Hajj being the fifth pillar of Islam after Faith, Salat (Prayers), Zakat and Fasting the muslims in Mauritius, every year found themselves in a turmoil to make the journey to Mecca though they are physically and financially fit. The Hajj is a remarkable spiritual gathering of over two million Muslims from all over the world to the holy city. In performing the Hajj, a pilgrim follows the order of ritual that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) performed during his last pilgrimage.
Today Hajj organisation and umrah has become more of a lucrative business. Hajj Tour operators have cropped up everywhere from around the islands and only their turnovers matters. And nothing else! The pilgrim’s duty is to pay for the services they advertise, and theirs is to collect such payment and fulfil their part of the bargain in a way that will guarantee maximum profit at the expense of their clients. Some of these Hajj tour operators invent lies and outright falsehood against sister-companies, competitors in business parlance, in the industry, to woo a larger part of the market to them. Some pilgrims after completing their sacred pilgrimage decide to become Hajj Tour operators themselves as the business is very good, they say.
Allah says in the Holy Quran “And whoso honours the things declared sacred by Allah, it will be good for him with his Lord. “Ch 22 V 31.
How many of the Hajj tour operators are honouring this sacred pillar of Islam. If it was not for making huge sums of profit they would have never helped in the organisation of Hajj for their brothers and sisters. They say there is no free lunch at all!!
The Holy Qur’an praises those who give out of what Allah has provided for them (Al Baqarah 2:3). It would have been much better for those hajjis to share their knowledge and experience (freely) to those who wish to perform hajj. The goal in helping is to make the observance of one of the pillars of Islam easy for the Guests of Allah, the pilgrims. You do it for the pleasure of Allah, not for your bank account. This would save Muslims the agony, embarrassment and humiliation they normally go through. The lessons learnt during the recent Ramadan should make all of us law abiding, humble and tolerant citizens and a model to all our brothers.
In the Holy Quran Allah says:
“Those who hide that which Allah has sent down of the Book and take in exchange for it a paltry price, they fill their bellies with nothing but fire. Allah will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them. And for them is a grievous punishment” Ch 2 V 175.
As far as possible, Hajj being one of the pillars of Islam should be organized with all seriousness possible and by Allah fearing individuals. Not for the sake of making money. Because this is ISLAM the religion given to muslims by Allah.