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Hajj in Ghana

Hajj, a tenet of Muslims Unity

On the 29th of July 2017, the Cultural Consulate of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Ghana in collaboration with the Hajj Committee of Republic of Ghana under the auspices of the President of Republic of Ghana held a one day Hajj Conference on the theme Hajj, a tenet of Muslims Unity at the Hajj Village in Accra, Ghana for over 500 Hujaaj partaking in this years Hajj.

The program was graced by the 2nd Deputy National Imam of Ghana, sheikh Shuaib Kamaludeen, the Chairman of Hajj Committee of Ghana sheikh I.C. Quaye. Leader of Ghanas Hajj Caravan Alhaj Garba Ibrahim . leaders of All Muslims sects in Ghana , leaders of Muslims Organizations in Ghana and the Media.

The program begun with recitation of Holy Quran by Ustaz Abdul Raham and open prayers was done by Sheikh Ibrahim Bansi, the deputy National Imam of Shia Muslims In Ghana

After the recitation of the holy Quran and opening prayers, the Chairman of Hajj Committee of Ghana sheikh I.C Quaye gave a welcome address and in his speech said. Im privilege to have you all here my dear brothers and sisters in Islam. Hajj we all know is an invitation from Allah and an act of worship in sincerity. Hajj is a religious embodiment of peace of our souls and body and total reflection of our commitment to Allah in all our affairs.

I in my capacity as your new servant in relations to Hajj Management and organization, we have facilitated in partnership with the Hajj agents of Ghana and the the cultural consulate of embassy of Iran to organized this Hajj Conference which in a way to educate the hujaaj on dos and dont of Hajj. I really show my appreciation to the Islamic Republic of Iran for their continues support to the previous hajj committee, we as a new hajj committee of Ghana will continue to partner and collaborate with all Muslim countries especially those who are willing to collaborate with us in achieving unity of Muslims within diversity.

I urged you all to be more patient and pay attention to the speeches which Is going to be delivered by our learned Islamic scholars here today.

The Farewell speech of Mr. Mohammed Hasan Ipakchi, the Cultural Consular of Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran in Ghana, highlighted on the Importance of Muslims refocusing in the spiritual ideas of Hajj and materializing it , in achieving the unity of the Ummah.

He said , the most and only occasion which all Muslims from all walks of lives fathers devoid of sect, color, race and ethnicity is the occasion of Hajj. This means Muslims are one nation, and that is the message hajj carries to the enemies of Islam.

Muslims using hajj as means of unity will send a bog blow to the real enemies of Islam who always hijack Islam and pursue their personal interest and set a political agenda.
Please this is the remaining report on your speech

Unity is vividly observed in the great pillar of Hajj, which is repeated every year and for which millions of Muslims gather from all over the world. They represent the Muslim ummah with all its different races, countries, colors, and languages. They gather in one place, at the same time, wearing the same garment and performing the same rites. They make one stand in the same monument. They proclaim the oneness of the Lord of the worlds, submit themselves to His law, and show their unity under His banner. They announce to the whole world that they are one nation although they come form different countries and homes. They perform the rites and stand in the open areas of Makkah, where bodies become close to each other, faces meet, hands shake, greetings exchange, tongues communicate, and hearts reconcile. They meet for the same purpose and intention.

What unity is deeper than that one of the pilgrims when they stand at the mountain of Arafat with bare heads and simple white clothes? There is no difference between the rich and the poor, the ruler and the subject, men and women, Arabs and non-Arabs. All of them are the same, like the teeth of the hair comb. They direct themselves towards Allah, humble and submissive.
"They hope for His Mercy and fear His Wrath" [Al-Isra, 17:57]

This is their description when they make tawaf (circumambulation around the Kabah) and say (going between the mountains of As-Safa and Al-Marwah), stay over night at Muzdalifah and Mina, sacrifice animals, and throw stones. Similarly, this is their description when they perform the congregational prayer at the open areas or at the Holy Mosque. They pray behind one man (i.e. the imam) and supplicate to one God (i.e. Allah). They read one Book, the Quran, and direct themselves to one Qiblah, the Kabah, at the Holy Mosque. They perform the same rites of standing, sitting, bowing down, and prostration.
This is unity in aim and direction, in sayings and deeds, an internal and external unity, through which they could feel the essence of the verse:
The believers are but a single brotherhood." [Al-Hujurat, 49:10].
Differences in social class, wealth, race, and color vanish within these feelings and rites. A pure and solemn atmosphere of brotherhood, serenity, affection, and love prevails. In a world engulfed in dispute and division, it is a great blessing for a person to have the ability to enjoy this atmosphere of complete peace. In a world where discrepancy is the prevailing system, they (pilgrims) enjoy an atmosphere of equality. In the face of the worlds grudges, hatred, and disputation-feelings all too characteristics of the modern life-pilgrims experience a feeling of love and harmony.

