Building a new world through Hajj pilgrimage - YUSUF KAPLAN

Building a new world through Hajj pilgrimage

The “covid dungeon” that closed off the whole world into its “cells,” struck a major blow to Muslims’ congregational acts of worship. Mass prayers were canceled: Mosques were empty, abandoned. 

The biggest blow was struck on hajj, the pilgrimage: No pilgrimages were performed for two years. The number of times pilgrimage was not performed throughout Islamic history is very rare. 

The inability to perform pilgrimage for two years in a row deeply grieved Muslims. 

This year, the pilgrimage was recommenced, with the doors of the Kaaba fully opened to all Muslims. Muslims flocked to the Kaaba from all corners of the world with great excitement and joy. The two-year separation is finally over, pleasing all Muslims. 



All acts of worship performed by Muslims are adjusted to the hereafter: 

Viewing the world through the hereafter. 

Bringing order to this world by considering the hereafter. 

Setting off on a deep, long-term journey towards knowledge, discovery, and existence that will render this worldly life meaningful through the hereafter, and helps justice, truth, and peace to prevail in this world. 

Muslims adjusting their lives to the hereafter, to belief in God enables them to adhere to the principle of rightful share, the measure of what is prohibited and permissible, and justice, and as a result, establish a peaceful life. 

All acts of worship are adjusted to the hereafter – in order to simplify the most difficult, to make near the most distant, and make possible to impossible. 

This is such a great blessing and grace. 

Worship is a duty of servitude. 

Servitude is the greatest rank. One who fails to be a servant to the Creator will be a slave to creations. One who loses their sanctuary will consider the own self, the world, and all that is temporary their God, and lose their self and freedom. 

All acts of worship are multi-layered and meaningful journeys towards knowledge, discovery, and existence that lead humanity to their self and freedom. 

All acts of worship gain the believer the awareness that they have undertaken the trust, and reveal the fact that the believer is the only one on earth who can secure the trust. 

All acts of worship develop one’s worldly life as well as their life in the hereafter and ensure one has morality, a strong personality, and a noble and just character. 

Acts of worship are the name and destination of long-term, multi-layered journeys that give meaning to life, and guarantee a more humane, more just, and more peaceful world. 



The Hajj pilgrimage is an act of worship that has great meaning. 

Furthermore, it is an act of worship whose worldly and hereafter dimensions are extremely strong. 

It is a journey that involves Muslims' worldly life and their hereafter. 

The pilgrimage presents to believers the road map for the journey to know and meet their Lord, our prophet and his companions, all of the certain periods of Islamic history with their turning points, as well as all Muslims. 

It provides the road map for building both the hereafter and the worldly life, very much like other acts of worship. Hence, performing the pilgrimage gives us the codes necessary to build a trustworthy personality, a reliable personality, a sincere, beneficent, and pious personality who is aware of the trust they have undertaken, and puts their world into order accordingly. 

The pilgrimage is a rehearsal of Judgement Day, a practice, an experience of death in all respects before dying. 

Pilgrimage is the manifestation of belief in the oneness of God in every sense. 

The fact that all Muslims circumambulate the Kaaba alone represents turning towards one God, a very strong sign of the belief in the oneness of Gof, and a very meaningful and multi-layered presentation of the unity of all Muslims, of oneness, of the Islamic belief. 



Can we say that the pilgrimage is performed properly? 

Unfortunately no! 

People who perform the obligatory pilgrimage with the intention to start a new, pure life, should start performing the pilgrimage not in the latter part of their lives, but in their youthful years like the Malaysians. 

Seeing the pilgrimage as the start of a brand new, pure life, new journeys, and putting life in order accordingly is a wonderful act. This act should be considered a great opportunity to rebuild our life. Performing the pilgrimage should be seen as the opportunity for a great meeting, reaching knowledge that will play a key role in building a new, livable, Muslim life. 

The pilgrimage season should be considered a resurrection season, with all matters pertaining to Muslims, are discussed during the pilgrimage, and a strong intellectual, cultural, and artistic projects developed and launched. 

Muslim thinkers, scholars, administrators, and leaders should establish functioning, useful, strong, deep-rooted, comprehensive councils that can discuss every year during the pilgrimage Muslims’ thought, science, art, morality, politics, economic, and technology problems and projects, exchange ideas, and find solutions. 

All this must be put into action. 

You might think nobody has the energy or strength to realize any of this. School of Civilization Thought (MTO) students, MTO generations will sooner or later realize these ideas by the grace of God.  

The coronavirus pandemic, which wreaked havoc on the world for two years, should lead us to contemplate the pilgrimage from scratch and in-depth. 

I wish all my readers a blessed eid and pray that the Lord accepts the pilgrimage of those who performed it. 



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