By Hezne Abu Hasan
Everyone gets to go, everybody gets a turn. That is, everyone except you. Year after year, you renew your intentions of going to hajj, but it is never you who gets the call. Some even get to perform Hajj twice, sometimes more. As you sigh, you think, hajj must not be so hard to attain, or Allah would not have made it one of the five pillars of Islam.
So what is it then? Why is your name missing from the invitation list to the Holy Land, year after year?
Alas, we believe without a doubt in a God that does what He wills. Just as lunch and dinner have been predetermined for you, so is the case with hajj. There are many reasons for not being able to go to Hajj; financial and health reasons are top reasons, and domestic logistics issues coming in close especially when children are in the picture. If once again, you won’t be able to perform hajj, no matter how much you want to, take solace that the best of planners deem it better otherwise.
But… believers, rejoice! So rich is our deen and so generous is our Creator that He has allowed for the reward of hajj to be attained, even without setting foot in Makkah.
So do not lose hope, continue to strengthen your intentions and ignite your heart. Distance to the House of Allah is irrelevant when we have a direct hotline to Him. So, call upon Him through prayer. He is closer to you than your own jugular vein. I can’t go to hajj this year, so…
1) Keep awake to greet the sun
Allah wants to give, and He wants to give a lot, but only to those who want it bad enough. The duvet is the heaviest thing one has to push off, making waking up for fajr a constant struggle, And not climbing back to bed and staying up till the sun says hello is serious business. But the reward is a handsome one.
In Al Tirmidhi, it is reported that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever prays the Fajr prayer, sits in the place where he prayed, remembers Allah until sunrise, and then prays two units of prayer will get the reward like one who has performed hajj or umrah perfectly.” The Messenger of Allah ﷺ then said, “Perfectly, perfectly, perfectly.”
2) The strength in numbers and assembly
Uqbah bin Abdul Gaafir said, “praying the Isha prayer in congregation is equivalent in reward to performing hajj. Likewise, performing the Fajr prayer in congregation is equivalent in reward to performing Umrah.” Abu Hurairah once said to a man, “your going to the masjid early is more beloved to me than our fighting alongside the Messenger of Allah ﷺ,” as reported by Imam Ahmad.
3) Brothers’ only privilege
Those who attend the Friday prayers are also said to get the reward of one who performs a non-obligatory hajj. Saeed bin Al Musayyib said, “attending the Friday prayer is more beloved to me than performing a non-obligatory hajj.” The Prophet ﷺ has also likened the one who comes early to the Friday prayer like one who sacrifices an animal in Al Masjid Al Haram. In a weak narration, it has been stated, “The Friday prayer is the hajj of the poor.”
4) Leave poor, return rich
In the Sunan of Abu Dawud, it is reported that the Prophet ﷺ said, “whoever purifies himself for prayer at home and then leaves his home to perform a mandatory prayer will get the reward of one who has performed hajj in a state of religious sanctity. Likewise, whoever purifies himself for prayer at home and leaves his home to perform the forenoon prayer (i.e. Salatul Duha) will get the reward of one who has performed umrah.
5) He who still has a mother is blessed
In the narration of Anas, the Prophet ﷺ advised a man to be good to his mother and said, “you will be a pilgrim performing Hajj, a pilgrim performing Umrah, and a striver in the way of Allah,” by being good to his mother.
6) Eid Mubarak!
Some of the companions of the Prophet ﷺ would say, “going out to the Eid Al Fitr prayer is like umrah while going out to Eid Al Adha prayer is like Hajj.”
7) Rush to help
Al Hasan Al Basri said, “hastening to the aid of your fellow Muslim is better for you than performing one hajj after the other.”
If you are blessed to be performing hajj this year, why not better prepare yourself with AlKauthar’s online course Journey of the Hearts? And even if you are not going for hajj, you are nonetheless blessed, why not gain beneficial insights through the 7 topics, covering everything you need to know about hajj? Find out more about the journey of a lifetime https://online.alkauthar.org/courses/journey-hearts/