Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam that a Muslim is obliged to make at least once in his life. It is a great and lofty act of worship and one of the greatest acts with which the believer draws nearer to Allaah. Hajj consists of many noble goals and great purposes through which are sought. In this three part series ‘Noble Goals of Hajj’, eight goals are presented in detail.
First goal: The Fulfilment of Tawheed
The greatest goal of Hajj is the fulfilment of the Tawheed of Allaah and disassociation from its opposite; Shirk. This is because Tawheed is the purpose which Allaah has created us for. The great status of Tawheed is clearly shown in the great rites of Hajj and its blessed symbols. Tawheed is the foundation on which the Religion of Allaah is based and by which every act of obedience which the believer performs to draw nearer to Allaah is established. Allaah will not accept any act of worship that is not based on Tawheed and disassociation from Shirk.
🔖Therefore, Jabir (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated in the context of his explanation of the Hajj of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), that he (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) pronounced the Oneness of Allaah (saying):
لبيك اللهم لبيك، لبيك لا شريك لك لبيك، إن الحمد والنعمة لك والملك، لا شريك لك
“Labbaik (Here I am at Your service), O Allaah, Labbaik, Labbaik, You have no partner, praise and grace is Yours, and the sovereignty too, You have no partner.” [Muslim, no. 1218]
These great words are words of Tawheed and sincerity to Allaah (Ta’ala) as well as the disassociation from Shirk.
🔖 On the other hand, the polytheists (of Makkah) were proclaiming for Hajj with Shirk, as narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaas (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhuma): “The polytheists also pronounced (Talbiyah) saying:
لبيك لا شريك لك
‘Labbaik (Here I am at Your service), there is no associate with You.’
The Messenger of Allaah (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Woe to them’ as they also said:
إلا شريكا هو تملكه و ما ملك
‘But there is one associate with You, You possess mastery over him, but he does not possess mastery (over You).’
They used to say this and circumambulate the Ka’bah.” [Muslim, no. 1185]
His statement “Laa Sharika Lak” (no associate with You) is repeated twice in the Talbiyah: once after his response to Allaah by saying “Labbaik” (i.e. Here I am at Your service), and once after his statement “Innal-Hamda Wanni’mata laka wal-Mulk” (verily praise and grace are Yours and the sovereignty too). The first one implies that there is no associate with Him in the response of this call, and the second implies that there is no associate with Him in praise, grace, and sovereignty. Since all praise is due to Allaah, and all graces are from Him, and all sovereignty is for Him, and He has no associate in all those in any aspect; then He should be singled out with Talbiyah, submission, love, and obedience.
How could they make a partner with Allaah in worship, one who does not even possess a Qitmir (the thin membrane over the date stone) in the universe? He does not possess any partnership with Allaah in the dominion, nor own any benefit nor can he repulse harm, nor have in his hand the power to give or withhold; rather all matters belong to Allaah alone without any associates with Him. This is one of the greatest proofs of the corruption of Shirk and its people, and that the Mushrikeen are among the most foolish and astray.
🔖 He (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said at the Meeqat (when he pronounced the Talbiyah): “O Allaah, a Hajj in which there is no showing off nor reputation sought.” [Authenticated by Al-Albaani in As-Silsilah as-Saheeha, no. 2617]
Then he (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) proceeded to Makkah pronouncing the Talbiyah and repeating these great words of Tawheed on his way to Makkah and as he made his way through the Hajj rituals.
🔖 The Tawaaf (circumambulating the Ka’bah), the Sa’y between Safa and Marwah, standing at ‘Arafat, staying at Muzdalifah, and performing the rest of the rituals of Hajj are all acts of obedience and worship based on Tawheed. Every pilgrim should seek the Countenance (Face) of His Lord by these acts of obedience, for Allaah will not accept the deed of a person unless it is based on Tawheed. It is reported in a Qudsi Hadeeth that Allaah (Ta’ala) said: “I am the One Who does not stand in need of a partner. If anyone does anything in which he associates anyone else with Me, I shall abandon him with the one whom he associates (with Allaah).” [Muslim, no. 2985]
The Mulabbi (the person who pronounces the Talbiyah), whom Allaah honored to say the Talbiyah which comprises these great words, should know the meanings of these words and their indications, and should strive to fulfill the Tawheed which is implied by them, in his life. He should be sincere in his religion to Allaah, not asking except Allaah, seeking help from Allaah alone, and he should put his trust in Allaah. He should not slaughter a sacrificial animal except for Allaah’s Sake, nor make a vow except for Allaah’s Sake, nor direct any act of worship to other than Him, as Allaah says in Surat al-An’aam [6:162]:
“Say [O Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)]: “Verily, my Salaat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allaah, the Lord of the ‘Alameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists).”
