The status of Hajj in Islam
Hajj is one of the five pillars or basic principles of Islam. Hajj is an obligation on all adult Muslim men and women. Hajj is an Arabic word meaning “pilgrimage”. As the name itself implies, Hajj means to leave one’s country and travel to Makkah and Madina to perform this obligation at least once in a life time. The status of hajj in Islam is very crucial; however it is an obligation only for those who have enough resources for expenses to perform Hajj.
Hajj is one of the biggest human gatherings of the world, attended by millions of Muslims from all around the world. However, there are some conditions that have been elaborated in Islam regarding Hajj. For instance, usually people with good financial status take their underage children with them for Hajj too. These children have to perform this obligation once they grow up as adults just like those who never performed Hajj earlier.
Similarly, if someone has unmarried daughter of marriageable age at home, it is advisable to marry her off first and then go for Hajj. Also, if someone is extremely needy and one knows about it, if he or she postpones his or her Hajj to help the needy person, Allah likes this gesture.
Basically the status of Hajj in Islam is multifaceted. There are certain rites and duties which have to be performed during the Hajj and are compulsory to accomplish this final pillar of Islam. It is a combination of different types of worship in one single act known as Hajj. It includes traveling, prayers, fasting and offering sacrifice altogether. Muslims spend their money to travel for hajj, they offer prayers and keep fast, and then offer sacrifice. Thus, they try hard honestly to cleanse their soul and money. They cleanse themselves off the worldly desires and sins and strive to become better Muslims after hajj.
One of the meanings of the word Hajj is “to struggle continuously to achieve a goal”. In this sense of the word Muslims learn to perform their religious duties in a better way and understand the true spirit of Islam. The immense congregation of the Muslims at Hajj is a clear evidence of the great strength and influence of Islam and generates a deep feeling of unity and empathy with all the Muslims throughout the world.
Although Hajj is one of the most important obligations of Islam, it should be kept in mind that it is not a status symbol and offering Hajj multiple times does not mean the person is more pious than those who cannot afford to perform hajj at all or have only performed it once. It is a form of worship offered to Allah and He knows who is more pious among the Muslims. He knows what is deep inside our hearts and minds and He rewards the really pious ones in great ways one cannot imagine. So, if Allah bestows you with adequate resources to go for hajj, do not delay it and enjoy the feeling of closeness and purity in His house, with millions of other Muslims and join the multitude of prayers emerging from the hearts.