Religion

The Reason Why I Will Never Go For Hajj

On one side, there are 2 million displaced Syrian refugees in great distress and on the other, more than 2 million Muslims, totally disconnected from the tragedy, spending their life savings to indulge in a 1400-year-old ritual

Syrian refugees walk along Budaorsi Street on their way out of Budapest. Credit: Freedom House/Flickr CC 2.0

Syrian refugees walk along Budaorsi Street on their way out of Budapest. Credit: Freedom House/Flickr CC 2.0

Fa ayna tadh haboon – It is very difficult to understand the depth of emotion behind these words in the Quran when god asks us with so much of love and compassion, “Where are you going?”

The concern with which we are asked about the path we have taken, if heard and understood correctly, could so easily bring us back to the right path. Unfortunately the people of this world, especially the Muslims have gone deaf. Today with the same worry and tremendous anguish in my heart, I am compelled to ask everyone “Where are you going?” “Why have you turned a blind eye towards the sufferings of your fellow human beings?”

On one side, there are 2 million displaced Syrian refugees including children, in great distress all across the Gulf and the European nations, crying for help, and on the other side, more than 2 million Muslims, totally disconnected from the tragedy, spending all their life savings to indulge in a 1400-year-old ritual called Hajj, which adds billions of dollars yearly to the already over flowing treasures of the Saudi king.

The same money, if donated by the people for the cause of Syrian refugees, could solve all their problems. And the Saudi government – which has housed more than 25 million pilgrims in the past 10 years – could lend a helping hand in giving temporary asylum to a major proportion of the most needy refugees by diverting the same manpower and wealth used to host the pilgrims. There are 100,000 air conditioned tents standing in the city of Mina in Saudi Arabia, with a holding capacity of about 2 million people – which, coincidentally, equals the exact number of refugees displaced from Syria. These tents are used for just 5 days in a year to house the Hajj pilgrims and they stand empty for the rest of the year, totally unused.

The Muslim world specifically and humanity in general is losing its moral compass. By believing in a god when we are divorced from the struggles of our own brothers and sisters, we have done nothing but shift the burden of responsibility from ourselves on to a higher power. When will we start to realise that no higher power will come to lift the fallen ,and take it upon ourselves to do more than just pray for the ones in desperate need? Isn’t it high time already, especially for the people in Muslim world who take pride in quoting the Quran on universal brotherhood and oneness among Muslims, which I must say, ironically, is only displayed during the five days of Hajj?

Being brought up in a conservative Muslim household, there is only one verse from the Bible in my memory, and it has always been “Love Thy Neighbour”. I can quote hundreds of similar verses from the Quran urging us to help the needy, whereas only a few (around nine) come to mind when I think about the importance of the pilgrimage called Hajj.

Isn’t it our duty to prioritise our spending and give Syrian refugees a higher place in our grocery list of virtues which we think we can buy by spending a couple of weeks at a place called sacred in scriptures as old as the last virtuous man that lived? And to the Muslims who aim to get a higher place in the eyes of god, I would suggest donating – for this Hajj they are on will get them virtues worth one Hajj, but they could get virtues good for a thousand Hajjs if they donate the same money they had kept aside for this pilgrimage. And if they think this I am wrong in saying this, I would suggest they go and read their Quran right.

Yes, I am a devout Muslim, but I will never go for Hajj. I think there are a thousand more causes in the world for which that money and time can be used, and I, being a man of the 21st century, would not be able to justify giving my hard-earned money to a country which did nothing for the Syrian refugees in dire need.

“Fa Firroo Ilallaah – Not there, come over here, come towards the path that is right, that is free of sin” —Holy Quran

It is about time we got our priorities right.

Akif Kichloo is a doctor and poet

Categories: Religion

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  • Haseeb Rehman

    half truth…misplaced

  • sha

    So is it how the world works ? I assume you didnt have your dinner as Refugees are starving and donated that money to red crescent.What a nonsense article !

  • http://shabak.com/ Shabak

    100% True… TY

  • Rifaan

    You are saying you are a devout Muslim, yet you openly declare that you will go against the commandments of Allah(SWA) which is to perform Hajj at least one in life. When you say you will never perform it you are basically going against the commandments of Allah(SWA).

    True, we must help the Syrians in any way we can, but that does not amount to not going to Hajj. There are specific reasons where one might be excused from performance!ing the Hajj, but what you are saying is definitely not a reason. May Allah(SWA) forgive us all.

