After having discovered who Ibrahim (ʿalayhi al-Salām) was, we are now ready to pose the question once again: Why Ibrahim? Why was it his legacy that Allah has eternalised in the form of a pillar of Islam, the pillar of Hajj? Ibrahim (ʿalayhi al-Salām) was a man who was wholesome and listing his qualities is an impossibility.
But there is one word however that appears time and time again in his biography. This term is “Islam”/submission. He was a true submitter to Allah. I am not referring to the Islam which separates between Kufr and ‘Iman, I refer to the ‘Islam’ which is in reference to one’s absolute surrendering to Allah whereby such a person almost literally fails to see his/her reflection in the mirror, as they only want to be how Allah wants them to be.
ﻭَﻟَﻘَﺪِ ﺍﺻْﻄَﻔَﻴْﻨَﺎﻩُ ﻓِﻲ ﺍﻟﺪُّﻧْﻴَﺎ ﻭَﺇِﻧَّﻪُ ﻓِﻲ ﺍﻟْﺂﺧِﺮَﺓِ ﻟَﻤِﻦَ ﺍﻟﺼَّﺎﻟِﺤِﻴﻦَ ( 130 ) ﺇِﺫْ ﻗَﺎﻝَ ﻟَﻪُ ﺭَﺑُّﻪُ ﺃَﺳْﻠِﻢْ ﻗَﺎﻝَ ﺃَﺳْﻠَﻤْﺖُ ﻟِﺮَﺏِّ ﺍﻟْﻌَﺎﻟَﻤِﻴﻦ
“And We had chosen him in this world, and indeed he, in the Hereafter, will be among the righteous. When his Lord said to him, “Submit”, he said “I have submitted to the Lord of the worlds.”
He was commanded to immigrate and he submitted. He was commanded to leave his family all by themselves in the desert and he submitted. He was commanded to slaughter his son, to build the Ka’ba, to circumcise himself at the age of 80 and every single time, he submitted. Thus the path to greatness is clear: Absolute submission to Allah without hesitation or second thought. The companions would say,
ﻧَﻬَﺎﻧَﺎ ﺭَﺳُﻮﻝُ ﺍﻟﻠﻪِ ﺻَﻠَّﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪُ ﻋَﻠَﻴْﻪِ ﻭَﺳَﻠَّﻢَ ﻋَﻦْ ﺃَﻣْﺮٍ ﻛَﺎﻥَ ﻟَﻨَﺎ ﻧَﺎﻓِﻌًﺎ، ﻭَﻃَﻮَﺍﻋِﻴَﺔُ ﺍﻟﻠﻪِ ﻭَﺭَﺳُﻮﻟِﻪِ ﺃَﻧْﻔَﻊُ ﻟَﻨَﺎ
“The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) prohibited us from things which were of benefit to us, however obeying Allah and His Messenger is of more benefit to us.”
Hajj teaches us to be like Ibrahim, so that when we return to our homes and we’re told that ‘such and such financial dealing is impermissible’, or ‘this is how we should/shouldn’t dress’, or ‘such and such environment displeases Allah’, or their likes, we also submit.
To close, I relay a remarkable Hadith which addresses those who will be travelling for Hajj this year, as well as those who’ve voluntarily chosen to stay behind, arguing that ‘it is too hot’, ‘it will be too crammed’, ‘it’s too costly’, having forgotten that the Day of Judgement will be far hotter, will be far more crammed and that the price of not doing so will be far more costly. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,
