SPECIAL EDITION ON HAJJ: PILGRIMAGE: A GENERAL DEFINATION, ITS EXCELLENCE AND PREREQUISITES

Friday, August 12, 2016

Which means, “Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was Bakkah (Mecca), 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 Mecca) 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 whosoever disbelieves (i.e. denies Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), then he is a disbeliever of Allah, then Allah stands not in need of any of the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns).” (Al-Imran, 3: 96-97)

DEFINITION OF HAJJ

The majority of the scholars hold that Hajj was prescribed in the sixth year after Hijrah for it was then that the following verse concerning it was revealed. “And perform properly (i.e. all the ceremonies according to the ways of Prophet Muhammad), the Hajj and Umrah (i.e. the pilgrimage to Mecca) for Allah.” (Al-Baqarah, 2:196). The conclusion is based on the understanding that the “completion” in the above verse in facts refers to the time when it was first made obligatory. This view is also supported by ‘Alqamah, Masuq, and Ibrahim An-Nakh’y, who substitute “And establish” for “And completion” in the above verse, as reported by At-Tabarany on sound authority. Ibnul-Qayyim however, is inclined to the view that Hajj was made obligatory in the ninth or the tenth year of Hijrah.

EXCELLENCE OF HAJJ

The Divine Law Giver exhorted Muslims to perform Hajj. In this regard we may refer to the following:

Hajj-One Of the Best Deeds

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was once asked: “What is the best deed?” He replied: “To have faith in Allah and His Messenger.” The enquirer asked: “What next?” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “To strive in the cause of Allah.” “What is the next best thing?” He replied: “Hajj Mabrur (a faultless Hajj that is free of sin and is graced with Divine acceptance and pleasure).” Al-Hassan said: “It means that a person after performance of Hajj should desire and be inclined to the life of the Hereafter rather than the material pleasures of this world.”  Another report transmitted on sound authority from the Prophet (peace be upon him) says that a righteous performance of Hajj is crowned by feeding the needy and speaking kind words to men.

HAJJ: A FORM OF JIHAD

Al-Hasan bin 'Aly says that a man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: "I am a coward and a weak person, Is there anything I can do?" The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "You may go for a Jihad (striving) that involves no fighting that is, Hajj." This is reported by Abdur-Razzag and At-Tabarany, and all its narrators are trustworthy.

Abu Harairah narrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Hajj is the jihad for the old, the weak and the women."

Aishah reports that she once said: "O Prophet of Allah! Jihad (striving or fighting in the cause of Allah) is the best deed. Should we (women) then, not actively participate in it?" The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied; "The best jihad for you is Hajj Mabrur."

In another report Aishah says: "I once asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) 'O Prophet of Allah! should not we (women) strive and actively participate in the Islamic war with you?' The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: the best and the most beautiful striving for you in the cause of Allah is Hajj Mabrur. Aishah commended: "After hearing this from the Prophet (peace be upon him) I shall never cease performing Hajj."

Hajj Wipes Off Past Sins

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “He who performs Hajj Allah’s pleasure and avoids all lewdness and sins will return after Hajj free from all sins as was the day his mother gave birth to him .”

`Amr bin Al-`Âs says: “When Allah guided me to Islam, I went to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said to him: `O Prophet of Allah! Stretch out your hand so that I may pledge my allegiance to you. ‘The Prophet (peace be upon him) stretch out his hand to me, but I withdrew my hand. The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked: `O ‘Amr! What is the matter with you?’ I said: ‘I would like to stipulate a condition!’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked: What is it? I said: that all my past sins be forgiven!’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: O Amr! Do you not know that Islam wipes off all past sins, and hijrah (leaving one’s home and hearth for Allah’s cause) wipes off all sins, and (similarly) Hajj wipes off all past sins!”

Abdullah bin Mas`ud narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Alternate between Hajj and Umrah (regularly), for these two remove poverty and sins just as the blacksmith’s bellows removes all impurities from metals like iron, gold and silver. The reward for Hajj Mabrur is nothing short of Paradise.”

Pilgrims are Allah’s Guests

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Pilgrims and those performing Umrah are Allah’s guests; their prayers are answered and their supplications for forgiveness are granted. This is reported by Nasa’y, Ibn Majah, Ibn Khuzaimah and Ibn Habban in their collections of Sahih hadith. In the last two we read: “And Allah’s guests are three: A pilgrim performing Hajj, one performing `Umrah, and a person who fights in the cause of Allah.”

The Reward of Hajj is Paradise

Abu Hurairah says the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “All sins committed in between the performance of one ‘Umrah, and another are expiated and erased, and the reward of Hajj Mabrur is nothing save Paradise.”8

In another sound hadith Ibn Joraij relates from Jabir that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “This House of Allah (the Ka’bah) is the pillar if Islam, so whosoever heads to it with the intention of performing Hajj or Umrah is under Allah’s security. If he should die (during his trip) he is granted Paradise, and if he returns home safely, he returns with returns with reward and gain.”

The Excellence of Spending in Hajj

Buraidah reports the Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying: “Spending during Hajj is akin to spending in the cause of Allah, and every dirham thus spent will be rewarded seven hundred times over”

To be continued