Junaid ibn Muhammad Abu al-Qasim al-Khazzaz al-Baghdadi
also known as Junaid Baghdadi was born in Baghdad (830-910 AD). He was one of the early
Persian scholars and teachers of Islam.
The following story is attributed to him
regarding an explanation of the essence of Hajj.
Baghdadi met a man who had returned from
Hajj (Hajji). After observing him for a while he asked him, "Have you been to Hajj?"
Hajji: Yes, I have just come back.
Junaid: When you left your home with the intention of Hajj, did you repent from all your sins?
Hajji: I did not think about it.
Junaid: In that case, you did not even depart for Hajj.
Junaid: What about your journey, rest-breaks and stopovers? When covering distances, did you move mentally and spiritually closer to
Hajji: I was too busy with other details of
the journey and did not reflect on that.
Junaid: Then you have not really travelled to
the house of Allah.
Junaid: How about while putting on the Ihraam and replacing your usual
clothes, did you think about discarding your undesirable habits and attitudes?
Hajji: It did not cross my mind.
Junaid: Alas! You did not even put on the Ihraam.
Junaid: Did you experience the presence of
Allah while you were standing in Arafaat as if He was in front of you?
Hajji: No, I did not get that feeling.
Junaid: That means you did not even reach Arafaat.
Junaid: When you went to Muzdalfah, did you
think about gathering your your worldly desires and aspirations as you picked up
the pebbles so that you can cast them out when you reach the pillars of
Hajji: I was only thinking about
gathering the pebbles.
Junaid: So, you have not even been to Muzdalfah.
Junaid: What about throwing stones at the
pillars? When performing that ritual, did you make a pledge to avoid corrupt enticements
and cast away your ill deeds?
Hajji: This did not happen either.
Junaid: Unfortunately, you have not performed
Ramy (stoning rites) either.
Junaid: How was your Tawaaf (circumambulation)? Did you feel overwhelmed by an ardent attraction towards the perfect Majesty of
Allah during Tawaaf?
Hajji: No, I was only counting the number of
Tawaaf I was making.
Junaid: It is, then, as if you have not even performed Tawaaf.
Junaid: Perhaps you understood the spirit, wisdom and objective of running between Mounts Safaa and Marwah.
Did you think about the struggle of Mother Hajira? Did you think about her faith
and devotion to Allah?
Hajji: Not really.
Junaid: In other words, you have not performed
Sayee (running between Safaa and Marwah).
Junaid: Tell me about your sacrificial rites. While slaughtering the animal, did you sacrifice for the love of
Allah? And did you think about Prophet Ibrahim
and his unwavering commitment to Allah?
Hajji: That did not come to my mind.
Junaid: In that case, you have not even offer
Junaid: Allah is the Most Merciful! You must go back next year and
perform the Hajj again with the correct spirit and attitude of becoming God Conscious.
You needto reenact the experiences of Ibrahim
and contemplate on his example. Remember and reflect on the verse of the Quran
that says, "And Ibrahim who fulfilled his commitments." (53:37)