Alleviating the Difficulties of the Hajj

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Once you go there, you just want to keep going back. As I said, I have not had the experience myself and never dreamed that my son would go there before me and my husband. It is good to discuss negatives and propose solutions, but it is unfortunate if, in the process, people become completely turned off by the idea of doing Hajj. Thank you for this thoughtful and scholarly article. I enjoyed reading it, however felt it ended abruptly.

Will there be a part II? I have been thinking about the issue of Hajj lately, mainly wondering how it will continue to be something that every Muslim on the planet can feasibly afford, with all the hotels becoming five star. The multi-level shopping malls are too much, too. All you really need is a clean room that is not too cramped, and affordable healthy food nearby.

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Holiday Inn would be fine, not necessarily InterContinental or Hilton with huge buffets. I am interested to see if the Arab Uprising carries over- inshalla it will and i will be part of the engine to overthrow that corrupt government. Hajj is the worship of a lifetime. Hajj is not easy and will never be. Before, Hajj was difficult because the journey was difficult, the journey was long, the dangers many and even when one arrived at Hajj, there were many hazards. Nowadays, those hazards have gone but have been replaced by other hazards.

This is the nature of Hajj. To answer for the number of Hajjis, can I remind the author that the Saudi authorities are already limiting the number of Hajjis and that many people have their Hajj visa refused. We are 1. That is if people only go once to Hajj.

Secondly, the author is probably not aware of what the Saudi authorities are doing. So, although we can condemn the authorities for many wordly things, I think that, considering the yearly event, they are doing a very good job. Thirdly, going for Hajj is not a holiday. You will see people who have never left their house with all the modern amenities and have never seen a whole in the ground as toilet. When you go for Hajj, you have to have an open mind and be ready for anything. You have to remind yourself why you went there and not become angry. You have to be ready to help and save people.

You have to be ready to give up your comfort. Hajj is not easy and will never be easy. The reward is immense though as the reward for Hajj mabroor is Jannah. Going there is easy now so the difficulties will be somewhere else. There were plenty of food when I went, yet people were fighting to eat even though there was more than enough for everybody and even more. An old lady came with her son but had to be in another room in Makkah. Nobody wanted to stay with her. My bed was half broken, so what? And so many other things.

If you go to Makkah, you need to bag plenty of patience. That is all you need after the knowledge of Hajj rituals and Ihraam. Why would Allah make this a condition for Hajj mabroor? May Allah give us all the patience to endure the difficulties of Hajj, whether those are material, life-threatening or dealing with people from every corner of the world. BTW, is there a better place to die than in Hajj? Alhamdulillah whilst performing tawaf neither I nor my immediate family members were ever intentionally pushed or shoved or elbowed.

Also with the 1st floor and roof being accessible for tawaf- it is less crowded and the tawaf doesnt take that much longer to perform for a fit and healthy person. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience, and if anything it was the constant whinging and moaning of some of our hajj group peers that was the most annoying.

Another problem I found was the wheelchairs that weave in, out and around people- occasionally hitting someone in the back of their foot. The guards and policemen should demand wheelchair users to stay within their designated aisle, to prevent the accidental knock of the wheelchair. If Hajj teaches you one thing- it is patience. Patience with people around you- to be good with others however they are with you. Patience with conditions- when food hasnt arrived at your camp in mina, when the heat becomes unbearable.

Patience when the rain pours down on you so hard…you are wet through to your skin and there is no shelter or stopping place. This is not to say that we shouldnt discuss problems and try to improve things. With this mindset, one can be prepared for any difficulty and trial that comes their way with beautiful patience. Quotas in many countries keep decreasing and prices keep increasing. In terms of organizing crowds and facilities, the Saudis do a wonderful job.

However i agree that Makka doesnt need more and more 5 star hotels. Apparently Makka is a goldmine for real estate investors and other businessmen and they invested money to gain high returns knowing Makkah will always have visitors. Yes , u rite…. People write motivational articles to encourage muslims to go for hajj, and here we have an article scaring the people. I did hajj in , and it was beautiful. I am on the contrary amazed, and its sure is sign from Allah about sacredness of hajj and haram, that despite millions of people being there, it goes more or less smoothly. You cannot have anything similar with this magnitude.

The hajj itself consists of 5 days once you have done umrah or tawaf, depending on which type of hajj one is doing. The main part of hajj consists of spending your days in Mina, Arafat and mudhalifah, with a final tawaf in Makkah. I did Hajj last year and I can assure you that during those 5 days of Hajj one is cut off from luxuries and pleasures. There are no malls or comforts in Mina where the bulk of your time is spent , just a mattress, basic amenities and food. There is no opting out of going back home during these few days either if you get cold feet.

The extra time spent in Makkah and Madinah around luxuries is optional and not the actual Hajj. The most amazing experience of my hajj was that in my camp, which was a Rajhi Camp, the Rajhi family daughters were also there the Rajhi family is the wealthiest family in Saudi after the Royals and they were sharing the same facilities as us and mingling with us like they were one of us. We also had many maids in our camp, hence the richest and poorest of society were in one tent, all as helpless as each other, united in hoping for the mercy and forgiveness of their Lord.

Quietly destroy old Islamic places to prevent any spiritual attachment to the area. Barelvis will have less of a duty. For example, a house the Prophet salalahualayhiwasalam stayed in or one of the Sahabi, etc. Stop the flashy hotels and all the buildings which are used for any other purpose than absolutely necessary. Do people really need to kiss the black stone? Also, does anyone really need to do a circle right outside the Kaba? What about a few meters away? Arif Kabir. Thank you for this insightful and well-researched article. I personally do not think such a sensationalized and quite frankly, half-true title was appropriate, but that is another matter altogether, as it may have been picked by the blog administrators.

There does not seem to be much that can be done with the increase in Hujjaj , aside from perhaps barring those that have already made Hajj once, or reducing the quota for each country. However, it is true that the Saudi authorities can do much more to keep the central area of the Haram safe. I look forward to your future installments. I think it would also be a worthwhile article to discuss the misconceptions when it comes to performing Hajj such as believing that all Saudi officials are harsh and rude most of the ones I met were honestly very hospitable , that most of the journey requires a lot of walking, that conditions in Mina are completely deplorable.

Though these situations may be true for many, I have neither seen nor heard of many Westerners face these issues. I thought the latter was only reserved for Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam. Personally for me the lows was not the construction or the numbers. The numbers actually made me happy. My lows was seeing American Hujjaj being more interested in food and talking then they were in ibadah. Mohamed Salim khan. I ,my wife and my two young daughters ,alhamdulillah performed hajj in year , It was wonderful in awonderlland.

If I had money and free time,I would have repeated the hajj every year. Your email address will not be published. Leave this field empty. Loving Allah and trusting the Wisdom and Purpose in everything He throws your way- even if it hurts. It is a time to learn. The Messenger of Allah said that the faith in our hearts wears out the way our clothes wear out. Deterioration, maintenance, and renewal are part of the cycle. For some of us, refreshing faith becomes secondary to just keeping it. I believe that our discussions about faith tend to be overly simplistic. They revolve around a few basic concepts, and are more or less summed up with:.

None of these statements are technically untrue. The sweetness of faith is a joy that is beyond any other gratitude, for any other thing in this world. Righteousness in the sight of Allah will put you on the path to the good life in the afterlife. Making dua can be the solution to your problems. And neither of those is true either. Allow me to elaborate. Yet, our Ummah still has sick and disabled children. Many righteous people stand up, and are then ostracized for their faith. Many people speak truth in the face of a tyrant only to be punished for it.

