Implications Of The Hajj Pilgrimage On Our Daily Lives
Hajj (pilgrimage): The journey begins with the intention and cleansing of the body. After that, the ihram (two pieces of cloth without any stitching or emblems on them) is worn. However, a woman must cover her awrah, which is the intimate part of the body, as per the Quran. Additional garments are required. The pilgrims proclaim the Talbiyah as they begin their journey. Here I am at Thy service, and Thou hast not partners. Thine alone, All Praise and All Bounty are Thine and Thine alone, The Sovereignty. “Thou hast no companions.”
The rituals and acts of the Hajj pilgrimage
The mandatory rituals of Hajj begin on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar. To start the Hajj, one must arrive at any point within Makkah Al-Mukarramah’s plain of Arafah before sunset. Even if only for a moment standing in Arafah before sunset is the start of Hajj. After sunset, the next part of the journey is the journey towards Muzdalifah. The night must be spent at least one third under the open skies at Muzdalifah. The pilgrim then chooses to continue the journey to Mina or Al-Masjid-al-Haram. If they choose to first go to Mina, they will have to continue their journey by seven times tawaf around the Ka’ba (also known as the House of Allah), which is the first Masjid built on earth by Prophet Ibrahim. After completing tawaf, pilgrims will continue their journey by marching seven more times between Safa-al-Haram (two mountains close to the Ka’ba) in a ritual called Sa’ee. Throwing stones at the jamarat, three pillars believed to hold Satan, is part of the entire journey. These are just a few of the many requirements for the journey.
Each ritual in Hajj is a reminder to Muslims of the importance of their iman (faith in Allah) and how they should act. As it is similar in appearance to the shroud which will be given to us after death, the ihram reminds of our Lord (the Creator). Standing on Arafah is a reminder to Allah that He forgave Prophet Adam and Hawa and that this is where humanity began their journey. Sa’ee is the memory of the moment when Hajar, second wife to Prophet Ibrahim, agreed to live in the desert with her child without food or shelter. This was according to Allah’s command. The minuscule existence that a human being can exist in the universe is reflected in spending a night under the stars in Muzdalifah’s desert. Jamarat is a reminder of Prophet Ibrahim’s encounter with Satan. He threw stones to remove its influence, so that Allah can be obeyed. Prophet Ibrahim intended to sacrifice his son, Qurbani, for Allah’s sake.
Understanding the journey
The Hajj journey reminds us that Allah is the Creator of all things. This journey reminds us that Allah is the Creator all things, including the earth and heavens. Only Him is worthy of worship and obedience, and all who return to Him will be rewarded. As a witness to His surrender at the start of Hajj, a pilgrim says that He is the Talbiyah.
A pilgrim who is performing Hajj seems to believe that Allah, the Most Merciful and the Most Kind will forgive him of all his sins and grant Him blessings for success in the hereafter. If they are allowed to perform Hajj, those who have yet to do so have similar faith in Allah to be granted His forgiveness and blessings. Hajj is a symbol of purification that will lead to success in the hereafter. Every pilgrim works tirelessly to make sure they complete the pilgrimage without making any mistakes. You can correct any unintentional error by offering different forms kaffarah (penalty).
The Hajj pilgrimage is a way to make our lives more meaningful.
Does the pilgrim’s faith and devotion during the Hajj reflect in the daily Muslim life? To put it another way, how much does a pilgrim recall the Hajj to Arafah and Muzdalifah as well as Mina, Tawaf, Sa’ee, and throwing stones at Jamarat in their daily lives? It is obvious that no matter how much we promise and put in so much effort, we will all make mistakes in our daily lives. Many of us may not be able to perform Hajj until we return to the Lord. This makes it necessary to observe the faith and devotion that Muslims show while performing Hajj.
Let us compare our faith in daily life to our faith during Hajj. Let us illustrate an important Hajj ritual. Sa’ee recalls the submission of Prophet Ibrahim and his second wife Hajar to Allah [Al Quran, 14:37]. Both Nabi Ibrahim (human level) and Hajar would see it as absurd to seek shelter and food in the middle of the desert. This calculated truth, or “horizontal truth”) would lead them to believe that the mother would die in the desert. Their submission was guided by their belief in the oneness Allah, who creates all things out of nothing, and He alone who controls everything on Earth, in the heavens, and everything in between. [Al Quran, 39:62]. Their faith in Allah’s oneness eventually proved to be the horizontal truth, and the possibility of dying in the desert.
The first step in the journey of life for a Muslim is to accept and declare the shahada (testimony that bears witness). At different times, Allah sent different Nabi and Rasul (messenger) for different ummah (nation, race, or tribe). They all called their respective ummah (tribe) towards Allah’s tawhid [Al Quran, 51.56]. Every prophet called for the same testimony that tawhid “there is no God but Allah” to their people. Allah sent a Nabi and Rasul to remind a tribe or race that they should not deviate from the correct path.
Humanity must be reminded over and over again of the truth in order to live a life that is right. This is the “ultimate truth” for humanity. This is true for Muslims today. A Muslim must today lead the way to the ultimate truth. Tawhid, i.e. the Oneness of Allah, is true in all aspects of the universe, including human life. It reveals that Allah is the sole Creator of all things in the heavens, earth and everything else.
Prophet Muhammad taught his Ummah that Allah is the only god, just as other Nabi’s and Rasul taught their Ummah. The people of his day accepted Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) as the last Messenger from Allah. Since then, those who have accepted the ultimate truth have been guided along the right path in life, while those who deny it remain lost [Al Quran, 48:29]. Acceptance of the ultimate truth is a prerequisite to becoming a Muslim. Allah asked humanity to become Muslims before their deaths [Al Quran, 3:102]. A Muslim is a Mu’min (believer), who accepts and proclaims the ultimate truth and acts accordingly. The Quran contains more than 80 verses that instruct the Mu’min to live their lives accordingly. A Muslim or Mu’min may be asked to observe Salat five times daily, fast, and perform Hajj (if possible) as well as avoid forbidden things.
However, not all Mu’min are able to follow all the commands of Allah in their lifetime. Different Mu’min may appear to be on different paths, but they are all heading in the same direction, i.e. towards the ultimate truth. The Mu’min can then (aim to become) a successful Mu’min by performing their obligations with perfection (Al Quran, 23:1-10). A successful Mu’min is one that not only sets salat, but also offers salat with full solemnity, submissiveness, and turns away from Al-Laghw. A successful Mu’min must obey the commands given to humanity (in general) and to Muslims. The Mu’min’s level of obedience to these obligations reflects their faith and devotion to the ultimate truth.
How an individual acts is determined by what they believe and what they consider truth. What we believe in and how we interpret it as truth guide us to build our faith. Faith allows us to evaluate an event with a certain orientation. That observation leads to our perception, which eventually leads to our ability to re/act. Faith is the beginning of a journey that takes us from observation to perception to finally to re/act. On the way to the ultimate truth, one can determine what is right and wrong, good or bad, useful, useless, beneficial or harmful.