CELEBRATION OF UNITY
“And proclaim unto mankind the pilgrimage. They will come to you on food and on every lean camel; they will come from every deep ravine” (Suratul Hajj, 22/27)
‘O’ Allah Almighty here I am in thy presence’ Responding to this announcement children of Adam gather in Makkah during the last month of Islamic calendar from different horizons, taking off their diverse garments and putting on the same simple clothing, singing the same song of humbleness and submission, to attend the annual convention for exchanging ideas, celebrating their unity, glorifying the oneness of Allaah سبحانه وتعالى and emulating the example of His Khalil, Hazrat Ibrahim عليه السلام in every act and gesture.
The lesson of equality, brotherhood, discipline, self-control, humbleness, devotion and dedication lie in all the fundamental articles of Islaam. Like Salaah, Sawm and other tenets of faith, Hajj equates all Muslims regardless of their cast, colour, language, culture and status. The rulers and the ruled, the masters and the slaves, the rich and the poor, the white and the black and the Arabs and the non-Arabs all are the guests of the same Host; the Ruler of all rulers and the Master of all masters, bare footed wearing the white pieces of cloth. They move round and round the House of the Host like the floating population, reciting the same word of oneness, and they all sleep under the roof of open sky.
“Aek hi saf men khare hogaye Mahmood o Ayaz
Na koi banda raha Na koi banda nawaz”
Hajj is one of the five pillars of the magnificent structure, Islaam and is compulsory once in a lifetime for every sane, adult and free Muslim who has sufficient provision for his dependants for the duration of his absence as well as possesses all the requirements for travel, and is financially independent. Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala says, “And pilgrimage to the House is a duty to Allaah for mankind, for him who can a way thither. As for him who disbelieves, Lo! Allah is independent of all creatures.” (Suratul Imran: 3/97)
Pilgrimage is neither tourism nor a new form of worship. It has been the practice of all the prophets and messengers sent down before the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم even the pagans of Arab used to perform Hajj before the advent of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. This is a journey of purifying oneself and renewing the religious spirit. The sins are wiped out, the soul is purged and the pilgrim returns as if he were born anew. The Prophet of Islaam صلى الله عليه وسلم is reported as having said, “Whoever performs Hajj for Allaah’s pleasure and does not have sexual relations with his wife nor does he commit any evil or sin then he will return as if he were born anew”. (Bukhari, Kitabul Hajj)
But a single mistake may cause the wrath of Allaah Almighty and all the efforts will go in vain. Therefore, it is of the most importance to learn thoroughly the rulings and sound methods of performing Hajj. Advising companions on learning how to perform Hajj, the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “O people! Learn from me the way how to perform your Hajj rituals for I do not know if I will be able to make Hajj next year or not.” (Muslim, An-Nassaa’i, Abu Dawud, and Ahmad).