Allah, the Exalted One, says: “The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka; (Bakka is one of the names of Makkah) full of blessings and guidance for all kinds of beings: in it are signs manifest (for example), the station of Abraham– whoever enters it attains security; pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah–those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures” (Qur’an 3.96-97).
Excellence of Hajj
Hajj – One of the Best Deeds
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was once asked: “What is the best deed?” He replied: “To have faith in Allah and His Messenger.” The enquirer asked: “What next?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “To strive in the cause of Allah.” “What is the next best thing?” He replied: “Hajj Mabrur (a faultless Hajj that is free of sin and is graced with Divine acceptance and pleasure).”
Al-Hasan said: “It means that a person after performance of Hajj should desire and be inclined to the life of the Hereafter rather than the material pleasures of this world.” Another report transmitted on sound authority from the Prophet (peace be upon him) says that a righteous performance of Hajj is crowned by feeding the needy and speaking kind words to men.
Hajj: A Form of Jihad:
Al-Hasan ibn Ali says that a man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: “I am a coward and a weak person. Is there anything I can do?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “You may go for a jihad (striving) that involves no fighting, that is, Hajj.” This is reported by Abdur Razzaq and At-Tabarani, and all its narrators are trustworthy.
Abu Hurairah narrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Hajj is the jihad for the old, the weak and the women.” (This is reported by Nasa’i with a reliable chain of narrators)
‘Aishah reports that she once said: “O Prophet of Allah! Jihad (striving or fighting in the cause of Allah) is the best deed. Should we (women) then, not actively participate in it?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “The best jihad for you is Hajj Mabrur.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
In another report ‘Aishah says: “I once asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): ‘O Prophet of Allah! Should not we (women) strive and actively participate in the Islamic war with you?’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: ‘The best and the most beautiful striving for you in the cause of Allah is Hajj Mabrur.”‘ (Bukhari and Muslim) ‘Aishah commented: “After hearing this from the Prophet (peace be upon him) I shall never cease performing Hajj.”
Source: Fiqhus Sunaah by Sayyid Sabiq