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Complaining About the Hajj

***Experience the Interactive Hajj Quiz here***

People love to criticise or complain, whether it is the weather, public transport or house bills. More than often they have the right to do so, but in being Muslims Islamic morality teaches us very succinctly that complaining decreases tawakkul in Allah and aids in increased belligerence. Added to that is the idea that the devil uses negative feelings to incite animosity and despair in one’s heart, both very perilous maladies.

Very unfortunately, complaining is somewhat of a British trait in that most small talk is made up of menial complaints ranging from the weather to neighbours. This isn’t to negate this ominous trait from other nationalities or other parts of the world, but as Britons, Muslims should do as much as possible to change negative notions of Britishness and alter it into positive aspects of our identity. Thus for the Muslim, our small talk should be made up of positive outlooks constantly ascribed back to God in keeping with our monotheistic tenets. This is easily done if we follow the Prophetic statement,

“Look upon one who is below you in status. In this way you will not look down upon the grace that God bestowed upon you.”[1]

Thus every statement made should follow with praise and thanks to Allah, since every bit of information one discusses will be seen in a positive light and as a blessing rather than a curse. There is no doubt that for every situation one finds themselves in there is another person in a worse predicament. This attitude should be adopted nowhere more so than the Hajj where millions of Muslims travel from the very ends of the earth responding to the call of Abraham and traversing through difficulty in order to pay homage to the Lord God. It is reported in a weak narration[2] that the Hajj is jihad, with a similar notion being reported in an authentic narration related by A’ishah concerning the Hajj undertaken by women[3], both of which establish that during the Hajj difficulties are meant to arise so that Allah “may test you [and establish] which of you is best in deed.”[4]However, the five star packages purchased by western pilgrims tend not to extend to the five days of Hajj in which they camp at Mina, travel to Arafah and Muzdalifah, and circumbulate the Ka’bah, much of it on foot. The comforts of power showers, feathered pillows and orthopaedic mattresses are forced to go amiss, and it is in such conditions that despair sets in and acrimony towards others develops. It is in this environment that the complaints begin; towards tour operators (not to absolve dodgy Hajj operators), the Saudi authorities, other pilgrims, and often anyone in the immediate vicinity. Tears are shed over small blisters or a crowded Masjid al-Haram, some abhor the idea of remaining at the camps for the full five days and opt to leave as soon as possible (after the fourth day), with others opting to leave even earlier and pay the expiation. It is in this way that Hajj becomes a rabbinical act devoid of actualising the core basis of the pilgrimage – subservience to the commandments of the One true God out of reverence, fear, hope, and love. Although many fail to achieve spiritual fulfilment through the hardships of the Abrahamic pilgrimage, it is the hardships themselves that purify and soften a heart that becomes hardened by worldly luxuries. Even the mere act of collecting stones from the dirt (for the stoning at the jamarat) should serve to humble the haughty heart and prepare moisturised fingers for remembering God reminding one that such dirt shall eventually be our final abode.It is the notion of hardship that we have forgotten and in being part of a world saturated with godless materialism and consumerism we assume every situation should be engineered to muster our delight. This very dangerous presumption will continue to ruin us, in our faith, our uprightness and our relationship with the divine. Although we quite rightly reiterate that Islam is the solution to every ill our complaints are symptomatic of the deeper problems our faith has yet to cure – we are happy to rant about our discontent like spoiled brats but fail in actually doing anything productive. Aside from complain, how many British Muslims have, upon return from the holy lands, undertaken some sort of action to bring about change (instead of complaining)? How many Muslims have even thought to do so?As much as there is some semblance of order during the Hajj season, it is not my intention to absolve shortcomings or posit that we should be content with the way things are. It is palpably clear that the authorities continuously fail to implement systems and safeguards that maintain an acceptable level. Two Britons were killed by a coach fire, coaches that were old and clearly lacking in safety. The list of shortcomings are long, but instead of complaining amongst ourselves so as to justify our own spiritual shortcomings during the Hajj, let us be productive Muslims who thank God for what He the Most High has bestowed upon us as well as drive to improve the Hajj for all pilgrims. Constructive criticism with the intent of positive change is always better than a rant.

In order to actually attempt to bring about change, contact Lord Adam Patel, previously head of the now disbanded British Hajj delegation (his details may be found

here) and Rashid Mogradia, director of the Council for British Hajjis (contact details may be found here).

Alternatively, you can barrage the Saudi Arabian embassy in London with letters, faxes and emails detailing the shortcomings of the authorities and demanding improvements.

And remember, actions speak louder than words.



Notes: ‘Experience the Interactive Hajj Quiz here’
Islam21c requests all the readers of this article, and others, to share it on your facebook, twitter, and other platforms to further spread our efforts.


[1] Agreed upon, related by Abu Hurairah.
[2] Ibn Majah and Ibn Abi Hatim.
[3] Agreed upon
[4] Al-Qur’an 67:2



About Ahmed Ali


  1. What is Britishness?
    Weird article. I can understand if someone wants to write on Hajj, the experience & difficulties and may be complaints against the House of Al-Saud who serve America better than Islam by the way.
    But where does Britishness fit into that? What is Britishness? What are British values? Are they better than our Islamic values? If so the Ulemah can come with a fatwa asking the Muslim community in Britain to ditch Islamic values & adopt British values.However if we can agree our Islamic values are the ones Muslims need to adopt, then stop hammering us with those dodgy Britishness/British values. Jzk.

