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Offline Wakas

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feedback on Joseph Islam's article on hajj and umrah
« on: August 10, 2013, 05:10:22 AM »
salaam/peace all,

Re: http://quransmessage.com/articles/hajj%20FM3.htm


Dear brother Joseph,

Firstly, thank you for writing this article, and sharing your works in general. As a student of Quran it is appreciated. I read your above work and made the following notes:

1)
You said:
"There is absolutely no linkage in the Quran of Prophet Abraham's (pbuh) personal 'test' and the need to perform Hajj, or to perform animal sacrifices during Hajj."
Perhaps the last bit should read "...or to perform animal sacrifices during Hajj that commemorate Abraham" as you later clearly discuss animal sacrifices during hajj.


2)
You said: "The circumambulation of Safa and Marwa was clearly an existing pagan practice which was allowed to continue"
Are there any other clear pagan practices allowed to continue in Quran? Why do you think this one is allowed to continue?


3)
I disagree with your translation of 2:158 due to:
perfect verb: hajj and umrah
there is not "ila/to" al bayt
tawaffa bihima / goes about by them (imperfect) not around them


4)
In the "purpose and proclamation" section you do not highlight some of the reasons given for hajj, e.g. witness benefits, mention/remember the name of God over what God has provided for them of livestock and feed the poor. You mention them but not highlight them like you do with others - I was just wondering why?


5)
The translation of 22:32 cited is inconsistent, i.e. yu'azzim / honours not magnifies, as 22:30 later in your article.


6)
Translation of 3:97 "faith" is not there, but I assume this is your interpretation or just an oversight.


7)
Translation of 2:189 - am I right in thinking hilal can also mean crescent (whether waxing or waning) not just "new moon"?


8 )
Re: 22:33
In your view, are the animals sacrificed at "the ancient house" (i.e. Kabah), as well as people circuiting it?


9)
Re: shaving/cutting of the hair
I reject this understanding based on the issues highlighted here, see critical questions.


10)
In your analysis you say that head shaving and (hair) shortening is an expiation for those who did not complete, but 48:27 does not give that impression at all. You say such an act is strongly suggested as marking the end of hajj, but in 48:27 people have done this and are entering the "Sacred Mosque" so I assume, in your understanding, after their hajj is technically done they shave head / cut hair, then they go back and enter the Sacred Mosque for some reason? Can you clarify.


11)
You suggest:
prevented from completing ---> shave head, shorten (hair)
after completing ---> shave head, shorten (hair)

So it is shave head, cut hair either way? Why?


12)
No Hunting
Can it not also be translated as "...while you are restricted" or "while you are under restriction" rather than in a state of ihram i.e. whilst on hajj?
If it is whilst on hajj and we know hajj can be done in 2 days [2:203], this means no hunting of wild game for 2 days for these people, in your view?
Why do you think there is such a restriction in place?


13)
You said: "..If there is a sickness or an ailment of the head which has necessitated the cutting of the hair before the sacrifice reaches its destination, then a ransom..."
Where does Quran say this?


14)
Under (4) expiations, you provide expiations for:
not doing hajj or umrah
being able to do hajj after umrah (where is AFTER umrah from?)


15)
(Please note that the restriction of not shaving one's head until the sacrifice reaches its destination applies only if one cannot complete the Hajj or Umrah as mentioned in the above section).
Why in your view?


16)
You said: Umrah is a visit to the Sacred Mosque to complete certain rites outside these sacred months. - evidence?
You said: The rites required for Umrah can be deduced from the Quran which require a pilgrim only to complete the circumambulation of the Kaaba and the 'tawaaf' of Safa and Marwah. - evidence?

You cite 22:29 but the prior verses are about hajj, in fact 22:28 says "days known" and 22:29 begins with "thumma" strongly implying a continuation from what was said before, thus making your above deduction highly unlikely.
You also cite 2:158 but it uses the perfect verb for having done hajj or 3mr, clearly implying safa/marwa are not necessary for either. Ergo, they are not compulsory for umrah.


17)
In your opinion what does "whoever volunteers good/better" mean in 2:158?


###

Since I have asked quite a few questions, please feel free to take your time in answering. Thanks.


Peace.
Wakas

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: feedback on Joseph Islam's article on hajj and umrah
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 10:14:25 AM »
Wa alaikum assalam brother Wakas,

Please see my responses to your comments in blue.

Dear brother Joseph,

Firstly, thank you for writing this article, and sharing your works in general. As a student of Quran it is appreciated. I read your above work and made the following notes:


JazakAllah khair. May we all benefit from each other, God willing.

