Following, are a further few points of the deeper meaning of Haj. These I wish to outline merely as a specimen indicative of the many significance of Haj, similar to the two points of wisdom and virtue mentioned at the beginning of this chapter.
1. There are times when rulers, governors and kings call the various classes of their subjects together to discuss matters with them and receive reports. For this reason they are often made into various organizations; and each has its annual conference. This is what happens in Haj where representatives from all over the glove, from all spheres of life and from all ranks; gather at His House. Such is the Haj congregation.
2. Should any influential personality have any proposition to put forward for the progress of the Muslim world; then Mecca during the Haj is indeed the very best place to introduce such a proposal. From there it is most certain that the terms of such a resolution will spread to all corners of the world.
3. What better place can there be for talks than at Mecca at the time of Haj; for discussions and deliberations between rulers, ministers and ambassadors of the Islamic countries; for the improvements of relations of all sorts; for the forming of unity and co-operation among them? There at the spiritual headquarters of Islam with the added influence of the spirit of goodwill and brotherhood at the time of Haj; some solution is sure to be found to solve their problems.
4. So many are the different tongues and dialects spoken around the Ka’bah at Haj. At once one can hear Arabic, Urdu, Hindi, Persian, Japanese, Push’tu, Chinese, English etc. spoken by the many thousands of Hajees. What a grand expose of the cosmopolitan nature of Islam. A linguist and a lover of languages cannot find any place more to his liking than this.
5. No where else can a person see a better exhibit of the soldier like uniformity as on the Haj journey. This uniformity is a special and unique symbol and badge of Islam. Hence, we see all the Hajees in the same dress, following the prescriptions and commands, avoiding the same prohibitions, doing the same actions at the same time.
6. For years and years an unsuccessful struggle; resisting capitalism; is being carried on among the various nations to attain equality between the rich and the poor, and to narrow the gaps between them. To date no real solution has been found. Islam on the other hand; with its practical and realistic approach to problems has solved this one in a most easy manner. We see true equality brought to the fore in salaah, fasting, zakaah and in Haj; and no better solution and cure has been found than that up to this day. These Islamic principles, which are undoubtedly the best and most effective and workable solution to the world at large on condition that these principles be applied in conjunction with the true fundamental teachings of Islam.
7. Similar to the afore-mentioned; it is a fact that no better demonstration for the teaching and propagation of equality between the various classes can be seen, than that in Haj. Here at the same time; and at the same places; for a substantial period of time, the rich and the poor, the Arab and the Turk, the Englishman and the African etc; all dressed in the simple pilgrims garb present themselves for the remembrance of Allah. All barriers of rank, class, wealth and status are set aside.
8. To observe national celebrations people make elaborate arrangements; lavish preparations and extensive propagation, well advance. For Muslims the first two weeks of Zil Hijjah are more important than similar celebrations, for which there is neither special arrangements nor lavish expense or extensive propagation made.
9. Haj is the ideal occasion for Muslims of the world to foster brotherhood, love acquaintance and relationship of unity.
10. A golden opportunity exists at Haj time for the spread of Islam and the revival of the concept of true Islamic living. Those present in Mecca and the surrounding area duty bound ethically to deal hospitably with those arriving for Haj. True hospitality in this case means to increase their enthusiasm for Dee; and to provide an incentive; and encourage them to follow the path of Islam; and also to revive and reform their love and liking for Deen.
Similarly, those arriving from foreign lands should assist the local people in this noble work of inviting and encouraging others to the true path. In such cases the real benefit to Islam and the Muslims world in crystal clear.
11. The intermingling of the rich and the poor during Haj has added advantage. This intermingling does much to remove the pride and haughtiness of the rich; while making the poor feel themselves completely at their own home, among fellow brothers. The rich whose necessities are many turn to the poor for help; i.e. carrying goods, cooking, transport arrangements, which they find difficult to do themselves. On the other hand, the poor to fulfill their financial needs turn to the rich. Due to this contact the relationship does not remain one of acquaintance and hospitality only, but develops into love and friendship. This it to its fullest extent witnessed during Haj.
12. We all know that a vast gathering of Muslims; particularly with humbleness and sincerity is a magnetic point for invoking Allah’s mercy, grace and generosity. This is especially so when they are truly humble and sincere. No better show of this can be seen than that scene of the huge gathering of sincere and humble people on the plain of Arafaat.
13. The greatest advantage achieved from Haj is the preservation of the monumental teachings of our predecessors, especially the methods of the prophets.
