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How Hajj Can Be a Model for Life

Hajj is now over. Millions of Muslim pilgrims have observed this great pillar of Islam.

The memories and spirituality of Hajj are really moving. Pilgrims could not help but have tears in their eyes while observing this magnificent gathering. Millions were heading to the house of Allah in total submission and devotion.

The pilgrims prayed and supplicated humbly. They asked Allah to wipe off their sins, to accept their Hajj, and to grant them happiness in this world and the hereafter.

Limited Hajj Effect?

Should all of these awe-inspiring feelings be restricted to the few days of Hajj?

I think of Hajj as a journey intended to guide us on how to lead our larger journey of life. It is the model after which Muslims should pattern their lives.

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This connection between Hajj and life is very important. After all, both of them are journeys that need special preparation and should have special goals.

Hajj and Life: Any parallels?

Take for example, the first steps pilgrims do in preparation for their Hajj journey. They pay off their debts and bathe themselves. The lesson here is that our lives should be based on purity and cleanliness.

How beautiful life would be if each and every one of us tried to adhere to this principle. If only everyone tried to steer clear of anything that may taint their beliefs or blemish their relations with Allah.

Of course, it may happen that Muslims commit a sin or succumb to Satan’s whispers. Yet, once such a thing occurs, they hasten to “clean” and “wash” their spirits.

Just as pilgrims wear pure and clean clothes for their Hajj journeys, they are keen to meet Allah after the journey of life with a pure and clean heart.

Labbayk, Allahuma, labbayk. 

Here I am, O Allah, at Your service.

This eternal call, chanted by millions of Muslim pilgrims every year, gives us further inspiration.

The pilgrims respond to Allah’s call with pleasure. They pay no heed to the trouble they may undergo. Rather, they come to Him declaring in words and in deeds their submission to His commands.

They express their unconditional obedience to His orders, their love of what He loves, and their honor to what He honors.

This is the spirit that Muslims should keep throughout their entire whole lives.

Labbayk, Allahuma, labbayk.

This is not merely a ritual phrase to be uttered in Hajj and then forgotten afterwards. It is rather a motto for every Muslim, a way of life.

Arriving in Makkah

After hours—even long days and months—of travel, Muslim pilgrims reach Makkah and enjoy the sight of the holy sites.

Throughout their Hajj, moving from one place to another, and from rite to rite, Muslims recall great scenes of sacrifice and courage. They remember great figures like Prophet Ibrahim and his family, Prophet Muhammad and his noble Companions (peace and blessings be upon them).

These glorious scenes inspire us to face the challenges of life with bold hearts. They  motivate us to work and sacrifice in defense of our religion and for the advancement of our Ummah.

Believers Are One Body

In Hajj, pilgrims feel brotherly and sisterly affections towards their fellow Muslims.

You meet Muslims from all over the world, from Asia and Africa, from the North and the South, Arabs and non-Arabs, white and black, rich and poor.

Muslims from all four corners of the earth meet in this awe-inspiring gathering. They try their best to be good to one another and to avoid anything that may harm or disturb one another.

It is really wonderful:

to become absorbed in such a sense of unity and solidarity with fellow Muslims;

that you are a member of a big family that embraces Muslims wherever they come form;

to care for your brothers and sisters; to avoid doing anything that may trouble them; and

to feel anguish for their pains and pleasures for their happiness.

All of this is important, not only in Hajj, but also in our entire lives.

Learning and Practicing Patience

Moreover, Hajj is a good chance to practice patience and to taste the sweetness of forbearance.

Amidst such a large multitude of people, you are bound to face some difficulties and problems. You are most likely to get upset by the behavior of some pilgrims.

However, in order to achieve the reward of acceptable Hajj, you exercise self-restraint and show patience and forbearance. This is a lesson which we should learn and apply in our daily life.

We should apply it in our homes and workplaces. We need to show patience with our spouses, colleagues, and friends.

This is important for our lives to move smoothly, and most importantly, for Allah to love us.

In conclusion, the lessons reaped from Hajj are countless. The spiritual provisions taken from it for the journey of life are truly indescribable.

Through connecting both journeys—namely pilgrimage and life—and reflecting on the underlying wisdom of Hajj , pilgrims can maximize the benefits they gain and can experience a real life-long Hajj.

About Muhammad Fathi
Muhammad Fathi is the managing editor of the Shari`ah page, and a former Imam and teacher at the Quran Institute of America, MI, USA.