In my writing titled “Finding The House Of God”, part 2, I have conveyed that what is meant by the House of God, which is Bait Ullah Kaaba, is very close to us. It does not mean as Mecca only. It is within our qalb (qolbu) so that each of us is able to visit it. My best friends have asked me about this understanding. They thought I have gone astray from the Islamic Aqidah. The Hajj Pilgrimage Worship to Mecca is a part of the Islamic Pillars. It is the 5th of the Pillars, and it is “mandatory” in nature.
However, I am writing this article with no intention of having arguments or finding the right-wrong issues. Before I met my Teacher or Guru (Murshid), I also had a similar understanding as those best friends of mine. I have even mentioned this in several of my articles. Alhamdullilah, thanks to God that I myself have carried on the 5th pillar since 1982 which is going to Mecca to do the Hajj Pilgrimage Worships.
I have also stated that actually there is nothing wrong within this Universe. Right-Wrong is a “duality” that was created by Allah as a perfection of the law of this Universe. So, there is nothing “wrong” in this Universe. It is only “not yet right” as every thing in this Universe is in an ongoing process according to its own space and its own time.
Back to the issue that was being disagreed by my best friends, I am encouraging all the readers here to think with common sense, free from an egoistic thought by not viewing ourselves as the most righteous ones. Let us think deeply: Who is our true selves? If we realize that we all are Allah’s servants, how are we able to contact our Creator if this Creator’s house is far away from where we are residing now?
In order for us to understand the issue about the secret of this Universe better, in my book titled “AKU BERSAKSI, ALLAH MAHA NYATA” (I Am Witnessing That Allah Is Ever Real), I have come up with five eternal questions for every human being as follow:
1 – Before this Universe was created, how did the situation look like?
2 – For what purpose did God created this Universe?
3 – Who is the real or the true I (as a human being)?
4 – For what purpose was I made to be in this Universe?
5 – Where did I actually come from and where shall I return at last?
Personally, I felt that I have been able to comprehend the essence of this life in this Universe far better after knowing the answers of those five questions. I wish the same thing for all the readers providing that they have known the answers.
My best friends then had another question as they had understood about our true-selves as human beings. They asked whether or not doing the Hajj Pilgrimage Worship is mandatory or not.
Referring to Surah Ali-Imran 96-97, and with accordance to what my Guru (Murshid) interpreted, as well as supported by the Words of Allah in Surah Al-Quraisy, verse 4: “So let them worship the Lord of this House,” (Link: https://ayatalquran.net/), then Allah commanded that we should worship the God that owns the house, and not worship the house itself.
Next, after doing the Wukuf Rites (=resting), Allah said in verse 200 of QS Al-Baqarah:
“And when ye have completed your devotions, then remember Allah as ye remember your fathers or with a more lively remembrance. But of mankind is he who saith: “Our Lord! Give unto us in the world,” and he hath no portion in the Hereafter.” (Link: https://ayatalquran.net/)
To my understanding, to be able to remember something, we have to undergo its initial process, then we have to see it, and finally we have to know it. Then we will be able to remember. If we do not undergo its process, what do we have to remember? This happened when I went for the Hajj Pilgrimage. I just joined the Manasik lesson, whereas the essence of the lesson was the ceremony to conduct the rites only. There was not any essence of its meaning. This meant that what I had been doing during the Hajj Pilgrimage Worship and the Umrah Worship was meaningless.
I concluded that doing the Hajj Pilgrimage Worship to Mecca is not mandatory, but surely it is not forbidden if we want to conduct the worship by going there. All is good. Moreover, the energy is positive there. Majority of people pray and ask for goodness while being there. We can consider the journey as a pilgrimage to the historical centre of Islam Religion, especially since there is the grave of the Great Rasullulah SAW in the Madinah City.
In reality, the majority of the Pilgrims, Ustads or Munthawifs who go for the Hajj Pilgrimage Worship do not know the spiritual essence of that Hajj Pilgrimage Worship.
I have several examples. I asked, “Why do we have to put on the Ihram clothes when doing Tawaf and Sa’I Rites? Why Ihram clothes are mandatory to men but not to women? Why does Tawaf Rite start from al-Ḥajaru al-Aswad and then end there as well? Why do we have to circle it 7 times? When doing the Sa’I Rites, why do men, not women, have to lightly run? Wasn’t it Siti Hajar, the Prophet Ibrahim’s wife, who did the running? Siti Hajar was a woman, not a man. Why do this rite must be done to and fro as many as 7 times? Then, why do we have to throw 7 pebbles when doing the Jamarat Rite?” And so forth.
After finishing the Hajj Pilgrimage Rites, usually the Pilgrims go for a sight seeing to the historical sites, shopping for some souvenirs or other things. There are modern shopping centers nowadays, like malls and traditional shops around al-Masjid al-Harām. There are also shops inside the 5-starred international hotels like Hilton, Raffless, Intercontinental, Oberoi, Marriot and many other hotels.
As for the historical sites from The Rasullulah SAW’s era which were around al-Masjid al-Ḥarām area have gone now since the vicinity was needed for the expansion of The Grand Mosque as it could not facilitate the Pilgrims who came from all over the world to do the Hajj Pilgrimage Worship and Umrah.
If we are honest to ourselves, actually the sacred atmosphere of the worship has become diminished compared to years and years ago. The vicinity around al-Masjid al-Ḥarām and Al-Masjid an-Nabawī have been dominated by the giant managements of world class hotels. The atmosphere are not far different from the atmosphere of the developed countries with modern cities.
Usually my best friends would give some questions to those who just came from going for the Hajj Pilgrimage Worship or Umrah like “What travel agent helped you with the journey? Which hotel did you stay?” And so forth.
Let us ponder about the two happenings I have mentioned so far. First happening was about our intention to have a sight seeing trip by going to places in the country or abroad. We wanted to see, to admire and to enjoy all the works of Allah The Greatest One. The works might be direct creations of Allah or created by the hands of human beings as the extension of His hands. To my understanding, this kind of trip is also an act of worship to Allah.
The other happening was about our intention to that was clearly to worship Allah by visiting the House of Allah (Bait Ullah Kaaba in Mecca City).
As I have understood the course of my life journey, and I am AWARE why Allah made me be here in this Universe, I finally can smile to myself and I keep trying to be thankful each day as I have been given health, serenity and happiness.
Basically, all the activities in this Universe that I have to do as a human being are solely for the purpose of worshiping the Allah SWT.
This goes well with the Words of Allah written in Surah Adz- Dzaariyaat, verse 56, “I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.” (Link: https://ayatalquran.net)