Why Muslim Perform Hajj: Hajj is translated as “to go somewhere”. In Islam, this word takes on a slightly different meaning – the annual pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca for the performance of certain religious rites in accordance with the precept of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
For the first time, the rites of Hajj were established by the Lord at the time of the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). He was entrusted to build the Kaaba – the house of God – with his son Ismail in the city of Mecca. This is what the Lord said about the Kaaba:
“We directed Abraham (Abraham) to the place of the House (Kaaba):” Do not associate with me with your companions and purify My House (Kaaba) for those who make the rounds, stand up to prayers, bow and prostrate. “(Quran 22:26 )
After completing the construction of the blessed Kaaba, the prophet Ibrahim returned here every year to perform the rites of Hajj. After his death, Ismail continued to follow his father’s example. But the years went by, and over time both the purpose and form of the Hajj were lost. Idolatry gradually supplanted the religion of Allah from the Arabian Peninsula. Kaaba ceased to be a symbol of monotheism and turned into a haven for idols, their number reached 360! The walls of the Kaaba were painted with verses and drawings, among which one could find Jesus with his mother Maria.
The performance of the hajj on the sacred territory of the Kaaba was more like a circus than worship. Naked men and women walked around the Kaaba. They claimed that they should appear before the Lord in the form in which they came to this world. Their prayer, even from afar, did not resemble the sincere remembrance of the Almighty and was reduced, as a result, to clapping, whistling and blowing into the horn. Even the motto of the Hajj was distorted: the following words were added to it: “You have no companion other than that whom you yourself have chosen as a companion. You are his Master, and the Master of what he possesses. “
Although the sacrifice was still performed for the sake of Allah, there was no distortion here. The blood of the sacrificial animals was poured on the walls of the Kaaba, and their meat was hung on pillars around it. People believed that the Lord demanded the blood and flesh of the sacrificial animals.
Singing, drinking, fornication were common among pilgrims. But the main part of the hajj was assigned to the contest of poets. At such events, the poets praised the courage and splendor of their tribesmen and told stories (exaggerating them many times) about cowardice and avarice of other tribes. In the competitions, generals were also attended by the heads of the tribes: by order of each of them, huge boilers with food for pilgrims were installed. It was a way for rulers to become famous for their incredible generosity.
Thus, people abandoned the teachings of their leader and forefather Ibrahim. The house, erected to worship the One God, was defiled by the Gentiles, the former rites – forgotten. Such a sad situation lasted two and a half thousand years! After such a long time, the Lord responded to the prayer of Ibrahim:
“Our Lord! Send to them a messenger from them, who will read to them Your verses, teach them Scripture and wisdom and purify them. Verily, Thou you are the Mighty, the Wise. “(Quran 2: 129)
A man named Muhammad ibn Abdullah was born in the same city where the prophet Ibrahim
used to pray for centuries before his Lord. For twenty-three years, Muhammad spread the message about the unity of God – the same message that Ibrahim and the other prophets came with – and established the law of the Most High on earth. He invested all his strength so that the word of the Lord would become the main thing for all. The victory of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) over treachery reached the summit at the moment when he entered the Kaaba, filled with idols, and crushed everything, leaving no stone unturned. And it again became the world center for those who worship the One God.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) not only cleansed the Ka’bah from filth, but also restored the rites of Hajj, which, with the permission of the Almighty, were established in the time of Ibrahim. Special prescriptions of the Koran were sent down to eliminate false rituals, which were very common in the pre-Islamic period. The Lord strictly forbade all the shameful and ugly acts formerly present in the rites:
“Hajj is committed in certain months. Whoever intends to perform the Hajj in these months, he should not enter into sexual intimacy, commit sins and enter into disputes during the Hajj … “(Quran 2: 197)
The contest of poets in the elevation of the forefathers and the actions of their tribesmen were stopped. Instead, the Lord commanded:
“When you finish your rites, then remember Allah as you remember your forefathers, and even more than that” (Quran 2: 200)
The same fate befell the competition in generosity. Of course, the provision of food to the needy pilgrims was welcomed, as was the case with Ibrahim, but the Lord demanded that the stamping of animals for this purpose was only for the sake of Allah’s pleasure, and not for the glorification of man:
“Say the name of Allah over them when they stand in rows. When they fall on their sides, then eat from them and feed those who are content with the small, and those who ask for poverty “(Quran 22:36)
On the deplorable custom of pouring the blood of sacrificial animals on the walls of the Kaaba and hanging their meat on the altars, the Lord clearly said:
“Neither the meat nor their blood reaches up to Allah. Only your God-fearing comes to Him … “(Quran 22:37)
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also stopped the practice of circumventing the Ka’bah in the nude. The Lord asked only one question, but with this question he at once dismissed all the arguments of idol worshipers in favor of their traditions:
“Say:” Who forbidden the adornments of Allah, which He bestowed on His slaves? “(Quran 7:32)
Another custom was criticized in the Qur’an – to go to Hajj without gathering food for the journey. Before Islam, some people who called themselves pious, did not have the habit of stocking food for a long journey (this supposedly meant the ability to rely solely on Allah in everything). Instead, they begged for the Hajj period. By this behavior they demonstrated their faith in God and their own piety. Nevertheless, the Lord informed mankind that the preparation of sufficient provisions is one of the conditions for hajj:
“Take supplies with you, but the best supply is God-fearing” (Quran 2: 197)
Thus, all pre-Islamic customs based on ignorance were abolished, and hajj again became a manifestation of piety, fear of the Lord, purity, simplicity and rational behavior. Now the gaze of the pilgrim no longer shows the farce, the fun and liberties that pilgrims once contemplated. Today, the pilgrimage is a remembrance of the Lord with every step taken, with each performed action and sacrifice only to Him. The person who performed such a hajj is worthy of the highest reward:
“The reward for the accepted hajj is none other than Paradise” (Saheeh al-Bukhari)