The Obligation of Hajj and Umrah
Allah has made Hajj (pilgrimage) to His Sacred House obligatory on His slaves as a prompt obligation on whoever can affords it and it is preferable to perform it often. It is the basic articles of Faith in Islam. Allah says:
“And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) 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 whoever disbelieves [i.e. denies Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah), then he is a disbeliever of Allah], then Allah stands not in need of any of the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns).” (Al-‘Imran 3:97)
The foundation of Islam based on five basic pillars, one of which is to perform Hajj to the Sacred House of Allah and it is confirmed by an authentic Hadith of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) which reported on the authority of Umar in the hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim.
If a person is able and can afford to perform Hajj and does not do so, has certainly deprived himself of something good. He is depriving himself of benefits that one cannot imagine and will regret on the Day of Resurrection. Allah says in a Qudsi Hadith:
“Any of My slaves who is healthy and are by the means and for five years did not visit My House, he is Mahroum (deprived)” (Ibn Hidban and Musnad Abu Yala’ 3703, 1031)
One must expedite the performance of the Hajj when it is due and has not performed yet. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Expedite the performance of the Hajj, for no one knows what may obstruct him.” (Ibn Majah 2883)
Hajj is performed only once in a year during the specific days. If one delays it until the next year despite his ability to perform Hajj, he may no longer be able to perform it the next year.
Regarding the obligation of Hajj & Umrah, this is the statement of the prophet (peace be upon him) which reported in sahih Muslim:
“O people! Allah has made the Hajj binding on you to perform. So, you should perform it.” (Muslim)
Both Hajj and Umrah are duties to be performed once in life span, as it is mentioned in hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“The performance of Hajj and Umrah once (in life) is obligatory and if one performs it more than once, then it is a voluntary act.”
When a Muslim intents to perform Hajj and Umrah and sets out for the journey, he must admonish his household and friends, to be afraid of Allah. He should exhort them to abide by the Divine Commands of Allah and to avoid all sorts of forbidden acts. He must put into writing all the money which he either owes or which he is owed and at least take two pious persons to witness it. Most important is that one must repent sincerely for his past sins, particularly the Major sins that he committed, as Almighty Allah enjoined by this verse:
“And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.” (An-Nur 24:31)
A pilgrim should avoid to perform Hajj and Umrah from the unlawful earnings. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Allah is pure and He accepts only what is pure.”
At last a pilgrim should struggle to obtain the Divine Pleasure of Almighty Allah, His Bliss and the Success in the Hereafter through his Hajj and Umrah. He should strive hard, not to have any worldly interest and concerns in Hajj. Moreover, one should not have the motives of hypocrisy, seeking fame and pride, because these are the bad and despised manner and evil traits in Islam. They waste one’s deeds and result in the rejection of one’s Hajj, Umrah and good deeds.
Finally we ask Almighty Allah to enable us to perform Hajj and Umrah from our lawful earnings and to receive the Good Pleasure, Bliss and Success in the Hereafter through our Hajj and Umrah. Ameen.
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