ALLAH the Almighty decreed acts of worship and obedience for great wisdom and sublime objectives. No wonder, as they strengthen the faith, purify the soul, correct the attitude and refine the morals. If acts of worship did not achieve these objectives, then the Muslim would not benefit from them properly. In such a case, acts of worship might turn into lifeless rituals that one performs without any actual influence on his reality and attitude.
This rule applies to Haj. When the believer performs Haj properly realizing its objectives and feeling its meanings, it will be of great influence upon him in this life and in the Hereafter.
Thus, Allah the Almighty honored the pilgrims with the blessing of visiting His House and enabled them to perform His obligation. Therefore, they have to stop and contemplate their conditions, review the state of their heart and correct the course of their life.
The first thing they have to realize is the greatness of the blessings that Allah the Almighty bestowed upon Hajis when He facilitated their affairs and enabled them to perform this great duty. Certainly, this necessitates them to praise Allah the Exalted for this blessing, of which many people are deprived, despite their longing for it. Praising Allah the Almighty for this blessing entails preserving it, adherence to obedience to Allah the Almighty and compliance with His religion and Shariah.
The most important thing that a pilgrim should maintain after Haj is the issue of steadfastness and guarding this great deed (performance of Haj) against things that could nullify it. One should ask Allah the Almighty ceaselessly to help him/her adhere firmly to His religion and guide them to obey Him, and make them avoid His disobedience so that they “will be with the ones upon whom Allah Has Bestowed favor of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions.” (Qur’an, 4:69)
Allah the Almighty gave people examples illustrating this issue to warn His slaves of invalidating their deeds and losing them when they need them urgently. Allah says: “Would one of you like to have a garden of palm trees and grapevines underneath which rivers flow in which he has from every fruit? But he is afflicted with old age and has weak offspring, and it is hit by a whirlwind containing fire and is burned. Thus Does Allah make clear to you (His) verses that you might give thought.” (Qur’an, 2:266)
This example speaks about those who did good deeds and then regressed replacing good deeds with evil ones. We seek refuge with Allah the Exalted from this. In his commentary on this verse, Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “This is an example of a rich man who does good acts out of obedience of Allah and then Allah sends him the devil whereupon he commits sins till all his good deeds are lost.” (Al-Bukhari)
Pilgrims should remember that the accepted Haj has signs. The most prominent of these signs is the continuity of uprightness and obedience to Allah the Exalted. Furthermore, your relationship with Allah the Almighty should be better than before. Al-Hasan Al-Basri (may Allah have mercy upon him) was told that the accepted Haj is rewarded by Paradise. He said, “The sign of this is to return (from Haj) renouncing this world and aspiring to the Hereafter.”
I wish that the pilgrims would finish their Haj while they realize that its most important objective is to train the Muslim in worshipping Allah the Almighty alone, to comply with His commandments, avoid His prohibitions and follow the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace be upon him). These objectives are not confined to a certain time; rather, the Muslim should adhere to them as long as he is alive. Allah the Almighty says: “And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death).” (Qur’an, 15:99)
Your condition after doing good deeds should be like those about whom Allah the Almighty says: “And they who give what they give while their hearts are fearful because they will be returning to their Lord.” (Qur’an, 23:60)
Although they try to get closer to Allah the Almighty through various acts of worship, they fear that their deeds may be rejected. That is why Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) used to say, “Be more concerned about the acceptance of your deeds than about the deeds themselves. Have you not read the Qur’anic verse in which Allah the Almighty says: “Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous (who fear Him).” (Qur’an, 5:27)?”
Hence, Allah the Almighty commanded the pilgrims to seek His forgiveness after departing from Arafah and Al-Muzdalifah saying, “Then depart from the place from where (all) the people depart and ask forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is forgiving and merciful.” (Qur’an, 2:199)
A pilgrim stood at Arafah, he shed tears and showed remorse over his previous misdeeds. Allah the Almighty emancipated him from Hell, so beware of regressing to sins after being forgiven by Allah or drawing near Hell after being saved from it.
Be determined to make your Haj a turning point in your life, reckon yourself and determine what influence your Haj had upon your heart, attitude, words and deeds.
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Keep doing good deeds even if they are little, because regular small deeds are better than interrupted greater ones. The deeds, which Allah the Almighty loves most, are the most regular and constant ones even though they were little.
We ask Allah the Almighty by His names and most beautiful attributes to accept Haj, forgive your sins and reward you for your efforts. We also ask Him to accept our good deeds and provide us with steadfastness and uprightness until death.