by Abu Dharr (Opinion, Crescent International Vol. 43, No. 8, Dhu al-Hijjah, 1435)
Makkah and al-Madinah were always open to all Muslims but under the Saudis, these have become off-limits. If the Prophet (saws) or Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail (as) wanted to perform Hajj today, the Saudis would insist they obtain a visa before coming!
The Hajj (the annual journey to sanctified Makkah) is in progress as these words are being written. Alas, the Hajj this year, as has been the case for many, many years, is a non-Hajj. Why? Simply because it is a fact, and a recurring one at that. Hajj was meant to have meaning(s).
In Hajj we have the tears of Hajar (Isma‘il’s loving mother); we have the survival of Isma‘il, the dying baby. We have the desperate but hopeful mother Hajar running between al-Safa and al-Marwah to save the life of her infant son who was dying of natural and social causes on the hot Arabian sands of that desolate area in Hijaz. Hajj was meant to relay to humanity the physical and behavioral construction of Allah’s (swt) sanctuary and asylum for the homeless and the stateless.
Makkah itself came into existence to lodge and accommodate Prophet Ibrahim (a) who was expelled by his own people from his original society and its culture. Prophet Ibrahim (a) lived humanity’s first dispersion and homelessness. Thus came a time and place where Ibrahim and his son Isma‘il (a) would (re)construct Allah’s (swt) sanctuary — the inviolable Ka‘bah — as a haven for the world’s displaced and destitute. One of the meanings of circling around the Ka‘bah is to establish the fact that we (the displaced, the marginalized, the oppressed, the victims) do exist — in the manner that neutrons (elementary particles with zero charge and mass about equal to a proton) enter into the structure of the atomic nucleus, eventually becoming a mass — crowds of people, critical mass with meaningful and life-sustaining movement.
The Hajj is meant to motivate us to take issue with Satan in a physical way. The pelting of stones (ramyu al-jamarat) at the symbol of Satan demonstrates our willingness to do battle with the forces of evil, and not be satisfied with words of condemnation alone. These are the forces of evil that have rendered us the forlorn Rohingya, the rootless African-American Muslims, the exiled Islamic movement members, the landless Palestinian populations of the world and the tens of millions of refugees who have been scattered all over the world.
One of the meanings of Makkah, alienated from our conscience, is to offer meat and food to the starving, the poor, the hungry, and the malnourished. When Prophet Ibrahim was ordered to sacrifice his eldest and begotten son Isma‘il (a), the very fiber of human nature said “no.” How can a father (Ibrahim) sacrifice his own son Isma‘il (a) who together with Hajar are the genesis of Makkah, their newly and only home and homeland? How can an alienation of a lifetime suffered by Ibrahim be permitted to revisit him again as a consequence of Isma‘il (a) being sacrificed? But Allah’s will had to be done. And when the father began to actualize the putting to death of his beloved Isma‘il (a), Allah’s (swt) mercy, His sole prerogative, intervened and overturned His command to Ibrahim (a). Allah (swt) did not want human sacrifice; it was a test of Ibrahim (a).
Thus we have, at a minimum, a meaning and a lesson: (a) obeying Allah (swt) eventually leads to feeding the hungry, the thirsty, and the dying; and (b) the intention to sacrifice the most precious thing one has in life becomes reclamation of life itself.
This inclusive and hospitable Makkah lost its meaning and identity, the first time around, when its rulers forced our beloved Prophet (pbuh) to leave under the threat of assassination — when he went to Yathrib (Madinah). Nowadays, Makkah has again lost its meaning and identity when its rulers forbid the Hajj and the ‘Umrah to anyone who recaptures and assimilates the character of Prophets Ibrahim, Isma‘il, and Muhammad (a).
The Hajj was meant to break down all barriers and to fulfill the objective of unity and uniformity among all those who attend. Muslims shed their worldly positions and their social status when they don the ihram. You can’t tell by looking at a person whether he/she is upper class or lower class, military or civilian, from the elite or from the working class, etc.
All of these meanings and much more are absent from the Saudi-ized Hajj. Initially, their British masters and now their American overlords have managed to macro-manage the Hajj through the Saudi petro-family. And due to the absence of the thinking Muslim Ummah the Yahudi-Saudi Hajj has become meaningless ceremonial customs and ossified observances and programmed practices.
