The Spirit of Hajj

This Month is the Month of Hajj - Dhul Hajj. Around 30 lakhs of people have already arrived at Makkah to attend the annual ritual of Hajj. They come from all countries of the world with the same intention of completing Hajj, which is acceptable to Almighty God. Qur'an has commanded thus:

"And proclaim to mankind the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on very lean camel. They will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Hajj), that they may witness things that are of benefit to them. Let them complete their prescribed duties and perform their vows and circumambulate the ancient house" (Qur'an 22:27-29)

"Pilgrimage to the house is a duty to Allah by all people who are able to make the journey. As for those who disbelieve, Allah is in no need of anyone in all the worlds. Say: People of earlier revelation, why do you disbelieve in Allah?¦s revelations, when Allah Himself is witness to all that you do. Say: People of earlier revelation, why do you try to turn those who have come to believe, away from the path of Allah, seeking to make it turn crooked when you yourselves bear witness (to its being) straight)? Allah is not unaware of what you do" (Qur'an 3:97-99)

"The pilgrimage shall take place in the months appointed for it. And whoever undertakes the pilgrimage in those [months] shall, while on pilgrimage, abstain from lewd speech, from all wicked conduct, and from quarrelling; and whatever good you may do, God is aware of it. And make provision for yourselves - but, verily, the best of all provisions is God-consciousness: remain, then, conscious of Me, O you who are endowed with insight!" (Qur'an 2:197).

Pilgrimage was prescribed to the followers of all Prophets from Adam to Muhammad. It is one form of worship.

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam to be performed by a Muslim who has the means and sufficient health to accomplish the same, the other pillars being Kalimah (confirmation of faith in one God), 5 times prayer per day, fasting in the month of Ramadan, Zakat (2.5% of money left with the individual after completion of one full year to be given to poor, needy, orphans, widows etc.). Hajj is the congregation of world Muslims in a specified place and time with the same object viz. obeying the Commandment of Allah - Lord of the Universe, Creator and Cherisher, with no beginning and no end. Hajj is compulsory once in life time, if the person has means to perform, by way money and health.

Hajj tests the patience, belief, spirit of sacrifice, humbleness, kindness, brotherly love, love towards God, readiness to give up all materials comfort and convenience for the will and plan of God.

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