Tidbits for a fruitful pilgrimage to Mecca
Posted Sunday, September 29 2013 at 00:00
Before going on pilgrimage, Muslims are recommended to discharge all debts and seek the forgiveness of anyone they may have upset.
Hajj and Umrah offices in Uganda are finalising preparations for this year’s pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. The hajj pilgrimage is one of the mandatory five pillars of Islam for all those who can afford it. Hajj visas are issued at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Uganda. Pilgrims are also called upon to various offices for immunisation and lessons about the upcoming hajj rituals in Mecca. Uganda Bureau of Hajj Affairs Ag. secretary general, Sheikh Zakariya Kyewalyanga, says about 1,150 pilgrims have been confirmed for this year’s pilgrimage. He adds that the first batch of pilgrims left Entebbe Airport yesterday aboard Egypt Air.
According to the Quran, Al-‘Imraan 3: 97, Allah says; “And pilgrimage to Mecca to the House is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residences); and whoever disbelieves (denies pilgrimage to Mecca), then he is a disbeliever of Allah, then Allah stands not in need of any of the mankind, jinn and all that exists.” Islam therefore attaches much value to this act of worship that is done once in one’s life time.
For pilgrimage to be accepted by Allah, physical, psychological and spiritual preparations must be made as Muslim scholars advise. Muhammad Bin Ibrahim Al-Hamd, a scholar of Islamic jurisprudence highlights key aspects that a pilgrim must put into consideration at preparatory level and during rituals.
Provide all needs
Lawful provision in terms of money and other requirements must be sought. because Allah is good and He only accepts what is good. Money earned out of unlawful means is not suitable for hajj at all.
Prepare a will
Before one leaves for Hajj, he/she must prepare the Will in which property, religion, mode of estate distribution, creditors, debtors, children, wives, and the people who should remain in charge of one’s family are highlighted.
Family members must be advised to fear Allah and remain pious throughout the pilgrim’s absence.
Acknowledge your mistakes
A pilgrim is also supposed to sincerely repent to Allah from all sins by acknowledging all the mistakes committed, regrets for them, and gets determined not to repeat them. This exercise also calls for rendering of rights and property to its rightful owners.
Acquisition of knowledge about the hajj rituals because Islam stipulates that knowledge is before any act of worship.
Keep good company
Sheikh emphasises that choosing good company of people to travel with is a must. Such people must be in position to add value to his/her hajj by reminding him/her of obligations, correcting mistakes or guiding where necessary.
Must be led
Selecting a leader for any group of pilgrims starting with any three. Al-Hamd notes that any group of people without a leader is led by Satan. “Allah’s blessings are with a community that has an agreed upon leadership.”
The pilgrim must be a jolly and helpful person to be with. He/she should serve those in need, thank those assisting him or her, avoid mocking others, backbiting, abusing or insulting them.
Do not irritate others
A pilgrim is a guest of Allah he/she should therefore strive not to annoy or insult, push or step on any one during the performance of hajj.
Any one travelling for hajj ought to be humble and exhibit humility in all aspects and he/she must be kind to all people including those who might provoke him/her into a quarrel or fight.
Watch your tongue
The Islam scholar said, “Guarding the tongue against backbiting, defamation, mockery, excessive jokes, excessive questioning, and disputes while in Mecca. ”
Female pilgrims ought to maintain proper Islamic code of dress throughout the exercise of hajj. Such dress code should not reveal makeup nor their body shape. That is forbidden.