The season of Hajj is upon us. The honorable month of Zul-Hijjah is approaching. The land of Makkah is tranquil and peaceful. Instead of fear, hatred, and war, the desert is blessed with security and peace. There is a feeling in the air, a desire to be the guest of Almighty God, a yearning to worship Him in His own house.
Do you not hear Allah’s command to His Prophet to declare:
And call upon the people for Hajj. They will come to you on their bare feet or riding any weak camel and they come to you from every far desert. (Quran 22:27)
You! who has been created from mud, search for the spirit of Allah! Accept his invitation; leave your home in order to “see” Him. He is waiting for You!
Human existence is frivolous unless one’s aim is to approach the spirit of Allah. Separate yourself from all those needs and greed which distract you from Allah. Join the eternal human migration of Hajj. “See” Almighty Allah!
Before departing to perform Hajj, all of your debts should be paid. Your hates and angers toward relatives or friends must disappear. A will must be drawn. All of these gestures are an exercise in the preparation for death (which will overtake everyone some day). These acts guarantee your personal and financial clearance. The last moments of farewell and the future of man are symbolized.
Now you are free to join eternity. On the day of resurrection, you will be able to do nothing in Allah’s court. Your eyes, ears, and heart will be a witness of what you have done.
You and every organ of your body are responsible for your deeds. While you are in this “house of correction” get ready for the “house of justice”. Exercise death before you die-go to Hajj!
.. for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into on the Day of Reckoning. (Quran 17:36)
Hajj represents your return to Allah, the absolute, who has no limitations and none is like Him. To return to Him signifies a definite movement toward perfection, goodness, beauty, power knowledge, value, and facts. On your way toward the eternal, you will never approach Allah by yourself but if you sincerely desire His pleasure, He will guide you in the right direction!
It is not enough to live “in the name of Allah”, and die “for the sake of Allah”, you must strive to approach Almighty God.
To Allah we belong and to Him is our return. All affairs tend toward Allah. Our goal is not to “perish”, but to “bloom”. This is done not “for Allah” but rather to bring us “toward Him”. Allah is not so far away from you; therefore, try to reach Him! Allah is closer to you than yourself!
.. “To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return”. (Quran 2:156) The Way of Allah, to Whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth. Behold (how) all affairs tend towards Allah. (Quran 42:53) .. We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. (Quran 5:16)
On the other hand, everyone beside Allah is too far to be reached! Oh man, all the angels prostrated to you; yet, through the passage of time and societal influence you have changed greatly. You have not abided by your promise to worship none but Almighty Allah. Instead, you have become a slave to idols, some of which are man-made.
Remember that only the sincere and righteous will be in the assembly of truthful and in the presence of the sovereign omnipotent.
As to the Righteous, they will be in the midst of Gardens and Rivers . (Quran 54:54)
Your nature is characterized by loyalty to other individuals, self devotion, cruelty, ignorance, a lack of direction, fearfulness, and greediness! This life has caused you to acquire animalistic traits. You have reduced yourself to the likeness of an animal like a “wolf”, “fox”, “rodent”, or a “sheep”.
Oh man! return to your origin. Go to Hajj and reignite your friendship with your creator who created you as the best of creation. He is waiting to see you! Leave the palaces of power, the treasures of wealth and the misleading temples. Detach yourself from the flock of those animals whose shepherd is the wolf. Join the flock of those who are going to see the house of Allah built for His guests.
Adapted from a section of the book “Hajj” by Dr. Ali Shariati. Translated by Dr. Ali A. Behzadnia