ﺇﻧَّﻚ ﺇﺫﺍ ﺧﺮﺟﺖَ ﻣﻦ ﺑﻴﺘِﻚ ﺗﺆُﻡُّ ﺍﻟﺒﻴﺖَ ﺍﻟﺤﺮﺍﻡَ ﻻ ﺗﻀﻊُ ﻧﺎﻗﺘُﻚ ﺧﻔًّﺎ ﻭﻻ ﺗﺮﻓﻌُﻪ ﺇﻟَّﺎﻛﺘﺐ ﺍﻟﻠﻪُ ﻟﻚ ﺑﻪ ﺣﺴﻨﺔً ﻭﻣﺤﺎ ﻋﻨﻚ ﺧﻄﻴﺌﺔً ﻭﺃﻣَّﺎ ﺭﻛﻌﺘﺎﻙ ﺑﻌﺪ ﺍﻟﻄَّﻮﺍﻑِ ﻛﻌِﺘﻖِ ﺭﻗﺒﺔٍ ﻭﺃﻣَّﺎ ﻭﻗﻮﻓُﻚ ﻋﺸﻴَّﺔَ ﻋﺮﻓﺔَ ﻓﺈﻥَّ ﺍﻟﻠﻪَ ﻳﻬﺒِﻂُ ﺇﻟﻰ ﺳﻤﺎﺀِ ﺍﻟﺪُّﻧﻴﺎ ﻓﻴﺒﺎﻫﻲ ﺑﻜﻢ ﺍﻟﻤﻼﺋﻜﺔَ ﻳﻘﻮﻝُ ﻋﺒﺎﺩﻱ ﺟﺎﺀﻭﻧﻲ ﺷُﻌﺜًﺎ ﻣﻦ ﻛﻞِّ ﻓﺞٍّ ﻋﻤﻴﻖٍ ﻳﺮﺟُﻮﻥ ﺟﻨَّﺘﻲ ﻓﻠﻮ ﻛﺎﻧﺖ ﺫﻧﻮﺑُﻜﻢ ﻛﻌﺪﺩِ ﺍﻟﺮَّﻣﻞِ ﺃﻭ ﻛﻘﻄْﺮِ ﺍﻟﻤﻄﺮِ ﺃﻭ ﻛﺰَﺑَﺪِ ﺍﻟﺒﺤﺮِ ﻟﻐﻔﺮﺗُﻬﺎ ﺃﻓﻴﻀﻮﺍ ﻋﺒﺎﺩﻱ ﻣﻐﻔﻮﺭًﺍ ﻟﻜﻢ ﻭﻟﻤﻦ ﺷﻔﻌﺘُﻢ ﻟﻪ ﻭﺃﻣَّﺎ ﺭﻣﻴُﻚ ﺍﻟﺠﻤﺎﺭَ ﻓﻠﻚ ﺑﻜﻞِّ ﺣﺼﺎﺓٍ ﺭﻣﻴْﺘَﻬﺎ ﺗُﻜﻔِّﺮُ ﻛﺒﻴﺮﺓً ﻣﻦ ﺍﻟﻤﻮﺑﻘﺎﺕِ ﻭﺃﻣَّﺎ ﻧﺤﺮُﻙ ﻓﻤﺬﺧﻮﺭٌ ﻟﻚ ﻋﻨﺪ ﺭﺑِّﻚ ﻭﺃﻣَّﺎ ﺣِﻼﻗُﻚ ﺭﺃﺳَﻚ ﻓﻠﻚ ﺑﻜﻞِّ ﺷﻌﺮﺓٍ ﺣﻠﻘﺘَﻬﺎ ﺣﺴﻨﺔٌ ﻭﻳُﻤﺤَﻰ ﻋﻨﻚ ﺑﻬﺎ ﺧﻄﻴﺌﺔٌ ﻭﺃﻣَّﺎ ﻃﻮﺍﻓُﻚ ﺑﺎﻟﺒﻴﺖِ ﺑﻌﺪ ﺫﻟﻚ ﻓﺈﻧَّﻚ ﺗﻄﻮﻑُ ﻭﻻ ﺫﻧﺐَ ﻟﻚ ﻭﻳﺄﺗﻲ ﻣﻠَﻚٌ ﺣﺘَّﻰ ﻳﻀﻊَ ﻳﺪَﻳْﻪ ﺑﻴﻦ ﻛﺘِﻔَﻴْﻚ ﻓﻴﻘﻮﻝُ ﺍﻋﻤﻞْ ﻓﻴﻤﺎ ﺗﺴﺘﻘﺒِﻞُ ﻓﻘﺪ ﻏُﻔِﺮ ﻟﻚ ﻣﺎ ﻣﻀَﻰ
“If you leave you home aiming for the Ka’ba, then every time your camel raises its foot or lowers it, Allah will write for you a good deed and will erase from you a sin. As for the two units of Salaah which you pray after the Tawaaf, it is equivalent to freeing a slave from the children of Ismail. As for your staying at ‘Arafah until the evening, Allah descends to the lower heaven and boasts about you to the angels, saying:
‘My slaves have come to Me in a rough state from every deep valley hoping for My Paradise, so if their sins were equivalent to the grains of sand or the drops of rain or like the foam on the sea I will forgive them.So proceed, O My slaves, for I have forgiven you and all those whom you intercede for.’ As for the stoning of the Jimaar (the pillars), then for every stone that you throw, it will erase one of the major sins. As for your slaughtering of the animal, the reward of this will be saved with your Lord. As for shaving your head, then for every strand of hair, a good deed will be written for you and a sin of yours will be erased. As for your circumambulation around the Ka’ba after this, then by this time you are completely sinless and an angel comes and places his hand between your shoulders saying, ‘Work hard in doing good deeds in the days to come, for all of the sins of your past have been forgiven.’”
References: Al-Qur’an, Surah 22, Ayah 78  From his book, ‘Hujjatullaahi Al-Baaligha’  Al-Qur’an, Surah 21, Ayah 51  Al-Qur’an, Surah 37, Ayah 102  Al-Qur’an, Surah 3, Ayah 96  Al-Qur’an, Surah 22, Ayah 27  Narrated by Abu Daawood and others, on the authority of Ibn Mirba’ Al-Ansaari  Narrated by Al-Bukhari  Narrated by Al-Haakim and Ibnu Khuzayma  Al-Irshaadu Ila Ma’rifatil Ahkaam  Narrated by Muslim  Narrated by Muslim, on the authority of Abu Huraira  Al-Qur’an, Surah 2, Aayaah 130-131  Narrated by Muslim  Narrated by Al-Bazzaar and others, and classified as ‘Hasanun Lighairih’ by Al-Albany.