Many of us live with complete conviction, with unshakeable belief in the existence and wisdom and mercy of Allah, and still find ourselves unhappy and afraid of what He has willed for us. No, but our spiritual education is. In order to fix it, we have to be upfront with each other. We have to admit that we can be happy with Allah and still find ourselves devastated by the tests He puts before us, because faith is not a protection from struggle. No one ever told me. Everyone told me — Make dua! The prayer of a mother for her child is special!

Allah will never turn you down! You can assume whatever you like about my character, but bad things do happen to good people, even when they pray. You can try your hardest and still fall short. You can pray your whole life for something that will never come to you. When we talk about prayer and hope, we prefer to talk about Zakariyyah — who begged Allah for a child and was gifted with one long after anyone thought it even possible. But we also need to talk about Abu Talib. But Abu Talib died without accepting Islam, was there something wrong with the Prophet, that Allah did not give him what he asked for?

Was he not good enough? Did he not pray hard enough? Astaghfirullah , no. So if Prophets of God can ask for things and still not get them, why are we assuming otherwise for ourselves? If we can understand that faith is not a contract for which we trade prayers for services, then maybe we can cope better when fate cannot be bargained with. Life is not simple. Faith is not simple. The will of Allah is not simple, no matter how much we want it to be, and when oversimplify it, we create a Muslim version of Prosperity Gospel without meaning to. Have faith, and God will reward you in this life and the next.

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He grew up a slave and spent years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Good people are not guaranteed good lives. Islam is what we need, not a system of practices that we use to fulfill our needs. Nor can we understand, or even begin to cope with- what He Tests the rest of us with either. We have to be real in our talk about faith, because otherwise we set each other up for unrealistic expectations and lack of preparation for when we face hardship.

Faith is not protection from hardship. Faith is part of hardship. And hardship is part of faith. We certainly tested those before them. But give glad tidings to those who are patient in adversity.

Muslims in the Hospitality of King Salman to perform Hajj this year2400

Allah tests each of us differently, but in every single case — every single time — a test is an invitation to success. Hardship is the process through which we prove ourselves. Experiencing it— and then drawing closer to Allah through it —is how faith is tested as well as strengthened. If we can change how we perceive hardship, then we can also change how we perceive each other. On our cultural subconscious, we still see worldly failure as being equivalent to spiritual failure. So when we see people who are homeless, we assume fault.

When we see people facing depression or divorce, we assume fault. We even look at refugees and victims and special needs children and we look for fault. Fault is how we place blame. Blame is how we know whose mistake it is. Instead of faulting each other for what Allah tests us with, we could respect each other for the struggles we all endure. We could see each other with more compassion for our challenges, and less aversion when Allah tests us with dealing each other.

Allah tests those that He loves. When He raises the difficulty level, Allah is extending a direct invitation for you to climb higher. There is only one true failure in this life, and that is dying on the wrong side of Siraat ul Mustaqeem, because if close your eyes and wake up in Jahannam, no success in this life can compensate for that. And I do not feel bitter, because my test is my honor. Even when I do feel scared.

Being scared in not a failure either. Neither is being unemployed. Being unmarried is not a failure. Being childless is not a failure. Being divorced is not a failure. Nothing unpleasant or miserable or unexpected is a failure. Not even sin is failure, because as long as you are alive, your sin stands as an invitation to forgiveness. The bigger the sin, the greater the blessings of repenting from it. Everything that goes bad is the opening of the door for good. A major sin can be the first step on a journey that starts with repentance and moves you closer to Allah every day thereafter.

Sin only becomes failure when it takes you farther away from Allah, rather than closer to him. Addiction is not a failure. Depression is not a failure. Poverty is not a failure. Jahannam is the only failure. Everything else is a gap in expectations. That good deeds are the guarantee to the good life, and that prayer equals problem solved? Allah has all the knowledge, Allah has the wisdom, Allah is the best of Planners — how are you assuming that your wishes supersede His will?

Even when you put your wishes in the form of a prayer? Allah has always, and will always be in control of this world. And that means your world too. Lots of special needs parents struggle with guilt. I meet them often — and every single parent has asked the question- directly or indirectly-.

