You are the luckiest person in the world. Allah has invited you personally to His House. It is a humble journey of a poor needy slave to the House of The Most-Generous King.
Prayer is a form of worship you do with your body, zakat is a form of worship you do with your money, Hajj is a form of worship you do with your body AND money.
Hajj consists of the Hajj of the Body (walking, standing, collecting and throwing), the Hajj of the Mind (performing the rites with understanding) and the Hajj of the Heart (performed in total submission to The Almighty).
What is Hajj? Hajj in the Arabic language means aim, destination or purpose (qasd). The reason is clear: Hajj is the ultimate journey of loving submission (‘ubudiyah) and conscious surrender (riq) to Allah. Its ultimate destination is your encounter with the House of Allah (Bayt al-Allah) – the Ka’bah – with both your physical body and, more importantly, your heart (qalb).
You will be journeying from your earthly house to your spiritual home – Makkah.
The haram is sacred. Feel safe when you enter it. Don’t feel unworthy to approach the Ka’bah. Anticipate meeting Allah. Thank Allah swt for giving you this opportunity to see his house.
You will best tested in Hajj, guaranteed, even if you are a VIP. No matter how much you pay and how much technology has advanced, Hajj is still going to be a test.
This annual event of faith demonstrates the concept of equality of mankind, which allows no superiority on the basis of race, gender or social status. The only preference in the eyes of God is piety as stated in the Quran: “The best amongst you in the eyes of God is most righteous.”
While performing his pilgrimage, Malcolm X wrote, “They asked me what about the Hajj had impressed me the most… I said, `The brotherhood! The people of all races, colors, from all over the world coming together as one! It has proved to me the power of the One God.’ . . . All ate as one, and slept as one. Everything about the pilgrimage atmosphere accented the oneness of man under one God.”
Allah has invited you to His House, which He has called the al-Bayt al-‘Atiq – the ancient, liberated and liberating house. Your journey is one of freedom and liberation. For as your body leaves its material house to journey to Allah’s House, your heart is meant to disengage from the lower self (nafs), the shaytan, and the world (dunya) and journey to Allah.
The ultimate reward for a Hajj mabrur (accepted Hajj) is to return home with the purity of a newborn child. What could be a greater incentive! But beware, for Hajj is a selective process. Only a few will attain a Hajj mabrur, which is a Hajj performed correctly, without any disobedience to Allah and without indulging in any argumentation. Be prepared. Be vigilant. Be focused. This will be one of the greatest – and sweetest – struggles of your life. And though you will long and dream for the rest of your life to come back, you may never return again.
Hajj is your chance to become an angel and to live with the delight of an angel.
The person who intends to perform Hajj must do so with the express niyyah of attaining Allah’s Pleasure, and to fulfill one’s fardh, and also to diligently carry out the Commands of Allah and His Rasool sallallahu alayhi wasallam. The rewards for deeds depend greatly on the niyyah that is formed. Sincerity is extremely important.
You go for Hajj because Allah commands you to do so, and your intention is to submit to the will of Allah. You travel there with full humbleness and humility to Allah.
The Hajj is an opportunity to renew your covenant with Allah, that you worship none but Him. Why did you undertake the journey to Makkah anyway if you didn’t believe in Him?
Hajj is a return to origin, root and beginning of Islam. It is also a self-presentation before Allah. In a sense, it is rehearsal of the Day of judgment when all human beings will return to Allah (SWT).
One of the earliest scenes of Hajj, which reminds you of what is yet to come, is the check-in lines at the airport. You wait for hours. One reason for this wait is the luggage. It’s an early reminder of the Akhira. The more load you carry the longer the wait will be. Provision is essential during the Hajj. Food as a source of nutrition is required to ensure you have the energy your body needs to fulfill, the optimal way, the obligation of Hajj. Pilgrims need their energy to engage themselves in worship not cooking or fetching water. There will be no time for distractions. However, Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa directs our attention towards a more essential provision for the journey, a provision for the soul, Taqwa. “And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best of provisions is righteousness ‘Fearing Allah’. So fear Me, O ye that are wise!” [2:197] Hajj teaches us that Muslims are brothers and are equal.
Hajj teaches us that there are no differences among people due to race, tribe, color, home country, or language.
Hajj teaches us that we belong to Allah alone and that we all need His mercy and forgiveness.
Hajj is the biggest world gathering in the world. It is a demonstration of Islam’s unity and Islam’s universality.
Muslims get acquainted with the spiritual and historical environment of the prophet Muhammad which strengthens their faith.
It is a reminder of the Grand Assembly of the Day of Judgment when people will stand equal before Allah waiting for their final destiny.
It confirms the commitment of Muslims to Allah.
Muslims on Hajj are rewarded, per Allah’s will, with forgiveness of all their sins and they return back as pure and innocent as the newborn.
What’s the purpose of any Pilgrimage? It’s to gain greater spiritual purification and presence after our lives. But most of the time we live our lives overly-concerned with our bodies, our other passions & desires and choose to be unmindful of our spiritual growth.
Allah mentioned to us the beauty of the diversity. “We made you into tribes and people of different colors, backgrounds, languages, so that you may get to know one another.” We see this in Hajj. People sit down and don’t have a common language and start talking a sign language, but they enjoy the experience, the food, and helping one another fulfill the obligation of Hajj.
