Planning to go for Hajj or Umrah?
Well then, you might want to try my new blog (I’m still adding stuff):
You might also like to read this post which contains some analogies of Ramadan and Hajj.
Perhaps you like pictures more? No worries. Here’s a photoblog (I’m adding stuff to this one as well) about Hajj and Umrah:
Comments and suggestions are welcome.
Please feel free to tell all your Hajj-bound family/friends/colleagues/whoever about the blogs.
[Just a note: An anonymous person wrote a comment criticizing something that I said in Part 2. I had no problem with that. All comments are welcome.
However, this individual used MY email address when typing in the comment. (You cannot submit a comment without typing in a valid email address.)
That REALLY annoyed me. I don’t mind being criticized but I hate lies and cowardice, especially considering the fact that this is Ramadan.
Why am I telling you all this? Simple. If you wish to write a comment in the future, then please don’t make the mistake of using my email address, just because you want to remain anonymous. You can either create a new email address for this purpose or else please refrain from commenting. If I see that anybody has used my email address for writing a comment, I’ll delete the comment then and there. I don’t like dealing with liars and cowards.]
Okay, so now that I’ve said what I had to say (I always say what I have to say, don’t I?), let’s continue with our checklist:
18) The Month of Integrity
What integrity is NOT: using the blog owner’s email address to write an anonymous comment.
What integrity IS: using your OWN email address to air your comments. And if you happen to behave in a manner other than that, then you should be willing to apologize. [Yes, this individual really did annoy me. May Allah forgive her.]
In the last 10 days, did our integrity improve? Were we honest in our dealings?
Do you know how Islam spread to places like Indonesia and Malaysia? Through honest Muslim traders. The people of those lands were totally amazed at how honest these individuals were with their business dealings.
I’ll tell you two stories that happened to me:
1) Many years ago, paid parking was introduced in our parking lot. So, in the beginning (before we all got the parking cards), I used to rush down every hour to get the ticket. Sometimes, I would put in AED 5 for two hours. (AED = Arab Emirate Dirhams.)
One day, I didn’t have any change so I went to the light shop under my house to get change for AED 5. There was an old south Indian Hindu man there. I knew him well because he had worked there for years and I had basically grown up in that building. So I asked him for change. He only had AED 4.75 so I gave him the AED 5 bill and took the change.
That was that, right? I mean, who would care about 25 fils? A quarter of a dirham? He did.
He come up to me a few days later and gave me the 25 fils. I was shocked and told him not to worry about it. He insisted that I take it because he couldn’t keep it. Subhan Allah.
I was so sad that this kind of integrity came from a non-Muslim and not a Muslim. We’re usually too ashamed to even return such a small amount in case the other person laughs at us.
[He left for India a few years ago. If I had to choose one person in the entire world that I would want Allah to guide to Islam, it would be him. I ask Allah by His Beautiful Names that He guide this man to Islam for this act that he did. Ameen.] Read more
[Little hint: Go in the first few days if you can because it’s jam packed towards the end of Ramadan.]
[A little note about Umrah: Most people do not realise that there is a dispute amongst the scholars about whether Umrah is obligatory or not. Some say yes, it has to be performed once in a lifetime, if one is able to perform the journey (obviously if you do Hajj At-Tamattu or Hajj Al-Qiran, both of which contain Umrah, then that’s enough.) Other scholars point out that it is just recommended.
I used to take the latter opinion until I found quite a few ahadeeth (I have them all with me so feel free to ask) which made me change my mind. I now hold the former view i.e. that it is an obligation to do it once in your lifetime if you can afford to do so.
Am I telling you this to make you change your mind? No, I just want everyone to be aware that there is such a dispute so that if you can afford to do Umrah and you have never done so, then just go ahead and finish it off as it might be an obligation. ]
If this is the first time that you’re going for Umrah, then I’d advise you to buy one of the few books that’s dedicated to Umrah alone (i.e. without mentioning Hajj). It’s called “The Ultimate Guide to Umrah” by Abu Muneer Ismail Davids. It’s based on his excellent book “Getting the best out of Hajj” with two additional chapters on Umrah in Ramadan and Visiting Madinah.
It’s not online* (not that I know of anyway). You can buy it from Darussalam. though. This is what it looks like: http://store.dar-us-salam.com/product/201.html
[*Some of it is on Google books. If you have the patience to refresh the page a million times, eventually you’ll get to see all the pages of the book, insha-Allah.]
[For Sisters in Dubai / Sharjah / Ajman, if you can’t find the book, you’re welcome to borrow my book. Feel free to ask, no worries.]
This is another book that you could buy: http://www.darussalam.com/product_info.php?products_id=907
Want online resources? Sure.