Delaying Hajj until the latter part of one’s life is a common trait observed by Muslims throughout the world. Some think that the pilgrimage is to be performed after they have fulfilled all the responsibilities of this life. Others think that a Hajj done in old age will help them cleanse all the sins committed in their youth and secure a good Akhira. Many others keep procrastinating till old age arrives.
However, old age does not arrive alone. It brings weaknesses, ailments, pain and a lot of dependability on people. On the other hand, the rituals of Hajj pilgrimage demand a lot of energy – consider doing the Tawaf and walking between Safa and Marwa. The journey, although fruitful, is very tiring and delaying Hajj till old age might not be a great option.
Here are some reasons to perform Hajj as soon as possible:
Tomorrow might not come
Ibn `Umar , said, “When evening comes, do not expect (to live till) morning, and when morning comes, do not expect (to live till) evening. Take from your health (a preparation) for your illness, and from your life for your death.” (Bukhari)
As goes the old adage, don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today. Our time of death is unknown to us. What if it comes while we are still procrastinating Hajj?
It is advised to hasten towards Hajj
“Expedite the performance of Hajj. For nobody knows what may obstruct one.” (Ibn Majah, Ahmad)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) advised us against delaying Hajj and laxing in its performance. This is because Hajj is a basic pillar of Islam and hence should be considered a priority. In another Hadith, The Prophet (peace be upon him) referred to someone who delays Hajj despite having the means to perform it as “Allah said: ‘Any of My slaves who is healthy and are of the means for five years, and did not visit My house, he/she is mahroom.” (Ibn Hibban & Musnad Abu Ya’laa: 3703:1031)
Hajj Reduces Your Poverty
If you are delaying Hajj because you think you will have no money left to fulfill your other obligations, this Hadith is just right for you:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Keep on doing Hajj and Umrah, because they both eliminate poverty and sins just like a furnace eliminates the dirty impurities of iron, gold and silver. And an accepted Hajj has no reward less than Paradise!” (Tirmithi, Nisaa’i, Ahmad)
The supplication of Hajj is answered
“The warrior in the path of Allah, the one performing Hajj and the one performing Umrah are the delegations of Allah. If they call on Allah they are answered and if they ask Him for anything it is given to them.” (Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibban)
“The best supplication is the supplication on the day of Arafah […]” (Tirmithi, Malik)
“There is no other day when Allah sets free more slaves from the Fire than the day of Arafah, for that day He comes nearer to them and says proudly to the angels: What do these people seek?” (Muslim)