1)
You said:
"There is absolutely no linkage in the Quran of Prophet Abraham's (pbuh) personal 'test' and the need to perform Hajj, or to perform animal sacrifices during Hajj."
Perhaps the last bit should read "...or to perform animal sacrifices during Hajj that commemorate Abraham" as you later clearly discuss animal sacrifices during hajj.


Yes, I agree with this suggestion as it avoids any confusion and aids further clarity. I have made an appropriate amendment. JazakAllah Khair for raising this.

2)
You said: "The circumambulation of Safa and Marwa was clearly an existing pagan practice which was allowed to continue"
Are there any other clear pagan practices allowed to continue in Quran? Why do you think this one is allowed to continue?


In section 2, I also mentioned that Arafat and the 'Sacred location' (Mash'ari-lharami) was a place where the Pagans used to perform their rites before Islam was revealed to them. (2:198-200). The appeal to an existing practice in situ is also strongly implied by the phrase “thumma afidu min haythu afada-l’nasu” (Then depart from wherever the people depart).

In my humble view, it was not the intention of the Quran to rid a community of their practices. Rather, the intention was to bring practices in the folds of monotheistic worship and within the spirit of Islamic practice.

As I have noted in another article:

Quote
...by ‘perfecting’ the imperfect religion of the Arab’s by a process of removing alien doctrines, blasphemous practices and those ways incongruent with Islam, their Lord purified their religion and perfected it by bringing it back to the ‘system’ he had enjoined on all believers before them (i.e. Islam).

WAS THE 'FAVOUR' ONLY COMPLETED FOR MUSLIMS?
http://quransmessage.com/articles/was%20the%20favour%20only%20completed%20for%20muslims%20FM3.htm

3)
I disagree with your translation of 2:158 due to:
perfect verb: hajj and umrah
there is not "ila/to" al bayt
tawaffa bihima / goes about by them (imperfect) not around them


I respect your right to disagree. However, I have discussed the verb ‘tafa’ in a response to you in a prior post. Please see reply #1 in the following link.
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=546.msg1826#msg1826

4)
In the "purpose and proclamation" section you do not highlight some of the reasons given for hajj, e.g. witness benefits, mention/remember the name of God over what God has provided for them of livestock and feed the poor. You mention them but not highlight them like you do with others - I was just wondering why?


The verse was included. However, the highlight has now been included for further emphasis. JazakAllah Khair for raising this.

5)
The translation of 22:32 cited is inconsistent, i.e. yu'azzim / honours not magnifies, as 22:30 later in your article.


As you will know, the verb 'azzama' carries the nuance of to make something great, to venerate, magnify or to honour. However, for the sake of consistency, I have made an appropriate change. JazakAllah Khair for raising this.

6)
Translation of 3:97 "faith" is not there, but I assume this is your interpretation or just an oversight.


The intention was to capture a meaning of the verb ‘kafara’ as someone who denies faith, disbelieves, rejects, faithlessness etc. However, I have made an amendment to allow for the more common understanding of the word as ‘disbelieves’. JazakAllah Khair.

7)
Translation of 2:189 - am I right in thinking hilal can also mean crescent (whether waxing or waning) not just "new moon"?


The root meaning for ‘halla’ is ‘to appear’ or to come up or show. In the context of verse 2:197 it is understood as the new moon (when sighted) or when the new crescent when it appears i.e. the first sighting of the waxing crescent or when it begins / sets in the new month. As you know a new moon cannot be seen.

However, 'ahalla' is also used in classical parlance to refer to any crescent shaped object (or even a half moon) so a reference to a waning crescent can also not be ruled out from a strictly linguistic perspective. However, this would not necessary be inconsistent with the overall sentiment of verse 2:189 which uses the phases of the moon as markers.

8 )
Re: 22:33
In your view, are the animals sacrificed at "the ancient house" (i.e. Kabah), as well as people circuiting it?


I do not see the ancient house as a reference to the ‘Ka’aba’. Verse 22:33 is being narrated as an ancient practice at the original house. Please see verse 22.27 ff. So these practices would have occurred.

Furthermore, these practices were re-established as part of the rites of the new believing community.

9)
Re: shaving/cutting of the hair
I reject this understanding based on the issues highlighted here, see critical questions.


I respect your opinion to disagree with my view.

10)
In your analysis you say that head shaving and (hair) shortening is an expiation for those who did not complete, but 48:27 does not give that impression at all. You say such an act is strongly suggested as marking the end of hajj, but in 48:27 people have done this and are entering the "Sacred Mosque" so I assume, in your understanding, after their hajj is technically done they shave head / cut hair, then they go back and enter the Sacred Mosque for some reason? Can you clarify.


