Performing pilgrimage (Hajj) is the fifth pillar
of Islam and the most significant manifestation of Islamic faith and unity.
Allah (swt) says:
proclaim to mankind the Hajj. They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant
mountain highway)[Qur’an 22:27]
Undertaking the Hajj at least once is a duty for all Muslims who are physically
and financially able to make the journey to Makkah. The emphasis on financial ability is meant to ensure that a Muslim takes
care of his family first. The requirement that a Muslim be healthy and physically capable of undertaking the pilgrimage is
intended to exempt those who cannot endure the rigors of extended travel.
Allah (swt) says:
is a duty men owe to Allah, those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of his
creatures.) [Qur’an 3: 97]
The pilgrimage is the religious high point of a Muslim's life and an event that
every Muslim dreams of undertaking. Umrah, the small pilgrimage, can be undertaken at any time of the year; Hajj, however,
is performed during a five-day period from the ninth through the thirteenth of Dhu Al-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Muslim
Performing the Hajj is the spiritual apex of a Muslim's life, one that provides a clear understanding
of his relationship with God and his place on Earth. It imparts in a Muslim not only the assurance that he has performed the
fifth pillar of Islam by following in the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), but also the realization that he is part of
an ummah (nation) that is more than one billion strong and spreads across the globe.
A Muslim does not earn “Hajj
Mabroor” (acceptable pilgrimage) except by leaving all sins behind him/her. While falling into sin is prohibited at
all times, Allah (swt) gives a specific order to the pilgrims to leave sins.
Allah (swt) says:
(Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made hajj obligatory
upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and
no disputing during hajj.) [Qur’an2:197]
verse emphasizes the nobility of the time and greatness of the place.
Allah (swt) also says:
“Whoever intends [a deed] therein [i.e. in the Haram] of deviation
[in religion] or wrongdoing – We will make him taste of a painful punishment.) [Qur’an 22:25]
Pilgrimage makes people realize their many evil deeds and mistakes, which are the
results of weak fear of Allah and ignoring the Shari`ah (God's commands) and Sunnah.
Wisdoms and Aims of Hajj
Realization of al-Taqwa (piety, fearful awareness of Allah)
The goal of Hajj is realization of “taqwa”
(piety, fearful awareness of Allah). This is why we find the link between Hajj and “Taqwa” in many verses.
(And complete the Hajj and Umrah for Allah…And fear Allah…) [Qur'an 2:196]
Affirmation of Tawheed
Hajj is based on making one's intention sincere for Allah (swt) and seeking the pleasure
of Allah and none other.
Allah (swt) says:
complete the Hajj and Umrah for Allah.) [Qur'an 2:196]
“Talbeya” which is the slogan of Hajj, singling Allah in one's rituals is made clear:
(Here I am at your
service, oh Lord, here I am - here I am. No partner do you have. Here I am. Truly, the praise and the favor are yours, and
the dominion. No partner do you have.)
Reverence of Allah's symbols (rites) and sanctities
the most apparent goals and wisdoms of Hajj is the cultivation of Muslims’ appreciation, esteem and love of Allah's
symbols and sanctities.
(That [is so]. And whoever honors the symbols [i.e. rites] of Allah –
indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.) [Qur’an 22:32]
Fourth: Cultivation upon good and praiseworthy
1) Decency and chastity.
(Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made hajj
obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no Rafath (obscenity) …)
2) Suppressing anger, leaving argumentation and disputes.
Allah (swt) says:
(and no (Jidal) disputing during Hajj.) [Qur’an 2:197]
3) Gentleness, softness and calmness.
When Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) heard
strong rebuking, hitting and shouts at a camel while moving from Muzdalifa, he said:
“O people, you must be calm, for rush and hurrying is not righteousness.” (Al Bukhari )
4) Helping each other.
During Hajj, the servant is not only concerned about himself/herself;
rather they shall mingle with other pilgrims, sharing with them recitation of “Talbeya”, and all Hajj rituals.
Cultivation upon taking responsibility for one's mistakes.
This becomes evident in the case of obligatory atonement
for one who makes an intentional mistake that violates the state of “ihram”, or leaves for Muzdalifah before sunset,
6) Cultivation upon humbleness.
