Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Muslim’s holiest city, Makkah of Saudi Arabia.
The five-to-six day pilgrimage is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for all Muslims who have the physical and financial ability to undertake the journey.
The pilgrimage is the fifth pillar of Islamic practice for every Muslim (the other four being the profession of faith, five daily prayers, charity and the fasting of Ramadan), as per the holy Quran:
“وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا” [آل عمران:97]
“And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way.” Surah Ali ‘Imran [3:97]
Every year of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic Hijri lunar calendar, millions of muslims from around the world gather their savings to “attend the epic journey’’ towards Makkah and perform the rituals of Hajj. There’s no journey, no spiritual experience, nor such a chance to connect with Allah quite as substantial as Hajj, for it denotes both the outward act of physically travelling and the inward act of every Muslim’s contemplation of their faith.
With such a journey comes plenty of sacrifice, strength and an unimaginable amount of rewards. The Hadith says:
“Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any obscenity or commit any evil will go back (free of) sin as on the day his mother bore him” [Bukhari, Muslim]
In part of another Hadith, the Blessed Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
“…an accepted Hajj brings no reward but Paradise.” [Bukhari, Muslim]