Benefits of Hajj
Hajj is one of the great pillars of Islam. Allah The Almighty has made it obligatory on the Muslims who are able to find a way to do it, Saying:
“…And (due) to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves – then indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds.” [Surah Al-Imran 3:97]
Among the varieties of worship are the various pillars of Islam. Some of them are purely physical, requiring effort and movement of the body, as in the case of prayer; some of them are physical but require refraining from things that are liked, as in the case of fasting; some of them are purely financial, as in the case of Zakah; and some of them are both physical and financial, as in the case of Hajj. Hajj combines both physical and financial expenditure.
Because it involves travel and more effort than other kinds of worship, Allah has only enjoined it once in a lifetime, and has stipulated that one must be able to do it. Being able to do it is a condition of an action being obligatory in this case and in others, but this condition of being able to do it is emphasized more in the case of Hajj more than in other cases.
People have continued to perform the Hajj since Prophet Ibrahim raised the foundations of the House and called on people to come to it, as Allah ordered him until our present time, and it will not stop as long as there are believers on earth. When Allah The Almighty will seize the souls of the believers to leave only the disbelievers, who will witness the final Hour, the delegations of Hajj to the Sacred House will stop, as will be explained later. The benefits intended from Hajj:
Firstly: Teaching the Muslim to honor the symbols of Allah.
Allah The Almighty Says:
“Indeed, the first House (of worship) established for mankind was that at Makkah – blessed and a guidance for the worlds. In it are clear signs (such as) the standing place of Ibrahim. And whoever
enters it shall be safe. And (due) to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way….” [Surah Al-Imran 3:96-97]
“That (is so). And whoever honors the Symbols of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.” [Surah Al-Hajj 22:32]
Secondly: Achieving compassion and love among the Muslims.
Despite the differences in language, colour, and nationality, all Muslims gather in one place, supplicate only one God, and circumambulate only one House. This contributes to uniting their goals and purposes, and then the Muslims become like one person. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم said:
“The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the organs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever.”[Muslim]
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم also said:
“The Muslims; (the value of) their blood is equal, and the protection offered by the humblest of them is entitled to be respected by all of them, and they are all united against others.” [Ibn Majah]
The Hajj reflects the aspects of the Muslims strength and unity and unveils their Shari’ah. Allah The Almighty Says:
“And (mention) when We made the House a place of return for the people and (a place of) security….” [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:125]
Third: Following the example of Ibrahim and his son, Isma’il
May Allah exalt their mention, as well as the practice of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم and recalling these memories and actions. Allah The Almighty Says:
“And (mention) when Ibrahim was raising the foundations of the House and (with him) Isma’il, (saying), ‘Our Lord, accept (this) from us. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing. Our Lord, and make us Muslims (in submission) to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation (in submission) to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the accepting of repentance, the Merciful. Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” [Surah Al-Baqarah 2:127-129]
During the course of Hajj Al-Wada‘ (The Farewell Hajj), the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم said to the people:
“Station where you are performing your rituals for you are heirs to the heritage of your forefather Ibrahim.” [Abu Dawud]
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم also said:
“Learn your rituals (of Hajj) from me, for I may not meet you again in this place after this year.” [Muslim]
Fourth: Declaring the Islamic monotheism
With which Allah Sent His Messengers, may Allah exalt their mention, and manifesting it through words and deeds. In the Talbiyah, the observer of the Hajj or Umrah says:
“Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk. Labbayka laa Shareeka laka Labbayk. Innal-Hamda wan-ni‘mata laka wal-mulk. Laa Shareeka lak.” (I am responding to Your Call O Allah; I am responding to Your call! I am responding to Your call, You have no partner with You, I am responding to Your call. All perfect praise and bounty belongs to You, and the dominion is Yours). People of the pre-Islamic era used to repeat the Talbiyah, but they added polytheistic statements, saying:
“There is no other partner with You except one associate; he is Yours; You Own him and whatever he owns.”
