Rabat, Sep. 10th, 2014 - HM King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful, has sent a message to Moroccan pilgrims for the Hegira year 1435, including the first group which left Morocco, on Wednesday, towards Islam's holy sites.
Here follows, the full text of the royal message read out by Endowment and Islamic Affairs minister Ahmed Toufiq.
Praise be to God May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
Assalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh
Following a worthy tradition, as Commander of the Faithful and protector of the nation and the faith, I hereby send you this message as our first group of honorable pilgrims prepares to depart for the Holy Land, under the protection of the Almighty.
I have always been keen to see that there is compliance with what the Almighty has ordained, making sure religious rites and practices are fully observed, particularly the pilgrimage, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. In this way, those for whom Almighty God has facilitated the performance of the pilgrimage will be able to do so in a safe, secure and serene environment.
To this end, each year, I follow preparations for the pilgrimage with special interest, giving my instructions to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs to take whatever measures are needed for our citizens to perform Hajj in optimal conditions.
They include organizing their stay in Mecca and Al-Madina, looking after them during their journey, providing them with the necessary religious guidance and reminding them of the proper behavior required during the performance of this important pillar of Islam, about which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: "There is but one reward for an acceptable pilgrimage, and that is Paradise”.
This is why I should like to take this opportunity, honorable pilgrims, to remind ourselves of the behavior expected of the believers on this occasion.
Indeed, the pilgrimage calls for a sound knowledge of the religious observances involved as well psychological preparedness to comply with the practices and behavior required, particularly polite, courteous conduct, tolerance, the will to rise above trivial matters, the need to train the soul to triumph over egotism and worldly desires, and to focus on worshipping the Almighty, doing as many good deeds as possible and constantly praising and glorifying Almighty God, in accordance with what He said: “For Hajj are the months well known. If anyone undertakes that duty therein, Let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj. And whatever good you do, (be sure) Allah knows it. And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is right conduct”.
I know, in this respect, that our worthy Ulema - men and women alike - have provided you with the necessary religious guidance and directives, under the supervision of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. I therefore expect you - may God bless you - to do what is asked of you and devote your time and energy to constantly worshipping God, performing the ordained prayers and supererogatory acts (nawafil) so that you may benefit as much as possible from the blessings of the Almighty and purify yourselves, in accordance with the saying of the Prophet (PBUH):
“Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any obscenity or transgression, shall return (free from sin) as in the day his mother bore him”.
Almighty God has prescribed the pilgrimage, which epitomizes all the acts of worship. Indeed, through Hajj, the believer addresses God, recognizes His oneness, thanks Him for His blessings, seeks His forgiveness for the sins he has committed and repents for his transgressions. Hajj also makes it possible for Muslims from around the world to gather for this annual religious event, get to know each other, consolidate the bonds of solidarity and cooperation between them and confirm their unity and fraternity, shunning disputes, extremism and exclusion. Almighty God has made Hajj an illustration of absolute equality among Muslims. Indeed, pilgrims wear seamless garments; they avoid anything that might set them apart or differentiate them from one another, whatever their status or standing in this world.
They answer Almighty God’s call to uphold and comply with the essence and significance of Hajj. The Almighty says: “And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to you on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways; that they may witness the benefits (provided) for them, and celebrate the name of Allah, through the Days appointed (to that effect)”.
In this regard, I should like to remind you of your duty to represent your country properly at this major religious event. I expect you to reflect the nation’s well-known and time-honored cultural identity, its authentic Islamic heritage, its commitment to its sacred values, the unity of creed and rite - both of which are based on moderation - its national unity and territorial integrity, its commitment to constitutional monarchy and its mobilization behind its leader, while remaining loyal to the unbreakable bond of allegiance to your King, the guardian of your unity, security and serenity.
Needless to say, you are aware of what the pilgrimage to the holy shrines of Islam requires of you in terms of full respect for the organizational, security and safety arrangements made by the authorities concerned in the sister nation, Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of my revered brother, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz - may God protect him - who is keen to provide for the comfort of the Almighty’s guests and enable them to perform their rituals in the most orderly manner. I should like you - honorable pilgrims - to lead by example when it comes to complying not only with those measures, but also with the arrangements made by the Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, who spares no effort to ensure your comfort and improve the conditions of your stay, transport, healthcare and administrative services, in accordance with my instructions. I would like to commend his action and that of his staff in the Hajj department.
You are about to perform the pilgrimage rituals in specific places and timeframes.
So, make sure - may God protect you - that you fully understand the meaning, purpose and symbolic value of each ritual, particularly the standing on Mount Arafat, which is the “Greater Hajj” (al-Hajj al-akbar), during which the following verse was revealed: “This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion”.
You will fulfill the dearest of all wishes by visiting, in Madinah al-Munawwarah, the holy shrine of my ancestor, the Messenger of Mercy, may peace be upon Him, through whom Almighty God has perfected and completed His Message to mankind, making Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) the seal of all Prophets and Messengers.
This visit calls for specific rituals, prayers and reverence. When you pray for yourself and your relatives in this sacred place - as in other Hajj stations where the believers’ prayers are answered - remember to pray also for your King, the guardian of your security, safety and stability. Ask the Almighty to assist me and grant me success in my efforts to achieve the glory of this country, protect its unity and ensure its progress. Pray that I may be ever satisfied with the Crown Prince, His Royal Highness Prince Moulay El Hassan and all members of the Royal family.
Pray that my late grandfather, His Majesty King Mohammed V, and my late father, His Majesty King Hassan II, may rest in peace. May they be forever remembered for their good deeds.
Finally, honorable pilgrims, may your Hajj be accepted and may you be abundantly rewarded for it. I pray that the Almighty accept your worshipping, fulfill your hopes, shower His blessings on you and return you to your homeland safely. He has power over all things. He is the Responder.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.