Today my secretary asked if she should start putting Haji before my name on the letters that I sign. I said, no... out of humility. I am a humble person after all.
But, then, I started thinking. Don't I deserve to be called Haji. It is not a title given by another human (like Dato' or Tan Sri or whatever). It is a title I earned (deservedly or not is up to Allah swt), by performing that which was obligated upon me as a muslim. And my heart warms to every time I hear somebody calls me Tuan Haji.
So I am caught between wanting to tell people that I have performed the Hajj, thus, I would like it very much to be have the title Haji before my name, and not wanting people to think that I am boastful and proud.
Of course, along with me and my wife and 90 other people that were on the same pilgrimage package, there were also, at least, 2 million other people from all over the world performed their Hajj this year.
But, to me it is a big deal. To me, it is a major life achievement that I have completed all 5 pillars Islam. Again, whether all the Solah, the Fasting in Ramadhan and the payment of Zakat, is acceptable to Allah, is a matter I will not worry about, for it is entirely in His hands... as are our very soul.
And the Hajj, for me, was a wonderful and sobering experience. It was a time to contemplate our previous lives and to begin a new one. It was the time and place to be thankful, to seek forgiveness, to gain strength, to cleanse your soul, to make changes. It was a chance to put your feet and your forehead in prayers, on the very ground that our Prophet once stood, where he once lived and fought us, his ummah.
Perhaps, that is what I need. I need to tell my friends that I am transforming myself. And, that, most importantly, by having the Haji before my name, is a self reminder of the resolutions I made, which I intend to keep.
Perhaps, I should tell my secretary to put the Haji before my name..... or not... I don't know...
Haji Shamsuddin bin Haji Jaafar.
Class of 1434 Hijriah