The crucial element of the greatness of a nation is the promotion of a culture of discipline. The discipline of Hajj is an annual reminder of the family of Ibrahim (a.s.), each of its rites being a living lesson in discipline. Prophet Ibrahim was instructed by Allah to migrate and in a powerful display of discipline; he left his native land, leaving his nursing son, Ismail (A.S.), and his mother, in an uninhabited and barren desert, to build the Kaaba, to sacrifice his son, among many other trials. What Ibrahim wanted most, however, was the acceptance of Allah, and therefore in a disciplined manner, which he delivered each time.
Despite the harsh setting, the unfamiliar faces and, at times, the clash of cultures, the Hajj pilgrims show remarkable unity, as they follow an established order, a movement, in an overall spectacle of unparalleled discipline.
The ethos of Hajj is filled with discipline to go beyond the boundaries of the Haram and into the daily life of every Muslim. Indeed, there can be no fulfilment at the worldly and religious levels without discipline.
Many countries have emerged from the application of strict discipline to their populations. Take the example of these two countries, Japan and Germany, which were completely devastated, but are now part of the Group of Seven (G7), the largest economies in the world.
1. In 1945, two minutes after the U.S. B-29 bomber dropped its nuclear bomb, Hiroshima ceased to exist. Despite the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, Japan’s lack of natural resources, the resurrection of Hiroshima began just hours after it was effectively wiped off the map.
The next day, the lights came back on in some areas. Power was restored to 30% of the surviving households. Four days later, the water pumps were repaired, the banks reopened, working under clear skies on a clear day and under umbrellas when it rained.
In fact, their discipline is such that the words “Japan” and “holiday” rarely appear in the same sentence. The last trains at midnight are filled with people coming home from work. The Japanese’s love for their country led them to work 16-hour shifts in exchange for a cup of rice, without complaint.
2. German discipline is phenomenal. After suffering losses from two world wars in a single generation, and having lost about 6 million men in World War II alone, in addition to another five million prisoners of war. Seeing that Allied bombing had levelled almost all German cities, and seeing that German men were dead or in captivity, women took to the streets to clear 400 million cubic meters of rubble with their bare hands to rebuild their nation and look for textbooks to reopen schools. Within just ten years, all German industries were up and running, including transportation, education, security, construction, healthcare.
Today, German products have the best reputation in the world, it is the largest national economy in Europe and it is the largest exporter of capital in the world.
The two above are examples of nations that replaced their immediate desires in the pursuit of what they most desired: the prosperity of their nations. In other words, they are examples of strict discipline.
As for Muslims, Vicegerent of Allah’s chosen way of life for mankind must make it their duty to lead a life of discipline if they want to make their nations a strong and lasting nation. Islam has promoted discipline as the interjective factor that leads to success in this world and the hereafter.
Not only is this discipline a secret to the success of great nations, but our universe also rests on the same foundations. If the solar system functions regularly, if the stars systematically revolve around the sun, and if there has been no flaw in this function for millennia, it is only due to the fact that the solar system is based on order and discipline. This is the way of Allah that never changes; The hands of the disciplined are never left empty.