Delaying Hajj could be your downfall

Since 2012-12-06

...This is your chance to have all of your sins forgiven as the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever performs Hajj to this house (Ka’bah)...


‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) once remarked: “I was about to send envoys to the towns (on the outskirts of the Muslim empire) to check on all those who have the means to make Hajj but do not perform it, in order to impose the Jizyah (A tax imposed on non-Muslims living under Muslim rule) upon them." [Reported by al-Bayhaqi; Al-Haitami declared it Sahih. In another narration the words “they are not Muslims, they are not Muslims” are included.]
The auspicious Hajj trip is one of the five pillars on Islam, a onetime obligation upon those have the ability to perform it. Every year millions of devout Muslims answer the call to Hajj following in the footsteps of the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) in answering the call of their father Abraham.
Unfortunately, many people delay performing the Hajj until the latter part of their lives simply because of convenience. They wish to postpone the trip until they feel they are financially ‘stable’. Some people hold back out of fear of a new Islamic lifestyle they will be obligated to embrace when they return - one should never fear drawing closer to God. Indeed the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever wants to do Hajj, let him hasten to do so.” [Ahmad and Abu Dawud and declared good by Al-Albani]
«من أراد الحج فليتعجل» رواه الإمام أحمد وأبو داود وحسنه الألباني
There is of course a well-known scholarly difference of opinion as to whether Hajj is an obligation that must be executed promptly, or, can be delayed. According to scholars who hold the opinion that the obligation of the Hajj is one of promptness; the Hajj must be carried out as soon as all the preconditions are fulfilled and one cannot delay performing it for the next year. The one who delays the performance of Hajj, even though he has the means to perform it, and then dies, is sinful and has left himself open to the punishment and displeasure of Allah in the Hereafter.
Others opine that the Hajj may be delayed because the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) choose to perform Hajj in the 10 AH - around four years after the obligation was revealed. This school has other supporting arguments for which there exist counter arguments.
Without wanting to endorse one opinion over another, I would like to place the legal difference of opinion to one side and draw our attention to a few other points. Allah the Almighty encourages His servants to compete with each other in performing virtuous deeds. He says in one verse,
{And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqun} [Al-‘Imran 3:133]
{وَسَارِعُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالْأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ} آل عمران: 133
Transliteration: WasariAAoo ila maghfiratin min rabbikum wajannatin AAarduhaalssamawatu waalardu oAAiddat lilmuttaqeena
And in another verse, {Race one with another in hastening towards Forgiveness from your Lord (Allah), and towards Paradise, the width whereof is as the width of heaven and earth, prepared for those who believe in Allah and His Messengers. That is the Grace of Allah which He bestows on whom He pleases. And Allah is the Owner of Great Bounty.} [Al-Hadid 57:21]
{سَابِقُوا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا كَعَرْضِ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ أُعِدَّتْ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّـهِ وَرُسُلِهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّـهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ} الحديد: 21
Transliteration: Sabiqoo ila maghfiratin min rabbikum wajannatin AAarduha kaAAardi alssamai waalardi oAAiddat lillatheena amanoo biAllahi warusulihi thalika fadlu Allahi yuteehi man yashao waAllahu thoo alfadli alAAatheemi
Why would one delay the prospect of performing a Hajj mabroor, the accepted Hajj, the reward of which is nothing less than the gardens of paradise?
This is your chance to have all of your sins forgiven as the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever performs Hajj to this house – Ka’bah- and does not commit any obscenity and wrongdoing, he, or she, will come out as the day he, or she, was born – pure and free from sins.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
«من أتى هذا البيت فلم يرفث ولم يفسق، رجع كما ولدته أمه» رواه البخاري ومسلم
It is as if the Prophet is telling us to think about the matter in a rational way. If someone who has the ability to perform the Hajj delays it; do they not fear that death may catch them up and they then meet Allah with no Hajj to their account?
The reality is that many do delay Hajj until it’s too late. As the years pass by some of them fall sick with debilitating conditions, others become financially stricken and so the great opportunity is lost.
I would thus appeal to all Muslims who know that they can perform Hajj without great difficulty to do so before they lose this unique chance of attaining complete forgiveness for their sins and be granted paradise.
With slight modification


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