Part V: Pilgrimage (Al-Hajj)
Basic Teachings About Hajj
Meanings of Hajj
Literally Hajj means to make intention of going to a place or visiting a place. As a term of Islamic Shariah, it implies a worship in which the Muslims from all over the world visit the House of God (Kaabah) at Makkah in the prescribed months every year and perform certain acts and rituals there and in the plains of Mina and Arafat.
It has been reported by Abdullah bin Umar that he heard the Prophet saying: Foundation of Islam is laid on five things, namely: (1) To bear witness that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Servant and Messenger i.e. faith; (2) To keep up prayers, (3) To pay Zakat (Obligatory Charity); (4) To fast for the month of Ramadhan, and (5) To perform Hajj. Thus Hajj is one of the five pillars or fundamental articles of Islam.
The Hajj is one of the five fundamental articles or pillars of Islam and importance of Hajj in Islam can be judged from the very fact that Al-Qur’an the sacred book of Islam, has named one of its Surahs (or chapters) as Surah Al-Hajj. However, before describing its merits and its importance, it would be fair if we describe historical background of Hajj and reproduce some of the Verses of the Qur’an and Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) relating to it.
Qur’an in its Surah Ale-Imran Verse 96 tells us that the first House of Worship which was made on earth for the mankind was that at Makkah. It is said that when Adam was expelled from Paradise and was settled on earth, the angels at the command of God built a House of God at Makkah on the model of Baitul Ma’amoor which is in the heavens, so that Adam and his children may worship God. However, house built by the angels was destroyed and lost with the passage of time. About 2000 years before Christ, Allah commanded Prophet Ibrahim to settle his wife Hajrah and his son Ismail at Makkah and rebuild the House of Allah there.
So Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), the spiritual leader of Judaism, Christianity and Islam (and forefather of Prophet Moses, Jesus and Muhammad) built Kaabah (House of God) at Makkah, with assistance of his elder son Prophet Ismail. He was then commanded by Allah to purify the House and proclaim pilgrimage unto mankind that “They will come unto you on foot and on every lean camel…… from every deep ravine” (Al-Qur’an 22:27). Thus the people started visiting the Holy Kaabah for performing the pilgrimage. However with the passage of time the rituals and practices connected with pilgrimage were corrupted. Kaabah became the place filled with so many idols and people started circumambulating it in a naked state. Muhammad (PBUH) the Prophet of Islam, conquered Makkah in the year 8 A.H. (corresponding to 630 A.D.), cleansed Kaabah of the idols and restored its original position as the old shrine devoted to worship of one God. The original spirit of the pilgrimage (Hajj) was also restored and the pilgrimage became compulsory for a Muslim as a fundamental article of faith in the year 9 A.H. (631 A.D.). The Prophet performed pilgrimage himself in the year 10 A.H. i.e. some months before his death. This is known as the Farewell Pilgrimage. The sermon delivered by the Prophet during this pilgrimage in the plain of Arafat is known as the Farewell Sermon. It presents gist of the teachings of Islam and is rightly regarded Islam’s charter of fundamental rights and civil liberties. The Farewell Pilgrimage performed by the Prophet and the rules and procedure of Hajj laid down by him is a good pattern for his followers all over the world for all times to follow.
Since Islam has been the religion of all the Prophets of God from Adam to Muhammad (PBUH) and Kaabah was constructed in the times of Adam, Prophets prior to Muhammad have also been performing Hajj of this House of God. According to a Hadith reported by Abu Musa Al-Ashari, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that seventy Prophets of God performed Hajj before him. History tells us that Adam performed 300 Hajj while Prophet Moses and Shuaib were also among those who performed Hajj (Daily Jang, Friday dated 04-09-2013).
