Hajj, an Obligation

makkah

Allah (Subhanahu Ta’ala) says in the Quran:

“O mankind! Fear your Lord and be dutiful to Him! Verily, the earthquake of the Hour (of Judgement) is a terrible thing. The Day you shall see it, every nursing mother will forget her nursling, and every pregnant one will drop her load, and you shall see mankind as in a drunken state, yet they will not be drunken, but severe will be the Torment of Allah. And among mankind is he who disputes concerning Allah, without knowledge, and follows every rebellious (disobedient to Allah) Shaitan (devil) (devoid of each and every kind of good).” [Surah al-Hajj, 22:1-3]

These opening ayat in Surah al-Hajj are a clear reminder of what will happen on the Day of Judgement and also a reminder to those that dispute about Allah (Subhanahu Ta’ala). Every Muslim should reflect on these ayat, heed the warnings and take a lesson from it.

Allah (Subhanahu Ta’ala) says in the Quran:

“Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance for Al-‘Alamin (the mankind and jinns). In it are manifest signs (for example), the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim (Abraham); whosoever enters it, he attains security. And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka’bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence); and whoever disbelieves [i.e. denies Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah), then he is a disbeliever of Allah], then Allah stands not in need of any of the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns).” [Surah ‘Ali-‘Imran, 3:96-97]

As we can see from the preceding ayat, Hajj is not only the fifth pillar of Islam, but it is an actual duty we owe unto Allah (Subhanahu Ta’ala).

Allah (Subhanahu Ta’ala) does not wish to make things difficult for the Muslims. Apart from the duty being fardh (compulsory) only once in a lifetime, there are certain other conditions that have to be met for one to be eligible:

  1. To be a Muslim
  2. To have reached puberty
  3. To be of sound mind
  4. To be free (not a slave)
  5. To have the financial means (One does not have to be debt free in order to be eligible. As long as arrangements are made for the payment of your debts during your absence, or in the  event of your death.)
  6. To possess the physical means (If your physical disablement is of a permanent nature, and you have the money, then it is advisable to send (deputise) somebody to perform the Hajj on your behalf.)
  7. To have a Mahram (for women)

One should expedite the performance of Hajj. Once all the conditions have been met it is important to perform your fardh Hajj as soon as possible. Many people tend to leave this obligation until much later in the life. It is so much easier and better if one undertakes this journey while ones Young and has the health and strength. Believe me no matter when you go, you will regret that you did not go when you were younger.

It is reported on the authority of Abdullah bin Abbas that the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said: “Expedite the performance of the duty of hajj. For nobody knows what may obstruct one.” [Ibn Majah, 2883 & Ahmad 1/214,225]

If you have performed Hajj before and you feel complacent about it, or if you are not convinced about the benefits of performing Hajj again, ponder over the next Hadith Qudsi:

“Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudrie, the prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said, Allah said, “Any of My slaves who is healthy and are by the means and for 5 years did not visit My house, he is Mahroum*.” [Ibn Hiban & Musnad Abu Ya’laa, 3703:1031]

*Mahroum: the direct translation of the word is ‘deprive’, meaning that a person who is able and does not do so, has certainly deprived himself of something good. It is like a very rich person who does not spend or use his money. He deprives himself of the benefit of having that money. Also for example, if a person lives away from his parents, and he is able to visit them, but chooses not to, he has certainly deprived himself of great benefits. Now when Allah (Subhanahu Ta’ala) uses the word Mahroum, we can be certain that it means that we are depriving yourself of benefits that we cannot imagine and we will regret it on the Day of Judgement.

For notes on Hajj Preparation, click here

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