Allah has imposed pilgrimage upon Muslims in a specific time each year, in one place, and in the same manner. Thus, they perform it in gatherings and not in scattered groups. They feel and see unity and brotherhood before their very eyes. Accordingly, they experience the sacredness of the place, time, and situation. Hence, they know their position among other nations and feel Allahs blessing, as He granted them this straight and sound religion. He favored Muslims by bringing familiarity among their hearts and making them loving brothers and sisters.

Ayatollah Ali Khamanei views hajj as a valuable opportunity for the public to meet the righteous scholars, so that they would benefit from their knowledge and be guided by their juristic opinions. It is also an occasion for Muslim scholars to meet with each other, so that they would know each other, discuss issues of theology, acquire jurisprudence in religion, and study the affairs of Muslims and provide solutions to their problems. It is a great chance for Muslim leaders, thinkers, and politicians to meet, to consult and to co-operate for the welfare of Islam and Muslims.

Hajj is, indeed, the symbol of unity and monotheism! Praise be to Allah who has guided us to this. Never could we have found guidance, had it not been for the guidance of Allah.

Sheikh Tawfiq Jamaal Baba spoke on the practises of Hajj and how its done , regarding all rules and regulations of Hajj.

Whiles focusing his speech on performing Tawaf properly, sheikh Tawfiq Jamaal Baba said One of the most important duties of the pilgrimage and the Umrah is tawaf, which means walking around the Kaabah seven times. It starts about one yard before the Black Stone, which is easily identifiable, even when the number of people doing the tawaf runs into many thousands, because of the several marks that are specially placed for guidance, such as the different color of the flooring and the light on the wall opposite the Black Stone.

The tawaf is done in an anti-clockwise movement, with a full circle completed every time a person is back at the Black Stone, or parallel with it. Normally, a pilgrim does the tawaf three times for his pilgrimage, and once for the Umrah. Moreover, the tawaf may be offered as a voluntary act of worship at anytime. In other words, it is not necessary that a person should be on a pilgrimage or an Umrah in order to do the tawaf. When we enter any mosque, it is recommended that we offer a voluntary prayer of two rak’ahs as a greeting to the mosque. This is, however, not done when we enter the Sacred Mosque which houses the Kaabah. The greeting in this mosque is tawaf. Hence, it is important to know the requirements of the tawaf and what is recommended for it so that we may be able to do it properly.

1. The first requirement is purification, in the religious sense of the word. Thus, a person who intends to do the tawaf must make sure that he has removed any impurity from himself or the garments he is wearing, and he should perform the ablution, or wudu. Most schools of thought are of the opinion that without ablution, the tawaf is not valid. The Hanafi school of thought, however, considers purification a condition of tawaf. This means that a person who does the tawaf without having performed the ablution first is required to slaughter a sheep in compensation for violating this condition, but his tawaf is valid. A person who performs the tawaf when he is in the state of ceremonial impurity, or janabah, which results from ejaculation or sexual intercourse, or a woman who does so during her menstrual period, is required to slaughter a cow or a camel in compensation for this violation.

The tawaf is the only duty of the pilgrimage, which is not done by a woman in her period. Aishah, the Prophet’s wife, reports: “When I arrived in Makkah I was in the middle of my period. I did not do the tawaf around the Kasbah, nor the sa’ie between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah. I complained of this to God’s messenger, and he said to me: ‘Do as all pilgrims do, but do not walk around the Kaabah until you have regained your state of purity.’” (Related by Al-Bukhari).

2. Covering the awrah. The Prophet says: “The tawaf is a prayer, except that God has made it lawful for us to speak while doing it. He who talks, then, must only say what is good.” With such a comparison, all scholars are in agreement that the parts of the body, which must be covered during prayer, must also be covered during the tawaf. A man must cover himself from the waistline down to below his knees. A woman covers all her body with the exception of her face and hands. In support of this requirement, scholars also quote the authentic tradition of the Prophet when he sent Abu Bakr to conduct the pilgrimage in the year preceding the one when he himself did the pilgrimage. Abu Bakr carried out the Prophet’s order to announce to all pilgrims: “No idolater will be allowed to offer the pilgrimage after this year and no nude person will be allowed to do the tawaf.” (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

3. A further requirement is that the tawaf must be seven full circles. The omission of one step makes it invalid. If a person is in doubt as to how many times he went around the Kaabah, he acts on the basis of the lower number so that he is absolutely certain of completing seven times. If doubts do not arise in his mind until after he has finished the tawaf and left, then his tawaf is considered valid. He must walk in an anti-clockwise movement, so that the Kaabah is always to his left. If he does the tawaf in the opposite direction, his tawaf is not valid.

