Once, on viewing the Mataaf from one of the upper levels of Masjidul Haraam, the scene of thousands of people engaged in Tawaaf, brought to my mind the following analogy:
The sight of those thousands of people moving around the Baitullah reminded me of the wash cycles of the washing machine.
And indeed, we find that parallels can be drawn between the Tawaaf and the work of the washing machine.
The purpose of the washing machine is to wash our clothes clean. …We place dirty clothes into the drum of the machine and we add the detergent, bleach, softner. With a press of the Start button, the drum starts to spin, water pours in and the machine does its work of extracting the dirt, repeatedly, until the final rinse.
Once the drum stops, the clothes are taken out, hung up to dry, and when dry, they are ironed – with the end result being well pressed, crease-free, clean clothing.
Tawaaf has some resemblance to the purpose and work of the washing machine; except that we are not washing dirty clothes; rather we are washing our hearts – our spiritual hearts.
Like dirty clothes are placed into the washing machine, we place our dirty hearts into the Tawaaf – hearts which are stained with all kinds of sins, including the ‘tough’ stains of major sins. …What is not found in this heart? So much has soiled and spoilt our hearts : Pride, Jealousy, Malice, Vanity, Hubbe Dunya, Hubbe Jah and the deep, dirty stains of lustful gazes, backbiting, and other such evils have blotted our hearts, have smeared and blackened them.
Before washing badly stained clothing, a stain remover is used. Accordingly, the stain remover of regret and remorse over our sins, and the sincere intention that what is past being really past, is applied to our hearts.
The Hajre Aswad can be likened to the ‘START’ button. The intention of Tawaaf and the raising of the hands with ‘Bismillah Allahu Akbar wa-lillahil Hamd’, signify the commencement of the Tawaaf. Simultaneously the washing of the heart commences. The detergents of Istighfaar, Durood Shareef, and Zikrullah, then contribute to the cleansing of the heart.
Just as water gushes into the drum, Allah Ta’ala’s Tajalli, His Special Mercy and Noor, which is cascading onto the Baitullah, drench those who are in Tawaaf. These are the ones who are the first to benefit and they benefit more than all others. Their hearts too are being soaked with this Noor, similar to how the dirty clothes become soaked with water.
The detergent of sincere Istighfaar and Taubah wash the heart. …The amount of detergent a person needs for washing his clothes, depends on the size of the load. So if our hearts are heavily loaded with sins, then naturally, the demand will be of plenty of Taubah and Istighfaar.
If we want our hearts to be white, the bleach of Zikrullah is added to the Tawaaf, just as bleach is used when a person wants his white clothes to be as white as possible.
If we want our hearts to be soft, then the softner of Durood Shareef is also released into the washing of our hearts.
Each round of Baitullah is similar to the wash and rinses that the dirty clothing go through for a good, clean wash. Round and round, each cycle is completed with Istighfaar and Taubah, Durood Shareef, Dua and Zikrullah. Together with that Tajalli, the dirt of the heart is being extracted, until the final rinse and spin – the 7th round. Now the heart is clean and purified.
…If we entered the Tawaaf with full concentration on Allah Ta’ala, and complete focus of the great privilege of Tawaaf of Baitullah – which is in reality Tawaaf of Rabbul-Bait, then we will experience that beautiful Noor and that Tajalli.
Naturally, for the full benefit of Tawaaf, the gaze has to be controlled. If a person has ‘khauf-e-Khuda’ and he has ‘Azmat’ of Baitullah, he will not raise his glance towards strange women; he will not cast an evil gaze – in the Tawaaf and out of Tawaaf. …If during Tawaaf, the person is engaging in lustful gazes and other sins, there will be just an accumulation of darkness and dirt.
Once the heart is washed, it is taken out of the Tawaaf – clean and bright and white. After completion of the 2 Rakaats of Waajibut Tawaaf, the person proceeds to the Multazam, where he places his chest against the wall. That pressing of his chest, is akin to pressing and ironing the “creases” of his heart; similar to how clothes are ironed, making them ‘crease-free’.
The tears shed at the Multazam are like droplets of sweet musk which now fragrance that heart. SubhanAllah, what a sparkling heart, emitting the sweetest of scents… Whilst we will sense it – Insha-Allah - we will have to thereafter look after this cleanliness and this sparkle.
We have to make sure that we fulfill the rights of that Taubah, by making amends on our shortcomings in Huqooqullah (the rights of Allah Ta’ala) and Huqooqul Ibaad (the rights of the servants of Allah Ta’ala). Whatever is outstanding of Salaah, Zakaah, fasts, will have to be made up for, and whatever is due to people will have to be returned to them, or forgiveness secured from them.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us all the Taufeeq of making such Tawaafs, which only increase our hearts in purity and whiteness, which increase that Qurb (proximity) to the Owner of the House.