Hajj is a great Islamic conference. It is an ideal demonstration of faith in which diverse groups of every race, class and nationality join together at a given time and in a specific place. They repeatedly recite a single call, and proclaim the same slogan. They gather for one purpose and that is to declare their servitude and loyalty to Allah (SWT) alone, freeing themselves from any trace of polytheism and ignorance, in a deeply effective, collective way, which fills the soul with feelings of faith and unity.
As the Holy Quran proclaims, and the Prophetic traditions bespeak, Hajj is not only worship and a way of getting closer to Allah (SWT),but it is a way of granting the pilgrim social, educational, economic and political benefits. Combined together, these bounties are conducive to improvement within an Islamic society, increase its awareness, rectify the problems and activate its movements.
During Hajj, Muslims witness the most excellent example of equality, submissiveness and human brotherhood. This is accomplished by removing the outer difference and donning the dress of unity, the ihraam. The result is that all feel oneness among the human race, brotherhood and equality.
While performing Hajj, Muslims feel oneness with the earth and the people. It invalidates all the artificial boundaries established by human, regional, national and racial superiority complexes and egoism. Traveling across thousand of miles, they penetrate all barriers, and rise above all man-made hurdles, in order to respond to Islam’s call of faith.
During Hajj, Muslims meet each other in a magnificent communion. They relate to each other’s domestic and regional affairs. They consult each other concerning their life and religion. They exchange experiences, opinions and good habits. They become acquainted with each other’s problems. They learn of each other’s viewpoints. This interchanging of ideas increases their awareness, knowledge grows, and the impetus to reform is invigorated. As a result, plans are proposed, projects designed, educational, political, social and economic centers are established. The Muslims support each other, as if they are one body and one soul.
Since Hajj is a large and impressive human gathering, it attracts millions of Muslims from different countries. It also stimulates an economic movement which is beneficial to the world of Islam.
During Hajj, the pilgrim imbibes ethical and educational lessons which reduce his faults. He acquires patience through hardship. He becomes humble, generous and tender. He renounces lying, backbiting, animosity and pride. He learns from his journey through mixing with others. Within him, positive social tendencies grow and morals are refined.
(The Hajj as Worship and Education)
Hisham bin al-Hakam once asked Imam Ja’ffar as-Sadiq (as), “Why does Allah order His servants to perform Hajj and circumambulate around the Ka’bah?” Imam (as) replied, “Allah has created His servants and instructed them how to obey Him through the performance of religious duties. He has made (Hajj) a gathering in which people from east and west participates and become acquainted with one another. Every single one of them benefits from the experiences of others who come from different places. Memories of the Messenger of Allah and his life will never be forgotten…..”