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THE EXCELLENCE OF HAJJ AND UMRAH

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL

BEING THE FIFTH KHUTBAH FOR THE MONTH OF SHAWWAL, DATED 29TH SHAWWAL 1444AH (19TH MAY, 2023CE)

TITLED: THE EXCELLENCE OF HAJJ AND UMRAH

THE FIRST KHUTBAH

Al Praises belong to Allah who made the statement of Tawheed (Laa-ilaa illa-LLah) a protection and fortress for His servants, and the Ancient House (Ka’abah), a place of refuge and security for people, and attributed the Sacred House to Himself as respect and honour, and He made visiting and circumambulating it a screen and shield from punishment, and He made the accepted Hajj an expiation and a protection. May abundant Blessings and Peace be upon Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy, the leader of the Ummah, and on his family and companions, the vanguards of truth, leaders of creation.

Thereafter… Fear Allah the way He deserves to be feared, and know that the position of gratitude is one of the loftiest and highest positions, and it is one of the great purposes for which Allah created everything. Allah Ta’alaa says: (وَاللَّهُ أَخْرَجَكُمْ مِنْ بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ) “And Allah has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you know nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts that you might give thanks (to Allah).” (An-Nahl: 78)

Servants of Allah! The topic of our sermon today centers around the virtue of Hajj and Umrah. Hajj is the worship of a lifetime, and one of the greatest pillars of Islaam. It is the grand finale of the pillars, the completion of Islaam, and the perfection of religion. It is prescribed for the adult Muslim who is obligated to perform it once, and anything more than that is voluntary. So, whoever Allah has ordained the Hajj for, and has enabled him to perform it, whether obligatory or voluntary, and performs its rites in full, Allah has bestowed upon him a great favour, a lofty status, comprehensive forgiveness, and various other rewards. It is concerning it that Allah – the Mighty and Sublime – revealed: (الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا) “This day, those who disbelieved have given up all hope of your religion, so fear them not, but fear Me. This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Al-Maa’idah: 3). And the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him), in expressing cocern for Hajj, said: “Hasten to the Hajj – meaning: the obligatory Hajj – because none of you knows what might happen to him.” (Ahmad, on the authority of Ibn Abbaas)

The Almighty said: (وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا) “And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka’bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence)…” (Aal-Imraan: 97). And the Almighty said: (وَإِذْ جَعَلْنَا الْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَمْنًا وَاتَّخِذُوا مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى) “And remember when We made this House (at Mecca) a recourse for mankind and a sanctuary; and take the place where Ibrahim stood, as your place of prayer” (Al-Baqarah: 125).

The virtues of Hajj and Umrah are many, including the following:

  1- Hajj is one of the pillars and great foundations of Islam: it is one of the most excellent acts of worship, and one of the greatest acts of worship that pleases the Lord of the earth and the heavens. It is the worship of a lifetime, the grand finale of the pillars, the completion of Islaam, and the perfection of religion. Bukhari and Muslim narrated from the hadith of Ibn Umar – may Allah be pleased with them – that he said: The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the salah (prayer), paying the zakat (obligatory charity), making the hajj (pilgrimage) to the House, and fasting in Ramadhan.”

  2- Whoever performs the pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah has completed his Islaam: Bukhari, Muslim and Ibn Khuzaymah (and the wording is for him) all narrated the hadith of Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, about the asking of Jibreel, peace be upon him, from the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) about Islaam. He said: “O Muhammad, what is Islam?” He said: “Islaam is to bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to establish the prayer, to pay zakat, to perform pilgrimage to the House, to perform ghusl of janabah, to perfect the ablution, and to fast Ramadan.” He (the questioner) said: “If I do that, then am I a Muslim?” He (the Prophet (ﷺ)) said: “Yes.” He (the questioner) said: ”You are right.”

