Hajj – A Soulful Journey
Every person belongs to a particular faith and belief. With more than almost hundreds of faiths (counting only the existing ones) it’s hard to say which faith is right or not. But one thing that you can see common among all is that they all believe in God and goodness in the world.
Each community is representative of their faith, and that’s how Hajj is a representation of one of the main five pillars of Islam.
According to popular belief (what you may have heard), Hajj is obligatory on every Muslim. True, but with that duty comes terms and conditions as well. The person should be capable enough, physically and financially, to perform Hajj. Muslims usually buy the Hajj package via travel agencies for economical means of traveling covering ground transfers, hotel accommodations, food, and safety.
But what is Hajj?
Those who are unfamiliar with the term Hajj, it’s the last pillar of Islam, resonating Muslims to go to Mecca on a pilgrimage (holy journey) and perform constituent rituals mostly the following or sunnah of beloved Prophet (P.B.U.H).
As a man, you can perform solo hajj, but for a female, it’s compulsory to perform Umrah or Hajj with a Mahram (a person eligible to travel within Islamic constraints, could be her brother, father or husband. In absence of any of these role figures, a group Hajj can be performed as well.
Hajj consists of clusters of rituals, where you move from one place to another, offer prayers and follow the Sunnah, a devoting act to God. Muslims from every corner of the world, gather at Kaaba every year during the month of Zil-Haj (the last month of Islamic lunar calendar) and millions of Muslims offer prayers and sacrifices an animal as a part of the ritual on the Eid Festival (after Hajj).
What to expect from Hajj?
Hajj is not only a religious obligation; it is more beyond just your average journey. It’s the missing ingredient your soul needs to revive itself from the worldly sins and to repair the damage done so far to it. People seek refuge in spiritual journeys to be closer to their Creator and for purification.
Every Muslim is promised that hajj is the step towards the reward that they will receive an afterlife. Such is the promise of God, that you will be blessed in this life and the one afterward. All you need is to have a strong belief in your faith.
We become so lost in the world and our desires and needs we forget to nourish our souls too. Lately, depression and anxiety are seen setting in the majority of youth, the reason is plain sight i.e. we had distanced ourselves from the right path. So when you perform Hajj, you bridge the gap between you and Him, The Creator for your soul revival. You feel closer to your roots once again; imagine it like you are charging yourself for the future days to come.
The materialistic way of life has its downfall impact on one’s life. Hajj is a complete opposite of the lifestyle that discriminates against people against one another. Can you identify if a person is rich or poor when all are wearing Ihram? That’s the biggest lesson of all, equality is strength, and uniformity is what Hajj teaches us and gives us a lesson to respect everyone.
Let’s conjoin the pieces of Hajj:
Let’s talk about Ihram:
How two pieces of white plain cloth have such a strong impact on a person? If you wear branded clothes, accessories, etc. it shows your status quo to the world, not to God. Why would He feel the need to be any different to you when He created all of us small, vulnerable and naked only to be taken care of?
Such is the importance of Ihram, it minimizes the differences between rich and poor, slave and owner, no distinction among men based on caste, creed or color exist in Holy land. You are just a human being in the House of God, seeking what everyone else seeks, redemption, forgiveness and lots of prayers.
Tawaf, circumambulating of Kaaba:
It was first performed by Prophet Ibrahim, (A.S) and his son Prophet Ismail (A.S), after the completion of Kaaba’s. Every Muslim since then follows in the footsteps of this ritual. Many exclaim it to be an overwhelming emotion especially the last ones. Amid the sea of people, you have no care in the world except for the fact that God is there for you, and He is watching your every good deed.
Make a run for Saai:
The time when the mother of the child, Ismail (A.S), was bawling with thirst, Hajra, ran from between the hills of Safa and Marwa, back and forth, frantically searching for water.
It was such a desperate moment in the blazing heat and shows the mercy of God when the spring of ZamZam cracked through the surface where baby Ismail (A.S) was laid down. Since then pilgrims run back and forth on hills of Safa and Marwa, reciting verses towards the greatness of God.
Gathering at Mount Arafat:
The last sermon given by Prophet (P.B.U.H) on mount Arafat is what revives the affiliation for every Muslim with the monumental time of history. One of the most humbling experiences a pilgrim can ever have is to reach to the point where a mass of Muslims in historical times gathered to listen to the sermon.
The love for the eminent presence of the Prophet (P.B..U.H) is what makes you leave the comfort of your homes under the hot blazing sun of Arabia. Asking for forgiveness by Allah and praying for every need is what makes us realize that He is the one who controls every single breath in the universe.
A true aspiring moment for every Muslim ever is Hajj. Indeed, Hajj is a soulful journey, which can alter your world big time and let you learn from your mistakes. The time is night, and it’s never too late to perform Hajj, with the right travel agency.
Aspiration is home in the shape of the Kaaba.