As millions of Muslims gather at the holy city of Makkah to begin their hajj journey, we are once again reminded of the beauty of Islam.
You’ll hardly find a Muslim who doesn’t wish to be on the pilgrimage, clad in white, going round the Ka’abah in worship of their Lord. The experience is such that leaves anyone humbled. But along with this experience of the journey of Hajj, are lessons for every Muslim, even those who have never made the pilgrimage.
Worship is Our Purpose
One of the hallmarks of Hajj is the sheer amount of worship that you will do. Yes, many people spend some time shopping and visiting tourist sites in Makkah and Madinah, but the main reason everyone goes for Hajj is to worship Allah (SWT).
For everyone of us, Hajji or not, this is a lesson that our main aim in life is to worship our Lord.
Yes, we have school, work and families along the way, but like shopping at the malls in Makkah, those are just some of the things we do by the side while we focus on worshipping Allah (SWT).
There’s hardly any travel experience that teaches you patience like Hajj. Not even a summer vacation with your boisterous toddler.
Hajj is where you have to share amenities with millions of people for a number of days, stand in endless airport queues, wait in line to get a gulp of the special Zamzam water, and even stand in line to use the restroom!
Many of these things are “inconveniences” that we wouldn’t ordinarily have in our daily lives, but they are what makes the Hajj experience.
For every Muslim, this is a lesson in patience, whether you are in Mina or not. This experience teaches us patience when dealing with other people, when we are inconvenienced, and when things are not going our way.
One of the lessons of Hajj, even from the time of Ibraheem (AS), is perseverance. Whenever you walk through the tiled floors between what used to be mountains of Safa’ and Marwa, you are reminded of Hajar (Ibraheem’s wife)’s perseverance in the desert.
She was alone, scared and her baby was thirsty, but she kept running between the mountains till the Zamzam water gushed forth.
You may have been trying to have a child, get your dream job, or get into the college of your choice. The lesson in Hajj for us, is to continue to persevere in our own challenges in life. Because like Hajar, our breakthrough may just be around the corner.
Love Others Like Yourself
“The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself.” (Bukhari)
If you’ve ever been to Hajj, you know the struggle to want to complete your rites before everyone else. People pushing at the Ka’abah so that they can finish their rounds early, or trying to get a seat on the bus as soon as it stops.
It’s human to think of yourself first, but as a Muslim we must think of others the way we think of ourselves.
When you love your brother the way you love yourself, you give your colleague a ride back from work. Or you help another sister watch her kids while she keeps an appointment. Or you help your friend who is out of town, to check up on their parents.
Obedience and Submission
Everyone in Hajj has left behind their jobs, nice houses and cars, friends and family, to answer the call of their Lord.
Every time they utter “labayk Allah humma labayk”, they confirm their submission to the oneness of Allah (SWT).
Even if you’re not in Hajj, this is a lesson that regardless of all the cool people and things we have in our lives, we should continuously submit to our Lord.
Every time you hang out with your friends, remember despite the happiness their friendship brings you, you still have a duty to submit to Allah (SWT).
Few things bring out the minimalist in a Muslim like Hajj.
This is a lesson that sometimes, the less you have, the better. Yeah, we can have all the nice stuff that we want; beautiful clothes and accessories, but when you look at it, you sometimes have more than you need.
Do Good Deeds Till the End
Many pilgrims die while in Makkah and Madinah, fulfilling their rites of Hajj. For these people, they worshipped Allah (SWT) till the end of their lives, and that is a lesson for the rest of us.
We don’t necessarily have to die in Hajj, the important thing is to worship our Lord till it’s our turn to go.
Seek Nearness Through Worship
Many pilgrims are content with staying in the holy Mosques praying all day, instead of going to their hotel rooms.
It’s a bit like when you have to turn in a paper in less than 24 hours and you just want to stay in the library to write so that you can meet your deadline.
Pilgrims want to do as much Ibadah as they can within the short period of Hajj, and that’s a lesson for the rest of us. We should yearn to get closer to our Lord by doing as many acts of worship as we can. Just as if it’s an important paper we are trying to hand in on time.
Recite some adhkar while driving, read the Qur’an while waiting for the next class, or do something nice for someone on your way home. Whatever you choose to do, do it with the desire that it draws you closer to Allah (SWT).
If you’re performing Hajj, these lessons should help you be more aware of your journey. And for the rest of us looking forward to Eid and keeping up with Hajj activities on TV, remember that the lessons of Hajj should apply to our daily lives even after Hajj ends.
Do you have any more lessons from Hajj? Share with us in the comments below.