The Prophet, Mohammed Rasullulah (SAW) is reported in Hadith to have said that the structure of Islam is built upon seven pillars; Walayat, Taharat, Salaat, Zakat, Saum (Fasting), Hajj and Jihad. Recitation of Kalema that there is no God but Allah, cleanliness of both mind and body, five times prayers in a day, payment of Zakat, fasting of the month of Ramadan, the performance of Hajj when possible, and the performance of religious war when called upon to do so.
The pilgrimage to Mecca, therefore, is one of the essential constituents of the Islamic faith-with the important, provision that its performance is possible and accessible in any given circumstance.
Kaaba in Mecca was the first house established on earth for the worship of one Allah.
“Most surely the first house appointed for men is the one at Bakka (Mecca), blessed and a guidance for the nations.” – Surah Al Imran 3:96
Reconstructed by Nabi Ibrahim (SA) and his Wasi Ismail (SA) it has ever since been a cherished goal of both biblical and non-biblical prophets and saints.
The gathering together of Muslims in Mecca during the days of Hajj is not only the fulfillment of Nabii lbrahim’s (SA) prayer beseeching God to make Mecca a focal point for a great multitude, but is also designed for the exaltation of Allah’s High Name.
“And when Ibrahim and Ismail raised the foundations of the House they prayed: Our Lord! Accept from us; surely Thou art the Hearing, the Knowing.” 2 :127
The pilgrimage to Mecca is also a sign of unparalleled magnitude, as it provides unimpeachable proof of God’s, existence, for it was as a result of His wishes that Nabi Ibrahim left his wife and infant son in this esolate desert and was rewarded for this unstinted submission to Allah by a promise from Him to make this uninviting land into a place of promise and plenty.
Allah says “And when We made the House a pilgrimage for men and a (place of) security, and: Appoint for yourselves a place of prayer on the standing-place of Ibrahim. And We enjoined Ibrahim and Ismail saying; Purify My House for those who visit (it) and those who abide (in it) for devotion and those who bow down (and) those who prostrate themselves.” 2:125
Thus, the Muslims who visit Mecca for Hajj or otherwise become instrumental in fulfilling God’s promise to Nabii lbrahim (AS).
The necessity and desirability of pilgrimage to Mecca is, therefore Conclusive.
However, like all other article of faith, the pilgrimage can become meaningless if it is regarded as an end in itself rather than a means for the attainment of a sublime life.
The performance of Hajj can acquire greater significance and greater meaning if it results in the pilgrim’s enrolment of a new life carrying more sympathy and compassion for the needy at home. May Allah Ta’ala grant to our Maula, Aqa Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin Saheb (TUS) a long and healthy life as long as mumineen perform the ritual of hajj year after year. Ameen.
–by Mohammedul Baqir Kalimi (Dar-es-Salaam)