Hajj is a very emotional season for me. As I see pictures of thousands of people circulating the Kabah, and read messages from friends and family happily announcing that they’ve gone for Hajj, I can’t help a tear from rolling down my cheek. It may seem incredibly unfair, not just to me, but to everyone who hasn’t been on this once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage. What can I do, as I continue my regular, everyday life?
There’s no need to despair. This beautiful Deen has left no stones unturned when it comes to earning rewards. As my heart mourned over not being able to perform Hajj, I promised myself to not leave myself deprived in these prized ten days. My Rab, the Most Merciful, the Best of Planners has left countless opportunities to make the best of this season. Why waste that being sad?
So, here are some unexpected ways of doing good for those of you not going for Hajj.
- Understand and accept the decree of Allah.
Know that whatever happens has been written by Allah, and know that nothing comes from Allah except good. If you’re not going for Hajj this year, have faith that the future holds something better for you.
“…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.”
- Make dua every chance you get.
Beg and plead Allah to call you to His house next year. Pray between the athan and iqamah, beseech Allah in sujood, stand in the last third of the night … leave no chance to ask Allah to bless you with an opportunity to do Hajj.
“And your Lord said: Invoke Me, I will respond your invocation.”
- Make constant thikr.
One of the lesser known benefits of doing thikr is that it keeps your mind away from sad, harmful thoughts, because your tongue is so involved in remembering Allah! In these blessed days, spend your free moments praising and glorifying Allah, and if you still need some inspiration, here is the recommended thikr for this time of the year. I play this on my phone, and it really makes this amazing season feel so special and festive.
الله أكبر،الله أكبر، الله أكبر
لا أله إلا الله
الله أكبر، الله أكبر
- Educate yourself about these ten days.
Find books to read, watch lectures on YouTube, read blog posts about it … take the time and comfort you have and invest it in something valuable. May I recommend this as a starting point?
- Renew ties of friendship and kinship
As the Hijri year comes to an end, try your best to end it on a good note. Apologise to the people you’ve wronged throughout the year, be extra kind to your parents, send food to your neighbour, call a friend … Let this month be a way of turning to a fresh page, and a clean start to the new year.
- Recharge your Iman.
I don’t know about you, but since Ramadan I’ve slacked in terms of praying and reading Quran and all forms of worship. For me, and for you, this is a valuable ‘boost’ to help us get back on track again when it comes to our relationships with Allah.
- Observe and learn form the rituals of Hajj.
When else do you millions of people from every corner of the planet wearing the same clothes come together in the same place? It’s one of the most powerful yet humbling things you could possibly see. Allow this massive wave of people to remind you of how all of us will be gathered on the Day of Judgement, and allow the simple garments to teach you that it’s the intentions that count. In the well-known words of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم:
“Allah does not look at your figures, nor at your attire but He looks at your hearts [and deeds].”
- Thank Allah for allowing you to witness another year.
We’ve lived through an entire 12 months since the last Thul Hijjah, and it’s all thanks to nothing but the love and mercy of the Most Loving and the Most Merciful. So what if we weren’t able to perform Hajj? The Lord deserves praise through every moment of every day and through every second of every night. We have countless incredible blessings to be grateful for.
“And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them.”
These are just some of my humble suggestions and observations, I sincerely pray that you find some hope and benefit in them, and I pray that Allah allows all of us to perform Hajj at least once in our lifetimes.
– Raweeha Abdul Rab