SOME LESSONS FROM HAJJ

Prof. Dr. M. Es'ad COSAN

Praise be to God who made us members of the true religion, Islam. May our Lord keep us close to his beloved servant's enlightened path and Sunna. May our Lord allow us to be Muhammed's neighbor in the afterlife.

Islam is in every aspect a very noble and perfect religion. Hajj is a different, wonderful and glorious way of worship. For those who understand it, their hair stands on end, their eyes fill with tears, and the faithful hearts increase manifold. Hajj is a magnificent lesson for everyone: for the housewife who is confined to her home, the rural man who is unaware of what is happening in the world, the businessman who is caught up in his business in the big city, the government official who is tied to his superior and desk, the confused ignorant who believes his is the only way, and the rich man who is concerned with his own comfort and pleasure. It is a magnificent period which widens one's perspectives, opens one's eyes, increases one's experience, and displays the different and colorful races, cultures and levels of refinement, breading and knowledge. Hajj is a visit, a banquet and a business experience full of wisdom, for example, hidden meanings, benefits, rewards and profit.

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A doctor whom I met in Mecca stated with excitement, zeal, happiness and awe: "When I return home, I will encourage all my relatives and friends that they should go to hajj as soon as they can."

There is a misunderstanding in our country: They believe that only elderly people go to hajj. In reality, they should go to hajj when they are still young and healthy because it is a physically enduring form of worship. The reason is that the climate in Mecca differs from ours, making it very hard for the elderly people. In addition, it is good that young Muslims have the opportunity to face the Islamic world and meet other Muslims while they are still young. As a result, they may become more mature, serve Islam better, and be more successful in life. If only all those God-conscious people knew and understood each other; if only they could work together towards the same goals, then the Islamic world would be happy again.

I usually recommend that our pilgrims meet, talk with and share addresses with those people they liked. I also suggest that they invite the ones who live in other countries to come visit them so that they can get to know them. Of course, it is important to learn Arabic or any other foreign language. Everyone should learn Arabic and encourage their children to learn several languages.

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Unfortunately, many Muslims have been raised under very difficult conditions: They are oppressed, poor and uneducated. Their religious knowledge and upbringing are inadequate. On one hand is the the Koran, the Sunna and the prophet; on the other hand is the degenerated behavior of the crowds. Who will help them? Islamic countries have remained under the influence of different foreign cultures.

Islam is sacred, orderly and refined; however, some Muslims do not behave in the proper way. Some are unkept, selfish and ill mannered. For example, some female pilgrims' hair are uncovered and their clothes are made of thin fabric. Some walk around the prophet's mausoleum in Medina holding their husbands' arms. Some other women walk along with men and try to kiss the Black Stone. Some men and women circle Kaaba in mixed groups. Still other pilgrims try to walk in front of the others and in the process they push and hurt those around them. One can also see some pilgrims sitting in the streets, throwing garbage everywhere, sleeping, eating, drinking, talking in loud voices in masjeeds and talking about business in masjeeds. Unfortunately, very few Muslims are respectful, refined, and noble.

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We can understand how important it is to take part in government decisions and become in control of public education. We regret that there is no room for the teachings of dervishhood, sufism, purification of the soul and refinement of morality in modern education. Muslims should be in charge of a lot more than they are, such as schools, magazines, newspapers and books, and radio and television. We can see how imperialism has destroyed the Islamic culture. As a result, to achieve peace and happiness, Muslims must hold tight to Islam: They must devote their whole life and possessions to the service of Islam and they must refuse everything that is foreign. If they continue to be evasive, lazy, relaxed and stingy, they will lose even their own children and will not be able to be saved from harm and destruction in the next life. May God forbid such behavior. May He grant all Muslims consciousness and inner vision.

Thanks be given to all!

I would like to thank the founders of ISPA Company (Iskenderpasa Turism) for the good service. The trips were well-organized and the service to Mina, Musdelife and Arafat went very well. I also would like to thank the directors and hodjas on behalf of those who benefited. I was extremely pleased when some honorable hodjas who have many years of experience with different groups said that they found our community to be of high quality, understanding and mature. I hope that God accepts the pilgrimage of those who made hajj with us and of all those who made it with other groups. May God grant all Muslims happiness in both worlds.

(Islam, August 1989)

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