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Upholding the Spirit


Without a doubt, the years 2020 and 2021 will be remembered in history as the years of the Coronavirus. Not only has this disease continued to dominate the headlines for months, but it has brought in its wake drastic lifestyle and societal changes which have left no person unaffected.

While many of these changes are tolerable or even beneficial, such as the need to avoid leaving the home unnecessarily, there are some changes that should cause the heart of each and every Muslim to bleed with pain. Chief among these changes is the cancellation of hajj for people worldwide in 2020 and 2021.

The pillar of hajj holds a special and unique position of love in the heart of every Muslim. Hence, it is noticed that even people who are outwardly not very committed to Deen will spend their lifetime saving money for hajj, and eagerly anticipate the day that they will be able to call out “Labbaik!” before the Baytullah. When they finally hold their ticket in their hand, they are accompanied to the airport by scores of people, all wishing them well and requesting them for du‘aa. Likewise, on their return, they enjoy a reception afforded to people on only the most special of occasions.

However, even if there will be no hajj this year, THERE WILL STILL BE ZUL HIJJAH. In other words, although hajj is cancelled, the month of Zul Hijjah remains, and we should not forget the sanctity and great virtue of this month in general and the first ten days in specific. In essence, while planes may be unable to take off, it does not mean that our spirit of Zul Hijjah should remain grounded and we should neglect to afford this period the honour and appreciation that it rightly deserves.

The immense virtues of this period have been mentioned in various ahaadeeth. Among the virtues mentioned are that no virtuous deed carried out in any other time of the year can equate the reward of the same deed carried out in the first ten days of Zul Hijjah. Likewise, for every fast in the first ten days (besides the tenth), one receives the reward of fasting for an entire year, and worshipping Allah Ta‘ala in these nights earns one the reward of worshipping Allah Ta‘ala on Lailatul Qadr (the Night of Power). Furthermore, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has encouraged us that in these days, we should increase our zikr of “Subhaanallah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar and Laa ilaaha illallah”. (Saheeh Bukhaari #969, Sunan Tirmizi #758 and Majma‘uz Zawaaid #5990)

Finally, although hajj itself is not possible this year, we can still earn the reward of hajj from home (as discussed previously in this article).

Remember, it is when times are most challenging that our devotion and loyalty to Allah Ta‘ala is most rewarding. May Allah Ta‘ala enable us all to make the most of this period, aameen.