Ten Hajj Life Lessons
By Dilshad D. Ali
I can't believe it was five years ago that I visited Mecca and the surrounding lands in Saudi Arabia and performed the rites of the Hajj pilgrimage. It was my first time performing the Hajj, and all my preparation and anticipation still had not primed me for what was, literally, the most wondrous experience of my life. I returned home irrevocably changed, yet at times frustratingly still the same person I had always been. And it’s that dueling nature that spurs me to remember that feelings I had while performing my Hajj pilgrimage and remember the lessons I learned as I move forward in my life.
The Hajj pilgrimage is one of the holiest rites in Islam, a series of complicated rituals performed during the last month of the Islamic calendar. During the Hajj pilgrims flock to Mecca and its surrounding lands to perform a pilgrimage that ends in the sacrifice of an animal to remember the story of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). Each Muslim’s Hajj experience and the path that brought them there is unique and special. And retaining the personal lessons of Hajj is a challenge for us. As I continue to face spiritual and worldly challenges in my life, I try to reflect on the following universal lessons of humanity imparted on me during my Hajj pilgrimage to keep me walking towards God.