Philosophy of Pilgrimage
“Hajj is (in) the months well-known; if anyone undertakes to perform that duty therein, let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj; and whatever good you do, God knows it”. (Qur’an, Chapter 2, Verse 197).
This is the week of Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. About 1,500,000 Muslims will spend the week in Arafat, Musdalifa, Mina and Mecca under the most strict discipline of Hajj.
But self-restraint and discipline is not the only benefit of this pilgrimage. (And it can also be achieved by fast of Ramadhan). The most endearing feature of Hajj is that it serves to crush the pride and destroy the egoistic tendencies of the individual. It creates humility and humbleness.
It is just impossible to show your individuality and identity in Hajj. Are you a scholar? Or an illiterate? Are you a king? Or an ordinary man? A military strong man? A revered man of religious world? It does not matter what was your rank or designation in your own world; this is the domain of religion and God, and here you are simply one more servant of Allah – nothing more, nothing else.
You have to wear simple cotton dress – unstitched sheets wrapped around the body. You cannot distinguish yourself even by inventing your own style of wearing. You have to wear it in the same way as the other 1,500,000 pilgrims are doing. Do you want to wear some medals or other distinguishing decorations? No chance, it is not allowed. Or at least some enchanting hairstyle? But heads are shaved, and you are to do accordingly.
Could you imagine a hard-headed executive of a firm, or an arrogant dictator of a country, wearing two white sheets, trotting between two hills seven times, forgetting all his pomp and show? Could you image an usually reserved aristocrat hitting a pillar with stones day after day oblivious of the fact that 3,000,000 eyes are upon him? Could you think of a millionaire living in hardship just like less-fortunate human-beings, but without any complaint or murmuring? Here is your chance to see these imponderables turn into accomplished facts. Arrogance, pride, high -headedness wealth, honor, academic qualifications, political achievements, military victories – everything is worthless here. Nothing can be admired here. The only thing which has any value ‘you’, as a servant of God.