When Prophet Ibrahim (Alaihis salaam) completed the structure of the Kabah, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) commanded him to call the people to Hajj.
Ibrahim (Alaihis salaam) pleaded, “O Allah! How shall my voice reach all of those people?” Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) told him that his duty was only to give the call and it was up to Allah to make it reach the people.
Ibrahim (Alaihis salaam) then climbed Mount Arafat and called out in his loudest voice, “O People! Verily Allah has prescribed upon you Hajj, so perform Hajj.”
Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) revealed in the Qur’an: “And proclaim the Hajj among mankind. They will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways” (Surat Al-Hajj, Ayat 28).
To this very day millions upon millions of Muslims continue to answer the call of Prophet Ibrahim (Alaihis salaam). Perhaps this year you shall be amongst those who answer the call.
‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas narrates, “When Islam entered my heart, I went to the Messenger of Allah and said, ‘Give me your hand so that I may pledge allegiance to you.’ The Prophet spread his hand, but I withdrew mine. He said, ‘What is wrong ‘Amr?’ I said, ‘I want to make a condition.’ ‘And what is that?’ he said. I said, ‘That Allah will forgive me.’ Then the Messenger of Allah said, ‘Did you not know that Islam wipes out what came before it, and that Hijrah wipes out what came before it and that Hajj wipes out what came before it!” (Sahih Muslim).
Hajj is the fifth pillar upon which Islam stands. Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) made it compulsory upon every able Muslim male and female to perform it, at least once in a lifetime. Allah revealed: “Hajj thereto is a duty mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the journey, but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures” (Surat Ali Imran, Ayat 97).
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).
Hajj is one of the greatest deeds one can accomplish in his or her lifetime. Abu Hurairah narrates: The Prophet was asked, “What deed is the best?” He said, “Iman in Allah and His Messenger.” “Then what?” “Jihad in the sake of Allah.” “Then what?” “Hajj Mabroor, a Hajj accepted by Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala).”
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.”
Hajj is the greatest jihad. Aishah (Radiallahu anha) asked the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), “We find that jihad is the best deed, shouldn’t we (women) do jihad?” The Prophet replied, “Rather the best jihad is a Hajj Mabroor!” Aishah later said, “I’ll never cease performing Hajj after I heard that from Rasul Allah” (Agreed Upon).
The dua of the one in Hajj shall be accepted. The Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “The soldier in the path of Allah and the one who performs Hajj and the one who performs ‘Umra, all are the delegation of Allah! He called them and they answered. And they asked Him, and He shall grant them (what they ask for)!” (Authentic, narrated by Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban).
Indeed, the Prophet said, “And there is no reward for an accepted Hajj…except Jannah!”