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Reflections On Hajj I Sh. Furhan Zubairi



Alḥamdulillah, through the infinite bounty and grace of Allah ﷻ, I have been blessed to perform Hajj for a number of years as a spiritual guide. My responsibility is guiding people through the rites and rituals of Hajj, answering religious questions, giving reminders, leading prayers, and providing spiritual guidance and advice. Ḥajj is a very physically exhausting act of worship that involves several logistic challenges and dealing with hundreds of people and all of their questions, concerns, and worries is not easy. However, serving the ḥujjāj and guiding them along the way is an absolute honor and privilege. It is very fulfilling and spiritually uplifting, and if I am able to get one person’s sincere dūʿā, it’s all worth it.

As a result of the pandemic and a few new changes in the Hajj process, I was unable to go for the past three years. Although it gave me the opportunity to celebrate Eid al-Aḍḥā with my family for the first time in years,  it felt like there was a significant piece of my life and routine missing. This year, alḥamdulillah, I was given the invitation once again and I am truly grateful. May Allah ﷻ bless those who facilitated for me to go as a guide with this new system. I didn’t know I was going until my name and number had been published on the Nusul website and I started getting random calls at 2 am! 

Ḥajj is one of the most powerful, profound, awe-inspiring, humbling, and beautiful acts of worship in Islam. Millions of Muslims from every single corner of the world of different backgrounds, races, colors, and languages, old and young, rich and poor gather together in the same place for the same purpose. They all gather to express their love, devotion, obedience, and submission to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) the Most High. This is the only act of worship where individuals from every single country and every single social class will look exactly the same. It is the most amazing display of worship and unity seen in the world. No other religion, no other way of life can claim to have something even similar to Hajj

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It is common knowledge among Muslims that Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. Out of all of the different acts of worship in Islam, Hajj is perhaps the most unique as well as the most difficult. What makes Hajj so unique is that it is the only act of worship Muslims are required to do once in their lifetime. Ḥajj is an opportunity for Muslims to reconnect with their Lord and Creator to change their entire lives; to start all over. A person who performs Hajj correctly has all of their previous sins forgiven. The Prophet ﷺ said,

“Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of Allah and is not obscene and does not sin will return like the day his mother gave birth to him.” In addition to that the reward for an accepted ḥajj is Paradise. As the Prophet ﷺ said, “There is no reward for an accepted ḥajj except for Paradise.”1

Surprisingly, this is one of the reasons why a lot of people decide to delay Hajj until they’re older. A lot of young people, even middle-aged people delay Hajj because they want to enjoy life. They know that Hajj is a transformative experience and will change the way they live their lives. Do not delay your Hajj! It is a very physically taxing act of worship that is very difficult for the elderly. Plus, there’s no guarantee on life.

Since I’ve been back many people have asked me, “How was Hajj? How was the experience? How did it go?” And I’ve been telling everyone the same thing, “Alhamdulillah, it was amazing.” Honestly speaking, Hajj is one of those things that can’t be explained in words. I can tell you how it was to the last minute detail but it still wouldn’t capture the essence of hajj. It’s one of those experiences that can’t be expressed or explained in words.

A few scattered reflections on Ḥajj:


PC: Haidan (unsplash)

1) The most powerful message of Hajj is tawḥīd and ākhirah; two of the most important pillars of faith. Hajj is a mini display of our death and resurrection. The iḥrām reminds us of our burial shroud and the day of ʿArafah reminds us of the day of resurrection. The entire journey of Hajj is an expression of our submission and servitude to Allah ﷻ. From the beginning of the rites of Hajj all the way till the end we’re showing our servitude to the Creator of the heavens and the earth and everything in between. It starts as soon as a person enters the state of iḥrām and they start reciting the talbiyyah. Labayk… “At your service O Allah at your service. At your service. There is no partner for you. All praise and blessings and sovereignty belong to you. There is no partner for you.” Every single haji, millions of people keep repeating this over and over again until they stone the Big Shaytan on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah. It’s a remarkable expression of our commitment as an entire Ummah to the servitude of Allah ﷻ.

2) Witness the greatness of Allah ﷻ. During Hajj you get to witness firsthand the greatness of Allah ﷻ, which is expressed through the diversity of this Ummah. People from every single corner of the world, from Malaysia, Turkey, Indonesia, Burma, Bangladesh, and any other place you can think of, come to Makkah to perform Hajj. Literally, any country you can think of is represented.  This is something unique to Islam; people from different countries, different races, nationalities, and languages all gather in the same place to do the exact same thing. This type of gathering is unparalleled and it’s something truly amazing to see. 