Can you hear the presumption in there? That the parents were good, so why did something bad happen? They were expecting for good deeds to equal the good life. That is a presumption of control. I am not proposing that we lose hope in Allah and despair of His Mercy. Allah hears your prayers, and in His wisdom, sometimes he grants us exactly what we want. In His Wisdom, sometimes he grants us exactly what we need. I am proposing that we put trust in the wisdom of Allah, and understand that when He tests us, that is part of his mercy, not a deviation from it.

Even when we ask Him to take it away. So verily, definitely, for sure- with hardship there is ease. Again, Inna — for sure, with hardship there is ease. But did you mean that this hardship will end, and then things will be good again? Like as soon as things have been hard for a while, Allah will make them easy again?

With this hardship, there is ease. But that hardship, will bring you ease. When my son was diagnosed with autism, my husband and I had to drop everything. We dropped our plans to save, to travel, and to live the charmed life of neurotypical parents whose only fears are that their children may grow up and NOT become Muslim doctors. We spent our earnings and our savings and our time and our nights and our tears and Alhamdulillah, we learned patience.

We learned perspective. We learned compassion. We really learned what we thought we already knew — about unconditional love and acceptance. We learned to be bigger than our fears, and smaller than our own egos. We learned to give and take help. We learn to accept what wisdom our cultures could offer us, and respectfully decline what did not.

We learn to set boundaries and make rules that did justice by our children and our family, regardless of whether they were popular. With hardship comes ease. The seed that our challenges planted has grown into something beyond us. With our hardship came ease for ourselves and others as well. When I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome , my health issues were upgraded from challenging to permanent. I had to rethink how I lived, how I planned, how I dressed, and even — my relationship with Allah. But if I had never been sick, I would never have started writing.

When it hurt, I wrote. When I was scared, I wrote. When I was lonely, I wrote. And by and by the grindstone of fear and sickness and frustration sharpened my skills. Where I am today both spiritually and professionally — is actually a direct result of both autism and chronic illness. It just means being Muslim, no matter the circumstances. That means loving Allah and trusting the Wisdom and Purpose in everything He throws your way — even if not loving everything He throws your way.

You may hate your circumstances, and you may not be able to do anything about them, but as long as you trust Allah and use your hardships to come closer to him, you cannot fail, even if this life, you feel as if you never really succeeded. Our test are an invitation, an opportunity, an obstacle — but not a punishment or divine cruelty. And when we know that those tests will come, and some may even stay, then we can be better prepared for it. Trust Allah when He says that He does not burden any soul with more than it can bear. He told us so in Surah Baqarah Ayah Remember that when you are afraid, and Allah will never cause your fear to destroy you.

Take your fear to Allah, and He will strengthen you, and reward you for your bravery. Remember that when you are in pain.


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Allah will never cause your pain to destroy you. Take your pain to Him, and He will soothe you and reward you for your patience. Take it all to Allah — the loneliness, the anxiety, the confusion. The struggles in your life are a test, and whether you pass or fail is not determined on whether you conquer them, only on whether you endure them.

Expect that they will come, because having faith is not protection from struggle. Faith is protection from being broken by the struggle. I ask Allah to protect us all from hardship, but protect us in our hardships as well. I ask Allah to grant us peace from His peace, and strength from His strength, to patiently endure and grow through our endurance. Co-written by Shaykh Osman Umarji. As writers on MuslimMatters, it came as a surprise when the website we write on marked itself zakat-eligible on its fundraiser for operations in Ramadan.

This website has previously highlighted the misuse and abuse of zakat for vague and dodgy reasons, including instances of outright fraud by nonprofit corporations. We have lamented the seemingly inexorable march from zakat being for living human beings in need to financial play-doh for nonprofit corporate boards. There continue to be strong interests in favor of more putty-like zakat to benefit the interests of the organizations that are not focused on reducing poverty. Thus, in many ways, a sizeable chunk of zakat benefits the affluent rather than the needy.

