Hajj is total submission to Allah. It is a journey of purification, taking the body and the mind on a pure experience to attest to the oneness of Allah, testifying that there is none worthy of worship except Him, declaring throughout the journey:
لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ لَبَّيْكَ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَكَ
“Here I am, O Allah, here i am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and sovereignty, You have no partner.”
The term Hajj in the Islamic context means for one to go on pilgrimage seeking the Ka’ba to perform the ‘Manasik’.
The Manasik are specific actions and utterances that Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him did whilst performing Hajj, such as circulating the Ka’ba seven times, walking between Safa and Marwa seven times, standing in Arafah, throwing the pebbles in Mina and so on.
The significance of Hajj is outlined in the Quran and Hadeeth. Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala says:
وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا
“..And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way..”
Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him also taught us the significance of Hajj through various ahadeeth. It is Narrated in Sahih Al Bukhari that the Prophet peace be upon him said:
“Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):
1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle.
2. To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly.
3. To pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity)
4. To perform Hajj
5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.”
Hajj is a journey of establishing the Oneness of Allah, strengthening ones Iman and disciplining one’s self.
code, actions and chants, being patient with the long process and having the best of manners throughout the whole process, avoiding being angry whilst going through the struggles of Hajj, all to reach the ultimate reward of having all sins forgiven.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says:
“..so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj.”
And the Prophet peace be upon him said:
“Whoever performs Hajj for Allah’s pleasure and does not have sexual relations with his wife, and does not do evil or sins then he will return (after Hajj free from all sins) as if he were born anew.”
The heart yearns to be in front of the ka’ba, solely seeking the pleasure Allah. We raise our hands to Allah asking Him to grant us a blessed pilgrimage and that He accepts it and grants us the full reward.