I have argued that “it is strongly suggested that shaving / cutting of the hair was a norm and an integral part of marking the end of the pilgrimage”.

However, even today, pilgrims after the ‘halq’ or ‘qasr’, complete their rituals and change into everyday clothes marking the end of their sacred state (in the main*) However, they do re-enter the sacred mosque and perform ‘tawaf’ which some term as ‘tawaf-e-zearat’. After this, they perform the circuits between Safa and Marwa and they do not allow themselves *conjugal rights until this process is completed. So whether today’s practice of returning back to the mosque is a tradition that reflects an old practice cannot be ruled out from a Quran’s perspective.

11)
You suggest:
prevented from completing ---> shave head, shorten (hair)
after completing ---> shave head, shorten (hair)

So it is shave head, cut hair either way? Why?


My conclusion only supports the later of your two suggestions. Please see my excerpt below:

Quote
It can be argued that shaving the hair is implicit as a part of both Hajj and Umrah or that it is explicit (and hence required) only in the case of an expiation and is not required if one is not prevented from completing the Hajj or Umrah. However, given the expiation required for breaking the prohibition for one not to cut hair until the sacrifice has reached it's destination, it is strongly suggested that shaving / cutting of the hair was a norm and an integral part of marking the end of the pilgrimage.

An option is given to both men and women to either shave or cut their hair. As I mentioned:

Quote
Traditionally, men proceed to shave their hair while women only cut a few strands of their hair. The absolute restriction which only makes it permissible for men to shave their hair and allows women to only cut a few strands of their hair is based on Islamic secondary sources and not the Quran. There are no such restrictions found in the Quran. If verse 48:27 which allows for cutting in addition to shaving is seen as an elaborative verse to the directive in verse 2:196, there is a valid argument that based on 2:196, shaving of the hair would be the 'preference' as it was the primary directive received in 2:196. However, there may be men that would incline for the cutting option (48:27) as there are no doubt many women that would prefer not to have their heads shaved (2:196). Therefore, one can understand and appreciate how tradition has developed given the options granted by the directives of the Quran.

12)
No Hunting
Can it not also be translated as "...while you are restricted" or "while you are under restriction" rather than in a state of ihram i.e. whilst on hajj?
If it is whilst on hajj and we know hajj can be done in 2 days [2:203], this means no hunting of wild game for 2 days for these people, in your view?
Why do you think there is such a restriction in place?


I have discussed that the Quran only mentions a 'state' of 'huruman', a condition of a pilgrim's sacredness. The word 'hurumun' comes from the root word 'HRM' which means to prohibit, deprive and in this context, to be in a state of prohibition.

Therefore I do not reject your nuanced interpretation of some kind of restriction. This is an apt rendition.

With regards hunting, yes, hunting is prohibited for as long as one remains in a state of ‘huruman’. (5:1; 5:95-96).

As to the reason why, I can only surmise. But the focus during pilgrimage should be on worship and commemorating God rather than ‘hunting’.

13)
You said: "..If there is a sickness or an ailment of the head which has necessitated the cutting of the hair before the sacrifice reaches its destination, then a ransom..."
Where does Quran say this?


Verse 2:196 – “…and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches its destination. And whoever among you is sick or has an ailment of the head must pay a ransom (Arabic: fidya) of fasting or charity or sacrifice (offering)…”

14)
Under (4) expiations, you provide expiations for:
not doing hajj or umrah
being able to do hajj after umrah (where is AFTER umrah from?)


“faman tamatta’a bil-um’rati ILA-l-haji” (then whoever took advantage of the Umrah followed by / until the Hajj). – 2:196

15)
(Please note that the restriction of not shaving one's head until the sacrifice reaches its destination applies only if one cannot complete the Hajj or Umrah as mentioned in the above section).
Why in your view?


No Quranic reason or elucidatory comment has been given so I can only best surmise. However with respect, I would rather rely on matters which are clear (18:22).

16)
You said: Umrah is a visit to the Sacred Mosque to complete certain rites outside these sacred months. - evidence?


The word ‘Umrah’ is used twice in the Quran in one verse (2:196). It is does not define the meaning (as the Quran is not a dictionary as you know) and the term would have been understood to those the Quran addressed. From classical Arabic sources it is understood to mean ‘visitation’ or especially one that can be done at any time of the year and not necessarily during ‘Hajj’.

