Emigrating to Allaah
One may look at Hajj as a physical-spiritual journey to Allaah, because in essence, a pilgrim parts with his loved ones, wealth and work and heads to the Sacred Places hoping for Allaah's reward and forgiveness. Hajj is also a way of commitment in which one demonstrates his/her determination to freeing one's self from wrong and bad, and to engaging afresh into a new life that is centered around the love of Allaah and obedience to Him. Indeed, Hajj, as one Muslim sage puts it, “...is a long journey; but one of returning, not of going. The pilgrim is not going to Makkah. He is returning to his source; Allaah is the Source of Everything.”
Another way of understanding this statement is possible if we realize that Hajj’s ultimate benefit and impact is felt in the returning part of the journey—the lightness that every pilgrim feels and the happiness that overtakes him/her at the moment of finishing all the rites and getting prepared to go back home. In that sense and for this reason, the scholars put much emphasis on what happens after Hajj and how a pilgrim handles his relationship with Allaah after it.
Muslims go to Hajj in response to Allaah's Call for them, through Prophet Ibraaheem (Abraham ) that they immigrate (physically and spiritually) to His House. Allaah Says (what means): “And proclaim to the people Hajj [the pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass.” [Quran 22: 27]
Answering Allaah's Call, Muslims emerge from every corner of the world, fleeing to Allaah, turning to Him and taking refuge in Him from disbelief and disobedience, thereby escaping His punishment—a concept that the Quran refers to as fleeing (evil as well as anything that takes one away from leading a pious life). Allaah Says (what means“So flee to Allaah. Indeed, I (the Messenger ) am to you from Him a clear warner.” ): [Quran 51: 50]
Unfortunately, the idea of "fleeing or separation from sin" deeply implied in Hajj rituals escapes the minds of many pilgrims. If a pilgrim really grasps the immigration concept implicit in the acts of Hajj, he will distance himself from disobedience. The Messenger of Allaah said: “…Indeed, the true immigrant is one who immigrates from (leave) sin.” [Ibn Hibbaan] Thus, missing out on this great concept of separation the Hajj implies prevents one from achieving the optimal benefits and possibilities embedded in this great act of worship. Pilgrims must keep that in mind.
Self-struggle creates motivation
Hajj motivates one to struggle in the Path of Allaah, bolsters his ability to see it through and creates willingness in one to take obedience of Allaah to the next level. While in Hajj, a Muslim endures, graciously, all the difficulties the trip to the Sacred Places involves to please his Lord; and since that entails a lot of patience and steadfastness, the Hajj was described by the Prophet as an act of Jihaad: “...The Jihaad of the old, the weak and women is Hajj and ‘Umrah." [An-Nasaa’i, Al-Bayhaqi and At-Tabaraani]
Moreover, Allaah guarantees full reward for the pilgrim just as He does for the one who fights in His Way. The Prophet said: “Three people are guaranteed full reward by Allaah: one who steps out of his home heading for the Mosque; one who goes out in an expedition to propagate or defend Allaah's Word; and one who goes for Hajj.” [Ahmad]
The purification (of the soul) one is to gain from this struggle with his/her self and this guarantee from the Lord of the Worlds are great motivations for Muslims to take Hajj seriously and expect a major enrichment in their relationship with Allaah upon returning from it.
The goal is unity
Muslims, from Aadam to the end of time, belong to a single brotherhood (Ummah). They are bound together by the concept of Tawheed (Monotheism). In Hajj, this concept of Tawheed-based solidarity is translated into deeds as Muslims from a wide range of backgrounds stand united in one place, worshipping one God, undivided by race, color, language or nationality. The Quran teaches in many verses that all human beings descended from a single ancestor, that none has an intrinsic right of superiority over another, whatever his race or his nation or his social standing. Also, this concept of unity and equality is highlighted in many Prophetic narrations like the one narrated by Jaabir who reported that the Prophet addressed his followers, on the second day of the Days of Tashreeq (the 11th, 12th, 13th days of the month of Thul-Hijjah), saying: "O people! Indeed, you have one Lord (Allaah) and one father (Aadam). No Arab is superior over a non-Arab, or a non-Arab over an Arab; and no white is superior over a non-white or a non-white over a white. Superiority is by righteousness and piety [alone]." Then the Prophet () asked: "Did I convey the message to you?" "Yes indeed O Messenger of Allaah," answered the mass. "Then let those who are present (i.e. listeners) convey my words to those who are not," concluded the Prophet .” [Ahmad and Bayhaqi]
We will definitely miss the gist of our Prophet's preaching about the oneness, equality, and brotherliness of all Muslims if we discriminate against one another; if, in our dealings with one another, allow ourselves to be swayed by considerations of ethnicity, social standing or national backgrounds; or if we cut ourselves off from the Ummah (Muslim Nation), become cocooned in the den of our personal concerns and wallow in stoicism and indifference when all sorts of sufferings, injustices, and aggressions are heaped on the heads of our Muslim brothers and sisters.
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