any deed to be accepted from an Islamic perspective, it has to meet certain criteria: it should be both righteous and sincere.
Allah the Almighty says in His Ever-Glorious Qur’an: [whoever expects to meet
his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner]
is clear that righteousness and true respect for Allah—which excludes the worship of anything else—are the criteria
of true worship. This is the divine rule, and Hajj is no exception. So for Hajj to be accepted by Allah the Almighty, it has
to meet these criteria and thus its prerequisites, which will be highlighted here, must be met.
things are required of those who intend to perform Hajj while they are preparing themselves for that lifetime journey; other
things are required while they are performing the rites; and others are required from them after they return home.
Before Setting Off
1 - One who intends to perform Hajj should provide for all the expenses of the journey from lawful gains. On
the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“Verily Allah is Good and He accepts only what is good. He has commanded the believers with what He had already commanded
the messengers as saying: [Oh, messengers, enjoy what is good and do good deeds.] And He said: [O you who believe, enjoy what is good from what We have
provided you with.]” Then he said, “A man makes a long journey,
appears disheveled and covered with dust, stretching his hands to heaven and saying, ‘O my Lord! O my Lord!’ But
his source of food is unlawful, his source of drink is unlawful, his source of clothing is unlawful. How could his prayer
be accepted then?” (Muslim).
makes mention of a man who worships Allah dearly and prays to Him so much that he has no time to clean his body; but in spite
of that he eats from the unlawful and uses unlawful things. The prayers of such a person are not in any way answered by Allah
lawful earning of food, drink, clothing, and everything else should be every Muslim’s primary concern. This is the first
precondition for one who intends to go on Hajj for Allah.
2 - One should pay back others’ rights and should return trusts to their owners.
3 - One should advise one’s family to commit themselves to the dictates of their religion and the guidance
of their Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
4 - If the pilgrim is a woman, she should look for a mahram to accompany her and assist her in performing
the Hajj rituals; or she can look for safe company with whom she fears nothing for her religion, life, or property. It is
transmitted on the authority of Ibn `Abbas that a man said, “O Allah’s Messenger! I have enlisted in the army
for such-and-such battle and my wife is proceeding for Hajj.” Allah’s Messenger said, “Go, and perform
the Hajj with your wife” (Al-Bukhari).
1 - Pilgrims must stick to the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
be upon him) in Tawaf, Sa`i, Rami, and all other Hajj rituals. This can be understood from his saying, “Learn from
me your rituals (of Hajj)” (Muslim). This commitment to the Sunnah of the Prophet tends to make one’s Hajj
valid, one’s sins forgiven, and one’s deeds accepted.
2 - Pilgrims should not associate anything with Allah in terms of worship or reverence.
3 - Pilgrims should avoid making any false statements.
4 - Pilgrims should perform every rite sincerely and loyally to Allah alone.
5 - Pilgrims should honor the rites and symbols of Allah.
points 2–5 can be understood from the Ever-Glorious Qur’an where they are summed up in three verses:
[That and whoever honors the sacred things of Allah, then that is better for him with his Lord.
The cattle are lawful to you, except those (that will be) mentioned to you (as exceptions). So shun the abomination (worshipping)
of idol, and shun lying speech (false statements). Hunafa’ lillah (i.e., worshiping none but Allah), not associating
partners (in worship) unto Him; and whoever assigns partners to Allah, it is as if he had fallen from the sky, and the birds
had snatched him, or the wind had thrown him to a far off place. Thus it is and whosoever honors the Symbols of Allah, then
it is truly from the piety of the hearts. In them are benefits for you for an appointed term, and afterwards they are brought
for sacrifice unto the ancient House.] (Al-Hajj 22:30–33)
6 - In the
same vein, pilgrims should observe the best of all morals, as breaching any moral value may ruin all their endeavors to reach
an acceptable Hajj. Allah the Almighty says in His Ever-Glorious Qur’an:
[The Hajj (Pilgrimage) is (in) the well-known (lunar year) months (i.e., the 10th month, the 11th
month and the first ten days of the 12th month of the Islamic calendar, i.e., two months and ten days). So whosoever intends
to perform Hajj therein (by assuming ihram), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor
dispute unjustly during the Hajj. And whatever good you do, (be sure) Allah knows it. And take a provision (with you) for
the journey, but the best provision is at-taqwa (piety, righteousness). So fear Me, O men of understanding!] (Al-Baqarah 2:197)
pilgrims should watch their tongue and keep away from nonsense and empty debates. They should also abstain from violating
prohibitions or harming anyone or anything. Also, maintaining patience keeps them alert all the time to any breach or violation
by any of their senses.
pilgrims should keep away from all these bad things, they should at the same time do their best to acquire as many good deeds
as they can. So they should perform as many of the acts of worship as they can.
these things and more can be understood from the aforementioned Qur’anic verse. Any lapse done in the precinct of the
Sacred House, however slight or trivial we may deem it, is a violation that should be avoided. Allah Almighty says: [And whoever inclines to evil actions therein or to do wrong, him We shall cause to taste from
a painful torment] (Al-Hajj 22:25).
was related that once when `Abdullah ibn `Umar was arguing with his wife, he went out of the precincts of the Sacred House.
When asked why he had done so, he replied, “I do this to conform with Allah’s saying [and
whoever inclines to evil actions therein or to do wrong, him We shall cause to taste from a painful torment].”
Prophet’s Companions used to honor Allah’s symbols to this great extent, venerate the Sacred House, and avoid
anything related to argumentation or controversy in any way, even if it were permitted.
this way they deserved to aspire for their Hajj to be accepted by Allah!
After Returning Home
pilgrims properly finish all the prescribed rites—while cloaking themselves with the best of all manners, committing
themselves to the Sunnah of the Prophet, and devoting all their movements and even their silence to Allah alone—they
still have some things to observe after returning to family and property. This makes their Hajj a never-ending ritual, even
if they never perform it again in their life. This can be explained as follows:
1 - During Hajj, the pilgrims have attained a great dose of taqwa (piety), and hence, after their return
they should be in constant fear of Allah and His mighty status. They should observe all their moves in order not to violate
any of the rules set by Allah the Almighty to guide humanity to the right path.
2 - Throughout Hajj, the pilgrims should have realized the reality of tawheed
(oneness of Allah). Thus after their return they should sincerely observe the following:
a. invoke none but Allah;
refuge from none but Allah;
no one but Allah for everything;
oaths in no one’s name but Allah’s;
vows only to Allah;
that legislation is the right of Allah alone.
On the contrary, if pilgrims return with any sort of lack
or distortion in their creed, they have learned nothing from that magnificent journey.
- It is the responsibility of each and every pilgrim
to observe the moral code observed during Hajj. So if, before going on Hajj, any were reluctant to abide by the best of all
manners, they should, after their return, be more committed and constant in observing the moral system of Islam, which is
a unique and distinguished one.
the end, there is one remaining question: What is the value of an accepted Hajj, a Hajj mabrur?
answer this question, let’s recall only three Prophetic hadiths.
Hurayrah narrated: Allah’s Messenger was asked, “‘What is the best deed?” He replied, “To
believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad).” The questioner then asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?”
He replied, “To participate in jihad in Allah’s cause.” The questioner again asked, “What is
the next (in goodness)?” He replied, “To perform Hajj mabrur” (Al-Bukhari).
Hurayrah narrated: Allah’s Messenger said, “Whoever performs Hajj to this House (Ka`bah) and does not approach
his wife for sexual relations nor commits sins (while performing Hajj), he will come out as sinless as a newborn child”
narrated that she said, “O Allah’s Messenger! We consider jihad as the best deed. Should we not fight in Allah’s
cause?” He said, “The best jihad (for women) is Hajj mabrur” (Al-Bukhari).
do not think I need to add anything to this. What can anyone say after the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says
what does all this mean? It means that pilgrims must spare no effort in adhering to these criteria and observances in order
to render their Hajj valid and acceptable by Allah. If these criteria were not met while they are performing the rituals,
their Hajj will be nothing more than one similar to the pilgrimage the polytheists used to perform in pre-Islamic times and
it will bear no fruits whatsoever.
anyone like to go on Hajj—with all the difficulty and tremendous expenses of the journey—and come back empty-handed,
without any reward from Allah? I doubt it.
1 - Translation of the Qur’an by M. M. Pickthal. (digital form)
2 - Translation of Sahih Al-Bukhari. (digital form)
3 - An-Nawawi Forty-Two Hadiths, published by El-Falah Foundation for Translation,
Publishing and Distribution.
4 - For Our Ummah to Regain Its Memory by Dr. As-Sayed Rizq At-Tawil (Arabic).