Virtues of Hajj
Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam. All religious obligations are important but in the Mohammadan Sharia, Hajj is magnificent and superior. This is because it is the sign of oneness and universality among Muslim umma. Also it is the reason of unity and equality among them. Salat , recitation of Holy Quran, hunger and thirst like fasting, abstaining from the desires of innerself, sacrifice of money by giving alms, tolerance, patience, forgiveness hence Hajj includes all these worships.
Meaning of Hajj:
Literal meaning of Hajj is “to visit” or “to intend to do something”. According to sharia, it denotes a particular form of worship which is performed in the holy city of Makkah at the sacred places of Mina, plain of Arafat, Muzdalifah and holy Kaaba from 6th to 13th of Zilhaj.
Hajj became obligatory in 9th Hijri and is incumbent at least once in a life time upon every Muslim adult who is physically, financially and circumstantially capable of undertaking the sacred journey to holy Kaaba. One who denies Hajj is expunged from Islam. One who delays in performing Hajj or renounces it without a legitimate excuse is a sinner, reprobate and impious, it is commanded not to accept his testimony.
Allah says in the Quran:
Sura Al- Imran
- وَ مَنۡ دَخَلَہٗ کَانَ اٰمِنًا ؕ وَ لِلّٰہِ عَلَی النَّاسِ حِجُّ الۡبَیۡتِ مَنِ اسۡتَطَاعَ اِلَیۡہِ سَبِیۡلًا ؕ وَ مَنۡ کَفَرَ فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ غَنِیٌّ عَنِ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ . ال عمران – ۹۷﴾
Meaning: And the Pilgrimage to this House is prescribed for the people for the sake of Allah whoever may afford its journey; and whoever denies (it), then indeed Allah is Self-Sufficient, Beyond Need of all the worlds. (3:94)
Sura Al Baqarah
- اَلۡحَجُّ اَشۡہُرٌ مَّعۡلُوۡمٰتٌ ۚ فَمَنۡ فَرَضَ فِیۡہِنَّ الۡحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَ لَا فُسُوۡقَ ۙ وَ لَا جِدَالَ فِی الۡحَجِّ ؕ وَ مَا تَفۡعَلُوۡا مِنۡ خَیۡرٍ یَّعۡلَمۡہُ اللّٰہُ ؕؔ وَ تَزَوَّدُوۡا فَاِنَّ خَیۡرَ الزَّادِ التَّقۡوٰی ۫ وَ اتَّقُوۡنِ یٰۤاُولِی الۡاَلۡبَابِ . البقرہ-۱۹۷﴾
Meaning: The months of Hajj are well known (Shawwal, Zilqad and the first ten days of ZilHajj). So, he who undertakes to perform Hajj during these (months) and makes it obligatory (for himself), then he must abstain from obscenity, from any (other) sin, and from disputing during the days of Hajj. And whatever good you do, Allah knows it well. And collect the provisions required for the journey (of hereafter). Surely, the best of provisions is Taqwa (the fear of Allah). So, fear Me, O men of understanding! (2-197)
Sura Al- Hajj
- وَ اَذِّنۡ فِی النَّاسِ بِالۡحَجِّ یَاۡتُوۡکَ رِجَالًا وَّ عَلٰی کُلِّ ضَامِرٍ یَّاۡتِیۡنَ مِنۡ کُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِیۡقٍ ﴿ۙ۲۷﴾
Meaning: And proclaim the Hajj (Pilgrimage) aloud amongst the people. They will approach you on foot and (mounted) on all lean camels, coming by distant tracks (22-27)
According to surah Al-Baqarah verse 197, the best of provisions to be attained (towards the Divine path) is considered as Taqwa (piety).
What is Taqwa?
Once someone asked Prophet Mohammad about Taqwa, he pointed his finger towards his chest and said “Taqwa is here”. To remain firm on the orders of Allah is true form of taqwa. But in the mystic terminology getting closer to Allah by abstaining from the creation is called taqwa.The more a person gets closer to Allah the more he becomes pious. Allah has mentioned Taqwa so many times in the Holy Quran that it seems as if all sayings in the Holy Quran are just to make people pious.
Allah says in Surah Tawbah:
- وَ اللّٰہُ یُحِبُّ الۡمُطَّہِّرِیۡنَ
Meaning: And Allah loves those who commit themselves to purity. (9-108)
Sultan Bahoo says in His book Sultan ul Waham that
- Relinquishing everything other than Allah is called Taqwa
A Hadith says:
اِنَّمَا الْاَعْمَالُ بِالنِّـیَّاتِ
Every person will get the reward according to what he has intended (Sahih Bukhari)
While doing any act the state of mind which is for Allah is called taqwa. One can be hypocrite before the creation but the inward cannot be hypocrite before Allah. That’s why the above Hadith says that every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.