This becomes evident in the unity between all pilgrims in rituals and feelings,
and the negation of traces of material differences between them, such as language, nationality, wealth, etc.
Muhammad (pbuh) said during his last farewell Hajj:
people! Verily, your Lord is one, and your father (Adam) is one, verily the Arab is not superior to the non-Arab, nor the
non-Arab to the Arab, nor the white to the black, nor the black to the white, except by taqwaa (piety, fearful awareness of
7) Cultivation upon different
types of patience.
Pilgrims must restrain their selves from their desires by leaving acts that are prohibited while
in the state of “ihram”. A pilgrim exposes oneself to hardship and fatigue in fulfilling the orders of Allah by
performing the rituals, this becomes a motive for leaving sins and doing righteous acts.
8) Generosity and openhandedness.
is clear in the servant's bearing expenditures for Hajj.
Fifth: Realization of the Last Day
departure from their country and separation from their family makes them realize death and the fact that they will leave their
family one day for the Hereafter.
- Removal of stitched clothing and lack of adornment reminds them of the coffin and
the resurrection of servants from their graves on the Day of Judgment barefoot and naked.
- Journey and fatigue make
them realize their weakness and remind them of the hardship of the Day of Resurrection.
Sixth: Cultivation upon
submission and surrender to Allah (swt)
Hajj makes Muslims get used to following a system and it trains them upon
discipline. Pilgrims are trained upon submission, surrender and complete obedience to Allah (swt) as, for example, the actions
of Hajj, such as abandonment of stitched clothing and adornment, “tawaf”, standing on `Arafat, stoning, lodging
and shaving or cutting of one's hair and other such matters that do not have an obvious meaning.
of Brotherhood based on faith and Islamic unity
Pilgrims, with all their differences in languages, races and nationalities,
gather in one same place at one same time, in one same appearance, pronouncing the same call of “Talbeya”, and
for the same purpose: belief in Allah (swt), fulfillment of his order, all of which develops deep love among them, which,
in turn, becomes a motive for them to know each other, to cooperate, exchange thoughts, advice, news and experiences, reinforcing
in them uprightness upon this beautiful religion which joined them together.
Eighth: Strengthening the attachment
of pilgrims to the predecessors
Actions of Hajj remind of the past, it reminds us of the migration of Ibrahim,
with his wife, Hager, and his son to Hijaz, his story when he was ordered to sacrifice his son, his building of the Ka`bah
and his call to people to make Hajj.
Also, Hajj is a reminder of the rising of our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his
farewell pilgrimage with more than one hundred thousand Companions; when he said to them,
“Take from me your
rites (of Hajj)”.
Since then ages have passed, and at the present time the number of pilgrims is more than
a million. This causes the pilgrim to remember the generations that have witnessed this land before him and to realize that
the final destination is the same for all.
Ninth: Recitation of the Qur'an, remembrance of Allah and seeking forgiveness
Pilgrim who contemplates during rituals of Hajj about Talbeyah, takbir: saying La Ellah Ela Allah, (No God But Allah), supplication,
as well as the two revelations (Qur'an and Sunnah) which speak about them, will find that an increase in remembrance of Allah
(swt) is from the greatest wisdoms and aims of Hajj.
Allah (swt) says:
(Remember Allah at al-Mash`ar al-Haram
(Muzdalifah) [Qur’an 2:198]
Also Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
“Circumambulating of the house, [going] between as-Safa and al-Marwa and stoning have only been legislated
for establishment of remembrance of Allah on the Earth.”
Hajj is one of the great occasions to ask Allah (swt) and to supplicate to him, it is an occasion that requires
usage of the opportunity and submissiveness before Allah.
The Prophet, (pbuh) said:
“The best supplication
is supplication on `Arafat.” (Tirmidhi)
At the end of the Hajj, the largest annual gathering of Muslims on
Earth, pilgrims have a profound feeling of having gone through a life-transforming spiritual experience. They return with
pride in having successfully performed a ritual dedicated to God and in belonging to a huge family of people that shares the
same religious beliefs. And they acquire a sense of humility, inner calm, brotherhood and strength that lasts a lifetime