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The season of Hajj is approaching. Millions of Muslims are preparing to gather in Makkah and the sacred places to respond to Allah’s invitation to visit His House; an invitation announced by Prophet Ibrahim and then renewed by Prophet Muhammad.
In the following lines, we explore some of the Prophet’s hadiths related to Hajj. You will learn about the significance of this great worship and how Allah welcomes His guests.
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A Pillar of Islam
Among the many and diverse rituals of Islam, Hajj is a main component; it is an indispensable pillar of Islam:
1. `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying:
“Islam has been built on five [pillars]:
testifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah,
performing the prayers,
paying the zakah,
making the pilgrimage to the House, and
fasting in Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Once in a Lifetime
2. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that one day the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) addressed people saying:Despite the great significance of Hajj, it is enough to do it only one time in your whole life. Islam is easy and takes into consideration the difficulties that pilgrims go through:
“O people! Allah has prescribed Hajj upon you, so perform it.“
A man asked, ‘Every year, O Messenger of Allah?’
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) kept silent. When the man repeated his question thrice, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Had I answered in the affirmative, it would have become a (yearly) obligation, and this would have been beyond your capacity.”
Then he added:
“Leave me alone so long as I leave you alone (i.e. do not ask questions about things I didn’t mention). What caused the destruction of the people before you was that they used to ask so many questions, and disagree with their Prophets.
So when I command you to do something, do it to the extent of your ability, and if I forbid you from doing something, avoid it.” (Muslim)
A Special Rank and Value
The Companions were keen to know the best deeds so that they can prioritize their good actions according to their value.
In the following hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) highlights the special position of Hajj:
3. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet was asked, “Which deed is the best?”
The Prophet said, “Belief in Allah and His Messenger.”
He was asked again, “What is next?”
The Prophet said, “Jihad [striving] in the cause of Allah.”
He was further asked, “And what is next?”
He said, “Hajj mabroor [i.e. Hajj accepted by Almighty Allah]” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
Jihad without Conflict
Going through the difficulties of travel and crowd; the physical effort exerted while doing the different rituals of Hajj; the movement from one place to another and the sacrifice of money and time all make Hajj a form of Jihad.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) recommended it for women and for weak men who are unable to participate in Jihad in the battlefield:
4. `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) asked the Prophet, “As jihad is the best deed, shouldn’t we [women] make jihad?”
The Prophet replied, “The best jihad for you [women] is a Hajj mabroor.”
`A’ishah later said, “I have been keen to regularly perform Hajj since I heard that from the Messenger of Allah” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
5. Al-Husain ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:
A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) saying that he is weak and coward.
The Prophet told him to participate in a type of Jihad that does not involve any fight, namely, Hajj. (Authenticated by Al-Albani)
Generous Reward for Ethical Pilgrim
The following hadith highlights two things:
1. Hajj is a training course for Muslims on sticking to the highest manners whatever the circumstances are,
2. and Hajj is an effective means to erase your sin records:
6. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that he heard Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) say,
“Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any obscenity or transgression will return [free from sins] as he was on the day his mother gave birth to him.” (Al-Bukhari)
The Ultimate Success
In one Qur’anic verse (Aal-`Imran 3:185), Allah tells us that getting protected from hell fire and being admitted to the Jannh is the real success. That is exactly what Hajj earns you:
7. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“The reward for a Hajj mabroor is nothing but Paradise” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
8. `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“There is no day on which Allah frees servants of His from Fire more than [those freed on] the Day of `Arafat.
And, verily, He draws near and then proudly speaks about them [i.e. the pilgrims] before the angels, saying, ‘What do these seek?’”(Muslim)
The Honorable Delegation
Pilgrims are the guests of Allah and you can imagine how much Allah will honor His own guests:
9. `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“The one striving in the cause of Allah and the one performing Hajj and the one performing `Umrah are all the delegation of Allah. He calls them and they respond to His call, and they ask Him and He answers their supplication.” (Ibn Majah and authenticated by Al-Albani)
Special Days and Precious Opportunities
The days of Hajj are very special. Their blessings are not restricted to those performing Hajj only. It is a season of goodness for everyone:
10. Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.”
The people asked, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?”
“Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out, giving himself and his wealth up for the cause (of Allah), and came back with nothing.” (Al-Bukhari)