الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين، أما بعد
Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said:
The benefits which the Muslims witness in the Hajj are many benefits:
religious benefits, and collective benefits, and worldly benefits.
As for religious benefits, then they are that which the pilgrims undertake by way of carrying out the rites, and that which comes about from instructions and directives from the scholars from here and from there, as well as that which comes about from expenditure in the Hajj. For it is indeed from the expenditure in the path of Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic.
As for the collective benefits, then they are those things which come about through the acquaintance of the people between themselves; as well as the affinity of their hearts, and some of them acquiring etiquettes from others, likewise the fine conduct and cultivation of some of them to others, as is visible to every person of understanding who observes that.
As for the worldly benefits, then it is that which comes about from the profits of the owners of cars and other than that which is hired for the performance of Hajj. Likewise that which is procured for the pilgrims by way of trade which they bring along with themselves and import them from Makkah and other than this from the immense benefits, and it is due to this that Allaah, The Most High, said:
لِّيَشْهَدُوا مَنَافِعَ لَهُمْ
((That they may witness the benefits for them)) (Al-Hajj: 28)
So there has come within it the plural which is in the form of ultimate plurals (types of plurals in Arabic – a reference to the word: ‘benefits’)
However; it is with great sorrow that the Hajj in these times with many of the people; that these great benefits are not benefited from, rather it is as though the Hajj is actions and statements of desolation. There being nothing in it except mere imagery only, and due to this the heart does not procure humility, and harmonious accord between the Muslims is not yielded, nor any learning in the affairs of their religion. Rather some of them may dislike hearing a word of admonition from an advisor to them, there may be a bad intent with some of them in calling the people to falsehood, either through spoken instruction, or either by way of actions through the dissemination of misguided and corrupt circulars. These are without doubt from the things which cause sadness, and from that which renders this Hajj outside of its legitimate sphere for which it had been legislated.
Therefore I advise my brothers – the pilgrims with that which follows:
Firstly: Sincerity of intention for Allaah, The Most High, in the Hajj, in that they do not intend from their Hajj except the arrival at the reward of Allaah, The Most High, and the abode of His Munificence.
Secondly: Complete ardency upon following the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in his Hajj, for he (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) indeed used to say:
لِتَأْخُذُوا عَنِّي مَنَاسِكَكُمْ
((You should take your rites from me.))
Thirdly: Complete ardency upon the harmony and the drawing close between the Muslims, and the identification (mutual acquaintance) of some of them with others in that which befits that they should know of from the religious and collective issues and other than that.
Fourthly: Gentleness with the pilgrims at the religious sites and when performing Tawaaf (circumambulation) and when performing the Sa’ee (the walk made between as-Safaa and al-Marwaa) and when stoning the columns, as well as at the point of moving from Muzdalifah and from ‘Arafah and other than that.
Fifthly: Having adherence upon carrying out the rites with calmness and tranquility, and that no one should be as though he has come to confront an army, or a combating soldier. That becomes evident at the stoning of the columns, since some of the people; you will find them coming to the columns, and one of them will be filled with anger and fury, and he may even speak with improper words which are unbefitting in other than this location – how then at this location?!
Sixthly: That one should be distant – in the utmost remoteness from tangible and significative (connoted/perceptible) harm, meaning that he should avoid throwing filth in the pathways, and throwing rubbish in the roads – and other than that. The significative harm is that he should avoid smoking for example – amid a people who dislike that, even though smoking is forbidden in a state of Ihraam and in other than a state of Ihraam. Yet if it occurs in a state of Ihraam then it diminishes the Ihraam and reduces the reward of Hajj and ‘Umrah, because Allaah, The Most High, says:
فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ
((So whoever has made Hajj obligatory [upon himself] therein [by assuming ihraam], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no sinfulness and no disputing during Hajj.)) (Al-Baqarah: 197)
Smoking is forbidden, and persistence upon it can lead to it being a grave sin – from the major sins. Therefore what is important is that the person – it befits for him in this Hajj that he should be upon the utmost completeness that he is able by way of religion and mannerism, so that he should find the taste and sweetness of this Hajj.
(Taken from: Majmu’ Fataawa wa Rasaa-il ash-Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih al-‘Uthaimeen vol 24 p.7-9)
 Reported by Muslim (no.1218) – refer to Irwaa al-Ghaleel hadeeth 1074-1075 for further elaboration on the various wordings of this hadeeth.