(By Hazrat Hakeemul Ummat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Rahmatullahi Alaih)
Says Allah Ta’ala:
For the sake of Allah it is obligatory upon mankind to make Haj of the Bait; those who have the means to reach it. Whoever rejects then indeed Allah is not in need of the world.”
Reasons for Speaking on Haj in Shawwaal
It is my practice for several years, and it is also the demand of order, that after Ramadhaanul Mubaarak passes by I speak about Haj. Furthermore, the Months of Haj [when it is perfectly permissible to don the Ihraam] commences with Shawwaal. The Months of Haj are: Shawwaal, Zil Qa’dah and Zil Hijjah.
Although the complete months of Shawwaal and Zil Qa’dah and a good portion of Zil Hijjah are ample time, in that it is not necessary per se to give this bayaan at the beginning of Shawwaal, the bayaan could be given at any time during this period, however, since we are a great distance from Makkah Mu’azzamah and Arafaat, so those people who wish to listen to the bayaan and then proceed, they will be held back. For this reason my practice is to speak of Haj at the beginning of Shawwaal.
Presently, according to some reports there is a doubt of reaching [the Haram] due to the roads being dangerous and unsafe. Some reports again speak of the passage being safe. However, most of the reports leave a significant doubt in the mind. Hence, my intention was to defer this bayaan. However, after reflection, reason for giving the bayaan appeared greater, because it does not follow that due to our uncertainty everyone is uncertain. And even if there is uncertainty then people will make investigations. Even if they do not make investigations, or after investigating the doubt still lingers, then at least the Ahkaam of Haj will be learnt. Then, whoever considers it necessary for him on the basis of the Conditions for Haj will make his intention.
Apart from all that, Haj is a Constituent (Rukn) of Islam. Knowledge of its effects and characteristics will be learnt. Furthermore, the honour of this Ibaadat will be impressed in minds. This, too, is a great benefit. For these reasons it seemed just appropriate not to leave out the bayaan. Therefore, I read this Aayat.