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Hajj: How Will It Affect My Life?

Questioner

A

Reply Date

Aug 08, 2018

Question

I'm getting ready to make Hajj for the first time. As my family is privileged and my father makes a lot of money, all 8 of us will be able to go as a family alhumdulilah and we will stay in one of the newer nice hotels. I am curious though, while I have read about its significance, I am wondering as to how it might affect me or change my life. I am a little nervous. Thank you for your answer.

Counselor

Answer


Hajj: How Will It Affect My Life?

In this counseling answer:

• Make du’aa’ to Allah (swt) before Hajj regarding your intention.

• During Hajj, one focuses on Allah (swt) in love, devotion, and thought and leaves most worldly thinking behind.

• Hajj also brings together Muslims from every walk of life in a state of brotherhood/sisterhood that negates any differences in tribal, “racial”, or socio-economic status. Thus, it increases compassion, unity and reinforces the fact that the ummah is one family.


As-Salamu ‘Alaikum, 

Thank you for your most important question. Surely, performing Hajj is one of the most significant events in our lives, besides being a pillar of Islam. It is intended to give Muslims the opportunity to elevate their closeness to Allah (swt), erase their sins, and be saved from the hellfire.

“The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Whoever performs pilgrimage to this House, and does not Yarfuth (utter any obscenity or commit sin), will go back as (on the day) his nother bore him.” (An-Nasa’i)

As you can see, this is a significant life event which usually has emotional and even psychological reactions. Everyone may experience Hajj differently in terms of emotions; however, I am sure, dear sister, that, in sha’ Allah, your experience will be one of immense benefit. You may experience different emotions as you pass through the different phases of Hajj. Your emotions may be subtle or overwhelming in the sense that you may not be able to hold back tears.

One brother who made Hajj for the first time reports “In the same instant, it was as if all my inner barriers were broken. I was totally transparent and open as a book. My heart was ripped open and tears started flowing from my eyes. I was a grown man of 32 years of age, and I had not cried for years since in Danish culture we are taught that men don’t cry. And there I stood in front of a square building and cried like a small child. Cried and prayed, prayed and cried. It probably lasted for about half an hour, and I was totally lost in that overwhelming feeling.”


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During Hajj, one focuses on Allah (swt) in love, devotion, and thought and leaves most worldly thinking behind. Hajj also brings together Muslims from every walk of life in a state of brotherhood/sisterhood that negates any differences in tribal, “racial”, or socio-economic status. Thus, it increases compassion, unity and reinforces the fact that the ummah is one family.

Today, many Muslims are caught up in lifestyles and thinking that is not in alignment with Islam. Racism exists, compassion often lacks, and abuse is rampant. Making Hajj with a pure intention allows one to gain the essence and light of what Islam truly is. It brings one closer to Allah (swt) and can compel one to live more righteously, in sha’ Allah. Experiencing the spiritual and emotional gifts that Hajj can bring, pilgrims can complete Hajj and return home with a purified heart and mind.

Makkah removes the veils of ignorance before people’s eyes, revealing the light of faith, and satiates the believers spiritually. Based on these spiritual and emotional benefits, one can expect, in sha’ Allah, to develop a closer appreciation and concern for the Hereafter; a deeper sense of what is truly important while living in this world. It helps us reflect upon how we live our lives and how to prioritize things in matters of importance.

Concerning the status of Muslims making Hajj, AboutIslam states, “Pilgrims are the guests of Allah and you can imagine how much Allah will honor His own guests: `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

“The one striving in the cause of Allah and the one performing Hajj and the one performing `Umrah are all the delegation of Allah. He calls them and they respond to His call, and they ask Him and He answers their supplication.” (Ibn Majah and authenticated by Al-Albani)

The thought that “pilgrims are the guests of Allah (swt) and you can imagine how much Allah (swt) will honor His own guests” may be emotionally overwhelming. To be a guest of Allah (swt) is a most blessed event, indeed, and an occurrence that should be taken into great consideration. Just the fact alone that you are embarking on pilgrimage should bring tears to your eyes as it is an undeserved honor to be among Allah’s (swt) guest. We are mere servants striving to please Allah (swt), and the fact that we are able to make Hajj should be a humbling experience.

This brings me to the first part of your question wherein you make it clear that you are from a “prominent” and “wealthy” family and that you would be staying in the finest hotels. If you go to Hajj with the premise that you are higher than others because of wealth and social status, you are, in fact, negating part of the reason for Hajj which is equality and brotherhood among all, regardless of wealth or social standing.

To say you are staying in the finest hotels while others are only able to stay in tents or “standard accommodations” is not where your heart should be. While Allah (swt) has blessed your family with wealth and status, it may also be a test. In fact, once you make Hajj, you may see these things as less important, in sha’ Allah, and you may be moved to help those who are less fortunate than you.

I ask you, dear sister, to make du’aa’ to Allah (swt) before Hajj regarding your intention. Look towards Hajj with a pure desire to please Allah  (swt), to be saved from the hellfire, and to feel a deep and lasting connection with our fellow Muslims on an equal level of humanity and love for the sake of Allah (swt). Yes, you may be nervous, it is common, but remember you are making Hajj as an invited guest of Allah (swt). How great that is, ma sha’ Allah!

You are in our prayers.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

Your Guide to a Perfect Hajj (In-Depth)

Allah’s Guests: Are You Ready for Hajj?

Hajj – A Celebration of Peace

 




About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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