Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hajj: A Timeless Vision

Hajj: A Timeless Vision
by Muqith Mujtaba Ali

Islamic terms are powerfully loaded with meanings and connotations. Translating them into English is like belittling its importance.

Hajj, when translated as ‘pilgrimage’ dilutes the very spirit of this great Islamic practice. Pilgrimage means ‘a journey of devotion’, which Hajj does include but then goes beyond it.

The word Hajj comes from the root-word hajja, which carries a myriad of meanings, for example: to overcome, to confute, to vindicate, to convince. Hajj absorbs all these meanings.

And, moreover, with all its dynamic acts – prayer, Tawaf, prohibitions, sacrifice, devotion, global gathering – Hajj reminds man of a variety of relationships: Islam and life, Allah and man, man and man and this world and that world (Aakhirah).

The hardships involved in Hajj directly knocks one’s heart reminding him that one’s Islam can never be detached from the thunder and symphony of life.

Tawaf spills a fountain of meaning. Literally, it means round, circuit and beat.
Tawaf in Hajj means going round the Ka’bah. The circular movement involved in Tawaf pivots around a centre. This circular movement infuses and thrusts into one’s consciousness the fact that life should have a centre. That centre is Allah.

The movement of life, as the movement in Tawaf, should be pivoted around Allah and His commands. Tawheed is a Muslim’s heartbeat. This feeling of centre is refreshed in a man’s heart seven times in Tawaf.

And, therefore, a Muslim’s entire life - behavior, thoughts, emotions, actions - must necessarily be in harmony with his faith in his Lord.

Sa’ee, the running between Safa and Marwa, brings into focus that without effort nothing can be achieved in life!

Pelting of stones at Jamrat reminds one of the Satan tempting Prophet Ibrahim on way to sacrificing his son, Ismail. In actual life, it implies that a Muslim should always be conscious of the temptations of Satan and should turn him away by way of loving and
fearing Allah alone

Arafat reminds ‘the day on which men shall stand before the Lord of the worlds’.
Arafat symbolizes a worldly taste of the Day of Judgment.

Millions of Ibadur Rahman stand before their Lord on the Day of Arafah begging mercy and forgiveness from the Master of the Day of Judgment.

And sacrifice of goat or camel on the 10th Dhu’l Hijjah, the day of Eid, demand of man a sacrifice of a higher level: the sacrifice of time, energy, wealth, talents, and above all, the very life in the way of Allah.

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

‘Say: Certainly my prayer and my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the worlds’.

Hajj brings into picture some of the colorful snapshots from the pages of history: the repentance of Adam, the sacrifice of Ibrahim, the obedience of Ismail, the struggle of
Muhammad, peace be upon them all.

By projecting history, Hajj infuses in man the unpolluted concept of unity – the unity of Almighty Allah and the unity of man. Hajj erases the division of “they” and “we”.
‘O People! All of you are from Adam, and Adam is of dust.’

Viewed from a right perspective, Hajj could well turn out to be a timeless vision for sore eyes.


Muslimah said...


Luthfullah Azeez said...

Hearty welcome to the blogging world.
Varuga varuga...!
Keep on writing.
Don't restrict yourself writing essays. Write your experiences. Share your passions.
There is no need to explain to you. You are an established writer. You are master of your pen.
Don't hesitate. chumma kalakkunga, thalaiva..!