14. Through this Haj journey it also becomes possible to get acquainted with the various countries which one passes; and also as a result of coming into contact with their peoples. In this manner knowledge is gained about the agriculture, industries, products and conditions prevailing in other countries.
15. From an educational point of view Haj is most beneficial. So many learned ones from a great number of countries; and graduates from numerous universities come together; which leads to worthy discussions on educational topics. One gets to know the views, progress, decline and achievements of those various institutions. All this definitely affords an opportunity of teaching others and also at the same time learn from them.
16. Similarly, great saints attend the Haj gathering annually; whereby an opportunity is offered to derive spiritual benefit from their esteemed presence.
17. In Haj, the Haji resembles the angels who are an innocent and sinless creation of Allah. They are continually busy performing tawaaf of Allah’s throne. His action is similar while performing tawaaf of the Ka’bah; as the Hadith states that: “whosoever imitates a group is regarded as one of them”. Those angels never commit any act contrary to Allah’s will; therefore imitate them. Thus resembling their tawaaf of Allah’s throne is praiseworthy action.
18. Among previous nations monkery used to be the highest order, and greatest achievement for man. At the end of Islam it was henceforth prohibited and in its place Islam instituted a refined decree; known as the Haj journey. Thus avoiding all things of adornment, sexual intercourse; in fact even talk about sex during ihraam. (Ithaaf)
19. Among many people and religious groups there has been the custom since time immemorial to organize annual fairs; as for example the fairs of Europe in the middle ages, the Hindu Melas, Catholic masses, Ancient Egypt, Babylon, Pre-Islamic Arabia, etc; which people await, and they also prepare themselves for such gatherings annually. This all is done well in advance. In such fairs sport, play entertainment, amusement, joy and pleasure is the theme of the day. Islam removed this type of a fair; of meaningless worldly affairs; and made a change for the better by Haj which was made into a gathering where people came together in the name of Allah; for the sake spent on worldly pleasures and sheer amusement was diverted to the brief in the oneness of Allah and love for Him.
20. Haj also means a visit to the blessed places where those who had inordinate and ardent love for Allah spent their energies in worshipping Him, until eventually they sacrificed their lives for Him.
21. While on the one hand provides a means of cleansing the character; it also assists in giving health to the body. Rasulullah Sal’am said: “Travel and become healthy.” (Kanz)
A change of climate is good for health, and Haj provides a good opportunity for this.
22. Haj is actually a means of continuing and reviving the remembrance of that worship which from the time of Hazrat Aadam A.S. has been part of every religion.
23. Haj in itself holds a great lesson. It is a visit to the Holy cities of Mecca and Madina. Visiting these two places; in the first place; refreshes the remembrance of them in our minds. Secondly, Mecca is the town where in the early days of Islam Muslims used to live in utter poverty, oppression, persecution and injustice. However, with great perseverance and humility they went through all those atrocities and hardships brought to bear on them by the disbeliveers of Mecca.
Later came a time; after the Hijrat: when they conquered Mecca, and after having successfully settled down in Madina; they not only completely pardoned their enemies due to the kindness at heart, but progressed further owing to the deep conviction of the truth of their religion. They also displayed the most sublime characters to spread Islam afar; so that its light spreads to every nook and corner of the entire globe.
Haj means this visit to these towns, which revives the remembrance in us of the heroic achievements of the devotees of Allah.
24. Haj refreshes the memory and revives our love for our Nabi Muhammad Sal’am himself. Mecca is his birthplace where up to fifty-three years of age he spent various stages of his life. Thereafter he migrated to Madina, where he peacefully rests in his grave. Visiting these two towns definitely revives memories of each and every stage of his life.
When people wish to retain the love for some special person; various types of memorials, statues etc, are erected. Islam has instituted the Haj, during which; among other numerous advantages the memory of Rasulullah Sal’am refreshed and love for him increases.
25. Haj is indeed the best means of lending strength and power to the center of Islam, and it provides the best means to render assistance and help to the people of the two Holy Harams. It also gives one the ideal opportunity to study and have an insight of the citizens of these two Holy places. It has been proved that when the pilgrims do in actual fact see the needs of these people; and their plight; a feeling of readiness to assist them is therefore aroused in the hearts of the visitors of the Holy Ka’bah and Madina. This mutual and sympathetic attitude normally continues to be felt long after Haj.
In brief, these points have been mentioned regarding the benefits of Haj. There are so many more; but let this be remembered that at all times the true aim of Haj is actually to strengthen the contact with Allah, and to remove the love for worldly things.