Zakat, rather than being a credit to the Muslim community, starts to look more like an indictment of it. The recent article on this website, Dr. Usama Al-Azmi seemed somewhat oblivious to the cavalier way the nonprofit corporate sector in the United States treats Zakat. Zakat has eight categories of permissible beneficiaries in the Quran. However, in recent times, Muslim nonprofit corporations, with support of learned Muslim leaders, have adopted an increasingly aggressive and vague posture that allows nearly any beneficial cause to get zakat.

We need to know what that means in practice. What we have is a fundamental question the fisabilillah-can-mean-virtually-anything faction never manages to answer: are there any limits to zakat usage at all? We fully understand that in our religious practice, there is a set of rules. There is an established set of rules relating to acts of worship. For the third pillar of Islam, zakat, there seem to be no limits to the absurd-sounding questions we can ask that now seem plausible.

We need a better understanding of zakat and draw the lines on when nonprofit corporations are going too far. You can be conservative and stand for zakat as an act of worship that contributes to social justice. Why or why not? What rules exist that would prevent something like this? As far as we know, nothing at all. In the United States, demographic sorting is a common issue that affects all charitable giving, not just giving by Muslims. The most affluent live in neighborhoods with other people who are generally as prosperous as they are.

Certain places seem almost perversely designed to allow wealthy residents to be oblivious to the challenges of the poor. The only real way affluent Muslims know they supposed to care about poor people is that maybe they have a Shaikh giving khutbas talking about the need to do so and their obligation of zakat once a year or so. That is now becoming a thing of the past. Now it is just care about fisabilillah- it means whatever your tender heart wants it to mean.

As zakat becomes less about the poor, appeals will be for other projects with a higher amount of visibility to the affluent. Nonprofits now collect Zakat for galas with celebrities. Not fundraising at the gala dinner mind you, but merely serving dinner and entertaining rich people.

Educational institutions and Masajid that have dawah activities besides, everything a Masjid does is fisabilillah can be quite expensive. The second point that Imam Bediuzzaman Said Nursi makes about hajj is its contribution to the unity and solidarity of Islamic world. By the result of these occasions, intellectual togetherness and agreements are reached and solidarity and acting cooperatively among Islamic communities are provided. And that is a wisdom which is a transcendent Islamic politics and concerning Islamic societal life that Allah put on the hajj worship. Bediuzzaman says that hajj has been neglected in recent centuries and this damaged the great politics of Islam and the Islamic unity.

Due to this negligence, Muslim relations within each other have weakened in the course of time and it allowed the clashes among Muslims provoked by enemies of Muslims. That the Indian Muslims were brought to Dardanelles to fight against Ottomans by British in World War I and Kazakh Muslims are used against Ottoman army by Russians in east frontier are tragic examples of that grave situation.

Imam Bediuzzaman concludes that it is a divine punishment caused to Muslims that they are forced to make longer journeys and fight against their brothers under the flag of enemy due to their negligence of sacred journey of hajj, and the Muslims need to draw lessons from that saddening picture. Imam Bediuzzaman points out two great benefits of hajj concerning the individual and social life.

Performing hajj duty gains the individual higher servant awareness and helps get to know our Lord, and it provides the Muslim communities get to know each other closely and strengthen unity. Al-Nursi has proved that hajj should never be neglected, by showing these two vital wisdoms behind it and by that way he has encouraged Muslims to perform hajj duty.

Hajj, This Awareness Campaign continues from in Umrah and Hajj season. I hope you will do your best for the promotion of this Awareness Campaign. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Skip to content Hajj in Islam is fardh compulsory for every Muslim who is capable of and can afford it. Hajj, 78 2. Bukhari, Muslim 3. Bukhari, Nasai 4. Hajj, 27 5. It cannot be extinguished by a blow! Science and Islam.

The fourth pillar of Islam is fasting in the month of Ramadan, the month in which Prophet Suleiman as He was a blessed gift given to David, peace be upon him.