Allah SWT says in Sura Al-Hajj, ayat 26:
And mention O Muhammed, when we designated for Abraham the site of the house, saying “Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who stand in prayer and those who bow and prostrate.”
Dear brothers and sisters, this ayat and the ones that follow it outline the Hajj pilgrimage as ordained by Allah SWT for every able adult, male or female.
However, as with everything in our religion, it is with intentions and with meanings. Nothing is by chance nor is it for superficial reasons.
So, the pilgrimage of Hajj is required by us Muslims but what does it mean to perform Hajj. As Muslims, not only do we need to perform the pilgrimage but we also need to understand its purpose.
Firstly, to express the experience in words is an impossible task. It’s not something that can be truly explained unless you are there in person.
Alternatively, most people are accustomed with the rewards associated with the Hajj and that is outlined in the following Haidth in which the Prophet SAWS said:
Whoever goes to Hajj and does not engage in any acts to invalidate the Hajj (i.e. sexual acts, bad words, argumentation with people, etc) then this individual comes back home just like the day he was born”.
Dear brothers and sisters, if we think about that for a moment. To return with a slate that is clean, a clear page and past sins and faults cancelled is something we all need and want.
However, there is often a skewed perception of what this reward means. Often this is interpreted as:
“I want to enjoy my life now, and then when I go Hajj in later life and come back, I will have that transformation and clean slate and will come back and not do the bad things in dunya”
However, does anyone have a contract with Allah SWT to give us life until the next Hajj? Does anyone have a guarantee that they are going to live until they fulfil the obligation of Hajj?
We need to ensure that we aim to fulfil this part of our faith as soon as we are capable of doing so and not leave it to a date that may never arrive.
So what are the experiences of performing Hajj? What does it bring to the individual that is embarking upon this amazing journey?
This khutba concludes with just a few points to ponder on its magnificence:
- You see the glory and greatness of Allah SWT
How is that? Well, you see all of these people coming from all over the world. People come from all over and you even lose a sense of direction and place when around such diverse people and cultures. It truly is a magnificent site.
- You see no status amongst the people other than them being servants of Allah SWT
Specifically when you put on your ihram and start performing hajj, no one will recognize you if you are a labourer, engineer or director of a global corporation. People will not call you by your title or your world life. You are just one servant amongst millions all there for the same reason.
- You see the unity of the Muslim ummah.
In our communities we have differences of opinion and disagreements even though the cause is the same. When it comes to Hajj, regardless of the issues we have with each other, when it comes to making tawaf around the kabah for example, nobody is walking against the flow. We all look the same, perform the same rituals, make the same call, the same number of tawaf etc. This is unity in action.
- This is a reminder for the Day of Judgement when you are all standing in front of Allah SWT carrying nothing.
Dear brothers and sisters, in many ways this is the most poignant part of the experience. When performing Hajj you carry nothing with you. And that is how you will be in front of your Lord so what better reminder of your final destination than performing Hajj. It truly is a humbling experience.
Hajj is an amazing spiritual experience. It’s not about the rituals and rites and coming back again with a shaven head. Hajj is more profound and deeper than that. It penetrates your heart and your soul.
That’s why it is so difficult to put into words and that is exactly why we should plan to go, whenever that may be. Hajj will test your patience to limits you may not have seen before but ask those who have gone with the provisions of righteousness and piety and you will discover that is an experience that is loved and craved for once completed.