Affect of Hajj on the Soul and Life of a Muslim
How does participating in Hajj affect the life of a Muslim?
Praise be to Allaah.
Performing the rituals of Hajj has many virtues and there is a great deal of wisdom behind them. The one who is enabled to understand them and do them is blessed with a great deal of good. We will try to list as many as we can here.
1- Travelling for Hajj to perform the rituals; his journey reminds him his journey to Allaah and the Hereafter. When he travels he leaves behind his loved ones, family, children and homeland, and the journey to the Hereafter is like that too.
2- The one who goes on this journey takes with him supplies that will help him reach the holy land, and this reminds him that for the journey to his Lord, he must have with him provisions that will help him to arrive safely. Concerning this, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning), “And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness).” [Al-Baqarah: 197].
3- Just as travelling is a kind of torment, the journey to the Hereafter is like that too, and many times greater. Ahead of a person there is the agony of death, death itself, the grave, the gathering, the reckoning, the weighing in the Balance, and as-Siraat (a bridge across Hell, over which all must pass), then Paradise or Hell. The blessed one is the one whom Allaah saves.
4- When the pilgrim wears the ihraam garments (two pieces of unsewn white cloth), this reminds him of the shroud in which he will be wrapped. This motivates him to give up sin. Just as he sheds his clothes, he should also shed his sins; just as he puts on two clean white garments, his heart and limbs should also be clean and untainted with sin.
5- When he says at the meeqaat (the point at which pilgrims enter ihraam), “Labbayk Allaahumma labbaayk (Here I am at Your service, O Allaah),” which means that he has responded to his Lord, may He be exalted, how can he remain in a state of sin without saying to his Lord, “Labbayk Allaahumma labbaayk (Here I am at Your service, O Allaah),” meaning, I have responded to Your prohibition of them. This is the time to give up sin.
6- When he gives up the things that are forbidden when in ihraam, and keeps busy with the talbiyah and dhikr (remembering Allaah), this shows the state that the Muslim should always be in. This is a means of training and disciplining himself, because he is disciplining himself by giving up what is basically permitted, but Allaah has forbidden it to him in this situation. So how can he transgress the sacred limits that Allaah has set for all times and places?
7- When he enters the sacred House of Allaah, which Allaah has made a place of safety for mankind, this reminds him of safety on the Day of Resurrection, and that no one can attain it without effort and striving. The greatest source of safety on the Day of Resurrection is tawheed (belief in the Oneness of Allaah) and avoiding shirk (associating others with Allaah). Concerning this Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning), “It is those who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their Belief with Zulm (wrong, i.e. by worshipping others besides Allaah), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided.” [Al-An’aam: 82].
When he kisses the Black Stone, which is the first ritual that he does, this trains the visitor to venerate the Sunnah (the way of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)), and not to transgress against the law of Allaah on the basis of his flawed reasoning. He knows that what Allaah has prescribed for mankind is wise and good, and he trains himself to submit fully to his Lord, may He be exalted. Concerning that, ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, after kissing the Black Stone, “I know that you are just a stone and you can neither cause harm nor bring benefit. Were it not that I saw the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) kissing you, I would not have kissed you.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari (1520) and Muslim (1720)).
8- When he circumambulates the Ka’bah, that reminds him of his father Ibraaheem (Abraham, peace be upon him), and how he built the Ka’bah as a place of safety for mankind and called them to come on pilgrimage to this House. Then came our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) who also called people to come to this House. Moosa (Moses) and ‘Eesa (Jesus – peace be upon them both) also came on pilgrimage to this House, which is therefore a symbol of these Prophets. How could it be otherwise when Allaah commanded Ibraaheem (peace be upon him) to build it and venerate it?
9- When he drinks the water of Zamzam, this reminds him of the blessing that Allaah has bestowed upon people in this blessed water, from which millions of people have drunk for many centuries, and it still has not dried up. He is encouraged to say du’aa’ (supplication) when drinking it, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “The water of Zamzam is for whatever it is drunk for.” (Narrated by Ibn Maajah (3062) and Ahmad (14435)). It is a hasan hadeeth which was classed as such by Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) in Zaad al-Ma’aad (4/320).
10- The sa’i (running) between as-Safa and al-Marwa reminds him of the great hardship undergone by our mother Haajer (Hagar), and how she ran between as-Safa and al-Marwa looking for someone to save her from the trouble in which she found herself, and especially for water to give to her young son Ismaa’eel (Ishmael). This woman bore this test with patience, and turned to her Lord. In her we have a good example, because when a man remembers the striving and patience of this woman, his problems seem less significant, and when a woman remembers one of her own gender, her hardship becomes easier to bear.
11- Standing in ‘Arafah reminds the pilgrim of the great gathering of mankind on the Day of Gathering. If the pilgrim suffers exhaustion because of the crowding together of thousands of people, then how about when all of mankind are gathered, barefoot, naked and uncircumcised?
12- As we said with regard to kissing the Black Stone, so too when stoning the Jamaraat (stone pillars representing the Devil), the Muslim trains himself to be obedient and to follow the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Thus he manifests pure submission to Allaah.
13- When he offers the sacrifice, this reminds him of the important incident when our father Ibraaheem submitted to Allaah’s command to sacrifice his only son Ismaa’eel (Ishmael), and that there is no room for compassion which goes against the commands and prohibitions of Allaah. It also teaches him to respond to the command of Allaah, as Ismaa’eel said, “O my father! Do that which you are commanded, in sha’ Allaah (if Allaah wills), you shall find me of as‑Saabiroon (the patient)” [as-Saffaat: 102].
14- When he exits ihraam and that which Allaah had forbidden to him during ihraam becomes permissible to him again, this trains him to be patient, and teaches him that with hardship goes ease, and that the outcome for the one who responds to the command of Allaah is joy and happiness. This joy can only be felt by the one who tastes the sweetness of obedience, like the joy that the fasting person feels when he breaks his fast, or that the one who spends the night in prayer feels after he has prayed.
15- When he has finished the rituals of Hajj and done them as Allaah has prescribed and as He likes, and has completed his rituals, he has the hope that his Lord will forgive him all his sins, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) promised when he said, “Whoever comes to this House and does not utter any obscene speech or do any evil deed, will go back as his mother bore him.” It was narrated by al-Bukhaari (1449) and Muslim (1350). This motivates him to turn over a new leaf in his life, free from sin.
16- When he goes back to his wife and children, the joy of meeting them reminds him of the greater joy he will feel when he meets them in the Paradise of Allaah, may He be exalted. This reminds him that true loss is loss of oneself and one's family on the Day of Resurrection, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning), “Say (O Muhammad): The losers are those who will lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. Verily, that will be a manifest loss!” [az-Zumar: 15].
This is what we were able to mention.
And Allaah knows best.