  • Mohsin
  • Salman M Khan

    The only thing more stupid than going to an extreme is running to another extreme. Hajj (the first one, not the repeat ones) is a pillar of Islam just like Zakah, an obligatory charity. Be a true Muslim. Send your Zakah and other charities to the Syrian refugees and go to Hajj with full piety and Islamic fervour, instead of guilt. Helping the needy is just as important as strengthening your personal connection with Allah, because that is what motivates us towards being the best of people. Islam is a practical and balanced religion. It gives priorities to everything that is necessary, so let’s keep it that way.

  • Alissom

    Logic doesn’t make sense. You could say “don’t pray, instead use the time to serve refugees”. Since praying takes up a half an hour or more per day that would be a minimum of 182 hours per year serving refugees by not praying. Have a balance.The purpose of life is to worship Allah and performing Hajj is among the greatest acts of worship, as is serving other human beings. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

  • Mohammad Ahmad Farooqui

    Brother Akif. Do your best towards the cause of people suffering through out the world. BUT do not say that you will not do what Allah has commanded….one of the five pillars !

  • AminChak

    have you donated all your savings?

  • alisisrar

    A misguided person not clearly understood the religion and its commandments. All obligations imposed by Allah Almighty are for the benefit of humans or mankind and not to his benefit at all. Offering of prayers five times in mosque besides remembering God are for the sake of socializing people to assemble, know each other and their needs and try to solve out individual’s and common issues; fasting for one month will not benefit Allah at all but only those who would be fasting as by fasting besides biological benefits to them they can understand the strains of hunger and to share the feeling of pain of hunger of those who cannot provide for their feedings. Similarly Zakat is the fourth pillar of religion Islam exclusively to set aside a portion of ones own wealth for distribution among needy; Haj is similar yearly congregation of muslim from all over the globe to come together (which include wealthy and poor), meet with each other, explore opportunities for progress and understand problems of people from different parts of the world. Sacrificing animals have also commandments that only one third of meat one can, if he so desires which too is not obligatory as one can also distribute it wholly, keep for his use, other one third to be distributed among neighbors, relations and friends and the rest one third to be distributed among needy and poor.

    So all the five obligations imposed by Allah are not going to benefit him at all but purely for the benefit of us, our fellow human persons with priority to needy and poor and at the same time carrying reward from Allah in this world and hereafter as if done exclusively for him. Whatever one has accumulated is all given by Allah still Allah not claiming his given wealth as of his but of holder of such wealth, and when imposes obligation on those who can afford to help to needy and poor of his subjects regard it as given in the way of Allah as help to him only and imposes upon him duty that he would return whatever one gives in the way of Allah to his creature human who are in fact our fellows.

    In nutshell such misguided elements are curse to mankind only as they can in any way neither benefit Allah nor can cause harm to him and want to undo even the good jobs done and multiply human sufferings by discouraging helps besides waging war against Society and Almighty Allah, the sole creator, beneficent, provider, sustainer of the universe. They are the real enemies of human persons and thus of Allah Almighty, the creator of all creatures including humans.

    Only Allah can save humanity from such of his miscreant creatures! Glory to Allah, the most merciful, the most magnificent!

    • Donna Ali

      Well said, clearly your wealth of knowledge, simply put, that anyone can understand the beauty of our religion…May Almighty Allah continue to bless you with greater understanding…

  • Shawn Smith

    Really? The guy vows he would never go to hajj, which is a pillar of Islam, and I am going to take him seriously? No thanks! He just proved something about himself. I doubt this guy knows very much about what evven the Quran teaches. If he did, he would not have said that.

  • Irum Khalid

    Hajj is a pillar of islam….
    Comparing hajj to helping the needy…. wont make sense..
    We dont perform this duty bcz we want to fill pockets of saudi govt…
    How can the writer just make this point…. ???
    This is absurd…
    We shud better cut short at those extravagant expenses we do in our life if we want to help in that sacrifice… not to cut short on the obligations… to make that ultimate journey to see the most sacred place on earth…
    Adding to it… we shud better look for the core issues… the best way to help refugees is not to make them one… its high time muslim ummah shud stand and stop this war… nobody wants to drag his/her dear ones into seas if he /she isnt facing imminent death… they dont want to get their pockets filled… they want to go back to their homeland…

  • Hasan Shafi Mian

    Please mind answering to these questions :

    1- why do we eat if there are so many hungry people around

    2- why do we live in cosy and comfortable house while so many are homeless

    3- why do we go on hiking and spend so much on a activity which doesn’t benefit refugees.

    There are so many other things sir and so many refugees around the world even in Pakistan we are giving food and shelter to more than 3 million Afghan refugees for over 3 decades now, no one raised the point then, when we hosted so many number of refugees.

    Suddenly 2 to 3 million are accepted by whole of Europe and western media started bashing muslims and their values. Besides, there were no refugees before Western invasion on Iraq, Libya, Palestine, you cannot deny the ISIS involvement in Syria / Iraq which is also backed by western countries.

