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Hasan Kamoonpuri Articles | Other useful Articles

The Haj and its global goals

( This article was published in Oman Daily Observer, Oman's most prestigious Newspapers.The article is reproduced with the permission of the author )
By Hasan Kamoonpuri

By Hasan Kamoonpuri :Each year, during Haj the world’s largest and most diverse gathering, three million Muslims from all walks of life stand in prayer on Mount Arafat. The following day, Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al Adha and distribute food to the less fortunate to commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son out of obedience to God.

Indeed, Haj is a major manifestation of unity of Muslims and universality of Islam’s message. Of all the practices in Islam, Haj is the greatest in its manifestation of unity. This is because the concept of unity, as expressed in creation, essentially involves the idea of universality.
About 5,000 years ago Prophet Abraham (PBUH) together with his son Isma’il built the Ka’aba following a command by Allah to lay the foundations of the Sacred House and to call people to make a pilgrimage to the Sacred Land. Since then people throughout the ages have responded to this call with enthusiasm.

Once again the Land of Revelation — Madinah Al Munawarah and Makkah Al Mukaramah — is host to millions of believers for the annual pilgrimage. In this birthplace of Islam and the Holy Quran, eager hearts from throughout the world are now engaged in developing and deepening the bonds of unity, love and empathy.

The aim of this great annual pilgrimage is to ensure the eternal salvation and dignity of mankind by training righteous people and establishing a righteous society; people who worship the One and Only God in their hearts and in practice cleanse themselves from polytheism, moral impurities and deviant desires, and a society built on justice, freedom, progress and faith.

Islam, the perennial faith practised by all prophets from Adam to Muhammad (peace be upon them all), brings people together and has unparalleled ability to mobilise masses in the understanding and obedience of their Creator.

The concept of unity is central to Islam; Tawheed (monotheism — Oneness of God) being the most important principle and doctrine. Tawheed literally means “unification” and “the act of uniting” — of bringing disparate “realities” together under a single total vision and reality.
On the doctrinal level Tawheed means to understand the Oneness of God in the first place and then to realise the unity of His creation in the second; all created things being nothing but the signs, words, and acts of the one God.

Unity of purpose
Now, man being the vicegerent the greatest creation of God on Earth is no exception to this rule. Hence, unity on the human plane implies that first and foremost, all men belong to one family of Adam and Eve. This is the message of Islam, which is founded on unity of all and love for all. Islam strives for unity of purpose to oppose oppressors, and defend the downtrodden and oppressed people got a just and humane world order.
There is unity in the very nature of all human beings — God having inspired them with something of His Spirit. On the most inner level is the unity which arises from man’s awareness of the Divine and hence, his own essence; the transcendent unity of God and the immanent unity of Divine nature and creation (fiťrat Allah) in man and the world.

The concept of the Muslim Ummah means a congregation of people self-consciously traversing the path to God. Islam wants the world’s oppressed to unite against the oppressors and believers must unite in opposition to profanity, infidelity, and arrogance. A glance at the state of the Muslims shows that they are desperately in need of unity.

It is important to realise that the coming together of Muslims of all walks, tongues, and races every year for the Haj is a commemoration of their common origin, their common values and their shared concerns.

It is a graphic reminder of their potential — of what they could be in breadth and depth, quantity and quality, dunya (this world) and akhirah (the Hereafter) — if only they witnessed Allah’s signs and believed in His word during the rest of their lives as they do in the Haj.
In their statements to the Haj pilgrims, each year Muslim leaders and scholars urge Muslims and Haj organisers to cherish the precious opportunity and realise their immediate duty which is consolidation of fraternity, resistance against oppressors, colonialism, imperialism, profanity and renouncing of the infidels in word and deed.

The season of Haj is the time of a spiritual rebirth and the practical manifestation of Islam’s concept of unity. The shedding of the attire of snobbery and the wearing of the uniform white garment of Ihram altogether symbolise a unanimous Islamic Ummah and decree a symbolic call of unity and empathy to Muslims worldwide.

During the Haj all pilgrims repeatedly chant: “Your God is One God, so to Him surrender. And give good tidings unto the humble” (The Haj: 34).
The Muslims who annually converge in Madinah Al Munawarah and Makkah Al Mukaramah from the four corners of the world and make seven rounds around the Ka’aba must cherish the opportunity in consolidating their mutual brotherly bonds as it would heal many woes of the Islamic Ummah, say scholars. If this happens, no one can drive wedges among Muslims.

Oman Daily Observer, Oman's most prestigious Newspapers.