Discipline of Hajj vital for Nation Building

By Bashir Nuckchady

The crucial determinant of greatness of a nation is the fostering of a culture of discipline. The discipline Hajj is a yearly reminder of the family of Ibrahim (A.S.), with each of its rites being a vivid lesson in discipline. He was instructed by Allah to migrate and in a mighty display of discipline; he left his homeland, leaving his suckling son, Ismail, and his mother, in an uninhabited, barren desert, to construct the Kaaba, to slaughter his son, amidst many other tests. What Ibrahim wanted most however, was Allah’s acceptance, and so in a disciplined fashion, he delivered each and every time.

Despite the rough setting, the unfamiliar faces, and at times, the clash of cultures, the pilgrims of Hajj display remarkable unity, togetherness and discipline, as they follow a set order in one uniform, one voice, one motion, in a national spectacle of discipline that is second to none. The Hajj ethic is replete of discipline to overflow from the boundaries of the Haram and into the everyday life of every Muslim. Indeed, there can be no flourishing at both the worldly and religious levels without discipline.

Many nations have emerged from applying strict discipline to its population. Take the example of these two countries, Japan and Germany, which were completely devastated, yet are now part of the Group of Seven (G7), among the world’s largest economy. 

  1. In 1945, two minutes after the American B-29 bomber had dropped its nuclear bomb, Hiroshima   ceased to exist. Despite the death of hundreds of thousands, the lack of Japan’s natural resources, Hiroshima’s resurrection began just hours after it was effectively wiped off the map.  

By the next day, lights came back on in some regions. Power was restored to 30% of the surviving homes. Four days later, water pumps were repaired, banks reopened, working under open skies in clear weather, and beneath umbrellas when it rained.

In fact, their discipline is such that the word “Japan” and “holiday” rarely feature in the same sentence. The last trains at midnight are filled with people returning home from work. The Japanese’s love for their country drove them to work 16-hour shifts in return for a cup of rice without complaining.

  • German discipline is phenomenal. After having suffered two world war losses within a single generation, having lost around 6 million men in World War II alone, in addition to another five million prisoners of war. By the end of the war, the male population severely declined, and up to two million German women had been raped, bringing about half a million children who did not know their biological fathers.  

Seeing that Allied bombing had flattened nearly every German city, and seeing that German men were either dead or in captivity, the women came down to the streets to clear 400 million cubic meters of rubble using their bare hands to rebuild their nation, and to search for school books to reopen schools. In just ten years, every German industry was operational, including transport, education, security, construction, healthcare. Today, German products have the best reputation in the world, it the largest national economy in Europe, and is the world’s biggest capital exporter.

The two above are examples of nations who replaced their immediate wants in pursuit of what they desired more: the prosperity of their nations. In other words, they are vivid examples of consequence of strict discipline.

As for Muslims, ambassadors of Allah’s chosen way of life for humanity must make it our duty to lead lives of discipline. Islam has promoted discipline as the interjecting factor which leads to success in this world and the hereafter.

Not only that discipline is a secret of the success of great nations, our universe also stands on the same foundation. If the solar system is working regularly, if the stars are revolving around the sun systematically and if there is no flaw in this function for millenniums it is only due to the fact that the solar system is based on order. This is the way of Allah that never alters; the hands of the disciplined are never left empty.