HE is the role model, we take our rites of Haj from him – the Prophet of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. His educating and leading the pilgrims, as well as caring for his wives and household did not prevent him from worshiping Allah, or from showing his absolute submission to Him. This attitude took various forms, and here are some of the most significant examples:
Tawheed (Islamic monotheism) is the first fundamental principle of Islam that the Prophet (peace be upon him) affirmed and fostered. This was very much evident in his conduct while performing Haj. It was in his recitation of Talbiyah (saying Labbayka Allahumma labbayk), which is now like a symbol of Haj. It means that the act of Haj is offered to Allah, and Allah alone, without associating any partners with Him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) continued to recite Talbiyah from the moment he began the ritual, and until he had thrown pebbles at Jamratul-’Aqabah (Aqabah stone) on the Day of Sacrifice (i.e. Eid day).
Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) observed strict devotion to Allah in all his deeds. He always asked Allah to help him avoid hypocrisy and showing-off. Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that he heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say: “O Allah, make my Haj (pilgrimage) free of hypocrisy and showing-off.” (Saheeh Muslim)
While he was on the hills of Safa and Marwah, the Prophet (peace be upon him), supplicated to Allah as narrated by Jabir, “The Prophet (peace be upon him) began by ascending As-Safaa until the Ka’ba was visible to him, then he faced Qiblah and said ‘Laa ilaaha illAllah, Allahu Akbar’ (There is no god worthy of worship but Allah, Allah is the greatest) and said, ‘There is no god worthy of worship but Allah, the One, there are no associates to Him; He is the Master of the universe, to Him we give thanks, He is the Omnipotent; there is no god worthy of worship but Allah, the One… ‘He repeated this three times until he reached Al-Marwah, where he did the same as he did on As-Safa.” (Saheeh Muslim)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) supplicated Allah on the Day of ‘Arafah saying as narrated in an authentic Hadith, “The best invocation is performed on the Day of ‘Arafah, and the best supplication ever offered by me or by previous prophets is: ‘There is no god worthy of worship but Allah, the One, there are no associates to Him; He is the Master of the universe, to Him we give thanks, He is the Omnipotent; there is no god but Allah, the One.’” (Sahih Muslim)
Repudiating the polytheists and their acts
In many of the Haj rituals, the Prophet (peace be upon him) insisted on acting differently from the polytheists and on following in the footsteps of our revered Patriarch Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). This attitude culminated in his rejection of their actions in the sermon he delivered on the Day of ‘Arafah. “All Jaahiliyah (pre-Islamic) traditions lay trampled under my feet,” the Prophet (peace be upon him) declared. (Sahih Muslim)
Some of the most important rituals that the Prophet (peace be upon him) insisted on changing are as follows:
Talbiyah: The polytheists used to associate other gods with Allah when they said “Except one associate; he is yours; you own him and whatever he owns.” (Al-Bukhari)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) made Tawheed pure, and cast away the association of other gods with Allah, repudiating such practice.
Another example of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) insistence on acting differently from the polytheists is seen in his stopping with the pilgrims at ‘Arafah, unlike the Quraish who used to stop at Muzdalifah, saying: “We do not perform Al-Ifadah (departure) except from Haram.” (Al-Bukhari)
Supplication and humility before Allah
Supplication (Du’a) has a special status in Islam as it aims at expressing total submissiveness, surrender and humility to Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Supplication is worship.” (Abu Dawood)
He would supplicate Allah, the Almighty, while in Tawaf, and while standing on the hills of Safa and Marwah. He also made lengthy supplications on the Day of ‘Arafah, riding on his camel’s back, raising his hands close to his chest as if he were an humble slave begging for Sadaqah (charity). He would remain in that condition from the moment he had chosen the spot at which he would stop after Salah (prayer) until sunset. He also did the same at Al-Mash’ar Al-Haraam (the Sacred Monument) in Muzdalifah right after he had offered the Fajr (dawn) prayer and almost until sunrise. (Al-Bukhari)
On the Days of Tashreeq, and when he had thrown pebbles at the first two Jamarat (ramy), he would face Qiblah, raise his hands, and make a prolonged supplication. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)