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 .
By God's will and command, and at a specific time and precise location, Muslims congregate every year in what seems like a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform sacred timeless rituals and to experience indescribable feelings that cannot be simply put to words.
I had intended to perform Hajj in the season of 1437. But unforeseen last-minute circumstances prevented me from going, and I sat home stuck to my television screen. I could almost see a reflection of myself amongst the multitudes of blessed pilgrims and I could almost feel my soul floating in, out and around those glorious sacred sites. Suddenly, after years of hiatus from painting, I found myself (to my utter surprise) with brush in hand and palette in another weaving my way through the white canvas depicting the roaming crowds as they seek peace in the most serene of places. I saw the name of God manifested to me from the spaces, and I remember thinking to myself “All glory belongs to Allah for this majestic sight is a living testimony to his creation, I could almost behold manifestations of his mercy wandering among the multitude”.
I consider this particular piece to be invaluable and deem, it is my token of the upcoming pilgrimage. It was displayed in some art galleries and then moved to the design and manufacture of a product is a light purse to be a Hajj souvenir for any and all.
“Going to Hajj yet selling rosaries on the side”
Hajj has religious, social, and worldly benefits. The opportunities it presents are genuinely endless and the famous age-old Meccan adage of “Going to Hajj but selling rosaries on the side” is evidence of that. In Hajj there are many business opportunities for design and manufacture of products and gifts inspired by rituals and human and Islamic values. I believe that we all agree that the goods, souvenirs and gifts now offered around the central regions of Mecca and Medina do not represent or give our spiritual arts their due neither in quality nor even in terms of creativity and intellectual value. So the brand identity industry with a local character and a global reach is a great opportunity that beckons and awaits.
The Hajj and Umrah seasons are of immense entrepreneurial value to those insightful enough to seize the opportunities. There is plenty of room for those brimming with creativity to devise products that benefit and serve the guests of the Merciful.
“And proclaim to the people the Hajj; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass. That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals. So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor.” – Surah Hajj verses 27-29
- Loai Nassem