhari 2.689)
Maximus Tyrius writing in the second century says, "The Arabians pay homage to I know not what god, which they represent by a quadrangular stone."
Yes, the pagans performed Hajj long before Muhammad.
So, somehow, making Hajj and performing Pagan rituals makes one clean, yet the idea of forsaking one's confidence in his own goodness and turning instead to the sacrifice of God's prophesied, sinless “Lamb” as thoroughly rooted in the traditions of the true people and the true prophets of God does not? How so?
Can Islam explain the history or the origin of this black rock? Can Islam explain the reason for the Jewish temple with all of its rituals and animal sacrifices? Can you? Do you understand the reasons for the various Jewish rituals that were practiced for many thousands of years? What was God's purpose for these rituals? These are important questions that must be answered.
I would encourage you to consider some of these questions and then after some contemplation and prayer, I would like you to e-mail me in order that we could continue this discussion.
I hope that I have not offended you by responding, but as I said, I believe that God has guided you to us. I pray also that you will be greatly blessed.
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