Here follows the text of the Royal Message which was read out by Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, Ahmed Toufiq, on the occasion of the departure of the first group of pilgrims, on Monday from the Rabat-Salé airport:
« Praise be to God
May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
May Almighty God bless you and protect you.
In keeping with an auspicious tradition I have been observing in my capacity as Commander of the Faithful and Protector of the Homeland, the Faith and our sanctities, it gives me great pleasure to address pilgrims at the start of each Hajj season, and to congratulate them as they prepare to complete their religious obligations through the performance of Hajj, one of the pillars of Islam, by departing for the Sacred House of the Almighty. I wish you a safe journey to the Holy Land and back home and hope you will reap the best rewards and obtain Almighty God's forgiveness.
I thank the Almighty for helping us to overcome the pandemic which has afflicted the entire world, and for enabling us to gradually resume our religious and social traditions, while continuing to observe preventive measures and the necessary health requirements.
I address you, through this message, to provide you - the best provision being piety - with instructions concerning the performance of one of the greatest obligatory rites of our faith, in keeping with Almighty God’s words: "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".
Therefore, please comply with the requirements of this religious obligation, by performing the pillars, duties, traditions and recommendations regarding Hajj, and by avoiding all prohibited matters.
Above all, you need to comply with the requirements of piety and show the sincerity of your intent through the performance of rituals. Keep in mind that you will be standing before the Almighty. Therefore, do show reverence, sincere repentance and avoid all manifestations of selfishness and hypocrisy; abide by good moral principles in the great Hajj season, during which Muslims from all parts of the world gather to express two great things, which constitute the very essence of Islam.
The first one is to proclaim the oneness of Almighty God, Lord of the Worlds. That has to be shown through your acts of faith, your words and your deeds, as reflected by Ihram, by the praising of the Almighty, by Takbeer, and by seeking God’s forgiveness through the rituals of Hajj.
The second is to hold fast onto the rope the Almighty stretches out for us, no matter how different Moslem peoples might be, or how their tongues or backgrounds may vary. They thus embody the meaning of unity and equality, and shun extremism, discord and arrogance.
Entering into the state of Ihram, through the removal of all worldly possessions and the pilgrim’s immersion into Takbeer and the glorification of the Almighty, is a clear indication of what your behavior should be like. Thus, the pilgrim gives up worldly matters, commits to high morals, rises above material desires and trivial things, and shuns dispute and contentions, which lead to proscribed conduct.
Hajj, which is the ultimate worshipping act of a lifetime, epitomizes the purposes of Islam, including the sincerity of the pilgrim’s turning to God - and to Him only. It shows the unity and equality of Muslims, and symbolizes coexistence between different races and peoples. This is evidenced by Tawaf around the Kaaba, by the Sa’y between Safa and Marwa, and by Wuquf at Arafat. It is the ultimate manifestation of reverence and of submission to the Almighty, recalling that one will stand before Him, on the Day of Reckoning.
Do keep in mind that performing the Hajj rituals amidst large crowds of believers requires you to be patient, to exercise self-restraint, to show forbearance, and to avoid anything that might undermine the sanctity of this obligatory rite, in accordance with the words of the Almighty: “For Hajj are the months well known. If anyone undertakes that duty therein, let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Haj. And whatever good you do, (be sure) God knows it. And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is right conduct. So fear Me, O you that are wise!”.
Therefore be sure - may God bless you - to perform this principal pillar of Islam as thoroughly and meticulously as possible; make the most of the opportunity of pilgrimage by constantly glorifying the Almighty and seeking His forgiveness, particularly when you stand on Mount Arafat, on the foremost day of Hajj, for the Prophet - may peace be upon him - said : “There is no reward for an accepted Hajj except Paradise”.
I have instructed the Minister for Awqaf and Islamic Affairs to keep up his commendable efforts in taking good care of you and providing for the overall conditions of your stay in the Holy Land so that you may perform your rituals in an optimal manner. I asked him to provide for your comfort, health requirements, administrative needs and religious guidance throughout your pilgrimage.
Therefore, make sure you cooperate with the officials in charge so that these goals can be achieved. Consequently, you are expected to respect - at all times - the instructions given to you and comply with the measures in place throughout your pilgrimage.
You must also observe the measures and regulations set by the authorities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the organization of the great Hajj season, in keeping with the instructions given by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, my esteemed brother King Salman bin Abdulaziz. May God protect him, grant him long life and reward him for sparing no effort in serving the guests of the Most Merciful as well as he does.
Do remember, when you are in the Holy Land for this great gathering of Muslims from all parts of the world, that you are expected to represent your country - Morocco - in the best way possible. Try and reflect, as best you can, the Moroccan people's commitment to tolerance and moderation, to the unity of the religious rite and temperance, and to the shunning of extremism.
I also want you to show how keen I have been, since Almighty God entrusted me with the mission of leading my loyal people, to uphold our model of moderate Sunni Islam, in keeping with the words of the Almighty: “We made of you an Ummah justly balanced that you might be witnesses over the nations”.
That Ishhaad, or bearing of testimony, which is required of all Muslims, cannot be achieved except through moderation and the rejection of extremism and fanaticism. I therefore want you to comport yourselves as ambassadors of your country by upholding these ideal values, and by remaining strongly attached to your identity, to your national unity and to your Maliki rite.
While in the Holy Land, your ultimate desire and greatest spiritual yearning will be the visit to the ar-Rawada an-Nabawiyyah, or the Sacred Chamber, in al-Madina al-Munawwara, where you will stand humbly and reverently by the grave of my ancestor, Prophet Muhammad - may peace and blessings be upon him. It is a most solemn moment; a moment of great reverence for every penitent heart. The aim, while there, is to pray upon Prophet Muhammad - may peace be upon him - and invoke blessings upon him, with all the awe, supplication and veneration required by that holy place.
And when, in that sacred location, as in other holy places, particularly Mount Arafat - where sincere prayers and earnest supplications are answered - remember to pray for your King, who attends to your safety and protection. Pray to the Almighty that He may assist me in my endeavors to provide for my people’s progress, prosperity and happiness. Pray that I see only such things as please the eye and delight the heart from His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan, and from all members of the Royal Family. Pray, also, that Almighty God bless the souls of my venerated grandfather and of my revered father, Their Majesties King Mohammed V and King Hassan II; pray that He reward them for all they have done for Morocco, its freedom, its independence and its progress in various fields.
Before concluding, and once again, I wish you, honorable pilgrims, an accepted and most gratifying and rewarding Hajj. May Almighty God answer your prayers, fulfil your wishes and reward you abundantly - in this world and the Hereafter - for performing the blessed duty of pilgrimage. May you return to your homeland safe and sound. The Almighty is All-Hearing, Oft-Responding.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh."