Alhamdulillah, today marks the 8th day of Dhul Hijjah, marking the beginning of the holy pilgrimage of Hajj. Many of us are familiar with the rites and rituals of Hajj – some of you may even have made this blessed journey to the holy city of Makkah. But whether you’ve fulfilled this vital pillar of Islam yet or are still adding to your Hajj fund, we can all still learn from the wisdom behind these few days.
Hajj teaches and reminds us many of vital lessons from Allah (swt). Here are five important spiritual messages we can learn from this holy pilgrimage.
1. We are all equal as humans
Rich or poor, old or young, millions of Muslims from across the world, from all walks of life and every corner of the world unite to perform the holy pilgrimage, reminding us that in the eyes of Allah (swt) we are all equal as human beings. As Allah (swt) tells us in the Holy Qur’an:
‘O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.’ (49:13)
In his final sermon in Makkah, Prophet Muhammad (swt) repeated this message, reminding his followers to treat women equally and not to distinguish between race, skin colour or nationality, as the only thing that distinguishes us is our taqwa (God-consciousness or piety).
2. Allah (swt) is All Forgiving
Undertaking Hajj is obligatory for any able bodied, sane Muslim who can afford the journey. When we undertake this duty, all of our sins are forgiven. Every prior sin is wiped clean as though we were a new-born child or new Muslim, subhanAllah! How merciful is Allah (swt)!
3. With hardship comes ease
One of the many stages of Hajj is the running between mounts Safa and Marwa, as Hajar (as) did. As one of the most revered women in Islam and the wife of Prophet Ibrahim (as), Hajar’s story is one of hardship, endurance and ultimately hope and patience. When we run between these two mountains, we are reminded of the struggles she faced. Tired and thirsty in the desert with a new-born baby – Prophet Ismail (as) – Hajar ran in search of water. Yet her patience and hope were rewarded when a spring burst forth offering holy Zamzam water. This part of Hajj serves as a reminder that as we go through the trials and tribulations of life, things will get better: ‘For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease’ (Holy Qur’an, 94:5-6).
4. We are stronger than Shaytan
Another important lesson from Hajj is offered during the ‘Stoning of the Devil’. As we throw these stones, we remind ourselves that we are ultimately stronger than Shaytan, alhamudlillah. Although he may tempt us, it is up to us to seek refuge in Allah (swt) from his evil and stand strong as with His help we can deafen our ears to Shaytan's whispers.
5. Allah (swt) will test us, but He is always with us
Hajj itself is physically and emotionally demanding but the reward is unlike any other, subhanAllah! During this period in particular when we sacrifice an animal, we commemorate the actions of Prophet Ibrahim (as) and how he almost sacrificed his son Prophet Ismail (as). What this story teaches us is that Allah (swt) will test us but Al-Rahman, Al-Raheem is always with us, looking out for us, subhanAllah!
So, for all of you undertaking this holy pilgrimage, from everyone at Muslim Hands, we’d like to wish you Hajj Mabroor (an accepted Hajj) and for all of us, near and far, to have a happy, blessed Eid al-Adha!