Who said that Muslims are only allowed two or three weeks in the land of the Prophet (pbuh) and the Qur’an? With current Saudi rules and regulations Prophets Ibrahim, Isma‘il, and Muhammad (a) would have to apply for visas to go to Makkah and Madinah, and then have to endure security checks once they arrive.
Makkah, Madinah, and the Hijaz have always been open to all the Muslims of the world, until, that is, the advent of the Anglo-Yahudi Saudis. Makkah was the melting pot of the Muslims of the world. Any Muslim from anywhere in the world — from Sumatra to Timbuktu — had he/she so intended and was able to do so, could go to Makkah for the Hajj and/or the ‘Umrah and stay there for the love of Allah (swt) and His Prophet (pbuh). Not any more. Now the Saudi regime sees to it that all Muslims who come to perform the Hajj and ‘Umrah must leave the land of Muhammad (pbuh)… and stay away. The security setup is going electronic and the Saudis with coaching from Washington and Tel Aviv will have files on Muslims coming for Hajj!
Poor Muslims! Under these imposed conditions, they do not have it within their larger selves to take these hydrocarbon Saudis to the cleaners. O Muslims! Where is the ‘Umar and ‘Ali in you? Don’t you know you have all the Allah-given rights to go and be in the vicinity of the Prophet (pbuh) and be there as long as you can support yourselves without the Saudi bid‘ahs of imprimaturs, visas, and other secular endorsements that beg the permission of royals to obey Allah (swt)?
At a time when Palestine is occupied in the bloody manner that breaks out in wars every few years, resulting in thousands of people killed, tens of thousands wounded, and hundreds of thousands becoming homeless, why can’t you the Muslims demand to go to Khaybar? Is Khaybar off-limits to the hujjaj (pilgrims)? Is Khaybar occupied territory? At a time when the Saudis are meeting incessantly with the Yahudis to do war against Islamic self-determination, at a time when their intelligence chiefs are frantically exchanging notes and ideas on how to defeat an awakening of Muslims in Asia and Africa, at a time when Wahhabi Arabia finds common purpose with Talmudic Zionism, at a time when Riyadh receives its orders to classify activist Muslims as “terrorists,” with all the accompanying legal and penal consequences, isn’t it high time that we the Muslims who are going to a purposeful Hajj also go to Khaybar to recollect our thoughts and inspire our generation with our Prophet’s (pbuh) defeat of Yahud in Arabia the first time around?
You heard it here first. Hajj has to become meaningful — it has to have a meaning and a purpose. Al-Hijaz has to be accessible to all Muslims every day of the year. And every place the Prophet (pbuh) went in Arabia should be approachable by any Muslim who so intends to walk the footsteps of the Prophet (pbuh) That obviously and boldly includes Khaybar, the stronghold of Yahud, that was liberated by the Prophet (pbuh) and his committed generation of combat-ready Muslims.
Have you ever taken a few minutes to think about the fact that we don’t have even a picture of Khaybar today? Even the Muslims, who are Saudi citizens and who — it would appear — do not have the same restrictions and restraints placed upon them as other Muslims have — even they do not trek up to Khaybar and have programs there about Zionism and its evil nexus of clients who all cooperate to reduce Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims to what we have become in today’s world.
Why can’t we, the Muslims of the world, think about holding an international and global conference about Palestine in Khaybar itself? Is there any sacred or secular law that says we can’t or shouldn’t? Why aren’t all programs pertaining to Palestine — political, humanitarian, social, educational, academic, etc. — convened in Khaybar?
The simple answer is that Yahud have reoccupied Khaybar through their Saudi soulmates. Just like Palestine no longer belongs to the Muslims, Khaybar, too, no longer belongs to the Muslims. Palestine is under Hebrew occupation and Khaybar is under Arabian occupation.
The Saudi regime is wasting our precious time on their imperialist and Zionist sponsored Hajj. They are wasting our holy places by physically and morally demolishing them in Makkah and Madinah. They are wasting our wealth by financing the imperialist-Zionist military industrial banking complex. They are wasting our din by their Wahhabi nihilist outfits.
And what is due to Allah is for people to journey to the Inviolable House — whoever is able to trek that path… (3:97).