The institution of Hajj is as old as the Kaaba (House of Allah) itself, with it being built by the first person on earth, Adam (AS). And being compulsory, it is important hajj is performed sooner rather than later.
6 reasons why hajj should be performed while young:
- It’s an expression of true love
- Hajj is the best of deeds
- Hajj removes poverty
- Hadith about hastening towards hajj
- Opportunity to think about the ummah
- So many places for dua in hajj
In Islamic terms, Hajj means going on a pilgrimage to Kaaba to observe the necessary requisites of devotion.
‘…And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way…’
Why is Hajj observed by Muslims?
The ceremony of Hajj is in recognition of Ibrahim (AS) and his family’s acts of devotion to Allah. It combines all the qualities of other obligatory acts within it in terms of Prayer during its days, the spending of wealth in order to go and perform it. In terms of choice of food and accommodation, they are not as we would find at home, drawing on the lessons of fasting.
There are many ahadith that mention hajj as one of the pillars and fundamentals of Islam. According to the consensus of the scholars, it is only obligatory for the adult Muslim to perform Hajj once in his/her lifetime. It is a duty which should not be delayed and we should not be in any doubt that intentional delaying of this duty is a form of sin.
As it is an obligation from Allah, it is meant to be performed immediately, and as long as the conditions for it are fulfilled, the obligation should be fulfilled straight away. Unfortunately, young people may have found one excuse after another to delay it, even if money, time and support is available.
It is not proper to delay it unnecessarily, putting it off for one reason or another. People tend to delay it, unfortunately, which is why when you undertake the pilgrimage, you find the older people outnumbering the younger significantly.
When to Start preparing for Hajj
We know the process of performing hajj is not an easy thing so start preparing now. If you can’t go this year, then make a firm intention you will go next year and start making the necessary arrangements like saving money to achieve that goal; getting yourself physically healthy to be able to perform the ritual acts properly; start learning about the requirements of the pilgrimage, its etiquettes and the recommended and praiseworthy acts within it. This way, if you are only ever able to go once, then it will be done correctly.
Will you get the chance for Hajj next time around?
Living in this modern time with so much happening so quickly where wealth increases and diminishes within weeks if not days and the value of money does the same. The price of Hajj ever increasing, will you even get the chance to perform Hajj next year?
The Coronavirus pandemic that affected almost the entire planet including the two Holy cities reminds us how quickly situations and circumstances can change. For that reason, get preparing with all your mental, physical and financial health from now. So what are the benefits of performing Hajj sooner rather than later?
6 reasons why Hajj is best to do when young
1. An expression of true love
Young men and women love, amongst all other things, to look tidy, neat and clean and to look their best. But in Hajj, with the difficulties and obstacles one may encounter as well as the dressing (for men) in simple white cloths, this shows a picture of an ardent lover; an appearance of a man humble and submissive without any form of adornment with dishevelled hair and dust-covered ihram clothes uttering aloud the labbaik (I am at Your service, O Allah).
The manner in which a person in Hajj presents himself is so much appreciated and liked by Allah that He boasts about it in front of the angels saying; ‘O my angels, look at the visitor of My holy house; with hair dishevelled; and laden in dust; they come to Me.’ How much more effective is this appearance on a young person who wants to look their best at all times? This is devotion.
2. Hajj is from the best of deeds
Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: The Prophet (SAW), was asked, “What is the best deed?” The Prophet said, “Faith in Allah and his messenger.” It was said, “Then what?” The Prophet said, “Jihad in the way of Allah.” It was said, “Then what?” The Prophet said, “A blessed Hajj pilgrimage.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
This hadith shows the status that Hajj has. Now imagine a young man or woman performing the Hajj and the mercy they will attract from Allah for carrying out one of the best deeds in His sight. Bear in mind that both Jihad and Hajj both require physical exertion that a young person possesses more than an elderly.
3. Hajj removes poverty
Abdullah ibn Masud (RA) said: The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Make the Hajj and Umra follow each other closely, for they remove poverty and sins as the bellows removes the dross of iron, gold and silver, and an accepted Hajj brings no less a reward than Paradise.” (Tirmidhi)
It may seem counter-intuitive that something that costs so much like Hajj followed quickly by an Umrah will actually remove poverty, but the Prophet (SAW) actually stated this to be the case with the intention of removing this false impression. Allah will recompense the person in this world as well as the Hereafter.
The accepted Hajj is when a person does not commit any acts of disobedience towards Allah. How beloved is it to Allah that a young person during Hajj puts his trust in his Creator with the usually relatively little wealth in his possession compared to an older person who has been earning for years.
4. Hadith about hastening towards Hajj
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘Whoever intends to perform Hajj, let him hasten to do so, for he may fall sick, lose his mount, or be faced with some need.’ (Ibn Majah)
This hadith shows that the Muslim should expedite the duty of Hajj because he doesn’t know what will happen to him in the future. Remember Hajj is a pillar of Islam just like Salah and Fasting so the same rule applies, if there is no set time or reason, they must be done immediately and this is best accomplished when young.
Worshipping Allah in one’s youth is a sign that a person is good. The Prophet (SAW) spoke of the great virtue of a young man who grows up worshipping and obeying Allah, and said that he will be shaded by Allah on the Day of Resurrection, the Day when the sun will be directly over the heads of the people.
It was narrated from Abu Hurairah (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said: “There are seven whom Allah will shade with His shade on the Day when there will be no shade but His…” among those he mentioned, “a young man who grew up worshipping Allah.” (Bukhari) It is certainly praiseworthy that a person fulfils a pillar of Islam in their youth.
5. An opportunity to think of the Ummah
Hajj is the ideal occasion for Muslims of the world to foster brotherhood and acquire a relationship of unity. Isn’t this best done when one is young and able to change and make things happen?
An older person will certainly feel the same way looking at this multitude of people dressed the same and doing the same thing but a young person has the ability to get things started and get results. When can you strive for the best interests of the Ummah than when you’re young?
6. So many places for Dua (supplication) in Hajj
It is reported that Hassan al-Basri (RA) once wrote a letter to the people of Makkah, wherein he said that there are 15 places where prayers are heard:
- During tawaaf.
- At the Multazam (the doorway of the Kaaba).
- At the Meezabur-Rahmah. (Under the waterspout in the Hateem of the Kaaba).
- Inside the Kaaba.
- At the well of Zamzam.
- At Safa.
- Upon Marwa.
- While walking between Safa and Marwa (Sa’i).
- At the Maqaame Ibrahim.
- On the plain of Arafah.
- At Muzdalifah.
- At Mina
- At the time of pelting the three Satans at Mina.
A young person who has his life still ahead of him and with so many wishes and desires yet to be fulfilled, this is an ideal time to go on the pilgrimage and ask to your heart’s content, because not only the place, but the time is also blessed because Hajj can only be done at a particular time.
Can you do hajj more than once?
Muslims who are able to are required to perform Hajj at least once in their lifetime and there are teachings of the Prophet (SAW) that encourage Hajj to be done more than once.
Restrictions may be placed by authorities restricting how often Hajj is performed by a person to try and accommodate as many as possible. So try to accomplish the Hajj sooner rather than later.
Whoever is mindful of Allah when he is young and strong, Allah will take care of him when he is old and has become weak, and will bless him with good hearing, eyesight, strength and reasoning.
The opposite also applies; one of the pious predecessors saw an old man begging from people and said: “This is a weak man who ignored Allah when he was young, so Allah is ignoring him now he has grown old.”
Performing Hajj while you are young and fulfilling an obligatory act certainly counts as being mindful of Allah.
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