You said: The rites required for Umrah can be deduced from the Quran which require a pilgrim only to complete the circumambulation of the Kaaba and the 'tawaaf' of Safa and Marwah. - evidence?

Extra rites are a condition of Hajj. For example there is no sacrifice necessary in ‘Umrah’ which is a requirement of Hajj. Please see verse 2:196. Hence my reference to the word ‘deduced’. 

You cite 22:29 but the prior verses are about hajj, in fact 22:28 says "days known" and 22:29 begins with "thumma" strongly implying a continuation from what was said before, thus making your above deduction highly unlikely.

In my humble view, verse 22:29 should be read in context of 22:26ff which is the original prescription of Hajj at the ancient house which was re-instituted at the Ka’aba. This I have argued in a separate article. Please see Section 8, http://quransmessage.com/articles/makkah%20bakkah%20FM3.htm

If ‘Umrah’ is a visitation to the Holy Mosque outside the numbered days of Hajj (as argued from classical Arabic sources), and one can ascertain the additional rites of Hajj as shown in the example above, then one can ‘deduce’ what the expected rites of Umrah would entail.

You also cite 2:158 but it uses the perfect verb for having done hajj or 3mr, clearly implying safa/marwa are not necessary for either. Ergo, they are not compulsory for umrah.

I have always maintained that the ‘tafa’ of Safa and Marwa are optional for both Umrah and Hajj but there is good in it if actioned on their own accord (2:158). Even in my heading, I also make use of the optional insinuation ‘…allowed to continue’.

17)
In your opinion what does "whoever volunteers good/better" mean in 2:158?


Anyone whose extra actions are done with the intention of finding good with their Lord will find them accounted for. This is a maxim which can be deduced from numerous verses of the Quran. As an example of prayer, some may only choose to pray a certain fixed amount of units or part with a certain amount of charitable deeds (both financial and otherwise). Others for the sake of God, may offer greater amounts of worship or strive with an endeavour to achieve greater charitable commitment. Each account will be unique.

###

Since I have asked quite a few questions, please feel free to take your time in answering. Thanks.

I hope that clarifies my position, God willing.

Regards,
Joseph.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline optimist

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Re: feedback on Joseph Islam's article on hajj and umrah
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2013, 07:38:51 PM »
7)
Translation of 2:189 - am I right in thinking hilal can also mean crescent (whether waxing or waning) not just "new moon"?


The root meaning for ‘halla’ is ‘to appear’ or to come up or show. In the context of verse 2:197 it is understood as the new moon (when sighted) or when the new crescent when it appears i.e. the first sighting of the waxing crescent or when it begins / sets in the new month. As you know a new moon cannot be seen.

However, 'ahalla' is also used in classical parlance to refer to any crescent shaped object (or even a half moon) so a reference to a waning crescent can also not be ruled out from a strictly linguistic perspective. However, this would not necessary be inconsistent with the overall sentiment of verse 2:189 which uses the phases of the moon as markers.

Salaam,

Let me make one comment for the above without getting involved in the discussion between two learned brothers.

The traditional translation as “new moon” is based on secondary sources, which does not convey the idea contained within the verse. The accurate translation should be: “They ask you about the phases of the moon. Say: They are dates for the people and the pilgrimage”.  This verse clearly informs us that the changing phases of the moon show us the dates of Nature’s calendar, which Allah has designed for our use in this world.  The cycle of the moon around the earth in comparison with the sun defines the month according to the Quran 36:39 and the phases of the moon indicate the dates of the lunar month (Quran 2: 189).  This  demands that the phases (Ahillah) should be identical with the dates. When the moon is at 7th Manazil the date should be 7th and when it is at 15th Manazil the date should be the 15th of the month.  The Quran further confirms the point and states that the Manaazil for the moon were appointed to enable the calculation of dates of the calendar (10:5).

The general notion that every month in Islam begins after seeing the Hilal is wrong.  It is a blatant lie fabricated to mislead the Muslims.  The Qur’aan says that people who were given the book earlier carried them like Asses.  We should not be like them.  A calendar that relies on “moon sighting” to fix its dates cannot be practiced in the world.  How can a calendar be drawn in advance if one has to wait till he sees the crescent?  How can we plan our days when a cloud may come in the way and the Hilal may not be visible and the month gets 30 days?  It would appear that Allah has not fixed the Manazil for the Moon. This contradicts the Quaranic verse 36:39.  Therefore, the criterion that the moon should be visible to start a month is a Himalayan lie.  If we begin fasting or celebrating eid after seeing the Hilaal, we would certainly miss the first one or two day's of the month.

