How does Hajj change one’s life?
LIFE AFTER HAJ
For all those who perform the duty with a clean heart Allah forgives all their mistakes. And there are some eternal lessons to learn, writes Dr. Faiz Fazili.
APPROXIMATELY two and a half million pilgrims from all corners of the world,. performed the series of rituals of Hajj amidst all security and comfort. Thanks to Allah the Almighty and, administrators of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who deserve all praises and our appreciation for their great efforts to make Hajj pilgrimage safe –No stampedes, No major accidents reported till now. Contrary to the hostile media speculations before Hajj, no major outbreaks of swine flu for hajis reported till now. Excellent facilities provided at all hilly and holy places like Mina, Arafat, Muzdalfah and particularly jamarat –this shows Kingdoms resolve in this direction. Providing fresh water for two and half million people is not an easy task which sometimes is required by an individual three, four or even five times a day in places without water bodies, but shows a great determination on the part of Saudi authorities to provide pilgrims all the basic necessary amenities. This year”s Hajj coincided with extraordinary health circumstances due to the spread of the H1N1 - A (swine flu)outbreak all over the world). Despite that, Allah’s care and the Kingdom’s excellent preventive measures to face the situation reduced the number of those who contracted the disease to negligible ( less than even 100 out of two and half million- media sources) speaks itself about the extra ordinary preventive measures taken by Ministry of Health, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in this direction.
Under such circumstances, how fortunate are these souls who are blessed with the following words from Prophet(SAW): “Whoever performs Hajj for the Pleasure of Allah and therein utters no word of evil, nor commits any evil deed, shall return from it (free from sin) as the day on which his mother gave birth to him”………… “Verily there shall be no reward for a Mabroor(accepted) Hajj except Jannah.” (Bukhaari, Muslim). Sins are washed and faults are redressed for those who ask Allah for forgiveness and offer sincere repentance for their wrong doings in the past, this is the promise from Allah to those who sincerely ask for it. Hajj is a preparation for our mission of Islam because the pilgrim starts his or her Hajj with repeating the slogan of “labayk,” which means “I am here to listen and obey.” So the Hajj training is supposed to train us to carry this mission of Islam when we are back. unfortunately many of us have witnessed actions and celebrations after Hajj which are in total contradiction to the philosophy of HAJJ.
Religious scholars throughout the world have cautioned these Hajj returnees against these practices. It is hoped that all the pilgrims were sincere in their intentions and had travelled great distances only to secure the Pleasure of Allah by fulfilling the obligation laid down upon them. Nevertheless, it is worth drawing the attention of the pilgrims towards certain points that are necessary and of utmost importance to observe and for which many pilgrims are seen neglectful of their significance. Firstly the sincerity of intention and purpose should remain even after the performance of Hajj. There should be no pomp or show. Instead of engaging in celebrations of extravagance, those whom Allah has favored to perform Hajj and `Umrah, should be thankful to Allah (glorified and exalted be He) Who has chosen them from among His servants to perform these acts of worship, and they should implore Almighty Allah to accept their good deed. One should not wish to be called or recognized as a Haji, which instead of being a mark of piety unfortunately has been reduced to status symbol .The hadith that explains that the sign of a ‘Mabroor Hajj, or an accepted Hajj, is that upon one’s return, his life changes from worst to good. the sign of an accepted Hajj —a Hajj mabroor—that a person after Hajj becomes more caring about the life Hereafter and less interested in the pleasures of this life. He becomes totally punctual in fulfilling the commands of Allah. “Hajj, as the Prophet (saw) said in the hadith, purifies sins and makes a person like a newborn and thus closer to Allah.
It is therefore important for Hajjis to try their best to preserve this pure state as best they can. Eminent religious scholar Sheikh Ahmad Kutty recommends the following du`aa’ (supplication):Allaahumma yaa muqalliba al-quloobi thabbit qalbee `alaa ta’atika. (O Allah! You are the twister of hearts! Make my heart firm on obedience to You!).”
The new Hajji should be very keen to avoid evil and shameful deeds especially after Allah has obliterated them and forgave all his sins, as a reward of performing Hajj. This is based on the hadith in which the Prophet (saw) said, “The reward of Hajj Mabrur (the one accepted by Allah) is nothing but Paradise.” He also said,”(The performance of) `Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous one.”There are many acts of Hajj whose significance man cannot conceive by his limited intellectual powers. However, a Muslim accepts these acts and fulfils them out of his obedience and surrender to Almighty Allah.
All these endless questions may intrigue one’s mind, but the clear fact is that their answers are beyond man’s limited faculty, and only what he is required to say is: I hear and obey Your Command, O Allah! Yours is to order and mine is to obey.Therefore, it behooves every Hajji to forward due gratitude to Allah for being chosen to perform those acts of worship and, at the same time, to beseech Him for acceptance. The advice for such a person, upon returning home, to be conscious of Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) when performing all what Allah has obligated him to do of the other worships such as Salah (Prayers), Zakah, Fasting, dutifulness to his parents, visiting kith and kin, being charitable and benevolent to Allah’s creatures, experiencing the etiquettes of Islam, taking the morals of the Qur’an as a model and the like of what the Muslim should do.
Hajj is considered an honor and a blessing, the more it entails responsibility on which man will be asked concerning on the Day of Judgment in case he misbehaves after returning from Hajj. Almighty Allah says, (Lo! Allah enjoineth justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbiddeth lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorteth you in order that ye may take heed. Fulfill the covenant of Allah when ye have covenanted, and break not your oaths after the asseveration of them, and after ye have made Allah surety over you. Lo! Allah knoweth what ye do.) (An-Nahl: 90-91).
The epitome of this is that this worship (Hajj) is obligated once in lifetime. No doubt, Hajj is a golden opportunity to have one’s sins forgiven, one’s soul refined, and one’s heart filled with peace. So, the Haj pilgrim will make use of this for the rest of his life, reminiscing about the sacred places and all rituals (of Hajj), for that will strengthen his faith and help him to obey Allah, and attract others towards this great religion by bringing change in their life. I hope those who have gone to Hajj learnt good lessons from this journey, and apply all these in daily life and fulfill the responsibility towards the other muslim brethern and society.
The one who performs Hajj is supposed to be a role model for others after returning therefore, it is essential that the pilgrim is watchful over his actions and should try his utmost to instil in himself good traits and refrain from all types of evil. We also urge the pilgrims, after they return from the Sacred Land, to keep their minds and souls attached to Allah, remembering Him constantly because Almighty Allah says, “And when ye have completed your devotions, then remember Allah as you remember your fathers or with a more lively remembrance…” (Al-Baqarah: 200). The character of Haji should itself provoke people interacting with them instead of “Haji word” prefixed with the name , and stimulate us the non- pilgrims of this year to fulfil this duty next year. Aameen
Lastupdate on : Thu, 24 Dec 2009 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 24 Dec 2009 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 Dec 2009 00:00:00 IST
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