Hajj – A Lesson in Real Equality and Tolerance
“My pilgrimage broadened my scope. It blessed me with new insight. In two weeks in the Holy Land, I saw what I had never seen in thirty-nine years here in America. I saw all races, all colours, – blue-eyed blonds to black-skinned Africans – in true brotherhood! In unity! … It was in the Holy World that my attitude was changed, by what I experienced there, and by what I witnessed there, in terms of brotherhood – not just brotherhood toward me, but brotherhood between all men, of all nationalities and complexions, who were there”. (Malcom X Autobiography, pp. 478-479)
Research into Hajj has typically focussed on the negative impact of crowd behaviours such as stampedes and feelings of a lack of safety as well as concerns regarding increased intolerance towards non Muslims. However in an interesting study that explored the social psychological effects of Hajj, Clingingsmith, Khwaja & Kremer (2009) found that participating in Hajj promoted a true sense of equality and harmony between people – towards both other Muslims but also towards non-Muslims.
Opposite are the key findings from the study that examined Hajjis experiences:
♦ Feeling of unity with fellow Muslims
♦ Increased observance of universal Islamic practices (e.g. prayer & fasting)
♦ Decreased participation in localized practices and beliefs (e.g. use of amulets)
♦ Increased belief in equality and harmony among ethnic groups and Islamic sects
♦ More favourable attitudes toward women, including greater acceptance of female education and employment.
♦ Increased belief in peace, and in equality and harmony among adherents of different religions.
Contrast this with the current secular liberal or ‘woke’ interpretations of equality and tolerance that are forcibly being rammed down our, and our children’s, throats. Terms such as equality and tolerance have been hijacked by identity politics and are being used as a pretext for pushing the complete opposite. Secular tolerance is actually complete intolerance to any view or opinion that does not support the ‘narrative’ and equality is merely a pretext for inequality unless your belong to a specific in-group.
Hajj in contrast is about a gathering of human beings from all walks of life and from every conceivable country in the work, who come together for the sole aim of worshipping their Creator and fulfilling an obligation towards Him.
Muslims we are aware that in the sight of Allah (swt) we are all equal and the only way to advance ourselves is in performing good deeds. Islam teaches real equality and tolerance for differences in our humanity and shines a stark light on the pseudo-morality that is being promulgated by the politically correct.
Clingingsmith, D., Khwaja, A., & Kremer, M. (2009), Estimating the Impact of The Hajj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam’s Global Gathering, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol 124, (3) pp.1133–1170