The Merits of Hajj

The Merits of Hajj
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Among the blessings of Allah The Almighty upon His slaves is that He ordained for them acts of worship that can reform their souls, like Salah (prayer), Zakah (obligatory alms), fasting, Hajj (major pilgrimage) and other such deeds which nurture and purify individuals in all aspects. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {…Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful.} [Quran 5:6] All these acts of worship are amongst the best deeds, and Allah The Almighty honors His slaves by giving them opportunities to do those acts of worship. Allah The Almighty also elevates the pious amongst His slaves when they perform those good deeds. Acts of worship illuminate hearts, refine souls, reform one’s manners and please Allah The Almighty. They also elevate one’s rank in Paradise, expiate the sins and multiply one’s reward.

Hajj is one such act of worship. It is a pillar of Islam in which Allah The Almighty has combined all types of ‘Ibaadah (worship). Hajj comprises the testimony that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah The Almighty and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is His Messenger, as well as prayer, spending in the way of Allah The Almighty, fasting (for those who cannot afford to pay for the sacrificial animal), enjoining good and forbidding evil, patience, perseverance, mercy and abstention from forbidden things.

Hajj is one of the greatest signs of Allah The Almighty that what Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) has come with is certainly the religion of truth. No human power can gather pilgrims every year from all parts of the world; pilgrims with hearts full of yearning and love, who experience difficulties yet rejoice even when it means leaving their homes and families. They feel that the hours of performing Hajj are the greatest of one’s life and they spend generously for this purpose. Indeed, it is only Allah The Almighty who can bring about such a situation. He Says (what means): {And proclaim to the people the Hajj (pilgrimage); they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass – That they may witness (i.e., attend) benefits for themselves and mention the Name of Allah on known (i.e., specific) days over what He has provided for them of (sacrificial) animals. So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor.} [Quran 22:27-28]

The interpreter Ibn Jareer and others reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him said,

When Allah The Almighty commanded Prophet Ibraaheem  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention to proclaim Hajj among people, he said, ‘My Lord, how can I convey the message to the people as my voice cannot reach them?’ Allah The Almighty Said: ‘You call; it is Our duty to make it reach (everyone)!’ So, he stood in his position and said, ‘O you people! Your Lord has chosen a House, so perform pilgrimage to it.’ It was said that the mountains became leveled and his voice reached all parts of the earth and all that was in the wombs and loins of men were made to hear the call and everything that heard it, responded. So those for whom Allah The Almighty has decreed to perform Hajj till the Day of Judgment responded, saying, ‘Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk (Here I am at your service, O Allah, here I am).’”

Moreover, it is from the favor of Allah The Almighty upon us that He sent the best of His creation to us in order to explain to us sayings, deeds and beliefs that can make us win the pleasure of our Lord, and to warn us against all that can make Him displeased with us. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Just as We have sent among you a messenger from yourselves reciting to you Our verses and purifying you and teaching you the Book and wisdom and teaching you that which you did not know. So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.} [Quran, 2:151-152]

Therefore, during one’s pilgrimage, one has to hold fast onto the sublime Islamic manners and etiquettes. Let your Hajj be an act of repentance from previous sins and a source of reform and piety for the rest of your life. Thank Allah The Almighty and praise Him for His bountiful blessings of peace, faith and worldly commodities; and also for the opportunities He affords you to do righteous deeds and for the disasters He has averted from befalling you.

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