    Guys please don’t fall in these sort of traps otherwise a person will not be able to do anything except blaming himself.

    PS: I’m not denying the fact that nothing should be done for for them and its a nice gesture by western society to accept some of refugees till now Turkey is the country having the most number of refugees from Syria.

    • Mahmooud

      Your questions don’t make any sense. Why do you eat? To survive. If you’re eating a fancy meal while your neighbors are starving, that means there’s something wrong with you.
      Why do you live in a cozy and comfortable houses while others are homeless? If you choose to spend your money on having a nice house, while you give the blind eye on people who have to suffer the cold nights of winter in streets because they can’t afford having a bed anywhere. What that makes you? You could easily buy them a blanket or if you’re rich you can buy them a bed.
      And going hiking isn’t in any way like traveling thousands of miles.
      The article is crystal clear. I don’t know why many comments are twisting the words of the writer. He’s against the hypocrisy of Saudi. Pilgrimage pours money in Saudi. The pilgrimage became a money making industry. Do you really think god would approve to that? If your answer is yes, then I suggest that you read the Qura’n slowly and try to understand the noble principles of Islam.
      When we stop making the rich richer and help the poor, we would be a good nation. God knows what’s in your heart.

      P.S: please stop that old trick of blaming the west for our problems, it’s really getting old and boring now. Here’s an idea, let’s just face the truth to learn how to fix our problems.
      And Turkey is the most country that accepting refugees because of the geographic location.

  • Kash

    I totally agree with what you have stated, and think that it is a very intelligent recommendation, but I fail to understand why people do not agree with it, where to save a human life Allah has ordered to even leave your namaz then why can not to save the lives of over 2 million humans as true muslims which probably I am not, but the ones who claim that they are true muslims can sacrifise their Hajj?

  • The greenmantle

    well said 😉
    Or the saudis could have used their 5 star hotels . I thought one of the ideas of the Haj was everyone is the same ? How can people be the same if some are living in a 5 star hotel ?
    Sir David

  • MUHAMMAD KHAN

    He is ignorant to the core. He does not know that refusing Haj is a major sin as it is obligatory. I am afraid the writer himself has done nothing with his money for helping the refugees. Yes i am in favor of if some one has performed Haj once which is obligatory, he/she should not perform it again and should donate that money to other causes. As many people who had performed Haj once also go for second or even third time, such people should think about priorities.

    • Hani Azman

      Exactly. both my parents are unable to perform Hajj because the quota of person who perform Hajj always exceed the limit. People with money want to do Hajj more than once are hindering others to perform their duty as Muslims.

  • Hani Azman

    Hajj IS AN obligation for Muslims which we have to do ONCE in our lifetime. JUST ONCE. if we cant do it within reasons (health/monetary) then our children or kins have to do it for us. by disregard that ONE TIME obligation for the sake of charity, you already giving a huge burden to your family to carry. They also have their own family members to take care of. Is that considered as ‘okay’ is Islam?No. Giving burden is a sin. I live in Muslim country, studies Islamic foundation and practice since I was 10. I have never heard such claim ‘Hajj is not an obligation like prayer’ . You sir, clearly lack of basic Islamic knowledge and FYI, helping every human in this world who are in trouble, be it Syrians, Rohingya, Palestinians, Iranians, etc doesnt mean you have to throw away your duty as a Muslim. We all have brains for reasons. Funny, I would definitely agree to this article if he used ‘UMRAH’ instead of Hajj. You wanna do charity? well, sir, go ahead and pay your zakat fitr.

  • bk

    If the Gulf spent less money on bombing Yemen (and killing fellow Muslims) and more money on being humanitarian, it would not appear as hypocritical. By the way UAE has taken Syrians who are educated and can benefit their economy (i.e. economic migrants) so they shouldn’t be patting themselves on the back. They refuse to take those who are truly in need.

    • Factual

      250,000 Syrian refugees taken by UAE are educated? What have you been smoking?

  • عمر النجار

    just one question: are you trying to reduce the value of hajj pillar by saying “1400-year-old ritual called Hajj”?
    talk about the pillar of zakah which a lot of Muslims don’t do it which could really help.
    talk about the jihad(all kinds of jihad) for helping other Muslims which really need our help to defend them (P.S: jihad isn’t by weapons only).
    but don’t try to reduce the value of one pillar because Muslims don’t do the other pillars which could help the Muslims.
    the finall question i’m asking you because i’m not a good English speaker is :why you write God like this “god”?

  • Tarek Habbal

    Here comes the war against the Hajj pilgrimage now

  • Mohammad Ahmad Farooqui

    Agree absolutely. But we need to introspect and do all that saving from our daily lifestyle where we lavishly waste our money. Is Haj the only hindrance in doing good ? I will have to be careful there and obviously truthful to my Lord.

