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THE TREMENDOUS REWARDS OF HAJJ (PART 2 OF 2)

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INCREASES I’MAN (FAITH):

Furthermore performance of Hajj increases our Iman (Faith). It makes us realize Allah’s justice and equal treatment of all people who believe in Him. Muslims from different parts of the world, irrespective of race and socio-economic status in life wear the same prescribed simple clothing, utter the same supplications and perform the same religious rituals during Hajj for the same purpose of pleasing the Creator. Muslims who go to Hajj experience the largest congregation of different nations, which no other peoples from other religions have ever experienced. When we see people from different countries doing all the rituals of Hajj for Allah’s pleasure, we witness the universality of Islam. Indeed, Islam is for all mankind and that Allah Alone is the God of all mankind.

When we join the world’s largest annual congregation, which is Hajj, we actually improve our socio-cultural perspectives. Hajj gives opportunity for us to travel and meet our fellow Muslims from various countries to know and help one another. This shows the universal brotherhood of all Muslims; and hence the universality of Islam. Islam teaches us to promote brotherhood and righteousness among ourselves:

“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (not that you may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).”
(Qur’an 49: 13)

“It is not righteousness that you turn your faces toward East or West; but it is righteousness to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which you have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing.”
(Qur’an 2:177)

“…Help one another in righteousness and piety but help not one another in sin and rancor. Fear Allah or Allah is strict in punishment.”
(Qur’an 5:2)

PHYSICAL FITNESS:

In addition, Hajj trains us to be physically strong – a treat that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) strongly encourages when he said that “a strong Muslim is better than a weak Muslim.” The seven times circumambulation around the Ka’bah, the walking and running (back and forth) from Safa to Marwa, the travel from Makkah Haram mosque to Mina, Arafat, Musdalifah, the throwing of stones, and of course the daily prayers, all these give us opportunities to be physically strong. We have to be strong, to prepare ourselves to carryout the task of fighting Satan and his allies and those who follow their footsteps. Allah reminds us that Satan is (dreadful) evil (4:38). He makes it clear that Satan is our enemy, an enemy avowed (57:60) who deceives (8:48) and suggests vanity (22:52-53). Satan descends on every lying, wicked person (26:221-222). He commands us to do what is evil and shameful (2:168-169). He only invites his adherents, that they may become companions of the Blazing Fire. Therefore, we have to treat him as our enemy (35: 6).

We have to be strong so that we can worship Allah to the best of our abilities in the best manner so we earn His tremendous Rewards. We have to be strong in enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong so that we will be among those who in the sight of Allah are the best among mankind:

“You (Muslims) are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind. You enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and believe in Allah…”
(Qur’an, 3:110)

MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS:

Coupled with physical strength is for us to be mentally alert and spiritually conscious because as Muslims we are obliged to dedicate everything to Allah. For every thing that we do we have to have the pure intention of dedicating it to Allah the Almighty:

“And they have been commanded no more than this: to worship Allâh, offering Him sincere devotion, being True (in Faith); establish regular prayer; and to give Zakat. And that is the Religion Right and Straight.”
(Qur’an, 98:5)

“Say: ‘ Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death are (all) for Allâh, the Rabb (Only Cherisher and Sustainer) of the Worlds.’”
(Qur’an, 6:162)

‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab (RadiyAllahu Anhu) said: I heard Allâh’s Messenger (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) saying:

“The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended….”
[Bukhâri, 1/1 and Muslim 3/ 4692]

For our Hajj to be accepted we must first and foremost purify our intention to do it for the pleasure of Allah. This we should do sincerely so that we will be among those who will return to our respective homes, Insha Allah, free from all sins as if we are newly born:

Abu Hurairah (RadiyAllahu Anhu) narrated that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:

“Whoever performs Hajj for Allah’s pleasure and does not have sexual relations with his wife, and does not do evil or sins then he will return (after Hajj free from all sins) as if he were born anew.”
[Bukhari Vol. 2, Hadith 596 and Vol 3, Hadith 345]

PATIENCE:

Another positive attribute that we develop in the performance of Hajj is patience. We develop patience not only in the performance of the various Hajj rituals but also in remembering how Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) and his family sacrificed in building the Ka’bah, the first Holy House of Allah. How many women among us are patient enough to follow Hajar (the Prophet Ibrahim’s (A.S.) wife) and allow our husbands to leave us alone with our baby in a barren land, with no food, no water and no people around? How much patience and endurance can we afford for the sake of pleasing our Rabb? Just how many of us could pass the test that Prophet Ibrahim (Alayhis Salaam) had when Allah the Almighty commanded him to sacrifice his own son? In the case of his son, Prophet Ismael (A.s.), can anyone among us follow his courage and submission to be sacrificed in order to build the Ka’bah?

