The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Islam is built upon five pillars: testifying that there is no true god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing prayer, paying the zakah, making the pilgrimage to the Sacred House (Hajj), and fasting the month of Ramadan” (Al-Bukhari).
No doubt that Hajj has a great and major message that is not restricted to the time of its performance. Its message is to train us to respond to the commandments of Allah in everyday life. It instills in us the sense of unity and togetherness, and helps remove from our hearts any kind of hatred and animosity toward our brothers and sisters.
The prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Muhammad Iqbal Nadvi, director and imam of Al-Falah Islamic Center, Oakville, Ontario, Canada , states the following: Hajj is an obligation that is meant to instill a major message for us. The message of Hajj is not restricted to the time in which it is performed, but it starts upon the pilgrims’ return. For example, the pilgrims repeat the slogan of “labbayka” as a ritual in Hajj, but its message is to train us to respond to the commandments of Allah in everyday life.
So, the slogan “labbayka” starts with developing in our mind a better concept of the Hajj and its message. We have to believe that we are here for a mission, and we need to organize ourselves and work together to achieve it.
Then Hajj starts with removing from the heart any kind of hatred and animosity towards our brothers and sisters and keeping our animosity for Satan only.
Hajj then develops by making us do things together; enjoy the diversity we have in color, language, etc.; and celebrate our unity of the message and millah (way) of Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him), who united us under the banner of tawheed (oneness of God) and following the truth.
We cannot achieve unity without connecting ourselves with the truth revealed to us by Almighty Allah.