Hajj—A fountain of youth
The fountain of youth is not a myth. It exists. But I am not talking about the mythical fountain of youth the Spaniards looked for. I am talking about a real fountain of youth: Hajj. By going on Hajj, you are reborn, and all of your sins are washed away.
“He who came to this House (the Ka’bah) (with the intention in performing Hajj) without speaking or committing indecencies, would return (free from sin) as on the day his mother bore him.”
What would we give to go back in time: just even for 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? By going on Hajj, we can go as far back as to the very second we were born. We become as clean hearted as we once were on our birthdate. Such a profound transformation is most easily achieved through the experience of Hajj.
Hajj is not only a surah in the Majestic Qur’an, but it also means “pilgrimage.” And what is a pilgrimage? It is a spiritual journey. So starting in the name itself, we come to understand that Hajj is not just a journey with a list of rituals and regulations to be followed. There are deeper spiritual aspects of Hajj which make it as special as it really is.
Before one physically does Hajj, they must perform Hajj with their hearts. As one makes Tawaf around the Ka’bah, one should make tawaf with their hearts first. The heart adds the needed dimension that is required to bring us closer to Allah سبحانه و تعالي .
We know that the destination of our physical journey is to Mecca Mukarrama, but what is the destination of our spiritual journey? In reality, Hajj is a means in reaching Allah سبحانه و تعالي , it is our journey to Him. The Arsh of Allah is above the Ka’ba where thousands of Angels do tawaf. You will be standing before Allah! The Ka’aba is Allah’s house, and you have come as a guest. In fact, the du’a that is recited is us talking to Allah and saying, “Oh Allah we are here in front of you!” Not only are you joining millions of Muslims in Hajj in front of Allah, but there are billions of angels present too! In Mecca, you are at the closest point to Jannah; therefore, the good deeds done there are multiplied many times over.
Hajj symbolizes true equality among all Muslims. When Muslims where the Ihram (two white sheets), they are then made to realize that the only deciding factor of their fate before Allah will be piety and righteousness. Wealth and status will not help them standing in front of Allah. Malcolm X said the following about this aspect of Hajj:
“There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blondes to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood…”
In Hajj, there also is a reminder for the Day of Judgment. Just as all the Hajis will stand on the plain of Arafat, so will all of humanity stand on the plain of resurrection. Nothing will distinguish between each person except his or her piety.
Hajj shows us that the path to Allah is to leave the duniya behind you. Everyone leaves their homes, families (for some), jobs, and wealth behind just to migrate to Mecca. There is a need for sacrifice in order to attain closeness to Allah. This theme of sacrifice is further enforced in the story of Ibrahim Alayhis Salaam and Eid-ul-Adha. There can be no love without sacrifice as sacrifice measures the extent of one’s love (in this case, love to Allah and His Messengerصلي الله عليه واله وسلم
This is a major test for many people. It is not easy to leave your home for weeks and go to a crowded, extremely hot, and foreign land. But it is in tests that Allah gives us sabr (patience) and purifies us. Testing is a means of purification, and the more we are tested on the journey of Hajj or afterwards, the more Allah is trying to clean our hearts.
Finally, Hajj is also one of the five pillars of Islam, where all the pillars are bound by the threads of time. Hajj occurs once a year during Dhul-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar, but even the placement of Hajj in the last month is symbolic. After a year’s worth accumulation of sin, having Hajj at the end of the year will wipe away all those amassed sins in just one month to make the believer ready to take on the new year sin-free, clean, and full of noor.
Once the sins have been cleared from the heart, it allows room for noor to fill into it. This is often why people visit Medina Munawara Shareef after their Hajj trip! Now that their hearts are clean, the Noor of Medina can fill their hearts, and they can then take this noor with them wherever they go.
Going on Hajj multiplies good deeds 70 fold. Du’a of a Haji is accepted for 40 days after they perform Hajj, and just looking and being in the presence of those who went on Hajj is considered an ‘ibadat (act of worship)! The wonders of Hajj are endless, and it is said that people start having more and more hidaya, guidance to Allah, after they complete Hajj. SubhanAllah!
For those of our brothers and sisters who have been blessed with the opportunity to go to Hajj, may Allah bless them, accept their Hajj, and make their Hajj easy for them. For those of us who have not been blessed with the opportunity to be filled with the purest of lights and to be cleaned from the purest of cleansers, may Allah grant us all the opportunity to see, indulge in, and appreciate the fountain of youth. Ameen.
“Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik, La Shareek Laka, Labbaik. Innal Hamdah, Wan Nematah, Laka wal Mulk, La Shareek Laka Labbaik.”
“Here I am at Your service Oh Lord, here I am. Here I am at Your service and You have no partners. You alone is All Praise and All Bounty, and You alone is The Sovereignty. You have no partners”