Hajj is (a type of) Jihaad
Jihaad is of different kinds and ranks, including striving with the soul and property, striving with the tongue and word and striving against one’s own desires in obedience of Allah. This latter type is very clearly manifested in Hajj, which combines the striving of the body along with the spending of wealth in the way of Allah.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala prescribed Hajj as a type of Jihaad for he who is weak and unable to fight in the cause of Allah. It was narrated on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah radhiAllahu ‘anha that she said, “O Messenger of Allah, we see that Jihaad is the best of deeds, should we not take part in Jihaad?” He said: “The best type of Jihaad for you (women) is to perform a Hajj Mabroor.” [Al-Bukhari]
The Companions radhiAllahu ‘anhum would not limit themselves to one type of Jihaad. ‘Umar radhiAllahu ‘anhu said, “When you unsaddle (your horses, i.e. return from fighting), then saddle up your camels on your journey to Hajj as it is one of two types of Jihaad.”Ibn Mas‘ood radhiAllahu ‘anhu said, “It (Jihaad) is (i.e., depends on) but a saddle (on the horse) and a bag (on the camel): the saddle (on the horse) is used for fighting in the cause of Allah and the bag (on the camel) is for the way to Hajj.”
All of these and other texts indicate the high position of this obligatory duty in the Shari‘ah of Islam and its importance in the Muslim’s life.
Performing Hajj is among the Causes of Wealth and its Multiplication
One might have the false impression that if he spends his wealth in Hajj and‘Umrah (minor pilgrimage), his wealth would decrease and he would be given to destitution and poverty. For this reason, the Prophet, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, wanted to remove this false impression and fear, showing that spending in Hajj and ‘Umrah and performing them repeatedly in fact bring about sustenance and eliminate poverty, by the permission of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. It was narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood radhiAllahu ‘anhu that the Messenger of Allah, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “Perform Hajj and ‘Umrah repeatedly, for they remove poverty and sins in the same way as bellows removes the impurities of iron, gold and silver.” [Ahmad and others] Bellows are a tool for producing a strong current of air and are used by blacksmiths to expel impurities and stains from the iron with the help of the fire.
Just as Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala promises the slave to recompense him in this world for his spending in Hajj and increase sustenance for him, He also promises that such spending will be multiplied with Him in the Hereafter, in the same way as the spending in the way of Allah is multiplied. It was narrated on the authority of Buraydah radhiAllahu ‘anhu that the Prophet, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Spending in Hajj is (multiplied) like spending in the cause of Allah: As much as seven hundred times.” [Ahmad: Hasan chain of narrators]
The Pilgrim is under the Protection of Allah
Since Hajj may expose the slave to many risks and terrors which could thwart him and cause him to refrain from performing that obligatory duty, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ensures for the one who sets out on a journey as a pilgrim to His House in response to His call to safeguard and take care of him in life and after death. As far as this world is concerned, if he returns home, he will return with reward. As for the Hereafter, then if he dies on the journey, he would be raised in the very state in which he died. Which type of fear could then be upon he whom Allah is with? In confirmation of this, it was narrated in an authentic hadeeth on the authority of Abu Hurairah radhiAllahu ‘anhu that the Prophet, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Three (types of people) are under the protection of Allah: A man who goes to one of the Masajid [Mosques] of Allah, a man who sets out as a fighter in the cause of Allah, and a man who sets out as a pilgrim.” [Abu Nu‘aym] [Al-Albaani: Saheeh]
It is also proven in a Saheeh narration on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu that the Prophet, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said about a man who fell down from his riding mount while being at ‘Arafah, and broke his neck: “Wash him with water and Sidr and shroud him in two pieces of cloth, and neither perfume him, nor cover his head, for he will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment reciting Talbiyah (i.e. as a pilgrim).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Performers of Hajj and ‘Umrah are Guests of Allah
It was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar radhiAllahu ‘anhu that he said that the Prophet, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “The fighter in the cause of Allah, and the performer of Hajj and ‘Umrah are guests of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. He invites them and they answer His invitation, and they ask Him and He gives them (what they ask for).” [Ibn Maajah] [Al-Albaani: Saheeh]
What honor could be equal to the slave’s being in the hospitality of Allah, the Most Merciful? What honor could be equal to the response of the creator to the supplication of His slave? Allah is the Bestower of success.
Slightly modified. Originally published at islamweb.net