My respected Shaikh, Hazrat Maulana
Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum), has mentioned,
in his poetry, that our value is dependent on our Nisbat with Madina
When anything is purchased and brought from Madina Munawwarah,
then a lover of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) will naturally
appreciate and value it – no matter how small or how cheap.
Why ? …Because it has a connection with the city of the Beloved
(sallallahu alayhi wasallam). It has been touched by the air of
Madina Sharief, or it has been produced from the blessed land of
Madina Sharief - and this is what has made it special.
The residents of Madina Sharief are the neighbours of Rasulullah
(sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and they are the envy of the
heavens, because they have such extreme physical closeness to Nabi
(sallallahu alayhi wasallam). They are the envy of all of us as
well – for we too desire the honour of being in such proximity
to Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) at all times.
Allah Ta’ala, in His infinite Mercy and Grace, does not want
to deprive anyone of us of this blessing of being close to Rasulullah
(sallallahu alayhi wasallam), so He has given us a simple recourse
to always being near to our Beloved Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi
wasallam). This nearness is attained via our nisbat (connection)
with the ‘A`maal’ of Madina Munawwarah – i.e.
the Sunnah (way of life) of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
Our value, in the sight of Allah Ta’ala, is dependent on our
relationship with His beloved Rasul (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
Allah Ta’ala has informed us of this in the Qur`aan Sharief
“Say [O Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)]:
If you do love Allah, follow me. Allah shall love you and forgive
you your sins; And Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.”
[Surah Aal-Imraan 3 : 31]
And my Shaykh has presented the same message is poetry form :
"The footprints of the Beloved of Allah,
Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam),
is the road to Jannat;
The Sunnats of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)
connect one with Allah Ta’ala."
It is a misconception that a person’s repeated performance
of Haj and Umrah and repeated visits to Madina Munawwarah is to
be taken as the yardstick of piety. The yardstick of piety is not
how many umrahs or Haj, a person has made.
The present day scenario is saddening to say the least, since Umrah
and Haj have become a holiday, a shopping spree, and a “tour”
for the majority. …The deficit is in “sincerity of
intention”. As has been said, the visitors are many, but the
pilgrims are scarce.
For many, these trips are now for business and trade. And for others,
each trip is another “feather” in their caps –
which must be made known and announced to the world. There are those
that boast of their yearly trips, whether for Haj or ‘Umra,
or both, updating us on the number of visits they make to Makkah
Mukarramah and Madina Munawwarah. We have heard people say : “I
have made Umrah for the past 20 or 30 years and have never missed
out one.” …Yet, the reality is that we cannot count
our umrahs and haj. We cannot say how many have been performed,
because we do not know how many have been accepted. Those umrahs
and Haj that are accepted are the only ones that we can count. And
we will only come to know of their acceptance on the Day of Judgement.
Despite the frequent visits to the Haramayn Sharifayn, there is
generally not much improvement in our spirituality. If we have not
brought a reformation in our lifestyles : If we have not fulfilled
the rights of people, if we have not returned to people that which
is their due, if we have not asked forgiveness from those whom we
have wronged, if we are not punctual with Salaah, and if our zaahir
(external condition) and our baatin (internal condition) does not
reflect the purity and spirituality that come with visits to the
Haramayn Sharifayn, then we should truly be concerned as to the
quality and acceptance of our Haj and Umrah.
I have mentioned many times that the “maal” (wealth/material
goods) of Madina Munawwarah is not what is available in its market
places, bazaars and shopping complexes. Unfortunately, when we visit
Madina Munawwarah, then more often than not, the objective is the
“maal” of Madina Sharief.
The majority of those visiting Madina Munawwarah forget the purpose
of their visit once their gazes fall on the commercial centres of
Madina Sharief. Many who do know about the material commodities
being sold, plan in advance – that there will be an exchange
or purchase of gold, there will be this commodity and that commodity
bought. …Whilst in Madina Sharief, the talk is the latest
technology, the cellphones, the best gold shops, cloak shops, and
The intention and pursuit becomes the “maal” of Madina
and not the ‘a`maal’ of Madina Munawwarah. And this
is how our stay of 7 or 8 days passes : “mauled by the malls”
. Our imaan, our love for Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam),
our time, our energy, our money are “mauled” in the
obsession we have of shopping. We forget, and sometimes we do not
even care to give any kind of attention or express any kind of appreciation
to our host, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) because we
are so caught up in material purchases.
Instead of filling up the pockets of our hearts with the wealth
of Love for Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and with the
wealth of his noble characteristics, we fill up suitcases and suitcases
– many a time, even purchasing more suitcases – for
filling up the material commodoties of Madina Sharief.
I am not saying that it is Haraam to shop there. It will be meritorious
if a person makes purchases with the intention to support the businessmen
and traders of Madina Munawwarah. The Hadith also makes mention
that when we are on a journey, we should make some effort to bring
back gifts for our families no matter how small or how cheap –because
there is always an expectation from those who remain behind, at
home, that the person on a journey will remember his loved ones
and bring back something for them – but this should not be
misconstrued. Shopping is not meant to be the “be all and
end all” – especially of our visit to the Haramayn Sharifayn.
The person should purchase a few gift items a day or two before
departure. And the gifts that we should be appreciating most are
the duas of the Haramayn Sharifayn, Salaam at the Raudha Mubarak,
the Zam Zam of Makkah Mukarramah and the Kajur (dates) of Madina
Almost everything else is made in China, Taiwan and Japan and can
be purchased anywhere else in the world, including our own country,
or city or town. However, the Haramayn Sharifayn offer a different
“market” where such spiritual bounties are obtained,
which cannot be obtained anywhere else in the world.
The true lovers of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) make
this trip to fill their hearts and lives with the ‘A`maal’
of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) - with his beautiful
seerat and soorat, with his kindness, forgiveness, mercy, compassion,
generosity, abstinence and the treasure trove that we know of his
The visit should be purely to visit Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi
wasallam), to make Salaam to our Beloved Nabi (sallallahu alayhi
wasallam), to spend time in his Mubarak city and glean from our
visit, those virtues, those qualities that will be the medium of
bonding with him and being the means of our own value increasing
in the sight of Allah Ta’ala.
If all the visitors to Madina Sharief were to return home with
the true “maal” and wealth of Madina Sharief –
i.e. the akhlaaq (character) and a`maal of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi
wasallam), then the value of the entire Ummah will increase.
The Sahabah were the “stars” of mankind – guides
and leaders for all nations and people. They had to thus make the
great sacrifice of leaving Madina Sharief to spread the religion
of Islam. Despite them being distanced from their beloved Madina
Sharief, they traveled with the “nisbat” of Madina Sharief.
This was the key to their success. Wherever they went, there was
progress and success.
On the other hand, we put price tags on ourselves by looking at
our material possessions. What are material possessions ? …Fanaa
(annihilation and destruction) will come over them.
Let us introspect and consider our value in the light of the nisbat
that we have with Madina Sharief. …The reality is that we
have discarded our nisbat with Madina Sharief, and as such our value
has decreased. Today, the Ummah as a whole is being sold very cheaply
in the markets of the kuffaar. This is our own doing and downfall.
If we have to re-connect with the way of life,
the actions and characteristics of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam),
then most definitely, we will fetch a high price in Allah Ta’ala’s
esteem, and we will be successful in both worlds.