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Preface: The Pilgrimage of Islam

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By: Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri


The path of Islam has its origin and roots in the rise of the Adamic consciousness. From the dawn of humankind and throughout its history the practices and rituals of Islam have evolved and developed, as revealed to the numerous prophets and messengers who brought about successive changes.

The practices and laws for the wayfarer were completed as a comprehensive code of conduct and way of life by the last messenger, Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and preserved in the Qur`an and the Prophetic teachings. The Qur`an tells us that the purpose of creation is to adore, worship and submit to the loving Creator by total surrender. No lasting contentment or satisfaction can be obtained except through this unific path of abandonment, sacrifice and correct action.

To arrive at an inner state of true surrender and freedom, outer practices and rituals are necessary. To pray and supplicate, to retreat in meditation, to give alms, to share and care for others, to restrain one’s self by fasting, to go on pilgrimage and to visit places which are conducive to spiritual upliftment, to uphold goodness and to renounce evil, and to live fully within Islam and protect its meaning and way of life – all are within the original blueprint of human consciousness. All of these practices are fundamental, primal expressions of the spiritual and social facets of human nature. From time immemorial many of these practices and habits are deeply rooted in the traditions and practices of many ancient tribes and societies of mankind.

Prayer, for example, if not offered in sincere supplication, can be reduced to a simple cry for material help, and if giving becomes self-gratifying, it enhances the ego rather than reduces it. If fasting be performed simply as abstention from food, its benefit may only be dietary, and if the pilgrimage loses its spiritual and social content, it becomes simply a form of uncomfortable folkloric pageantry.

The present work is an attempt to show the outer practices and inner meanings of the journey of the Hajj (pilgrimage) in Islam. Its intention is to present an integrated picture of the entire pilgrimage. We hope this work will be of benefit to all who are interested in the transformative dimension of Islam.

Although the section on rituals is based mainly on the Ja‘fari school of thought, which as will be seen differs only very slightly from the other four schools of law, the rest of the book is of a universal nature.

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[ Preface: The Pilgrimage of Islam ] Introduction: The Pilgrimage of Islam ] Chapter 1: The Pilgrimage of Islam ] Chapter 2: The Pilgrimage of Islam ] Chapter 3: The Pilgrimage of Islam ] Chapter 4: The Pilgrimage of Islam ] Chapter 4: The Pilgrimage of Islam (Continues) ] Chapter 5: The Pilgrimage of Islam ]