Why is the essence of the Hajj ritual on the brink of destruction? [Part 2]

Why is the essence of the Hajj ritual on the brink of destruction? [Part 2]

(This is part of the series Hajj: The Inner Journey updating daily on Sheikh’s Telegram Channel @haj1438)

Whenever one enjoys going to salaat without undergoing burdens, one must truthfully evaluate oneself. By way of example, when one attends a congregational prayer every day and enjoys doing so without there being a burden at all, and in fact not attending becomes difficult, one must ask oneself why?

Duties and ibaadaat are burdensome by nature because they tame one’s ego and animalistic pleasures. Now imagine one attends a prayer to be seen by others, to preserve one’s image, to be with friends and socialize, to go for the good served after salaat etc. in all these scenarios, as a result of the ego and animalistic pleasures, one is enjoying such a salaat and were such pleasures to be eliminated, he/she would not attending. There is a preponderance of the animal side against the spiritual dimension.

Duties are duties because they tame the animal dimension and the ego. When one starts enjoying them one must be careful and ask oneself why? Is this joy a divine ecstatic fervour or is it a pleasure and lust of one’s ego and animal side. If the latter, you have failed. Be observant and scrutinize yourself truthfully.

Now, why is the Hajj ritual being compromised?

What is happening today during the Hajj pilgrimage is a catalyst in transforming the inner secrets of Hajj to a baseless facade. How?

Look at how the degree of materialistic and animalistic pleasures and attractions have and are continuously increasing.

Are people more on a par with being pilgrims (with pure hearts) or tourists with animalistic desires?

All these luxurious hotels and comforts….all these recreational preoccupations and shopping etc! All these have made people become more attracted to the Hajj but for wrong reasons.

It’s all too obvious that when one observes more and more people making more and more visits without there being any inner revolution within and without them observing any burden in their pilgrimage, that the inner nature of Hajj is lost.

A burden-less Hajj is a defeat for the pilgrim. He/she is at loss. Something is wrong and one must scrutinize oneself and see where one is going wrong.

By way of example: the Hajj pilgrimage requires a number of spiritual prerequisites before the pilgrim embarks on such a journey. Prerequisites without which will disable one’s potential in realising a true spiritual Hajj. One such prerequisite is that of disassociating oneself from all worldly attachments. Now compare someone who leaves one’s job, work schedule, studies, family etc. at 5pm Friday afternoon and arrives in Mecca by air a few hours later, with one who walks for months passing through a number of climates, illnesses and struggles before arriving in Mecca. Who is more prepared? Who will benefit? Who has disassociated oneself more from worldly preoccupations? Who has purified oneself through burdens? Who on the other hand has turned one’s pilgrimage into a journey of one’s soul from one worldly life to another? And is just satiating one’s greed and whims but in a different environment….

Don’t get me wrong. No-one is against modernity! No-one is suggesting one must ride to Mecca by horse from the UK! Rather, the emphasis is that one should not allow modernity so easily crush the secrets our Islamic tenets hold. And just by sticking to a mere facade of religion without adherence to its inner reality, one has lost the plot.