  • Sobriquet

    Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to pave the path. 🙁

  • Nabeel Shamim

    I am sure the author is a good guy and means well, but the article is all over the place, and lacks logic. Strongly disagree.

  • bob

    Unfortunately both Hajj and Umrah have become a money making business. I am an older Muslim. I performed my 1st Umrah /Haj some 35 years ago. I performed another Umrah last year. It did not feel much like Umrah because of the 5 star hotels ,extremely high cost, extravagant meals etc. Even the cab drivers bargain for very high prices when once has to go to Masjid Ayesha or any other place considered outside Makkah for Niyat for a second Umrah. Haj and Umrah were very simple , plain and an extremely religious affairs. Now , I saw people taking pictures, selfies, etc.It seemed more ritualistic then religious affair. I did not enjoy or felt connected to Allah in the same way as I did some 35 years ago. I am not sure what is the intention of Saudi Government but Makkah is no longer the Makaah it use to be. I was planning to do another Haj but will definitely donate to charity /Syrian refugees now. And if Allah will provide me health and resources then I will perform another Haj in the near future but will not stay in the 5 star hotels or indulge in fancy food etc. Haj without zeal and some hardship makes no sense to me.

  • Sarah Sh

    The author should have written an article saying ‘why I will never buy a fancy car, house or meal ever again’ why the hypocrisy? Why are you calling a pillar of Islam an outdated ritual? The poor and needy have been around since beginning of time that hasn’t changed why not encourage people to donate regularly and save for hajj at same time? Who are you to say hajj isn’t necessary? I sincerely hope u never eat in fancy restaurants or buy designer clothes because there are people without clothes and food in the world! Hope ur car house and meals are as basic and humble as you try to appear. What next? Stop praying because it takes up time you could be using towards helping others? How about both? Instead of cutting Gods orders out.

  • Sarah Sh

    But then why does our religion command us to go for hajj when we can afford it ? Why doesn’t it say don’t go for hajj donate everything instead? Hajj is a pillar of Islam just as is zaakah. So maybe we should be donating as well as saving for hajj. Why cut out one completely? And instead of cutting out hajj calling it an outdated ritual why doesn’t the author encourage people to cut back on fancy cars, million dollar homes, lavish vacations and expensive fine dining? When you go out to eat an expensive meal do u think about dying kids in Africa? You could be eating in a fraction of the price and donating the rest? Too much hypocrisy and self centeredness going on people want to point fingers instead of looking at their own lifestyles.

  • muzna malik

    and consequently under the same school of thought some refugees here in Germany are converted into christians while we as muslims couldnot save them. i feel sad that if we as muslims failed to protect them that doesnot give an excuse to change the faith.
    Practicing religion should n’t be just to fulfill the obligations rather becoming a better human being as well. i guess a true faith is lacking in our beliefs. 🙁

  • be kind

    Everyone has their priority, and to those pilgrims, are to fulfill their obligation to perform hajj. They spend their life savings because It might be a lifetime dream for them to perform hajj. It’s a dream comes true…. it doesn’t need an educated man to simply understand the feeling of that. And the fact that you are well educated and a muslim, you should even have better understanding of the priority of these pilgrims instead of criticizing. What would be the benefit of your article? To spread hatred or to help? Do you really think that the Saudis would read your article and say “oh yes, he is right, I’ll take 1 million Syrians into our homeland” There’s always a hidden agenda behind articles like yours… one wise reader can see that this article is only spreading hatred and rumors. .. which we don’t need… its like adding oil to fire. If we want to pinpoint, we could go on and on pointing all the countries that are not helping others in need…. but we would only be going in circles. So best, dear doctor, you should just do your part to help and let others do their part and use the energy you have to spread love than hatred. Not one country is better than the other…every country has it faults…and being a doctor, you should have known better…

  • Factual

    It is amazing how people like you never do fact reading and simply come here and type anything you like. Do you have any idea the amount spent by Arabs on Refugees? For your convenience I am stating figures published by Amnesty International & UN:
    $18.4 million by Saudi Arabia, $304 million by Kuwait, UAE has given approximately $72 million. I can further state the number of refugees accepted by each of the Gulf countries and Turkey. If you are educated, I assume you are, you should have first researched and then come here blabbered. As far as your reference to Hajj is concerned, it is such an astounding comment. Hajj is an obligation that needs to be fulfilled once in a lifetime.
    Every human and Muslim shares your concern about Syrian plight, but that does not need to be a deterrent toward a religious obligation. Let me ask you a simple question, did you stop yourself from buying the new IPhone 6S and donate that amount to the refugees? Did you quit shopping, or stop eating cuisines at expensive diners? When you have not done either of them, why should you expect others to leave their religious obligations?
    When Nepal suffered from massive earthquakes earlier this year, did any writer publish any article on why Hindus should not go to Teerth Yatra or Amarnath Yatra, instead should opt to donate money to Kathmandu. No one published such a ridiculous and outrageous article.
    Why is it always Muslims or Islam that get targeted in times of crisis. Such a shame. Ludicrous & despicable attempt to discredit Hajj – the largest gathering of mankind.

