Importance and Virtues of Pilgrimage
Hajj (Hadj), or Pilgrimage to Mecca, is obligatory for Muslims. All the obligations from The Creator are virtuous for the believers in many ways. No order from Allah Almighty that is abided by Muslims goes unrewarded, the rewards of both worlds. One can understand the importance of Hajj (Pilgrimage) and Umrah in Islam by acknowledging that the Pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam. We are about to discuss the Hajj (Pilgrimage), Umrah, and its virtues with the help of Hadith.
Pilgrimage to Mecca is an obligatory duty
فِيهِ ءَايَٰتٌۢ بَيِّنَٰتٌ مَّقَامُ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ ۖ وَمَن دَخَلَهُۥ كَانَ ءَامِنًا ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ حِجُّ ٱلْبَيْتِ مَنِ ٱسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَنِىٌّ عَنِ ٱلْعَٰلَمِينَ
In it are clear signs [such as] the standing place of Abraham. And whoever enters it [i.e., the Haram] shall be safe. And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever can find a way. But whoever disbelieves [i.e., refuses] – then indeed, Allah is free from the world’s need.
[Al ‘Imraan 3:97]
Many Hadith on Hajj (Hadj) also explain the importance of Hajj. The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“If anyone possesses sufficient provision and transportation to take him to Allah’s House (Kaaba), but still he does not perform Hajj (in his lifetime), it does not matter whether he dies as a Jew or Christian.” (Tirmidhi)
The meaning of being a Muslim is to have a strong urge to seek the nearness of Allah; for this reason, a Muslim follows the directions and orders of Allah Almighty and pays heed to the liking or disliking of his Lord before doing anything. Hajj is an expedition on which Allah Almighty accompanies the pilgrim, i.e., the ultimate ecstasy for a Muslim.
Abu Hurayrah said that The Prophet (PBUH) gave a sermon and said:
“O people, Allah has enjoined Hajj upon you so do Hajj.” (Muslim, 1337)
This same Hadith states that it is obligatory to perform Hajj at least once in a lifetime.
Abu Hurayrah (RA) said, The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) gave a sermon and said:
“O people, Allah has enjoined Hajj upon you, so do Hajj.” A man said, Is it every year, O Messenger of Allah? He remained silent until the man had said it three times; then, he said, “If I say yes, it will become obligatory, and you will not be able to do it.” Then he said, “Do not push me to tell you more than what I had left you with, for those who came before you were destroyed because they asked too many questions and argued with their Prophets. If I command you to do a thing, do as much of it as you can, and if I forbid you to do something, then avoid it.” (Muslim, 1337)
Hajj is a pillar of Islam.
Ibn’ Umar (RA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said
“Islam is built upon five (pillars): testifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing regular prayer, paying Zakat, Hajj (Pilgrimage) and fasting Ramadan.”
(Bukhaari, 8; Muslim, 16)
Do not delay the Hajj.
It is said that do not delay Pilgrimage if you can afford it.
Wordly needs and tasks are never-ending. When a person does not have funds, he strives for them. When he succeeds in accumulating funds, the family and business tasks surround him. It is a never-ending thirst, so a Muslim should never delay Hajj when he can afford it.
Ibn Abbas (RA) said that The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Whoever wants to go for Hajj, let him hasten to do it because he may fall ill or some other problems may arise.”
(Abu Dawood, 1732)
Hajj is one of the best deeds.
Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported that someone asked the Prophet (PBUH) which deed was best.
He said, “Belief in Allah and His Messenger.” He was asked, then what? He said, “Jihaad for the sake of Allah.” He was asked, then what? He said, “An accepted Hajj.”
(Bukhaari, 26; Muslim, 83)
Pilgrimage wipes away the sins.
Abu Huraira (RA) narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Whoever does Hajj for the sake of Allah and does not have sexual relations (with his wife), commit sin, or dispute unjustly during the Hajj, will come back like the day his mother gave birth to him.”
(Bukhari, 1449; Muslim, 1350)
Amr ibn al-Aas (RA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
“Hajj wipes out whatever (sins) came before it.” (Muslim, 121)
Hajj as a Jihad.
It is Narrated by Aisha (RA):
“I said, O Messenger of Allah, can we not go out on campaigns and fight in Jihad with you? He said, “But the best and most beautiful of Jihad is Hajj, an accepted pilgrimage.” Aisha (RA) said: I never stopped going for Hajj after I heard that from the Messenger of Allah (PBUH).”
The reward of Pilgrimage (Hajj)
Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Umrah is expiation for the time between it and the previous Umrah, and an accepted hajj has no less a reward than Paradise.”
(Bukhari, 1683; Muslim, 1349)
The Pilgrim is a Guest of Allah (SWT)
Ibn Umar reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“The one who fights for the sake of Allah and the pilgrim who goes for Hajj or Umrah are all guests of Allah. He called them, and they responded; they ask of Him, and He will give them.”
(Ibn Maajah, 2893)
Pilgrimage eliminates Sins and Poverty.
Abdullah ibn Masood (RA) said that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Keep on doing Hajj and Umrah, for they eliminate poverty and sin just as the bellows eliminate impurities from iron and gold and silver.”
(al-Tirmidhi, 810; al-Nasaa’i, 2631)
It is an obligation with countless virtues and blessings showering upon the person who executes it.
May all of us perform Hajj, Ameen!