The Hidden Acts of The Pilgrimage -3-

Abu Haamid al-Ghazaali

October 10, 2014

7. As for the purchase of the two ihram garments: let [the pilgrim] at this [point] reflect up in the windin sheet and his being wrapped in it, for he will wear and put on ihram garments when he is near to the House of God Most High and it may be that his journey to it will not be completed; [on the other hand] he will most assuredly meet God Most High when he is wrapped up in the winding sheet. As he does not come to the House of God Most High except when he has broken with his usual mode of dress and form, so he will not meet God Most High after death except in a style of dress different from the style of dress of this Life; and the [ihram] garment is very much like that one [i.e. the winding sheet] as it is not sewn, just as it is the case with the winding sheet.

8. As for the [actual] departure from the home country: let [the pilgrim] know that he has departed from both family and home country, turning his face towards God Most High in a journey unparal­leled among worldly journeys. So let him recall to his mind what he is intending [to do] where he is doing, and whom he purposes to visit. [Let him know] that as he faces the King of kings he is among a throng of [the King’s] visitors — those who have been called and have ans­wered, those who have been made to yearn and have yearned, have been made to rush and have rushed, those who have severed all connections, separated themselves from people, and have drawn near to the House of God Most High, whose case He has magnified, whose affair He has ex­tolled, and whose degree He raised high. [These have gone to the House] to consent themselves with meeting it instead of meeting its Lord un­til the time when they are blessed with the fulfilment of their goal, and made happy with the Vision of their Lord. Let [the pilgrim] en­tertain in his heart the hope of [ultimate] arrival and acceptance, not making a show of his [good] deeds during the journey or of his se­paration from [his] family and wealth, but trusting in the Grace of God Most High and hoping for the realization of His promise [which is made] to everyone who visits His House. Let him, further, hope that if he does not reach [the House] but rather death overtakes him on the way, he will find himself before God Most High, because God Most High has said, “And who so goes forth from his home, emigrating in the case of God and His Messenger, and death overtakes him, his reward lies on God (4:101).

9. As for entering the desert up to the miqat and beholding the mountain roads: Let him remember in connection with them what transfers when one leaves the present world at death and [before one reaches] the miqat of the day of Resurrection – [let him remember] the terrors and demands that are in between. Let the terror of highwaymen be for him a reminder of the interrogation by Munkar and Nakir; [Let] the beasts of prey in the desert [be a remember of] the scorpiorn and worms of the grave as well as the snakes and serpents [which crawl] therein; and [let] the separation from one’s family and relatives [be a remember of] the dreariness of the grave, its distress, and its loneliness. Let him obtain, through his action and sayings respecting all these dreadful things, provision against the terrors of the grave.

10. As for the state of sanctification [ihram] and the talbiya [i.e. recitation of labbayka] from the miqat [onward]: let [the pilgrim] know that this 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. For the time of talbiya is the [real] beginning of the matter and the place of the danger. Sufyan ibn ‘Uyayna said, “Ali ibn al-Husayn — may God be pleased with them — once performed the Pilgrimage. When he had entered the state of sanctification and was well mounted on his camel, his colour became pallid; then he trembled and a shiver befell him to the extent that he could not recite the talbiya. When it was said to him,’ Why are you not reciting the talbiya?’ He said, ‘I fear that it will be said to me, ‘You are neither accepted nor blessed.’ And when he [later] recited the talbiya he fainted and fell off his camel. This continued to happen to him until he completed his pilgrimage, “Ahmad ibn al-Hawari said, “I was with ‘Abu Sulayman al Darani — may God be pleased with him — when he de­clared his intention to enter the state of sanctification, but he did not recite the talbiya until we had walked for about one mile. Then a swoon came over him, and when he recovered consciousness he said, ‘0 Ahmed, God Most High has revealed to Moses, ‘Bid the oppressors among the children of Israel to decrease their remembrance of me for I remember, with a curse those among them who remember Me. May God have mercy on you, 0 Ahmad – [A tradition] has reached me that he who per­forms Pilgrimage unlawfully and chants the talbiya, God Most High says to him, ‘You are neither accepted nor blessed until you return that which is in your possession.’ There is no assurance that the same will not be said to us.” let him who recites the talbiya remember when he raises his voice with the talbiya in the miqat his response to the call of God Most High when He said, “And proclaim unto mankind the Pilgrimage” [22:28], and [let him reflect on] the calling forth of the creatures by the blowing of trumpet, and their resurrection from graves, and their thronging together in the courtyard of the resurrection in response to the call of God Most High, being divided into two groups: those who have achieved nearness to God and those who are detested ones, those who are accepted and those who are rejected. [For these resurrected ones too will] waver at first between fear and hope, as does the pi1­grim in the miqat, not knowing whether it will be possible for him to complete the Pilgrimage and be accepted or not.