Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
SubhanAllah Alhamdulilllah Wala illah illah Allahu Akbar
I was fortunate enough to be able to go on Hajj this year, alhamdulillah, and wanted to share some short reflections on this beautiful experience. I hope that Allah will give you all the tawfique (success) to be able to complete your pilgrimage soon and that some of these experiences may increase the longing in your hearts to undertake this journey and reconnect with our Creator inshaAllah.
An invitation from Allah
SubhanaAllah not everybody is fortunate enough to go to Hajj so it is truly special and a blessed feeling to be chosen to go. Allah is personally inviting YOU to His House, giving YOU an opportunity to cry before him and be purified. Out of millions of Servants that He could have picked, if you are chosen, know that you have been favoured. How merciful is our Creator that He loves His servants so much He gives them the means to undertake a journey of their heart and their souls. An opportunity to face trials and hardships on a journey of return to Him. A journey of tests and rewards fi sabilillah (for the sake of God).
Every step taken towards the Mosque is charity, so subhanAllah how much charity is accumulated from the Hajji from distant lands who undertakes a journey solely to perform Hajj and visit the Sacred Mosque and House of Allah, in a blessed state of Ihram.
“And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to you on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways. That they may witness the benefits (provided) for them, and celebrate the name of Allah, throughout the Days appointed”
(Surah Hajj 27 – 28)
Allahu Akbar how Generous our Creator is!
Signs for those who reflect
Throughout this Journey you become increasingly grateful for having the opportunity to increase your Taqwa (God-consciousness). This in itself is a blessing from Allah, know that if you are able to remember Allah then surely Allah has remembered you because He has given you the means to remember Him. Alhamdulillah the smallest things remind you of Allah and there are so many signs for those who reflect.
If you pay careful attention to the verses in the Quran speaking of Hajj, you will find that verse after verse concludes with a commandment of being conscious of Allah’s presence, or a reminder of Allah’s bounteous favor upon us, or a link between Hajj and the final day.
“You see the earth barren and lifeless, but when we pour down rain on it, it is stirred to life, it swells, and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth in pairs. This is so because Allah is the Reality: it is He who gives life to the dead and it is He Who has Power over all things” (Surah Hajj 22:5 – 6)
As you travel through Makkah and you see vast desert/ rocky terrain with little greenery and you spend the night in Muzdalifah on the ground opposite mountains and near barren lands this Ayah’s (verse) meaning becomes more apparent and you truly are able to understand what a blessing rain and beautiful growth is. Allahu Akbar:
“See you not that to Allah bow down in worship all things that are in the heavens and the earth – the sun, the moon, the stars: the hills, the trees, the animals: and a great number among mankind?” (Surah Hajj 22: 18)
On the way to Mina we passed many mountains and hills and subhanaAllah it seemed like every large rock on the mountain was shaped and placed as if it was doing sujood towards the Kaba’ah! Even the Hills themselves looked like they were bowing in worship. It was truly a remarkable sight and an inspirational moment.
When the Adhaan (call to prayer) would go in the Sacred Mosque, the birds would flock towards the Kabaah and peacefully fly and tweet making their own Tawaaf around the Kabaah. The way they would fly so peacefully around Allah’s House it was clear that there were bowing in worship and showing gratitude towards Allah.
“Do they not see the birds above them, spreading out their wings and folding them in None upholds them except the Most Gracious. (67:19)
The Prophet (pbuh) said:
“If you had all relied on Allah (SWT) as you should rely on Him, then He would have provided for you as He provides for the birds, who wake up hungry in the morning and return with full stomachs at dusk.” [At-Tirmidhi]
I pray Allah gives us the opportunity to experience the same peace that the birds must be feeling as they make Tawaf around the Kabaah inshaAllah.
Love for our Prophets (as) and an understanding of their trials
Lastly a really powerful reminder came whenever we would walk anywhere during Hajj. Everywhere you looked you would see people, in a state of Ihram all there for the same purpose. Millions of other Muslims all on a path to Allah inshaAllah. The heat and the crowds are truly overwhelming it made me think about the Day of Resurrection and how we will all be resurrected and assembled and held to account together.
What state and condition will we be on that day? Will we be amongst those who are fortunate enough to be part of our beloved Messenger Muhammad’s (saw) Ummah? Will we be walking towards our fate with faces beaming with light in anticipation of a bounteous (I changed ‘just’ because the reward is more than we deserve) reward? Or with our faces downcast petrified of the Punishment Allah has promised the evildoers?
In the modern day Hajj of air conditioned coaches, heat and rain protected tents and comfortable airports we often forget what trials our Prophets (pbut) went through to obey their Lord. When you are on Hajj walking in the footsteps of our Prophets (as), the ability to understand some of their trials and to experience even a fraction of what they might have experienced softens your heart. May Allah give us the tawfique to remember their hardships, increase our love of them in our hearts and help us to follow their example inshaAllah.
Allah concludes in Surah Hajj by saying
“O you who believe! Bow down, prostrate yourselves, and adore your Lord: and do good: that you may prosper. And strive in His cause as you ought to strive, (with sincerity and under discipline). He has chosen you, and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion: it is the cult of your father Abraham. It is He who has named you Muslims, both before and in this (Revelation): that the Messenger may be a witness for you, and you be witnesses for manking! So establish regular prayer, give regular charity, and hold fast to Allah! He is your Protector – the Best to protect and Best to help” (Surah Hajj 77 – 78)
I pray we are able to follow this Ayah.
Anything good I have said is from Allah, and any shortcomings are from my own Nafs (self).