He will then be adhering (holding fast) to Tawheed, maintaining it, considering its rights, avoiding its nullifiers and what opposes it of Shirk, being cautious from falling into it or into any of the means or ways that lead to it.
One should make Tawheed his greatest goal and most important purpose that he intends to fulfil. His care of it should precede any other matter in his life. On this he will live and on this, he will die and on it, he will be resurrected by Allaah’s Leave.
Second goal: Winning Allaah’s Pleasure and Salvation from the Hellfire
Of the goals one should seek to attain in Hajj is to win the Pleasure of Allaah, be saved from the Hellfire, and attain His Forgiveness and Mercy.
🔖 There are many evidences which point to this great goal. Among them is the saying of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): “He who performs Hajj for Allaah’s Sake alone and does not have sexual relations with his wife (during Hajj) and does not do evil nor sin, then he will return (after Hajj) free from all sins, as if he was born a new.“ [Al-Bukhaari]
And his saying: “The reward of Al-Hajj Al-Mabroor (the one accepted by Allaah) is nothing but Paradise.“ [Al-Bukhaari]
🔖 He (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) told ‘Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu): “Are you not aware of the fact that Islam wipes out all previous (misdeeds)? Verily, migration wipes out all the previous (misdeeds) and verily the pilgrimage wipes out all the previous (misdeeds).“ [Muslim, no. 121]
🔖He (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said: “Alternate between Hajj and ‘Umrah; for these two remove poverty and sins just as the bellows removes filth from iron, gold, and silver – and there is no reward for Al-Hajj Al-Mabroor (the accepted Hajj) except Paradise.” [At-Tirmidhi with a good Isnad]
Winning the Pleasure of Allaah is the greatest and most magnificent blessing. Allaah (Ta’ala) says in Surat at-Tawbah (9:71-72):
وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَيُطِيعُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ سَيَرْحَمُهُمُ اللَّهُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
“The believers, men and women, are Auliyaa’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma’roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); they perform As-Salaat Iqaamat-as-Salaat) and give the Zakaat, and obey Allaah and His Messenger. Allaah will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allaah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَمَسَاكِنَ طَيِّبَةً فِي جَنَّاتِ عَدْنٍ ۚ وَرِضْوَانٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ
“Allaah has promised the believers -men and women, – Gardens under/. which rivers flow to dwell therein forever, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of ‘Adn (Eden Paradise). But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of Allaah. That is the supreme success.”
Allaah first mentions their actions – obedience to Allaah and His Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), establishing the obligatory acts of Islam and religious duties, showing the Religion of Allaah clearly to others, advising His servants, enjoining the Ma’roof (good) and forbidding the Munkar (evil) – then He (Ta’ala) mentions what He has prepared for them in gradual stages: He (Ta’ala) begins by mentioning that He has prepared for them a Paradise under which rivers flow. Then He (Ta’ala) followed that by mentioning the great dwellings and lofty rooms (chambers) that He (Ta’ala) has prepared for them therein. Then He (Ta’ala) mentions the greatest bounty and honor, which is to win the Pleasure of Allaah, saying (interpretation of the meaning): “But the greatest bliss is the Good Pleasure of Allaah.” Then the context ended with: “That is the supreme success.”
This is to emphasize the greatness of the Pleasure of Allaah; that it is greater than every delight and gift bestowed. This is because the Pleasure of Allaah is one of Allaah’s Attributes, and His Paradise and all what it consists of honor, blessings, and graces, are creations of Allaah. So the Pleasure of Allaah is greater than every blessing; greater than Paradise and every delight therein.
Al-Bukhaari and Muslim reported a Hadeeth that emphasizes this meaning. Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Allaah, the Exalted the Blessed, will say to the people of Paradise: ‘O people of Paradise!’ They will say: ‘Labbaik, O Our Lord, and Sa’daik!’ Allaah will ask: ‘Are you pleased?’ They will say: ‘Why should we not be pleased, when You have given us what You have not given to anyone of Your creation?’ Allaah will say: ‘I will give you something better than that.’ They will say: ‘O our Lord! And what is better than that?’ Allaah will say: ‘I will bestow My good Pleasure and Contentment upon you, so that I will never be angry with you forever.’” [Al-Bukhaari]
It is incumbent upon every Muslim to put this goal in front of his eyes, keep it present in his heart, and seek to win the Pleasure of Allaah, His Forgiveness, and salvation from the Hellfire, from his Hajj to the House of Allaah. This is because if one makes it the goal he seeks to attain, all his affairs will be reformed.
