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Hajj is one of the Pillars of Islam

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

(Friday Speech was delivered by Imam Mohamed Baianonie at the Islamic Center of Raleigh, NC on February 14, 1997)

Alhamdullah we have finished fasting and quiyam for the month of Ramadan and we ask Allah (S.W.T.) to accept all our good deeds.

Today it is important to talk about another important pillar of Islam, which happens to be hajj (pilgrimage) to the sacred house of Allah in Mecca. Our deen Islam will not be completed until we fulfill it.

We noticed here in the local community many Muslims who are physically and financially able to perform it, but they, for some reason or anther have not done so yet. Allah (S.W.T.) said in surat Al-Imran, (verse 96 & 97), what can be translated as, “Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakka (Mecca), full of blessing, and a guidance for Al-Alamin. In it are manifest Signs (for example), the Maqam (place) of Abraham; whosoever enters it, he attains security. And hajj (Pilgrimage of Mecca) to the House is a duty the mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the way (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence); and whoever disbelieved [i.e. denies hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca), then Allah stands not in need of any of the Alamin (creatures).”

There are many ahadith the saying of the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) tell us about virtues of hajj. Some of them are:

  • Hajj is the best of deeds after Iman and Jihad. Imam Bukhari reported that Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) was asked one time, which are the best of deeds? He answered: “To believe in Allah and His messenger.” He was asked: Then what? He answered: “Then to perform jihad in the cause of Allah.” Then He was asked, what’s next? He said, “Next comes hajjon mabroor.” (Pilgrimage that is completes, pure and clear of any sins).
  • Hajj is the best and the most beautiful types of Jihad for women, elderly and weak people. Imam Bukhari reported that Aisha (the wife of the prophet) asked him, O messenger of Allah, we see that jihad is the best of deeds, should we (women) perform it? He answered, “For you O women the best and most beautiful type of jihad is hajjon Mabroor.” Imam An-Nisa’i reported a good hadith that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, “Jihad for the old, the weak, and the women is hajj.”
  • Hajj will wipe out the sins. Imam Bukhari & Muslim reported that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, “He who performs hajj and does not commit any indecent acts and evil deeds, He will come back as clear of sins as if he had just been born.”

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  • The reward of hajj is Jannah (paradise). Imams Bukhari & Muslim reported that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, “From one umrah to another, there is wiping of the sins that had been committed between the two of them, but for hajj mabroor there is no reward but Jannah (Paradise).”

  • The pilgrims are the guests of Allah. In an authentic hadith the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, “The pilgrims and those who are performing umrah are the guest of Allah. If they ask Him for something He would respond, and if they ask Him for forgiveness He will forgive them.”

  • Spending during the hajj journey will be rewarded by multiplied seven hundred times. Imams Ahmad, Tabarani and Bayhaqi reported a good hadith the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, “Spending in the hajj journey is like spending in the cause of Allah, each derham (dollar) is rewarded by seven hundred times.”

Now we have learned some of the virtues of hajj, let us learn about some of the things related to the performance of the hajj.

Hajj is obligatory once in a lifetime. Imams Bukhari & Muslim reported that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) one time He stood up and delivered a speech saying, “O people, Allah has prescribed upon you hajj (pilgrimage) so perform pilgrimage.” A man said, “Is it mandatory to do it every year O messenger of Allah?” At that point the prophet remained silent, but the man insistent and asked the question three times, then the prophet responded, “If I said yes, it will had become mandatory, but you would not be able to bare it.”

Who has to perform hajj? Hajj is an obligation on every Muslim male and female who has reach the age of puberty and is sane and able because Allah said, “pilgrimage to the house is a duty of people to Allah for those who has the means to do it.”

What does ability mean? How is the person defined as able to perform the hajj? There are four things or indicators:

  • A person should be in good health physically so if he is unable to perform hajj for chronic illness or old age he had to have someone else to perform hajj on his behave.
  • Route to the pilgrimage is safe so that the pilgrim will be secured over him self as well as his possessions.
  • A person should have enough money to spend on himself and his family while he is away, he or she should have enough money to spend on travel and on roman board and other necessary expenses.

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  • A person cannot go for hajj if he/ she has a loan due at once, unless he/she has permission from the loaning person allowing him/ her to go for hajj.
    However, when a person has delayed payments (installments) due on his/ her loan, and the loan is not due all at once, then the case is different. The person is ONLY required to pay that month’s payment before he/she can go for hajj journey.

For women on top of the conditions mentioned, they should be with a husband or finding a Mahram (male family member that can never marry her Islamicly).

Can hajj be postponed or does it have to be done immediately after a person have fulfilled above conditions? There are two opinions of the scholars:

  • The first opinion said that hajj has to be performed immediately with out any delays and this is the opinion of Imams Abu Hanifa, Malik, Ahmad, and some Shafe’es, they used for the evidence some ahadith one of them the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, “He who wants to perform hajj let him perform it as soon as possible because he might get sick or he might lose his mean of transportation or some thing might come up and distract him.” Also in another hadith the prophet Muhammad said, “Do not delay performing hajj, because one of you does not know when some thing might come up and distract him.”
  • The second opinion is that one can delay performing hajj indefinitely and he will not be sin full as long as he has performed it before death. This is the opinion of Imams Ash-Shafe’i, Ath-Thowri and Al-Awza’i and they have used several evidences one of which the prophet him self has delayed performing hajj until the tenth year of Hijrah and in that year he took with him his wives and many of his companions where we know the obligation of hajj was in the sixth year of Hijrah, so if it was a must to made immediately then the prophet wouldn’t have delayed it until the tenth year, and those scholars have interpreted the previous ahadith which encourages to perform hajj as soon as possible when they had met the conditions. In any case to perform hajj when we met the condition is a sensible things to do because none of us knows what obstacles that might come up in future, also no one of us knows when they will die because if one dies and has not performed hajj yet he was able to do so he would die sin full with out completing his deen (Islam) because he left out one of the pillars of Islam.

Now suppose someone dies and has not performed hajj and the guardian over his inheritance will have to make the hajj for him of pay someone else to perform hajj for that dead person. Imam Bukhari reported that a woman asked the prophet (S.A.W.) that my mother died and has not fulfilled her nathir, (to vow to Allah) to perform hajj. Can I make hajj for her? The prophet answered, “Yes perform hajj for her, wouldn’t you think that if she had a debt and had not paid it before she died wouldn’t you have paid it off for her? She said, “Yes.” The prophet Muhammad said, “Pay off your debts towards Allah, because Allah is more worthy of paying your debts too.”

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Some concerns come during Hajj Season:

I am committing sins. I am not fulfilling some of my Islamic obligations (I am not praying my five daily prayers, …etc). I am involved in haram acts. My income is not 100% pure halal…etc.


Response: If a Muslim is involved in sins and not fulfilling some of his/ her Islamic obligations that does not excuse him/ her from performing his/ her hajj duties. On the contrary, Allah may accept fulfilling the duty of his/ her hajj. In turn Allah may help him/ her to avoid the haram, allowing him/ her to fulfill other Islamic obligations.

For those people whom their income is NOT from pure halal. Their income is a mix of halal and haram. We ask Allah (S.W.T.) to help them fully repent. Also, we pray to Allah that their spending for the hajj journey will be accepted from the halal portion of their income.

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