Hajj has many benefits and virtues, and the most important of which is that the slave comes out of this journey and has been cleansed of sins and shortcomings. In the hadith narrated by Al-Bukhari: He (the Prophet) may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, said, “Whoever performs the Hajj to Allah and does not commit adultery or indulge in debauchery, he will return like the day his mother gave birth to him.”
His Eminence Sheikh Atiyah Saqr – may AaAllah have mercy on him – says:
Hajj has a great virtue, a great reward, and many benefits, in which spending on it has a double reward as spending on the cause of Allah.
And the virtue of Hajj appears in the explanation of the wisdom of legitimacy (Qur’an). In which Allah said:
“And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass – That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals” [Quran 22 : 27-28]
The benefits are many and includes religious benefits and worldly benefits. Mecca and its people benefit from the supplication of Abraham that was answered, peace be upon him:
“Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful” [Quran 14 : 37]
The pilgrims and Muslims in turn generally gain from these benefits.
Among the virtues of Hajj is to strengthen the bond of the servant with his Lord, such as making the Talbiyah, remembering of Allah with passion, circumambulating around the house of Allah, and kissing the stone that is the right hand of Allah which his creations do shake, as narrated by Ahmad.
Likewise, there is humility. The narration of Ahmad stated that Allah boasts of the people of Arafat to the angels saying, “Look at my servants who have come to me dishevelled, dusty and crying out from every deep valley. I call you to witness that I have forgiven them.”
Furthermore, there is a connection with the cradle of prophecy. It is a remembrance of valuable past incidents, as it is also a factor of unity among Muslims. For that, the following are mentioned of its virtues:
First: It is either the best or one of the best deeds, as it came in the hadith of Abu Hurairah when Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was asked, “What is the best deed?” He replied, “To believe in Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad). The questioner then asked, “What is the next (in goodness)? He replied, “To participate in Jihad in Allah’s Cause.” The questioner again asked, “What is the next (in goodness)?” He replied, “To perform Hajj (Pilgrim age to Mecca) ‘Mubrur, (which is accepted by Allah and is performed with the intention of seeking Allah’s pleasure only and not to show off and without committing a sin and in accordance with the traditions of the Prophet).”
Hajj is jihad; the virtue of jihad is great, and it is the height of the hump of Islam. In the hadith of al-Tabarani regarding the weak man who cannot strive: “Come to a jihad with no thorn: Hajj”.
Al-Nasa’i also narrated that, “The Jihad of the old, the weak, and the women is Hajj.”
Al-Bukhari and Muslim mentioned that Aisha said to the Messenger (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him): “We see jihad as the best work, should we not do jihad?” He said: But the best jihad is an accepted Hajj.
In Hajj also, there is forgiveness of sins. According to the hadith of Al-Bukhari and Muslim that: “Whoever performs Hajj and does not indulge in debauchery or commit sexual immorality, he will return as the day his mother gave birth to him.”
In a narration by Muslim, when Amr ibn al-Aas converted to Islam: “Did you not know that Islam erases what came before it; migration likewise erases what came before it, and Hajj also erases what came before it?”
From the hadith of Al-Nasa’i and Al-Tirmidhi as it is authenticated: “Continue to do Hajj and Umrah, for they repudiate poverty and sins just as hardship expel the slag of iron, gold and silver. There is no other reward for an accepted Hajj but paradise. Those who perform Hajj and Umrah have been promised by Allah that when they call on Him (supplicate), He answers their prayers, and when they seek forgiveness, He forgives them.” In the general meaning of the hadith narrated by Ibn Majah and Al-Nasa’i; Ibn Khuzaymah and Ibn Hibban also have it in their two authentic texts.
As for spending on it, a hadith narrated by Ahmad and others came with a good chain of transmission: “spending in Hajj is like spending in the way of Allah, a dirham is seven hundred times more.”