Hajj [Pilgrimage]

Dear brothers and sisters: My talk to you today is Hajj and its benefits. Allah says in the Qurâ??an: â??And proclaim to the people the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel. They will come from every distant pass that they may witness (i.e., attend) benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known (i.e., specific) days over what He has provided for them of (sacrificial) animals. So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor.â? (Al-Hajj: 27-28)

Dear brothers and sisters: Hajj is one of the greatest signs of Allah that what Muhammad brought is, in reality, the religion of truth; for no human power can gather pilgrims every year from all parts of the world with hearts full of yearning and love, who experience difficulties yet rejoice at leaving their homes and families, feeling that the hours of performing Hajj are the greatest of their lives and spending generously for this purpose.

Ibn â??Abbaas said, â??When Allah commanded the Prophet Abraham to proclaim Hajj amongst the people, he said, â??My Lord, how can I convey the message to the people when my voice cannot reach them?â?? Allah said, â??You call; it is Our duty to make it reach them,â?? so he stood in position and said, â??O you people! Your Lord has chosen a house, so perform pilgrimage to it.â?? It was said that the mountains were levelled and his voice reached all parts of the earth. All that were in the wombs were made to hear the call and everything that heard it responded. So those for whom Allah has decreed Hajj until the Day of Judgment responded, â??Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk (Here I am at your service, O Allah, here I am).â??â?

In this regard, I would like to say that Allah has mentioned it clearly that there are benefits for mankind. These types of benefits are indefinite in number. These benefits are not restricted to one particular area, or time of history. The benefits one may get from the performance of hajj are much more than to be counted. These benefits are good for people in this world and in the hereafter.

Dear brothers and sisters: let me mention some of the benefits for the individuals and for the Muslim society.

As far as the individual benefits are concerned, the following is a partial list of these benefits:

Renewal of the remembrance of Allah and strengthening the relation between the individual and the Creator. The chanting of the pilgrim is nothing more than a confirmation from the creature to Allah, i.e. by saying: Lab-bayk Allahum-ma Lab-bayk, Lab-bayk laa sharika laka Lab-bayk

Remembrance of the Day of Judgement. During Hajj the presence of few million peoples gathering at Arafat in one place, at one time for one purpose, is an indication and a sign of a hereafter. The dress of white towels and clothes are sign of coffins. Such type of remembrance is very important in making a person to remember death and the resurrection.

The performance of Hajj wipes out the sins of a pilgrim. This is a type of a new beginning that helps a person not to lose hope in this world. On the contrary he would strive effectively to please Allah after his sins and mistakes are wiped off. In this regard Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: â??whoever performs pilgrimage without uttering immodest speech or abusing others, he returns just a new-born ( Muslim)

A person sacrifices through the performance of Hajj. He leaves his family, business and country. He spends lots of money, time, effort and energy; and he bears lots of difficulties due to travelling; all of these are for the pleasure and love of Allah. This type of sacrifice helps the individual to overcome all his difficulties in his daily life. The person who strives and sacrifices is amore successful person than a one who does not strive and sacrifice.

The performance of Hajj is a theoretical and practical training course for the individual on the following habits and manners: Patience, Perseverance, humility, organization, management, tolerance, co-operation, kindness, sympathy, politeness, affection, concern, helpfulness etcâ?¦

Dear brothers and sisters: We hope and pray that every Muslim make an effort to perform Hajj at least once in his life-time and let your Hajj be an act of repentance from sin. Finally, we ask Allah for forgiveness and to accept our deeds and prayers.