Monday, October 25, 2010

The Hajj, Journey of the Heart.

I am prompted to update my blog when I read the comment from Pak Cik Al-Manar in Hank's blog " Birdhouse". Frankly speaking I have been attending so many weddings and going to and fro my hometown Seremban for the past several weeks to help my sister in keeping appointments with the doctors on behalf of my father left me quite little time to reflect on what to write in my blog.

Incidentally I met someone at the car wash which I frequented every week, lamenting on the late notifications by Tabung Haji even though the would be pilgrims have been confirmed of their turn this Hajj season. Whenever I pass by Tabung Haji complex in Kelana Jaya and seeing the tents sprouting around the complex and reading the complaints from all quarters about the way the Mecca bound pilgrims are being handled from the point of reporting at the departure hall in the complex, left me wondering whether these people realise that the Hajj journey is first and foremost begins in the heart.

Notwithstanding all the quirks and discomforts that these people are experiencing from the stage of preparing to take off for the journey to Mecca, they should be thankful that their life long ambition of performing the last Pillar of Islam is coming to fruition. That is the most fulfilling journey of the heart which should not be confused with any other journey that one normally goes through. As a journey of the heart, all concentration is focused on thing, that is to perform all the mandatory rituals of the Hajj to the best of one's ability and whether it is a Hajj Mabrur or not is not of prime consideration. If it could be achieved, than it is a bonus, but the basics of the 'niat' Ihram and Hajj is just for the sake of ALLAH and none other. The ustaz of the morning TV program mentioned a funny episode where a question was posed to a would be pilgrim before departure what Hajj is he going to do, and the answer was " Haji Mabrur", whereas what was intended was to find out whether he was going to do " Haji Tamattu'" or " Haji Ifrad " since he was going on the last few flights direct to Mecca.

One of the many complaints in the past was the pilgrims who were allowed to perform their Hajj many many times, whereas there are those who have not been even once are still awaiting their turn. Apart from those with valid reason for going more than once, such as accompanying their ageing parents or whose spouse is going for the first time to be accompanied by the husband, others should not be allowed as they are depriving those who are patiently waiting for their turn to perform the Hajj for the first time. If Hajj is the performance of one's obligation, then priority should be given to first timers. After all, going to Hajj more than once is not obligatory or mandatory. May ALLAH be the final arbiter on those whose turn is yet to come and more than ready to go to Mecca to perform the Hajj.