Know that the Pilgrimage begins with understanding -- I mean [by that], understanding of the position of Pilgrimage in Islam. Then [follows] a longing to [perform] it, then the [actual] decision [to proceed], then the severance of any relation that may hold one back, then the purchase of ihram garment, then the purchase of provisions, then the hiring of a camel. Then [comes] the [actual] departure, then the journeying in the desert, then the sanctification al Miqat and the [chanting] of the talbiya, then the enterance into Mecca and the fulfilment of the acts [of Pilgrimage] as previously [mentioned].
As for the severance of relations this means restitution for all injustices and sincere repentance before God Most High for all sins. Every injustice is a relation and every relation is like a creditor present [before the pilgrim] clinging to his neck, crying out [to those around him], saying, "Where are you headed? Are you going to the palace of the King of kings while you are neglecting His affair in your house, despising and neglecting Him? Are you not ashamed to go to Him as a disobedient servant would go to Him, Lest He rejects and not accept you?
The talbiya [i.e. recitation of labbayka] has the sense of answering the call of God Most High. Therefore, have the hope that you will be accepted, as well as the fear that you will be told, "You are neither accepted [in my service, i.e. your talbiya is not honoured] nor blessed", so that you will waver between hope and fear, and be stripped of your might and power, [thereby] becoming [completey] dependent on the Grace and Generosity of God Most High.
Know that fasting is of three grades, namely, the fasting of the general public (ṣawm al-ʻumūm), the fasting of the select few (ṣawm al-khuṣūṣ), and the fasting of the elite among the select few (ṣawm khuṣūṣ al-khuṣūṣ). The fasting of the general public involves refraining from satisfying the appetite of the stomach and the appetite of the sex, as has already been discussed.
Everyone who truly understands fasting and its secret knows that he who abstains from food, drink, and sexual intercourse but commits [all manner of] sins is like the person who, in performing the ablution runs his hand over one of his members thrice, thereby outwardly fulfilling the Law as far as the member is concerned, but neglecting the truly important thing which is the actual washing. Consequently, because of his ignorance, his prayer is rejected.