Reflections from the Hajj

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By Sheikh Omar Suleiman and Abdul Nasir Jangda

Shiakh Omar Suleiman:  Subhan’Allah, Every year Hajj gets easier. We are not living in the days anymore, where you would be walking in hot sun, and your feet are going to be burning

We are living in the days of five star hotels very next to the Haram, V.I.P air conditioned tents, trains- the air train which takes you from Muzdalifa, Arafah, Mina.

There is abundance of food, we had catering of food from Ash-Shuhada, and we had over twenty items in Mina, three times a day. The food was sickening, and there were two people, who were fighting and arguing with organizers that food is not labeled, so we are not getting what we are eating. Essentially, we have gotten used to of spoiled life style, which stops us from benefitting from Hajj. So, I reflected on story of Ka’ab bin Malik (ra) in a long Hadeeth, which talks about his redemption. Subhan’Allah, people do not understand that Ka’ab bin Malik (ra) was actually from the Rich- The Aghniyah of Madinah- he was from the richest of Madinah; socially very elite, he was a rich poet; some of the scholars said that he was amongst the  five sponsors of Prophet (sa) when he came to Madinah. When Ka’ab bin Malik (ra) had that chance to be forgiven, he heard the news from the people coming to him- he took off and gave his throbe away to the one who gave the good news as he was very happy. One thing to realize is that he did not have another throbe, so he had to borrow another throbe. When he went to Prophet (sa), he was told him:

‘This is the best day Ka’ab since your mother gave birth to you. -not your wedding day, not the day you got rich, it’s the day that Allah (swt) forgave you. The day Allah (swt) forgave your sins, the day you had a chance of redemption!

Even then, Ka’ab bin Malik (ra) wanted to give away everything else he had left; then Prophet (sa) said: ‘Keep some of the money with you,” he said: “Fine, I will keep some.” and he gave everything else away. He had realized that Allah (swt) had given him the chance to be forgiven.

For a few days, a little bit of struggle, a late bus here and there, a little bit of walking here and there, a little bit of heat here and there, waiting in line for bathroom. Some people are just happy to be there because there is a chance of redemption-the chance to be forgiven. And, essentially when you go there with that mentality- don’t allow yourself to complain, don’t allow yourself to jeopardize your chance of redemption, because you might not ever make it there again, and that might be your one chance, one shot to be there at the House of Allah (swt).

Of course, the doors of forgiveness are always open, but this is Hajj; you really don’t want to spoil your Hajj over late bus; over a point you are trying to improve to a guy who pushed you here and there; or a guard that you don’t like his attitude.

Shiakh Omar Suleiman: You truly understood the value of redemption, that Allah (swt) is going to forgive me  for eighty/ninety years of sins in three days, Allah (swt) is going to let go of all that and not hold me accountable for any of that. So, just remember when you go there, Insha’Allah- just think: ‘This is my chance of redemption, I am not going to screw it up, no money matters to me anymore; if Hajj agencies screwed me over, I will talk to them after Hajj, I am not going to complain about it right now. I will talk to them after Hajj.

If I got to sleep in the street, Alhumdulillah, I am there; I am in Hajj, that’s all that matters.

Shaikh Abdul Nasir Jangda: It’s really is an amazing opportunity, amazing chance. One of my observations is that, vast majority of younger people over there, of ages twenty’s and thirty’s were mostly from western countries. I met a group of people from China, every single person from the group was above of the age of sixty, it has become a lot easier for people of all ages, but Hajj is Hajj. It’s a Mercy.

Shiakh Omar Suleiman: No matter how much we pay, your package;  V.I.P/deluxe, you still going to have difficulty.

Shaikh Abdul Nasir Jangda: That is the opportunity that we will be able to make some sacrifice to cleanse ourselves, to purify ourselves. When I saw those people, I was thinking that, why would somebody come for a Hajj when he is sixty, and when it is difficult for them; they are old, they can barely walk; somebody is on the wheelchair. I realized that, it took them this long enough to save money to be able to do it. It made me wow for a young person in America in his thirty might have done Hajj for four, five times; and this person waited for sixty years to be able to do Hajj. What an amazing blessing it is, that is why they see opportunity, and they love it, they do not complain.

Mostly, people have the general idea of the Fiqh of Hajj; they read a book, take some notes, they are usually with Shaikh in groups. I noticed that there is a serious lack of common sense there, because Hujjaj do not need a lot more Fiqh than a lot more common sense.

While sharing Hajj reflections to my students, I told that one cannot fake Hajj- if you are patient then you are going to become patient. If you have an issue of anger then you are going to lose it at Hajj. You get exposed!

When we enter Haram physically exposed to the elements, we also become spiritually exposed as well, and we need a lot more common sense.

Lastly, we bear all pain and sacrifice just for one reason that is only- Allah (swt). It’s that simple. People spend thousands of dollars for Allah (swt); people leave their kids to their families, their homes- Why? Because of Allah (swt), people are willing to sleep in sand, in ash, in middle of the desert. The sole reason of why everybody does what they do- there is Allah (swt), and that is the goal and focus.

Shiakh Omar Suleiman:

Just remember! When you go to Hajj, make sure you understand that you are one of very few that have been chosen for Hajj, and you are a guest of Allah (swt); and as a guest you should fulfill all the rights at that point.

You should understand that you are not the host, so do not go there as a guy who paid saying: ‘I paid for this, I paid for that’; Allah (swt) has invited you there, so Allah (swt) will decree whatever you get there, what difficulties you will go through there, and as a guest you are honored to be there. If you were to go to a ‘white house’, you are not going to sit there and complain to yourself that: ‘I paid twenty dollars for ticket to tour this place’, you will just be happy to be there to meet the President.

So, Allah (swt) called you there; Allah (swt) invited you there as a guest; you forgo your rights, and just go with the flow and the thought that it is accepted. May Allah (swt) accept our Hajj. Ameen.

Transcribed for hiba by Hira Naqi