If Islam were a building it would have five corners with sturdy pillars. Today’s action or deed is one that youth especially don’t consider seriously, don’t have the financial ability to perform, or don’t understand its importance. Today’s most beloved deeds to Allah [SWT] are Umrah and Hajj. You might think to yourself, “Let me stop here! It isn’t happening anytime soon. I am neither old enough nor am I financially able.” But bear with me. I want to plant the intention in your heart, so please open wide the channels to your heart. I understand you currently don’t have the ability to go for Umrah let alone Hajj, but we need to talk about it. We need to fuel up the idea in your mind, so that you yearn to go there day in and day out. You’re thirsty and only the water of Zamzam can quench you.
I expect three types of people to be reading this now. The first are those who can’t go because they aren’t financially able. To those I say, maybe through this you will yearn for it and make the intention to go this upcoming Hajj season or maybe next year. Remember in Islam deeds are rewarded by intentions, so if you make an intention and you don’t perform the deed, you receive full reward for it: “There is a slave. Allah has bestowed him knowledge, not wealth; however he has a good intention (niyyah) and he says: ‘If I had money, I would spend it on charity like so and so person.’ There, he earns thawab [rewards] as if he performed the deed in his intention; both of them get equal rewards.” (Thirmidhi) So, what do you have to lose? Intend! Strive from A-B and leave B-Z to Allah. But when Allah [SWT] invites you to His [SWT] house, and you are a guest of the All-Merciful remember us in your duas please. Second, are those who are able to financially but are delaying. They would rather do it later in life, when they’ve had their fill of ‘fun’ in their youth. You hear them say, “I’ll do it when I decide to wear hijab.” Or “When I start going to the Masjed for all 5 obligatory prayers.” They are aware that if they go, they will have to change but they aren’t ready for it. They would rather delay it when their close to the grave, so they can drop dead there or as soon as they come back. Or when they are they have their fill of this dunya. Snap out of it, you’re never going to have your fill. Your desires are like a bottomless pit, the more you have the more you want. And third are those who go very often, annually. They are so used to this form of worship, that it’s become a habit. They aren’t touched much by the experience. Remember this is one of the most beloved deeds to Allah [SWT] so it ought to always sparkle.
Allah [SWT] loves Hajj so much so that He made it one of the pillars of Islam. Furthermore, the Prophet (saw) said, “Allah’s Messenger (saw) said “Spending during Hajj is akin to spending in the cause of Allah, and every dirham thus spent will be rewarded seven hundred times over.”[At Tabarani] Imagine, 700 times more than spending in the cause of Allah [SWT] which in itself is already a struggle, but the wise understood why. Abu Sha’thaa’ said, “I contemplated the good deeds that a person does. I found that salaat as well as fasting are a jihad of the body. And that sadaqa is a jihad of someone’s wealth. But Hajj is a jihad of both body and wealth.” And Hajj is the greatest jihad `Aishah (raa) reported: I said: “O Messenger of Allah! We consider Jihad as the best deed, should we not then go for Jihad?” The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “The best Jihad for you women is Hajj Mabrur (i.e., one accepted by Allah).” [Al-Bukhari] What is “Hajjun Mabroor”? It means an accepted Hajj. A Mabroor Hajj is one in which Allah (SWT) is not disobeyed during or after. Other scholars says that a Hajj Mabroor is one that is accepted, and the sign of its acceptance is that a person will go back in a better state then when he came, and that he will discontinue the sins that were an obstacle between him and Allah (SWT).This is the kind of Hajj that Allah [SWT] loves, and one that we should intend from today, this minute, this second to yearn for. It is one that grants you the highest aspiration of any Muslim, Jannah! Performance of the Hajj washes away all sins. Abu Hurairah narrates: I heard the Prophet say, “Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any Rafath (obscenity) or Fusooq (transgression), he returns (free from sin) as the day his mother bore him” (Sahih Bukhari). Indeed the Prophet said, “And there is no reward for an accepted Hajj…except Jannah!”
In Islam, we have concepts that deal with the material world. Of things we possess –like property. But there are concepts that are connected to a world of meanings such as “fear of Allah [Khashya]” “reliance on Allah [Tawakul]” “belief in Allah [Eman]” etc. When you prostrate [do Sujood] there is a meaning attachd to the action? When you give in charity [Sadaqa] it has a meaning as well. But during Umrah or Hajj the most beloved deeds to Allah, when you are a guest of Allah [SWT] in His home on earth you get special treatment. He [SWT] feeds your heart and soul with meanings and pleasantly overwhelms you with them. For being close to Allah [SWT] takes on a totally different meaning at the Haram in Makkah than it does in other any other place on the face of the earth.