Throughout all the rituals and actions of the Hajj, one confirms the oneness of Allah and performs them with the sole intention of obeying Allah and of following the example of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم. He walks and stops according to the command of Allah, shaves his hair, and slaughters his Hady (sacrificial animal for the Hajj) where Allah commands him. In doing so, he follows the example of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم. O Allah, provide for us so we can perform Hajj to Your House and grant us success to do what You love and what brings Your satisfaction.
The virtues of Hajj are many and variable:
1) Hajj is one of the best righteous deeds and acts of obedience
The companion Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم was asked:
‘What is the best deed?’ He replied: ‘To have faith in Allah and His Messenger.’ The enquirer asked: ‘What next?’ The Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم said: ‘To perform Jihad for the Sake of Allah.’ The enquirer asked: ‘What next?’ The Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم said: ‘A valid and accepted Hajj.’ [Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Nasa’i, and Ahmad]
Hajj equals (in reward) observing Jihad for the Sake of Allah. It is also the alternative for those who are unable to observe Jihad or those who are not obliged to observe it in the Shari’ah (Islamic Law): Aisha narrated that she said:
“O Messenger of Allah! We see that Jihad is the best deed. Should we (women) not actively participate in it?’ The Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم replied, “No, the best Jihad for you is a valid and accepted Hajj.” [Al-Bukhari]
According to the wording of another narration, she said: “Should we (women) not actively participate in fighting and Jihad along with you?” The Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم replied: “For you, the best and most beautiful Jihad is a valid and accepted Hajj.”
Thereupon, ‘Aisha commented: “I will never abandon Hajj after hearing these words from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم.”[Al-Bukhari]
3) Entering Paradise is the reward of the valid and accepted Hajj.
The companion Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم said:
“An Umrah to another Umrah will be redemption of sins for whatever occurs between them, and (entering) Paradise is the reward of a valid and accepted Hajj.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
4) A valid and accepted Hajj purifies from sins.
The Companion Abu Hurairah narrated that he heard the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم say:”Whoever performs a Hajj during which he neither commits sexual intercourse nor sins will return as sinless as a newborn child on the very day his mother delivered him.” [Al-Bukhari]
According to another narration, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم said:
“Whoever comes to this House and neither commits sexual intercourse or sins will return as sinlessas a newborn child on the very day his mother delivered him.” [Muslim]
5) Performing Hajj often wipes out poverty.
The companions Ibn Masud and Ibn Umar narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم said:
“Perform Hajj and Umrah successively for they remove poverty and sins just as fire removes the impurities of iron.” [Al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah]
6) Becoming guests of Alllah
Those performing the Hajj are the guests of Allah, and He pledged to generously host and honor them. Umar narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم said:
“The fighter for the Sake of Allah and the one observing the Hajj and ‘Umrah are the guests of Allah; He invited them and they responded, and when they ask Him, He gives them.” [Ibn Majah]
According to the wording of another narration, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم said:
“The pilgrims of the Hajj and Umrah are the guests of Allah; and when they supplicate Him, He answers their supplication; and when they ask for His forgiveness, He forgives them.” [Ibn Majah]
The obligation of the Hajj will continue even after the occurrence of the great trials at the end of time. In a Hadeeth, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم said:
“Hajj and Umrah to this House will continue even after the emergence of Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj (Gog and Magog).” [Al-Albaani: authentic]
When Allah will seize the souls of the believers at the end of time to leave only the disbelievers to witness the Hour, Hajj will stop. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم said:
“The (final) Hour will not come unless people refrain from performing the Hajj.” [Al-Albaani: authentic]
Thus, it is obligatory on each Muslim who is physically and financially able to hasten to perform the Hajj before he will be unable to do so. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم said:
“Whoever intends to perform the Hajj should hasten to it; for one could get sick, his mount could be lost, or he could face poverty and need.” [Sahih Al-Jaami']
Glad tidings for those who are unable to perform the Hajj: There is a reward equal to the reward of Hajj. It was narrated on the authority of The companion Anas that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم said:
“Whoever performs the Fajr (dawn prayer) in congregation, then sits to remember Allah until the sun rises, and then performs two Rak‘ah (two units of prayer), his reward will be equal to that of Hajj and Umrah, completely, completely, completely.” [Al-Tirmidhi]