Tag Archives: pilgrimage

Conscientious (Green) Hajj

The annual pilgrimage of Hajj to Makkah, Saudi Arabia, is no small event. With around 2 million people (numbers varying from year to year) in attendance from across the globe, it is very easy for the essence of spirituality, connection and contemplation to get lost in the rush of the masses. In the throngs of crowds, food is eaten, business thrives, water and electricity is used, waste is generated, and spaces to breathe and think are few. Our lives are constantly overshadowed by the news and experiences of traumatic natural and man-made disasters. Political upheavals and social ills make for a depressing nature of affairs. The need for the pilgrim in these times to conscientiously and holistically experience the Hajj physically, spiritually and morally cannot be over-emphasised.

So how to have a more conscientious and greener Hajj? Insha’Allah over the next few days Green Deen South Africa will be sharing a few simple ways to be more conscientious on your Hajj pilgrimage. If you are not going this year, please share these messages with other pilgrims, and may Allah SWT bless us all with the oppurtunity to perform Hajj soon, Āmīn.



Dr Husna Ahmad writes in the “The Green Guide for Hajj” [published by Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) , September 2011]:

As you are about to embark on the Hajj, the journey of a lifetime, all kinds of emotions and thoughts will be running through your mind. Why is the Hajj so important? For many it is the culmination of years of spiritual development, for others it is the opportunity to complete a fundamental duty as a Muslim. ||

Being on Hajj enables greater alignment with our physical, spiritual and moral being. From the moment we make our intention (niyyah) to perform the Hajj our actions need to reflect on our connection with Allah through our prayers and how we treat other human beings and nature. If we do not take care our world, who will? Every Muslim has a duty to care for their environment, for the world around them and for animal and plant life. What better time to begin this duty and commitment than when you are about to commence your most beautiful spiritual journey? ||

This will be your chance to contemplate, to connect, to spend time on meditation and prayer; it is a time for patience and thoughtfulness towards other pilgrims. It is a time to understand your place in relation, not to your immediate family or your status in society, but your place in relation to the Universe. We are just small players in Allah’s plan; we are insignificant and small and yet Allah has placed humankind in the highest position in comparison to all His creation.

The Green Guide for Hajj  by Dr H. Ahmed provides the pilgrim with simple instructions on how to implement a green Hajj. The Hajj experience can be improved by taking into account the environment around, and on the simple decisions you make.  Download the guide at http://www.arcworld.org/downloads/Green_Guide_for_Hajj.pdf (external link),

“It is to Allah that everything in the heavens and earth submits, every creature that moves, even the angels – they are free from arrogance.” Quran (16:49)


“It is He (Allah) who made you the Khalaaifa (vicegerents, deputies, custodians, successors) of the Earth and raised some of you in ranks over others, so that He may test you in what He has given you. Surely, your Lord is swift in punishing, and surely He is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful.” Quran (6:165)

“Wal-‘Asr (By time),
Indeed, mankind is in loss,
except for those who believe, do good deeds, urge one another to the truth, and urge one another to steadfastness (patience).” Quran (103:1-3)



“In the creation of the heavens and earth; in the alternation of night and day; in the ships that sail the seas carrying that which benefits people; in the water which Allah sends down from the sky to give life to the earth when it has been barren; in every creature He (Allah) has scattered on it (earth); in the changing of the winds and clouds that run their appointed courses between the sky and earth: there are āyāt (signs, evidences) in all these for those who use their minds.” Quran (2:164)


“We (Allah) showed Ibrāhīm (Abraham) the site of the House (of Allah i.e. Ka’bah), saying, ‘Do not associate partners to Me. Purify My House for those who make Tawāf (circumambulation around it), and those who perform Qiyām (standing up in worship) and those who perform Rukū‘ (bowing down) and Sujūd (prostration). And announce to all people about (the obligation of) Hajj, so that they will come to you on foot and on every kind of swift mount, emerging from every deep mountain pass’.” Quran (22:26-27)

Narrated Abu Huraira (رضي الله عنه ):

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “While a man was walking he felt thirsty and went down a well and drank water from it. On coming out of it, he saw a dog panting and eating mud because of excessive thirst. The man said, ‘This (dog) is suffering from the same problem as that of mine. So he (went down the well), filled his shoe with water, caught hold of it with his teeth and climbed up and watered the dog. Allah thanked him for his (good) deed and forgave him.”

