Any journey has its difficulty and sufferings. Our shariat having taken that into consideration allowed that any Salaat composing four Rakaats should be reduced to two while on travel. Rasulullah Sal’am himself said about travel: “travel is a portion of hell-fire.” Therefore traveling means inconvenience and difficulty. So come what may any traveler to the Holy Places will undergo some suffering enroute. But bearing in mind that this journey to the Kaaba is a journey in search of the Beloved One, one should behave on the road like a lover seeking the beloved who awaits him. So whether he hears abusive language directed at himself or whether he is being sworn at or whether stones are cast on him, no matter what difficulty he encounters the Haji should go ahead to the destination undeterred by any such obstacle. And by tolerating all sufferings and hardships with patience, ones reward is increased, (in case where such hardships are not contrary in effect to the interests of our Deen and health).
Hazrat Imam Ghazali R.A. mentions an interesting point by saying: “whatever a person spends on this journey, should be spent with pleasure, and whatever loss of life or wealth one experiences should be borne with patience, because such things are the signs of a Hajj that is accepted by Allah.”
To experience difficulty on the journey of Hajj is like spending in the way of jihad, where one Dri’ham is rewarded up to seven hundred times. To experience pain and hardships on Hajj is similar to the experience of the hardships of jihad. It should be noted that all hardships and losses experienced are not forgotten by Allah, but are turned into rewards. (It’haaf)
Rasulullah Sal’am said to Hazrat Aa’isha R.A: ” Verily the reward (of your Umrah) is according to the amount of your hardships. “One’s reward is increased to the extent of his hardships. This does not mean that a person should create unnecessary or unnatural difficulties for himself. For such artificial difficulties there is no reward.
One Hadith in Bukhari illustrates this: “Once Rasulullah Sal’am passed a person whose hands were tied with rope. Another man was pulling him by the rope around the Kaaba for tawaaf. (Apparently the person was blind or had some other difficulty). Rasulullah Sal’am cut the rope and said: “Lead him and pull him by the hand.”
Another time Rasulullah Sal’am saw two persons tied together by a rope towards Mecca. Rasulullah Sal’am asked: “what is this?” They replied: “we made a vow that we would proceed towards the ka’bah tied together like this.” Rasulullah Sal’am then said: “Cut the rope; such a vow is wrong. A vow is only made for righteous deeds; while this that you are doing is Satanic.” (ainy-Bukhaari)
Going to Hajj on foot is a praiseworthy act, but only as one can bear the burden of it. At the beginning of this booklet we quoted the verse: “And proclaim the pilgrims among men. They will come to You on foot and on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways.”
One will notice that those coming on foot are mentioned before those ” on camel.” Some Ulama therefore, deduce from this that traveling for Hajj on foot is more virtuous than traveling by any other means of conveyance.
Ulama have gone s o far as to say that “For those people who have the habit of performing Hajj on foot, it is not necessary for them to have the means of transport before Hajj becomes obligatory on them. When they are healthy and have the strength of body, and when the road is safe (with sufficient food and drink) Hajj becomes compulsory on them. (see Ainy)
The great blessings of traveling for Hajj on foot has also been expounded by Rasulullah Sal’am. We quote a few of these Ahadith.