Hajj is the bond between man and Allah
Apparently, Hajj is a transitory prayer but actually it is the image of a person’s whole life. It is a bond of providence of Allah and slavery of man. Hajj is the interpretation of a believer’s life as well as his death.
Hajj means visiting Allah. It is the intense form of being close to Allah. If other forms of worship are the remembrance of Allah then Hajj is the form of reaching to the court of Allah. A person feels like he is standing before Allah while standing in front of Kaaba. The circumambulation around the Kaaba reflects the truth that man is circulating around Allah like a moth.
Importance of Hajj according to Hadiths:
The Holy Prophet says about importance of Hajj:
- Whoever dies without performing Hajj whilst being capable of doing so, then Allah does not care if he dies as a Jew or as a Christian.
- Whoever performs Hajj and does not pollute his body with immoral acts and therein utters no obscene speech, shall become as pure of sins as he was at the time of his birth.
- Many sinners cannot expiate for their sins unless they stand in the plain of Arafat.
- The greatest sin of a person who is standing in the plain of Arafat is to think that he has not been forgiven for his sins.
- Narrated Abu Huraira: Someone asked Prophet Mohammad Which is the best deed? He said, To believe in Allah and His Apostle. Then he asked, Which is the next (in goodness)? He said, To participate in Jihad in Allah’s Cause. Then he was asked, Which is the next? He said, To perform Hajj-Mabrur.
- The performance of Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed (between it and the previous one). And the reward of Hajj Mabrur (the one accepted by Allah) is nothing except Paradise.”
- The Holy Prophet said, “Whoever performs Hajj and visits my tomb after my death, it is as if he visited me in my ” (Bayhaqi)
- Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar relates that the Holy Prophet said, “Whoever visits my grave, my intercession for him is guaranteed.”
Hajj of The Holy Prophet
؎ کعبے کا بھی کعبہ ہے مدینہ جس کا گھر ہے
Meaning: Madina is the house of that splendid one who is the Kaaba of Kaaba.
In 10 hijri Holy Prophet decided to perform Hajj. It was informed everywhere that the Holy Prophet was going to perform Hajj. He offered the afternoon prayer inside Madina and gave the sermon. Before the sermon, he elaborated the components of Hajj. After that he oiled and combed his hair, covered himself with a shawl and set on his journey. When he reached Dhul Hulaifah he offered shorten salat. He spent the night there. In the morning he had ablution with a special fragrant water. Hazrat Ayesha Ra brought a scent of musk. The Holy Prophet wore the perfume. After the ablution he wore a leg sheet and mounted on a camel and recited these words for the first time.
Recitation of Holy Prophet
- لَبِّیْکَ اَللّٰھُمَّ لَبَّیْک‘ لَبَّیْکَ لَاشَرِیْکَ لَکَ لَبَّیْکَ اِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَ النِّعْمَۃَ لَکَ وَالْمُلْکَ لَاشَرِیْکَ لَکَ
Meaning: “Here I am, O Lord, here I am, You indeed have no partner, here I am. No doubt, all praise and bounties are Yours, and so is the absolute domain. You indeed have no partners, here I am”
He recited these words a second time when his camel rose up. During the journey he rested at Dhi-Tuwa. After reaching Makkah, when he saw the Holy Kaaba he recited these words:
- اَللّٰھُمَّ اَنْتَ السَّلَامُ وَمِنْکَ السَّلَامُ وَاِلَیْکَ یَرْجِعُ السَّلَامُ فَحَیْنَا رَبَّنَا بِالسَّلَامُ وَادْخِلْنَا دَارَ السَّلَامِ تَبَارَکْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَیْتَ یَا ذَوالْجِلَالِ وَالْاِکْرَامِ ط اَللّٰھُمَّ زِدْ بَیْتَکَ ھٰذَا تَعْظِیْمًا وَّ تَشْرِیْفًا وَ زِدْ مِنْ تَعْظِیْمِہٖ وَ تَشْرِیْفِہٖ مِنْ حَجَّتِہٖ وَ عُمْرَتِہٖ۔
Meaning: O Lord You are the Owner of the existence. Existence is from You and shall return to You. O my Holy Lord keep us alive with peace and let us enter the paradise peacefully. O my Holy Lord You are very graceful. And very exalted. O Dignified and Noble, O my Lord! Let the magnificence, honor and awe of Your house (Kaaba) be increased and let the respect and glory of Kaaba be increased.