  2. complaing?
    yes we as muslims should not complain when our circumstances are not ideal and accept what allah swt gives us with gratefulness.

    But…. yes a but…
    If i went to a shop and asked for chocolate biscuits, paid for chocolate biscuits and the shopkeeper after taking my money gave me ‘nice’ biscuits – should i smile gratefully and be on my way? or should i demand to be given the service i paid for?

    yes i should be grateful tht i have anything to eat at all! but tht doesnt mean i pay for one thing, get cheated and say thankyou on top!

    The saidis regime may not charge ‘officially’ – allah knows best, but do they not ‘force’ us to go through an agent??? who thn charges us.

    saudis have just ‘bought’ some 180 fighter jets – to boost american economy. they could have spent tht money helping the muslims instead of the ‘zionist’ masters.

    In the end its just voicing of opinions and the opinions of the muslim ummah is empty today.
    Our leaders are really our prison gaurds- slave master and oppressors. not leaders at all – just foloowers of their own masters – the ‘west’.

  3. Mohammed Sadiq

    Yes it helps the Saudi’s economy but I promise you that they could live without the money that the Pilgrims bring in be it billions of pounds each year
    … actually they do need the money, they have been in debt since they gave an open cheque to america to murder the muslims there, since then they instigated more muslim deaths in LIBYA, and now in SYRIA, we owe them nothing, persevere in patience and prayer, and inshaa-Allah watch what Allaaah the greatest , does to them. wake up man, don’t worry, we will all die one day, The Arabs governments are more lost and confused than anyone, at least die with dignity in the eyes of Allaah, nothing else counts. Allaah knows better

  4. In response to Mohammed Sadiq and the Saudi’s charging for visa’s, I’m unaware if you have been to do Hajj or Umrah it clearly states that on the visa’s are free and its the actual agents that charge for the “Admin” costs to get the visa’s and not the Saudi Embassy.

    I have been blessed to do Umrah on 3 different occasions and Hajj back in 2006. The last time I went was in Ramadhan of this year and up until August of this year the saudi’s had not charged for the visa’s it has always been the agents who charged an “Admin Fee”.

  5. Mohammed Sadiq

    they deserve no credit, only Allah can forgive them
    So for once I’m giving them the credit they deserve, says James khan
    i have alot of points, 2 simple ones, they don’t need the money, why charge for the visa, alot odf gulf countries don’t charge, secondly, they shake hands with the devil and walk behind him, they have no self respect, my understanding of Islam is, he who helps the non believers ( Kaafir) to oppress the muslims, is one of them, they have the means and power, but instead, walk behind Bush and shake hands with Hilary clinton,amonst many other issues, i hate them, but pray for them, for Allaah to show them the true path, open their eyes or blind them and send them to hell, sooner the better. Allaah knows better, and i need more help than anyone, good article, i just like to express the truth that i see. Prayfully Yours.

  6. Salaam,mine is just a question out of the topic line:is this site for british muslims or all muslims all over the world?many a times,i seem lost!

  7. Musa abu Harun

    Complaining About the Hajj
    The comments i have read so far seem to miss the point.
    Perhaps we can summarise things by looking back to our predecessors and how they travelled for miles and months in conditions and circumstances many of us cannot even begin to imagine. Even today there are pilgrims who come fairly close and some brothers and sisters who have the means and desire to perform Hajj but due to the quota restrictions in their respective countries are unable to…..
    So let us be Thankful to Allaah(Azawajal) if we have had the opportunity to perform this most Blessed deed and ask that the difficulties we may have encountered be made an epiation of our sins. Ameen

  8. Come back from Hajj and lie???
    Why should people say Hajj was something when it was not,
    I had a poor experience with the company that I went with back in 2006. That has an effect on everything, I know we should be “better and over come the difficulties” but its much easier said than done.

    At the end of the day why would someone pay almost double on certain Hajj packages and not get what they paid for?

    If I had the chance I’d pay to go with a certain group in Birmingham on Coventry Road. Yes they are probably one of the most expensive groups around but no one who I have ever spoken to about them has had a negative word to say about them.

    So when someone says don’t slate Hajj, its not Hajj per sai that they are slating its the experience that they had.

    For all the criticism aimed at the Saudi’s this is the only thing that I think that they do well. Having to cater for millions of people. Yes it helps the Saudi’s economy but I promise you that they could live without the money that the Pilgrims bring in be it billions of pounds each year.
    So for once I’m giving them the credit they deserve.

  9. A wishy washy article
    Complain to who? saudi embassy! LOL what a joke
    Unfortunately the Hajj systems has become a cash cow for the Saudi royals. The curruption starts with the Hajj ‘agents’ who lie and give you false information. When you get there you see a worse than third world system in a first world country. I could write a book. To top it all the saudi’s have defamed in Qibla itself with their monstrous skyscrapers.

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