Hajj has external and internal protocols. In this short piece, I hope to draw your attention to its subtle ones that touch your soul, and enhance your faith.
1. You should choose a righteous person to travel with, ensuring that your income is from permissible sources. Pure sources illuminate your heart, and a righteous companion reminds you of good and keeps you from evil
2. You should avoid business transactions while in route because they will weaken your focus and scatter your thoughts
3. You should be generous while traveling, feeding others with an open heart and picking the best words when speaking with others
4. Avoid arguments, shouting matches and speaking about worldly matters. You should limit your speech, after your basic needs, to reciting the Qur’an and the remembrance of Allāh
5. You should be pleased with your expenditures and the hardships you encounter, viewing them as a sign that your pilgrimage is accepted, considering them all as rewards for you in the Hereafter.
Abridged by Suhaib Webb from al-Ghazzāli’s writings
We all come from the same seed. We all encounter different things in life, but what sets us apart is our ability to choose how sweet or bitter we become. Strawberries are at the mercy of the person who grows them but people are at the mercy of themselves. We can choose how beautiful or bitter we want to be. Do we want to look big and beautiful on the outside, or do we want to be beautiful on the inside. If we focus on the inside, the eyes of the beholder will eventually find us not for how we look, but our reputation will be enough for them to give us a chance, because we are beautiful inside.