Trains Muslims to have Patience:
Another positive attribute that we develop in the performance of Hajj is patience. We develop patience not only in the performance of the various Hajj rituals but also in remembering how Prophet Ibrahim (‘alaihis salam) and his family sacrificed in building the Ka’bah, the first Holy House of Allah. How many among us women are patient enough to follow Hajar (the Prophet Ibrahim’s wife) and allow our husbands to leave us alone with our baby in a barren land, with no food, no water and no people around? How much patience and endurance can we afford for the sake of pleasing our Rabb? Just how many of us could pass the test that Prophet Ibrahim had when Allah the Almighty commanded him to sacrifice his own son? In the case of his son, Prophet Ismael (‘alaihis salam), can anyone among us follow his courage and submission to be sacrificed in order to build the Ka’bah?
Indeed, Allah will test us Muslims -- either by our children or by our wealth. We should know that as believers, Allah will try our Iman (faith) Allah may test us as to which of us is best in deed (Surah Al-Mulk, 67:2) The closer we are to Him, the more He will try us, just as He did to all His prophets and messengers. For those who are not living in a comfortable life let the life of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) be a lesson for us. The following is just one of the many narrations how he lived in a destitute life but yet showed patience and perseverance:
Ibn Abbas (radhyAllau ‘anhu) narrated that according to ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (radhyAllau ‘anhu) … “Underneath his (Prophet’s) head there was a leather pillow stuffed with palm fibers, and leaves of a saut tree were piled at his feet, and above his head hung a few water skins. On seeing the marks of the mat imprinted on his side, I wept. He said, ‘Why are you weeping?’ I replied, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Caesar and Khosrau are leading the life (i.e. luxurious life) while you, Allah’s Messenger though you are, is living in destitute.’ The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) then replied, ‘Won’t you be satisfied that they enjoy this world and we the Hereafter?’” (Reported by Bukhari 6/435)
In our Hajj journey and in the performance of all the prescribed Hajj rituals, we may feel very uncomfortable for any reason. But let not any temporary difficulties in life hinder our devotion to Allah, especially during the Day of ‘Arafat on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah when we ought to make more supplications to Allah for His forgiveness, blessings and mercy. We should be patient because Allah commands us to patiently persevere. (See Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:153).
Reminds Muslims of the Day of Judgment:
Finally, but not the least, Hajj reminds us of the final great assembly on the Day of Judgment when we will be resurrected from death wherein our wealth, our parents, children, relatives and friends can be of no help to us if we do not observe righteousness. The thing that can best help us is our right conduct. Righteousness is the requirement for Hajj mabrur as Allah, to reiterate, tells us that “the best of provisions is right conduct” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:197). By performing Hajj mabrur, insha Allah, we will be able to manage our wealth in the halal (lawful way) and spend charity out of it for the pleasure of our Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer). We will be able to enjoin righteousness to our children who will continuously pray to Allah for our forgiveness and eternal success. We can ask Allah to bestow us authentic knowledge of Islam and be able to do Da’wah according to the Qur’an and the Sunnah. In this way we can impart Islamic knowledge to our relatives, friends, neighbors and the society and thus be among those who receive Allah’s enormous rewards:
“And he who brings the Truth and he who confirms (and supports) it — such are the men who do right. They shall have all that they wish for, with their Rabb (Only Cherisher and Sustainer). Such is the reward of those who do good: so that Allah will remit from them (even) the worst in their deeds and give them their reward according to the best of what they have done.” (Qur’an, Surah Az- Zumar, 39:33-35)
Admonition to Perform Hajj:
For those of us who have not been to Hajj to fulfill the fifth pillar of Islam, time has come to think of the enormous and eternal blessings that Allah gives to those who perform it with right conduct. Do not delay performing Hajj when you have enough money to cover the expenses of the round trip journey to Makkah. Do not delay while you are still young and strong enough to perform the Hajj rituals. Do not wait until you become poor and too old or weak to perform the blessed rituals. Hasten to complete your Islam by the performance of Hajj for death may just come to cut your plans and hopes in life. Indeed, death is certain but as to when it will strike us, we never know; so the best thing is to prepare for it. For your salvation, take admonition from the following authentic Hadeeth:
Abu Umamah narrated that Allah’s Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “He who is not prevented from performing the pilgrimage by an obvious necessity, a tyrannical ruler, or a disease which confines him at home, and dies without having performed the pilgrimage, may die if he wishes as a Jew, or if he wishes as a Christian.” (Reported by Tirmidhi, Hadeeth 2535 and Darimi)
Performance of Hajj, therefore, is not only a duty that gives us enormous benefits in this worldly life but also a must for our salvation to attain supreme success in the eternal world hereafter. With this fifth pillar of Islam, Allah the Most Merciful to reiterate has perfected His favor to the whole humanity when He revealed the final or last Ayah of the Qur’an saying:
“...This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Qur’an, Surah Al- Ma'idah, 5:3)
Allah the Exalted revealed the above very inspiring Ayah (verse) to His Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) during his pilgrimage. It was on the Day of Arafat. Verily, Islam is Allah’s chosen religion. He perfected it for the guidance of all humanity.
Any sensible person, who believes in the rationality of the Oneness of God and the merits of righteousness, will find Islam as the sole answer to his quest for salvation and eternal happiness or supreme success in the life hereafter. Glory be to Allah the Almighty for making the five pillars of Islam obligatory for all mankind who seek His tremendous rewards by adhering to the pillars sincerely with right conviction or faith and righteous deeds, following the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). Everything that Allah the Almighty has ordained for us to do is for our benefit. Likewise, everything he has forbidden us does harm to us. If mankind will implement Islam according to the Qur’an and the Sunnah, right belief, piety and righteous deeds will prevail instead of disbelief, wickedness and other forms of evil deeds. Many people if not all will enjoy Allah’s blessings and bounty as the poor will get enough share of the rich people’s wealth through zakat (obligatory charity) and sadaqah (voluntary charity or gifts and donations). Other sorts of economic, socio-cultural and spiritual problems will be solved because people who worship Allah with sincerity will develop fear, love and devotion to Allah Alone Who in return will show His Mercy to them. There will be peace on earth because Allah the Source of Peace will bestow peace on everyone who submits to Him in Islam by following His Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).
Indeed, Islam according to the Qur’an and the Sunnah is a wonderful and beautiful religion. Its five pillars are as important as the five senses of every living person on earth. The pillars of Islam are useful as the five fingers in everyone’s left or right hand. They are as beautiful as the five petals of the flowers that grow on the surface of the earth. They are as clear as the right angles of the shining stars in the sky at night. Non-Muslims need to reflect on these similarities as signs and parts of Allah’s Mercy to mankind so they may turn to Him for worship, guidance and success.
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