PERFORMING the haj is an obligation for Muslims who can afford to do so, at least once in their lifetime.
It requires a great deal of financial budget and sacrifice, but there are some who have the means to visit Holy City of Mekah and perform the pilgrimage multiple times.
According to Yati Hj Ahmad, most Bruneian Muslims are well-off, so it is no wonder that they are able to finance more than one trip for the haj.
"If they have the budget, I guess it's okay, and I consider them to be lucky to be able to go there twice, whereas others are not that fortunate and have not had the opportunity to go even once," the 24-year-old remarked.
She told The Brunei Times that some people would perform the haj for the second, third or subsequent time to accompany their relatives who have never done it before, as they have already been there and know their way around.
"Going for haj with relatives who had been there can make the trip easier, and any questions can just be directed to them, as they have done it before," Yati said.
Hj Zaini, 51, said some people perform the haj more than once as they are doing it on behalf of other people, such as their parents or grandparents who have passed away and never had the opportunity to perform the haj.
Hjh Kachi Hj Mohd Noor, who had performed haj once and umrah three times, said she would love to go for haj again.
The 57-year-old said that if she decides to go, provided she is financially and physically capable, she would bring her relatives who never performed haj before.
This is a way for her to share the blessings that Allah SWT has given her with others who are not as fortunate, she said.
She recalled her journey to the Holy City of Mekah more than ten years ago to be peaceful and tranquil, despite the heat and the massive crowds.
The Brunei Times also talked to Imam Mohd Zulhilmi Mohd Jefri, to gain a religious perspective on the matter.
The imam said that it is wajib or compulsory to perform the haj once, and that it is not forbidden to perform it the second or third time.
This is provided the person has fulfilled the requirements.
Before a Muslim can perform the haj, they have to 'able'. This means that they have to have property, are in good physical condition and can make a safe trip to and from performing the haj.
"We can look at the second haj as an opportunity to improve any shortcoming during the first haj," he explained.
The imam from the Seria Town Mosque advised those who are performing the second or subsequent haj to not consider it to be of less importance than to the first one.
"Do not treat the second or third haj as if it is nothing, or enjoying themselves with shopping and such instead of performing the rituals, ," he advised.
The second or third haj, should be done with the same sincerity, commitment and conscientiousness as the first. In fact, these should be done in a much better manner, as after they provide the opportunity to improve the deficiencies of the first.
The Brunei Times
Monday, December 10, 2007
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