Hajj is one dream all Muslims have in common; at least, so Ghanaians have been made believe. A person who goes to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for hajj, washes away all sins and if that person dies thereafter, after notable rituals (worship), he or she is said to go straight to heaven.
The puzzle of this journey, for me, lies in the ritual of titles, the fact that Ghanaian Hajj returnees, especially in northern Ghana stay in their various houses like gods and goddesses receiving greetings from loved ones and friends, some for a month and over!
When quizzed about this, a Muslim friend, Abdul Zaapayim Doo said it is believed that those returnees are now holy and exude holiness so all who have not been able to travel for hajj and even those who have travelled but could not go in a particular year seek to tap from their holy spirit.
The returnees must also cook for visitors to enjoy, some asking for gifts.
To my understanding, one must sweat to gain finances in order to go to hajj. It’s a pillar of Islam that can be optional because you would need enough resources for your household, your air ticket to and fro and for your upkeep there! Well, so I thought. With many rumoured to be sponsored especially by politicians and people of high standing, I sought the counsel of Sheik Alhaji Illiasu of Sagnerigu, Tamale.
In an interview with Sheik Alhaji Illiasu Imoro of Tamale, he explained that, people can be sponsored according to the holy Quaran to go to Mecca. He also educated that Mecca is a religious requirement in Islam. As to why people from Mecca stay indoors to receive greetings like gods and goddesses in worship, Sheikh Alhaji Imoro said it is not necessary. He further went on to explain that those who stay indoors do so so they can bless their neighbours who couldn’t go. He said the holy Quaran teaches that those who go to Hajj are cleansed from all their sins. So at most, one week of rest to bless is essential but the women exaggerate and stay at home for sometimes as long as 40 days, cheered on by their friends.
I guess there are extremists in every religion. Hajj will continuously breed self satisfied and feeling-all-important idols. So be on the look out for the next Hajia or Alhaji ( I hear it is a title which means stranger), For who knows, a strange might show you an idol style or might just bless you in holiness.
(Photo Credit: Google pics)