Recently, I and more than two million Muslim pilgrims returned to our respective countries from the hajj in Saudi Arabia. We are all certain that we have been forgiven by God and have returned home cleansed and free from sins just like we were on the day our mothers gave birth to us as explained by the Messenger Muhammad (pbuh). During the hajj, we exerted ourselves to try and achieve this spiritual cleansing as we underwent tremendous physical worship and hardship, forsaking many of our homely comforts for the sun and sand of the desert. In two simple pieces of white cloth we circumambulated the Ka`bah seven times, we walked and jogged between the hillocks of Al-Safa and Al-Marwa where Hajar (Hagar) ran in search of water for her baby Isma`il (Ishamel), we spent a day on the hills and in the plains of Arafat begging God’s forgiveness and praying for humanity under the scorching sun, we sacrificed animals commemorating the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Isma`il, we shaved our heads completely and the women trimmed an inch or so of their hair, we were exhausted by walking back and forth from the tent city of Mina to the Jamarat, the walls marking the places where Satan tried to mislead Abraham, we slept on the hard ground in the cold valley of Muzdalifah under the dark sky. We did all this in the hope of receiving God’s forgiveness.
Dear God, grant us your forgiveness. Bless us with good health and spiritual strength. We ask you God to cure the sick, feed the hungry and clothe the naked. We ask you God to cure us from all spiritual illnesses, amin.