Hajj is a Season, Too



It wasn’t so long ago when Ramadan came to us this year. Ramadan, that season of blessings, that season of du’aa and worship and nearness to Allah. And when Ramadan rolls around, everyone gets ready. Qur’an recitation fills our homes and hearts – taraweeh and qiyam take over our nights – our days are sprinkled with thikr and supplication —

The days are charged with excitement. Every day is a chance to earn reward, every day a chance to be forgiven. And when the last 10 days of Ramadan come around, those last 10 nights, we gear up even more, ready, anticipating, searching for the best night of our lives.

And then, before we know it, Ramadan is over. And we wait again for the next yet, hoping and praying to be blessed with witnessing another Ramadan.

But for the Muslim, there are other seasons, too. Like Friday, which is the best day of the week – a day for reading Surat al-Kahf and supplicating, a day for bathing and attending Jumu’ah. And then there’s the last third of the night, which is a season we are blessed with every night, a time when repentance is accepted and prayers answered, a time when Allah descends to the lower sky in a way befitting of His Majesty.

We know these seasons. We love them. We wait for them. And when we are so blessed by Allah, we’re guided to utilize them.

Hajj, is a season, too. And it’s a season for everyone, not just those in Makkah embarking on the pilgrimage.

A sister tells about when she first learned that Thul-Hijjah, and the first 10 days of Thul-Hijjah, were a season for blessings.

“I felt robbed,” she says.  “All my life, I’d known about Ramadan. As long as I remember, I’d been fasting, or practicing to fast, going to taraweeh, hearing about Laylat al-Qadr. I loved Ramadan, and couldn’t wait for it to come every year.

“And then suddenly, out of the blue one day, I find out there’s this season called Thul-Hijjah. That the first 10 days of Thul-Hijjah are the BEST DAYS EVER, better even than the last 10 days of Ramadan. And in them was the best day ever, the Day of Arafah.

“Why did nobody tell me? Why do so few people seem to know this? Why does nobody care? Where is the du’aa, the thikr, the Qur’an, the qiyam? Where is the excitement we have for Ramadan? Why don’t we have the same excitement for Thul-Hijjah?

“Wallahi, I felt so robbed – so, so robbed – when I first found out. That so many seasons of Thul-Hijjah had passed, and I didn’t know what I was missing.”

Yes, the first 10 days of Thul-Hijjah are here. Yes, the first 10 days of Thul-Hijjah are The Best Days of the World. And yes, it’s not just for those going for Hajj.

It’s funny what Hajj will do to people. A certain type of sisters in particular.

All their lives, for these sisters: they don’t wear hijab, don’t care about hijab, don’t think about hijab. It’s not important to them.

And then, suddenly, they’re going for Hajj and everything changes. All their doubts and hesitation melt away. Excuses no longer exist. They’re going for Hajj, and they suddenly know hijab is not an option. They’re going to have all their lives’ sins erased, and when they return, they don’t want to take off their hijabs and start that record of sins all over again.

The question is: Why wait for Hajj to realize all this?

No one knows if they will live to make Hajj. No one knows if they will live until “that day,” that far away, unspecified day, when they make a commitment. The commitment to start praying. The commitment to wear hijab. The commitment to repent, and not return to that one sin again.

Obeying Allah does not require a season. The best moment to obey Allah is always – always – the moment we are in now.

But if you were waiting for a moment – a moment to start some good, or stop some evil – then why not now? We’re living the best 10 days of the world, of this year… and blessings are not only for those on the journey of Hajj.

It’s all the same, it’s all related. Why we worship Allah. Why we love these seasons He blesses us with, these seasons to draw closer to Him in worship. Why we pray. Why we give zakat and charity. Why we fast and perform Hajj. Why we wear hijab.

It’s all one thing.

He is Allah, our Master and Creator. We are His slaves. When He gives a command, our job is to say: we hear and we obey. This is the way of the believers:

The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and so have the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, saying, “We make no distinction between any of His messengers.” And they say, “We hear and we obey. We seek Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the final destination.” [2:285]

And if this is the way of the believers, why would we take any other way?

The best ten days of the world are here. If I’ve said it a lot, it’s only because I don’t want you to miss them, don’t want you to leave them or be robbed of their virtue.

Remember your feelings and excitement in Ramadan? Remember your goals and hopes? Your prayers for acceptance and forgiveness? Your tears of fear and remorse? Your striving to build a home in jannah?

Well, remember that in those days, you were worshiping – not Ramadan – but the Lord of Ramadan. The Lord of Ramadan is here, everyday. And the Lord of Ramadan has now blessed you with another season.

It’s here.

Do what you have to do: stop that sin; start that obedience; increase your worship. Pray. Make du’aa. Fast. Remember Allah. Put in the greatest effort. Do the most you’ve ever done.

Be the best slave to Allah that you possibly can be.