Leader in the society of Muslim-Americans, Imam Earl Abdulmalik Mohammed, Addresses Hajj Issues and the Recent Statements Made that Concern Hajj Participants
Question: Are there concerns that persons planning to make Hajj or Umra need to be aware of that might cause trouble for them completing their religious obligations? For example, is a political conflict in that part of the world an issue to consider when making plans?
Imam Earl Abdulmalik Mohammed: Our religion is the way of peace in this world. We are to be at peace within ourselves and we arrive at that peace through peace with our Lord-Creator and peace with our fellow man, and al-Islam guarantees that if we obey its true disciplines. No symbol on this earth is more important to project and protect that image of peace between human beings than our Islamic ritual observances at Hajj. The Hajj, if we will see it correctly, positions mankind to appreciate each other in our common humanity as our Lord-Creator intended for us to see ourselves. The problem of corrupting that notion of mankind being one peaceful and universal human community was what our Prophet Muhammed, our leader and the leader for mankind, was missioned to correct. Through and by his leadership and those who accepted his way, the House at Makkah that had been defiled by a kind of political and cultural ignorance, was purified and brought to its original and pristine state. The House was purified of the idols that symbolized all of these various political and cultural influences and leanings.
We want peace and we want to project a peaceful, just order in the world. That is the Islamic mission and the Islamic vision for human society. We cannot, in good conscience as Muslims, support any other vision for ourselves as an international community of Believers, than this. If the Muslim community is experiencing strife and contention within itself then we are out of the order Allah intended, and we are not following the way of Muhammed the Prophet. This is a serious matter. It is a critical situation.
National interests do not take precedence over our human conscience that guards our human decency. Our created human form and our created human destiny, that is created by G'd, is of greater importance than our national identity and interests. This is why we remove the national or ethnic clothing when we visit the House at Makkah. We put on the two, un-sewn pieces of white cloth, and we are finding or recognizing and reminded of the equality of dignity that Allah has created for us. He says "khalaqa fasawa..." He created us and then gave us a balance of equality. This is what the Hajj says to us and to the whole family of man on this earth.
We ask Allah to strengthen us to see what is important, that He wants emphasis to be placed on. We must be aware of the issues in this world that cause strife and division. We do not risk our lives. We pay attention to what may place us at personal risk and community-identity risk. If we cannot perform our duties because of prevailing political issues then we guard our own lives but we also address the unacceptable condition. This condition is not only in one country. It is in the group conscience of Muslims. If we will see Muhammed the Prophet in his drive to free the human life for worship and dignity under G'd's authority, then we can correct these issues. This is where we stand.