Both the Qur’an and the Prophet of Islam have stressed the importance of pilgrimage, its place in religion, its merits and excellence, and its virtues and rewards in the following Verses and Ahadith:-
Verses of the Qur’an
1- Lo! As-Safa and Al-Marwah (Two hills at Makkah near Kaabah) are among the signs of Allah. It is therefore, no sin for him who is on Hajj (Pilgrimage) or Umrah (Visit) to the House (of Allah) to go around both of them. And he who does good voluntarily, Allah is surely Responsive and Knower. – (2:158)
2- Perform the Hajj and Umrah for Allah. And if you are prevented (to reach there) then offer sacrifice (of animal) such as you can afford and shave not your heads until the sacrifice has reached its destination. And whoso among you is sick or has an ailment of the head (may shave and) he must pay ransom either by fasting or alms-giving or offering a sacrifice. And if you are in safety and anyone (of you) wants to take advantage of performing Umrah with Hajj, he must offer sacrifice (of animal) such as he can; but if he cannot afford it, he must fast for three days during Hajj and for seven days on his return(home) making ten days in all. This order is for one whose family is not living within the precincts of Sacred Mosque. And fear Allah and keep in mind that Allah is severe in punishment. – (2:196)
3- The Hajj is in the well known months. So whoso ever undertakes to perform it therein, he should abstain from cohabitation (with his spouse) and from sinful acts and from quarreling during the Hajj and whatever good you do, Allah knows it. Take provisions for the journey with you, though piety is the best provision. So fear Me, O men of understanding. – (2:197)
4- It is no sin for you if you seek the Bounty of your Lord (your livelihood by trading or doing something else during Hajj). But when you return from Arafat, remember Allah near Mashar-al-Haram. Remember Allah as He has guided you, although before this you were of those who are astray. Then return from where the people return and ask forgiveness of Allah. Surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And when you have completed rituals of your Hajj, then remember Allah as you used to remember your forefathers or with a more remembrance…….. – (2:198-200)
5- And remember Allah during the appointed days. There is no sin for him who hastens to leave (Mina) in two days, and there is no sin for him who stays on (for more time); that is for him who abstains from evil. And fear Allah and know that unto Him you will be surely gathered. – (2:203)
6- Lo! The first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), a blessed place and guidance for all the world. Wherein are clear signs and the place of Ibrahim; whoever enters in it attains security. And pilgrimage to the House is a duty which the people owe to Allah – those who can afford the journey to it. And as for him who disbelieves (or refuses), (he must know) Allah is not in need of the people. – (3:96-97)
7- O you who have believed! Do not kill game (hunt an animal) when you are in pilgrim’s dress (in Ihram). And whoso of you kills it intentionally, he will make an offering of a domestic animal as a penalty equivalent of that which he has killed …….. The game of the sea (and water, like fish) and its use as food is made, however, lawful to you and for the travelers; but to hunt on land is forbidden to you as long as you are in Ihram (pilgrim’s dress). And fear Allah unto Whom you shall be gathered. – (5:95-96)
8- And make a proclamation of Hajj to mankind; that they would come to you on foot and on every lean camel coming from remote hill paths. That they may witness things here that are of benefit to them and mention the name of Allah on appointed days (10th to 13th of Zil Hajjah) over the cattle which He has provided to them. Then eat their meat themselves and feed there with the poor having hard time. Then let them complete prescribed acts (of cleanliness), and perform their vows, and go around the Ancient House (Kaabah) – (22: 27-29)
Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
1- Abu Hurairah reported: The Messenger of Allah delivered us sermon and said: O men! Pilgrimage has been made obligatory on you. So make pilgrimage. A man enquired: O Apostle of Allah! Is it in every year? He remained silent till he (the man) repeated it thrice. Then he said: If I would have said ‘Yes’, it would have surely become obligatory and you would have had no option. Afterwards he said: Leave me till I leave you, because those who were before you were destroyed on account of their frequent questions and their disagreement with their Prophets. So when I bid you anything, do it if you are able; and when I forbid you anything leave it. – (Muslim)
2- Abu Hurairah reported that the Apostle of Allah was asked: Which of the actions is best? He replied: Faith in Allah and His Apostle. He was questioned: What is next? He said: Jihad in the way of Allah. He was questioned: What is next? He replied: An accepted pilgrimage. – (Bukhari, Muslim)
3- Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Whoso makes pilgrimage for Allah without talking immodestly and doing anything foul returns as on a day on which his mother gave birth to him. – (Bukhari, Muslim)
4- Ibn Abbas reported that a man came to the Prophet and enquired: My sister made a vow to make pilgrimage but she has died. The Prophet said: If there had been any debt due from her, would you pay it up? ‘Yes’, said he. He said: Then pay the debt of Allah, as it has got more right to be paid up. – (Bukhari, Muslim)
5- Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah said: No man shall remain alone with a woman, nor shall a woman make a journey except with a relative within the prohibited degrees. A man asked: O Messenger of Allah! I have been enrolled for such and such a battle, but my wife intends to go out to make the pilgrimage. He said: Go, then make pilgrimage with your wife. – (Bukhari, Muslim)
6- Abu Saeed-al-Khudri reported: We came out with the Apostle of Allah for pilgrimage crying “Labbaik” loudly. – (Muslim)
7- Zaid-b-Sabet reported that he saw the Prophet preparing for his Ihram and taking bath. – (Tirmizi, Darimi)
8- Ali reported that the Messenger of Allah said: If anyone has got provision and conveyance to take him to the House of Allah but does not make pilgrimage, there is no difference whether he dies a Jew or a Christian, and that is because Allah, the Blessed and the High says: And for Allah due from men, there is the pilgrimage of the House for one who has got means of journeying to it. – (Tirmizi (Rare))
9- Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah fixed Zul-Halifah for the inhabitants of Madina, and Hujfah for the Syrians, and Qarn Manazel for the people of Najd, and Yalamlam for the people of Yemen. So these are for them and for those who wish to make pilgrimage and Umrah; whoever lives nearer (Makkah), his Ihram is from his residence. (The case is) such and such and such; even the people of Makkah shall make Ihram from it (Makkah). – (Bukhari, Muslim)
10- Ibn Omar reported: I heard the Apostle of Allah say: When you meet one who has made pilgrimage, greet him, shake hands with him and tell him to ask forgiveness for you before he enters his house, for he has been forgiven. – (Ahmad)
11- Abu Hurairah reported that the Apostle of Allah said: Whoever goes out to perform Hajj or Umrah or fight with infidels, and afterwards dies in his way, Allah will record for him the reward of a Gazi and a pilgrim and a visitor of the House. – (Baihaqi)
12- Ibn Masud reported that the Apostle of Allah said: Make Hajj and Umrah follow one after another, because they both remove poverty and sins, just as a hammer removes rusts of iron, gold and silver; and there is no reward for an accepted pilgrimage except Paradise. – (Tirmizi, Nisai, Ahmad and Ibn Majah)
13- Ibn Omar reported that a man came to the Prophet and asked: O Apostle of Allah! What makes the pilgrimage compulsory? He replied: Means and conveyance. – (Tirmizi, Ibn Majah)
14- Ibn Omar reported that a man asked the Apostle of Allah and said: What is (the description of) pilgrim? He said: One disheveled in hairs and unperfumed. Another got up and enquired: O Apostle of Allah! Which (thing in) pilgrimage is best? He said: Loud respond of Labbaik and sacrifice of animal. Another stood up and enquired: O Messenger of Allah! What are (the things necessary for) the journey? He said: Means and conveyance. – (Ibn Majah, Sharhi Sunnah)
15- Abu Razin-al Oqaili reported that he came to the Prophet and asked: O Messenger of Allah! My father is an old man unable to perform pilgrimage and visit the House and ride on. He said: Make pilgrimage for your father, and visit the House. – (Abu Daud, Nisai, Tirmizi (Approved, Correct))
16- Abu Hurairah reported from the Prophet who said: He who makes Hajj and he who makes Umrah are guests of Allah. If they invoke Him, He responds to them; and if they beg forgiveness of Him, He forgives them. – (Ibn Majah)
17- Ayesha reported: I asked: O Messenger of Allah! Is there any Jihad for woman? ‘Yes’, replied he, ‘there is for them Jihad wherein there is no fighting – Hajj and Umrah’. – (Ibn Majah)
18- Ibn Abbas reported that the people of Yemen used to make pilgrimage but without taking (sufficient) means. They used to say: When they came to Makah, they begged from the people. Then the Almighty Allah revealed: Take provision, but the best provision is piety. – (Bukhari)
19- Ayesha reported: We came out with the Prophet and we did not talk except about Hajj. When we came to Saraf, I perceived menstruation. The Prophet came while I was weeping. He said: Perhaps you are menstruating. ‘Yes’, replied I. He said: that is a thing which Allah ordained for the daughters of Adam. So do what a pilgrim does without going round the House till you become pure. – (Bukhari, Muslim)
Merits and importance of Hajj
Both the verses of the Qur’an and Ahadith of the Prophet (as we have reproduced above) highlight the merits and importance of Hajj in the religion of Islam. Some of these merits and benefits and points of importance are brought in focus as under:-
1. Hajj is Allah’s right on mankind: Allah has bestowed many favours on man. He created Adam (mankind’s father) and commanded the Angels to prostrate before Adam. He appointed Adam and his children as caliph on earth and made arrangements for their living and sustenance. He gave superiority to man on many of His creatures and made many things for the benefit or service of man. So man must be thankful to God and fulfill his obligations and duties towards Him. One of such obligations is to perform Hajj of the House of God (Kaabah) at Makkah. The Qur’an says: “And Allah has right on mankind that he who can afford to reach the House must perform its Hajj; and the one who disobeys this commandment must know that Allah is self-sufficient and does not stand in need of the peoples of the world” (3:97). Abu Hurairah reported: The Messenger of Allah delivered us sermon and said: O men! Pilgrimage (Hajj) has been made obligatory on you, so make pilgrimage…… (Muslim).
2. Hajj is one of the best deeds: Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah was asked: Which of the actions is the best? He replied: Faith in Allah and His Messenger. He was (again) asked: What is next? He said: Jihad in the way of Allah. He was (again) asked: What is next? He replied: An accepted pilgrimage (or the pilgrimage performed in the best way).
