Hajj 2015: 5 Lessons to Learn from Hajj this Year
Every year, Muslims belonging to diverse ethnicities, nations and backgrounds, turn up at Makkah to participate in the all important Islamic event of Hajj in the month of Dhu-al-Hijjah. While performing pilgrimage, the pilgrims earnestly pursue certain religious rituals. However, a pilgrim must ensure that his/her Hajj does not merely remain an outward manifestation of rituals; rather by performing these rituals a Muslim must portray his/her repentance of the old ways of life coupled with a formidable determination to forsake them and lead a life in accordance with the injunctions laid down by Allah (SWT) in the Holy Quran. As a testament to this fact, according to a saying of our beloved Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him), Hajj provides an opportunity to a believer to start a new life by reflecting on the past and setting new goals of life.
1 – Submission to Allah
Once a pilgrim, puts on the Ihram and intends to commence Hajj, he/she enters the state of consecration. In this condition, the pilgrim ought to avoid all carnal and worldly practices except the thought of Allah (SWT). And when one recites “Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik”, it is the testimony to the fact that the Haji is at the service of Allah (SWT) with a heart full of humility.
2 – Peace and Harmony
Islam is a religion of peace and harmony and a great emphasis is laid on the rights of individuals. In the modern age, our societies have been adversely hit by the menace of terrorism as a lot of people lose their lives for nothing. However, decimating the root causes that give rise to terrorism, fundamentalism and extremism is profoundly essential. Hajj, this year, gives us another opportunity to find out for ourselves what injustices, wrongs and evils in our society are responsible for bolstering the scourge of terrorism and what measures can be taken to weed them out. The need of the hour is to figure out how the Islamic values of peace and harmony can be incorporated in our societies.
3 – Brotherhood and Fraternity
Social cohesion is a concept that is almost nonexistent in our society owing to the fissures, crevices and conflicts among our ranks. Instead of making any efforts to bridge the gaps and resolving the mutual conflicts among ourselves we have left no stone unturned in further adding salt to injury and further expanding those gaps. These conflicts may originate from the political or sectarian differences and end up creating unmanageable hostilities in the society. Hajj teaches us to get rid of our petty discriminations and differences and promote an air of fraternity and brotherhood among ourselves.
4 – Equality
All the pilgrims perform Hajj regardless of any caste, race, colour, gender, nationality etc. Hence, there is an atmosphere of equality as no one is rich, poor, taller or shorter. Everyone is equal in the eyes of our Mighty Creator (SWT). We ought to promote such equality in our political, social, cultural and economic arenas. Disparities of any kind are to be done away with if we are to lead our lives as faithful and subservient servants of Allah (SWT).
5 – Societal Transformation
Once a pilgrim returns after performing Hajj, personal life is not the only sphere which sees a radical transformation. The social and communal spheres of a pilgrim’s life are inextricably intertwined with his/her personal life and so they are also expected to face a massive shift. The message of Hajj is not limited to individuals performing Hajj; rather, it intends to broaden one’s spiritual, ethical and social aspects of life by promoting the unfathomably precious values of brotherhood, peace and equality in the society as a whole.
Hajj is not about performing outward rituals but it corresponds to a radical change in one’s spiritual as well as social conduct. Such transformation is only possible by believing in as well as practicing the universal principles of Islam which form an important part of the message of Hajj.