  3- Hajj and Umrah are the jihad of the old, the women and the weak: An-Nasaa’i narrated the hadith of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The jihad of the old, the weak, and the woman is Hajj and Umrah.” (Saheeh Targheeb Wa-Tarheeb). At-Tabaraani narrated from Hussein ibn Ali, may Allah be pleased with both of them, that he said: “A man came to the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) and said: I am timid and I am weak, so the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said to him: “Come along to a jihad in which there is no thorn: Hajj.” (Saheeh Al-Jaam’I, 7044). And Al-Bukhaari narrated on the authority of A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her. That she said: “I said: O Messenger of Allah, we (women) see jihaad as the best deed, so should we not do jihaad? He said: No, but the best jihaad is an accepted Hajj.”, that is: the best jihaad for women is Hajj.

Al-Manaawi, may Allah have mercy on him, said in “Faydul-Qadeer: vol.3, pg407”: “Jihad is bearing pain with the body and expending money, and spending lives, and Hajj is enduring pain with the body and expending some money, without the life. So, it is a weaker jihaad than the jihaad in the way of Allah, so whoever is weak to do jihaad for a valid reason, then Hajj is jihaad for him.”

  4- Hajj is one of the best deeds with Allah Almighty: Bukhaari and Muslim narrated the hadith from Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said: The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked: ‘Which deed is the best?’ He said: “Faith in Allah and His Messenger.” It was said: Then what? He said: “Jihaad for the sake of Allah.” It was said: Then what? He said: “An accepted Hajj.” And the great scholar, Ibn Rajab, may Allah have mercy on him, said (in Lataaif al-Ma’arif, p. 241): “Belief in Allah and His Messenger is the duty of the heart and the tongue, then it is followed by the actions of the limbs. And the best of these actions is Jihaad for the sake of Allah, and it is of two types: the best of them: the believer’s jihaad against his disbelieving enemy, and his fighting in the way of Allah. The second type of jihad: the jihaad against one’s self (soul) in obedience to Allah, as the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The fighter is the one who strives against himself in obedience to Allah”; (Ahmad and Ibn Hibban).

5- Whoever performs the pilgrimage to the Sacred House, and does not speak obscenity or commit immorality, returns from Hajj as on the day his mother gave birth to him, according to the hadith of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, who said: The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever performs the pilgrimage to the Sacred House, and does not speak obscenities or commit immorality, he returns from Hajj (free of sin) as on the day his mother gave birth to him” (Agreed upon).

The meaning of his saying: “He did not speak obscenely”: Ibn Abbaas said: “Indeed, obscenity is that with which women are called to account (gossip).” It is as if he sees the obscenity that Allah forbids as what is addressed to a woman, so as for what he says and no woman hears, then it is not included in it. Al-Azhariy said: “Rafth” is a collective word for everything that a man wants from a woman.”

Ibn Kathir (may Allah grant him mercy) said in the interpretation of the verse: (فَلاَ رَفَثَ) This Ayah means that those who assume the Ihram for Hajj or `Umrah are required to avoid the Rafath, meaning, sexual intercourse. Allah’s statement here is similar to His statement: (أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلى نِسائِكُمْ) (It is made lawful for you to have Rafath (sexual relations) with your wives on the night of the fast.) (2:187). Whatever might lead to sexual intercourse, such as embracing, kissing and talking to women about similar subjects, is not allowed. The statement of the prophet (pbuh) “and did not commit sin” Fusuq means: to deviate from righteousness, to commit injustice, through that a sinner is called a Fasiq. (An-nihaayah fi ghareebil hadith, by Ibn Atheer: 3/446)

6- Performance of one Umrah to another is an expiation of sin, and acceptable Hajj has a reward of Paradise: Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “(The performance of) ‘Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous ‘Umrah; and the reward of Hajj Mabrur (i.e., one accepted) is nothing but Jannah.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: “There is no reward for an accepted Hajj except Jannah. Someone asked, ‘What constitutes an accepted Hajj?’. He (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘Feeding and speaking courteously.’ (Sahih at-Taghreeb wat-Tarheeb: 1104)

 Imam Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Hajj Mabrur is that in which the pilgrim did not commit any sin”. It was reported in Fathul Baari: 3:282: “Hajj Mabrur (Accepted Hajj) is that in which there is no show-off, nor insincerity, and no sin is committed in the process or after it. It is the hajj in which all the rules are complied with, in perfect compliance with the expected disposition of a pilgrim, such is the accepted hajj. Among the signs of acceptance is to return in a better state than he was without going back to sins. The word (Mabrur) ‘accepted’ is derived from the word ‘Al-birr” which means: ‘obedience’. (Sharh Nawawi on Muslim: 9/119)

