About 1.4 million hujjaj will take a spiritual pledge to make the pilgrimage to the holy cities to perform the most important task of any Muslim’s life. However, with the increase in travelling prices along with restrictions by the Saudi Ministry of Haj, less South Africans are able to perform this venerated journey. Those who are home for the days leading up to Wuqoof on the plain of Arafat – considered to be the apex of haj – can still achieve the spiritual upliftment of the pilgrimage from the comfort of their own homes.
“This entire period we find ourselves in now, hujjaj are on a very special journey where Allah (swt) has chose them to be guests in the holy kingdom. Non-pilgrims and pilgrims alike are urged to use this significant time of the year to draw closer to Allah from the 1st of Thul Hijja when the moon has been sighted until the tenth when we celebrate Eid-ul Adha,” says Maulana Abdul Khaliq Allie.
The teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) distinctly speak of the significance of these days. So sacred are the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah that Allah (swt) swears an oath by them when He says in the Quran: “By the dawn; by the ten nights” [89:1-2].
“There is no better time to draw closer to Allah then these days leading up Eidul-Adha,” adds Allie.
He further went on to appeal to all Muslims to be conscious of their actions and deeds, to refrain from wrong and sinful acts, especially from being harmful to ones own self and humanity. In addition, Allie adds that there should be a concerted effort made toward uplifting ones spirituality to draw closer to righteousness.
“We hould be able to increase in Thikr and saying ‘Laa ilaha illallah’. Simply by sharing a smile and reaching out to our neighbours…we should increase in fasting in these days as there are special references made to fasting during this time. This is a period that should be treasured. We shouldn’t forget to be thankful for the blessings that Allah (swt) has put in our lives.”
Ultimately, this time should be a time in which all Muslims are exerting all their efforts to not only stand in solidarity with hujjaj, but to grow the relationship between themselves and the Almighty. With the right state of mind and sincerity, this can be achieved from anywhere in the world, not only at the holy sites of Islam. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)