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The lesson of Death in Haj

Among the many lessons that the Ibaadah of Haj teaches us, is the lesson of death. Let us see how Haj depicts death and the hereafter.

A Haaji leaves his home, bids farewell to all his dear and near ones and departs from them just before he sets off alone. From there, he proceeds to another country (as if into another world) leaving behind all those things to which he had been attached and with which he had occupied most of his time. His family, his farm, his orchards, his businesses, his friends and all worldly belongings. Death is the same. A person, when he dies he leaves behind all of this, his home, family, friends, country and everything that he is attached to and loves dearly. Such should the Haajis thoughts be when leaving for the house of Allah Ta’aala, that in the same way as he is now leaving all worldly things behind even though it is for a short period of time, that time will soon come when, without a choice he shall have to leave them forever.

After that, the Haaji mounts or boards his conveyance, which begins to move him further away from his home and dear ones. In the same manner will his body be carried in his janaazah and he will be moved away from his home and dear ones. Having lifted the bier to their shoulders, thy will carry him further and further away from everything he loved. So he departs like the janaazah being carried to the grave.

Some would come to bid farewell at home, and the more faithful ones would go right up to the airport or the station. The position of the deceased and his friends is similar to that. Some may come only to the house to have one last look at him. Others will go a short way for the janaazah salaah. The real friends will go as far as his grave, to place him inside and fill the grave with soil. The latter are like those faithful ones who will bid farewell at the airport, docks or station.

However on his conveyance (as well as in the grave) only those or that will accompany him, who or which could have been of assistance to him in this life only, whether that be a friend, a relative or wealth. With regards to the journey, some companions are such that at all times they will see to his comfort and happiness, thereby making the journey a happy and pleasant one. Others will be so ill tempered and quarrelsome that at every step they will make his journey an unpleasant ordeal. Exactly so are the circumstances of the deceased one. With him will remain his deeds, which will abide with him till the end. His good deeds will indeed cause him great comfort and pleasure on the journey to the hereafter (Aakhira) and his evil deeds will indeed cause him immense pain and suffering. The good deeds will remain with us in the grave in the form of a most handsome person, whilst evil deeds will remain with us in the form of an exceedingly ugly and fearsome person.

The greatest comfort a Haaji enjoys in Haj comes from the money and provisions, which are acquired by him before his departure. Likewise, the greatest comfort one enjoys in the life after death is that which comes from the good deeds performed in his lifetime. Sometimes in Haj, a person urgently requires more money. One cannot imagine his happiness if that which he needs urgently is sent to him by some near relative or friend. Similarly, how thankful will the deceased be if after his demise his relatives, his friends or children give charity, or recite the Quraan etc and convey the rewards of that act to him in his grave.

Thus a Haaji from the moment of his departure for Haj, should constantly remind himself of his ultimate journey to his qabr someday. This would Insha-Allah evoke within him a greater spirit of piety and aid him to fulfill every ritual of Haj with earnestness and utmost sincerity.

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