With hajj season upon us, we will be going around to the chosen ones among our families and friends, the honoured hujaaj, who will be making their way to Mecca soon to perform hajj. Performing the hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam, and it is compulsory on those who are by the means - financially, mentally and physically.
It was one of my grandmother’s dreams to visit the holy land, but due to her arthritis, and a lack of finance, she could never fulfil this duty.
She always said to me: “As ek eendag genoeg van my pension geld gespaar het, Siefie boy, dan gaan ek hajj, in sha Allah ameen.”
I hope that one day I can go and do this for her.
Yes, people, it is possible to perform hajj on behalf of a deceased family member
I love the hajj season in Cape Town; it brings families together and it tends to heal the emotional wounds that relatives may have been carrying around for years.
One cannot perform the holy pilgrimage unless you have sought the forgiveness from all the people you have caused harm, knowingly or unknowingly.
This within itself is a blessing, because it means you can go greet your Maker on Mount Arafat with a clean heart.
I remember the first time I went to greet a hujaajie; I was 12 years old and the community arts group that I was with at the time was invited to go and greet a fan.
This was also the first time I ate kreef - a kreef dop still got stuck in my throat.
The hujaajie, Aunty Diela, asked all of us to write our names on a piece of cloth which she intended to bury in Mecca, the thought being that we will all get there eventually.
Ja mense, I might not have been in Mecca yet maar my naam is al klaar daar.
The thing about the hajj and greeting the hujaaj is that it reminds you that all the wealth in this world means nothing if it does not make one prepare for the grave.
It also reminds one about the importance of family because they work hard behind the scenes to see that everything runs smoothly.
With that said, my well wishes to each and every hujaajie who has been blessed with this honour and may your families grow closer, your friends list grow longer and may we all get to greet at least one hujaaj this year.
PS : Do write my family and my names on your piece of cloth. Ameen.