حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيزِ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، حَدَّثَنَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ سَعْدٍ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ الْمُسَيَّبِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَة ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ سُئِلَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَىُّ الأَعْمَالِ أَفْضَلُ قَالَ ” إِيمَانٌ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ”. قِيلَ ثُمَّ مَاذَا قَالَ ” جِهَادٌ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ”. قِيلَ ثُمَّ مَاذَا قَالَ ” حَجٌّ مَبْرُورٌ ”.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet (ﷺ) was asked, “Which is the best deed?” He said, “To believe in Allah and His Apostle.” He was then asked, “Which is the next (in goodness)?” He said, “To participate in Jihad in Allah’s Cause.” He was then asked, “Which is the next?” He said, “To perform Hajj-Mabrur.”
: Sahih al-Bukhari 1519
: Book 25, Hadith 7
USC-MSA web (English) reference
: Vol. 2, Book 26, Hadith 594
What is Hajj?
The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, and a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence. It is one of the five pillars of Islam, alongside Shahadah, Salat, Zakat, and Sawm. The gathering during Hajj is considered the largest annual gathering of people in the world. The state of being physically and financially capable of performing the Hajj is called istita’ah, and a Muslim who fulfills this condition is called a mustati. The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to Allah.
Our lives often engrossed and nearly entirely occupied with dunya, the external material world of forms and appearances, leads to heedlessness, unconsciousness and loss of focus, also known as ghaflah. When asking, “Why do Muslims go to Hajj in Mecca? “, one of the most important reasons for the Hajj in Mecca is to assert focus and to regain consciousness.
All created bodies spin in orbits around their centers, axes, and the proper foundation and center for the life of a human being is the Presence of God, a real and authentic holy spiritual connection to the Creator of all-that-is, the One Power from which all things originate.
The Hajj in Mecca emphatically asserts, as throngs of pilgrims circumambulate the Holy Ka’ba in counter-clockwise revolutions, that the center, the focus, the root, source and foundation of man’s life is God-consciousness.
There is no more liberating a choice for a human being than to consciously relinquish attachment to creation and to time, and to restore focus on the Eternal, the Unchanging, the Immaterial, and the Absolute.