General practice among religious circle is that the youth of a person is dedicated towards worldly affairs, and it is the later part of the life that is dedicated in performing the religious rituals and becoming pious. Although there is no age limit for religious inclination, but youth is the age when Allah Almighty best rewards the performed religious rituals. Hajj is one such ritual, which Muslims in general observe when they have grown old.
Every Muslim dreams of performing Hajj in his or her life. However, most of them dream of performing it when they are less involved in the worldly affairs, and when they have nothing else to do but to praise Allah Almighty (in their old age). If the performing of Hajj be viewed on logical basis, the best time to perform is during the youth. The lines below give the reasons why young age is the best time to perform Hajj:
1. Life Is Short
At the time of youth, although a person is resourceful, but if he or she thinks that they will perform Hajj in later years, such Muslims should think again. Muslims who recite and understand Quran knows the sayings of Allah Almighty about the duration of life:
“You stayed not but a little- if only you had known. (Qur’an 23:114)
This ayah clearly shows that life is short and uncertain. Therefore, if a person is able enough to perform Hajj in youth, it surely must not be left for the later age, as it is possible that there be no later age, or the person won’t be able enough to perform Hajj at that time.
2. Fulfillment of Ahadith
Regarding Hajj, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
“Expedite the performance of Hajj. For nobody knows what may obstruct one.” (Ibn Majah, Ahmad)
The ahadith clearly shows that Prophet (PBUH) has instructed Muslims to perform Hajj at the earliest. No one should consider postponing of Hajj, especially to the later years of life. Moreover, in another ahadith, Prophet (PBUH) conveys the message of Allah to Muslims:
“Any of my slaves who is healthy and are of the means for five years, and did not visit my house, he is mahroom.” (Ibn hibban and Musnad Abu Ya’laa 3703:1031)
Both these ahadith of Prophet (PBUH) persuade a person to perform Hajj as early as possible. Therefore, if a young person who is able, performs Hajj in youth, fulfills the instructions of Prophet (PBUH) and receives the blessings of Allah Almighty.
3. Purification From Sin
It is the time of youth when a Muslim is most attacked by the devil. Qualified Quran tutors and scholars address the young people to abstain from sins, and devote this golden age to the praise and worshiping of Allah Almighty. However, if a person has committed some sin in youth, the best way to do away with it is to perform Hajj.
“One who comes to this House for Hajj and avoids all lewdness and sins, he returns as he was on the day his mother gave birth to him.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Perhaps a young person can have no better feeling than a guilt free conscience and a sin free soul. Thus, performing Hajj during youth is priceless and a dream comes true for a young Muslim.
4. The Best Supplication
Every Muslim supplicates to Allah Almighty, but there are certain supplications that are better than the most and that are answered immediately compared to the others. The supplication made on the day of Arafah during Hajj is one such mighty supplication. Prophet (PBUH) said:
“The warrior in the path of Allah, the one performing Hajj and the one performing Umrah are the delegations of Allah. If they call on Allah they are answered and if they ask Him for anything it is given to them.” (Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibban)
What else can a young person want? If a person performs Hajj while young, then the supplications of arafah can help the person ask anything from Allah for the later part of the life and the world hereafter. On the other hand, an elderly person performing Hajj, can and does only ask for the life hereafter. Therefore, performing Hajj in youth proves advantageous.
5. Decrease in Poverty
Most Muslims refrain from performing Hajj as they think that after performing Hajj, they will go down on wealth or won’t be able to meet their expenses. Such Muslims need not to worry as Prophet (PBUH) has already addressed this matter by saying:
“Keep on doing Hajj and Umrah, because they both eliminate poverty and sins just like a furnace eliminate the dirty impurities of iron, gold and silver. And an accepted Hajj has no reward less than Paradise!” (Tirmithi, Nissai, Ahmad).
The ahadith shows that doing Hajj in no way reduces the wealth of a person; rather it eliminates poverty and sins and serves as a purifier. Therefore, in youth, all one requires is stay away from poverty in later age, and Hajj is the best means to it.
Without any argument, youth is the best age of a person’s life and Hajj is the best Islamic rituals. Therefore, to reap the best fruits of Hajj, it needs to be performed during the young age, and it will bring benefits in the form of a sin free soul, decrease in poverty, and best of all, the fulfillment of Ahadith and the instructions of Allah Almighty.