5 Ways The Hajj Pilgrimage Is More Familiar Than You Think
“Hajj” and “Mecca” may be new words to you. And as experiences go, they’re likely as foreign as “volcano boarding” or “sand yachting”.
(yeah, those are real things)
So how about we bring the Pilgrimage experience a little closer to home… your home.
These are 5 ways you already have a head start on what most would call – the experience of a lifetime.
1. You found your calling
What made you accept Islam in your heart? There was something missing, wasn’t there? Some part of your life just seemed to need filling up, and accepting Islam did that for you. This happened through Divine Guidance.
God invites people to the Pilgrimage and guides them to it, just like He called you to Islam – this inner itch that you couldn’t ignore, like something was missing, something bigger than yourself.
The moment you accepted Islam – you may have felt whole again. That calling came from inside of you.
That’s exactly how pilgrims describe their experience. It doesn’t come suddenly, but it grows slowly from beneath the surface. God will soon call to you, too – your heart will know when it’s ready. And when it is, everything else will fall into place as it did with your Islam.
2. You proclaimed that God is One
When you became a Muslim, you said the statement and testimony of faith “Shahada”. These words mean that you will now live your life trying to please the One True God. It’s what makes Muslims different from everyone else in the world: sincerely worshipping the One True God on His terms.
Pilgrims at Hajj also call out their devotion to God alone. The formula used is declaring service and responding to the invitation “Talbiyah”. It’s meaning is, “Oh God, I am here responding to your invitation, at your service, there is no God but you…” The pilgrims are in Mecca to submit to God alone, just like you have tried every day since you said the testimony of faith.
3. You made some sacrifices
When you accepted Islam, there were some sacrifices that came along with it. Giving up certain foods, certain habits, certain places to hang out, are part of many converts’ experience after becoming Muslim.
Sacrifice. It’s hard to give up stuff you’re used to, but the reward is a whole lot sweeter.
The Pilgrimage might as well be synonymous with sacrifice. You intend a journey to serve God by leaving the luxuries of life behind. From start to end, the Pilgrimage is an experience of letting go for the sake of God.
4. You may have endured some difficulty
It may have been hard since you became a Muslim. God asks in the Quran if the people who believe think they will not be tested. The trials of life don’t stop. Sometimes, it feels like the hits just keep on coming, but God loves those with grit. You’ve already passed some of the tests of life, and you will keep on keeping on.
The Pilgrimage is also a challenging test. From the paperwork, to the finances, to the physical strain in the hot desert heat, Hajj offers test after test. You and pilgrims go from one place to the next, experiencing difficulty for the sake of God with each step.
5. You experienced a rebirth of sorts
When you became a Muslim, you got a clean slate. Your life before, the mistakes you made are left behind, and forgiven by God. Did you know that this same forgiveness is granted to those who perform the Hajj pilgrimage?
The Messenger of God said, “Islam erases all the previous sins and so does migration for God’s sake and the Pilgrimage to Mecca.”
God wants us to succeed, so He offers us many chances to start fresh.
Your Head Start
Now maybe you can see how Hajj wraps up the Muslim experience, and draws out of the Muslim their very best. You are already sharing in the Hajj experience without ever having lifted your eyes off this blog post.
So, when you consider Hajj in the future consider these points. Get excited about going there yourself one day. You’re already on the path.