SubhanAllah… where can i start with this. im still feelings the after shocks (so to speak) to what i heard recently. Although many may be aware of this, i nonetheless was completely oblivious to it. A day ago i was having a conversation with a brother who usually leads groups of muslims to hajj and umrah. With hajj around the corner, the brother as with previous years was beginning to make preparations for this years pilgrimage. Our conversations however, turned ugly. Ugly in the respect of what i was to hear, something i was not exposed to before. As with having to manage groups of people, during hajj and also of the lesser pilgrimage (umrah) it is understandable that there will be some ups and downs of the trip. But, this was nothing to what i had in mind or was expecting, for that matter!
“o brother… don’t ask.. last year i almost had a mental breakdown and was about to leave everything and return to UK…last year was worse than the previous years”, was the brothers response when i asked him how it was managing groups of people especially during hajj. i followed it up almost instantly with a follow-up question. As i did not fully understand what he meant. “what exactly do you mean?”. Now what he told me completely blew me away. He said just before a day or two of hajj commencing he was subjected to such verbal abuse which he did not even expect to come from non – muslims! The brother then on went to say what exactly happened. I’ll briefly mention it here as it has a great lesson for us as to how we as an ummah have greatly moved away from the spiritual and traditional values we once held very high. that is of ishiq (love)!
He said after he had completed his umrah, he was standing near the safa area having some fresh air when one of the people from his group came up to him and started shouting, not only that but verbally abusing him.. “you f…ing this and you f..ing that, you b…ted, you ruined my hajj… you caused this…. etc..” and whilst shouting at the top of his head. All this commotion was near the haram (kaba), also whilst the individual was in ihram! when this was happening a small crowd had gathered around the scene of incident and rather than stop the person swearing and shouting they stood there watching as if it’s some kind of entertainment. The brother then said.. “after taking a load of s..t from him, i also gave some back”. By now, i was completely dumbfounded as to what i was hearing. my mind was racing back and forth to the scene trying to stay focus as to what the brother was saying.
I was in a complete shock!! you would expect this sort of action to happen on a Saturday night, in a pub brawl or something. After hearing this i managed to muster some words and ask him why this was the case. Was the man in a dangerous situation? Was he needing medical help? Was he in pain?.. how old was he? (as i thought maybe it was one of those young hot-blooded teens/young adults, who got carried away because of the heat). To all this he replied, the man was 50/60 years old and all he wanted was to go back to the hotel, and the reason for his dissatisfaction was because the buses were not here on time. SUBHANALLAH! if this is the filth people are going with to do righteous act like that of hajj and umrah, then why bother? A person will only contaminate the sanctity of the place. i remember our mashaykh saying back in the days the righteous (pious predecessors) hardly anyone spoke any louder than whisper in the holy lands due the reverence of the place. People back then (during the times of our pious predecessors) would pick a hand full of dust from the ground and wipe it across the eyes when they first entered the haram. Just because the beloved walked on these blessed streets and lived in the surroundings. They would shed tears whilst looking at the mountains, the trees, which once saw the beloved walk on these streets. Now, comparing that to today’s attitudes of people, it’s just shocking. Hajj and umrah have become a mere holiday, a tour of sight-seeing and a place to do the rituals of one’s religion… nothing more. Completely devoid of the spirituality which once was associated with it. This crucially illustrates how when we have love (ishiq) at the heart of religion then we can only experience the true Islam that the awliyah and the saliheen taste. We need to have love in our ibadaah and not merely see it as fulling a religious obligation. ‘A thing needed to be done’.
Islam is not a company that you work in. you are not an employee in which you merely do your job, then go home and forget about it. This is YOUR life and whether you accept that or not, you have to view it that way. Not as a company or an organization for which you work! it is a complete state of shame that in our holy places we have lost that respect that these sort of places deserve. I was lost for words that people could even act like that over there in a place where Allah (jalla’wa’la) even swore by. Imagine the sanctity of a place by which even Allah swears by, yet we are like dogs and cats completely having no regard for where we are and why we go to such places.