By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam
26 September 2015
Muslim world is literally being bled on all
fronts today. But economically and religiously it is being destroyed from
The Pilgrimage annually to Mecca by the millions, contribute billions of
dollars to just one country, Saudi Arabia, not counting the additional
all-round the year income from the lesser rituals for which many well-to-do go there
now for additional spiritual reward.
The concomitant slaughter and waste of
millions of animals, for commercial gains, all around the Muslim world as sacrifice
to God is an immeasurable waste of animal life and drain on the poor Muslims
The airlines ferrying pilgrims consume
staggering amount of Arab oil adding further to the kingdom’s coffers.
As there is no accountability in monarchy,
estimates of income vary widely as being between ten to fifteen billion dollars
from these rituals to the already very rich monarchy.
All this causes huge foreign exchange loss
to poor Muslim countries and on gullible individuals ‘lifesavings adding to
their woes of poverty.
There is a flow-on effect though on the
international commercial community.
From the West mainly: the food suppliers,
cattle ranchers shipping live animals and the traders in hides and skins enjoy
the bonanza. Prayer rugs, skull caps and trinkets inscribed in Arabic are
merrily traded as holy items, though made in China, Japan and Korea etc.
The economic impact of this can only be
commented upon by economists, by providing data and its detail analyses. But
for anybody to suggest this lucrative holy “business” should be curtailed in
order to eliminate a bit of third-world poverty, would be courting condemnation
if not outright danger.
On Quranic basis: it calls for thoughtful investigation
as the rituals are in the name of Islam: that which is derived from its source
Although, the hajjis ordained for Huda
Llil-Naas--for guidance of humanity and for its Falaah-benefit (22-27,
28) it is has now a ritual restricted to Muslims only; where cleansed of all
sins their passage to paradise’s assured to them. Islam has thus become a
Hajj- an intellectual challenge, is
traditionally based on Apostle Abraham/Ibrahim’s visit to Mecca and him
erecting a temple there for worshipers of God. Abraham is the spiritual father
of the nation of ‘People of the Book’.
With reference to Quran therefore, which
claims that there are no ambiguities in it (2-2), the whole issue of
traditional hajj as practiced, is confusing and questionable on the following
the ways of Abraham the true in faith, and he joined not gods with God. …For
“gods” come in many different forms!
Iqbal, in his poem Laa Ilaaha-Illallaah
translates this as:
‘Yeh Doar Apne Brahim Ki Talaash May
Hai--Sanam-Kadah hai Jahan, Laa Ilaaha-Illallaah’
This is the age where search is on for its
Abraham-- where there is a Temple of idols, Laa Ilaaha-Illallaah!
The following few verses are of interest. It
needs scholars, linguists, archaeologists and historians to give answers to the
doubts raised with regard to the rituals which appear as throwback from pagan
36-5, It is a
revelation sent down by Him (God), the exalted in might, the most merciful.
36-6…in order that
you (Muhammad) may warn a people, whose forefathers had received NO warning and
who therefore, paid no attention to it.
It seems his forefathers have had NO divine
messenger sent to them previous to Muhammad.
34-44says: But we
had Not given them books which they could study, NOR sent Apostles to them
before you (Muhammad) as warners.
32-3, few steps
back: that you (Muhammad) may warn a people to whom NO warner has come before
you in order that they may receive guidance.
Confirms that Abraham had NOT visited Mecca
28-47, if calamity
had befallen them……The people (of Moses) might have said “why did you (God) NOT
send us an Apostle?”Affirmation that God always sends an Apostle to those who
had not had one sent previously. So Muhammad was the first one sent to Arabia.
The above therefore establishes that NO
Apostle had previously visited Arabia and built the Ka’abah in Mecca.
Then who built it?
Hajj, a Quranic obligation to the first
house 3-96,97should not therefore be pegged atone geographic place.
What is more, Ka’abah is not named as the
focus/Qiblah for the Muslim nation that prays facing it ( 2-142 to145).This is
logical because Ka’abah after all was a tribal polytheist Temple and not acceptable
to others 2-145.
What is more, Quran proclaims “…To God
belongs Easts and Wests“2-115 to177, 9-116”.
Could then the “my house “referred to in Quran
is not the man-made temple on earth for God but a “Primal House”-these menial institution
for mankind? Or else why did an Apostle exclaim in desperation, after fruitless
search for God in other entities:
6-79,…“for me, I have turned my attention
as sincere Muslim towards Him who is the primal Creator of heavens and earth,
and I am not among the polytheists”.
Why would he then build an iconic House for
God in Arabia, after reputedly having destroyed the one in his own town in
Of all Apostles’- their message was that
God is the only Lord of the universe, Rabbil-A’lameen; of the heavens and
earth and everything in between.
Therefore, to confine Him to a manmade
cubical, and a black stone embedded in one corner as additional icon, makes
Islam an iconolatry religion as well.
Yet Muslims recite the above verse 6-79, facing Mecca five times daily
How is then Abraham’s monotheism different
to polytheisms of other religions where the worship to God is associated with
manmade objects, clearly contradicting Laa Tushrik Bihi 22-26, 31-13?
“The greatest number of houses in this
world is for God Who has no need of a house”. Saut ul Haq of September 2015
summed it up.
The fact that Apostle Muhammad was born
there, adds to Mecca’s marketing value, but alas on false premises, for:-
-The Messenger escaped
from Masjid al-Haraam where he had found no peace, to take refuge in a
distant city the surrounds of which were blessed17-1.
-For more than a
decade, till the end of his life he lived in Madinah and established a viable
penultimate year of his life he visited Mecca once and that too to subdue the
-Gave his last
sermon emphasising the Deen/ the Code of Islam, and returned to Madinah, thus
obeying the command of chapter 109 “your Deen with you and mine with me”.
-He died and is
buried in Madinah. Hence his tomb there which conveniently serves as the
‘second Haram’ that pilgrims are compelled to visit as part of Hajj.
But, Mecca, Ka’abah, Masjid ul-Haraam,
Hajar-Aswad, Zam-Zam, Madinah etc. are now the Church’s, the Muslim
Vatican’s holy shrines and icons.
To question what seems to be confusing and
conflicting, is mankind’s God given right. Quran commands human beings to use
their intelligence and questioning capacity:
25-73, those who when they are warned
with the signs of their Lord, do not droop down in acceptance as deaf and blind.
Socrates?, is supposed to have said that he
does not believe that the one who had given him intelligence would not then
want him to use it!
To many in the environment of 25-73 it
would obviously be considered lunacy (Junoon) to claim that this
religion is huge conspiracy against Islam instituted for commercial gains!
As a result, just as the illiterate
fanatics Taliban and IS destroyed maliciously mankind’s historic heritage
elsewhere; the Custodians are demolishing ancient important historic places in
Mecca to construct mega hotels. It therefore lends credence to the above
The rule of supply and demand comes into
play, for it is the gullible Muslims in increasing numbers demand these
facilities there. The traders are obliged and happy to provide for which the
visitors who pay a heavy price often in life as well! Conspiracy or not, that
is the nature of “commerce”.
Others as well took the risk of saying so
in very scholarly way.
Bulleh Shah said: “Tired of studying Vedas,
Quran--Bruised foreheads in prostrations--God is neither in Tirath nor in Mecca”.
Also refer. - ‘Arab Conspiracies against
Islam’: ISBN 0-953422/ 9 780953 422500, published by Bodensee Logistic-UK’.
Mankind is supposed to have advanced
intellectually beyond the prop of reverential tangible objects and to attempt
to please God by offering Him blood and flesh 22-37 like the pagans of the old.
The only requirement to please Him is
service to mankind. The Book teaches that all goodly human deeds- a’millus-salihati
should be beneficial to humanity as a whole…in this world and hereafter
Most importantly, Abraham the apostle
stands falsely accused of having abrogated his apostolic duty by keeping the
people there ignorant! No apostle, once charged with this duty abrogates it,
says the Book.
So it was left to Muhammad to give the
message of monotheism:
37-37: Nay! He
(Muhammad) has come with the very truth, and he confirms the message of the
previous Apostles—all apostles, not just Abraham.
When Mecca’s economy was threatened by
Muhammad’s message and the Temple lost its trading importance, the change was
resisted with full force of arms. After all, historically Mecca’s economy was
heavily dependent upon the pagan rites of the ancient temple.
So the Divine threat2-79: Then, woe to
those who write the books with their own hands and then say “This is from God”
to traffic with it for miserable price. Woe to them for what their hands write
(or translate!)And the gains they make from it…, was overcome later with
cleaver and different marketing strategy all together.
It seems that soon after Muhammad the
Muslim Nation not only was lulled into 25-73 condition, but also was convinced
to adopt the old practices of their forefathers 2-170,171 but this time in the
name of Islam.
The confusion is not just theological to
resolve but of history, linguist, ideological and more. Issues, such as
economic benefits to the Muslims, maintenance of brotherhood, unity of mankind,
difference between Haram and Haraam, which or what is Balad Ul Ameen-city
of sanctuary, Bakkah, Makkah and so on should be put under the
Unlike the iconic Big Mac’s burger king’s
budget of millions for advertisement; the Custodian kings, with manipulative
skills have marketed successfully the iconic spiritual city ‘‘Big Mec’’ without
spending a cent on advertising their product.
Many a tour operator issue a certificate in
appreciation of the custom the tourist give them. Not so the Custodians of Two Harams.
Although there is only ONE in the Book and that is the universal Bakkah,
the seminal institution Masjid un Ussisa, whose foundation was laid from
the very first day for observance of duty 3-96, 9-108.
Hajjis, welcome back from the sacrificial
spirituality to the commercial reality of religion.
The above does not in any way suggest that the place should not be visited. That
would be in contradiction to Quran which highly commands “Travel in the world
to gain knowledge22-46”.
A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.)
Mr Naseer Ahmad,
that directly provide an answer to the questions and doubts that you have
Now I am really confused! Would not
the long article been even longer then?
What answers? The classic interpretations
you gave in your even longer comment was the one that always raised the
questions and doubts in the first place.
I sincerely appreciate your effort to answer
some of my doubts. Please do not take it as flippant response.
