By Imam Murtadha Gusau
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Verily, all praise is for Allah. We praise Him, we seek His assistance and we ask for His forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Him from the evils of ourselves. Whoever Allah guides, none can misguide. Whoever He misguides, none can guide. And I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.
Dear brothers and sisters, Allah Almighty has honoured the Muslim Ummah (nation) with successive seasons of goodness, consecutive days of mercies, and many means of triumphing with Paradise (Jannah). The days pass by quickly. For as soon as Muslims bid farewell to Ramadan, the month of blessings and mercy, the season of Hajj arrives, the season of remembrance, magnifying and praising Allah, responding to the call of Allah, standing in Arafat, throwing the jamarat and tawaf (circumambulating) around the ancient House (Ka’abah). Allah Almighty said:
“That [is so]. And whoever honours the symbols [i.e., rites] of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.” [Qur’an, 22:32]
And from Allah’s magnifying this season, that the souls of the believers yearn to shade under, is that Allah Almighty singled it from other seasons, that He did not entrust the honour of informing people about it and inviting them to it except to His close friend (Khalil) and the best of His creation after our Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him); our father Ibrahim (Peace be upon him). Allah Almighty said:
“And [mention, O Muhammad], when We designated for Ibrahim the site of the House, [saying], “Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform tawaf and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate. And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass.” [Qur’an, 22: 26-27]
Respected servants of Allah, Hajj, pilgrimage, to Allah’s sacred House is one of the great pillars of Islam. Allah Almighty mandated Hajj once in a lifetime upon His servants who are able to find a way there. Not to multiply through them due to lack and not to get glory through them out of humility. For He is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy. And indeed He bestows His grace and mercy upon people. So whoever obeys Him is guided. And whoever disbelieves does not hurt except themselves and does not harm Allah Almighty in the least bit. Allah Almighty said:
“And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves [i.e., refuses] – then indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds.” [Qur’an, 3: 97]
And Hajj is specific to this religion and it is the secret of tawhid (affirming the Oneness of Allah). It is the visit of the one who loves to their Beloved (Allah) and answering His invitation. And one’s dignity is through an ancient phrase that constantly renews, whose echo does not weaken over the centuries and the successive generations:
“Labbaikallahummah Labbaik, Labbaika la sharika laka labbaik…”
“I respond to Your call O Allah, I respond to Your call, You have no partner, I respond to Your call…”
Dear brothers and sisters, those of you who intend to perform the pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah, have glad tidings of Allah Almighty’s promise for you as the Prophet (Peace be upon him) indicated when responding to a man from among the Ansar (helpers) about what Hajj contains of reward. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“As for leaving your home towards the Sacred House; for every step that your riding animal takes, Allah will record a good deed for you, and wipe away a sin. As for your standing in Arafat, Allah Almighty will descend to the sky of this world (in a manner befitting His Majesty) and boast about them to the angels and will say: these servants of Mine have come to Me disheveled from every distant pass, hoping for My mercy and fearing My torment while they have not seen Me, so how about if they saw Me? So if you have (countless) sins like the sands of a great desert or the days of this worldly life or the raindrops of the sky, Allah will cleanse it from you. As for your throwing the jamarat, its (reward) will be stored for you, as for shaving your head, a good deed will be recorded for every hair that falls, then if you perform tawaf around the House (Ka’abah) you will exit from your sins like the day that your mother gave birth to you.” [Imam At-Tabarani reported the Hadith, and Sheikh Albani said it is Hasan in Sahih al-Jami’, no. 1360]
Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him said that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) was asked:
“Which of the deeds are the best? He replied, faith in Allah and His messenger. Then it was said, what’s next, he said striving in the way of Allah. Then it was said, what’s next, he replied a Hajj Mabrur.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
And a Hajj Mabrur is a Hajj that is performed properly in accordance to the requirements and accepted by Allah Almighty. A Hajj that is free from showing off, seeking reputation, sin and unlawfully gained wealth. Therefore, it’s reward was promised by the Lord of the Worlds. And it’s reward is for the Allah conscious. It is the precious wish of the seekers of Allah’s pleasure and the believers race to it. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“And the reward for the Hajj Mabrur (an accepted Hajj) is paradise.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Ibn Shumasah, may Allah have mercy on Him reported:
