For Muslims, true success lies in submitting themselves wholly to the wish and will of The Mightiest, living their lives as a means to appease Allah Almighty, following all the obligations of their religion. The religion for a true Muslim remains insignificant without observing five aspects, referred commonly as “Five Pillars of Islam”. They include
- Testimony of faith
- Prayers (Salath)
- Fasting during the month of Ramadan (Sawm)
- The Pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj)
- Giving charity (Zakat)
In addition to these, equipping one’s self with essential and blessed knowledge of Holy Quran is also deemed as an act of high gratitude towards Allah Almighty. Out of the 5 pillars of Islam mentioned above, testimony of faith is something that a Muslim has to adhere to, every second of their life; while all other pillars are specific to a special time, special place, or both.
In this article, however, we are going to comprehend on the rituals of “The Pilgrimage to Makkah” or Hajj. Allah Almighty, being the most gracious and the most merciful, though holding Hajj to be an obligation for Muslims, offers great relaxations.
There are specific conditions under which Hajj becomes obligatory to Muslims. If any Muslim fails to fulfill those criteria, the obligation of Hajj is deemed wavered off, as described by Muslim scholars. These include:
Being A Faithful Muslim
Being faithful to Allah Almighty and submitting yourself to Allah’s will completely without any kind of doubt and ambiguity on any of His commandments is primary, not only to all acts of worship (including Hajj), but also to maintain the status of being a Muslim in the first place. Without establishing a clear faith upon The Mightiest and all His commandments, a person is not considered “momin” by Allah Almighty and no act of his worship can gain him Allah’s will.
“And nothing prevents their contributions from being accepted from them except that they disbelieved in Allaah and in His Messenger” [al-Tawbah 9:54]
Holding Soundness Of Mind
No one is more just than Allah Almighty
Al-Anaam [6:62] Then they are returned to Allâh, their Maulâ [True Master (God), the just Lord (to reward them)]. Surely, for Him is the judgment and He is the Swiftest in taking account
Therefore, He does not make it mandatory for a person whose soundness of mind is questionable. Hajj is only mandatory for a Muslim whose mental health and soundness is beyond question.
Being An Adult
Similarly, Hajj is deemed mandatory only for adults (not children) who are grown up and sensible enough to handle different kinds of situations and take care of themselves appropriately. In fact, Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once said:
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The pen is lifted from three [and does not record their deeds]: from one who is sleeping, until he wakes up; from a child until he reaches puberty, and from one who is insane until he comes to his senses.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4403; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
Allah has only obligated Hajj on a Muslim who is totally free and not being enslaved (or servant) to someone who might not let his slave to go for Hajj for any possible reason.
In A Position To Do It
Allah Almighty is the most just anyone could ever be, as made clear to us from learning Quran. Therefore, Hajj becomes obligation only to those who are able to do it:
“And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka‘bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allaah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence)” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:97]
Scholars elaborate that “being able to do it” includes one’s financial as well as mental and physical ability to perform Hajj.
The fact of the matter is that Hajj or “The Pilgrimage to Makkah” is one of the most honored and exalted moments that Allah Almighty bestows to anyone who strives for it. It is such a life-transforming event that no other event or incidence can ever be compared to it. May Allah Almighty honor every single one of faithful Muslims to fulfill this religious obligation promised of countless worldly and heavenly benefits.