by Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh
Once again more than two million believers were honoured to become the ‘Guests of Allāh’ and through Divine Guidance have completed the rituals of Hajj with great love and enthusiasm. How fortunate are these souls who are blessed with the following words from Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam:
Whoever performs Hajj for the Pleasure of Allāh and therein utters no word of evil, nor commits any evil deed, shall return from it (free from sin) as the day on which his mother gave birth to him. (al-Bukhāri, Muslim)
Verily there shall be no reward for a Mabrūr Hajj except Jannah. (al-Bukhāri, Muslim)
It is hoped that all the pilgrims were sincere in their intentions and had travelled thousands of miles only to secure the Pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā by fulfilling the obligation laid down upon them. May Allāh ta‘ālā the Almighty grant all the pilgrims acceptance and grant them opportunity again and again to visit the Sacred Land. Āmīn.
Nevertheless, I wish to draw the attention of the pilgrims towards certain points which are necessary and of utmost importance to observe about which many pilgrims seem to attach no importance.
Firstly, the sincerity of intention should remain even after the performance of Hajj. There should be no pomp or show. One should not wish to be called or recognised as a Hājjī. Many people adopt the habit of talking frequently about their journey in order that people may come to know of their Hajj. They talk about the expenses incurred in the Way of Allāh ta‘ālā, their charity amongst the poor and needy, their devotion and worship, their assisting the weak and old, etc.; and all this is mentioned with the intention of gaining fame. This is a deceit from Shaytān who ruins the ‘ibādat of the person who is unaware of it. It is therefore of great importance that the pilgrim does not talk about his Hajj without necessity as it may lead to riyā (show, insincerity). However, if necessity arises and one must talk about his Hajj then he is at liberty to do so. But, he must not indulge in this type of conversation unnecessarily.
Secondly, it is noted through experience, that many pilgrims return with nothing but the sad memories to reflect upon and this darkness filters through their tongues to the extent that they talk only about the hardships they have encountered during Hajj. The pilgrims should strictly refrain from this. On the contrary, they should talk about the greatness of the sacred places, the spiritual gains, the enjoyment in devotions of Haramayn, ‘Umrah, Tawāf, Salām on the Sacred Grave, Salāt in Masjidul Harām and Masjidun Nabawī etc. If one looks at his journey of Hajj carefully he will find that the spiritual benefits far outweighs the physical hardships. Every second spent in these sacred places is incomparable with anything in the world. The journey of Hajj is a long journey; one has to travel by air, pass the immigrations, go through the customs, encounter people who speak foreign languages, etc. In these circumstances, difficulties are certain to arise. When we travel in our country, do we always travel with comfort and ease? Do we never encounter difficulty? Do we not find ourselves held up in traffic for hours on a Motorway? Considering the fact that 2-3 million pilgrims perform the rituals of Hajj at one time, in one place and that they all come from different countries and backgrounds and that many of them have never before used or seen the facilities available to them, I think the difficulties encountered are insignificant. Moreover, the pilgrims are rewarded abundantly by Allāh ta‘ālā upon every difficulty encountered in their journey whereas the same is not the case whilst we undertake other journeys.
Those people who engage in these types of conversation become the cause of discouragement to others who have not yet had the opportunity to perform Hajj. These unfortunate pilgrims fall into the category
.... and who stop (men) from the way of Allāh, and from the Sacred Masjid, ...
mentioned in Sūrah Hajj in the Qur’ān. They should take heed that if people are discouraged by their conversation and postpone their Hajj then those who have discouraged them will be equally responsible.
Thirdly, the sign of a ‘Mabrūr Hajj’ or ‘accepted Hajj’ is that upon one’s return, his life changes from worst to good. He becomes totally punctual in fulfilling the Commands of Allāh ta‘ālā. His love and inclination towards the Hereafter increases and love for the worldly pleasures decline. Therefore, it is essential that the pilgrim is watchful over his actions and conversations and should try his utmost to instil in himself good characters and refrain from all types of evil. He should endeavour to fulfill the obligations laid down by Allāh ta‘ālā and avoid all the things forbidden by Him.