  • N.b. Giri

    No one in this world be misled because there is no God in the name we speak like Ram, Allah, Christ or etc. in which we can have personal relation. There is no name that is God. Man cannot understand that before death. It is a vague thing. Be a true human being and a true follower of mankind which makes you righteous man and make your life useful and happy in the earth. The religious leaders and its contractors and the politically ambitious people use the religion as tool to reach there goal to grab power. The younger people of the world should not bother all these religions, be free from these obstacles you can do better and live better. Secondly, I say, all the money that is spent in festivals or religious gathering be given to feed and protect vulnerable and refugees that will be better festival.

  • nothing

    ….. and the Western countries to be blamed….

    ….UN has to allocate a piece of land …a new country ….in middle east for these poor refugees….

    • Irene

      Why? Where? Who are they going to take it from? They should be able to go back home, which is what most of them probably want. But muslims are killing other muslims.

  • Dawood Baboo

    Jahiliya. Only Allah can help them and all of us.

  • Kevin Goddard

    so I teach in Saudi Arabia, I am not Moslem. I have Syrian students in my classes. They have been coming regularly since the beginning of the war. According to the Saudi government 2.5 million have already been taken into the country. We must check our facts before jumping to assumptions.

  • Wack

    Isn’t it irony that syrian refugees also want to go western europe instead of rich arab nations?

  • Kamran Alam Khan

    Simply, do brotherhood, do care of needful people. Do Hajj, if we have that much enough amount to do performed than do it as Islam said. Finally I would say that we the debater are commenting and correcting eachothers. Do we know really that before raising fingers on other we should see our own shirt. Why we blaming other Muslims countries, & peoples. Please stop doing this bad things. Its also says Islam that don’t speak bad, and bad about any one its called “GHEEBAT” so thing & judge before saying some thing wrong about any one.

  • abdullaah

    Dear “doctor and poet”

    you are “ignorant” about islam.

    write about medicine which you specialise in…because you really lack basic knowledge of islam..

    hajj is from the five pillars of islam.. as rightly said by mr salman m khan..

    hajj is obligatory upon every adult muslim at least once in a lifetime who has the financial means…

    it is optional to do it more than once…

    as for the syrian refugee crisis..its a “different” topic…
    WHY ARE YOU CHOOSING EITHER OF THEM…?? CANT YOU DO BOTH!?

    one should go to hajj and one should also help the syrian refugees….according to each persons ability…

    there is a duty you owe to Allaah and a duty you owe to your fellow human beings…

    Hajj is a duty you owe to Allaah….helping the refugees is a duty you owe to your fellow brothers and sisters..

    try to do both!!!

    YOU SAY YOU ARE A DEVOUT MUSLIM BUT YOU WILL NEVER GO TO HAJJ …IS A CONTRADICTORY STATEMENT AND AN IRONY….I SAY YOU ARE A DEVOUT “IGNORANT”

    YOU SHOULD HAVE WRITTEN ONLY ABOUT SYRIAN REFUGEE CRISIS…SUGGESTING WAYS TO HELP THEM…(ACTUALLY…NO! YOU WOULDNT DO JUSTICE TO THAT EITHER…JUST WRITE ABOUT MEDICINE…WHICH YOU SPECIALISE IN..!!)

    JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE A PEN DOESNT MEAN YOU CAN WRITE WHATEVER COMES TO YOUR MIND..BE EXTRA CAREFUL WHEN WRITING ABOUT RELIGION…
    BE RESPONSIBLE…

    NOT GOING TO HAJJ TO HELP THE SYRIAN REGUGEES …. IS DOING ONE THING AND NOT DOING THE OTHER…

    as mr salman m khan rightly said…ISLAM IS A BALANCED RELIGION…

    understand islam the way the companions of the prophet understood it…

    because they are the best of muslims after the prophet…

    they are the Best of generation, as Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said:

    “The best of my nation is my generation then those who follow them and then those who follow them.” [Saheeh Bukharee]

    dont write articles according to your desires and your limited intellect…learn about islam…as you learnt about medicine in your school..