Man was created from two different components, earthly and heavenly. Even though the source of the body is earth, it does not make it human until it’s mixed with its counterpart, the heavenly part, the soul. It was made clear in many ayat in the Qur’an how man was created from earth, dirt or clay. But the soul was kept a secret. Of the little we know about it, is that it is sent down with an angel after the passing of 120 days for the baby in the womb. It is for sure not coming from earth, because it’s coming from above. Consequently, the body needs nutrition of earthly ingredients to sustain its functionality. Things like a good, nutritious and balanced diet with ample amount of exercise will definitely do the job. That’s why we eat at least three meals a day. This, however, will not do any good for the soul. However you try to satisfy your spiritual starvation with earthly material, for instance, music, or sports or whatever, the soul will not feel happy. It might enjoy a momentary high with some yoga exercises but it is not the food it’s yearning for. Man is a human being by the soul not just the body. When a strong healthy human being dies, he or she is called a dead body or corpse. They are no longer counted amongst the people. But the soul will always remain the soul. Shouldn’t then extra attention be given to the nutrition of the soul? Isn’t this why we feed our souls at least five times a day? And snacks in this case are always rewarding. The source of the soul is heavenly, and that’s why you seek heavenly nutrition to feed it. Taqwa and fearing Allah is something supernatural. When people stand, for the sake of Allah, against what is natural instinct it is indeed a heavenly power that is working it out. Hajj is one source of this nutrition.
Allah does not receive anything material from us, but He receives and sees our piety. “It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah: it is your piety that reaches Him:” [22:37] Hajj is a unique opportunity to seek Allah’s (SWT) forgiveness and make a fresh start. The main thing you need is bags of Taqwaa, patience and best of manners.
Hazrat Abu Huraira(RA) reports that the Prophet (S) said: “Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of pleasing Allah and therein utters no word of evil, nor commits any evil deed, shall remain from it as free from sin as the day on which his mother gave birth to him.’
Hazrat Buraidah (RA) reports that the Prophet (S) said: “The expenses incurred during Hajj is like that incurred in Jihaad; rewarded seven hundred times.”
Hajj is learning to be patient with everything in life, including buses. It wouldn’t be Hajj if all you did was retreat on top of Mount Arafat and meditate and pray and then shave off your head and say, “Woo hoo! I’m a Hajji now!” You have to struggle. You have to earn it. You have to fight your impatience and give the people around you a million excuses so you can forgive them. You have to fight your past – all the events and all the people – and let it go. No matter what happens, keep reminding yourself that if you slip up EVEN ONCE, you could nullify your Hajj. Nothing is worth that!
One of your main goals at Hajj is to forgive. To let go. Work on it when you leave for Hajj and while you’re there. If you don’t complete this task at that time then be prepared to continue healing when you return. Think of it this way – Allah is forgiving you of all of your sins, do your best to forgive one person of one or a few sins they’ve committed. If they wronged you, let Allah take care of the matter. For now, take it upon yourself to forgive and move forward with the life Allah blessed you with.
It is important that Hajj should be kept free of ulterior and worldly motives. Joining worldly objectives with religious aims is like adding water to milk. There are three types of adulteration which are possible in the performance of Hajj:
To ruin the Hajj even before departing from home by having a desire to be called a Hajji, and using haraam or doubtful earnings for this ‘ibaadah.
To engage in improper acts while performing Hajj e.g. to commit sins during the time that one is engaged in the performance of Hajj, or to have arguments and not to make tawbah (repentance).
To complete the Hajj and then to indulge in such deeds that defile the Hajj, e.g. to neglect the fardh salaat, to indulge in sin etc.
Your Hajj will be the best investment for your life, for your endeavors, for your health, for your finances, for your marriage, for your family, and for your Afterlife.
Your Hajj will cause you to struggle with your money, with your body, and with your heart.
Your Hajj will remind you of how ungrateful you are for the little things in life – constantly available clean water, warm food, a cozy bed, privacy of your own home, changes of clothes.
Your Hajj will remind you of how ungrateful you are for the bigger things in life – money to afford an airplane ticket rather than walking, having actual shoes rather than plastic sandals which will fall apart any day, access to showers and toilets of your own rather than using public ones.
Your Hajj will teach you gratitude.
Your Hajj will cause you to forgive those you’ve never been able to have mercy for.
Your Hajj will cause your anger to dissipate towards those who have been the source of so much anxiety in your life.
Your Hajj will bring you closer to your family and all those you love.
Your Hajj will help you understand those you could never see eye to eye with, those whose reasons for their actions were always vague.
Your Hajj will help you mend the emotional wounds which have remained for so many years, so raw and deep you thought the infection had spread too far for it to simply heal itself now.
Your Hajj will be a means of salvation.
Your Hajj will renew your hope.
Your Hajj will allow tranquility to reenter your heart.
Your Hajj will allow you to shed the dead skin of your past and leave it in the dust of the Arabian deserts forever.
Your Hajj will help you in focusing on your future – and not just your future – but also the future of all those you love, alive today or yet to come.
Your Hajj will remind you of how little you have lost and how much more you have gained.
Your Hajj will help you improve on your relationships with others.
Your Hajj will form a stronger bond between you and God.
Your Hajj will be your security policy – you prayed for what you needed to pray for and now God will handle it.
Your Hajj will leave you convinced that everything will be fine from here on out, not because you went to Hajj or that you’re suddenly special now, but because God loves you more than anyone else ever could.
The 5 pillars of Islam take care of our destructive flaws:
Belief in 1 God – association with Allah
Prayer – arrogance, pride
Fasting – curbs our desires for food, intimacy, flaws of tongue
Mandatory Charity – greed
Hajj – all of the above