The people asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Is there a reward for us in serving (the) animals?” He replied, “Yes, there is a reward for serving any living being.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 2363)


Abu Barza al-Aslami (رضي الله عنه) said, “I said, ‘Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), show me an action by which I will enter Jannah (paradise)!’ He (ﷺ) said, ‘Remove harmful things from people’s pathways’.” (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 228, graded Sahih by Al-Albani)

“Give relatives their due, and the needy, and the travellers. And do not squander your wealth wastefully. Indeed, those who squander are the brothers of Satan, and Satan is most ungrateful to his Lord.” Quran (17:26-27)

“Then eat of what Allah has provided for you (which is) Halāl (lawful) and Tayyib (good). And be grateful for the favor of Allah, if it is (indeed) Him that you worship.” Quran (16:114)
“Oh Children of Adam, wear your good clothes to every place of worship, and eat and drink, but do not commit ‘Isrāf’ (do not be excessive), because Allah does not love those
who commit ‘Isrāf’ (are excessive).” Quran (7:31)

It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr (رضي الله عنه) that: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) passed by Sa’d (رضي الله عنه) when he was performing wudhu (ablution), and He (ﷺ) said: ‘What is this extravagance?‘ Sa’d (رضي الله عنه) said: ‘Can there be any extravagance in wudhu?‘ He (ﷺ) said: ‘Yes, even if you are on the bank of a flowing river.’ (Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol 1, Book 1, Hadith 425)

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) used water sparingly, even when making ghusl (bath) and wudhu (ablution). He (ﷺ) used to take ghusl with one Sa` (± 3ℓ, 4 Mudd) up to five Mudd (± 3.75ℓ) of water and used to perform wudhu (ablution) with one Mudd (± 750mℓ) of water. (Sahih Bukhari 201).



 ”The servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk on the earth humbly, and when the ignorant people speak to them (with bad words), they reply peacefully”. Quran (25:63)


It was narrated that Safiyyah bint Shaibah said:
“I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) delivering a sermon in the Year of the Conquest (of Makkah), and he said: ‘O people, Allah made Makkah sacred the day He created the heavens and the earth, and it is sacred until the Day of Resurrection. Its trees are not to be cut, its game is not to be disturbed, and its lost property is not to be taken except by one who will announce it.’ Abbas said: ‘Except for Idhkhir (a kind of fragrant grass), for it is (used) for houses and graves.’ The messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Except for Idhkhir’.”
Sunan Ibn Majah, Book 25, Hadith 3228, Hasan (Darussalam)


Saqifah Bani Sa’eda

A Green Garden Gem in Madinah

سقيفة بني ساعدة

In the blessed city of Madinah Munawwarah, just over 200m away from the Masjidun Nabawi, lies a green garden quietly being looked after by its faithful caretakers. Located west of the north-western corner of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم‎)’s mosque (the Movenpick hotel corner), this place of natural tranquility and historical Islamic history is often overlooked by the unsuspecting pilgrim.



When the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) was in Madinah (622AD onwards), there was a “saqifah” (meaning ‘shelter’) where the present garden is. This shelter was in the locality of the Bani Sa’eda – a famous family branch of the Khazraj tribe of the Ansaar. To the north of this shelter was a well – the well of Budha’ah. During his life time, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) used to frequently go to this shelter, drink water and perform ablution at the well, and pray in the shade of the shelter. The companions used to also rest in the coolness of this shelter.

When the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) passed away, there was a lot of confusion on how to proceed with matters. Senior sahabah and leaders of the community retreated to this shelter to discuss matters and after some deliberation Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) was elected as the Caliph (successor) of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم‎).

While the original shelter and well is no longer there, the garden offers an opportunity to remember our Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) and to remember the historical election of Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) as the first Caliph of Islam. Visit this garden and reflect therein if you have an opportunity. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) give us all an opportunity to visit these blessed lands of Madinah Munawwarah and Makkah Mukarramah. آمين.


Pictorial History of Madinah Munawwarah by Dr. Muhammad Ilyas Abdul Ghani, 2004, King Fahd National Library Cataloging-in-Publication Data, Al-Rasheed Printers, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Saqifah 2 Saqifah 3 Saqifah 4 Saqifah 5