Undoubtedly, there are great rewards as mentioned above. However there are also harsh penalties that have been mentioned, in holy Qur’an and hadeeth, for renouncing the Hajj. This is because of the secrets and important philosophies that this great Islamic worship has.
The holy Qur’an says in a short and meaningful sentence about Hajj that:
لِیَشْهَدُوا مَنافِعَ لَهُم
(Encourage people to perform Hajj) That they may witness advantages for them (22:28)
These benefits are so much and have been pointed to them in hadith of Ma’soomin (infallibles) (a.s.), for instance:
1 Culturing the souls, purifying of ethics and strengthening the bases of virtue and purity. The sentence which had been mentioned in above Ahadith, stating that an accepted Hajj causes a person to exit his sins like the day that he was born, is a clear proof for influence of Hajj on purity of heart and happiness of the souls and removing the effects of sins of a lifetime. This great moral and intellectual journey benefits the pilgrims of Bait Allah al-Haraam (sacred house of Allah).
One may note carefully to the secrets of acts and rites that they perform, in order that each step that they go through is a step to Allah this great and meaningful worship becomes like a “rebirth” for them.
Those who perform this great spiritual worship by noticing to its secrets and with extreme purity of intention feel its deep effects on their soul until the end of life, and whenever they remember the memories of this spiritual journey and its full of spirituality, happiness and purity they feel a new and fresh soul is being blown in them (this is the teaching and moral effect of Hajj).
2 “Political effects” which are available beside the teaching effects of Hajj are very Important; because Hajj, if performed as Islam has ordered and Prophet Abraham has invited people of the world to do, causes to increase the honor of Muslims and strengthen the basis of religion and causes the unity of the word and power and respect against enemies and announcing the avoidance of polytheists of the world.
This great divine assembly which takes place beside the house of Allah gives the best opportunity to Muslims for reviving their powers, and neutralizing the plans of enemies of Islam.
But unfortunately, some of Muslims are unaware of political philosophy of Hajj, as they do not reach to the depth of its moral philosophy. They suffice only to the appearances and are unaware of the soul of this great worship. A politician once commented: “Woe betide Muslims if they do not understand the meaning of Hajj, and woe betide enemies of Islam if Muslims understand the meaning of Hajj!”
3 “Scientific and cultural effects” are other important effects of Hajj which had been pointed to us in hadith of infallibles (a.s.), Effects and signs of prophet of Islam (s.a.) and infallible Imams (a.s.) can be seen in any place of Mecca and Medina and stations of Hajj.
The presence of great Islamic scientists from all countries, consisting of great religious scholars, masters of other fields, orators and writers, amongst those who are attending Hajj every year, give an opportunity to exchange information and knowledge in all religious and scientific fields to all Muslims of the world. Moreover a good amount of information about the conditions of Muslims can be achieved. This information can help in alleviating the conditions of Muslims.
4 “Economical philosophy” has been also considered in Islamic books as one of secrets and purposes of Hajj. Some people may be wondering on how Hajj can be related to economical matters?
However we notice that today, the most important problem of most Muslims is their economical dependence to enemies of Islam, and if it is possible to establish meetings and seminars by economists of the world of Islam, to free Muslims from domination of others in this issue, the importance of this matter becomes clear.1
Hajj has important secrets as above, which can be further explained in separate topics and taught to all Muslims especially the younger generation.