Praise be to Allaah.
The call in the Holy Qur'aan, “O mankind” is mentioned in
twenty places in the Book: two in Soorat al-Baqarah, four in al-Nisa’, one
in al-A’raaf, four in Yoonus, four in al-Hajj, one in Luqmaan, three in
Faatir and one in al-Hujuraat.
The one who ponders all of these verses will find that they
are addressed to all of mankind, believers and disbelievers, righteous and
evildoers, calling them to think about that which will benefit them in the
Hereafter and reminding them of the Lordship of Allah over them and their
need for Him, so that this will motivate them to worship Him alone with no
partner or associate, and to devote their religious commitment sincerely to
Him alone. Because this is addressed to all of mankind, and is not limited
to any specific group, it is appropriate that it should say “O mankind”
rather than “O you who believe.”
That has nothing to do with mention of the Ka’bah, Makkah or
Hajj in particular; rather most of the soorahs mentioned above in which the
call, “O mankind” appears, do not mention anything about the Ka’bah, Makkah
or Hajj at all. We do not think that this call comes only when there is
mention of the Ka’bah or Makkah, to the exclusion of other Islamic duties.
Some scholars have mentioned, when discussing the difference
between Makkan and Madinan soorahs, that the words “O mankind” appear in the
Makkan soorahs and “O you who believe” appear in the Madinan soorahs. This
is what is usually the case. In Madinan soorahs such as al-Baqarah and al-Nisa’,
it says “O mankind” and in some of the Makkan soorahs such as al-Hajj, it
says “O you who believe.”
With regard to places in the Holy Qur'aan in which words
addressed in general to “mankind” appear in the context of Hajj and its
rituals, perhaps the reason for that is that Hajj was first enjoined with
the call of Ibraaheem (peace be upon him) to all the people of Earth,
calling them to visit the sacred House of Allah and to perform the Hajj
rituals there. That appears in the verse in which Allah says (interpretation
of the meaning):
“And proclaim to mankind the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will
come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep
and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Hajj)”
Al-Haafiz Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Meaning: give the call to mankind, calling them to come on
the pilgrimage to this House which We have commanded you to build.
It was narrated that he said: O Lord, how can I call mankind
when my voice will not reach them? It was said: Call, and it is for Us to
convey. So he stood on his Maqaam (station), or it was said on the Hijr, or
on al-Safa, or on Abu Qubays [a mountain beside the Ka’bah], and said: O
mankind, your Lord has established a House, so come on pilgrimage to it. It
was said that the mountains lowered themselves so that his voice could reach
all the corners of the earth, and those who were still in their mothers’
wombs and fathers’ loins heard it, and everything that heard him of rocks,
plains and trees responded, as did those who Allah decreed would perform
Hajj until the Day of Resurrection, saying: Labbayk Allahumma labbayk. This
is a summary of what is narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas, Mujaahid, ‘Ikrimah,
Sa’eed ibn Jubayr and others of the salaf. And Allaah knows best.
It was narrated by Ibn Jareer and Ibn Abi Haatim at length.
Tafseer al-Qur’aan al-‘Azeem,
And Allah knows best.