Significance of Hajj
The foundations to the religion of Islam are the five pillars on which it is built upon and the fifth of those pillars is Hajj. Hajj is considered to be one of the most significant deeds for all the Muslims around the world. Every able-bodied Muslim who can afford the trip of Hajj is obliged to make this divine and spiritual journey at least once in his lifetime. Allah almighty has clearly mentioned in the Holy Quran about the obligation of Hajj.
“In it are signs manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah, those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of his creatures.” (3-97).
In this Ayah, Muslims are also warned that if those who have the essential means to perform the pilgrimage still fail to carry out the duty through sheer ingratitude then Allah is neither in need of their pilgrimage nor of the people.
There is much enlightenment behind performing Hajj and one of those is that Almighty Allah prepares his men to have the perfect form of obedience to Him. The significance of many acts of Hajj cannot be comprehended by the limited thinking of ordinary man. However, a Muslim is obliged to accept these acts and to fulfill them out of His obedience to Allah.
The significance of Hajj can be valued by the fact that the Hajj works as an expiation of a man’s sins and erases the past sins of the pilgrim if is performed whole heartedly without deliberate violation of the rituals that make up the entire ibadah of Hajj. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“I heard the Prophet (PBUH) say: ‘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.’” (Bukhaari: 1449, Muslim: 1350)
Hajj is considered as a Jihad of the weak and women and its retribution is nothing but paradise. Allah Almighty forgives the pilgrim and those too for whom he prays. Moreover it removes the poverty just as the blacksmith’s furnace separates dross from iron. As narrated by Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood :
“The Messenger of Allah (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.’” (Tirmidhi: 810, Nasa’i: 2631)
One of the most inspiring consequences of Hajj is that the one who leaves his home for Hajj and dies in the way will keep gaining the reward of every year’s Hajj till the doomsday. He will not be made to account for his doings on the Judgement Day and will be entered into heavens without reckoning.
The gathering of Muslims all around the world reminds us that we are all Muslims and that we are all brothers and sisters in Islam. It teaches us that the Muslims are not joined together on the basis of color or race but on the root of belief in Allah (SWT) and his Apostle (PBUH). The pilgrimage brings Muslims of all countries, colors, and races to one place and helps in strengthening the true spirit of unity, equality and brotherhood. These are the values on which Islam builds the human society and it will continue this way till the Day of Resurrection.