This is without doubt the culmination of a great festival – a festival where Muslims of all colour and language have congregated on one massive plain to celebrate the praise of their Creator, Almighty Allah. Hajj provides an opportunity to unite Muslims of the world and it also offers an ocassion to Muslims to exchange views on their mutual problems, to iron out their differences, to forge common opinions, to barter goods as well as goodwill, and to take back to their respective homelands memorable feelings of the Muslim brotherhood, of course, in addition to the innumerable blessings of Almighty Allah and the righteousness of their body and soul.
The Hajj Pilgrimage, is one of the Pillars of Islam and one of the fundamentals of Islam. It is the completion of surrender and the day of perfection in the religion of Islam.
It was on this day that Almighty Allah revealed the following message to the Ummah of His beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “Today, I have perfected your religion for you and completed my grace upon you and approved Islam as your religion.”
We must understand that the basis of all actions is intention and intention without doubt bears fruit if there is sincerity, and Hajj, which is an integral part in Islam, will therefore require those who perform it to have sincerity.
When the person intends undertaking Hajj, he severs all ties with family and home. This is a reminder to him also of the journey he will have to undertake for the Hereafter.
As for provisions, the intending pilgrim must realise that they have been acquired in the Halaal (permissable) fashion. If a person desires to take a lot for the journey, then let him remember the journey to the Hereafter which is longer and more difficult and that the best provision for that journey will be Taqwa (Piety).
As for transport, when the pilgrim acquires transport he should give thanks to the Almighty Creator and at the same time remember the transport that will carry him the grave and the next world, namely his Kaffan (Shroud).
As for leaving home, the intending pilgrim should know that he is now bound for the House of Allah. He is on a journey unlike any journey. He should bear in mind where he is heading and whom he intends to visit. He should also have hope that his Hajj will be accepted, not because of the difficulties faced, but because of the trust that he has in His Creator.
When wearing the Ihraam, the pilgrim is aware that he has heard the summons of Almighty Allah. He should possess fear and hope when considering the acceptance of his Hajj. This fear should be the fear of Almighty Allah and hope in His Mercy.
As for touching the Hajre Aswad (Black Stone), the pilgrim should believe that he is pledging his loyalty to Almighty Allah and that he will obey the Commands of the Supreme Being. Make firm your promise and do not be like those who promise today while changing their minds tomorrow.
When the pilgrim clings to the Khilaaf (Cloth) of the Holy Kaaba, seek forgiveness and beg for Allah’s Mercy. Even the running between Saffa and Marwa must signify a slave who is running to and from the Court of a Mighty King not knowing whether he has been accepted or rejected. As for standing at Arafaat, look at the crowds following their Imaams (Leaders) and recall the sight of the Yaumal Hashr (Day of Gathering).
After this, plead for Almighty Allah’s Mercy. When you throw stones at the Shaitaan, your purpose should be obedience to your Creator. The idea is to drive Shaitaan away from you.
Such should be the various duties of the pilgrim at all stages of the Hajj. When all acts are completed, your heart should be filled with concern, for you do not know whether your Hajj has been accepted or rejected. Yet after completion you realise that your inner and outer self has been filled with enthusiasm and love, and you have a genuine feeling of making Ibaadah, then remember that you have been placed among the chosen ones!