“Labbaika Allahumma Labbaik” (Here I am at your service, O Allah! Here I am at your service)
On the occasion of this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, the Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) congratulates the pilgrims who travelled to Makkah and Madina this year to perform the ceremonies of the Hajj. Hajj consists of several rites, which are meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials and triumph of Prophet Abraham and his family. The Qur’an describes Prophet Abraham (AS) as follows:
“Surely Abraham was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for Our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next he will most surely be among the righteous.” (Surah An-Nahl:120-121)
The performance of Hajj is a significant milestone in every Muslim’s life and those whom Allah has favoured to perform Hajj and `Umrah should be thankful to Allah (glorified and exalted be He) Who has chosen them from among His servants to perform these acts of worship. Also, they should continue to implore Almighty Allah to accept their good deeds and acts of worship. That is very important, for it reflects their belief that being so favoured by Allah to accomplish the task of travelling to the Sacred Land to perform Hajj and `Umrah is a favour that deserves gratitude.
Hajj, as the Prophet said in the hadith, purifies sins and makes a person who performs it with all sincerity like a newborn and thus closer to Allah.
During the Hajj, Muslims strive toward the ideal of equality and unity among all people regardless of class, ethnicity, tribalism or financial status. On the occasion of today in 632CE, the Day of Arafat, prophet Muhammad declared in his final sermon that;
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.”
It is therefore important for Hujjaj to try their best to preserve this pure state as best as they can. They, as well as all Muslims, can preserve this state by being consistent in dhikr, for dhikr helps us to come closer to the Lord and repels Shaytan. Remaining steadfast in performing salah and other religious duties. Reading and pondering the Qur’an on a daily basis. Carrying the message of Islam by inviting people to it and showing a good example in all our deeds as Allah says in the Qur’an “It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him.” (Surah Al-Hajj: 37). Keeping company with righteous Muslims and praying to Allah to make our hearts steadfast in obeying Him alone in the manner of the Prophet. We can all remember the hadith that explains the sign of an accepted Hajj—a Hajjmabroor—that a person after Hajj becomes more caring about the hereafter and less interested in the pleasures of this life. We therefore urge the pilgrims, after they return from the Sacred Land, to keep their minds and souls attached to Allah in the open and in secret, remembering Him constantly because Almighty Allah says, “And when ye have completed your devotions, then remember Allah as ye remember your fathers or with a more lively remembrance…” (Surah Al-Baqarah: 200).
May Allah (SWT) bless us with an increased spirituality, a renewed hope in mankind and the true meaning of sacrifice.
Eid Mubarak from all of us at MPAC