Everywhere you look you see different colors. Everywhere you go you hear different languages being spoken. Despite this diversity, everyone is united through the same goal and objective. Allah ﷻ mentioned the beauty of this diversity, “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.”2 Such diversity doesn’t exist in any other part of the world or religion.

3) The ideal of equality and unity. During Hajj, I got to witness the ideal of equality and unity. As soon as we put on our ihram there’s no way to tell the difference between two people. You can’t tell if someone is rich or poor, educated or uneducated, from a developed nation or an undeveloped nation. There’s no way to tell if someone is a minister or a janitor, professor or student, scholar or non-scholar. Every male despite their socio-economic status is wearing the same two unstitched white pieces of cloth. This is a beautiful sight.

One of the most fundamental teachings of Islam is that each and every single Muslim is equal in front of Allah ﷻ. This is the message that the Prophet ﷺ delivered at Hajj over 1400 years ago. The Prophet ﷺ said, “There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab, nor for a white over a black nor for a black over a white except through taqwa.” At Hajj you can witness that in real life. Hajj brings together Muslims from all over the world, millions of people, for the same purpose.

Malcolm X expressed this beautifully after he performed Hajj. He wrote,

“Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practiced by people of all colors and races here in this ancient Holy Land, the home of Abraham, Muhammad and all the other Prophets of the Holy Scriptures. For the past week, I have been utterly speechless and spellbound by the graciousness I see displayed all around me by people of all colors. I have been blessed to visit the Holy City of Mecca, I have made my seven circuits around the Ka’bah, led by a young Mutawaf named Muhammad, and I drank water from the well of the Zam Zam. I ran seven times back and forth between the hills of Mt. Al-Safa and Al Marwah. I have prayed in the ancient city of Mina, and I have prayed on Mt. Arafat. There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blondes to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and non-white. America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and even eaten with people who in America would have been considered white – but the white attitude was removed from their minds by the religion of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all colors together, irrespective of their color.”

4) Simplicity of our Dīn – Sitting while waiting for my flight back to LA gave me some time to reflect on what I learned from this Hajj, particularly spending time with so many people from very diverse backgrounds.

One particular ḥadīth keeps coming to mind. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Pray your five daily prayers, fast the month of Ramadan, pay your zakāh, follow those in positions of authority over you, and you will enter your Lord’s Paradise.” [Tirmidhī]

We have an uncanny ability to make our Dīn more complicated than it needs to be. There are these endless, and I feel useless, debates on fine points of theology, fiqh, and various issues. We get caught up in theoretical discussions and overanalyze certain issues. 

We need to focus on the basics and come back to the fundamentals of our Dīn. Pray five times a day, fast the month of Ramadan, pay zakāh, perform Hajj, refine our character, and follow our leaders and scholars as long as they’re on the truth. If we do so, we’ll enter our Lord’s Paradise. 

Among the last words the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) mentioned before leaving this world were, “Prayer! Prayer! And those under your care.” Meaning, fulfill your rights to Allah and fulfill your rights to others. It’s that simple.


May Allah ﷻ accept all of the worship and supplications of all the ḥujjāj and invite those who have not been to His noble house.



The MM Recap: A Dhul-Hijjah And Hajj Resource –

The Eastern Toilet: A Hajj Reflection –

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Shaykh Furhan Zubairi was born in 1983 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Shortly thereafter, he moved and spent most of his youth in Southern California, graduating from high school in Irvine in 2001. He began his pursuit of Islamic knowledge and spirituality at the Institute of Knowledge (IOK) in 1998, where he started the memorization of the Qur’an and studied the primary books in the Islamic Sciences and Arabic language. After starting college, he took a break and went to Karachi, Pakistan, for 9 months to complete the memorization of the Qur’an at Jami’ah Binoria. He returned home and completed his B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine in 2005. He then traveled to Egypt to further his studies of the Arabic language. Thereafter, his pursuit of Islamic knowledge led him back to Pakistan, where he completed a formal ‘Alamiyyah degree (Masters in Arabic and Islamic Studies) at the famous Jami’ah Dar Al-’Ulum in Karachi. He has obtained numerous ijazat (traditional licenses) in the six canonical books of hadith, as well as the Muwata of Imam Malik and Imam Muhammad, and has also received certification in the field of Islamic Finance. Shaykh Furhan Zubairi serves as the Dean of the Full-Time and Part-Time Seminary Programs at the Institute of Knowledge in Diamond Bar, CA. He also serves as IOK University Chaplain for students at UCI and Community Chaplain for the local and extended SoCal Community, and he regularly delivers sermons and lectures at various Islamic Centers and events in Southern California. Learn more about Institute of Knowledge at

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