Hajj - The Lover’s Destination

Every journey has a destination and the destination of Hajj is the pleasure of Allah. There are two kinds of hujjaj: those who are fortunate to see (ziyarah) Bait Ullah and those still more fortunate who are able to see the Creator of Bait Ullah.

This is why the tawaf (circumambulation) that is performed after the gathering of Arafat is called Tawaf-e-Ziyarah. Those who have worked hard against their evil desires and lower self (nafs) are able to see the bounties of Allah in all their glory, and those who have not obviously cannot partake in this experience. Thus it is essential to have a righteous alim or shaykh in one’s company so that he may guide at every point.
Hajj is a journey of love and desire, and upon close examination love is found to be the paramount force in every action within Hajj. As a general rule lovers whose purpose is a specific beloved pursue their quest single mindedly and ignore all else. They make no attempt to beautify themselves like a wife might do for a husband because the one purpose of getting to the beloved overpowers all other desires or concerns.

The rites and rituals of Hajj personify this intense desire of the lover. From the beginning of the journey the lover is told to shed all outer décor and don the ihram, two simple and unstitched sheets of white cloth. For the duration of the journey and Hajj itself this lover is not allowed to apply any sort of scent, nor is the lover allowed to trim the hair or nails. 

Lovers maddened with love and desire usually not only speak of their love but publicize it loudly in chants or poetry. Hence when the lover of Allah starts on this quest he is also commanded to raise his voice and shout that he is coming to his beloved: Labbaik Allahumma labbaik!

Our elders who have gone before us understood and practiced the meaning of this cry, and hundreds would receive guidance because of their efforts. Today we go physically but fail to effect any change within ourselves and return exactly as we were and return to our same heedless lives.
A lovesick boy stands outside the window or door of his beloved hoping for a sign of recognition. The lover of Allah circles the House of Allah with the same maddened desire like a moth circles a flame.

Extract from "Urgency o f Hajj" by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad

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