DEAR HAAJI…Are you worthy of your new title?
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DEAR HAAJI…Are you worthy of your new title?

Dear Haaji. It is close to a month or maybe just over a month since you have returned from one of the most memorable journeys of your life-a life changing experience is what many like you who have just returned from the holy lands would call it.  The stream of visitors who came to congratulate you and seek your duaas have come to an end. And life has returned to normal for you once again. Like everyone else you’ve started doing the things that you did before you left for Haj.

By many of your friends and family you are now respectfully addressed with the title of Haaji. Alhamdullillaah, it is your right to do so because from the millions of Allah Ta’ala’s creation He had chosen you to be His guest. However, now that you have secured a title that many still dream of, it is time to find out if you had really performed Haj and are you deserving of your honorary title of Haaji?

Once, Hadrat Junaid Baghdadi Rahmatullaahi Alaihi met a man who had just returned from Hajj. After observing him for a while he asked him, He engaged him in the following dialogue:

Hadrat Junaid: Have you been to Hajj?

 Haaji: Yes, I have just come back.

Hadrat Junaid: When you left your home with the intention of Hajj, did you repent from all your sins?

Haaji: I did not think about it.

Hadrat Junaid: In that case, you did not even depart for Hajj

 Hadrat Junaid: What about your journey, rest-breaks and stopovers? When covering distances, did you move mentally and spiritually closer to Allah Ta’ala or was it just like any other journey you undertook previously?

 Haaji: I was too busy with other details of the journey and did not really reflect on that.

 Hadrat Junaid: Then you have not really travelled to the house of Allah Ta’ala.

 Hadrat Junaid: How about while putting on the Ihraam and replacing your usual clothes, did you think about discarding your undesirable habits and attitudes?

Haaji: It did not cross my mind.

Hadrat Junaid: Alas! You did not even put on the Ihraam.

 Hadrat Junaid: Did you experience the presence of Allah Ta’ala while you were standing in Arafaat as if He was in front of you.

Haaji: No, I did not get that feeling.

Hadrat Junaid: That means you did not even reach Arafaat.

Hadrat Junaid: When you went to Muzdalifah, did you think about gathering your worldly desires and aspirations as you picked up the pebbles so you could cast them out all together when you pelted the Jamaraath?

Haaji: I was only thinking about gathering the pebbles.

Hadrat Junaid: So, you have not even been to Muzdalifah

Hadrat Junaid: What about throwing stones at the pillars? When performing that ritual, did you make a pledge to avoid corrupt enticements and cast away your ill deeds from here onwards.

Haaji: This did not happen either.

Hadrat Junaid: Unfortunately, you have not performed Rami (stoning) either.

Hadrat Junaid: How was your Tawaaf (circumambulation of the Ka’baah)? Did you feel overwhelmed by an ardent attraction towards the perfect Majesty of Allah Ta’ala during Tawaaf or did you just perform it as a mere ritual of Haj?

Hajji: No, I was only counting the number of Tawaaf I was making and eagerly awaiting its completion.

Hadrat Junaid: It is, then, as if you have not even performed Tawaaf.

Hadrat Junaid: Perhaps you understood the spirit, wisdom and objective of running between Mounts Safaa and Marwah. Did you think about the struggle of Hadrat Hajira Alaihas Salaam as you did this? Did you think about her unwavering faith, trust and devotion to Allah Ta’ala?

 Hajji: Not really!

Hadrat Junaid: In other words, you have not performed Sayee (running between Safaa and Marwah).

Hadrat Junaid: Tell me about your sacrificial rites. While slaughtering the animal, did you sacrifice purely for the love of Allah Ta’ala? And did you think about Nabi Ibrahim Alaihis Salaam and his unwavering commitment to Allah Ta’ala?

Hajji: That did not really come to my mind.

Hadrat Junaid: In that case, you did not even offer the sacrifice.

Hadrat Junaid: Allah is the Most Merciful! You must go back next year and perform the HAJ again with the correct spirit and attitude of becoming truly Allah Conscious. You need to re-enact and this time live the experiences of Nabi Ibrahim Alaihis Salaam and contemplate on his example.

Do you have to go back again to earn the  coveted title of Haaji-this time rightfully?

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