Hajj is an amazing act of ibadah–one that requires everything: mind, body, and wealth. People invest so much time, so much energy, and so much money into Hajj–and for what? What do they get out of it?
For a properly-intentioned, well-planned and correctly-executed Hajj–one free of, for example, arguing, pushing, and harming other Muslims, full of patience–there are five jackpots you cash out on when you perform Hajj:
- Deeds: The Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said: “Whoever performs Hajj to this house–the Ka’bah–and does not commit any obscenity and wrongdoing, he, or she, will come out as the day he or she was born,pure and free from sins.” [Saheeh Muslim, 7⁄3129]
- Salaah: When you pray in Masjid al-Harram in Mecca, your salaah is multiplied by 100,000 times [Tabarani]. If you’re there a brief span of two weeks (14 days), and you pray all five prayers in the masjid, that’s equivalent in reward to praying more then 3800 years!
- Wealth: The Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said: “Keep on doing Hajj and Umrah, for they eliminate poverty and sin just as the bellows eliminate impurities from iron and gold and silver.” [Tirmidhi and Nasa’i]  While we may not understand how, surely, the words of the Messenger of Allah are true. And, if you realize that everything you spend for Hajj is multiplied by 700 times, then that means a $5000 package is equivalent in reward to spending $3.5 million in the way of Allah. [Imam Anwar al-Awlaki]
- Sabr: In Hajj, the unimaginable happens. Buses show up eight hours late. An eight kilometer ride becomes a twelve-hour imprisonment–stuck in a hot metal cabin with no air-conditioning in the desert. People push you, shove you, jab you with their elbows, steal your shoes, your phone, and your fruit juice. Your fellow Hujjaj will wrong you, the government will wrong you, your Hajj group will wrong you. Nothing teaches sabr like Hajj–and if you carry the lessons back into your life, you can reap the rewards of super sabr for your whole life.
- Du’a: Of the biggest jackpots is du’a. Because the Messenger of Allah said: “The best du’a you can make is on the day of Arafaat.” [Tirmidhi]  If you plan properly–and bring your 16-page du’a list–you can make du’a for yourself, your family, your friends, your co-workers and fellow students, your community, the Muslim ummah, the planet. The whole course of lives can change. If you remember Allah, He remembers you in a better gathering–and what gathering is better then one of millions of hujjaj? The angels will say “ameen, and for you something similar,” when you make du’a for your brother or sister in their absence. So go for it! You may never get another chance. (On top of that, the du’a of a traveler is also accepted, guaranteed.)
So if you’ve made Hajj, rejoice! You’ve hit not one, not two, but five different and amazing jackpots. And if you’re planning to go for Hajj, plan it properly–prepare your du’a list ahead of time, make the intention to pray in Masjid Al-Harram as much as possible, and above all, be patient–because Hajj takes every drop of patience you have.
May Allah accept all the Hajj of all the Hujjaj, and teach the coming Hujjaj how to best prepare and earn a Hajj Mabroor insha’Allah ameen!
 “Hajj in Quran and Sunnah.” IslamicFinder. 17 Jan. 2008 <http://www.islamicfinder.org/articles/article.php?id=282>.
 “Times When the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allaah Be Upon Him) Made Du’Aa’ During Hajj and ‘Umrah.” Islam Question and Answer. 17 Jan. 2008 <http://islamqa.com/index.php?ref=43640&ln=eng>.