When he entered inside the mosque, he went straight to the Holy Kaaba. When he stood in front of the holy black stone (Hajr-e-Aswad), he paid compliments but did not raise his hands.
While starting circumambulation the Kaaba was on his left. During the circumambulation he looked at the black stone and the pillars of Kaaba and said:
- رَبَّنَا اٰتِنَّا فِی الدُّنْیَا حَسَنَۃً وَّ فِی الْاٰخِرَۃِ حَسَنَۃً وَّقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
Meaning: ‘O our Lord, grant us excellence in this world, and excellence in the hereafter (as well), and save us from the torment of hell.’
After circumambulation he went to the station of Ibrahim while reciting:
- وَ اِذۡ جَعَلۡنَا الۡبَیۡتَ مَثَابَۃً لِّلنَّاسِ وَ اَمۡنًا ؕ وَ اتَّخِذُوۡا مِنۡ مَّقَامِ اِبۡرٰہٖمَ مُصَلًّی
Meaning: And (remember) when We made this House (the Kaaba) a central place for mankind to turn to (and assemble) and a sanctuary for peace
Although the true purpose of devotions is to get the closeness and vision of Allah but since Hajj comprises of all the devotions so alongwith performing all the rites of Hajj apparently, if we fulfill all the esoteric demands of Hajj then it becomes a comprehensive source of Divine closeness and vision.
What are those esoteric demands?
Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi relates in his book Ma’ali al-Himam that once a man came to visit him. Upon asking where had he come from, the man replied that he had just returned from Hajj. Junaid Baghdadi asked him again, “Did you actually perform Hajj?” When the man responded positively, Junaid Baghdadi asked him the following questions:
- Did you pledge that you would give up sins forever when you left your home with the intention to perform Hajj?
- While you were on the sacred journey and progressing towards different stations to reach the house of Allah, did you also advance in stages of the spiritual journey towards closeness to Allah?
- When you disrobed your ordinary clothes to wear Ahram, did you abandon the attributes of selfhood as well?
- At the plain of Arafat while imploring Allah Almighty, did you witness any Divine observation?
- On reaching Muzdalifah, did you promise that you would give up sensual desires of your innerself (nafs) forever?
- When you circumambulated the house of Allah, did you experience the vision of Divine beauty with your eyes?
- On making Sa’i between Safa and Marwa, did you reach the rank of Safa and Marwa inwardly?
- While sacrificing an animal at Nahar (place of sacrificing animal in Mina), did you sacrifice your selfish desires as well in the way of Allah?
- On casting stones at the Satan, did you also cast away your evil attributes of lust and sensual desires?
The man’s reply:
The man responded negative to all these questions. Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi said to him, “You failed to fulfill the terms and conditions of Hajj. Go back and perform Hajj once again giving due attention to all the essentials, so that your Hajj may bear some resemblance with Prophet Abraham’s Hajj.”
Sultan Bahoo says:
- Pilgrims are of two types; one are people of esotericism and men of kindness, while the others are people of exotericism and men of physical sanctuary. When a Saint pilgrim enters the sanctuary of Kaaba with complete belief, Kaaba blesses him with the theophany of light of Divine closeness. When he enters the holy Kaaba and circumambulates it, he is blessed with the Divine vision. The pilgrim who is man of esotericism remains engrossed in Divine vision and never comes out of inner Kaaba. Such men of Kaaba of Divine vision are disgusted of seeking the carrion world and repent from it thousand times. However, the pilgrim who is man of exotericism always remains worried for livelihood. (Nur-ul-Huda)
The letter of Hazrat Khawaja Ghareeb Nawaz Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti Ajmeri:
- Hazrat Khawaja Ghareeb Nawaz Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti Ajmeri wrote a letter to his true disciple and confidant Hazrat Khawaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki in which he has openly enunciated the secrets of five fundamental principles of Islam which Holy Prophet advised Hazrat Umar Farooq.
Reality of Hajj
About the reality of Hajj, he relates that the Holy Prophet said to Hazrat Umar: “O’ Umar! Trust me, the inward of a man is the holy Kaaba.” The Holy Prophet said:
- The inward of a man is in fact the home of Rehman.
Rather he said:
- The inward of a Momin is the Throne of Allah.
