السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
ربي اشرح لي صدري و يسر لي أمري واحلل عقدة من لساني يفقه قولي
ربي زدني علما وارزقني فهما
It is compulsory on each adult Muslim once in his lifetime if he is physically and financially able to perform hajj as it is one of the five pillars of Islam. Allah said: “And pilgrimage to the house is duty upon mankind owed to Allah for whoever can find a way there.” [Quran 3:97]. The events which took place at the time of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) are honored during Hajj. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) showed his complete reliance on Allah through his life as he faced many trials.
Muslims get a chance to wipe their past sins and deepen their faith on the Hajj. Despite the physical challenges of the hajj, many people rely on crutches and insist on walking the paths. Those who cannot afford the Hajj are sometimes financed by charities or community leaders. Others save their entire lives to make the journey. A few even walk thousands of miles by foot to Saudi Arabia, taking months to arrive.
When pilgrims visit Makkah and perform the hajj rituals, a sense of connection is ignited with the Prophets from Ibrahim(AS) who built the house, to Muhammad (SAW) and the respect for the sacredness of Makkah is also observed. The migration of Ibrahim and the divine command to put his son Ismail (AS) for sacrifice is brought into mind. Ibrahim (AS) was obedient and Allah sent a ram instead to be sacrificed. Hajj is a remembrance of Ibrahim’s outstanding acts of obedience and the pilgrimage will continue until the Last Day.The farewell pilgrimage is also revived by Hajj as Muhammad (SAW) left his followers with advice that will keep them guided on the straight path until the end of time. Allah said: “And proclaim among men the pilgrimage; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, coming from every remote path, that they may witness advantages for them and mention the name of Allah during stated days.”[Quran 22:27].
Entering Ihram (ritual state to perform Hajj), is a physical expression of worship and submission to Allah, His commands and laws. No one completes Hajj without entering Ihram because it is a command from Allah.the unit of the Muslims is witnessed as they follow one system without any difference or exemptions. “Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Makkah, full of blessing, and a guidance for the mankind and jinn.” [Quran 3:96. A man’s heart goes through a spiritual stage by putting on Ihram, circumambulating the Kabah(sacred house), offering sacrifice, and doing other acts of worship. Only Allah is aware of the number of people whose spiritual state was uplifted in that sacred House. A spiritual journey of a man who has gone through several phases of servitude, separated from the worldly affair is represented by the Hajj rites.
Hajj is the sign of Tawheed from the very instant the pilgrim enters Ihraam. Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allahstates, describing the Hajj of the Prophet (SAW): “Then he started to say the words of Tawheed,(Here I am, Oh Allah, here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and all sovereignty, You have no partner.”[Muslim, 2137]. Repeating the Talbiyah(supplication invoked by pilgrims) makes the heart firm on the fact that Allah is one and that there is no partner besides Him. He, our Creator, is enough for us and He alone is in control of everything. The proclamation indicates the obligation to worship Allah alone and keep far away from associating partners with Allah.
The clothes of pilgrims are white and clean which indicate the purity of the heart, method and message. This means putting aside all beautification and showing modesty, and it is a reminder of death when the deceased is covered in similar clothes. So, it is as if he is preparing to meet Allah. Whatever that reminds a Muslim of the Hereafter and the Judgment Day, is of great benefit because the goal is to succeed in the hereafter and Hajj is a brilliant reminder of that. A reminder on how all human beings will stand on the Day of Judgment before Allah and be accounted for their deeds is placed in the heart on the pilgrims when they gather and stand in Arafah. Pilgrims pray and seek forgiveness at Arafah and return back hoping their sins are forgiven and that they will change for the better Insha’Allah.
Through Hajj, a person gets to know the true situation of the Muslims in another country from trustworthy sources, since the Muslim can hear straight from his brother about the situation of his Muslim brothers in the land from which he has come from. Such contact brings consciousness of the problems and difficulties faced by your Muslim brother and possibly open paths for extending help.” In general, Muslims from different countries exchange benefit and experience through Hajj thereby extending brotherhood. Sins are forgiven in Hajj as Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever does Hajj and does not speak any obscene words or commit any sin will go back cleansed of sin as on the day his mother bore him.” [Sunan an- Nasa’I, 2627]. This means that doors of hope are opened to those who commit sins and teach them to give up those sins and bad habit in these sacred places and rituals.
During the days of Hajj, the pilgrim continues in worshiping and remembering Allah, moving from one sacred place to the next, from one action to another. This is a kind of thorough training in worship and remembrance of Allah. One is trained to be kind to people as the pilgrim guides people who are lost, teaches those who are ignorant, helps the poor, supports the disabled and weak. As the pilgrims are in contact with the crowd, good character is developed through forbearance and putting up with annoyance from people. One is taught to be patient and have total trust in Allah through Hajj, especially during its rituals like the Sa’i. A person is also trained to put up with difficulties such as heat, long distances, being apart from one’s family, going back and forth between the holy sites and crowded conditions. It recaps the trials of Hajar, the wife of Ibrahim(AS) as she remained patient in obeying the commands of Allah. She was commanded to stay with her baby in a desert without food and water. She was certain that if this was Allah’s command, He would take care of her.Allah honored her and her baby with the miracle of Zamzam water in the midst of the desert, which till today continues to quench the thirst of millions of people.
In conclusion, Hajj is entirely evident and cleared by paying attention to the obligatory acts of it, the places where these acts are to be performed and stops where the pilgrims are supposed to stop. One should consider Hajj to be the greatest devotional act and one of the greatest religious obligation. Hence, a true Hajj is growth of the soul and it is not a plaything or entertainment as some ignorant people think. Hajj is no doubt a difficult journey and it used to more difficult in the past. Muslims must practice patience and have certainty in Allah for all their affairs. This will benefit them in life after Hajj Insha’Allah.
بارك الله فيكم
وجزاكم الله خيرا
سبحانك اللهم وبحمدك أشهد أن لا إله إلا أنت استغفرك و أتوب إليك
والسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
Written by: Emily Amini