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Hajj & Unity – How to Bridge the Divide?

Every year, the greatest of all human gatherings take place. Over 6 million Muslims from all over the globe, from over 200 countries, speaking almost a thousand different languages, congregate in one place. They are brought together by nothing except a will to please Allah and fulfil a duty for Allah.

They respond to a call made thousands of years ago when the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) built the Ka’bah and called for the first Hajj. Today, in a world of turmoil and division, of hatred and destruction, of death and atrocity… it is pertinent that we as Muslims turn back to the legacy of the father of Prophets, to the friend of Allah, to the builder of the Ka’bah and the ancestor of al-Mustafa, Ibrahim (peace be upon him).

The Message of Submission

The message of Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was pretty simple, and very unique in the world- worship none but Allah, hold firm to that and do not let anything come between you and Allah.

When he first found out about Allah, he told his fellow people. They rejected him and wanted to burn him at stake. He calmly accepted his fate, and Allah created a miracle. When his wife was attacked by a King, who was jealous, he was powerless. But he trusted in Allah and Allah protected them both.

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When he went to the desert on Allah’s command with his wife Hajar and his little son Ismail, he was ordered to keep them in the desert and leave. It hurt. He did not understand the command completely but he obeyed. He obeyed because Allah had asked him to.

And part of that was when he made a du’a to Allah to create a peaceful city in the middle of the desert. Makkah was born as a response to his du’a. The well of ZamZam was founded due to his wife’s love for her child. And his son Ismail turned out to be a mighty Messenger of God himself (peace be upon him).

Father and son together joined hands and built the Ka’bah, and then made a du’a for a Messenger to be raised amongst their progeny. Thousands of years later, Allah delivered that du’a when he sent the last and final Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a mercy to mankind. Our beloved Prophet’s arrival was the response to the du’a of Ibrahim (peace be upon him).

So what exactly did Ibrahim (peace be upon him) teach us? And how exactly does that help us as Muslims today?

The core-defining message of Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was that Allah is above everything else. As Allah says it in Surah Al-An’am:

{Most certainly my prayers, my sacrifices, my living and my dying are all for Allah, Lord of the Worlds.} (Quran 6:162)

It is a teaching that defines everything we do as Muslims. Islam itself means submission, and it is about submitting to Allah, and Ibrahim (peace be upon him) is one of our best examples in that regard.

The Message of Unity

Hajj has a lot that teaches us about that. It is when we come together hand in hand for none but Allah. We come together and say “Labbayk Allahumma labbayk”, (Here I am Allah, here I am for You).

It is when we all come together, united regardless of all our differences because we have come here for Allah. We do not let anything create differences amongst us. We wear clothes that are simple, we take the journeys together. We go through trouble and hardships together only because we are Muslims. We let nothing divide us. We stone the Jamarat together, we cry at Arafah together. We spend our time in Mina and Muzdalifah, and we pray at the Haram. We do so as one, as Muslims with no other labels to our name. And that is how it should be.

When we talk about unity, one of the core things we miss is putting Allah above anything and anyone else.

It is about putting Allah before my ego.

It is about putting Allah before my need to shout at someone.

It is about putting Allah as the most important necessity when advising or admonishing someone.

Unity will only arrive if we put Allah above everything else.

All of this is much easier said than done. Therefore, what we could suggest is to take three steps from today to help ourselves and others in achieving unity in our communities.

  1. Let us make sure we are united in our families. Let us ensure that as a family unit we are loving and caring to one another, and that Allah is most important at least to me. I cannot change anyone else but myself, and I will choose to be the nicest to my family. I will choose to be well-mannered and loving simply because I put Allah above anything and everything. Regardless of who in my family is a sinner or not, I will ensure that I am loving to all of them
  2. Let us make sure that we are among the best to our communities. Let us make a pledge to not raise our voice at another Muslim no matter how much we differ. Let us make a pledge to never again be hurtful to a Muslim no matter what they might do to us. As we said before, we can only change ourselves, and let us start by being the change. We cannot expect everyone to be nice to us, but let us ensure that we are not harsh to anyone else.
  3. Let us mix with Muslims of all genres and races. We have a tendency to stick to our ethnicity, our madhab (school of thought), our circles, people speaking our language. Let us make a concerted effort to know Muslims of different cultures and madhabs, different educational institutions and languages and even different levels of practice. The defining characteristic of Islam is that we are loving and caring to all Muslims regardless of their level of practicing of their faith.

Unity is a difficult concept, and it is not something that will happen over a day, a week, a year or even a decade. However, Hajj gives us an example of what might have been. 6 million people teach us what we could have done as 1.6 billion.

It is the lessons we take from there, and implementing them will help us achieve unity.

We have shared some of our tips. And perhaps as a reader you could share yours too. So let us ask our readers the question, do you think it is possible to be disunited even after Hajj?

About Raiiq Ridwan
Raiiq Ridwan is a Bangladeshi medical student at the University of Bristol, UK. He has a Bachelors In Arts in Islamic Studies at the Islamic Online University. He is founder of "The One Message". He’s certified life coach. He can write on topics related to Quran, dawah, depression, anxiety, achieving goals, productivity etc.