Dear Haji, Let’s Reflect on Why We Perform Hajj
SOON In-sha Allah you will embark on a journey that words cannot describe. Ordained by Allah thousands of years ago, from the time of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him), this journey will continue until the Last Day.
If there was one thing that forms the core purpose of this journey, it is realizing the magnificence and might of the One True Almighty God. You, along with an ocean of people, will proclaim loudly and bear witness to the uniqueness and oneness of Allah, Who has no partner. You, along with millions, are submitting yourself to the service of your Creator, and what could be better than that?
Two pieces of white cloth for the leader and for the servant, for the rich and for the poor, for the white and for the black, absolutely equal in appearance, but at different levels of piety in the sight of God. You all stand next to each other, but your hearts and deeds will take you to a different level in the sight of the King of all kings.
Remind yourself, O Haji, the greatness of your Lord Who you serve. Remind yourself that He is the Creator of everything that exists – the biggest and the tiniest. He is the Provider who feeds all of us – even those who are disobedient to Him. He answers our calls when we are in distress, the Most Merciful and the Most Compassionate.
Have you ever wondered, O Haji, that we live on His earth, we eat of His sustenance, we clothe ourselves with what He provided, and work through what He gave us, yet we dare to be disobedient to Him? How arrogant and ungrateful we are!
On top of all these blessings, O Haji, He did not leave us without guidance. He did not create us in a strange world and abandon us. Rather He sent guidance to us, to show us the right path, to differentiate between good and bad. He sent prophets and messengers calling people to the worship of Allah and to follow the guidance revealed to the prophets.
This is the purpose of life. Can there be anything nobler and better than obeying our Creator, the All-Wise? Remember O Haji, Satan is our open enemy whose sole purpose is to take mankind away from the path of Paradise to the path of Hell-fire. He has indeed misguided many into different paths and turned them away from the worship of the Creator to the worship of created beings or the worship of their own desires.
Remember O Haji that Allah did not send any prophet or messenger except with the message of La ilaha illAllah. O Haji, purify your worship for Allah alone and do not associate anyone with Him. Indeed the previous nations went astray and were destroyed when they raised the status of their prophets and pious people to the status of Allah, the Almighty. The example of Jesus (peace be upon him) is before us.
The real journey of life
Dear Haji, this journey should also remind you that life in this world is but temporary and that we all sooner or later have to return to Allah. He will judge us by our deeds. The life of this world is misleading. Remind yourself that it is the life of the Hereafter that's everlasting and permanent. Every soul will taste death. Millions came before us, but not a soul lived more than its appointed time and not a soul will live more than what it's destined to. Do good deeds, O Haji, and hope to meet Allah heavy with good deeds because ever closer we are to the Day of Judgment. Our prophet was not the first of prophets – he was the last of all prophets, and a sign of the Last Day.
Let the Hajj be an avenue of self-examination. Renew your allegiance to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace be upon him). O Haji, we are going through trials and tribulations. Our Islam, our faith, is being tested. We are being called upon to abandon our beliefs and our worship. An ever-changing immoral lifestyle and man-made laws are being promoted as an attractive replacement for the laws of our Creator. For sure, Islam – Allah's religion – will not be affected in the least, but our faith and our destiny could be affected if we do not hold on firm to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Allah says:
It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error. (Qur'an, 33:36)
Be pleased and submit to what Allah and His Messenger have said, for that is Islam, and Islam for a surety will be victorious, no matter what the enemies want. Allah has confirmed this:
They intend to put out the Light of Allah (i.e. the religion of Islam) with their mouths. But Allah will complete His Light even though the disbelievers hate (it). (Qur'an, 61:8)
Lastly O Haji, make lots of Du'a for yourself, for your relatives, and for the Muslim Ummah as a whole. Ask Allah to guide all Muslims to the straight path. When you, In-sha Allah, return, spend your time in seeking knowledge of Islam, practicing it, and calling people towards it, for indeed that is the path to success.