Regards,
Optimist
The meaning which was lost in all our divisions will not be understood until our perceptions become untainted -  Allama Iqbal

Offline Wakas

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Re: feedback on Joseph Islam's article on hajj and umrah
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2013, 03:48:23 AM »
Dear brother Joseph,
Peace.

Thank you for the reply.

Re: 8 )
You said: "I do not see the ancient house as a reference to the ‘Ka’aba’. "
But this seems to contradict your article, quote:
Quote
TAWAAF (CIRCUMAMBULATION) IS AN ANCIENT RITE INSTITUTED AT THE KA'ABA

Please note there is no mention of the requirement for 'seven circuits' around the Ka'aba. One should do as many circuits as one is able in complete with complete devotion to God.

022.029 "Then let them complete the rites prescribed for them, perform their vows, and circumambulate the Ancient House (Arabic: bil'bait-il-ateeq)."



Re: 9)
The main reason why I reject the common understanding of 2:196 is the critical questions 1 and 2 in the article I linked to. If you (or others) have an explanation for this I would welcome it.


Re: 11)
Thanks for clarifying, however it seems you are implying that if one is prevented from completing and gives hdy but it does not reach it's permitted place, then one does not shave the head or cut hair. If so, can you explain how this could come about, e.g. real life scenario. See also (9) above and (13) below.

Re: 13)
Let me clarify, I am referring to the part in caps bold:
You said: "..If there is a sickness or an ailment of the head which has necessitated the cutting of the hair BEFORE the sacrifice reaches its destination, then a ransom..."
Where does Quran say this?

Re: 14)
Thanks for clarifying you take "ila" to mean "followed by / until", although it more commonly means "to". In Arabic "hatta" more commonly means "until" which is also used in 2:196. I think during my Quran studies I have seen different uses of "ila" but do you have another wherein a clear example of "followed by / until" is meant?


Re: 16)
Thanks for clarifying.
You said: The rites required for Umrah can be deduced from the Quran which require a pilgrim only to complete the circumambulation of the Kaaba and the 'tawaaf' of Safa and Marwah.

I think your use of the word "require" is causing the problem, as you clearly say tawaf of safa/marwah is optional in umrah. "required" implies obligatory.
I still do not see how one can deduce umrah "requires" circuiting of Kaaba. I think the only thing that can be reasonably deduced, in your view, is umrah is visitation in months other than the inviolable months and one is not required to do anything, but may opt to volunteer good, and do some/all of the hajj activities.


Re: 17)
Thanks for the explanation in general terms, but I meant in regards to 2:158, or do you feel it is general and unrelated to context?



Regards,
Wakas

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: feedback on Joseph Islam's article on hajj and umrah
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2013, 08:25:56 PM »
Wa alaikum assalam brother Wakas,

Please see my responses to your comments in blue.

Re: 8 )
You said: "I do not see the ancient house as a reference to the ‘Ka’aba’. "
But this seems to contradict your article, quote:


Quote
TAWAAF (CIRCUMAMBULATION) IS AN ANCIENT RITE INSTITUTED AT THE KA'ABA

Please note there is no mention of the requirement for 'seven circuits' around the Ka'aba. One should do as many circuits as one is able in complete with complete devotion to God.

022.029 "Then let them complete the rites prescribed for them, perform their vows, and circumambulate the Ancient House (Arabic: bil'bait-il-ateeq)."

In response to question 8, I mentioned the following:

"These practices were re-established as part of the rites of the new believing community..."

I also cited section 8 of an article in response to question 16 where once again, I clearly mentioned:

"In my humble view, verse 22:29 should be read in context of 22:26ff which is the original prescription of Hajj at the ancient house which was re-instituted at the Ka’aba. This I have argued in a separate article. Please see Section 8, http://quransmessage.com/articles/makkah%20bakkah%20FM3.htm"

It is my view, as consistently argued, that Abrahamic practices were instituted at the sanctuary at Makkah. The purpose being to institute proper monotheistic worship congruent with Abrahamic practice to a community that needed guidance.

In my humble view, I have maintained a consistent stance on this.

Re: 9)
The main reason why I reject the common understanding of 2:196 is the critical questions 1 and 2 in the article I linked to. If you (or others) have an explanation for this I would welcome it.


God willing.

Re: 11)
Thanks for clarifying, however it seems you are implying that if one is prevented from completing and gives hdy but it does not reach it's permitted place, then one does not shave the head or cut hair. If so, can you explain how this could come about, e.g. real life scenario. See also (9) above and (13) below.


