The Perfect Hajj? Part 1

Ka'bahAssalaamu-Alaykum – Peace be Upon you

Well as the day draws nearer the reality and the gravity of my pilgrimage is starting to sink in.

What I have learnt as I have grown up is that this journey of Hajj, one of the fundamental pillars of Islam, is regarded as the ‘journey of a lifetime’.  So what preparations have I made? What knowledge do I have regarding what I am about to do? Am I ready?

These questions and many more are currently floating about in my mind.  I just pray that I find the right answers to them and make the most of my journey.

One of the things I came across in my reading about Hajj (thanks to the reminder by Hafez Yasir and Hafez Shoyab!) is the fantastic conversation between the great saint, Shaikh Shibli and one of his students.  His student had come to visit him after just performing Hajj.  The Shaikh asked him some questions, the student continues the story:

The Shaikh asked me: “Did you make a determined Niyah (intention) for Hajj?”

I replied: “Yes I made a firm intention for performing Hajj.”

The Shaikh: “Together with having made a firm intention for Hajj, did you also have a firm Niyah of forever giving up doing all those things you did since you were born that are opposed to the spirit of Hajj?”

I replied: “No, I did not.”

The Shaikh: “In that case you had no Niyah for Hajj.” Then he said: “At the time of entering into the Ihraam, did you remove your clothing?”

I replied: “Yes I did.”

The Shaikh: “At that timedid you pledge to remove from you everything save Allah?”

I replied: “No I did not.”

The Shaikh: “In that case you did not remove your clothing.  Did you cleanse yourself by means of Ghusl and Wudhu?”

I replied: “Yes I did cleanse myself in that manner.”

The Shaikh: “At that time did you also become cleansed from all evil and faults?”

I replied: “No, that I cannot say.”

The Shaikh: “In that case you did not cleanse yourself.  Did you recite Lab’baik?”

I replied: “Yes I did recite Lab’baik.”

The Shaikh: “Did you at that time hear the answers of Lab’baik from Allah?”

I replied: “No I received no reply.”

The Shaikh: “In that case what kind of Lab’baik did you recite?  Did you enter the Holy Haram (the area around Mecca)?”

I replied: “Yes I did.”

The Shaikh: “Did you at that time pledge to leave aside every Haraam (prohibited) act forever?”

I replied: “No I did not.”

The Shaikh: “Then you did not enter the area of the Haram Shareef at all.  Did you visit Mecca?”

I replied: “Yes I did.”

The Shaikh: “When you did, did you also see the Hereafter?”

I replied: “No I did not see anything.”

The Shaikh: “Then you did not visit Mecca.  Did you enter the Holy Mosque?”

I replied: “Yes I did.”

The Shaikh: “Did you then, on entering, feel the nearness of Allah?”

I replied: “No I did not.”

The Shaikh: “Then you never actually entered the Masjid.  Were you present at the Ka’abah?”

I replied: “Yes I was.”

The Shaikh: “Did you then see the entity due to which the Ka’abah is visited?”

I replied: “No I saw nothing.”

The Shaikh: “Then you never saw the Ka’bah…”

Insha-Allah (with the Will of Allah) we will continue this story in Part 2.  What this story inspires is to take a long, hard look at the quality of the Hajj that we are performing today and compare it to the lofty standards of the type of Hajj performed by those who are closest to Allah – the type which is most pleasing to Him.

Of course, the best Hajj is the Hajj performed by the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (PBUH) and that is the Hajj that the pious ones try to emulate.  Therefore, all the Hajjis going this year and for all those going after should always have this story at the back of their minds when performing Hajj so that it creates that little bit of humility within oursleves so that we may think that, ‘hang on, I might have just performed the rites of Hajj, but has it been acceptable in the Court of Allah?’

Who knows, that little humility and concern that maybe our Hajj has not been accepted may be enough to draw the Mercy of Allah and become acceptable in His eyes…..

And Allah knows best.

Ma’as-salaam – With Peace

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