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The Reason Why I'll Never Go For Hajj

14/09/2015 8:12 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Fa ayna tadh haboon. It is very difficult to understand the depth of emotion behind these words in the Quran when God asks us with so much love and compassion, "Where are you going?" The concern with which we are asked about the direction we have taken, if heard and understood correctly, could so easily bring us back to the right path. Unfortunately the people of this world, especially the Muslims, have gone deaf. Today, with the same worry and tremendous anguish in my heart, I am compelled to ask everyone "Where are you going? Why have you turned a blind eye towards the sufferings of your fellow human beings?"

"Isn't it our duty to prioritise our spending and give Syrian refugees a higher place in our grocery list of virtues which we think we can buy by spending a couple of weeks at a place called sacred in scriptures...?"

On one side, there are millions of displaced Syrian children in great distress all across the gulf and Europe, crying for help, and on the other side, there are more than 2 million Muslims, totally disconnected from the crisis, spending all their life savings to indulge in a 1400-year-old ritual called Hajj, which adds billions of dollars yearly to the already overflowing treasury of the Saudi king. The same money, if donated by the people for the cause of Syrian refugees, could solve many of their problems. And the Saudi government, which has welcomed more than 25 million pilgrims in the last 10 years, could divert the manpower and wealth used to host the pilgrims to give asylum to refugees who need care the most at this time. It is common knowledge by now that the Saudi government has not allowed a single refugee to enter the country (although they have offered Germany a mosque for every 100 refugees who entered that country).

The Muslim world specifically and humanity in general is totally defunct. Divorced from the struggles of our own brothers and sisters, by believing in a God we have done nothing but shift the burden of responsibility from ourselves to a higher power which might not even exist. When will we start to speculate that no higher power might come to lift the fallen and take it upon ourselves to do what is right to help the ones in desperate need? Isn't it high time already, especially for the people in the Muslim world who take pride in quoting the Quran on universal brotherhood and oneness among Muslims, which I must say, ironically, is only displayed during Hajj.

Being brought up in a conservative Muslim household, there is only one verse from the Bible in my memory, and it has always been "Love thy neighbour" and I can quote hundreds of similar verses from the Quran urging us to help the needy, where as only a few (around nine) come to mind when I think about the importance of the pilgrimage called Hajj.

"I would not be able to justify giving my hard-earned money to a country which did nothing for the Syrian refugees in dire need."

Isn't it our duty to prioritise our spending and give Syrian refugees a higher place in our grocery list of virtues which we think we can buy by spending a couple of weeks at a place called sacred in scriptures as old as the last virtuous man that lived? And to the Muslims who aim to get a higher place in the eyes of God, I would suggest donating, for this Hajj will get them virtues worth one Hajj, but if they donate the money they had kept aside for this pilgrimage, they could get virtues good for a thousand Hajjs. And if they think this 28-year-old man is wrong in saying this, I would suggest they go and read their Quran right.

Yes, I am a devout Muslim, but I will never go for Hajj. I think there are a thousand better causes in the world for which that money and time can be used, and I, being a man of the 21st century, would not be able to justify giving my hard-earned money to a country which did nothing for the Syrian refugees in dire need.

Fa Firroo Ilallaah - Not there, come over here, come towards the path that is right, that is free of sin. -- the Quran

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