7- Hajj cleanses earlier sins: based on the hadith of Amr bn al-Aas, (May Allah be pleased with him) He said: “… When Allah instilled the love of Islam in my heart, I came to the Apostle (ﷺ) and said: Stretch out your right hand so that may pledge my allegiance to you. He stretched out his right hand, I withdrew my hand, He (the Holy Prophet) said: What has happened to you, O ‘Amr? replied: I intend to lay down some condition. He asked: What condition do you intend to put forward? I said: should be granted pardon. He (the Holy Prophet) observed: Are you not aware of the fact that Islam wipes out all the previous (misdeeds)? Verily migration wipes out all the previous (misdeeds), and verily the pilgrimage wipes out all the (previous) misdeeds. And then no one as or dear to me than the Messenger of Allah and none was more sublime in my eyes than he, Never could I, pluck courage to catch a full glimpse of his face due to its splendour. So if I am asked to describe his features, I cannot do that for I have not eyed him fully …” (Muslim)

8- Preprondrance of Hajj and Umrah obliterate poverty and sins: Abdullah (bin Mas’ud) narrated that: The Messenger of Allah said: “Alternate between Hajj and Umrah; for those two remove poverty and sins just as the bellows removes filth from iron, gold, and silver – and there is no reward for Al-Hajj Al-Mabrur except for Paradise.” (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)

THE SECOND SERMON

All praise are due to Allah, the Revealer of the Book, the mover of the clouds, the defeater of the parties, and the swift in reckoning. He sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to make it prevail over all religion, and Allah suffices as a witness. May the peace and blessings be upon the trustful Messenger of Allah, our Prophet Muhammad bn Abdullah, his family and all his companions.

9- The reward for Hajj and Umrah is equivalent to the amount of effort and expense: Al-Hakim reported from the hadith of Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said to her during her Umrah: You will have a reward according to your effort and expenditure. (Sahih Al-Jami). In another narration: “Your reward for your Umrah is in accordance to your expenses.” (Sahih al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb): This hadith eliminates any tiredness that the Mu’tamir (Umrah pilgrim) encounters, and makes it easy for him whatever he spends in the cause of Allah, as a glad tiding for him that what is with Allah is better and more lasting.

10- The Pilgrims of Hajj and Umrah are the guests of Allah

It was narrated from Jabir (R.A) that the Messenger of Allah () said: “The pilgrims performing Hajj and ‘Umrah are a delegation to Allah. If they call upon Him, He will answer them; and if they ask from Him, He will give them.” (Sahih Al-Jami 3173)

And in a narration by Al-Nasa’i, Ibn Khuzaymah and Ibn Hibban from the hadith of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, he said: The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: “The delegation of Allah are three: the one who fights in the cause of Allah, the pilgrim of hajj, and the pilgrim of Umrah.” (Sahih al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb)

And the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Allah’s delegation,” in this is an attachment of honor to those mentioned, and the meaning of the hadith is ‘that those who move towards Allah including travelers are of three types, selecting these people from among the servants, is because they are usually in traveling; (Hashiyat al-Sindi on Sunan al-Nisa’i). Al-Manawi, may Allah have mercy on him, said in “Fayd Al-Qadeer: 4/409”: The Hajj and Umrah performers are Allah’s delegation; that is: they are coming to Him in compliance with His order, He called them to Hajj and Umrah and they answered Him, and they asked Him for favour and He gave them what they asked for, and the meaning of the hadith is a clarifying that the performer of Hajj, which is an accepted pilgrimage, his requests will not be rejected.

11- Whoever goes out for Hajj is under the guarantee of Allah: Abu Naim included in “Al-Hilyah” from the hadith of Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, from the Prophet, peace be upon him, he said: “Three are under the guarantee of Allah Almighty: A man who went out to one of the mosques of Allah Almighty, and a man who went out to fight for the sake of Allah Almighty, and a man who went out as a pilgrim.” (Al-Sahihah: 600) (Sahih Al-Jami’: 3051).

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