Hajj and Umrah are the two reverent and significant events in Islam. These Islamic rituals are performed by millions of Muslims from every nook and corner of the world. These God-chosen Muslims converge together at the holiest site of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This holiest site is none other than the glorious holy Kaaba which is regarded as the cornerstone of Islam and Qibla for Muslims. To fulfill the religious obligations as a Muslim, the pilgrims intend to undertake their spiritual Umrah journey to seek the rewards of Allah (SWT) and blessings for their families and loved ones. However, it is undeniably true that with the advancement of technology this spiritual seems to be changing.
The sole purpose of Ceremonial Activities is utterly Spiritual
In reality, the sole purpose of performing our Hajj or Umrah is utterly spiritual. The Haajis or Umrah pilgrims are commemorated with utmost respect and honor. Because these people are chosen by Allah (SWT) to immaculate themselves with the spiritual showers of the beatific construction.
Changing Trends in Modern-day Hajj and Umrah
In the past, the pilgrims used to set out with a sole excitement to eye the spiritual panorama with the least or no belongings with themselves. Today the rise of science and technology has turned over this spiritual motto altogether.
What is becoming more problematic every person has his/her own selfie camera phones with him/her. In short, the excessive or over-indulgence into these super-fast technical gadgets have deviated the people from their religion.
Nowadays, the pilgrims who previously stepped into the immensely sacred land can be seen the video recording themselves especially while kissing the Black stone or standing near the green dome of the Prophet (SAW)’s Mosque, Masjid e Nabwi.
An Objectionable Observation
Whenever I went to perform Umrah, I saw many pilgrims taking selfies around the Kaaba in the background with different fake postures. I also even noticed an Umrah pilgrim family facing the sun, raising their hands as if making dua. But then, I finally noticed a person in front of them taking their pictures from a superb quality cellphone. The videos and pictures excessively snapped are then posted on social media like Facebook, Instagram and the most popularly used WhatsApp
The Increasing Selfie Fever is problematic
The Selfie Fever has taken most of the Umrah and Hajj candidates to the storm. The majority of esteemed scholars have condemned this increasing touristy behavior. The objectionable score of the Umrah or Hajj pilgrims is seen taking selfies excessively on the holiest spots of Ibadah and Ziyarah. The urge to share or show off the precious moments with friends and family has resulted in social media over-indulgence and Selfie fever. So the people are caught using their phones more frequently or excessively than before.
Illogical Urge of Picture Display Before the Holy Kaaba.
Nowadays, the pilgrims visiting the Kaaba, tend to take pictures of their fellows or friends through their phones and confirm that they have prayed for them. This illogical trend is impossible to digest. In the past, the crazy to visit Muslims used to request their fellow Umrah pilgrims and Haji friends to pray for them. It was their staunch belief that every wish or dua that is made in front of the spiritual Holy Kaaba is surely accepted by the will of Allah. And for sure it happens. Every true and due dua coming out from the deepest core of the heart is accepted at the most sacred place on earth.
The True Religious Zeal of the Past
My father says that whenever he intended to go for his Umrah and Hajj, every one from his family friends and colleagues requested to make duas and prayers before the Holy Kaaba. My father used to give his fellows a special diary to write all their wishes, prayers and duas to be made before the Holy Kaaba. He then took this small diary at the most sacred land of Muslims.
The Void of the Present
Nowadays, When I go for my spiritual visitation, no one really asks me for prayers, duas. No one requests for the Zam Zam water dates or prayer mats. These are Umrah souvenirs. All they want is nothing but to display their pictures before the Kaaba. Some just ask to capture a Name chit in front of the Kaaba. What is this attitude? Is this spiritual visitation the name of mere Pomp and show? Can we be called by Allah ( SWT) only when our picture is displayed before the Holy Kaaba?
The stance of Muslim Learned Scholars
The scholars have strictly condemned excessive photography on the holiest sites of immense spiritual importance. These are meant for exclusive ritual, prayers and duas. And the Muslims of today seem to have lost their sense of religiosity. The true/real meaning of the Hajj or Umrah has been forgotten by us. We have forgotten the teachings of the Holy Prophet ( SAW) who has always sought a refrain from the Riya that is show off. Taking such unnecessary selfies and photos is the sheer denial or ignorance of his ( SAW)’s teachings
Be Moderate and Follow Your Religious Intention
It is highly recommended to follow your religious intention. Our first and foremost duty or intention is to seek the rewards, blessings and the Will of Allah ( SWT). It is the golden time of our life to ask Allah’s clemency to erase our sins. It is time to pray for our ailing Muslim brothers and sisters. It is time to pray to become a better person than before. It is not about the entire disconnection from your loved ones. Because Islam preaches moderation and a balanced attitude in all the walks of life. Do use your phones to share your happiest moments with your buddies, but in a limited way. Immerse yourself in prayers and Ibadahs and strive to imbibe the charismatic showers of the sacred phenomenon