Jul 27 , 2023
Alhamdulillah I was blessed to have completed the fifth pillar of Islam Hajj. Its been almost 2 weeks since I returned but the feeling is just so difficult to sink in. The days at Makkah and Madinah were just so majestic that it took me time to disconnect from that spiritual empowering phase and get back to the worldly affairs. Just pray May Allah accept our Hajj and grant every Muslim the ability to do Hajj atleast once in their lifetime
But as fulfilled this important pillar of Islam. Here are some of my reflections or suggestions for those who would like to undertake this journey and those who have already done to introspect upon.
- My first impressions on seeing Kaabah were just so overwhelming that cannot be described in words. The sight of Kaabah is so beautiful that for few moments you are just stunned and lost in its magnificence. Tears kept rolling and lips just uttered all the duaas which I could recollect.
- On entering Kaabah we performed the first Umrah. But contrary to my expectations I felt the focus losing. The crowds around made me anxious. The first few rounds of tawaf I just could not concentrate on my ibaadah. But then later these crowds did not disturb me, rather I was happy with the huge numbers . Thinking How happy would have Prophet Muhammad PBUH been seeing the Ummah in masses
- In Hajj there are people of different nationalities, backgrounds ,classes, languages at one place . There are times the behavior of some may frustrate you. You may even think at times that you are better than them in terms of knowledge or manners. But here lies the main test. Remember that everyone who arrives on Hajj is not due to his wealth or will but because Allah swt invited them as a guest to this blessed city. So being a co-guest we should be patient and not look down upon others
- Though behavior of few people may irk you but overall the feeling at Hajj is of solidarity and community love . I have wonderful memories of sharing snacks with sisters of different nationalities . Sometimes we did not understand each other’s languages but gestures were enough
- Some people treat Hajj as a ritual . So they get too much involved in completing task rather than wholeheartedly performing Ibaadah. This is especially true for those doing multiple trips to Masjid Ayesha to do umrah and then missing their fard Salah in Haram or times even exhausting themselves so that they lose their khushu in Ibaadah. The reward for every Salah in Masjid e haram is 1 lakh. How can you miss it.
Firstly this concept of multiple Umrah in one journey was not the practice of Prophet Muhammad PBUH nor Sahabah or any incidents referencing it to Taabiun. Then people do Umrah in the names of every member of their family who is dead. Firstly there is a difference in opinion among scholars about whether the reward of Hajj ,umrah goes to a person who had never requested any of his family members to do it incase he dies.
In a hadith of Sahih Muslim its mentioned
“When a man dies, his good deeds come to an end, except three: Ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge, and a righteous child who will pray for him.”
And in one authentic chain of narration Prophet Muhammad PBUH was asked how can I honour my Dead parents ? Can I do hajj ,umrah on his behalf. He replied , “ It is permissible to do Hajj,umrah or sadaqah but it is better that you do Duaa for them. And do Hajj,umrah or charity for your ownselves.” It is because we are in need of hasanat more than them. So if this was for parents then what about those doing multiple umrah in the name of each person dead in the family?
- On the Day of Arafat you have to combine both Zuhr and Asr salah . One of the wisdom behind it that one can spend their day doing Dua. Duaa is one of the most important ibaadah of that day . Yet people may just ask Dua for few minutes then start reading quran or Dhikr. Carry a Dua book for you. Write all Duas you would want to read for that day in a diary in case you cannot recollect. Even ask the minutest need you remember. Its your day to get your prayers answered. Make best use of this opportunity
- Be properly educated before going to Hajj. Not only on the rites of Hajj but also common fiqh questions. People have knowledge but are rarely informed about fiqh rulings when some deviations occur. For eg reaching late after midnight in Muzdalfah, stoning jamarat after sunset etc. Many a times you may have to deviate from the norm due to crowds ,local authority restrictions. So be well read ,trust your tour Muallim ,or be connected to Some learned scholar back home whom you can inquire about these issues. But do not get influenced by what your friends or influencers suggest . Someone who is less informed may deviate an entire group into doing something incorrect.
- Apart from regular items mentioned for Hajj on every portal, One can even carry some practical accessories like Hand fans, Spray mist bottles ,door hooks ,vit c tabs etc . These may not be typically listed in hajj list. But the ones who have gone to Hajj can guide you on this.Inshaa Allah I will try to make a list for the next year as Hajj again will come in hot summers .
- In our group we had some old individuals, pregnant ladies, sick individuals but Alhamdulillah Allah Swt made Hajj journey easy for all. It was remarkable to see that they were able to do so much walking and exertion which would be impossible for them to do in normal days . This is certainly one of the miracles of Hajj
- Alhamdulillah I met many people during Hajj, build new bonds especially with those in my group. They were really helpful and warm. Always on forefront to help each other . Connecting with different people from different backgrounds helped change my perspective on life.
Living ,dining with complete strangers and then building relations with them is one striking aspects of hajj . It demonstrates the community feeling of which we are constantly reminded because most of our Ibaadah is in Jamaah whether its our five times prayer,Hajj ,Umrah ,eid prayers ,sacrifice etc. Allah swt has ordained majority of Ibaadah in groups so we may increase more in our eeman.
Alhamdulillah Hajj has been a life changing journey for me . It has matured me both spiritually as well as in daily affairs of life. May Allah swt accept it and give every Muslim reading this an opportunity to do Hajj atleast once in our lifetime. Aameen ya rabb.
Written by Aaliyah Khan ( CEO, The Islamic kidstore)