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This is a special series of Blogs which describes my time and experiences during Hajj this year.
Aziziya – Haram Shareef
Ka’aba tul Musharrafah is glowing and standing tall; passionate crowd is busy doing Tawaf; I am here and sitting in Mataf.
Couple of years back, I received an SMS from a well-known tour operator of Karachi. It said that two seats for 7-days VIP Hajj had fallen vacant. If interested, please contact immediately. I was living and working in Vietnam then. I called them on phone and asked for detail. They said, it would be first day at Makkah, five days for actual Hajj, last day visit to Madinah Munawarah and fly back. Cost would 13,00,000 rupees per person.
There are plenty of people who can easily spend 1.3 million rupees for a VIP Hajj. Their claim was that all facilities would be five-star, with private bathrooms and luxury transport. The tent in Mina would be nearest to Jamarat.
When we went to Jamarat for Rami, we saw a line of tents just opposite the Jamarat. These were individual tents with semi-constructed portion. Several people were standing on the balcony type structure and were looking at those doing Rami. As usual photography was also going on.
These must be VIP Hajj people. They were really so near to Rami that they might even be able to throw stones right from the balcony of their tent. Is there a limit to pampering the ego?
I have no problem with VIPs. However, Allah only recognizes ‘Taqwa’ as the yardstick for status.
Allah is just and differentiates even between those who emigrated initially and fought and those who emigrated later and fought. Becoming a VIP in the eyes of Allah is a huge and magnanimous task. [surah Al Anfaal. Verses 74-75].
When initial verses of Surah Al Waqea [Verses 10-14] were revealed, even the most distinguished companions of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) were disturbed that they were probably not counted among the ones brought near to Allah.
“The forerunner, the forerunners. Those are the ones brought near [to Allah]. In the Gardens of Pleasure. A [large] company of the former peoples. And a few of the later peoples.”
The later verses were revealed after some time and gave consolation to the companions.
Verses 39,40 “For the companions of the right (who are]. A company of the former peoples. And a company of the later peoples.”
Flashback to the time when Mir Zafarullah Jamali was Prime Minister of Pakistan.
I was sitting in Masjid Nabawi on a Friday and was fortunate to get space near the Roza e Rasool (Peace be upon him). Suddenly, there was a noise and the Royal Guard entered. They made way and Jamali sahib entered the Masjid. Riaz ul Jannah was vacated and Jamali sahib sat there. As soon as the Friday prayer was done, he left. Question is, did Mir Jamali get more Thawab than others because he could pray in Riaz ul Jannah by forcefully evacuating it? Only Allah Knows.
Coming for Hajj? Come with humility. Allah has given you resources and you can buy extra facilities for yourself; please do. But do not forget that these are The Ayaat of Allah, His Symbols; and are Extremely respectable. All human manifestations of ego, pride and status receive severe disapproval from Allah. All Praise and Greatness is be to Allah only.
Allah blessed me and my wife with Umrah in 2017. It was a little after midnight and I was doing Tawaf in Mataf. A large number of security force guys entered Mataf. Tawaf stopped. They got the entire space around the door of Ka’aba tul Musharrafah vacated and cordoned it off with the human chain. We all stopped and waited outside the cordoned area. Where I was standing, the door was in full view to me. After some 20 minutes, a golden stair was brought and put to the door. Then a rather old Saudi gentleman came. He got up the stairs slowly, took out some keys and opened the door. Then 8-10 dignitaries from some foreign country were brought in. They went inside Ka’aba tul Musharrafah. We watched.
The old gentleman was offered a chair which was put on the door sill, and he sat down in the middle of the door. Meanwhile, a security officer who was accompanying the dignitaries, came out and stood in the door. Then he took out his mobile and made several selfies from various angles. After some time, the dignitaries left, the door was locked, and the cordon was lifted. We got lucky that we saw the door of Ka’aba tul Musharrafah being opened; couldn’t see inside though.
If we become so fortunate to get few moments inside the Ka’aba tul Musharrafah, what shall we do? Praying two nafl facing any wall is recommended.
May Allah enlighten the selfie-making security officer. It was a place to forget self; not taking selfies.
May Allah guide us to become good enough to become presentable to Him. Aameen.