Indeed, Allah will test us Muslims, either by our children or by our wealth. We should know that as believers, Allah will try our Iman (faith). Allah may test us as to which of us is best in deed (67:2). The closer we are to Him, the more He will try us, just as He did to all His prophets and messengers. For those who are not living in a comfortable life let the life of the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) be a lesson for us. The following is just one of the many narrations how he lived in a destitute life but shows how patient he was:

Ibn Abbas (r.a.) narrated that according to ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (r.a.)… “Underneath his (Prophet’s) head there was a leather pillow stuffed with palm fibers, and leaves of a saut tree were piled at his feet, and above his head hung a few water skins. On seeing the marks of the mat imprinted on his side, I wept. He said, ‘Why are you weeping?’ I replied, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Caesar and Khosrau are leading the life (i.e. luxurious life) while you, Allah’s Messenger though you are, is living in destitute.’

The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) then replied, ‘Won’t you be satisfied that they enjoy this world and we the Hereafter?’”
[Bukhari 6/435]

In our Hajj journey and in the performance of all the prescribed Hajj rituals, we may feel very uncomfortable for any reason. But let not any temporary difficulties in life hinder our devotion to Allah, especially during the Day of ‘Arafât on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah when we ought to make more supplications to Allah for His forgiveness, blessings and mercy. We should be patient because Allah commands us to patiently persevere (2:153). We should remember that Allah shall test us:

“Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil) but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.”
(2:155)

Abu Hurairah (r.a.) narrated that the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:

“A Muslim male or female, remains subject to trials (in this world); in respect of self, children and property till he or she faces Allah the Exalted (on the Day of Judgment) in a state in which all his or her sins have been remitted.”
[Tirmidhi 49]

Do Da’wah according to the Qur’an and the Sunnah

Finally, but not the least, Hajj reminds us of the final great assembly on the Day of Judgment when we will be resurrected from death wherein our wealth, our parents, children, relatives and friends can be of no help to us if we do not observe righteousness. The thing that can best help us is our right conduct. Righteousness is the requirement for Hajj mabrur as Allah, to reiterate, tells us that “the best of provisions is right conduct” (Qur’an 2:197). By performing Hajj mabrur, insha Allah, we will be able to manage our wealth in the halal (lawful way) and spend charity out of it for the pleasure of our Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer). We will be able to enjoin righteousness to our children who will continuously pray to Allah for our forgiveness and eternal success. We can ask Allah to bestow us authentic knowledge of Islam and be able to do Da’wah (or invite people to Islam) according to the Qur’an and the Sunnah. We must remember that doing Da’wah is the very Sunnah of the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). In this way we can impart Islamic knowledge to our relatives, friends, neighbors and the society and thus be among those who receive Allah’s enormous rewards:

“And he who brings the Truth and he who confirms (and supports) it — such are the men who do right. They shall have all that they wish for, with their Rabb (Only Cherisher and Sustainer). Such is the reward of those who do good: so that Allah will remit from them (even) the worst in their deeds and give them their reward according to the best of what they have done.”
(Qur’an 39:33-35)

ADMONITION TO PERFORM HAJJ:

For those of us who have not been to Hajj to fulfill the fifth pillar of Islam, time has come to think of the enormous and eternal blessings that Allah gives to those who perform it with right conduct. Do not delay performing Hajj when you have enough money to cover the expenses of the round trip journey to Makkah. Do not delay while you are still young and strong enough to perform the Hajj rituals. Do not wait until you become poor and too old or weak to perform the blessed rituals. Hasten to complete your Islam by the performance of Hajj for death may just come to cut your plans and hopes in life. Indeed, death is certain but as to when it will strike us, we never know; so the best thing is to prepare for it. For your salvation, take admonition from the following authentic hâdîth:

Abu Umamah (r.a.) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said:

“He who is not prevented from performing the pilgrimage by an obvious necessity, a tyrannical ruler, or a disease which confines him at home, and dies without having performed the pilgrimage, may die if he wishes as a Jew, or if he wishes as a Christian.”
[Tirmidhi, Hadith 2535 and Darimi]

CONCLUSION:

Performance of Hajj, therefore, is not only a duty that gives us enormous benefits in this worldly life but also a must for our salvation to attain supreme success in the eternal world hereafter. With this fifth pillar of Islam, Allah the Most Merciful has perfected His favor to us when He revealed the following:

“…This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.”
(Qur’an 5:3)

Allah the Exalted revealed the above very inspiring Ayah (verse) to His Messenger (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) during his pilgrimage. It was on the Day of Arafat. Verily, Islam is Allah’s chosen religion. He perfected it for the guidance of all humanity. Any sensible person who believes in the rationality of the Oneness of God and the merits of righteousness, will find Islam as the sole answer to his quest for salvation and eternal happiness or supreme success in the life Hereafter. Glory be to Allah the Almighty for making Hajj a pillar of Islam that brings tremendous rewards to those who perform it sincerely with devotion and right conduct, following the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam).

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