Lessons Drawn from the Obligation of Hajj – I

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The days of Hajj passed, its rituals are over and most of the pilgrims returned home, carrying the memories of their journey to the House of Allah The Almighty. However, if the rituals of Hajj are over, its benefits and objectives are not and will never come to an end.

A Christian missionary once said:
Islam will remain the strong rock that will destroy the ships of Christian missionary activities as long as it has such strong pillars: the Quran, Friday gathering and the conference of Hajj.

If this is how the enemies of the Muslims understand the objectives of Hajj and the great role that it can play in the nation of Islam, then how do Muslims themselves find Hajj? What are the benefits that one can have during the anniversary of Hajj? What are the lessons that the Ummah can draw from Hajj? Is Hajj composed of just rituals that are to be fulfilled, rites, supplications and invocations that are to be performed, or is it something greater than that?

Allah The Almighty, Whose wisdom is great and sublime, can never Prescribe nor Impose something unless it has numerous benefits and wisdom that no one’s knowledge can comprehend except Him, The Exalted, regardless of who comprehends or does not comprehend this.

The nation of Islam in its times of difficulty and weakness needs or rather, it is in dire need of it to thoughtfully contemplate, learn and analyze every objective of the rituals of Islam, and Hajj is one of them. In this way, it will draw lessons, renew determination, and correct the direction and intention so that it may adhere firmly to this religion and strive hard for its superiority, fighting whoever averts from its way and stands against it.

The obligation of Hajj is great in its rituals, sublime in its characteristics, noble in its fruits, magnificent in its benefits and wonderful in its effects. It has uncountable benefits and interests. Rather, Hajj includes the noblest objectives, the greatest wisdom and extraordinary benefits. Allah The Almighty Has Pointed out such benefits and objectives in simple words, Saying (what means): {And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass. That they may witness benefits for themselves.} [Quran 22:27-28] Ibn ‘Abbaas said, “The benefits of the worldly life and the Hereafter.”

Raising the banner of Tawheed (Islamic monotheism) high:
One of the greatest and foremost objectives of Hajj is raising the banner of Tawheed high and reviving its characteristics that have perished. This is the most important and clear objective of the journey of Hajj. It accompanies it from the very beginning through dedicating one’s intention to Allah The Almighty, Alone, and raising the voice with Talbiyah to the very end with the last time of throwing the pebbles during the last Days of At-Tashreeq, which is the last of the rituals of Hajj that the pilgrim does before performing Tawaaf Al-Wadaa‘, leaving Makkah to go home.

The people of the pre-Islamic era and Quraysh used to say Talbiyah and associate partners with Allah The Almighty in Talbiyah, saying:
Labbayka Allahumma labbayk. Labbayka la shareeka laka Illa Shareek Huwa Lak, Tamlikuhu wama Malak (I respond to Your call, I respond to Your call, You Have no partner except the partner that You Have, You Own Him and whatever he owns).

However, when the Prophet came, he taught his Ummah pure Tawheed through the great beautiful Talbiyah:

Labbayka Allahumma labbayk, Labbayka la shareeka laka labbayk, Innal hamda wan-ni‘amata laka wal mulk, la shareeka lak (I respond to Your call, O Allah here I come, In response to Your call, You Have no partner, I respond to Your call. All the praises and blessings are for You, All the sovereignty is for You, And You Have no partners with You).

This Talbiyah indicates sincere devotion and repentance, Tawheed without associating partners and sincerity that is free of showing off. Actually, every act that does not have sincerity lacks blessings and will not be accepted. The Prophet said that Allah The Almighty Says:

He who does something for someone else’s sake as well as Mine will have that action renounced by Me to him whom he associated with Me and I Will Disassociate Myself from him.

Therefore, the first lesson that the pilgrim and the Ummah as a whole should learn perfectly from the lessons of Hajj is that of Tawheed and repenting to Allah The Almighty again at a time when people have started to worship many different gods and deities and sound faith has disappeared in the hearts of its people exactly as the embroideries of a garment do. People have given up worshiping Allah The Almighty to worship others than Him such as supplicating the dead, believing in the Awliyaa’, ascribing worship, presents and vows to the graves, seeking a child for a barren woman from them, seeking a husband for a young woman that stayed a long time in the house of her father unmarried, seeking a cure for the ill or the return of the absent.

Still there is another category of people who worship others than Allah The Almighty, seek support, help and provision from them, making them their refuge and safety, believing that they are more powerful than Allah The Almighty. When any harm afflicts them, their hearts call upon and turn to their deities other than Allah The Almighty, unlike what the polytheists used to do. Allah The Almighty Says (what means):

– {And when adversity touches man, he calls upon his Lord, turning to Him [alone].} [Quran 39:8]

– {And when waves come over them like canopies, they supplicate Allah, sincere to Him in religion. But when He Delivers them to the land, there are [some] of them who are moderate [in faith].} [Quran 31:32]

As for people nowadays, if adversity touches them, they turn to the gods of the earth. They depend upon them; call upon them; supplicate them; seek help and support from them; and present sacrifices for them, even if the sacrifice is to slaughter Tawheed and sound faith.

Not to mention worshipping desires, property, wives, children and the like. Hajj comes to change all such things. It comes to destroy the throne of Shirk and establish the tower of Tawheed on its ruins: Labbayka Allahumma labbayk, Labbayka la shareeka laka labbayk, Innal hamda wan-ni‘amata laka wal mulk, la shareeka lak. You the Almighty Are The True God and True Deity. There is no Lord except You. There is no god other than You. Here I come in response to Your call, truly in devotion and slavery.

Adhering firmly to the footsteps of the Prophet :
Amongst the lessons of Hajj is that the Ummah has to learn, remember and comprehend – rather, it has to have firm conviction – that there is no sublimity, success, prosperity nor guidance except through adhering to and following the way of the Prophet . To adhere firmly to the footsteps of the Prophet means that one should adhere to his guidance regarding belief, actions, conduct, manners, rulings and accepting his judgments.

Hajj is a wonderful lesson in this regard. It is practical practice that the pilgrim will do and the whole Ummah will witness. It has specific rituals and magnificent order that all pilgrims do at the same time and place. The Prophet has explained this issue while saying when performing every ritual of Hajj: “Learn from me your rituals (of Hajj and ‘Umrah).”

Therefore, Ibn ‘Abbaas said, “Perform Hajj in the same way the Prophet did and never say this is a Sunnah and this is obligatory.”

This matter is not confined to Hajj only, but rather it is to be done in all the different walks of life. Everyone has to obey the Prophet and follow his guidance, otherwise, doom and abyss will be his fate. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission.} [Quran 4:65]

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