I do not feel I am implying anything more than what the Arabic text clearly says.

"wala tahliqu rusakum hatta yablugha'l-hadyu mahillahu" (And do not shave your heads until the 'hadiy' reaches its destination"

As I'm sure you will appreciate, how we can best reconcile such a directive in practice today is another matter. That is a secondary issue.

I am aware there are different ways that people logistically resolve this issue. For some it is a matter of what they understand as their 'specified' destination of sacrifice or at least, how they can best complete their rites.

064:016
“So keep your duty to God as best you can / what you are able (Arabic: ma is’tata’tum), and listen, and obey, and spend; that is better for your souls. And whoso is saved from his own greed, such are the successful”

Re: 13)
Let me clarify, I am referring to the part in caps bold:
You said: "..If there is a sickness or an ailment of the head which has necessitated the cutting of the hair BEFORE the sacrifice reaches its destination, then a ransom..."
Where does Quran say this?


I shared in my response to you:

Verse 2:196 – “…and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches its destination. And whoever among you is sick or has an ailment of the head must pay a ransom (Arabic: fidya) of fasting or charity or sacrifice (offering)…”

I respectfully feel the meaning is clear.

Re: 14)
Thanks for clarifying you take "ila" to mean "followed by / until", although it more commonly means "to". In Arabic "hatta" more commonly means "until" which is also used in 2:196. I think during my Quran studies I have seen different uses of "ila" but do you have another wherein a clear example of "followed by / until" is meant?


Please see the following phrase which clearly means 'up til' 2:187

'atimmu l'siyama ILA al-layl' - 'complete the fast till / until (ILA) the night'


Re: 16)
Thanks for clarifying.
You said: The rites required for Umrah can be deduced from the Quran which require a pilgrim only to complete the circumambulation of the Kaaba and the 'tawaaf' of Safa and Marwah.

I think your use of the word "require" is causing the problem, as you clearly say tawaf of safa/marwah is optional in umrah. "required" implies obligatory.
I still do not see how one can deduce umrah "requires" circuiting of Kaaba. I think the only thing that can be reasonably deduced, in your view, is umrah is visitation in months other than the inviolable months and one is not required to do anything, but may opt to volunteer good, and do some/all of the hajj activities.


Thank you for your comments. I have already shared my perspective on this.

Re: 17)
Thanks for the explanation in general terms, but I meant in regards to 2:158, or do you feel it is general and unrelated to context?


If we apply the general maxim to the context in which it used in verse 2:158, then it would mean that if someone made the extra circuits for the sake of God (which is inferred as optional), then this would be better for them.

I hope this helps, God willing.

Regards,
Joseph.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Wakas

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Re: feedback on Joseph Islam's article on hajj and umrah
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2013, 11:38:44 PM »
Dear brother Joseph,
Peace.

Thank you for the reply.

Re: 8 )
If I have understood you correctly, you are saying that in the location Abraham was in, one rite was to circuit "the ancient house", and this rite is re-established at Makkah using the Kaabah BUT since you do not see "the ancient house" as a reference to the Kaabah by your own admission, this rite is not an explicitly stated rite, but somewhat implicit.

One must be consistent, i.e. not pick and choose what rite they do or how they do it, for example in the article you linked to you said, bold mine:

Quote
022.033
"Therein are benefits for you for an appointed term; and afterward they are brought for sacrifice to the Ancient House (Arabic: bait-il-ateeq)"

It is well known that no sacrifice is performed in the Holy precinct of the Masjid Haram. This was a practice performed by the previous prophets in the ancient temples. Ancient Jews have been known to sacrifice in the temple.
 
The very next verse, 22:34 informs the reader of the connection with these ancient rites by faith and dedication to God. Each nation was given such rites as a devotion to God. Prophet Abraham (pbuh) and his people were no different. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his followers were also to be no different if they were to follow in their footsteps. The connection being amongst all of them, the dedication and devotion to God.

And see your response here:
Quote
However, with the 'ancient house' mentioned in verse 22:33, the place of sacrifice was 'at' the ancient house as you will note from the Arabic and the crucial preposition 'ila'. i.e. mahilluha ila 'lbayti'lateeq. (their place of sacrifice is at the Ancient House).


Thus, on the one hand you choose to re-establish Abrahamic practice for circuiting "the ancient house" but when it comes to slaughter at "the ancient house" you seem to favour re-establishing it elsewhere - why?

Consistent ---> circuit the ancient house, slaughter at the ancient house
Inconsistent ---> circuit the kaabah, slaughter elsewhere


Re: 9)
I look forward to an explanation in future, GW.