    Allah, the Most High said:

    “Verily, it is indeed Satan that makes you do evil and say things about Allah (or His deen) of which you have no proper knowledge.”

    [Al-Baqarah 2:169]

    Allah, the Most High said:

    Say (O Muhammad ): “(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawahish (great evil sins, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge.”

    [Al Araf 7:33]

    AND IF YOU DONT KNOW, THEN ASK THE SCHOLARS…..
    DONT BE A MUFTI AND PASS FATWAS..

    ask the people of knowledge, as Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says:

    {Then ask the People of Knowledge if you do not know},

    [Soorah an-Nahl, Aayah 43 and Soorah al-Anbiyaa., Aayah 7].

  • Tabrez

    While the sentiments expressed in the article are noble,
    the deductive logic used to give up an obligatory duty is flawed. A far better approach,
    totally consistent with the spirit of Islam would be.. ‘I am postponing my
    Hajj this year to contribute my bit to help the Syrians in
    need’ (Even though this also will be based on the false premise that all
    suffering will vanish from the surface of earth in my lifetime.)

    From purely secular point of view, here is just one question for brother Akif to reflect upon. If I donate all my savings of one
    year towards my government relief fund can I refuse to pay the Income tax
    Department its dues?

    We feel no hesitation in
    making selective quotations from Qur’an and Sunnah/Seerah or even concocted
    fables to support our line of argument.

    Remember! More often than not the SHARR appears in the garb of KHAIR.

  • Adnan Qaisar

    Couldn’t agree more!

  • saba

    agree with your point.. we all should help syrian migrants …But apart of everything HAJJ is a fifth pillar of Islam and i think its not right to say that people shouldnt go for Hajj….We should go and must keep the desire for going there, … it is the order of Allah to do hajj and help needy, we cant let one to fulfill other…We all should have to perform both things

  • Salman M Khan

    Your comment is quite off the topic, but you should know that the Syrian Civil War had started in 2011, i.e. 2 yrs before the rise of ISIS. I have given a link from The Guardian above, which says that Saudi govt is claiming to have received Syrian refugees.

    Well, looking at the recent Arab turmoil, Saudi Arabia is
    loosing its moral position as the informal leader of the Muslim World, just as USA is loosing its position as the leader of the free World. There was a delicate balance of peace and tolerance in Arab countries until the US and its allies messed it up in 2003. ISIS has risen only as a result of this chaos, as said by Jürgen Todenhöfer, Michael Flynn and Barack Obama. Muslim world has witnessed similar false-piety in the past, starting with the Khawarij. Every time, hypocrites and fanatics have disappeared in a few decades, but Islam has continued to grow even faster.

    Anyway, the self proclaimed Islamic State has been rejected and condemned as ‘unIslamic’ by several Islamic scholars and Muslim elite around the world. The destabilisation created in the Arab world by NATO now seems to be boomeranging.

    • Marty Smith

      Your overall point of one extreme vs the other was not missed, and I agree with it. I use my facebook feed as a news reel and I can see the Western side of that extremism fully. Radical religious groups, made up mainly of Christians and Muslims, are starting to gain popularity and so are white supremacists and black supremacists.

      Due to the ignorance of the people and the lying North American news agencies, we have idiots claiming Russia is the big evil red giant again who wants to usher in a new soviet era while they ignore China and the rest of the BRICS bloc. Now is not the time to trust our news, and I haven’t for years.

      Also it is too early to blame this on NATO. NATO was in Afghanistan. Iraq was the US and England only. NATO did not support the war in Iraq, but at the same time, didn’t really criticise it either… To me NATO is like the UN which has become corrupt and ineffective.

      saying the west is losing influence is a huge understatement. in 10 years, there is going to be a radical shift in global power and possibly another world war or at least another cold war.

  • azra

    I think the most of the points in this article are absolutely right but in which words Hujj is defined is sadly wrong. It’s a Pillor of Islam and Farz Rukun. When we have enough money it’s should be our priority to perform it. Hadeeth is “if you are eligible for Hujj perform it, otherwise Allah doesn’t care if you die as Jew
    or Christian. ”
    Allah talk about charity in Quran more then 70times, and help needy in their distressed time. Every good deed is valuable in Allah eyes. He is the best appreciative.

