Hajj: The Fifth Pillar of Islam
The Hajj (Pilgrimage) is the fifth pillar of Islam and is considered one of the most important religious duties. When we Read Quran , Allah Almighty says:
“It is on people for the sake of Allah to perform Hajj of his house, anyone who is able to undertake the journey to him” (Quran, 2:196).
Hajj is obligatory for Muslims once in their life when they are physically and financially capable of performing it. The Hajj wipes the all past sins and gives us a chance to start fresh or new life with deepens faith. As we all know that the season of Hajj is coming, millions of Muslims are gathering in Makah and the sacred places to respond to Allah’s invitation to visit His House (kaa’ba). The hajj was first started by the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and then it was renewed by last Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
Importance of Hajj (Pilgrimage) is clear from the fact that it is made it one of the five pillars of Islam by Allah SWT. There are days fixed for Hajj and Hajj takes place in final month, Zilhajj. The importance of Hajj has been described many time in the Quran and hadith. In many occasions, Allah (SWT) has mentioned the importance of Hajj in Islam. However, in order to perform Hajj in the month of Zilhajj, it is really necessary for Muslims to have enough resources and the means of expenditure before setting up this holy journey.
Hajj (Pilgrimage) is made to the Kaaba, located in the holy city Makkah of Saudia Arabia. The Kaa’ba is known has “Bait Ullahh” which means ‘ the House of Allah,’ which is sacred place because prophet Ibrahim built it for the worship of Allah Almighty as commanded by Allah (SWT). Allah rewarded Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) by associating the House to Himself, in essence honoring it, and by making it the devotional focal point which all Muslims face when offering the Salah. Hajj is considered one of the best deeds that a Muslim can perform in his life. Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that:
“Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was asked which deed is the best. He (SAW) said, “Belief in Allah and His messenger”. He (SAW) was asked, then what? He (PBUH) said, “Jihad for the sake of Allah”. He (SAW) was asked, then what? He (PBUH) said, “An accepted Hajj.” (Bukhari)
One of the most beautiful and greatest gifts and rewards that Allah (SWT) has promised to grant His people during Hajj is the utter forgiveness of all sins. This what the most a Muslim expects from Allah SWT and ask for it during the prayers and supplication. Allah Almighty has promised to grant the wishes of Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) troubled Ummah during the rituals of Hajj. Our holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said that:
“Whoever performs Hajj, only for the sake of Allah (God) and does not have sexual relations with his wife (during Hajj), and does not do evil or commit sins, then he will return [after Hajj free from all sins] as if he were born anew.”(Bukhari)
The Hajj serves a great purpose to unite the Muslims of the world into international brotherhood. More than two million Muslims from different parts of worlds gather to perform the Hajj each year. The people from different culture, races and diverse background unified with kinship of Islam get together to worship their one Lord, Allah Almighty. The Hajj (pilgrimage) is a manifestation of the belief in the unity of Allah Almighty in which all the pilgrims obey and worship only one God.
In short, the Hajj (pilgrimage) is the fifth pillar of Islam and it cleans our sins and in exchange we get great rewards from Allah (SWT) . Performing hajj with the clean intention for sake on only Allah Almighty is one of great achievement in a life of Muslim and it is accepted by Allah SWT. May Allah give us all the chance to perform Hajj at least once in a life! Ameen