In Islam, the greatest obligation placed upon every human being is Tawheed (to have belief in the oneness of Allah The Almighty, and to act in accordance to it). Tawheed helps one attain felicity in this life and the Hereafter; without it, one’s lot will be misery and hardship. At no stage of the Prophet’s (sallallahu alaihiwasallam) mission did he stop calling to Tawheed and waging war against Shirk (polytheism) and its manifestations. All five pillars of Islam confirm the importance of Tawheed and embody it, for it is the root of these pillars.
Hajj is a great symbol of the actualization of Tawheed in one’s worship, direction and aim. Allah The Almighty Says: “And for every nation We have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the Name of Allah over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food. And your Ilaah (God) is one Ilaah, so you must submit to Him alone (in Islam). And (O Muhammad!) give glad tidings to the Mukhbitin (those who obey Allah with humility and are humble from among the true believers of Islamic Monotheism).” (Quran 22: 34 Translated meaning)
Some examples of this are found in the rituals of Hajj:
The Prophet (sallallahu alaihiwasallam) entered into the state of Ihraam (sacral state) with the words of Tawheed. Jaabir (radiallahu anhu) said, “And he started his Ihraam with At-Tawheed when he said: ‘Labbayka Allaahumma Labbayk, Labbayka La Shareeka Laka Labbayk. Innal-Hamda Wan-Ni'mata Laka Wal-Mulk, La Shareeka Lak.’(Meaning: I respond to Your call, O Allah I respond to Your call. I respond to Your call, You have no partner. I respond to Your call. Indeed, the praise and grace are yours as well as sovereignty. You have no partner).”
One must raise his voice with it, for the Prophet (sallallahu alaihiwasallam) said: “The best Hajj is the one in which the voice is raised with Talbiyah and blood of sacrificial animals flow.” It is a Talbiyah of the one who feels that all acts of worship should compulsorily be directed to Allah The Almighty alone and realizes the danger of Shirk and other destructive sins; a Talbiyah of the one who sacrifices to none but Allah The Almighty, calls none but Allah the Almighty and seeks relief from none except Allah The Almighty. The pilgrim keeps on reciting this Talbiyah until he casts the pebbles of Jamratul-'Aqabah.
It is authentically reported from the Prophet (sallallahu alaihiwasallam) that during his Tawaaf he only touched Ar-Rukn Al-Yamaani (the Yemeni Corner) and Al-Hajar Al-Aswad (the Black Stone). However, if the pilgrim finds it difficult to touch them he should point to the Black Stone and say, “Allaahu Akbar” once as he passes by it. As for the Yemeni Corner, he should not point to it if he cannot touch it. This is done in order to come closer to Allah, and carry out His commandments. Allah says: “So let them worship the Lord of this House.” (Quran 106: 3 Translated meaning)
The Prophet (sallallahu alaihiwasallam) also said: “Circumambulation of the House; running between Safa and Marwa, and casting the pebbles is only ordained for establishment of the remembrance of Allah.” These rites were performed by the Prophet (sallallahu alaihiwasallam) solely for the purpose of worshipping Allah The Almighty, and not for the purpose of seeking blessings there from. That is why ‘Umar (radiallahu anhu) said when kissing the Black Stone, “By Allah! I know that you are only a stone. You neither benefit nor harm. If it were not that I saw the Prophet kissing you, I would not have kissed you.” (Al-Bukhaari, Muslim) Scholars have agreed that it is not permissible to touch or kiss other than what is reported in the Sunnah that the Prophet, (sallallahu alaihiwasallam) has touched or kissed.
There is no prosperity or success in this world except through following the path of Prophet (sallallahu alaihiwasallam) having faith and doing good deeds. It is in the light of this that he said, “Take from me your Hajj rites.” The eagerness of the Companions was embodied in this saying of Ibn Abbaas (radiallahu anhu) “Do your Hajj as the Prophet (sallallahu alaihiwasallam) did his, and do not say: This is Sunnah (Prophetic tradition) and this is compulsory.” One of the greatest aims of Hajj is to remember his guidance and to adhere to his path without negligence or exaggeration. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihiwasallam) said, “Whoever performs a deed on which there is no order from us will have it rejected.”
Hajj should be an avenue for self-examination and recognizing one’s faults and shortcomings. Make it an opportunity to renew your allegiance to the book of Allah The Almighty and the Sunnah of His Prophet (sallallahu alaihiwasallam). It is a time when one shuns exaggerations and negligence in all acts of worship. Therefore, Hajj should not be an occasion where one accuses his brother of abominable things, or where people utter foul words and behave in a way that goes against the Sunnah.
We should adhere to the guidance of the Leader of the Messengers, Muhammad son of Abdullah (sallallahu alaihiwasallam). Whoever follows his path shall prosper and will achieve everlasting happiness.