Haj, a message of unity for Muslims

ABOUT 2.5 million Muslims from across the world are performing Haj this year with religious fervour. More than 700 Bruneians have also joined their brothers and sisters from other countries in the holy city of Mekah.
Like every year Saudi government has made elaborate arrangements and facilities for the guests of Allah (SWT).Haj, the fifth pillar of Islam, is obligatory for each adult Muslim who is financially and physically capable of doing so.
Every year millions of Muslims travel from all parts of the globe to perform this religious duty. Haj is not a holiday trip, in fact it is a symbol of submission that the word ‘Islam’ actually stands for.
The pilgrims leave their families, businesses and comforts of their homes to submit to Allah’s command. Dressed in two seamless robes, they perform difficult rituals in the scorching heat of Mekah just to please their lord Allah (SWT).
This is a unique experience for every Muslim who is chosen by Allah to visit his house.
Islam is a practical religion which provides its followers with a complete way of life based on their physical spiritual and social needs. Through Haj, Islam gives a message of unity, equality and total submission among its followers. Haj is a way to realise the vision of this Muslim brotherhood.
When millions of Muslims gather for the Haj in Mekah every year, they learn that they are part of a larger global Muslim community.
They also learn that every human being is equal and there should be no discrimination among human beings on the basis of colour, race, language or social status.
This is also an occasion to remember the message given by Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) during his last sermon. The sermon is the first and best charter of human rights to date. It outlines the nature of Islamic society.
The Prophet (pbuh) told Muslims: “Your blood, property and honour are forbidden to you till you meet your Lord in the same way as the sanctity of this day of yours, in this month of yours, in this city of yours. You will certainly meet your Lord and He will certainly question you about what you do.”
He also said: “My Lord, be my witness. O’ people, the believers are brothers. It is illegal for anyone to take the property of his brother unless it is given without any coercion. O’ people, your Lord is one and your father is one.
All of you are the children of Adam, and Adam was created from dust. The most noble among you is the most God-fearing. No Arab enjoys any privilege over a non-Arab except through the fear of God.”
This message of equality, respect for others’ life, honour and property is relevant for all ages.
In fact it is more relevant for the Muslim Ummah today than ever before as Muslims all over the world are facing numerous challenges ranging from regional conflicts to sectarianism and allegation of terrorism.
This is high time for Muslims to forget their differences and forge unity among their ranks to face the multitude of challenges that today’s world is posing.
On this occasion, we must also appreciate the measures taken by His Majesty’s government to facilitate Bruneian pilgrims. Brunei was among very few countries to provide all of its pilgrims with the H1N1 vaccine.
We should pray for the long life of His Majesty and continued peace and stability in Brunei and all other Muslim countries of the world.

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