A rampant disease – the disease of riya (show) – is generally displayed by people after performing Hajj. They proudly appropriate for themselves the title of Haaji or Al-Haaj to inform the world that they had accomplished the Hajj ibaadat.
Once when Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali (Rahmatullah alayh) visited a village, he asked a man: “Brother, what is your name?” The man replied: Haaji Ibraaheem.” Hadhrat asked a second man, he replied: “Haaji Ya’qoob.” Several persons gave the same reply. Each one had prefixed his name with the title ‘Haaji’. Then they asked: “You also inform us of your name.” They were not aware of Hadhrat Thanvi. He replied: “My name is Namaazi Ashraf Ali.” The village folk were surprised, and asked: “What is Namaazi?” Hadhrat Thanvi asked: “How many times did you perform Hajj. Most of them said: “Once.”.
Hadhrat Thanvi commented: “Despite having performed Hajj once, you have appropriated the title, Haaji, whereas I perform Namaaz five times daily. Why should I not assume the title of Namaazi ?” The villagers understood their error and resolved to refrain from adding Haaji to their names. Like Salaat and Saum, Hajj is an ibaadat. Just as it is improper to dub oneself ‘Namaazi or Saa-imi, so to is it improper to advertise oneself as ‘Haaji’.