Islam and Women
I will also go to Madina
Umm Milad Attariyyah
Every devotee of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has a heartfelt desire to perform Hajj and bask in the spiritual climes of the two Holy Sanctuaries of Makka and Madina. This yearning is quite natural, since those sacred lands are the birthlands of our faith and brimming sources of light. The journey one takes towards them is full of nothing but blessings and goodness, and it is a matter of good fortune. The traveller on this path garners immense blessings, countless openings, and distinct comfort.
The righteous men and women of this Ummah always longed to behold the delightful sights of Makka and Madina. For example, a leading saint, Dhū al-Nūn al-Miṣri رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه, mentions that Sayyidatunā Umm Dāb رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْهَا was renowned for her piety and worship. She would walk from Madina to Makka every year to perform Hajj. At ninety years of age, she lost her vision.
That year, a group of pilgrims came to Madina to visit the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم before they set off for Hajj. Overcome with yearning, Sayyidatunā Umm Dāb رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْهَا raised her hands and beseeched, “Dear Allah! I swear by Your honour! I may have lost my vision, but my earnest longing to visit Your sanctuary continues unabated.” Thus, entering the state of ihram, she began proclaiming the talbiya and joined the Hajj caravan. She walked in front of the women of the caravan and would even surpass them entirely.
Sayyidunā Dhū al-Nūn Miṣri رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه said, “I was astonished by her state. I then heard a voice from the unseen: ‘Are you surprised by an elderly woman who desires to visit the House of her Lord? Through His grace and generosity, Allah led her towards His House and granted her strength.’”
Throughout the glorious history of Islam, women have demonstrated a deep connection with Makka and Madina and passion to perform Hajj. Even in the face of many difficulties and trials, they could not bear to miss out on this esteemed act of worship. If only the same eagerness, passion and love would develop within us.
Hajj is a foundational pillar of Islam and an important act of worship. Allah Almighty has prescribed the Hajj for every capable individual at least once in their life. It is a major sin to delay or forego the Hajj once all the requirements are met. A hadith alludes to a severe warning of dying in a state of disbelief for the one not performing Hajj when it becomes obligatory. We seek Allah’s refuge.
May Allah Almighty not include us amongst those mentioned in this warning! Due to being distant from Islamic teachings, people commonly neglect this pillar of the religion. It is also commonplace to see individuals delaying Hajj until they reach a later age, or focussing on marrying their children off or starting a family first. This is a matter of great deprivation. Those without enough wealth or apparent means long to perform Hajj and visit Madina, yet those whom Allah Almighty has granted financial ability remain negligent and lazy. What a strange set of affairs!
In whatever time and age a person fulfils the required conditions of Hajj and it becomes fard upon them, they must actively and promptly fulfil this obligation. Some women may not have cash at hand, but they have jewellery worth thousands. If its value equals the amount required for Hajj to become fard, it will become incumbent for them to perform it, provided other conditions are also fulfilled.
In this case, without a valid reason recognised by Islam, it is impermissible to delay Hajj. Sisters should turn their attention to this issue. The same way salah, fasting, and other acts of worship are mandatory depending on a person’s ability, the same principle applies to Hajj. It is a great honour from Allah that He made us worthy of performing this beautiful act of worship, which is also known as the worship of the devotees.
Therefore, every Islamic sister should assess the worth of their jewellery and other financial savings. Through their mahram, they can then contact Dār al-Iftā Ahl al-Sunna and find out if the total value equals the amount which causes hajj to become compulsory upon them.
For motivation, let us read three hadith discussing the excellences of Hajj and visiting Madina:
1. The one who performs Hajj will intercede for four hundred members of his family, and he shall exit from sin like the day that his mother gave birth to him.
2. Perform Hajj, for it washes away sin the way water washes away dirt.
3. This is Ṭayba, and it removes sin the way fire removes blemishes from silver.
May Allah Almighty grant us profound love for al-Makkah al-Mukarramah and Madina Munawwara, and may He allow us to perform Hajj with safety and well-being.
اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ خاتَمِ النَّبِیّیْن صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم