In the next couple of days, the klieg lights of the world’s media will be focused on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but not for the Crown Prince, Muhammad Bin Salman’s uncommon modernisation drive which has turned the ‘Land of Tawheed’ to a popular entertainment hub, or his long and bloody battle against neighbouring Yemen, which has earned the Kingdom a mention on the 2018 United Nations’ black list of global child killers.
The world would be watching Suaid Arabia intently, but not for her cases of human rights violations or her rivalry with the Republic of Iran, which has destabilized the region lately.
Instead, the world will focus on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for one reason; an important annual exercise that unites the billions of Muslims across the world; the Hajj – the fifth pillar of Islam.
The Kingdom will be hosting no fewer than 2 million Muslim pilgrims from about 150 countries across the globe in the Haram Shareef in Makkah for the 2019 Hajj exercise.
Hajj is the last of the five pillars of Islam – after Shahada (testimony), Solat (prayer), Zakat (alms giving) and Sawm (fasting in the month of Ramadan).
It is not surprising that the annual religious gathering attracts millions of Muslim worshippers from all walks of life to Saudi Arabia every year. It is the promise of Allah (SWT) that; “They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass.” Qur’an 22: 27
The Father of Faith, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) also prayed to Allah (SWT) that the city of Makkah be secured and blessed with an abundance of fruits and sustenance.
After the construction of the Ka’bah (the House of Allah) with his son, Prophet Ismail (AS), Ibrahim (AS) prayed; “My Lord, make this a secure city and provide its people with fruits – whoever of them believes in Allah and the Last Day” (Qur’an 2: 125-129) and in Qur’an 14: 35, he added; “…keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols.”
The rulers of the Kingdom, as the Custodian of the Holiest Mosques, Masjid Haram in Makkah and Masjid Nabawi in Medinah, will have to sheath their swords and embrace all races, colours and languages irrespective of their ideologies, including archenemies who have come to the House of Allah, and stage a successful pilgrimage without security threats and discrimination.
The unity of Muslims, irrespective of their colour, language and race, is not negotiable and goes beyond Hajj alone.
Allah (SWT) says this Ummah – people united by faith – of ours is one (Q. 21: 92) and it becomes compulsory that we must unite. If we unite only for Hajj, what happens to our unity after Hajj? As such, I strongly advise the Arab leaders to settle their differences and work together as one Ummah, without any external interference from the enemies of the Deen (Islam).