Hajj and the Call of Humanity (By: Imam Shamsi Ali)

By: Imam Shamsi Ali, President of Nusantara Foundation, New York 

Currently, Muslims around the world are getting ready to welcome the important days in the month of Hajj. Even now, the hajj season which is full of hustle and bustle has begun to be felt. Flights of pilgrims from various countries of the world have been carried out for some time.

Hajj is indeed the most horrendous worship. Of course other than because it is a once in a lifetime obligation. Also because Hajj requires a lot of preparation. Especially in the context of Indonesia, where the queue during this abnormal situation has reached 99 years in some areas.

So, it is natural that when someone is chosen to carry out this worship, it becomes happiness as well as a great communal honor. In different regions it is expressed with different traditions.

However, for sure there is one thing that is interesting about the call to perform this pilgrimage in the Qur’an. Allah Subhanallahu wata’ala no longer uses the specific word “believers”, which is usually understood by consensus as a call to Muslims.

When Allah calls the believers to perform the pilgrimage, it is a human call. Calls that are universal, as if without limits.

We can see this in the following verses:

“And proclaim to ‘humans’ to perform the pilgrimage. Surely, they will come to you on foot or with tame camels. They come from far away places.” (Surah Al-Haj: 28).

“And for Allah over ‘humans’ to perform the pilgrimage to the Baitullah for those who are able to do it” (Surah Ali Imran: 97).

The mention of “an-naas” in the Hajj verses above is a clear indication of this universal call. As well as a general declaration that Islam is “hudan lin-naas” or universal guidance for all human beings.

This universal call for humanity also underlines the brotherhood of universality in Islam. That in Islam all humans are brothers by origin. Everything comes from Adam and Eve. And Adam came from the ground.

This call for universality also reminds me of racism and the rising tendency of “White Supremacy” in the Western world. As if humans are compartmentalized and the value is in their race and skin color.

The call for universal humanity also reminds us of the universality of “human equality” which was declared by Allah’s Apostle, Muhammad Shalallahu alaihi wa salam, in Padang Arafah, even before the Human Rights Commission did the same thing only in the last century.

In particular, the practices of the Hajj are related to Allah’s Prophet Ibrahim AS. It is also an indication that Islam is the basis of monotheistic religions. Ibrahim was the first to actually announce that the monotheists were called “Muslims”.

“It was he (Ibrahim) who first named you Muslim” (Quran).

With Hajj, Muslims will continue to realize and fight for the equality of humanity. With Hajj, people are also aware that everyone in this religion has the same rights and obligations. At the same time have the same opportunity to be “the best”.

If in America there is the slogan “equal opportunity” or the same opportunity in the world, then in this religion there are equal opportunities in all things. Including the opportunity to be the best and noblest.

“Indeed, the most honorable of you in the sight of Allah is the most pious” (Al-Hujurat: 13).

Hajj messages will remind and build awareness again. That your Islam is not determined by your nationality and race. But by your faith, character and work. All of them together in one word: TAQWA.

A terminology that is not defined by anything, except the heart (faith), work (charity) and human character (morals).

And the pilgrimage that is accepted as “mabrur” is marked by the presence of changes in human life in faith, charity, morals. May our pilgrims be blessed with prosperity in the pilgrimage. Amen! (Continued….). (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)