[FILES] Pilgrims performing hajj
You shall observe and complete the rites of Hajj and`Umrah for the Almighty… (Quran 2:196)
Brethren let me begin by asking the opposite question: why are you not going on hajj this year? Is it because of lack of the means to do so? This indeed is a valid reason in Islam. It is they who have the means who should go on Hajj so says the Almighty (Q3: 97). An elderly woman asked me the other day at a public lecture whether she could take a loan from a bank in order to perform Hajj. My response was simple and straightforward. Loans from Nigerian Banks, or rather conventional banks, come with strings and interests. Since the latter is forbidden by the Almighty any attempt to go against this divine injunction no matter the purpose for which the loan is taken would be tantamount to using urine to take bath. I, therefore, counseled the woman to live within her means. The measurement of the poor on the day of resurrection would be lighter than that of the rich!
But that brother does not intend to perform this year’s hajj for another reason: he has simply not given a thought to its urgency at all. He is of the view that those who should go to Hajj are the elderly ones, those nearing the end of their ‘term’ on earth. Each time the sun rises on the horizon, he looks at his image in the mirror. He soon comes to the conclusion that he still has lots of time left on the planet earth. “This guy’s still young,” he tells himself. Though he has the means to go on hajj this year, he chooses to postpone it till another day, another year. This brother, dear brethren, is running a great risk. Should death come calling tomorrow, he would have no excuse to present to the Almighty for his inability to discharge the responsibility. Is it not true that a child that is born this moment is old enough to transit to the great beyond at the next.
Ibn ‘ Abbas, may the Almighty be pleased with him, said, “Whoever does not make pilgrimage or pay Zakat will ask to be returned to life when dying.” Someone said, “No one asks to be returned except the unbelievers”. He said, “Allah, the Almighty, says: And spend something (in charity) out of the substance which we have bestowed on you, before death should come to any of you and he should say: 0 my Lord! Why didst thou not give me respite for a little… while I should then have given (largely) in charity, and I should have been one of the doers of good. (Q63: 10)