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This is a special series of Blogs which describes my time and experiences during Hajj this year.
Aziziya – Haram Shareef
I spent the last night in Haram Shareef. Alhamdulillah. I was in Mataf all the time. I would get up, do Tawaf and then sit again and just look at the Ka’aba tul Musharrafah. A little after midnight, I went out, had a cup of tea, refreshed wuzu and came back to Mataf. Prayed Qiyam ul Layl. More Tawafs till it was Fajr finally.
The night in Mataf is always a special scene. I have always loved the nighttime here. Though it is very well lit, but the heat and glare of the day is not there. The size of the crowd in Mataf keeps changing. New groups come in with new energy and passion; previous groups complete Tawaf and leave. As mentioned before, pilgrims from most countries come for Tawaf in groups and identify themselves with similar colors, scarfs, jackets or like. Pakistanis are never seen in an organized group. Few people of the same family may join together, but mostly everyone is on its own.
The most annoying act during Tawaf is pushing others aside to make way for self. The push easily becomes shove. This is commonly, continuously and consistently practiced without regret or remorse, as if this is the ‘prescribed way of Tawaf’. A large majority from several countries is indulged in this reproachful activity.
Allah has vey kindly blessed me and gave me several opportunities to come to Haram Shareef during the last sixteen years. Allah be Praised. While sitting in Mataf during the night, I noticed two new activities which were being done frequently.
One. Visualize a middle-aged man with an athletic body, carrying Tasbeeh, reciting visibly but not loudly and carrying a very serious expression on face. He would be walking swiftly and steadily. He moves ahead unstoppably; making way from within the crowd, or ducking others, or shoving others aside if nothing else works. He actually moves like a heat-seeking, guided missile following its target; how can you stop a missile? No way. It is very difficult to follow him. I tried and lost him in less than a minute. I could not match his speed.
Due to his swift and steady speed, this person completes seven rounds of Tawaf rather quickly. But is it just completing seven rounds that makes Tawaf?
When this guided missile was alone, he did not cause too much trouble for others. However, envying his skill, few people got attached with him to make a train. This train was no less than a havoc for other pilgrims, particularly for those who wanted to do Tawaf in an easy manner, savoring every moment of it, and actually not wanting to finish quickly. They would not just constantly push and shove; they would particularly hit and hurt feet of many people. The most common injury you saw in Haram Shareef was injured feet, and this was always caused by others. The toes of my left foot particularly, remained injured throughout, due to repeated hits.
Two. The other new activity I saw was that many people, young, old, men and even women were sprinting to complete Tawaf. They were running as if they were competing for 100 meters race, and they were actually competing with each other also.
While doing Tawaf in Ihram, it is masnoon to do ‘Ramal’ in the first three rounds. Ramal is walking with stiff body, like wrestlers, to show off your powerfulness. When Tawaf is done in ordinary clothes, Ramal is not to be done.
All these guys were in ordinary clothes and were doing Tawaf for pleasing Allah. There is no recommendation anywhere to complete seven rounds of Tawaf in seven minutes by sprinting. Pakistanis were the leaders in this activity. Actually, the others sometimes followed their example. This was at its highest near prayer time, probably to complete Tawaf before prayer somehow.
Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters! Holy places have a code of conduct and a certain protocol. There are things that should be done and should not be done.
If the protocol is not observed, it hurts the status of the holy place. In case of Harmain Shareefain, it is highly likely that such an act may be counted as sin.
The contradiction is our usual standard. We show a lot of respect but do not observe the respectful protocol. In the same way, we claim a lot of devotion, but our devotion does not make us follow the injunctions. Muslims everywhere, and particularly in Pakistan carry extreme devotion to the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him). We would die for him but would not follow his ‘Uswa e Hasanah’. Allah is our Sole Owner and we show our submission to Him in several ways, but we do not follow His Commands and Injunctions. This is the most critical contradiction of our lives, and this is our undoing.
Visiting Haram Shareef demands a set of protocols. There is a way to come here, sit here, pray here, rest here or even sleep here. If we do not follow protocols, our show of devotion lacks substance.
Running to do Tawaf, pushing and shoving to make way for yourself, disturbing and hurting other pilgrims, and fighting is strictly against the Respect, Status and Protocol of Haram Shareef. For the love of Allah, please consider and change.
Allah guide us all to understand and follow the Protocol of Harmain Shareefain in true spirit. Aameen.