“We visited Amr Bin Al-As (May Allah be pleased with him) when he was on his deathbed. He wept for a long time and said: “When Allah placed the love for Islam in my heart, I went to Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) and said, extend your right hand, so that I may pledge allegiance to you. He (Peace be upon him) stretched out his right hand, but I withdrew my hand. He (Peace be upon him) said, What is the matter, Amr?’ I said, I wish to make some conditions. He asked, What conditions do you wish to make? He replied, to be granted forgiveness. He (Peace be upon him) said, do you not know that (embracing) Islam wipes out all that was before it (previous misdeeds). And that emigration for the sake of Allah wipes out all the previous sins before it, and that Hajj (pilgrimage) wipes out all previous sins and misdeeds before it.” [Muslim]
Beloved brothers and sisters, from Allah’s kindness to the Muslims is that if a door of righteousness is closed for someone, He replaces it with another that is in line with their abilities and readiness. For the wives of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) requested from him to strive against the adversaries for the sake of Allah for what it contains of great virtue and high stations with Allah Almighty. So the Prophet (Peace be upon him) directed them to a deed that takes its place and is befitting for them. Indeed it is Hajj. For the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“But the best Jihad (for women) is the Hajj Mabrur (one accepted by Allah). Then Aisha said, I did not leave performing Hajj after I heard this from Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him).” [Bukhari]
Dear brothers and sisters, there are many virtues of Hajj and Allah’s favour upon us is bigger and greater. It is astonishing for the one knowing these virtues to turn away from Hajj; people whom Allah has blessed with health, well-being, security and abundance of wealth. Rather, they may have gone on trips and travels to all countries and regions. They endure toil and fatigue because of these trips, and may even incur sins because of them. While their toil and spending in Hajj (pilgrimage) is recorded for them with their Lord and is saved for them in the balance of their good deeds. And in spite of this, there are those who are negligent of Hajj. For Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said to her when she performed Umrah:
“You will be rewarded in accordance to your effort and spending.” [Sahih, see Sahih Al-Targhib of Sheikh Albani]
And the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Perform Hajj and Umrah consecutively; for they remove poverty and sin as the bellows remove impurity from iron, gold and silver. And there is no reward for an accepted Hajj except paradise.” [It’s Hasan, see Sunan an-Nasa’i]
Dear Muslim brothers and sisters, every Muslim, who has the ability, should hasten to perform Hajj. And it is not justified for the one who is able and capable of performing Hajj to delay it. Rather one should hasten to perform Hajj before something happens to them. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Hasten in performing the (one obligatory) Hajj, For none of you knows what will happen to them.” [Sahih, see Musnad of Imam Ahmad and Sahih Al-Jami’ of Sheikh Albani]
And in another narration:
“Whoever intends to perform Hajj, shall hasten to do so, for he may fall sick, lose his mount, or be faced with some need.” [Hasan, see Sunan Ibn Majah]
And Abu Said Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said that, Allah said:
“Verily, the one whose body I have made sound, and I have made his life easy, but five years pass for him without coming to me, is deprived.” [Sahih, see Sahih Al-Jami’ of Sheikh Albani]
Meaning that if five years pass without a person visiting Allah’s sacred House, either intending Umrah or Hajj, while they are healthy and have extra wealth, then they are deprived from great good and reward from Allah Almighty, because they left what has much good in this life and the next without a valid excuse.
I ask Allah Almighty to grant us and you a Hajj this year and to bless us with pardoning and well-being in this world and the hereafter. Indeed Allah is All Hearing Answering.
I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon our Prophet as our Lord commanded:
“Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.” [Qur’an, 33: 56]
O Allah, guide us with those whom You have guided, grant us well-being among those You have granted well-being, be an ally to us along with those whom You are an ally to, and bless what You have bestowed upon us, and save us from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can decree over You. He whom You support can never be humiliated. Glory is to You, our Lord, You are Blessed and Exalted.
O Allah, We ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know.
O Allah, we seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know.
O Allah, we ask You for the good that Your servant and Prophet has asked You for, and we seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your servant and Prophet sought refuge.
O Allah, we ask You for Paradise (Jannah) and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and we seek refuge in You from Hellfire and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And we ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning us good.
Dear servants of Allah, indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.
Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favours – He will increase you therein. And seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. And be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters. And, establish the prayer.
Lastly, I ask Allah, the Most High to grant us success and enable us to be correct in what we say or write.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation; may Allah extol the mention of our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, bless him and give him peace and security―and his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly and sincerely until the establishment of the Hour.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: email@example.com or +2348038289761.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Dhul-Qa’dah 13, 1444 AH (June 02, 2023).