With the month of Ramadaan just complete, the next major season of spiritual upliftment is the Hajj – which is now just 2 months away. The fasting of Ramadaan was meant to build up our taqwa, but for those blessed to be performing the pilgrimage this year, that taqwa takes on an added significance.
Hajj itself is a journey of taqwa, with the Quranic verse (Surah 2, verse 197) stating (translation of the meaning):
“…And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is taqwa…”
So the hujjaaj will have built up this taqwa in Ramadaan, and must now retain it – and even increase in it – for their upcoming journey of a lifetime.
Re-visiting the Hajj
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may know that I had the honour of performing the Hajj 5 years ago. And while there, I was able to do a lot of writing – which ended up in a personal journal capturing the entire trip.
Without doubt, the journey was the greatest – and most important – of my life. The experiences and places were amazing, and the lessons and insights I gained through the days and weeks were abundant.
Hajj truly is the ‘journey of a lifetime’ – one that liberates you from your lifetime of sins and bad qualities. One that gives you a clean slate – a chance to start life again, in the spiritual sense, as if you’re a new-born baby. It’s one that teaches you how to re-orient your focus to what’s really important in life. It’s one that forces you to grow – because it takes you out of your comfort zones; teaching you qualities of character that you know are virtuous – yet you find difficult to practice in everyday life, in the absence of such challenges. And most importantly, it’s one that draws you closer and closer to your Creator – nurturing the relationship that is most important in life, and putting your existence, your purpose, and your responsibilities, into the proper perspective.
To capture these and other lessons, I decided to share my experiences with my readers – in the hope of not only passing on what I’d learnt, but also hopefully inspiring them to make this journey – if they hadn’t already been.
So over an extended period, I published a 30-part blog series titled Hajj Chronicles.
Over the coming months, I will be re-posting the entire series here, insha-Allah. The posts, I hope, will act as a reminder for myself, while also highlighting the content for newer readers of this blog. Importantly, too, I’d like the series to be found by those who are looking for this kind of material – since it’s so common to find instructional and fiqh-type material on the Hajj, but more rare to find personal narratives.
I don’t claim the work to be outstanding or unique in any way, but merely hope that it will be of benefit for those going on their journey soon, as well as those wanting to learn more about it, and those wanting to reflect on their own journeys in previous years.
So, please read on, and please share the posts with those who may be interested.
May the series be of tremendous benefit to not only you, but me as well – as lessons and reminders of how I need to live. Because – as the clichés go – Hajj doesn’t end when you leave Makkah and come home. It really begins at that point. Hajj itself is not the main challenge. The main challenge – and life’s mission – is to live that Hajj: to take forward what you’ve learnt; be that better person you were inspired to be; and always be progressing further and further on the path of living the best way you can in this world, so that you’re successful here and in the eternal realm of the Hereafter.
The first part will be published shortly, insha-Allah. But if you’d prefer to get it all in one go, you can download the complete series as an e-book in PDF format. The book is copyrighted, but you may share it with anyone you think may benefit.