What does Allah [SWT] want to see in our hearts during our performance of Umrah or Hajj? The certainty that you will meet Allah [SWT] on the day of Resurrection.. It is not by coincidence that the first ayah in Surat Al Hajj is: “O mankind! Fear your Lord. Lo! the earthquake of the Hour (of Doom) is a tremendous thing.”  Hajj should remind us of the Day of Resurrection , indeed it prepares for it. It teaches you the etiquettes of that day when we will all flock to Allah [SWT] in anticipation of what is in store for us, either eternal Heaven or eternal Hell Fire. Sigh! Insha Allah we are of the people of the former. Out of Allah’s mercy, our day of graduation is at the moment of death when we receive our diplomas in our white robes [our Kafan/white shroud], and likewise in Hajj we remember that crucial moment of our lives.
What else does Allah want to see in our hearts during Hajj? He wants to see you one of the crowd. Allah does not want your outward appearance and demeanor to be distinctive, but rather your heart. We all look the same. We’re united, all slaves of Allah [SWT]. No one feels one is better than the other, richer than the other, more educated than the other. Everyone has gone through struggles, although different, to make it there and it has been worth it. Remember the humility of Prophet Yusuf (as):
My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty, and taught me the interpretation of dreams; The (only) Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Wali (Protector, Helper, Supporter, Guardian, etc.) in this world and in the Hereafter, cause me to die as a Muslim (the one submitting to Your Will), and join me with the righteous. [12:101]
Yusuf was a Prophet (saw), a higher degree than the “Saliheen” the righteous but mark his humility and humbleness in front of Allah [SWT]. He is saying, “Whatever I am today I am solely because of You.” This is the best condition you can be in to receive the meanings of Hajj. So, no need to try and distinguish yours elf from others by wearing brand name watches, bags, or even shoes. If you can enter with a brand name heart, a brand called “Qalbun Saleem” [sound heart].
If you want to perform a Hajj that Allah loves, do it with certainty that through the experience Allah [SWT] will transform you. Don’t go anxious because you have decided you’re a hopeless case. So, go expecting Allah [SWT] to be generous host—which He is. Abdullah ibn Al-Mubaarak narrates: I went to Sufyaan ibn al-Uyaynah as the day of Arafat was setting. He sat on his knees, his hands raised to the Heavens, and tears moistened his cheeks and beard. He turned and looked at me, so I asked him, “Amongst the people who have gathered here for Hajj, who is in the worst state?” Sufyaan ibn al-Uyaynah said, “He who thinks that Allah will not forgive him.” There is not a single day that the sun has come up on more beloved to Allah [SWT] than the Day of Arafat. The Prophet (saw) said, “There is no day on which Allah frees more of His slaves from Fire than the Day of Arafat, and He verily draws near, then boasts of them before the angles, saying: ‘What do they seek?’” (Sahih Muslim). And in another hadith: “Verily Allah boasts of the people of Arafat before the people of Heaven (angels) saying: ‘Look to my servants who have come to Me disheveled and dusty.’” So, do go certain that Allah [SWT] will change your heart, not as a mere vacation. Know that you will come back closer to Allah. Go for a cure and be certain that you will be healed. Don’t doubt that the water of Zam Zam with cure you. Leave your doubts at home!
Remember when you are performing Hajj to be patient with those around you, remember what we talked about yesterday about appreciating and respecting your fell humans. Someone is bound to step on your toe, or even nudge you with an elbow. It’s crowded. At all time have this hadith in mind “I heard the Prophet say, ‘Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any Rafath (obscenity) or Fusooq (transgression), he returns (free from sin) as the day his mother bore him’”. (Bukhari) So your sin meter is down again to zeros. Congratulations your good manners are rewarded.
If you are a person who has the ability to go for Hajj every year, have you ever thought of sharing the experience with others. Have you ever thought of being part of the transformation of another human being. If not think about it, because you will get complete reward for it without actually going.
O Allah invite us to your House! We’ll be waiting for the invitation, because if anything it will be a sign that you love us.