Every Muslim anywhere in the world is obliged to perform theHajj (sacred pilgrimage) to Mecca where the House of Allah, the Ka'ba issituated. The pilgrimage to Mecca is a conditional one and if the pilgrimageexceeds the financial, and physical condition of a Muslim, he is not expectedto perform the Hajj. Allah says in the "Holy Quran"
"The men owe a duty to Allah to take the journey to performHajj of the House of Allah, if they can afford the journey" (Surah Al-Imranverse-97)
The Hajj of Muslims is not simply a visit to the holy place,as pilgrimage is understood in Christianity, nor is it a participation in aritual as understood in Judaism. The Haj timing is absolutely fixed, and itcannot be performed except on the eighth, ninth and tenth days of the lastmonth of the Muslim year (Dhul-Hajja). It is a binding upon the Muslims toperform it on the prescribed days and time. If any Muslim makes journey toKa'aba except these days, it will not be called a Hajj.
When a Muslim makes the pilgrimage and performs Hajj, hedoes so for two reasons. The first to fulfill commandment of Allah, his Lordand Creator, and secondly, to be among the assembly of other believers whereall them utter the same words of prayer and humility.
"Labbaika Allah-Umma labbaika, la sharika la-ka labbaika,
(Here am I, o Allah! here am I in thy Presence, there is noassociate with Thee, here am I.)
The Quran is our most certain testimony to the significanceof the Hajj. Our beloved Prophet Mohammed (SAW) taught us the importance of theHajj in our lives. He followed the religion of Prophet Abraham (AS) andextended it to us. He was concerned not only with reforming the beliefs, waysof life and practices of his people but also brought Islam and made it a greatreligion for us to follow. But do we follow it now in the right standpoint? Weobserve that every year millions of people make pilgrimage to Ka'aba and learnand practice the true spirit of Islam. It is a great sight to watch that allMuslims, black and white, Arab and non-Arab are together and there is a feelingof fraternity. They forget that they are from different countries, regions,cultures and colors. They validate oneness and exhibit an aptitude ofunification for the cause of Islam. They pray for an end to the sufferings ofthe Muslim brethren and others everywhere in the world.
But it is perceived that after the flight from Allah's Houseto the respective countries , the spirit of the Hajj is lost. Some of them maybe reformed in their personal acts but it is usually observed that theirattitude towards the sufferings of the people does not get nearer to thereality. They fail to recall that they entered into a covenant with Allah inHis "Sacred House" to bring a change among themselves and work for the cause ofthe Ummah. It is due to this unchanged slant of the Muslims that corruption,prejudice, hoarding, black marketing, exploitation, obscene activities stillpersist in our societies. It would be a great blessing if the pilgrims followeverything practically what they learn during the Hajj.
We don't comprehend the true meaning of the Hajj and havegot estranged from the supreme advices and teachings which Prophet (SAW) gaveduring the last Hajj at Arafat where he said, "O people! Your Allah is one andyour ancestor is also one. The most respected before Allah amongst you is onewho fears also. . No Arab has preference over a Non – Arab. No white issuperior to a black. Allah sees the deeds of people and the best among you iswhose deeds are good. I have left behind two things- the Quran and the Sunnah,if you follow them you can not deviate and astray."
We need to change after performing Hajj so that the realpurpose is achieved.