Al-Hajj (Pilgrimage To The Sacred House)
Allah Almighty says:
And Hajj to the House (Ka'bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses (for one's con¬veyance, provision and residence) (Surah Aal-Imran 3: 97)
It is obligatory for a Muslim to perform Hajj at least once in his lifetime, and the same ruling applies to the 'Umrah (the lesser pilgrimage). They are both obligatory upon the Muslim who fulfills the following:
1) He is sane
2) He has reached the age of puberty
3) He is free as opposed to being a slave, in which case it is not obligatory
4) He is able - financially, physically, etc. - to perform the Hajj.
When a child performs one of the two, though his pilgrimage is correct, he must still perform the obligatory pilgrimages when he becomes an adult and is able to make the journey. The Hajj and Umrah are not obligatory upon a woman who does not have a Mahram (a male relative to whom she can never marry and with whom she may be in seclusion with) to accompany her, for there are authentic Ahadith in which the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) forbade a woman from traveling without a Mahram.
Hajj is a kind of Islamic convention. Muslims come to it from all corners of the globe, representing all nationalities, colors, languages -yet they wear one clothing, they stand on one level, and they are all performing one worship; no distinction is made between old and young, between rich and poor, or between black and white. Allah Almighty says:
O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is the one who has the most At-Taqwa(Surah Al-Hujurat 49: 13)
The reward for the Hajj that is accepted is Paradise. In the Two Sahihs it is recorded from Abu Hurairah, (Radhi Allahu Anhu) that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
From one 'Umrah to the next is an expiation for what takes place (i.e., sins) between the two. And the accepted Hajj has no reward other than Paradise.
Also in the Sahih, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
Whoever makes Hajj without having intercourse (or without speaking evil speech during Hajj) and without doing evil deeds, then he returns as the day his mother gave birth to him.
Indeed Allah has prescribed Hajj upon His worshippers and made it one of the pillars of Islam. Explaining this, Shaikh Ibn Baz said Allah Almighty says:
And Hajj to the House (Ka'bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses (for one's con¬veyance, provision and residence); and whoever disbelieves, then Allah stands not in need of any of the creatures. (Surah Aal 'Imran 3:97)
In the Two Sahihs, Ibn 'Umar (Radhi Allahu Anhu) related that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
Islam is built on five: to bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to establish the prayer, to give Zakat, to fast Ramadhan, and AI-Hajj to Allah's Sacred House (the Ka'bah) .
In his Sunan, Sa'id (bin Mansur) related the following saying of Umar bin Al-Khattab (Radhi Allahu Anhu): "I intended to send men to these regions to see who had sufficient wealth yet had not made Hajj, so that I could levy the Jizyah (*)
on them: They are not Muslims, they are not Muslims."
It has been related that 'Ali (Radhi Allahu Anhu) said, 'Whoever was able to perform Hajj but did not perform it, then it is no difference whether he dies a Jew or a Christian."
If one is able to perform Hajj but has not performed it, then he must hasten to it, for Ibn 'Abbas (Radhi Allahu Anhu), related that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
Hurry to perform Hajj - the Hajj that is compulsory (i.e., the first one) - for one of you doesn't know what will occur to him. (Recorded by Ahmad)
Based on the following saying of Allah, Hajj becomes compulsory immediately, meaning as soon as one is able to perform it:
And Hajj to the House (Ka'bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses (for one's conveyance, provision and residence); and whoever disbelieves, then Allah stands not in need of any of the creatures. (Surah Aal 'Imran 3:97)
In his Khutbah (sermon), the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
O people, indeed Allah has made Hajj obligatory upon you, so make Hajj. (Recorded by Muslim).
That 'Umrah (the lesser pilgrimage) is also obligatory is proven by certain Ahadith, one of them being the following:
Islam is to bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, to establish the prayer, to pay the Zakat, to make Hajj to the House (Ka'bah), to make 'Umrah, to take a shower from Janabah (i.e., after performing sexual intercourse or after having a wet dream), to make a complete ablution, and to fast Ramadhan. (Ibn Khuzaimah and Ad-¬Daraqutni from a Hadith related by 'Umar bin Al-Khattab (Radhi Allahu Anhu), Ad-Daraqutni said, "This chain is established and authentic.")
In a Hadith related by 'Aishah (Radhi Allahu Anha), she asked the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) "0 Messenger of Allah, is there Jihad upon women?" He (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) answered:
"Upon them is a Jihad in which there is no fighting: Hajj and 'Umrah." (Recorded by Ahmad and Ibn Majah, with an authentic chain.)
Neither Hajj nor 'Umrah are obligatory upon a Muslim except once in his life, for the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said in an authentic Hadith:
From one 'Umrah to the next is expiation for what occurs between them (i.e., sins), and the reward for an accepted Hajj is none other than Paradise.
Shaikh Ibn Baz – (Rahimallullah) said:
Though they are not pillars in the religion, Islam has many other deeds that are of paramount importance, such as ordering others to do good deeds and forbidding them from evil. In fact, Allah described this nation as being the best nation because it orders to do good and forbids evil:
You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma'ruf (all that Islam has ordained)and forbid Al-Munkar (all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah. (Surah Aal 'Imran 3:110)
One of our pious predecessors said, "If one wishes to be from the best of this nation, let him fulfill a condition: ordering others to do good and forbidding them from perpetrating evil."
Another important aspect of Islam that Muslims should be serious about is Jihad in the way of Allah, for through it, Allah's Word is raised, Muslims achieve honor, and Muslim lands are protected from their disbelieving enemies. Ibn 'Umar, (Radhi Allahu Anhuma)related that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
I have been ordered to fight the people until they bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, they establish the prayer, and they pay the Zakat - when they will have done all of that, they will have protected from me their blood and wealth, unless it is by a right, and their account (judgement) is with Allah. (Agreed upon)
Mu'ath (Radhi Allahu Anhu) , related that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said:
The head of the matter is Islam, its pillar is the prayer, and its peak is Jihad in the way of Allah. (Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi with an authentic chain).
Right after the Muslims pledged allegiance to him as Khalifah, Abu Bakr (Radhi Allahu Anhu), gave a sermon, and in it he said, "No people leave Jihad in the way of Allah except that Allah strikes them into ignominy." In Jihad, truth is enforced and falsehood is crushed, Allah's Shari'ah is applied, and the Muslims are protected in their lands from the plots of their enemies (*2)
This is the end of the intended explanation of the five pillars. * Jizyah-A tax that is paid by Jews and Christians who live in Muslim lands.
*2 For what has preceded, refer to the sections entitled At-Tahqiq wal-Iedhah and Mahaasin Ash-Shari'ah in Majmu 'ah Fatawa waMaqalat, volume 2, by Shayikh 'Abdul-'Aziz bin Baz, (Rahimallullah)