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By Hadhrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh

Hajj is one of the fundamental pillars of Islām. Rasūlullāh sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam has said:

Islām is founded on five (pillars): bearing witness that there is no deity except Allāh and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh, establishing salāh, paying zakāh, performing hajj and fasting in the month of Ramadhān. (Al-Bukhārī)

Hajj is no insignificant ritual. Rather, it is a great worship which encompasses both physical struggle and sacrifice of wealth. It is an 'ibādah of expressing love for the Creator and showing a personification of the submission of Ibrāhīm 'alayhis salām.

 

It is for this reason severe warnings have been stated for that person who neglects this great act of worship without any valid reason.

The Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said:

He who possesses enough provisions which will suffice for him to reach the House of Allāh, and he does not perform hajj, then there is no care whether he dies as a Jew or a Christian, and that is because Allāh ta'ālā has mentioned in His Book: 'As a right of Allāh, it is obligatory on the people to perform hajj of the House – on everyone who has the ability to manage his way to it. And if one disbelieves, then Allāh is independent of all the worlds.' (At-Tirmidhī)

Imām Al-Qurtubī rahimahullāh and Imām Ibn Kathīr rahimahullāh have narrated in their works of tafsīr that 'Umar radhiyallāhu 'anhu would say:

I have resolved to send a few men to the villages and look for those people who possess the means to perform hajj but do not do so, and impose jizyah upon them, because Allāh says, '…And if one disbelieves, then Allāh is independent of all the worlds.'

After scrutinising the verse quoted above and all the warnings narrated in the ahādīth regarding those upon whom hajj is fardh but fail to perform it, the majority of 'Ulamā have concluded that such people are near to disbelief. Such is the gravity of the non-performance of hajj.

However, leaving aside the warnings, hajj and everything related to it is so blessed and virtuous that every Mu'min should harbour a deep-felt yearning and desire to perform it year after year.

Let us take a look at some of the virtues associated to this great worship.

1. Travelling:

2. The Haram:

3. Makkah Al-Mukarramah:

4. Al-Masjid Al-Harām:

5. The Ka'bah:

6. Al-Hajar Al-Aswad:

"O Allāh! I ask of You forgiveness and safety in the world and the Hereafter, Our Lord, give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the punishment of Fire"

they say 'Āmīn' (O Allāh accept [this prayer]).'" When he [Ibn Hishām rahimahullāh] reached Al-Hajar Al-Aswad, he said, "O Abū Muhammad ('Atā ibn Abī Rabāh rahimahullāh), what have you come to know regarding this corner of Aswad?" 'Atā replied, "Abū Hurayrah radhiyallāhu 'anhu narrated to me that he heard the Messenger of Allāh sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam saying, "Whoever engages with it, engages with the hand of mercy." (Ibn Mājah)

7. Tawāf:

8. The Two Rak'āt After Tawāf:

9. Zamzam:

10. Multazam:

11. Sa'ī:

The Sa'ī takes place between these two mountains.

12. 'Arafah:

13. Minā

Note: both these days are to be spent in Minā.

14. Ramī (Pelting):

15. Nahr (Animal Sacrifice):

16. Halaq (Shaving the head):

17. Tawāf-uz-Ziyārah:

Furthermore, the virtues of hajj as a whole should also encourage a person to undertake this journey over and over again. The Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam has mentioned many virtues of hajj, encouraging the believers to fulfil this obligation, some of which are as follows:

There is no reward for an accepted hajj except Jannah. (Al-Bukhārī, Muslim)

Whoever performs hajj for the sake of pleasing Allāh, and therein utters no word of evil, nor commits any evil deed, shall return from it free from sin as the day on which his mother gave birth to him. (Al-Bukhārī, Muslim)

The performers of hajj and 'umrah are deputations of Allāh; if they call Him, He answers them; and if they seek His forgiveness, He forgives them. (Ibn Mājah)

The performer of hajj becomes so pure that even that person is forgiven for whom he seeks forgiveness. The Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said:

When you meet a hajī [on his way home], then greet him, shake hands with him and ask him to beg forgiveness of Allāh on your behalf before he enters his home, for his prayer for forgiveness is accepted since he is forgiven by Allāh. (Ahmad)

Notwithstanding all the virtues mentioned above, the pilgrim on this blessed journey visits Makkah Al-Mukarramah. This is the birthplace of the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam and the city which witnessed almost all the Prophets of Allāh sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam performing hajj; and in which the revelation of the Qur'ān started and continued for thirteen years.

Similarly, (although it is not a requirement of hajj) most hājīs visit Al-Madīnah Al-Munawwarah, which was the chosen destination for the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam after Makkah; it has been a place upon where wahy was revealed; Islām lived and developed there; countless great Muslim personalities have resided there, great Sahābah radhiyallāhu 'anhum being at the top of the list; the Masjid of the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam is located there, and the Prophet sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam rests there. There are numerous virtues in regard to this great city.

What Mu'min would give up the opportunity to visit such places, more so when he is summoned by Allāh ta'ālā?

It is for this reason the pious people performed hajj again and again. According to a narration of Imām Al-Bayhaqī, every Nabī, with the exception of Hūd and Sālih 'alayhimas salām performed hajj. Imām Abū Ash-Shaykh writes in his book 'Al-'Azmah' that Ādam 'alayhis salām visited the Ka'bah a thousand times on foot, performing 'umrah 700 times and hajj 300 times.

Hajj is fardh upon every sane, adult and healthy Muslim, on the condition that he has sufficient wealth to enable him to travel to and from the Ka'bah. This will be when the wealth used to take him is in excess of his basic needs. He also needs to have sufficient wealth to leave behind for the needs of those who are dependent on him. Furthermore, the journey needs to be a safe one and a woman needs to be travelling with a mahram.

Thus, whoever finds that hajj has become fardh upon them, should hasten in making preparations to fulfil this obligation. They should take it as a summoning call from Allāh ta'ālā, and count themselves fortunate, as many Muslims spend their lifetimes without ever having the means to perform hajj, or even visit the Haramayn at all. Once having performed hajj, a person should further try to visit these blessed places again and again with the hope that one day he will breathe his/her last and be buried in the blessed soil of the two harams, for Rasūlullāh sallallāhu 'alayhi wasallam said,

"One who dies in either of the two harams, will be resurrected on the Day of Qiyāmah amongst the Āminīn (those granted safety)." (Al-Bayhaqī)

May Allāh grant us all the desire and accept us to visit His House time and time again, year after year, and may He also take our souls in the blessed cities of Makkah and Al-Madīnah. Āmīn.

Courtesy: Riyādul Jannah (Volume 22 Issue 6/7)