The Obligation of Hajj (Pilgrimage) and its Excellence
Allah, the Exalted, says:
“And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka`bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence); and whoever disbelieves [i.e., denies Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah), then he is a disbeliever of Allah], then Allah stands not in need of any of the `Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists).” (3:97)
1271. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “(The superstructure of) Islam is based on five (pillars), testifying the fact that La ilaha illallah wa anna Muhammad-ar-Rasul-ullah [there is no true god except Allah, and Muhammad ((PBUH)) is the Messenger of Allah], establishing As-Salat (the prayers), paying Zakat (poor due), the pilgrimage to the House [of Allah (Ka`bah)], and the Saum (fasting) during the month of Ramadan.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: This Hadith has been mentioned earlier. Here it has been repeated in support of the obligation of the fourth pillar of Islam. Thus, Hajj is compulsory for a person who fulfills the qualifications required for it and has the means for it.
1272. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) delivered a Khutbah and said, “O people! Hajj (pilgrimage to the House of Allah) has been made incumbent upon you, so perform Hajj.” A man inquired: “O Messenger of Allah, is it prescribed every year?” He (PBUH) remained silent till the man repeated it thrice. Then he (PBUH) said, “Had I replied in the affirmative, it would have surely become obligatory, and you would not have been able to fulfill it.” Afterwards he said, “Do not ask me so long as I do not impose anything upon you, because those who were before you were destroyed on account of their frequent questioning and their disagreement with their Prophets. So when I order you to do something, do it as far as you can; and when I forbid you from doing anything, eschew it.” [Muslim].
Commentary: This Hadith brings out the following points:
1. Hajj is compulsory once in a lifetime for those who have the means for it.
2. Unnecessary questioning is disliked.
3. Those who believe in Allah and His Prophet (PBUH) are required to do what they are ordained and abstain from what they are forbidden.