Hajj: How Will It Affect My Life?

"Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any obscenity or transgression shall return [free from sins] as he was on the day his mother gave birth to him." (Al-Bukhari)

As you can see, this is a most significant life event, which usually has emotional and even psychological reactions. Everyone's experience of Hajj may be different in terms of emotions, however I am sure dear sister that in sha' Allah your experience will be one of immense benefit. You may experience different emotions as you pass through the different phases of Hajj, and your emotions may be subtle or overwhelming in the sense that you may not be able to hold back tears. One brother who made Hajj for the first time reports “In the same instant, it was as if all my inner barriers were broken. I was totally transparent and open as a book. My heart was ripped open and tears started flowing from my eyes. I was a grown man of 32 years of age, and I had not cried for years, since in Danish culture we are taught that men don't cry. And there I stood in front of a square building and cried like a small child. Cried and prayed, prayed and cried. It probably lasted for about half an hour, and I was totally lost in that overwhelming feeling.”

During Hajj, one focuses on Allah (SWT) in love, devotion and thought, and leaves most worldly thinking behind. Hajj also brings together Muslims from every walk of life in a state of brotherhood/sisterhood that negates any differences in tribal, “racial” or socio-economic status, thus increasing compassion, unity as well reinforcing the fact that the Ummah is one family.

Today, many Muslims are caught up in lifestyles and thinking that is not in alignment with Islam. Racism exists, compassion is often lacking, abuse is rampant, and oppression exists from outside forces with no help from the Ummah, as well as love of money over love of what is Islamically prevalent. Making Hajj with a pure intention allows one to gain the essence and light of what Islam truly is, brings one closer to Allah (SWT) and can compel one to live more righteously, in sha' Allah. Experiencing the spiritual and emotional gifts that Hajj can bring, pilgrims can complete Hajj and return home with a purified heart and mind.

Makkah removes the veils of ignorance before people’s eyes, revealing the light of faith, devotion to God, and the Last Judgment and satiates the believers spiritually. Based on these spiritual as well as emotional benefits, one can expect in sha' Allah to develop a closer appreciation and concern for the Hereafter; a deeper sense of what is truly of importance while living in this world as well as a reflection upon how one is living their life and how to prioritize things in matters of importance.

Concerning the status of Muslims making Hajj, Onislam stated “Pilgrims are the guests of Allah and you can imagine how much Allah will honor His own guests: `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,  "The one striving in the cause of Allah and the one performing Hajj and the one performing `Umrah are all the delegation of Allah. He calls them and they respond to His call, and they ask Him and He answers their supplication." (Ibn Majah and authenticated by Al-Albani)

Based on the mere thought that “pilgrims are the guests of Allah and you can imagine how much Allah will honor His own guests” may be emotionally overwhelming. To be a guest of Allah (SWT) is a most blessed event indeed and an occurrence that should be taken into great consideration. Just the fact alone that you are embarking on a pilgrimage, to be the quest of Allah (SWT), should bring tears to your eyes as it is an undeserved honor to be among Allah's guest. We are mere servants striving to please Allah, and the fact that we are able to make Hajj and be a “guest of Allah” should be a most humbling experience.

This brings me to the first part of your question wherein you make it clear that you are from a “prominent” and “wealthy” family and that you would be staying in the finest hotels. If you go to Hajj with the premise that you are higher than others because of wealth and social status, you are in fact negating part of the reason for Hajj, which is equality and brotherhood among all regardless of wealth or social standing. To say you are staying in the finest hotels while others are only able to stay in tents or “standard accommodations” is not where your heart should be. While Allah has blessed your family with wealth and status, it may also be a test. In fact, once you make Hajj, you may see these things as less important in sha’ Allah, and in fact you may be moved to help those who are less fortunate than you.

Al-Islam describes three intentions concerning Hajj and their subsequent rewards: “the difference in reward is because of difference in intention –Niyyah-, the difference in cognition of the Lord of the House, and the difference in understanding the secret of the acts and the influence of the Hajj rites on the soul. One pilgrim goes there with the pure intention to please God, to ascend to heaven, and to loosen the chains of captivity of self so that he will not be trapped by Satan hence going to Hell. Such a man will be rescued from the fire (of Hell) forever. Another pilgrim goes on Hajj solely to discharge his religious duty without paying attention to the spirit of the act or removing vices from his self and obtaining virtues. Thanks to Hajj, his sins will be forgiven but since he has not been purified, he has to be careful about his future so that Satanic temptations and his carnal desires will not push him to sins hence fire. The third man goes on Hajj to escape people’s blame, to get the title of Hajji, and to gain business profits. The reward of such a man is only material and worldly. His family and wealth are secure until he comes back home.”

So dear sister, I ask you to make du’aa’ to Allah before Hajj regarding your intention, look towards Hajj with a pure desire to please Allah, to be saved from the hellfire and to feel a deep and lasting connection with our fellow Muslims (ummah) on an equal level of humanity and love for the sake of Allah. Yes, you may be nervous, it is common, but remember you are making Hajj as an invited guest of Allah (SWT), and He loves you.

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