السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ
It’s Saturday 16th May 2020. Today I want to focus on ‘Ramaḍān and Ḥaramain Sharīfain’ اِنْ شَاءَ الَّلهُ.
It was the Ramaḍān of 1986, at the age of 19, when I was blessed with my first ever visit to the Ḥaramain. I was part of the auspicious group from Dārul Uloom Bury under the auspices of our Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Muḥammad Yūsuf Motālā Ṣāḥib نور الله مرقده. Although it was the month of July and the scorching heat of Makkah al-Mukarramah and Madīnah al-Munawwarah was almost unbearable, it was an amazing Ramaḍān.
It was another 18 years after that first visit, when I was blessed again. It was the 24th of December, 2004, when I departed from Blackburn with my wife and 2 children, aged 10 and 8, for the Ḥajj Pilgrimage. We were accompanied by my brother-in-law, his wife and their son aged 8. It was a memorable Ḥajj journey, inscribed on our hearts forever, never to be forgotten اِنْ شَاءَ الَّلهُ.
Five years later, in RabīꜤ ul-Ākhir 1430 (April 2009), the same group of 7 were blessed to perform ꜤUmrah. Again, a memorable visit.
In 2014, one of my very close colleagues, Mufti Yūsuf ibn Mufti Shabbir Ṣāḥib, the owner of https://islamicportal.co.uk, found a flight from Manchester to Jeddah on Flynas airlines for 999 Saudi Riyals (approx £175), which resulted in my fourth visit to the Ḥaramain, مَا شَآءَ الله.
This trip was with colleagues of the organisation I work for, the ‘Muslim Welfare Institute’, and a few others, including Hāji Afzal Bhai Memon, chairman of the Gujarāt Sarvajānik Welfare Trust of Aḥmedābād (India), joined us. Although we only spent 3 days in Madīnah al-Munawwarah and 3 days in Makkah al-Mukarramah, it was a visit that all of us will cherish for the rest of our lives, اِنْ شَاءَ الَّلهُ.
Three years later, in Ramaḍān 2017, a dream of a lifetime was fulfilled, مَا شَآءَ الله. Starting from Turkey, our 2 families, comprising 7 members, moved on to al-Quds, for 3 days in al-Masjid al-ꜤAqṣā, مَا شَآءَ الله. After a brief stopover in Jordan, we spent 17th to 22nd Ramaḍān in Madīnah al-Munawwarah and the rest of the Blessed Month, until 3 days after ꜤEid ul-Fiṭr, in Makkah al-Mukarramah. This was a most amazing visit, for which I do not have the words to do justice to the emotions and feelings of this incredible journey.
The highlight of the day was Iftār and Maghrib as close to the Holy KaꜤbah as possible. A few glasses of ice cold water with fresh Madani dates and then the beautiful recitation of The Glorious QurꜤān in Maghrib (on many occasions) by Shaykh ꜤAbdur Raḥmān as-Sudais حفظہ اللہ.
Heavenly bliss, and spirituality at its peak, سُبْحَانَ الله.
Coming to the point, there is a very special connection between Ramaḍān and the Ḥaramain. It’s a unique experience. You have to visit to experience the spirituality and serene calm atmosphere of these Holy Lands. If Almighty Allāh has blessed you with wealth and you have performed your Farḍ Ḥajj, then let the Ḥaramain be your next destination during Ramaḍān. It will definitely be a life-changer, اِنْ شَاءَ الَّلهُ.
Finally, a humble request to our Ḥajj and ꜤUmrah tour operators. For the sake of Almighty Allāh, please do not take advantage of our love and affection of the Holy Lands. Why are the prices so high? Extortionate prices are making this spiritual journey unaffordable.
Why? What is the issue? Are Saudi authorities charging you an arm and a leg? Are the hotels ripping you off? Is red tape and bureaucracy crippling you? If that is the case, please speak up and let umbrella organisations like the MCB, LCM, BCoM, etc. know, so that they can tackle it at a higher level.
However, if you, as the agent, are taking advantage of this situation, then please fear Almighty Allāh. This Covid pandemic should serve as a warning, and I hope it does. Almighty Allāh does not need pilgrims at the Ḥarams. And, please don’t hike up the prices for your next Ḥajj and ꜤUmrah groups, to make up for profits lost this year.
Of course make money, but please keep it reasonable. It is understood that there can be unexpected costs, and you have to build in some contingency, to avoid making a loss. Here’s an idea – after the trip, keep reasonable profits and refund the rest to the pilgrims. Their DuꜤās will increase your barakah, اِنْ شَاءَ الَّلهُ.
Almighty Allāh Bless us all with an opportunity to visit all 3 Ḥarams again and again, and Guide all the operators to charge fairly and serve the pilgrims for rewards, not just profits, Āmeen.
Our £50,000 Clitheroe Masjid lift appeal has raised £7,500 so far, مَا شَآءَ الله. Please keep your donations coming in every night.
جَزَاكَ اللَّهُ خَيْرًا
Request for DuꜤās
وَالسَّلَامُ Hanif Dudhwala