  • Mohammed Ravji

    Those Mulsim souls who are unfortunately being displaced from their lands are performing the religious obligation of saving their lives by fleeing those areas. Just as those Muslims travelling to complete the rights of Hajj are also performing a religious obligation, they are both connected!
    What troubles me about this article is that although the author has made an effort to tap into the consciousness of Muslims worldwide, and I take my hat off to him in his efforts; In his proposal has employed baseless assumption that Muslims travelling to Hajj have not contributed to help/have no care for/ & are disconnected from those displaced Muslims.
    Again unfortunately there appears to be misrepresentations of Islam being made in the article…
    Having an understanding of the teachings of Islam a Muslim knows that philosophically the Muslims are one ‘ummah’ i.e. Family & all matters concerning Muslims effect the Muslim Ummah.
    A Muslim submits to the will of God, devoting everything to the will of God as everything belongs to God in the first place, the author has deliberately chosen to focus on the financial cost of religious pilgrimage as a target, ignoring the other religious pillars which involve the religious discharge of wealth to help the needy.
    Furthermore one of the unique beauties of Hajj is that it is the largest International Muslim conference on this Earth where Muslims meet to discuss these very contemporary issues!
    The ruling Saudi Government knows this well & works towards making the meetings & discussions of Muslims United difficult as this threatens their very own oppressive rule.
    The relationship of a Muslim with his Lord is personal & he/she constantly evaluates their priorities to better this relationship.
    Unfortunately this article has only led me to conclude that the author does not possess a true and deep understanding of Islam & Muslims, and has no right or authority to dare question the priorities of 2 million Muslims worldwide, and he has a completly warped & twisted understanding of contemporary geopolitical world affairs.

  • Salman M Khan

    As reported by The Guardian, the govt. of Saudi Arabia has said that it has received over 2 million refugees, which is probably more than any other country.
    Check out this link
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/12/saudi-arabia-says-reports-of-its-syrian-refugee-response-false-and-misleading.

    While Al Qaeda and Taliban were funded by the US in 1980s, ISIS is a result of NATO’s meddling and destabilising the Middle East.

  • Mohammed Ravji

    The religion of Islam is not to blame for the problems facing Muslims!
    In the current climate, this is a well known tactic deployed by the Islamaphobe campaigners.

  • Marty Smith

    That’s not the point I was getting at.

    NATO is like the UN in that they are both hopelessly corrupt and ineffective. I saw this first hand in Afghanistan when I realized NATO nations, mainly from Europe were more than happy to let England, the US and Canada do all the fighting while they sat in base collecting funds for doing nothing.

    Now we all can see that same lack of action other than a few airstrikes and the odd special forces raid from time to time while the situation continues to get worse.

    You also seem unaware of how easily the Daesh are manipulating Obama and his administration. So far his administration has been successfully blackmailed into providing arms and money to them, and their $100 million plan to train Syrian fighters against them have trained a total of only 4 fighters to this date. It is as if the US government is willfully sabotaging their own campaign and you did get the year right when it all started to go downhill. 2003, which was the beginning of the second Iraq war.

    The US government right now is either too afraid to admit they are wrong, or are actually supporting the Daesh and are doing a terrible job of hiding it. Either way now is not the time to have any faith in the US government as a champion of freedom or liberty. They are crumbling from the top-down.

  • Islam Mohammden

    Hujj is one of the paler of Islam and peacfull prayer only to God Almaighty most of Muslim would Love to leave every thing behind there back and go for Hijj looking for a peacful prayer time seeking seticfied and wishing to be much better human. What’s happing in the Midle East and the Muslims Country is Politics have nothing related to Islam Religion. Prophet Mohammed Pbuh says: Love for your Brother what you Love for your self. And i love all the human and i would Love all the human having peace and Love for each other as they Love for them self’s . I feel Sorry for what happing for all peaople all over the world and i would love all peapoles having peace and beeing safe and if there is any way to help I would love to be part of helping and i would love to do Hajj as well.

  • Mumtaz Ansari

    sending people to moon have served no purpose in improving humanity on planet earth. If usa or other richest people or guv of world donate few part of this money poverty will be eliminated all over the world.

  • Mak

    It is the United States that has destabilized the entire region. first IRAQ then Libya, Then Syria and don’t forget Afghanistan in Asia.
    The rulers were against US policy and ambitions so they had to be removed.
    When Assad was going defeat the rebellion the US directly aided the rebels with tech/money/weapons etc.. and has made this war continue for years now. There was peace in that country before this and most of all stability.
    so if it was not for the US meddling in other countries affairs who does not follow their way then they support the opposition to try to remove those in power. They have done this with all the countries and keep the wars going. This also has happened in many Muslim countries in Africa.
    Now as far as Hajj goes, the Saudi’s are turning Hajj from getting close to Allah and about struggle into a vacation spot for the rich.

  • Just Saying

    if you think a billion muslims live a life of luxury, you are more delusional than I thought.

  • Saif

    I can understand the writers emotions and it can be somewhat applied for people doing luxurious Hajj i.e instead of doing luxury hajj have a simple hajj and give the remaining money on charity. But having said that it applies to all of us…muslims not doing hajj this year can cancel their next vacation, restaurant visit, movie night etc etc and donate the money instead.