4. The tawaf must be done from outside the Kaabah. The semi-circular area known as Hijr Ismaeel is considered to be a part of the Kaabah. Hence, if anyone goes through it during his tawaf, his tawaf is not valid.

These are the main requirements of tawaf. Some schools of thought, notably the Maliki and the Hanbali, also require that the seven circles be consecutive. Only a short break is allowed between them, or a longer break made for a valid reason. The other two schools of thought consider this to be a Sunnah. All scholars, however, are in agreement that if congregational prayers are called when a person is in the middle of his tawaf, he should join the prayers and finish his tawaf after the prayer is over. This is definitely a valid reason for breaking the tawaf.

It is also important to be calm during the tawaf. As we have already said, the tawaf is an act of worship. Hence, our approach to it must be the same as to our obligatory prayers. With the great crowd doing the tawaf during the pilgrimage, it is always possible that tempers flare up. Everyone, however, must remember that he cannot enter into an argument with another person during an act of worship. If he is pushed, or someone trips on his foot, he should not retaliate in kind. It is always better to forgive. It is much more so during an act of worship. On the other hand, one must always be considerate to others. If people walking behind him push him, he must try to make the pushing end with him, and not to allow himself to push others. As he is engaged in his worship, praising God or praying Him for himself or his family or for other people, he must not lose sight of the fact that God rewards those who do not retaliate for other people’s mistakes. Let us always remember, then, that to be considerate to others, especially when the tawaf becomes such a hard task with the great number of people doing it during the pilgrimage season, is very important and will be amply rewarded by God.

Furthermore, it is important to remember, especially during the high season, that we should join the tawaf and leave when we finish in an easy, slow movement in order not to cause any inconvenience to fellow worshipers. Some people try to cut right across the path of tawaf when they have finished. This is both improper and dangerous, considering that the newcomers join in at the same point and that the whole movement slows down fro greeting the Black Stone for every new circle. It is far more advisable to continue moving with the rest of people easing ourselves out slowly and gradually, until we are outside the circle.
Speech Delivered on behalf of His excellency the vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr. Alhaji Mahmoudu Bawumia at the Hajj Conference on the 29th of July 2017 at Hajj Village Accra.
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficiant , the most Merciful.
All praise be to Allah the Lord of the Universe and all that is in it.

May his peace and blessings be upon prophet Mohammed and all those who followed him until the day of judgement.
It has always be my honor to serve Islam and humanity. As I received the invitation to participate in this hajj conference, I deemed it fit and a great honor in my capacity as the vice president of the republic and also a Muslim.

My physical absence doesnt means Im not here with you in spirit. I have had the privileged to set up the Hajj Committee with a four years mandate of organizing and managing hajj affairs in the republic of Ghana. My solemn pledge to all Muslims in the country is to use hajj as a medium for unity among the Muslims people devoid of politics, ethnicity and sect.
Islam and Muslims has gone through hard times ever since the holy demise of our Holy prophet Mohammed, a united Muslim front has always been the focus of me, and have decided to push forward an agenda, in which the outcome is the Zongo Ministry which will cater for affairs of Muslims communities in Ghana by providing basic life needs such as hygiene related facilities, good water, security and peace in out Muslims communities and access to education to bridge the gap of illiteracy in most populated Muslims Communities. The NPP government under Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo is willing to work with all Muslims chiefs and the National Chief Imam to formulate the project of Hajj a successful Hajj this year and continues Years a head. I know there are challenges, but with perseverance and commitment we shall all over come and have a successful hajj this year.
Many are of the view that Islamic unity Id a very hard one, very soon Im leading a highly powered Ghanaian government delegation to the Islamic Republic of Iran for the official investiture of Dr. Hassan Rouhani. Islamic Republic of Iran is known in the years for its strong stands for Islamic Unity, and my presence In Iran and as a Muslims and vice president of Ghana , I will discuss with my Muslims brothers and sisters in Iran to further set up an inter Islamic Unity council for International Affairs. We will work and coordinate with Iran in building a string ties which already exist between the Republic of Ghana and Islamic Republic of Iran for the betterment of all Muslims in Ghana.
Ghana has always gives its stands in international issues relating to Muslims and Islam.
I thanks the new management of Ghanas Hajj and all the organizers , especially the Cultural Consulate of Embassy of Iran in Ghana for giving birth to such a brilliant idea of Hajj Conference bringing all Muslims sects leaders and followers to discus Hajj as a tenet of Muslims Unity in the world.
I say to all pilgrims, may Allah accept their hajj. I wish and pray all your prayers for Ghana is accepted by Allah.

Hajj Mabrook

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