Sale! Fifty percent off!
We all love a sale. The word itself is so generally eye-catching that shops print it in big flashing letters and hang it high every holiday season.
Imagine if someone offered you Paradise for sale. It’s an exclusive offer, very few people get this chance. You may never have such an opportunity again, and you have the means to get it too. What would you do?
Get it right then, or decide to wait till you are fifty years old?
The reward for an accepted Hajj is nothing less than Paradise. (Nasa’i 2631) And yet most people think of Hajj as something they will do in old age, when all worldly concerns and pursuits are over, when desires are extinguished. After we’ve married, bought a house, had kids, and even got our kids married and settled, only then can we think about going for Hajj, not before that.
It’s almost unthinkable for a young teenager to go to Makkah and perform Hajj. Even if a teenager does get the opportunity to visit the House of Allah, he or she is assailed by doubts. Even his family and friends might advise him against it.
This article will attempt to answer some of these doubts and help you decide whether to take this opportunity to complete your fifth pillar of Islam.
What if I Sin after Hajj?
Some people hold the belief that youth is for enjoyment, and that old age is for washing away the sins you accumulated in youth.
Think about this: More than one million adolescents die every year. What is the guarantee that you won’t be one of them? What is the guarantee that we will reach old age, or even live to see tomorrow?
If Allah takes our souls while we are immersed in worldly enjoyment and ignoring His commands, how will we answer Him when we meet Him?
Even if we do live till old age, how can we make sure that our end will be good? Life and death are in Allah’s hand, and so is our level of faith. How can we expect that, after having lived all our lives disobeying Allah, He will allow us to die as pure innocent souls?
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
Whoever intends to perform Hajj, let him hasten to do so, for he may fall sick, lose his mount, or be faced with some need. (Ibn Majah 2883)
Advantages of Early Hajj
A person who completes Hajj at a young age has a huge advantage over others. He gets a spiritual boost very early in life that influences and guides the critical decisions he takes about his family life, career and everything else that decides the course of the rest of his life. It’s a chance to build the whole life upon piety.
Some people do divert after coming back from Hajj. That’s because there is no guarantee of anyone’s level of faith till death ends one’s ability to choose. Even if someone goes for Hajj at the age of sixty, who can say how pious or impious he will become at the age of sixty-one?
Think of a dirty, smelly person who refuses to wash himself. “What if I get dirty again? I will wash myself at night before I go to bed.”
So he goes around getting more and more dirty, smelly and itchy all day, nauseating every person coming near him.
What if he runs out of water at night? What if he dies before the sun goes down that day?
I Need to Be Stronger in Faith Before Going to Hajj
Hajj is obligatory if you are a sane and adult Muslim, have the means to do it, and, if you’re a woman, have a mahram to take you there. Just as you can’t wait for your level of faith to be stronger to perform your daily prayers or fast in Ramadan, you have to perform Hajj if it has become obligatory on you.
In fact, someone who is spiritually weak should perform Hajj all the more, because Hajj will purify you from sins and bad habits and give you a spiritual boost so powerful that you’ll feel born anew.
Moreover, Hajj is not a one-time act of worship. It can be done multiple times. So even if you can’t hold on to the spiritual boost you get from your first Hajj, you can always renew it later with a second or even a third one.
I Need the Money to Get Married, Buy a House and Settle Down.
The Prophet Muhammad said:
Perform Hajj and ‘Umrah consecutively, for they remove poverty and sin as the bellow removes impurity from iron and gold and silver. (Nasa’i 2631 and others)
With your whole life ahead to plan, spending for Hajj might seem like a financial setback. But you know what? It’s worth the investment. Allah is in control of your sustenance and your life. Spending in His path right now will unlock the path to His infinite treasures for you, if He wills.
Very, very few Muslims get the opportunity to perform the fifth pillar of Islam. If you are one of those few, don’t let go of this golden opportunity.