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 by Alveena Salim (Published in TheRevival Magazine)

So what’s the deal with Hajj? Why is it that millions of people all over the world make this journey every year?

Isn’t it something that only old people do? What if I get squashed by an Arab? Isn’t it hard? And why is it that Will Smith the infamous Fresh Prince of Bel Air, reportedly told USA Today that he’d love to go to Hajj!

I mean come on, the man isn’t even a Muslim and even he’s interested in performing the journey of a lifetime!

The Revival presents to you five things that Hajj can offer YOU!

1. International feeling of the Ummah

London is always banging on about how international and multicultural it is. However, despite this claim, race related problems are rife. Most ethnicities prefer to live in ghettoised communities. And most mosques are unofficially labelled as ‘Paki’, ‘Guji’ or ‘Bengali’ Mosques. However, the pilgrimage to Makkah makes you realise just how diverse and large our Ummah (community) really is.

During hajj you can see millions of people from all over the world gathered in one place, many different languages all functioning at once and large number of different cultures. It’s possible to read your Salaah next to someone from every corner of the globe. What other country in the world can honestly claim to always having someone representing every country in the world?

2. Elimination of Racism

During Hajj it doesn’t matter what you look like. Everyone is required to wear the same clothes. Men must wear white, unstitched garments whilst women must make sure their body is covered whilst leaving their hands, face and feet exposed.

Pilgrims – regardless of their ethnicity must share tents, walk or drive to Mina together, eat together, visit the mountain of Arafat, spend the night side by side under the open sky in Muzdalifah, run between the mountains of Safa and Marwa, stone the devils and perform seven rounds around the Kabah.

It doesn’t matter what colour you are. Everyone must walk shoulder to shoulder to fulfil these obligations. It is only when one performs the pilgrimage to Makkah, the words of the Prophet Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him are put into effect when he said ‘white is not superior over black and black is not superior over white.’ (Bukhari).

In the house of Allah (the Kabah), all that matters is the condition of your heart. Not the colour of your skin.

3. Unlimited Reward

accepted Hajj, other than Paradise. He also said that the one who performs Hajj returns as sinless as a newborn baby. In fact, Hajj for women brings the same reward as Jihad: fighting in the way of Allah! A single prayer in the Prophets Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him Mosque is worth 1000. A single prayer in the main Mosque in Mekkah is worth 100,000.

Performing all the rites of Hajj brings many rewards; heck even just looking at the Kabah brings immense reward! So if you want to rack ‘em up. Do your Hajj.

4. Gets you in touch with Islamic history

Imagine walking in the same streets that the Prophet Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him walked. Imagine standing on a mountain where the Prophet Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him delivered a powerful sermon, where he spoke out against all of society’s problems. Imagine walking around the blessed house of Allah which has been touched by numerous Prophets from the past. Imagine standing on the Mountains where courageous battles were fought.

Imagine visiting the graves where numerous companions and wives of the Prophet Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him are buried. Its one thing to read all about it in books or listen to lectures about our Islamic history. But its whole different experience altogether personally walking, touching and looking at the sites that have a link with our Prophets.

5. Sorts your priorities out

Living in the West, we often get bogged down with petty matters. We spend half of our time worrying about our careers or our exams. If we’re not complaining about the traffic or the weather, we’re stressing over parking tickets. We’re more concerned with Britney’s bald head than we are with the condition of our hearts! We spend little time focusing on our relationship with Allah.

However, when you’re doing Hajj, you have plenty of time to strengthen your relationship with Allah. Think about others. Remember our pious predecessors. Reflect on the condition of your hearts and focus on doing as many things as you can that’ll bring you closer to Allah. In fact, the entire day revolves around reading the five daily prayers in the main Mosques. You couldn’t spend your time out missing your prayers even if you wanted to cos shopkeepers close their shops and all business stops whenever its Salaah time!

Hajj recharges your batteries and prepares you to live life better as a practising Muslim.

So there you have it. Five things Hajj – the journey of a lifetime can offer you!. If you want to rack up your good deeds. Recharge your spiritual batteries. Become a more practising Muslim. Wipe your slate clean. Start a new life. Strengthen your relationship with Allah and become as sinless as a newborn baby. Don’t miss out and don’t delay. Book your ticket today!

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