بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
By Ruhaifa Adil
“So when you have accomplished your rituals of Hajj, remember Allah as you remember your forefathers or with a far more remembrance…”
(Surah Al-Baqarah: 200)
Congratulations on having completed your Hajj! We at IIPH hope and pray that your worship, your efforts, and your Duas have been accepted by Allah Azza wa Jal. And that He has forgiven you, and made you as sinless as you were the day you were born!
Hajj is a life-changing experience. All of us who have been for Hajj can vouch for the fact that when we come back from the Greater Pilgrimage, the world and its glamour seem faded and dulled out. However, as we carry on with life, the effects of Hajj wear off. The world and its glitz lure and entice us back to our old ways.
Let not your proclamation of Labbayk Allah-humma Labbayk (Here I am at Your service, O Allah) just end up as a lip service. Internalize the habits you developed during Hajj, and vow to continue serving Him for the rest of your life!
Habit 1: Make do with less
As travellers on Hajj, we realize we don’t need much to get by. We spend the days of Hajj with the minimum: two pieces of cloth (for the men), sleeping in an allotted portion barely enough to turn, just a few chosen belongings to accompany us, and small amounts of food so that we are able to worship Allah with ease and yet keep going. We make do with very little compared to what we are used to, and this minimalist attitude helps us to accomplish what we have gone for.
This life is also a journey, not the destination. Make do with less in order to obey and worship Allah with ease. “Less” can have a different definition for everyone. There is no need to go to the other extreme; just cut the excess out from your life, so that you connect to Allah and not be blinded by this world.
Habit 2: Tolerate the differences
Hajj tests our patience and tolerance immensely! We have to live and deal with people from all walks of life in very close proximities. We have to share our food, our room, our bathroom, and our lives with these people. It can be very trying at times especially when we have to adapt to certain situations which are disagreeable to us. We also have to learn to accept other people’s ideas, ideologies, religious preferences, and thoughts.
Bring this habit back with you. Learn to tolerate people and to accept their differences. Learn to live with people amiably, and to let go of the little things. The unity the Ummah displays at the time of Hajj is unparalleled; try and bring it back to your very home.
Habit 3: Give up the prohibited
During Hajj, we are asked to keep away from certain things that are lawful otherwise. We are not allowed to have sexual relations with our spouses, clip our nails, cut our hair, put on perfume, and so on in the state of Ihram. It is a test in abstinence, and Alhamdulillah we all pass this test. If we can give up for Allah what is allowed, can we not give up the few things that He has prohibited and forbidden?
Bring back the willpower you exercised at Hajj; use it against the disobedience of Allah!
Habit 4: Let go of arguments
Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of Allah and does not utter any obscene speech or do any evil deed, will go back (free of sin) as his mother bore him.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
We all try and keep away from arguments during Hajj. Initially this is hard, as we bite to control our tongues. However, as the days go by, and we develop amicable relationships with our fellow Hajjis, we realize that the only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it! As you come back from Hajj, make a pact to ignore those who try to rile you, and avoid getting into arguments for the sake of Allah.
Habit 5: Pelt Shaytan away from your thoughts
Shaytan is an opportunist – forever looking for a way to move us away from the remembrance of Allah and to entice us to wrongdoing. Whenever you find yourself tempted to do something wrong, to disobey Allah, or to move away from doing good, recognize that it is Shaytan and his whisperings. Pelt the thoughts away from your mind, as if you are throwing pebbles at the Jamarat, in the face of Shaytan, because nothing annoys him more than your obeying the command of Allah.
Habit 6: Make sure you are always packed
We are always on the go during Hajj. We are constantly moving, either from Makkah to Mina, Mina to Arafat, or via Muzdalifah back to Mina. We live out of our bags, and we don’t unpack. Our most important belongings are always in our bags so that they don’t get left behind.
For this journey of life, make sure you are always packed with the most important of all belongings: your Taqwa! Allah says in the Quran “…And take a provision (with you) for the journey (hajj) but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness)…” (Surah Al-Baqarah: 197)
Keep your Taqwa with you at all times. It is the only belonging that will accompany you on your travels back to Allah.