    As a muslim we beleive that help only comes from Allah and at times of difficulty (like this one) we increase obedience to Allah and let go of sins to ask Allah for help. Hajj is a pillar of Islam and its a way of calling Allah for help too.

    The ayat “fa aynaa tadh-haboon” (81:26) does call us for a right path of Allah but the right path as explained by Prophet Mohammed PBUH is of islam and Hajj is a pillar of Islam without it Islam is incomplete.

    The ayat “Fa Firroo Ilallaah (So flee to Allah …)”(51:50) is a call to worship of Allah without any partner and accepting Prophet Mohammed PBUH as the prophet. Hajj is an excellent example of Allahs worship without partner & obedience to Prophet.

  • shrao

    A balanced article from a very thoughtful and kind-hearted man. But there is another point. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia enforces a “Haj quota” of one visa per 1000 Muslims in the country. If one generously assumes that an average Muslim has about 50 good years (when not too young/delicate or old/infirm) in which Haj can be performed, and that no Muslim performs Haj twice, this means that at most about 1 in 20 Muslims globally can perform Haj at all in their lifetimes. One of the “five pillars” has a 95% failure rate anyway!

  • LibyanJig

    Specious argument. Why don’t every man, woman, and child donate some funds to cure the common cold while they’re at it? The author seems to think he or she gets to decide better for the annual hajj pilgrims, laughable.

  • Normalah Samporna

    You know nothing.. I saw pictures in facebook that the people in Saudi Arabia is helping the refugees. A plane with a lot of food, water and clothings are given to the refugees. So dont creat an article that’s unnecessary. You’re not devoted to islam. Creating a nonsense article about hajj and the people on Saudi will not help you help you. I truly believe that the king of saudi is generous and always helping the people in need.

  • Firoz Khan

    Akif Kichloo is unable to differentiate between two. Duty (Farz) and Charity. performing Hajj is duty for all those who are healthy and who can afford (Financially). it can be called as Khidmat-e-Allah and the charity is khidmat-e-Khalq. Now, Zakaat is another duty that every Muslim take out of his annual earning and the cost of movable and immovable properties. Zakaat is used to help millions the world over. How the author has determined that this Zakaat money is not spend on Syrian Refugees? Not to perform Hajj is his own decision but the reason he is giving is not proper. To me he seemed to be a misguided person. May Allah take care of him and give him Hidaya. aameen.

  • Haydar Hussin

    Dear brother Akif, its commendable that you have such a soft heart for our refugee brothers and sisters, but deliberately denying a pillar of your faith is tantamount to cutting off your nose to spite your face. Performing Hajj and helping Syrian refugees are not mutually exclusive events. Practically speaking an affordable 1 star Hajj experience is both cost effective and a character builder. There are a myriad of luxuries that we as Americans indulge in and reflecting on the things that we can cut out, one can feasibly save for the once in a lifetime journey and still direct our finances towards helping humanity. In my opinion there is nothing more humbling and life changing than being a guest of Allah at Hajj. The journey of Hajj forever changed my life and has brought out the best in me to always want to help others. I feel truly blessed to have been granted the invitation and pray that you accept your invitation when it comes. May Allah guide us all.

  • Haydar Hussin

    Dear brother Akif, its commendable that you have such a soft heart for our refugee brothers and sisters, but deliberately denying a pillar of your faith is tantamount to cutting off your nose to spite your face. Performing Hajj and helping Syrian refugees are not mutually exclusive events. Practically speaking an affordable 1 star Hajj experience is both cost effective and a character builder. There are a myriad of luxuries that we as Americans indulge in and reflecting on the things that we can cut out, one can feasibly save for the once in a lifetime journey and still direct our finances towards helping humanity. In my opinion there is nothing more humbling and life changing than being a guest of Allah at Hajj. The journey of Hajj forever changed my life and has brought out the best in me to always want to help others. I feel truly blessed to have been granted the invitation and pray that you accept your invitation when it comes. May Allah guide us all.

  • Shf

    We should all plan to go to Hajj inshallah because it is a pillar of Islam, and our Lord has made it obligatory upon us. I understand that Syrians need a place to live and that the money will go to Saudi Arabia and they do not use their money to help the Syrians. However, we must go to Hajj, Allah will deal with Saudi Arabia in the hereafter but when we go to Hajj, we have an opportunity to ask Dua for the Syrians or any other country so that they will be safe and happy inshallah. Whenever someone gets the opportunity to go to Hajj they should take it because there are millions of people around the world who would die for that opportunity. Who wouldn’t want to be close to Allah’s home? May Allah guide us all and bless us. Ameen.