Narrated Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu):
I saw that Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) used to ride on his Mount at Dhul Hulaifa and used to start saying, “Labbaik” when the Mount stood upright.
Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu):
that Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) started saying, “Labbaik” from Dhul-Hulaifa when his Mount stood upright carrying him.
Hajj is the symbol of Tawheed (the Oneness of Allaah) from the first moment the pilgrim enters ihraam. Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah said, describing the Hajj of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Then he srated to say the words of Tawheed, ‘“Labbayka Allaahumma labbayk, labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk. Inna al-hamd wa’l-ni’mata laka wa’l-mulk, laa shareeka lak (Here I am, O Allaah, here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and all sovereignty, You have no partner).’” Narrated by Muslim.
This trains the soul to acknowledge the Oneness of Allaah and to be sincere towards Him.
The pilgrim starts his Hajj with Tawheed, and continues to recite the Talbiyah with its words of Tawheed, and he moves from one action to the next with Tawheed.
The Talbiyah has a number of meanings, such as:
- “Labbayka Allaahumma labbayk (Here I am, O Allaah, here I am)” is one response after another, which is repeated to show that the response is lasting and ongoing.
- “Labbayka Allaahumma labbayk (Here I am, O Allaah, here I am)” means, I submit and submit again, i.e., ongoing submission.
- It may mean staying in one place (labba bi’l-makaan) and clinging to it, which means, I am persisting in obeying You, thus emphasizing the meaning of continuous servitude to Allaah.
- One of the meanings of the Talbiyah is confirming love of Allaah. There is an Arabic phrase imra’ah labbah (a loving woman) which refers to a woman who loves her child. One only says “Labbayk (Here I am at your service)” to a person whom one loves and respects.
- It implies sincerity, as in the phrase lubb al-shay’ which means the essence of a thing, and lubb al-rajul which means a man’s mind and heart.
- It implies drawing close, as in the word ilbaab, which means drawing close, so it emphasizes the meaning of seeking to draw closer and closer to Allaah.
- It is a symbol of the Tawheed of the religion of Ibraaheem, which is the spirit and aim of Hajj, indeed the spirit and aim of all the acts of worship. Hence the Talbiyah is the key to this act of worship that the pilgrim is embarking on.
The muhrim (person who has entered ihraam) should recite the Talbiyah a great deal, especially when circumstances and times change, such as when going up to a high place or going down to a low place, or when night or day begin. After that he should ask Allaah for His good pleasure and for Paradise, and seek refuge in His Mercy from the Fire.