Now, listen to the voice of my afflicted heart! We, the present-day born Muslims, are like a child born in a diamond mine. He may have diamonds all around, but if he plays with them as if they were stones, these diamonds become as valueless for him as stones.
Our attitudes toward Islam are exactly similar, because the treasures which the world is searching for, and is suffering through being deprived of, have all been given to us by virtue of our having been born Muslims.
The Kalimah Tawhid (the creed of Oneness of God), which shows men the right way to lead their lives, has been drummed into us from our earliest childhoods.
That matchless practice of Zakat, which purifies the heart as well as the financial systems of the world, without which people of the world are at loggerheads with each other, is ours as our birthright.
Similarly, Hajj has been part of our heritage for hundreds of years.
This magnificent way is more effective and powerful than any other ever conceived to propagate our movement throughout the world and keep it alive for all eternity.
This universal movement is more powerful than any other to draw out human beings in the name of God and make them into a brotherhood transcending race, color, and nationality.
We are surrounded by treasures, but how do we treat them? We play with them in the same way as that ignorant child who, surrounded by diamonds, regards them as stones.
My heart bleeds when I see us frittering away such tremendous wealth and power through ignorance and foolishness. My dear brothers! You must have heard this couplet of the poet:
If the ass of Jesus goes to Makkah, It remains an ass when it returns.
That is to say, an ass, even one living in the company of a Prophet like Jesus, cannot benefit from a visit to Makkah; it would still be as unenlightened as before.
Although the people carry out the external trappings of these precious gifts, their minds have no concept of their inner significance. They have no concern for their outcome. They imitate the actions of their forebears, but it is a stereotyped imitation, devoid of comprehension or spiritual content. How can good results be expected out of such exercises?
Every year thousands of pilgrims go to the center of Islam and come back after having had the privilege of performing Hajj. Unfortunately, without that experience having had the slightest effect on them. Nor do they make any impact on those they meet upon their return or live with.
Eventually, some young Muslims who have not themselves been on Hajj have come to question its value.
Year after year for centuries, hundreds of thousands of the adherents of a powerful movement, Islam, gather at one place, travel along various routes, pass through villages, towns, and cities and demonstrate their faith through their words and deeds. How can, one wonders, such an event fail to impress people with the blessings it can bring.
Yet if only Hajj was performed as it was intended it should be, even the blind would see its benefits and the deaf would hear of its advantages!
Every year it would change the lives of millions of Muslims, and attract thousands of non-Muslims to Islam!
May Allah instill in us the ability to understand the value of our worship!