Advice to the pilgrim before he travels for Hajj
Is there any advice for the one who wants to travel for Hajj? What should he do before he travels?
Praise be to Allah
If the Muslim has decided to travel for Hajj or ‘umrah, it is mustahabb for him to advise his family and friends to fear Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, which means fulfilling His commands and heeding His prohibitions.
He should write down what he is owed and what he owes of debts, and he should have that witnessed. He must hasten to repent sincerely from all sins, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed”
True repentance means giving up sin, regretting what one has done in the past, and resolving not to go back to it. If he has wronged people physically or financially, or has said something to impugn their honour, he must right that wrong or ask them to forgive him for it before travelling, because it is soundly narrated from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he said: “Whoever has wronged his brother with regard to his wealth or honour, let him ask him for forgiveness today, before there will be no dinar or dirham, and if he has any righteous deeds to his credit, they will be taken from him commensurately with the wrong that he did, and if he does not have any good deeds to his credit, some of his companion’s bad deeds will be taken and added to his burden.”
He should use for his Hajj or ‘umrah pure wealth (i.e., that which is halaal and earned from halaal sources), because it is narrated in a sound report from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he said: “Verily Allah, may He be exalted, is good and does not accept anything but that which is good (i.e., halaal).” At-Tabaraani narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “If a man sets out as a pilgrim with halaal and pure provision, and puts his foot in the stirrup and calls out ‘Labbayk Allahumma labbayk,’ a caller calls out to him from heaven: ‘May you prosper; your provision is halaal, your mount is halaal, your Hajj will be accepted and your sin will be expiated.’ But if a man sets out with haraam provision, and puts his foot in the stirrup and calls out ‘Labbayk Allahumma labbayk,’ a caller calls out to him from heaven: ‘May you never prosper; your provision is haraam, your spending is haraam, and your Hajj will not be accepted.’”
The pilgrim should show no interest in that which people have and he should refrain from asking of them, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever asks Allah to help him to maintain his dignity, Allah will help him; and whoever seeks Allah’s help to be independent of means, Allah will make him independent.” And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “A man will keep asking of people until he comes on the Day of Resurrection without a shred of flesh on his face.”
The pilgrim must, by performing Hajj and ‘umrah, seek the pleasure of Allah and the hereafter, and seek to draw close to Allah by means of that which pleases Him of words and deeds in those holy places, and he must be careful lest his intention in going for Hajj be worldly gain or showing off or boasting about it, for these are among the most reprehensible of aims and are the cause of good deeds being rejected and not accepted, as Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter; to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein.
They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but Fire; and vain are the deeds they did therein. And of no effect is that which they used to do”
“Whoever wishes for the quick-passing (transitory enjoyment of this world), We readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then, afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell, he will burn therein disgraced and rejected, ( far away from Allah’s Mercy).
And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it (i.e. do righteous deeds of Allah’s Obedience) while he is a believer (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism), then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated, thanked and rewarded (by Allah)”
And it is soundly narrated from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he said: “Allah, may He be exalted, said: ‘I am so self-sufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus whoever does an action for someone else’s sake as well as Mine will have that action renounced by Me to him whom he associated with Me.’”
He should also choose as travel companions people of obedience and piety, who have a solid understanding of religion, and he should avoid the company of fools and evildoers.
He should learn what is prescribed in Hajj and ‘umrah, and seek to understand that properly and ask about anything that he does not understand, so that he will have knowledge and insight. Then when he ride his mount or gets into his car or boards his plane, or any other means of transportation, it is mustahabb for him to mention the name of Allah, may He be glorified, and praise Him, then to say takbeer three times, then say: “Subhaan alladhi sakhkhara lana hadha wa ma kunna lahu muqrineen wa inna ila rabbina la munqaliboon. Allaahumma inna nas’aluka fi safarina haadha al-birra wa’l-taqwa wa min al-‘aml ma tarda, Allaahumma hawwin ‘alayna safarana haadha watwi ‘anna bu’dahu. Allaahumma anta al-saahib fi’l-safar wa’l-khaleefah fi’l-ahl. Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika min wa’tha’ al-safar wa ka’aabat al-manzar wa su’ al-munqalib fi’l-maali wa’l-ahl (Glory be to the One Who has placed this (transport) at our service and we ourselves would not have been capable of that, and to our Lord is our final destiny. O Allah, we ask You for righteousness and piety in this journey of ours, and we ask You for deeds which please You. O Allah, facilitate our journey and let us cover its distance quickly. O Allah, You are the Companion on the journey and the Successor (the One Who guards them in a person’s absence) over the family. O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the difficulties of travel, from having a change of heart and from being in a bad predicament, and I seek refuge with You from an ill-fated outcome with regard to wealth and family)” because that is soundly narrated from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and it was narrated by Muslim from the hadith of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him).
During his journey he should remember Allah a great deal, ask Him for forgiveness, call upon Allah, may He be glorified, beseech Him, read Qur’an and reflect upon its meanings, offer all prayers regularly in congregation, guard his tongue against gossip and indulging in talking about that which does not concern him, or joking too much. He should also guard his tongue against lying, backbiting, spreading malicious gossip, and mocking his companions or other Muslims.
He should show kindness towards his companions and refrain from harming or annoying them; he should enjoin them to do what is good and forbid them to do what is evil, with wisdom and beautiful preaching, to the best of his ability.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him).