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.

The circumambulation

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

Veritable Hajj:

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:

Questions

  1. Did you  pledge  that  you  would  give  up  sins  forever  when you left  your  home with  the  intention  to perform  Hajj?
  2. 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?
  3. When you  disrobed  your  ordinary  clothes  to  wear  Ahram, did you abandon  the  attributes  of  selfhood  as  well?
  4. At the  plain  of  Arafat while  imploring Allah Almighty, did you witness  any  Divine observation?
  5. On reaching Muzdalifah,  did  you  promise  that  you would  give  up  sensual  desires  of  your  innerself (nafs) forever?
  6. When you  circumambulated  the  house  of  Allah,  did  you experience  the vision  of  Divine beauty  with your  eyes?
  7. On making Sa’i between  Safa  and  Marwa,  did  you reach the rank  of  Safa  and  Marwa  inwardly?
  8. 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?
  9. 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)

Poetry:

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.

Note:

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:

https://www.mahnama-sultan-ul-faqr-lahore.com/july-2019-fazilat-e-hajj/