Re: 11)
I was hoping for a real life example/scenario, or ideally a couple of examples - explained.

Re: 13)
You said:
Quote
I shared in my response to you:

Verse 2:196 – “…and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches its destination. And whoever among you is sick or has an ailment of the head must pay a ransom (Arabic: fidya) of fasting or charity or sacrifice (offering)…”

I respectfully feel the meaning is clear.

I respectfully disagree. Your interpolation is:

Quote
Verse 2:196 – “…and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches its destination. And whoever among you is sick or has an ailment of the head (which has necessitated the cutting of the hair BEFORE the sacrifice reaches its destination) must pay a ransom (Arabic: fidya) of fasting or charity or sacrifice (offering)…”

This seems unusual to me. Can you clarify what situations/conditions wherein sickness or ailment of the head necessitates cutting of the hair?

2:196 says:
Give X/hadiy

do not Y until the X reaches its destination

whoever was sick or ailment of head ----> thus could not comply with: 1) giving X  or 2) do not Y until the X reaches its destination

Is it referring to (1) or (2)? If we choose (1) the following is not an issue:

In your understanding one who gave an offering then became ill or ailment of head and had to cut their hair before it reached its destination now ALSO have to ransom by way of abstinence/charity/observance. So the ill person has to do more than the healthy person. Why?

It seems to me in such a view the hair is playing an unusually special and important role - for some unknown reason.


Re: 14)
Thanks for the example. I think "to" could fit there also.

Re: 16)
Your wording is the problem.
Quote from: google
required  past participle, past tense of re·quire (Verb)
Verb
Need for a particular purpose; depend on for success or survival.
Cause to be necessary.
Specify as compulsory

Re: 17)
Thanks for clarifying. I'm not sure if by "extra circuits" you mean only one, or more the better. If the latter, then even though number of circuits is not mentioned, it is assumed doing extra circuits is better. I wonder if one could then extrapolate and say the more the better, i.e. a person doing 100 is better than 10. Perhaps, but I have a different view of 2:158.


#####

I hope the above is taken with the intent it was written, and that is to explore each view and thus better understand the verses in question.

Regards,
Wakas

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: feedback on Joseph Islam's article on hajj and umrah
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2013, 10:11:00 PM »
Wa alaikum assalam brother Wakas,

Please see my responses to your comments in blue italic.

If I have understood you correctly, you are saying that in the location Abraham was in, one rite was to circuit "the ancient house", and this rite is re-established at Makkah using the Kaabah BUT since you do not see "the ancient house" as a reference to the Kaabah by your own admission, this rite is not an explicitly stated rite, but somewhat implicit.

One must be consistent, i.e. not pick and choose what rite they do or how they do it, for example in the article you linked to you said, bold mine:

Quote
022.033
"Therein are benefits for you for an appointed term; and afterward they are brought for sacrifice to the Ancient House (Arabic: bait-il-ateeq)"

It is well known that no sacrifice is performed in the Holy precinct of the Masjid Haram. This was a practice performed by the previous prophets in the ancient temples. Ancient Jews have been known to sacrifice in the temple.
 
The very next verse, 22:34 informs the reader of the connection with these ancient rites by faith and dedication to God. Each nation was given such rites as a devotion to God. Prophet Abraham (pbuh) and his people were no different. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his followers were also to be no different if they were to follow in their footsteps. The connection being amongst all of them, the dedication and devotion to God.

And see your response here:

Quote
However, with the 'ancient house' mentioned in verse 22:33, the place of sacrifice was 'at' the ancient house as you will note from the Arabic and the crucial preposition 'ila'. i.e. mahilluha ila 'lbayti'lateeq. (their place of sacrifice is at the Ancient House).


Thus, on the one hand you choose to re-establish Abrahamic practice for circuiting "the ancient house" but when it comes to slaughter at "the ancient house" you seem to favour re-establishing it elsewhere - why?

Consistent ---> circuit the ancient house, slaughter at the ancient house
Inconsistent ---> circuit the kaabah, slaughter elsewhere
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I agree wholeheartedly that one must be consistent. In the bold you have highlighted, I clearly mentioned that Prophet Muhammad and his followers were to follow in the footsteps of the monotheistic ancients, the main connection between them being dedication and devotion to God.

I have always argued for the re-establishment of ancient rites which you have noted from my response. In this case, both rites are fulfilled. i.e. the practices have been re-established. (circuits and sacrifice). I do not feel that the ancient rites have been cited with a view to be done in exactly the same manner or place as they were done by the ancients, other than the fact that the rites are captured in some manner.