I respond to the first one by saying that if
we could curtail or cap the Custodians’ Big Mec’s spiritual outlets, the poor Muslim
countries will have some consumer protection and then they may be able to spend
the savings for the betterment of all at home.
The second major issues you delved into, to
me are the same literal interpretations which sit very uncomfortably with me. I
do not for example accept the requirement of brick and mortar monuments etc. built
by a prophet even if he had been there, for mankind to approach ‘Almighty the Creator
of universe’, with closed eyes.
Bishop Tutu is attributed with the saying
that ‘they (the missionaries) came and taught us to pray to god with closed
eyes and when we opened them, they had taken our land’!
(2:125) Remember We made the House a place of assembly for
men and a place of safety; and take ye the station of Abraham as a place of
prayer; and We covenanted with Abraham and Isma´il, that they should sanctify
My House for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow, or
prostrate themselves (therein in prayer). (126) And remember Abraham said:
"My Lord, make this a City of Peace, and feed its people with fruits,-such
of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day." He said: "(Yea), and
such as reject Faith,-for a while will I grant them their pleasure, but will
soon drive them to the torment of Fire,- an evil destination (indeed)!"
(127) And remember Abraham and Isma´il raised the
foundations of the House (With this prayer): "Our Lord! Accept (this
service) from us: For Thou art the All-Hearing, the All-knowing.
Also see verses from Surah Hajj (22:26 to 30)
The rites of
Hajj restated for Muhammad (pbuh):
The parts in bold italics refer to pagan practices some of
which continued unchanged from the time of Abraham and some of which were
corrupted and therefore corrected.
(2:196) And complete the Hajj or ´umra in the service of
Allah. But if ye are prevented (From completing it), send an offering for
sacrifice, such as ye may find, and do not shave your heads until the offering
reaches the place of sacrifice. And if any of you is ill, or has an ailment in
his scalp, (Necessitating shaving), (He should) in compensation either fast, or
feed the poor, or offer sacrifice; and when ye are in peaceful conditions
(again), if any one wishes to continue the ´umra on to the hajj, He must make
an offering, such as he can afford, but if he cannot afford it, He should fast
three days during the hajj and seven days on his return, Making ten days in
all. This is for those whose household is not in (the precincts of) the Sacred
Mosque. And fear Allah, and know that Allah Is strict in punishment.
(197) For Hajj are the months well known. If any one undertakes that duty
therein, Let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj.
And whatever good ye do, (be sure) Allah knoweth it. And take a provision (With
you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is right conduct. So fear Me,
o ye that are wise.
(198) It is no crime in you if ye seek of the bounty of your
Lord (during pilgrimage). Then when ye pour down from (Mount) Arafat, celebrate
the praises of Allah at the Sacred Monument, and celebrate His praises as He has
directed you, even though, before this, ye went astray.
(199) Then pass on at a quick pace from the place
whence it is usual for the multitude so to do, and ask for Allah´s
forgiveness. For Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
(200) So when ye have accomplished your holy rites,
celebrate the praises of Allah, as ye used to celebrate the praises of your
fathers,- yea, with far more Heart and soul. There are men who say:
"Our Lord! Give us (Thy bounties) in this world!" but they will have
no portion in the Hereafter.
(201) And there are men who say: "Our Lord! Give us
good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and defend us from the torment of
(202) To these will be allotted what they have earned; and
Allah is quick in account.
(203) Celebrate the praises of Allah during the Appointed
Days. But if any one hastens to leave in two days, there is no blame on him,
and if any one stays on, there is no blame on him, if his aim is to do right.
Then fear Allah, and know that ye will surely be gathered unto Him.
While it is true that Ibraham (AS) spent very little time in Mecca and mostly in Canaan, Ismail (AS) who was also a nabi and rasul appears to have spent his lifetime there.
(19:55) He used to enjoin on his people Prayer and Charity,
and he was most acceptable in the sight of his Lord.
He helped his father build the Sacred mosque after which his mission was perhaps limited to looking after the sacred mosque and the pilgrims and the rituals of Hajj. Very clearly neither the mission of Abraham or Ismail was as messenger to the people of Mecca/Arabia (From secondary sources, Mecca had no local population in the time of Ismail). This is clear from verse:
(2:129) "Our Lord! send amongst them a Messenger of their
own, who shall rehearse Thy Signs to them and instruct them in scripture and
wisdom, and sanctify them: For Thou art the Exalted in Might, the Wise."
Verse 129 clearly indicates that the mission of Ismail (AS) and
Abraham (AS) was limited and did not include that of being a messenger to the
people of Arabia.
Since Mr Rashid has questioned the veracity of the Quran itself, let me cite biblical sources to support that Ismail (AS) very much lived in Mecca.
(97) In it are Signs Manifest; (for example), the Station of
Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men
owe to Allah,- those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah
stands not in need of any of His creatures.
25-73, those who when they are warned with the signs of their Lord, do not droop down in acceptance as deaf and blind." . . . .
We must stop being deaf and blind. There is no reason why we cannot celebrate Ibrahim's extraordinary devotion to God in our own cities. We do not need to go to Mecca for that.