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Hajj 2024: Pilgrims commence the final rites of Hajj as Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha

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The Hajj pilgrimage, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is nearing its conclusion as millions of Muslims from around the world partake in the final rites. This period also marks the beginning of Eid al-Adha, a significant festival commemorating the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son in obedience to God.

On Sunday, masses of pilgrims engaged in the symbolic stoning of the devil, a key ritual in the Hajj pilgrimage. This rite involves throwing pebbles at three pillars in Mina, representing the rejection of evil and sin. This act is deeply symbolic, rooted in the narrative of Ibrahim’s (Abraham’s) faith being tested by God.

The pilgrims’ journey began on Mount Arafat, where over 1.8 million gathered to pray and seek forgiveness. After sundown, they moved to Muzdalifa to collect pebbles for the stoning ritual. The next stop was Mina, where the symbolic stoning took place. The pilgrims will remain in Mina for three days, during which they will also perform “tawaf,” the circumambulation of the Kaaba in Mecca.

Coinciding with the final days of Hajj is Eid al-Adha, the “Feast of Sacrifice.” This festival commemorates Ibrahim’s test of faith, celebrated by the slaughter of livestock and distribution of meat to the poor. It is a time of community and charity, reflecting the spirit of sacrifice and obedience.

The Hajj rituals commemorate significant events in Islamic history, particularly the stories of Prophet Ibrahim, his son Ismail (Ishmael), and his wife Hajar. According to Islamic tradition, Ibrahim was willing to sacrifice Ismail in obedience to God, but God provided a ram to sacrifice instead. This event is celebrated by Muslims worldwide during Eid al-Adha.

After completing the Hajj, many pilgrims travel to Medina to pray at the Prophet Muhammad’s tomb in the Sacred Chamber, part of the Prophet’s Mosque. This is one of the three holiest sites in Islam, alongside the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

This year’s Hajj takes place amidst several global challenges. The extreme heat in Saudi Arabia, with temperatures soaring to 47°C (116.6°F), has tested the endurance of the pilgrims. Additionally, geopolitical conflicts such as the Israel-Hamas war and the ongoing conflict in Sudan have prevented some Muslims, particularly from the Gaza Strip and Sudan, from participating in Hajj or celebrating Eid al-Adha as they have in previous years.

In conclusion, the Hajj pilgrimage of 2024 has been a significant spiritual journey for over 1.8 million Muslims, culminating in the symbolic stoning of the devil and the celebration of Eid al-Adha. Despite the challenges posed by extreme weather and geopolitical conflicts, the pilgrims have demonstrated immense faith and resilience, reflecting the enduring spirit of this sacred Islamic tradition.

Islam

Sheikh Maher Al-Muaiqly to Deliver Arafat Sermon During Hajj 2024

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RIYADH, May 28 (WARYATV) – – Sheikh Maher bin Hamad Al-Muaiqly, an imam at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, will deliver the Arafat sermon for this year’s Hajj, the Presidency of Religious Affairs announced on Monday following royal approval.

Worship at Arafat on the 9th of Dhu Al-Hijjah is considered the pinnacle of Hajj. Muslims around the world reflect on the actions of pilgrims by seeking forgiveness and praying for their deepest desires.

The Arafat sermon is delivered at the Namira Mosque, the second largest mosque in the Makkah region after the Grand Mosque. The mosque stands on the site where Prophet Muhammad delivered the Arafat sermon during his farewell pilgrimage.

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The Devastating Impact of Khat: A Comprehensive Analysis of Somaliland’s Crisis

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Unveiling the Religious, Health, Economic, and Environmental Ravages of Khat Consumption in Somaliland

By Kasim Abdulkadir:

In the tranquil streets of Somaliland, an invisible enemy lurks, threatening the essence of society and corroding its foundations. This enemy is none other than Khat, a narcotic plant wreaking havoc on the religious, health, economic, moral, hygienic, and environmental spheres of Somaliland.

  1. Religious Problems of Khat: Khat’s insidious infiltration into the societal fabric of Somaliland has unleashed a myriad of religious challenges. The gluttonous consumption of Khat undermines the completeness of faith, diverting individuals from their religious obligations. Fasting, the cornerstone of religious practice, is undermined by Khat consumption, hindering individuals from fulfilling their sacred duties.
  2. Health Problems of Khat: The detrimental impact of Khat on public health cannot be overstated. From neurological impairment to digestive disturbances, Khat inflicts severe harm on the human body. Its consumption weakens the immune system, rendering individuals susceptible to illness and posing grave risks to their overall well-being.
  3. Financial Problems of Khat: Khat’s pervasive influence extends to the economic realm, paralyzing communities and draining resources. The economic paralysis induced by Khat consumption disrupts livelihoods and perpetuates cycles of poverty. Scarce financial resources are squandered on Khat, exacerbating economic inequalities and stifling progress.
  4. Moral Problems of Khat: In a society anchored in the principles of Islam, Khat engenders moral degradation, eroding the fabric of social cohesion. The vile behavior exhibited by Khat users stands in stark contrast to the moral virtues espoused by Islam, perpetuating discord and disharmony within communities.
  5. Hygienic Problems of Khat: Khat’s consumption fosters neglect of personal hygiene, exacerbating societal challenges and perpetuating unhygienic living conditions. The relentless pursuit of Khat leaves individuals devoid of the inclination to maintain cleanliness, further exacerbating public health concerns.
  6. Family Problems of Khat: The scourge of Khat precipitates familial discord, tearing apart the fabric of familial bonds and disrupting domestic tranquility. Marital strife, fueled by the financial strain of Khat consumption, destabilizes households and undermines familial cohesion.
  7. Environmental Problems of Khat: As Khat consumption proliferates, it exacts a heavy toll on the environment, polluting ecosystems and despoiling landscapes. The wanton disposal of Khat waste contaminates soil and disrupts natural habitats, threatening biodiversity and compromising environmental sustainability.

