The Blessings of Hajj
For the Hajji, the pilgrim undertaking the Hajj, the blessing are many. We know it is one of the best deeds a person can do, it removes sins and purifies you, it creates piety and humbleness within a person and it builds your character, teaching you patience and perseverance.
Hajj is from the Best of the Good Deeds
- Abu Hurayrah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) reported that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was once asked: “What is the best deed?” He replied: “To believe in Allah and His Messenger.” The enquirer then asked: “What next?” The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم)replied: “To fight in the cause of Allah.” He again asked: “What is the next best thing?” He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) replied: “Hajj ‘Mabroor’ (i.e., the Hajj that is free of sin and all its pillars and conditions are fulfilled).” [Al-Bukhari].
Hajj is a form of Jihad
The excellence of Hajj is such that it is considered a form of Jihad for the old, the weak and the women:
- Aishah (رضی اللہ عنھا) narrated that she said, “O Allah's Messenger! We consider Jihad as the best deed. Should we not fight in Allah's cause?” He said, “The best Jihad (for women) is Hajj-mabrur (i.e. Hajj which is done according to the Prophet's tradition and is accepted by Allah).” [Bukhari Vol. 4, Hadith 43].
- Al-Hasan Ibn ‘Ali (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and his father, said that a man came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and said: "I am a coward and a weak person. Is there anything I can do?" The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) replied: "You may go for a Jihad that involves no fighting, that is, Hajj." [Abdur-Razzaq and At-Tabarani].
- The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) also said: "Hajj is the Jihad for the old, the weak and the women." [An-Nasai].
Purity and Cleanliness
- The whiteness and cleanness of the pilgrims’ clothes is a sign of inward purity, cleanness of heart and the purity of the message and the method of Hajj.
- Wearing two simple clean white sheets, teaches the pilgrim humility and makes all the pilgrims equal in appearance and in the actions of Hajj. The King and the pauper standing together, sitting together, eating together, everyone is equal before Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).
- When the person dies, he will be buried in a shroud made from white sheets like those of the Ihraam, so this is a reminder of death and the resurrection on the Day of Judgement. Standing on the plain of Arafat, is a reminder of the standing before Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) on the day of Judgement.
- The Hajj is an opportunity to repent and seek forgiveness so that the pilgrim is purified from his sins, by the Mercy of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).
Hope and Forgiveness for Sins
- A perfect Hajj wipes away all the past sins of a person, Abu Hurayrah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) reported that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: "He who performs Hajj seeking Allah's pleasure and avoids all lewdness and sins (therein) will return after Hajj free from all sins, just as he was on the day his mother gave birth to him." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
- The Hajj opens the doors of hope to those who commit sin, and teaches them to give up their sinning. This starts with the holy places of Hajj, where the person gives up a lot of his bad habits during the period of Hajj and its rituals. The process continues when they go back to their homes, and a sign of the acceptance of their Hajj is that they abandon their sinful ways and become more pious by the grace of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).
- The Hajj teaches a person not to despair of the mercy of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), no matter how great one's worries and distress. For the way out is in hands of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). The mother of Ismaeel thought her son was about to die, and she started to run from one mountain to the other, looking for a solution, and it came to her from a source she could never imagine when the angel came down and struck the ground, and out came the water of Zamzam with its healing for diseases of the heart and body. As Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says: “Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope” [Quran: Surah al-Baqarah 2: Ayah 286].
Peity and Humbleness
- Performing the Hajj trains the person to be content with modest clothing and accommodation, when he wears two pieces of cloth and his accommodation is only enough for him to sleep, it is sufficient for him, he comes to appreciate that he does not need nor require the additonal luxuries and comforts of this world.
- During the Hajj, the pilgrim experiences the life of those less fortunate than him, and is made grateful of the blessings that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has bestowed upon him.
- The Hajj and its pillars are from the Symbols of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and the person honors these in order to please his Lord. This increases the piety and humbleness of a person. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says: “and whosoever honours the Symbols of Allah, then it is truly, from the piety of the hearts” [al-Hajj 22:32]. And Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says: “It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is your piety that reaches Him.” [Quran: Surah al-Hajj 22: Ayah 37]. THus it is our piety in following the commands of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) that leads to the acceptance of the Hajj and the forgiveness and Mercy of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).
- The pilgrim achieves true submission to his Lord, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), by standing in the places sanctified by Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). He leaves al-Masjid al-Haraam which is the best of places and stands in the midst of a wilderness standing on the plain of Arafah, to please his Lord.
Acceptance of Supplications
The pilgrim who goes to Hajj or Umrah is a guest of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and any prayer or supplication made is answered:
- Abu Hurayrah (رضي الله عنه) narrated that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “Those who perform the Hajj and those who perform the umrah are people who have come to visit Allah. If they supplicate Him He will respond to them, and if they ask Him for forgiveness He will forgive them.” [Tirmidhi 2536 and Ibn Majah].
- The Hajj helps remove miserliness, by training oneself to spend in charitable ways and to avoid miserliness. The pilgrim spends a great deal of money for the sake of Hajj, on travel expenses, on the road and in the sacred places.
- It trains the rich to give up their opulance, by making them equal with the poor in clothing and in the rituals of tawaaf, saa’i and stoning the jamarat. This teaches them to be humble and to realise the insignificance of this worldly life. It also makes them appreciate inate the oneness of humanity.
Develop Good Character
- The Hajj is not easy and has with it hardship. It trains the Hajji to be patient and 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 therein.
- It teaches one to give up one's usual habits and the things that one is comfortable with, because the pilgrim has to uncover his head and give up his regular clothes, and leave behind the accommodation, food and drink that he is used to.
- It teaches one to be kind to people – so the pilgrim guides those who are lost, teaches those who are ignorant, helps the poor, and supports the disabled and weak. The Hajji takes this experience back with him, even after the Hajj.
- The Hajj helps develop good characteristics such as forbearance and putting up with annoyance from people, because the pilgrim will inevitably be exposed to crowding and arguments, etc. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says: “The Hajj (pilgrimage) is (in) the well-known (lunar year) months (i.e. the 10th month, the 11th month and the first ten days of the 12th month of the Islamic calendar, i.e. two months and ten days). So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihraam), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj.” [Quran: Surah al-Baqarah 2: Ayah 197].
The Reward of Hajj Mabroor is Paradise
- The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: "All sins committed in between the performance of one Umrah and the next are expiated and erased, and the reward of Hajj ‘Mabroor’ is nothing save Paradise." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. Hajj Mabroor is the Hajj that is free of sin and all its pillars and conditions are fulfilled.