HAJJ: TO SHOW OFF OR TO GROW UP?
NOTE TO READERS:
Let this get to any pilgrim you know, or anyone who has already performed pilgrimage, or anyone willing to perform pilgrimage. Feel free to share.
One way the conspiratorial haters of Islam have fruitlessly antagonised the religion is by referring to Hajj as a mere tourist attraction. The pathological despisers have even likened the fifth-pillar annual exercise to going on a summer holiday, just to have fun. If it is mere tourism to the strayed detractors, we say it is a spiritual, adventurous and rewarding obligation specially ordained by Allah for healthy thinkers and rational submissivists who wholeheartedly believe in the sovereignty of one unequalled, unseen Deity in whose incomparable powers and indescribable majesty, creation and all in it exist. Those who are jealously doing something similar have never had it good as Allah’s obligated Hajj. The unimaginable consistency of the teeming crowd from numberless nations the world over, every year, for that matter, is one of the apparent, lucid signs, testimonies and attestations that the exercise is truly God’s.
It is however, baffling and tear-taking that certain muslims are unconsciously guilty of the above pitfall. Rather than intend to go for Hajj to grow, their intent, unfortunately, is to show, hence unknowingly turning the spiritual expedition into mere touring the land of Saudi Arabia for fun. Show off is a great destroyer of good deeds irrespective of the financial and/or physical energy exerted into it. The holy Prophet said:
“Whoever does an act to be seen, Allah will show him (to people). And whoever acts to be heard, Allah will make him heard of.” Agreed upon. Deductively and inferentially, it implies therefore, that whoever performs Hajj to be seen will have no reward than to be seen. Additionally, while the Prophet was addressing his companions one day, he said:
“What I fear for you the most is the lesser shirk.” The companions asked: “What is the lesser shirk, o Messenger of Allah?” He answered: “Show-off. On the Day of Judgement when rewarding people of their deeds, Allah the Exalted and Glorious will say to the hypocrites: ‘Go to those for the sake of whom you performed your good deeds and see if you will get any reward from them.’” Ahmad, At-Tabarani and Al-Bayhaqi.
Two fearful tags are involved in the latter tradition aforementioned – shirk (polytheism or associating partners with Allah) and nifaaq (hypocrisy). Subhaanallaah! Show off makes one guilty of either of the two or both, and the corresponding punishment is grave. Allah says of polytheism and hypocrisy respectively thus:
“Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him… And whoever sets up partners with Allah has indeed invented a great sin.” Q4 V48.
“Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depth of the Fire; no helper will you find for them.”Q4 V145.
HAJJ TOOTH (EYIN MAKKAH)
Of what significance is the so-called hajj tooth if not for show? You want people to know that you have gone for Hajj, right? Did you just say no? If no, why then do it? From whom did you learn that? Hajj as a pillar of Islam is like solah (the second pillar) that should be observed for Allah alone. Fixing the Hajj tooth is like fasting with a raised placard whose content reads: “I am fasting.” Surely, you will not want to do that. Why then do so in the case of Hajj? Why frivolously waste away a tremendous reward that should ordinarily turn you into a newborn who is as clean as snow and as sinless as an Angel. Allah says:
“So woe unto those performers of prayers. Those who delay their prayer. Those who do good deeds only to be seen…” Suratul Maa’uun – Q107 V4-6.
THE ALHAJI/ALHAJA APPELATIVE
It was recently narrated to me that someone who is the chairman of a marketers’ association somewhere said he desired and consequently decided to go on pilgrimage so that his elderly subordinates who are old enough to father him would no more call his name except by the title, Alhaji. What a hapless intention! Some muslims get unprecedentedly angry when they are addressed without touting, trumpeting, dittoing or echoing the title, Alhaji or Alhaja, as if in it lies licence to Allah’s pleasure. Acting as such is a glaring display of show off. You should rather be worried about your reward if you are addressed as such. When you are called Alhaji or Alhaja, you should always renew your intention. It is customary in this part of the world to address anyone who has gone on pilgrimage as Alhaji or Alhaja. So whether you like it or not, you will bear the title. And as common, your original name may even become faded in the mouths of people.
What about pre and post-hajj special prayers where wining and dining takes place after a supposedly intensive recitation of selected Quranic chapters by a crowd of alfas who eventually go home with their pockets penny-filled? What for? Isn’t Hajj special enough? Isn’t pilgrimage prayer-inclined? What is the pre-hajj prayer about? Where did we get that? Can there be any prayer that is as powerful as the ones made at the Ka’bah? So what is the post-hajj prayer about? Is someone underrating the potency of Allah’s house? You had better think, dear pilgrim.
This is the height of the mess, and of course, the peak of the trash. People who just returned from Hajj will gather in their numbers, usually in a hotel hall at the death of the day. They wine indiscriminately, dine wastfully and dance shamelessly with each participant having on his head the so-called sabakah cap. The supposed Alhajas and Alhajis some of whom are wives and husbands end up shagging each other somewhere in that home of shaytan. Innaa lillaahi wa innaa ileihi raaji’uun! The most painful is the involvement of the musicians who parade themselves as Islamic singers. This gets a lot of people confused, and as such see it as a normal phenomenal phenomenon. Sabakah night is not only show off, it is evil.
PORTRAIT ON THE WALL
Aside those who pristinely understand Islam and who have not been defeated by shaytan’s trick of show off, you hardly enter the house of a one-time pilgrim on this part of the planet earth without seeing a portrait of him hung against the wall. Some even have it outside so that it is visible to visitors on entry into the compound. What for? Show off.
PHOTO UPLOAD ON SOCIAL MEDIA
“We are now on Tawaf.” “That is me throwing stones at that great enemy, shaytan.” “I was opportune to pray in the Prophet’s mosque. That is me seated very close to the imam.” Statements such as these are common with people on pilgrimage. What for? Show off. Hajj isn’t an excursion, neither is it a picnic one explores to have fun. It is not a wordly fiesta; it is strictly a spiritual exercise which must be directed to no other than Allah.
Show off eats good deeds to zero.
Don’t ruin your hereafter with your own voluntary effort.
Stop shooting yourself in the leg.
HAJJ is to grow up in taqwa, closeness to Allah etc., not to show off.
Kindly renew your intention before you breathe your last. It is never too late.
May almighty Allah accept our HAJJ…. Ameen
Sanni K. Yusuf (Abu Royyan) @ .Knowislam.com.ng.