Don't delay Hajj anymore
By Asma bint Shameem

Every one knows that Hajj is the fifth and final pillar of Islam. And performing Hajj is one of the obligations that Allaah has put upon His believing slaves if they have the means. But how many of us really pay attention to this command?
Now I am not talking about those of us who are sick, or financially unable to afford it. I am talking about those of us who have a steady job, a good enough income, Alhamdulillaah. And we have health and the physical and other means to go for Hajj.
But we just don't think about it.

Sure we have all that money saved up but we are either saving it for that trip to Disney Land or that vacation to Hawaii. Perhaps it is for a bigger house or a fancier car. Or we are just so busy in our jobs and day to day lives that even the thought of going to Hajj doesn't cross our minds.

Although Allaah tells us in the Qur'aan that Hajj is fardh on every Muslim once in lifetime, provided they are able to perform it.
"And Hajj to the House (Ka`bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses; and whoever disbelieves [i.e., denies Hajj, then he is a disbeliever of Allah], then Allah stands not in need of any of the `Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists).'' (Surah Aale-Imraan:97)

And the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said during a Khutbah: "O people! Hajj has been made incumbent upon you, so perform Hajj.'' (Muslim)

From this we can conclude that hajj is obligatory on whoever has the (physical, financial, and circumstantial) ability to reach the sacred precincts of the Kaa'bah in Makkah.

But somehow, we don't realize that delaying Hajj for no specific reason is so wrong.

The Ulama tell us that those who have the ability to go for Hajj but delay it for no specific reason, are concurring a major sin. That's right...a major sin!
In fact, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I was about to send envoys to the towns to check on all those who have the means to make Hajj but do not perform it, in order to demand them to pay Jizyah; they are not Muslims, they are not Muslims”.

Subhaan Allaah! What strong words and we didn't even think it was such a big deal.
Ibn Qudaamah said: "If a person is obliged to do Hajj and is able to do it, he must do it straight away and it is not permissible for him to delay it." (al-Mughni)
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked about Hajj and whether one can delay it. He replied: "The correct view is that it must be done straight away and it is not permissible for a person who is able to go on Hajj to the Sacred House of Allaah to delay it. The same applies to all the duties enjoined by sharee’ah: if there is no set time or reason, they must be done immediately." (Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen)
But come to think of it, why would one want to delay it anyway?

Wouldn't you want to have your sins...and I mean, ALL your sins forgiven?
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Whoever performs Hajj to this house - Kaa'bah- and does not commit any obscenity and wrongdoing, he, or she, will come out as the day he, or she, was born - pure and free from sins." (Bukhaari, Muslim)

Just imagine! Pure and free from the day you were born!

Wouldn't you want to be free from Hell Fire?
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "There is no day on which Allah sets free more slaves from Hell than He does on the Day of `Arafah.'' [Muslim].

Sure, it is a rigorous journey. But isn't Jannah worth it?
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "The reward of Hajj Mabrur (i.e., one accepted) is nothing but Jannah.'' [Bukhaari, Muslim].

And don't think spending for Hajj will decrease your wealth or make you poor in any way. For not only does Hajj wipe away sins, but it also gets rid of poverty. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
“Keep on doing Hajj and ‘Umrah, for they eliminate poverty and sin just as the bellows eliminate impurities from iron and gold and silver.” (Tirmidhi, al-Nasaa’i, saheeh by al-Albaani)

And you don't have to worry about anything when you go there, because you are Allaah's guest and He will take care of you. Imagine...Allaah's guest! What more could one want?!!

“The one who fights for the sake of Allaah and the pilgrim who goes for Hajj or ‘Umrah are all guests of Allaah. He called them and they responded; they ask of Him and He will give them.” (Ibn Maajah-- hasan by al-Albaani.

And imagine the reward for all this? Nothing but Jannah.

Also, the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) encouraged us to go for Hajj as quickly as we can and fulfill this duty and not delay it. He (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:

“Hasten to do Hajj – meaning the obligatory Hajj – for none of you knows what will happen to him.” (Ahmad- hasan by al-Albaani)

So hasten to the 'maghfirah' of your Lord...rush to seek His Bounty, His Mercy, His Pleasure....and race to a Jannah whose width is as wide as the heavens and the earth. For you never know what is in store for us. We are alive today but we may not be here tomorrow. We might be healthy today, but we be sick tomorrow.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:
“Take benefit of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness,your wealth before your poverty,your free-time before your preoccupation, and your life before your death.”(Hakim-saheeh)
Have you ever thought what it is like to pray in al-Haram...with the Kaa'bah right in front of your very eyes?This is where the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) sat, walked, prayed. This where the Sahabah were. What a magnificent place to be in! And you can multiply your good deeds there. And Tawaaf and Saa’ee cannot be done anywhere in the world except here.

The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "One prayer in al-Masjid al-Haraam is better than one hundred thousand prayers anywhere else.” (Ibn Maajah, Ahmad, Saheeh)

Hajj is the perfection of faith and true surrender to the Almighty. It is a reminder of the purpose of life and man's ultimate end. It is a stage in which you can develop yourself spiritually. It is a time when you forget your home, your comfort, your families...your wealth, your friends, relatives and everything you possess, purely for the sake of Allaah. It is the time when you train yourself for absolute and complete surrender to the Divine Command of the Almighty. It is a perfect chance to earn Jannah.
So surely, that trip to Disney Land can wait, that house can be bought next year, that vacation can be postponed.

Make the intention for hajj now. And don't just make the intention. Do something about it. Ask your boss for time off for Hajj. Work out your finances and other arrangements. And make lots of dua to Almighty. Surely He will make a way out for you if you are sincere. And even if you have been for hajj some years ago, go ahead and repeat your Hajj. Because the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said:

“Keep on doing Hajj and ‘Umrah, for they eliminate poverty and sin...." (Tirmidhi)

So plan for Hajj today. Don't delay it any further. There is still time for you to make it this year.

Go for Hajj to earn the pleasure of your Lord, and come back with all your sins forgiven.

"Race one with another in hastening towards Forgiveness from your Lord, and towards Paradise, the width whereof is as the width of heaven and earth, prepared for those who believe in Allaah and His Messengers. That is the Grace of Allaah which He bestows on whom He pleases. And Allaah is the Owner of Great Bounty." (Surah Hadeed:21)

Note: "The definition of being able to go for Hajj is: a person should be physically healthy; he should have the means of traveling to the Sacred House of Allaah by plane, car or riding-beast, or have the money to pay for transportation; and he should have sufficient provision (food) for the journey there and back. This should be over and above what he needs to cover the costs of expenses for those whom he is obliged to spend on until he comes back from his Hajj." (Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah)

In case of debt: "Whoever owes a debt and is being asked to repay it in the sense that his creditors will not let him go for Hajj until after he has paid off the debt should not go for Hajj, because he is not able to. But if they are not asking him to repay and he knows that they don't mind, then he may go for Hajj and his Hajj will be valid. It is also permissible to go for Hajj if there is no set time limit for repayment of the debt and he is allowed to repay when it is easy for him. Hajj may be a good thing that may lead to his paying off the debt." (Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah)