How to be a Hajji without being on Hajj
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
I mentioned in my last post that the ten days currently upon us are those in which good deeds are most beloved to Allah. The Hujjaj (Hajj pilgrims) are sorted. They are gearing themselves up for the journey of a lifetime, in which they hope to return home with all their sins forgiven, inshaAllah. What about the rest of the Muslims, who are not performing Hajj? you might be wondering.
While the rest of us might not be heading to Mina on the 8th of Dhul Hijjah (when Hajj officially begins), it doesn’t mean that the blessings of these special days are lost to us. It is exactly the opposite subhanAllah! Allah, in His infinite mercy, provides the means for every Muslim, whether they are performing Hajj or not, to reap the rewards of these blessed days. While we cannot stand in the plains of ‘Arafah like the Hajj pilgrims, there are still many things we can do to make sure these greatest of days do not leave us without our having benefitted from there.
So, what sorts of things are the non-Hujjaj up to in these days? Here’s a quick run-down of some of the ways we are striking gold (inshaAllah) without actually being on Hajj:
1. Fasting all nine days and especially fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah (9th Dhul Hijjah)
The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “Anyone who fasts for one day for Allah’s pleasure, Allah will keep his face away from the (Hell) fire for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years.” (Bukhari, Muslim)
Muslims who are fasting these days are inshaAllah putting some serious distance between themselves and the Hellfire!
The fast of the day of ‘Arafah is unique because of the reward it entails. If a Muslim does not try to fast all of the first nine days of Dhul Hijjah, they will at least try to fast on the day of ‘Arafah because the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم told us that:
“Fasting the Day of ‘Arafah (ninth Dhul-hijjah) is an expiation for (all the sins of) the previous year and an expiation for (all the sins of) the coming year.” (Muslim)
2. Moistening the Tongue with the Remembrance of Allah
The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “There are no days on which good deeds are greater or more beloved to Allah than on these ten days, so recite much Tahleel (saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allah), Takbeer (saying Allahu akbar) and Tahmeed (saying alhamdulillah).” (Ahmad)
The video below explains how to make the particular takbeeraat of Dhul Hijjah and the best times to do so:
3. Observing the Night Prayer (Tahajjud)
In the last third of every night Allah calls out to His slaves:
Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him? (Bukhaari, Muslim)
4. Sincere Repentance
By sunset on the day of ‘Arafah, those pilgrims whose supplications have been accepted will be as pure as they were on the day their mothers gave birth to them. Hajj is a journey made to seek the forgiveness of one’s sins and come back with a clean slate, with the intention of keeping it as clean as possible inshaAllah. The amazing thing about Allah’s mercy is that you can be anyone, anywhere, but as long as you ask with sincerity, He will respond:
Say: O My servants who have transgressed against their own souls, despair not of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surah az-Zumar: 53)
5. Spending time with the Quran
Good deeds are most beloved to Allah in these days and how many deeds rank as highly as the Quran!
6. Generally doing more than you normally do
Including praying extra prayers, reading more Quran, remembering Allah, sending Salaams on the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, making dua, giving charity, honoring our parents, upholding ties of kinship, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, and other good deeds and acts of worship.
“So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it; And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it.” [ Surah al-Zalzalah: 7-8]
7. Hajj without being on Hajj
The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “Whoever prays Fajr Prayer in congregation, and then sits and remembers Allah until the sun rises, then (after a while) prays two rak’as, he will gain a reward equal to that of making perfect Hajj and Umrah.” [He repeated the word “perfect” thrice.] (At-Tirmidhi)
Isn’t that easy, alhamdulillah?
8. Offering a sacrifice and distributing the meat
Those offering a sacrifice (Qurbani) do not cut their hair or nails until their sacrifice has been completed. This builds a connection between them and the Hujjaj as the Hujjaj are also prohibited from cutting their hair and nails while in a state of Ihram.
9. Attending ‘Eid prayers
Speical prayers are offered on the celebration of ‘Eid ul Adha, commemorating the test of Prophet Ibrahim (as) to sacrifice his son Ismael (see the previous post).
Being thankful to Allah for every blessing you have.
Not all of the world’s Muslims are on Hajj, but every single one of us who has the sincere intention to benefit from these special days and then acts upon it, is a winner inshaAllah. We thank our Lord for making the religion of truth so easy upon us.
~ N.B. for this post I have adapted an article written by sister Asma Bint Shameem. See her article here. ~