Hajj

To folks like Omar’s father, the city was starting to feel less sacred than a Sandals Resort:

“There’s a giant hotel right across from the mosque,” Omar continued. “Going inside and walking around the Kaaba [the cubic black building in Mecca where Muslims worldwide direct themselves to pray] is an incredible feeling. You feel so entwined with your religion praying with everyone while looking the same in what we wear. You leave the mosque on a religious high. When I did it, it was almost ruined because I thought there would be talk of religion everywhere or people in prayer but we left near the hotel and only heard people complaining about their rooms or why their ride to the airport was late.”

The building Omar described, the Abraj Al Bait, actually has a Fairmont hotel, a giant mall, and even a Hardee’s and a KFC inside - all literally steps away from the holiest site for Muslims in the world. These changes are extremely controversial, for obvious reasons: Some sites from the time of Muhammad himself have been knocked down (by family members of Osama bin Laden, no less) in favor of such luxury hotels.

The Dystopian Realities Of The Modern Pilgrimage To Mecca

The Holy Prophet (sawa) said: “An obligatory prayer, with Allah, is equivalent to one thousand Hajj pilgrimages and one thousand Umrah performances (voluntary pilgrimages to Ka'ba) which are right and accepted.” - Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 99, p. 14

The thing is sayings like the above don’t usually make me think of the thawaab in itself. I mean, what do ahadith like this even try to point out?

Maybe it is simple and just tells us that salah is waajib and vital for you to be a proper Muslim and compares it to Hajj which is also a waajib act and vital for you to be a proper Muslim. Then why the need to equate it to 1000 Hajj?

For me I use these types of sayings in a different light, and for a greater purpose - as well as also reinforcing the above.

Each salah has the power to forgive everything you have ever done; just like Hajj. Five times a day we can be born anew, vowing to be better, and that to me is the greater meaning behind such sayings.