Conclusion: The pernicious influence of Khat permeates every facet of Somaliland society, leaving devastation in its wake. Urgent measures are imperative to combat this existential threat and safeguard the future of Somaliland. Only through concerted efforts to address the religious, health, economic, moral, hygienic, and environmental ramifications of Khat consumption can Somaliland reclaim its vitality and resilience.

The Poisoned Chalice: Battling the Khat Epidemic in Somaliland

In the face of adversity, Somaliland must unite to confront the scourge of Khat and forge a path towards renewal and prosperity.

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Islam

The Transformative Power of Friday Khutbah: Nurturing Change Within the Muslim Community

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Unveiling the Sacred Opportunity for Spiritual Growth and Social Transformation

BY GUEST ESSAY:

The profound significance of Friday Khutbah within the Muslim community, exploring its potential to inspire change, foster unity, and cultivate a deeper connection with faith.

In the bustling rhythm of modern life, amidst the cacophony of daily responsibilities and distractions, Muslims around the world gather every Friday for a sacred ritual that transcends time and space: the Friday Khutbah. Far more than a mere sermon or religious obligation, the Friday Khutbah represents a pivotal moment of introspection, inspiration, and communal solidarity.

At its core, the Friday Khutbah serves as a platform for spiritual nourishment and guidance, offering believers an opportunity to pause, reflect, and reorient themselves towards the divine. Rooted in the teachings of Islam, the Khutbah provides a space for the explication of Quranic verses, prophetic traditions, and timeless wisdom, imparting invaluable insights that resonate deeply with the hearts and minds of congregants.

Beyond its individual significance, the Friday Khutbah also holds immense potential as a catalyst for social change and collective action within the Muslim community. As the Khateeb (preacher) addresses pressing issues confronting society, from social justice to ethical conduct, congregants are called upon to confront societal injustices, advocate for the marginalized, and embody the values of compassion, integrity, and solidarity.

Moreover, the Friday Khutbah serves as a unifying force, bringing together Muslims of diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences under the umbrella of shared faith. In the sacred space of the mosque, believers transcend worldly divisions and unite as one community, bound together by a common devotion to God and a shared commitment to righteousness.

In today’s turbulent times, marked by political upheaval, social unrest, and moral ambiguity, the Friday Khutbah emerges as a beacon of hope and resilience, offering solace, guidance, and moral clarity to believers navigating the complexities of the modern world. As communities grapple with issues of systemic injustice, environmental degradation, and ethical dilemmas, the Khutbah serves as a moral compass, guiding Muslims towards paths of righteousness and righteousness.

In essence, the Friday Khutbah represents far more than a mere religious ritual; it embodies the essence of Islam’s transformative potential, empowering believers to effect positive change within themselves and society at large. As congregants listen attentively to the words of the Khateeb, they are reminded of their sacred duty to uphold justice, promote peace, and strive for excellence in all aspects of life.

As we gather each Friday to partake in this timeless tradition, let us seize the opportunity to renew our commitment to faith, embrace the call to action, and embark on a journey of spiritual growth and social transformation. For in the hallowed halls of the mosque, amidst the resonance of the Adhan and the wisdom of the Khutbah, lies the promise of a brighter, more just, and compassionate world for all.

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Islam

The Awliya’ of Allah: Guardians of Divine Grace and Potential Global Impact

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Exploring the Spiritual Significance and Future Influence of the Awliya’ Within Islam

In the rich tapestry of Islamic spirituality, the concept of the Awliya’ of Allah holds a pivotal place. These revered individuals, often described as the “friends of Allah,” embody the epitome of faith, piety, and divine connection within the Muslim faith. Rooted in the Quranic teachings and Prophetic traditions, the Awliya’ are seen as guardians of divine grace, entrusted with the responsibility to exemplify righteousness and spiritual excellence.

At the heart of the concept of Wilayah, or divine guardianship, lies a profound understanding of the relationship between humans and the Divine. It is a state of being constantly aware of Allah’s presence, adhering to His commands, and shunning His prohibitions. This elevated status is not merely a title bestowed upon individuals but rather a reflection of their inner state of faith and devotion. The degree of Wilayah varies according to one’s sincerity, fear of Allah, and adherence to Islamic principles.

The pinnacle of Wilayah is embodied in the noblest of beings: the messengers and prophets, followed by the Companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), and subsequently, those who tread the path of righteousness in their footsteps. While the term “friends of Allah” may not have been explicitly attributed to them, their exemplary lives and unwavering dedication to Allah’s commands make them worthy inheritors of this divine title.

One significant figures like Imam al-Ghazali and Ibn Arabi stand as beacons of Islamic spirituality, whose profound insights into the nature of God and the human soul continue to shape theological discourse to this day. Their enduring legacies serve as a testament to the enduring relevance of the Awliya’ in contemporary Islam and beyond.

In an increasingly interconnected world, the influence of the Awliya’ extends far beyond the realms of spirituality. Their teachings of compassion, tolerance, and social justice offer invaluable guidance in addressing the pressing issues of our time, from religious extremism to global inequality. By embodying the principles of love, humility, and service to humanity, the Awliya’ have the potential to catalyze positive change on a global scale.

As we navigate the complexities of the modern world, the timeless wisdom of the Awliya’ serves as a guiding light, illuminating a path towards greater harmony, understanding, and spiritual fulfillment. Their legacy reminds us of the transformative power of faith and the enduring relevance of divine grace in shaping the course of human history.

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