I sense you have made it an expectation underpinning your interpretation that they must be instituted in exactly the same manner for the argument to remain consistent. I would respectfully have to disagree with this.

For example, there are rites which have nothing to do with Abrahamic ancient rites such as the 'tafa' of Safa and Marwa, which was allowed to continue as a rite of worship / devotion. The Quran does not expect a 'photocopy' of the rites as long as the spirit of the rites is re-instituted in some form for the devotion of God.

I feel it is important to remember that each community were given rites (mansak - 22:34, 22:67). As long as they are being instituted in some manner, I do not find this inconsistent.

Re: 11)
I was hoping for a real life example/scenario, or ideally a couple of examples - explained.


With utmost respect, I think it only fair my dear brother Wakas for me to explain my position and any clarification of my position with Quranic evidence. I would find it superfluous to discuss present practice or hypothetical situations in a discussion which is purely academic.

13
This seems unusual to me. Can you clarify what situations/conditions wherein sickness or ailment of the head necessitates cutting of the hair?


Much akin to my response above, I would feel it respectfully inappropriate to part with hypotheticals in a discussion which is purely academic from a Quran's perspective. (i.e. when attempting to ascertain what the Quran says). In other words, the focus is not the strength of the examples (e.g. If one has a serious bout of psoriasis of the scalp, or any injury to the head which requires an operation / stitches to the head, or a serious infestation of lice where it necessitated cutting of the hair etc), but rather, what the Quran instructs as a prescription when a condition is not met. i.e. If (A) did not happen, then do (B).

In your understanding one who gave an offering then became ill or ailment of head and had to cut their hair before it reached its destination now ALSO have to ransom by way of abstinence/charity/observance. So the ill person has to do more than the healthy person. Why?

The rite prescribed is only complete when all the actions are carried out. That is the nature of a 'rite'. If they are not completed for some reason, then a ransom is due.

'It seems to me in such a view the hair is playing an unusually special and important role - for some unknown reason.'

This comment made me smile  ;)  It is not unusual to find it tedious to find explanations for certain 'ritual' practices. For example, why even circumambulate around a house? Why even go to Arafat? (2:198). Why remember God at the 'Mash'ari-lharami' (2:198). Why Safa and Marwa? Why the infatuation with hair?  I feel it is helpful to remember that it is the spirit behind the rite, the devotion to God when we carry out certain practices in His name that remains key. So when a prescribed rite is incomplete, then there is usually a recompense due of some sort.

17
"...If the latter, then even though number of circuits is not mentioned, it is assumed doing extra circuits is better. I wonder if one could then extrapolate and say the more the better, i.e. a person doing 100 is better than 10."


Yes I agree. However, an elderly who expends more energy / devotion completing one circuit may be recipient of a greater reward than say one who is strong and mighty and can complete 10 circuits with relative ease and not much devotion. Similarly, one can argue that those that complete the circuits on the outer perimeters which take much longer and cover greater distances are worthy of greater rewards than one who manages to complete the shortest circuits in the shortest time. Old cliche, but its not always the 'quantity' that matters ...

I hope the above is taken with the intent it was written, and that is to explore each view and thus better understand the verses in question.

Of course brother Wakas. Always.  :)

Your brother in faith,
Joseph.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Wakas

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Re: feedback on Joseph Islam's article on hajj and umrah
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2013, 01:17:58 AM »
Dear Brother Joseph,
Peace.

Apologies for my delay in reply, however I was working on my own article on hajj thus wanted to wait till it was done before replying.

It is not unusual to find it tedious to find explanations for certain 'ritual' practices. For example, why even circumambulate around a house? Why even go to Arafat? (2:198). Why remember God at the 'Mash'ari-lharami' (2:198). Why Safa and Marwa? Why the infatuation with hair?  I feel it is helpful to remember that it is the spirit behind the rite, the devotion to God when we carry out certain practices in His name that remains key. So when a prescribed rite is incomplete, then there is usually a recompense due of some sort.

I think these questions are reasonable, as The Quran itself says:

We have sent down to you a decree/writ in which is your remembrance/mentioning. Then, will not you use reason? [21:10]

And do not follow what you have no knowledge of; surely the hearing, the sight and the heart, all of these, shall be questioned about that. [17:36]

"Will they not ponder over the Quran?" [4:82]

And We have cited in this Quran every example for the people. But man was always most argumentative. [18:54]


I have discussed some of these issues in my article. See this thread:
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=1025.0