Third goal: Fulfilment of Taqwa of Allaah
Although the verses which speak about Hajj are few in the Noble Qur’an, Allaah profusely advises His servants with Taqwa in it. This is because there are more means of attaining Taqwa in performing Hajj than in any other acts of worship.
Allaah (Ta’ala) repeatedly advises with Taqwa in the context of Hajj in Surat al-Baqarah. In the first verse, Allaah (Ta’ala) says (in 2:196):
واتقوا الله واعلموا أن الله شديد العقاب
“And fear Allaah much and know that Allaah is Severe in punishment.”
In the second verse (2:197), He says:
وتزودوا فإن خير الزاد التقوى واتقون يا أولي الألباب
“And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness, etc.). So fear Me, O men of understanding!”
And He (Ta’ala) concludes the verses of Hajj with His Statement (in 2:203):
واتقوا الله واعلموا أنكم إليه تحشرون
“… and obey Allaah (fear Him), and know that you will surely be gathered unto Him.”
And He (Ta’ala) says in Surat al-Hajj [22:32]:
ذَٰلِكَ وَمَن يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِن تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ
“Thus it [what is mentioned in the previously said verses (22:27-31) is an obligation that mankind owes to Allaah]. And whosoever honors the Symbols of Allaah, then it is truly from the piety of the heart.”
And in (22:37), Allaah (Ta’ala) says:
لن ينال الله لحومها ولا دماؤها ولكن يناله التقوى منكم
“It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allaah, but it is piety from you that reaches Him.”
Taqwa is the greatest advice and the best provision for the Day of Resurrection. It is the advice of Allaah (Ta’ala) for the former and later generations, as He (Ta’ala) says in Surat an-Nisaa’ (4:131):
ولقد وصينا الذين أوتوا الكتاب من قبلكم وإياكم أن اتقوا الله
“We have recommended to the people of the Scripture before you, and to you (O Muslims) that you (all) fear Allaah, and keep your duty to Him.
It is also the advice of the noble Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) for his Ummah. Whenever he (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) sent a leader on any expedition, he (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would advise him with Taqwa of Allaah and to be good to those who were with him. He (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to advise with Taqwa in many of his sermons, for example, when he (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) gave the sermon in the Farewell Hajj on the Day of Slaughtering (Eid Day) he (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) advised the people with Taqwa of Allaah.
🔖The Righteous Predecessors used to advise one another with it, because it is the best provision with which one achieves the Pleasure of Allaah (Ta’ala). A man told ‘Umar (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) to fear Allaah. ‘Umar (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) replied: “There is no good in you if you do not say it, and no good in us if we do not accept it.” There are in fact many quotations from the Salaf regarding this matter. [Jami’ul-‘Uloom wal Hikam by Ibn Rajab]
It would be most beautiful if the pilgrim returned from his pilgrimage with an increase in this blessed provision.
In the verses of Surat al Hajj, Allaah (Ta’ala) calls the people of understanding to have Taqwa (fear of Him). This means that it is incumbent upon the people of understanding – whom Allaah has honored with Hajj – to make the attainment of Taqwa one of their greatest goals in their Hajj, and to think considerably with their heart and mind during the rituals of Hajj in order that they benefit from the Taqwa of Allaah.
Hajj is a great school of Taqwa and one of the greatest gates (to attain it). The rituals of Hajj are a great help in fulfilling Taqwa of Allaah because of what is in the acts of Hajj of training oneself upon obedience to Allaah and worshipping Him without reluctance, as well as staying away from the state of heedlessness, indiscipline, and not carrying out the Commands of Allaah.
📚 Source: Maqaasid Al-Hajj (Goals of Hajj) by Shaikh ‘Abdur-Razzaq al-Badr
🔗 Read Part Two of the three part series ‘Noble Goals of Hajj’ – Part 2
- The Best Days of the Worldly Life
- The Sacredness of Makkah and Al-Madinah
- Noble Goals of Hajj (Part 3)
- Khutbah of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) at ‘Arafaat