Thus, one should perform the Hajj of the inward Kaaba. Hazrat Umar asked, “O Prophet of Allah! How should one perform the Hajj of the inward Kaaba?” The Holy Prophet replied, “The very existence of man is like an intramural. If the veils of doubt, illusion and everything other than Allah are removed from the inward, then the theophany of Divine Essence is observed in the courtyard of inward.” This is the actual purpose of performing the Hajj of Kaaba. Moreover, the aim of performing this veritable Hajj (i.e. Hajj of inward Kaaba) is that the man removes his ‘self’ from his very existence in such a way that nothing remains in his existence, his esoteric and exoteric being are purified homogeneously and his inward attains the Divine attributes.” Hazrat Umar asked, “Hazoor! How could one annihilate one’s own existence?”
The Holy Prophet replied, “By becoming an ardent lover of the Divine Beloved, i.e. Allah, the Exalted. One who becomes the lover of Allah, annihilates in Allah and the one who annihilates in Allah becomes the manifestation of the Divine Essence.”
Hazrat Umar asked
“Why is the inward considered as the House and Throne of Allah?” The Holy Prophet replied, “Allah says in the Quran:
- Meaning: I am in your ownselves, do you not then see? (51:21)
O Umar! The residing place is called a house and since Allah resides in the inward, therefore the inward is considered the house and Throne of Allah.”
Hazrat Umar then asked, “O Prophet of Allah! Who is the speaker, the listener and the viewer in this earthly body?” The Holy prophet said, “He (Allah) is the Speaker, He is the Listener and He is the Viewer.” Hazrat Umar inquired, “Then who performs the Hajj of the inward Kaaba?” The Holy Prophet responded, “The Divine Essence Himself! When man removes the veil of inciting innerself and there remains no veil between the worshipper and the Worshiped (man and his Lord) then his inward acquires the Divine attributes and the Divine Essence manifests in his inward. The manifestation of Divine Essence in the inward of man is the Hajj of inward Kaaba, the real Hajj.”
Hazrat Umar questioned, “When everything is the manifestation of the Divine Essence then who is being guided and why?” The Holy Prophet answered, “He Himself is the Guide and the Guided.” Hazrat Umar asked again, “Then what is this diversity around?”
The Holy Prophet said:
“Guidance is like trading. A trader will only sell what a buyer demands. A buyer of wheat shall not be given groats and a buyer of groats shall not be given wheat. O Umar! Prophets are like physicians. Just as a physician gives medicine to the patient according to his nature and the disease he is suffering from and the patient cures with that congenial medicine, similarly, Prophets grant the medicine of gnosis to the true faithfuls according to their spiritual capability and inward disease through which the patient achieves perfect spiritual cure and becomes Mystic.
Thus to get the pleasure and blessings of exoteric and esoteric Hajj, one should be inwardly pure. Allah opens the ways of actual Hajj and blesses us with the station of true form of Hajj. Thus man achieves the stations of annihilation and immortality with Allah by passing the stations of Divine closeness and union. Then comes the status where man leaves all the desires and pleasures of the world and gets closer to Allah and the Holy Prophet. That is actual form of Hajj. And one who gets that fortunate is the true believer. (Asrar-e-Haqeeqi)
حاجی جاون پہنچ پہنچ مکے‘ کرن مشقت ڈاڈھی
بنا مرشد کامل اکمل حقیقی حج توں دوری ہوندی ڈاڈھی
پہلے پھڑ توں بانہہ سجن دی ، فر پو راہِ وادی
سجن مرشد راہ وکھاسی سوہنی سجری وادی
مرشد دا توں چھڈ نہ پلہ دشمن چار چفیرے
ازلاں دا اِک دشمن ساڈا بالکل بیٹھا نیڑے
جے مرشدداساتھ ہوئےتے مک جاون بکھیڑے
مرشد مرشد آکھی جا توں قرب وصال اے نیڑے
محمد مرشد ایسا سوہنا نہ کوئی سارے جہانی
جے دِل مَنے سجنا تیرا نجیب دے در تے آویں
Meaning: The pilgrims go to Makkah and do work really hard. Without the perfect and accomplished spiritual guide one remains distant from true Hajj. First hold the beloveds hand then your journey can be successful. Your beloved spiritual guide will guide you towards a beautiful passage. Never leave your spiritual guide’s hand as there are enemies everywhere. Our enemy from the beginning of time i.e. Satan is beside us. If the spiritual guide is with us, all the troubles will end. If you keep on reciting the name of spiritual guide the Divine closeness is near. The Holy Prophet is that spiritual guide who is beautiful and no one is like Him. If your heart says then come on the door of Najib.
Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore (monthly Urdu magazine of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr) has published this article titled as Fazeelat-e-Hajj in the issue of July 2019. Mamoona Asad Sarwari Qadri has originally written this and Zainab Moghees Sarwari Qadri has translated in English. If you wish to read it in Urdu then please visit the link: