The hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, is a momentous occasion and is considered the pinnacle of any Muslim’s life. While it is both a collective undertaking and a deeply personal experience – it is bound to entirely transform one’s perspective on life.
As thousands of South African hujjaj travel to the holy lands to embark on these rites of passage, they step into unknown territory – relinquishing their affairs to the Creator.
Al Jeem Foundation director Maulana Irshaad Sedick has some sage advice for hujajj.
“This is a sacred journey, so always conduct yourself the way the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) would conduct himself. Leave your homes in the sunnah manner and fulfil all the rights of the traveller, read all the sunnah duas and make sure all your responsibilities are fulfilled. Know that this is not an ordinary journey,” he said.
“Leave the home with the right foot, say the dua before the plane takes off. Remember that you are not just going to any place, so don’t do things that other people would do on a flight to pass the time. Fill your time with thikr of Allah SWT, because the entire journey of hajj has been established for that.”
Hujjaj will be severely tested in the build-up and during the sacred pilgrimage.
“There will be long queues, the heat will be very severe…so your sabr must kick in. Over and above, understand that the time of your preparation has ended. The time now is to completely rely on the plan of Allah SWT. What ever Allah decrees, learn to become pleased with that decision. Don’t resist any situation, as this will make your journey more difficult.”
Hajj is held in high regard in the Cape where there a rich cultural history of celebrating the hajj and honouring the hujjaj.
“These rituals date back many years ago where people would gather for departure of the hujajj. The athaan would be recited when hujjaj leave their homes and would again be repeated the harbour, when they boarded the ship,” said Sedick.
“In memory of this, the Al Jeem foundation seeks to renew this ritual by reciting the athaan at the airport as hujjaj say their salaams. To those departing, we say go with the remembrance of Allah SWT. This is a journey to Allah in this life in preparation for that journey to Allah in the hereafter. The difference between that time and this time is that here we get a second chance at life.
“We make dua that Allah SWT make the journey for all hujjaj easy and that it be a spiritually fulfilling journey, Ameen.”
VOC will conduct a live outside broadcast from Cape Town International Airport at 2pm on Tuesday.