The pilgrimage was never merely about rites and rituals, for it has always involved science and progress, culture and intellection, and economics and humanities. Here we delve into Hajj as a civilizational ecosystem that speaks volumes on efforts, opportunities and prospects; past, present and future. Unveiling stories and tales of morals, values and meaning worthy of being heard by the world over in an attempt to raise awareness of this glorious timeless journey, the amazing people running it and those fortunate enough to embark on it .
Here we are with this year’s hajj masterpiece completed and the most beautiful picture painted by the kingdom's hands with two and a half million pilgrims of the Holy House of God providing a plethora of colors, their hearts were united at the holy site, their hands rose and their tongues chanted prayers for the kingdom for prosperity and success, as all were proud of this nation, which embraces humanity towards one Qibla, one God, one messenger and one love in testimony to him acknowledging Allah’s final message in peace and serenity.
There is no doubt that the kingdom is THE heart of the world and the world is at the heart of the kingdom. With each and every citizen and resident full of love and peace toward the world with every beat of their collective hearts, each playing a vital role in this global place! We are neither marginal nor a secondary party. We have a lot more to offer and provide to humanity and a timeless noble message that will remain relevant and valid till the end of time.
Hajj is a soft force unique to the kingdom with the most important sources of this power being heritage, civilization and religious and historical centrality that is abundant throughout the year. Whether it be during Hajj, Umrah, Exhibitions, Conferences, Forums, tourism, culture, science and art.
Indeed, writer Heba Qadi hit the nail on the head in her most recent tweet: “Hajj is not just merely rites and a rituals, it involves thought and culture, art and aesthetics that enhance its spirituality and making it a source of human creativity in all cultures and forms, so that it spreads throughout the world with its great message of salvation to all mankind". And if information is power... then technology is power... Religion is power... Culture is a force... So is art as well, provided we harness it well away from prejudice, racism and sectarianism!
Our beloved kingdom has made great efforts for many years in improving and raising the level of services for pilgrims and at the holy sites, it is in a constant of flux when it comes to development from one season to another and never hesitated nor spared any effort or expense in this regard especially considering the barrage of systematically negative attacks and media distortion where the kingdom’s response on the ground was nothing short of humane as heavily depicted through the many still and moving images of Hajj this year.
The people of this country have demonstrated the kingdom's humanity and peace to the world by highlighting what is being enviously hidden and distorted at the hands of its enemies. It was clear for all to see the morals of a loving, tolerant people painting a most beautiful picture of harmony and compassion!
The days of Hajj passed peacefully and were filled by realized initiatives of the sons and daughters of this nation volunteering in various fields, those youthful efforts had long become an annual tradition from eons ago, but only came to light recently, thanks to creative social media feeds showing these young men and women’s wonderful efforts in the honor of serving the guests of Rahman.
The article is not to list these initiatives that were met with all the support, encouragement and honor of officials in the Kingdom, but I couldn’t help but notice a media report on the initiative "Seasonal day care/Nurseries" which hosts pilgrims’ children throughout the days of Hajj. They hailed from several continents, countries and backgrounds. Some from Indonesia, Canada, Brazil, Kenya and other countries, not to mention having Meccan children volunteering to play with those young people (such as the lovely "Lana Faqih”).. These darlings are the generations that will carry a message of love from the kingdom that has been engraved onto their precious souls.! Oh God, what beautiful peace that the Kingdom is sowing into theses innocent souls.
Hajj’s tangible benefits keep expanding with every unfurling season ... Hajj shouldn’t be limited to mere worship, but must extend its meanings to promote compassion and communication between nations, to carry Islam’s message of tolerance and justice, equality and serenity to the world ... To be witnessed by the world as a whole ... hopes and dreams bearing fruit and realizing the Kingdom’s 2030 vision, all praise and gratitude be to Allah.
- Hassan M. Shuaib
* Article published in Makkah electronic newspaper - 14/8/2019