‘Lesser hajj as beneficial as main Hajj’

‘Lesser hajj as beneficial as main Hajj’

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An Islamic cleric, Dr. Mustapha Bello, has urged Muslim pilgrims on lesser hajj to attach much devotion to the exercise, saying there are many divine blessings in the lesser hajj as are in the main Hajj.
This is coming as many Nigerians joined others across the world to observe ‘Umrah, which is the lesser hajj, at various times this year.
‘Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims, and it can be done at any time of the year, unlike the Hajj that can only be embarked upon once a year.
“In Arabic, ‘Umrah means “to visit a populated place.” In the Sharia, Umrah means to perform Tawaf round the Ka‘bah. It is sometimes called the ‘lesser pilgrimage’, the Hajj being the ‘major’ pilgrimage. Umrah is not compulsory but highly recommended.
“Umrah can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some people, while others may make it an annual ritual, depending on how physically and financially stable they are; whichever way, it is good to make the most of it,” Bello noted.
Bello, who is of the Lagos State University, Ojo, stressed that Muslims must be thankful while on the pilgrimage.
“It is easy for us to get caught up in asking for what we want from Allah when we visit His land and it’s a natural thing to do, for Allah loves to listen to His servants.
“But you’ll never fully be humbled in the presence of His home until you reflect upon the blessings you have been given.
“The first time you are in Sujood in front of the Kaa’bah, you should be overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude. When you pray for something you don’t have, you harbour that hope and faith that one day, it will be answered.
“There’s a sense of anticipation, of uncertainty that lingers. But when you’re pouring your heart out to Allah about the things you are thankful for, it is real; it is there and it is already yours. Without you even asking, Allah has made it yours. Subhanallah!”, he explained.
The cleric further said, “Before leaving for Umrah, Muslims should have it in mind that they might surely be tested. So, whatever happens, it is always advisable to exercise patience, seek forgiveness and dhikr.
“A lot of small things may put you off; someone can push you during Tawaf, your family member may happen to be the most annoying person you ever met; you may feel tired and exhausted and your feet may hurt from Sa’i. Whatever it is, remember it is just a test. Sabr. So, do lots of taubah, dhikr and tahlil.
“Most times, try to assume the best intention in others because one of the best ways to exercise real patience is the practice of assuming the best intention in others.
“We often get mad at others because we readily assume their intentions and believe our assumptions to be true. You may think a person that shoved you during Tawaf is being rude or another person tapping your shoulder and yelling at you is being impatient, or this person ramming the wheelchair he is pushing against your feet is being inconsiderate. Are they really?
Bello also said, “The person might be pushing you because he tripped and thankfully, he was able to regain his balance because of you. The person might be trying to tell you that your family member has been trying to call out to you from afar and he doesn’t know how to gain your attention except to tap you and raise his voice.
“So, if something does not go our way, we think that it must be others who are being insensitive or inconsiderate, and others who are wrong. You’ll never know what they are truly thinking; so why not assume the best. It doesn’t hurt you nor does it cost you anything. On the contrary, it makes you a better
person.”

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