We have just come upon the conclusion of this years Hajj. What are the Lessons that we take from Hajj? What was the purpose of the Journey/Pilgrimage? What can we learn as Muslims from this Great Once in a Lifetime experience?
Islam is based on statements, actions and intentions
The most important statement that one can make is the shahada. The testimony or declaration of ones faith which classifies him/her as a muslim
The actions which follow this statement complete the 5 pillars of Islam are Salat, Zakat, Fasting Ramadan and Hajj
The Salat - which is the first action that we will be judged upon, and that a Muslim will be questioned about when we meet Allah. This action confirms the truth of our statement of belief. It is highly valued and weighed. It is said in a hadith that the sunah of Fajr salat can weigh more than everything in the world all together.
Other actions include Zakat, the giving of charity, a percent of ones wealth as a purification and expiation of sins hoping to receive mercy and forgiveness from Allah,
Fasting in Ramadan, to sacrifice all desires, food, water, sexual gratification, frustrations, anger, etc for the benefit of being purified, forgiven and rewarded
And lastly Hajj, to be performed once in a lifetime. This is similar to the shahada in the sense that it only has to be made one time and the reward for it is the same. Although Hajj is an action while the shahada is a statement they must both be supported. The shahada supported by action and the Hajj supported by intention because like the Prophet (saw) said every action, is by its intention. The person who successfully completes the hajj will be forgiving for all his/her sins from birth just like the person who newly converts to Islam. Each person returns to the infancy stage of living, becoming pure in the mind, body and soul. In order to obtain this great blessing of Hajj people had to go thru tremendous hardships and obstacles and exercise continuous restraint and patience and humility and sacrifice their time and money and effort and energy to complete the spiritual Journey. Because that is what Hajj is. It’s a spiritual journey of the mind, body and soul. It’s a submission to the decree of Allah, its obedience and sacrifice a struggle and awakening, a test whose beginning starts with a sincere intention, who’s middle involves constant statements, actions and perseverance, and who’s ending is a culmination of all those things which Allah will one day reward the person with Jannah for successfully completing. Because the Prophet (SAW) says, there is no reward for the accepted Hajj other than Jannah! If anyone struggles for the sake Allah sincerely sacrificing everything for the sake of Allah in full submission to him alone, Allah will grant him Jannah, inshaAllah, where there will be no more pain and suffering. “A reward for the pious (muttaqeen),” Allah says.
Hajj – an action that must be preformed by going out and leaving everything and everyone beyond in order to
Hajj - a spiritual revival – a re-awakening of the mind, a re-birth of the body and re-connection of the soul to its creator – Allah
Hajj teaches us how to live as One community, how to be one community, how to unite as one community, bringing us together from all parts of the world, dressing the same, doing the same, etc. teaching us the concept of true brotherhood based upon the prophetic examples. The prophet (saw) did what Ibrahim did, followed his example as all prophets followed each other. There were all brothers, links of a chain and we are supposed to be links of a chain too, not divided, not by country, color, race, social class, position, language, nothing. Muslims are one ummah, one brotherhood.
Hajj teaches us Humility, patience, restraint, self-sacrifice, perseverance, love, honor, respect, and nobility. We are supposed to establish a never-ending understanding within our own selves, a never-ending bond with our fellow Muslims from around the world and a never-ending bond with our master, our creator, our sustainer, our provider, the one who created us and said, “I made you different tribes and nations, so that you may get to know each other” not fight and kill each other, not argue and hate each other, not segregate and be far away from each other, but to be close and to love and to support and perform acts of worship together. To help each other get to Jannah. Because that’s the goal, that’s the reward for completing this life of hardship, for completing hajj, for worshipping Allah and doing whatever He and His prophet said to do. That’s it. That’s hajj, that’s life. Hajj is life. It’s a journey of the soul to get back to its creator.
.....This is the text of a speech by Brother Bilal Mohammad on 19th November 2010