As the Hajj season arrives every year or during any time of the year (for Umrah), we hear about somebody from our closed ones leaving for the sacred journey and the urge and wish of those who have not been there yet gets revived and invigorated and those who are blessed to have prostrated on the Holy land reminisce their beloved journey and wish to be there again and again.
The journey of Pilgrimage, be it Hajj or Umrah portrays the true image of Islam- equality- be it black or white, arab or non-arab, men or women. Islam is the religion which enforces ultimate gender equality as Allah SWT says in Quran:
“O people! Fear your Lord who created you from a single soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women”. Surah Nisa (4:1)
The generations to be given birth and raised and their brought given in the hands of women is the sheer privilege given to them by Allah SWT. Furthermore, the first believer of Islam was Hazrat Khadija (RA), the first scholar of Islam was Hazrat Ayesha (RA) and the person whom Prophet SAW promised to meet first in the life hereafter, Hazrat Fatima (RA), were all women.
The significance of women’s role in Muslim society is depicted by the last sermon of Mohammad SAW in which he said:
O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under a trust from God and with His permission. If they abide by your right, then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.
The core ritual of Hajj and Umrah- Sa’ee- commemorates the hardship of Hazrat Hajra RAin search of water for her infant son Hazrat Isma’eel and her absolute belief in Allah Almighty while being tested. Following her footsteps, as we walk and run between the mounts of Safa and Marwa we recall her struggle which was so liked by the Divine that He made it an obligatory ritual to be performed by his believers till the last day.
The women being privileged by the Creator should take utmost care and precaution to maintain their dignity and respect while performing all the rituals during Pilgrimage- be it the circumambulation, the Sa’ee, Rami, stay at Mina and Muzdalfa or visiting the Rawdah e Rasool (the grave of Prophet Muhammad SAW).
Women should also keep intact their modesty while kissing the Holy Black Stone (Hajra e Aswad) and maintain their dignity by giving space to all others coming after them as the House of Allah is open for all at all times.
All needs of women for the holy journey are covered by us.
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