Hajj - a gift
Did we appreciate it or abuse it?
Preparations were made in earnest months in advance, and not a single thing was overlooked. However it already seems like a dream. Hajj is over and we are back home, settled into our daily activities. What did we prepare for and what did we expect? What did we find and what did we bring back?
The Absolute Oneness, the Majesty and Greatness of Allah reflected in Makkah Mukarramah and the Ka'bah could not have left a single heart untouched. So much so that every soul would have wished to bow down in total submission and devotion to the Creator of the Ka'bah. Watching people making tawaf of it, as if making circuits of the house of the beloved, it appeared as if each and every one had come here in search of the Only One who had the power to forgive them and to envelope them into the arms of His Mercy. Hands outstretched, eyes wet with tears, hearts full of fear, awe and hope; young and old, male and female, black and white, each one with nowhere to go to but the door of their Creator and Sustainer, who Himself had invited them. Where He was the Host and they were the guests, despite lives led in total disobedience to His commands and hearts full of evil and filth.
On to Mina and the plains of Arafat where under the hot sun every heart must have bled with remorse and regret. Hearts must surely have softened as tears were shed and His Forgiveness sought, and then the beautiful, cool sunset in Arafat bringing with it renewed hope. On to spending the night in quiet reflection and du'a in Muzdalifah; culminating in pelting the Jamarat the next day. Pebbles thrown with much enthusiasm as if they were being thrown at the Shaytaan himself. Followed by Qurbani and Halaq, it seemed that in no time at all, Hajj was over and Allah had made it so easy every step of the way. In fact those who know, say in Urdu,
These feet do not lift (by themselves) but are lifted.
Hajj is over but the memories are alive. However, recalling each step, should we not ponder on the state of our hearts at the time, and if in fact Hajj had truly affected us?
Did we indeed mean it when we declared "Labbayk" "I am present O Allah, present to Your Commands O Allah"? And at every "Laa shareeka lak" did we mean "I shall worship only You O Allah, and not my inner self anymore O Allah"?
Did we arrive home from Makkah with the pious seeds of Tawheed and the Greatness and Majesty of Allah firmly planted in our hearts or did we arrive back only with our suitcases filled with cheap items made in China and Hong Kong?
Did we bring back with us the unity and love felt during Hajj or do we continue with backbiting and hating our own Muslim brethren?
Did we drive away the Shaytaan within us for the Pleasure of Allah when we pelted the Jamarat, and did we make a clean cut with the sinful past as the cut was made on our animals of sacrifice?
From the serene beauty of Madeenah Munawwarah did we bring back the love of Allah's most beloved Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam and his sunnah as gifts for our families and friends or did we discard even the sunnah looks so beloved to Allah and adopt the looks of the enemies on our arrival home?
From our enthusiastic Ziyarah of Madeenah Munawwarah, did we bring back the haya and hijab of the Ummahatul Mu'mineen, the simplicity of the Sahabah and their adoration for Allah and His Rasool sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam, and from visiting his beloved uncle Hamzah, did our hearts fill with the desire to die like him?
To cut it short, we were gifted with Hajj and Ziyarah. We were guests of Allah the Almighty. Did we appreciate these gifts or did we abuse them?
May Allah, in His infinite Mercy accept our Hajj and Ziyarah and give us the tawfeeq to make sincere tawbah and bring changes in our lives. May all our actions become as beloved and accepted to Allah as those of Ibraheem and Hajrah. Aameen.
from "Riyadhul Jannah" monthly publication by Islamic Da'wah Academy