The Prophet’s acts of worship during Haj – I

In his Haj, nothing could divert the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) attention away from his rituals, or from showing submission and humility before Allah. Standing with his hands raised close to his chest, he privately offered his supplication for extended periods of time. Secondly, all of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) movements were full of submission and surrender to Allah, Almighty.

He would walk quietly in reverence and tranquility going about his rituals. Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) performed Al-Ifadha in tranquility.” (Al-Bukhari)

Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that as he and the Prophet (peace be upon him) were moving together on the Day of ‘Arafah, they heard loud noises, clattering and roars of camels. The Prophet (peace be upon him) then pointed his whip at the people and said: “Be quiet; haste is no indication of righteousness!” (Tirmidhi)

Doing plenty of good deeds
Not only did the Prophet (peace be upon him) enjoined good, he (peace be upon him) was also keen on doing the same during the Haj. This is manifest in his performance of all the recommended Haj rituals.

He performed Ghusl (ritual body wash) and wore perfume before assuming Ihram, marked and garlanded the sacrificial animal, and frequently recited the Talbiyah aloud until he (peace be upon him) had cast the Jamaratul-’Aqabah.

He also started Tawaf as soon as he entered the House, walked briskly in Tawaf, touched the two corners of the Ka’bah, offered two Rak’ahs of Tawaf behind Maqaam Ibrahim (Ibrahim’s station), supplicated Allah on the hills of Safa and Marwah, ran in the middle of the valley, supplicated upon touching the two corners and while throwing pebbles at the Jamaraat. (Paraphrased from Al-Bukhari and Muslim) There are many other acts that he (peace be upon him) performed.

Moderation and equanimity
Islam encourages moderation and censures exaggeration. In fact equanimity was the most significant attitude of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the Haj. He (peace be upon him) abhorred exaggeration. He (peace be upon him) did neither too much nor too little. Two acts of worship can be stressed in this regard. Firstly, he (peace be upon him) adopted a wholesom middle course between his acts of worship and his responsibility as the leader of the Muslims. However, he (peace be upon him) did not neglect his duty to his wives and his household who needed care and affection. Secondly, he (peace be upon him) also took equal care of his body and soul.

This is a very important point, as the awe-inspiring surroundings of the Haj may compel many people to observe the spiritual and entirely forget the physical side of their being.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) however, took very good care of his body. For example, on Tarwiyah Day he (peace be upon him) moved closer to Mina in order to be near ‘Arafah (Sahih Muslim); slept during the nights of ‘Arafah and Muzdalifah (Al-Bukhari); took breakfast on the Day of ‘Arafah (Al-Bukhari); but did not offer supererogatory prayers. (Sahih Muslim)

He (peace be upon him) stayed in a dome made from the camel’s hair erected especially for him, moved between the sacred sites (Al-Bukhari), and performed some of the Haj rituals riding on camel’s back (Muslim). Furthermore, he even had someone who served and helped him. (Ibn Majah)

Giving up worldly life
The Prophet (peace be upon him) renounced the present life and rejected all that was not needed for the Hereafter. There are countless examples of his attitude of looking down upon the worldly life. Listed are but a few: He (peace be upon him) used an old, shabby camel saddled with a piece of velvet hardly worth four dirhams (silver currency). He (peace be upon him) allowed Usamah Ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him) to ride behind him on his camel’s back from ‘Arafah to Muzdalifah, and allowed Al-Fadhl Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) to ride behind him from Muzdalifah to Mina. (Al-Bukhari)