3. Hajj is Jihad of the women and weak persons: Hadhrat Ayesha has reported: I asked: O Messenger of Allah! Is there any Jihad for woman? Yes’, replied he, ‘there is for them Jihad in which there is no fighting – Hajj and Umrah – (Ibn Majah). Abu Hurairah has reported that the Prophet said: Jihad of an old and weak person and of a woman is Hajj (Nisai). There is another tradition from Hadhrat Ayesha that I asked the Prophet: We consider Jihad as the best of the deeds, should the women also take part in it? He replied: For you women, the best Jihad is Hajj mabroor. (Bukhari, Muslim)
4. Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam: As we have already presented a Hadith in the beginning of this chapter that Hajj is one of the five pillars or columns on which edifice of Islam is built, and it is most important for a Muslim after Faith, Prayer, Zakat and Fasting.
5. Hajj remits the sins: Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Whoso makes pilgrimage for Allah without committing an indecent sexual act or indulging in any other evil, he returns home as pure(of sins) as he was on the day on which his mother gave birth to him (Bukhari, Muslim). Ibn Masud reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Make Hajj and Umrah follow one after other, because they both remove poverty and sins as furnace removes rusts of iron, gold and silver; and there is no reward for a mabroor (accepted) Hajj except Paradise (Tirmizi, Nisai, Ibn Majah).
6. Pilgrims are guests of Allah and their supplications are granted: Abu Hurairah reported from the Prophet who said: Those who perform Hajj and those who perform Umrah are guests of Allah. If they invoke Him, He responds to them; and if they beg forgiveness of Him, He forgives them – (Ibn Majah). Abu Zarr has reported that the Prophet said: Prophet David implored Allah saying: My Lord! What reward would be bestowed upon those who come to visit Your House? Allah replied: O David! They are My guests. It is their right that I should forgive their sins in this world, and when they meet Me, I should forgive them completely. (Tabarani)
Ibn Umar reported: I heard the Apostle of Allah saying: When you meet one who has made pilgrimage, greet him and shake hands with him and tell him to ask forgiveness for you before he enters his house, for he has already been forgiven. – (Ahmad)
7. Rewards of spending on Hajj: It has been reported by Abu Hurairah that the Holy Prophet said: To spend on Hajj is to spend on the cause of Allah (or like spending in the way of Allah). Reward for spending one Dirham is seven hundred times.
8. Hajj is a comprehensive worship: Ibadah or worship in Islam is of two kinds: Physical Ibadah like the Salah (Prayer) and the Saum (Fasting); monetary like Zakah (mandatory charity) and Sadaqah (voluntary alms). The Hajj combines in itself both the kinds of Ibadah. During Hajj, the pilgrim puts more labour and devotion in his prayers as he is near the Kaabah towards which he had been turning his face in prayer throughout his life, and also because he is at the sacred places where he believes the prayers are more rewarding. When he puts on Ihram and goes to Mina and Arafa and Muzdalfah and stays there in the open in the days and nights performing various acts and rituals, he goes under the same rigorous training under which a faster goes. Thus he gets benefits of the Ibadah of prayer and fasting like self control, discipline, patience, forbearance, abandoning temptations of the flesh, etc. As Zakat and Sadaqat clean the heart of the temptation of worldly wealth and promote sense of sacrifice by inspiring one to spend his hard earned money on his poor and needy brothers, similarly Hajj serves the same purpose when the pilgrim spends his lifelong savings in the way of Allah. And thus the pilgrim gets the benefits of both of the physical and monetary worships.
9. It promotes brotherhood among the Muslims at International level: Millions of Muslims perform pilgrimage every year. It is an international congress of the Muslims which gathers brothers-in-faith from all over the world who in pilgrims garments simultaneously perform rites of the Hajj in alike manner and converse with each other on equal footing without any discrimination. Thus the pilgrimage has become a universal manifestation of Islamic brotherhood and equality. It is indeed an important unifying agent for Islam, serving the cause of unity and strengthening the bonds of fellowship among the Muslims.
10. Hajj promotes individual as well as national economy: Millions of pilgrims who come to perform Hajj from all over the world spend a lot of money on their travelling, boarding and lodging. The airlines, transport companies, hotels and restaurants, owners of houses and apartments and the labourers earn from the pilgrims by providing transport, meals, residences and services to them. The pilgrims also make handsome payments to their own government and the government of the host country in the form of fee, taxes, etc. Thousands of people are engaged in providing various services to the pilgrims. So a lot of money comes in circulation which changes many hands and has multiple effects benefiting the economy at private and public level.
Kinds of Hajj
Hajj is of three kinds or types, namely: (1) Hajj Ifrad, (2) Hajj Tamattu and (3) Hajj Qiran. Each of them has different rules and regulations. Let us explain them briefly as under:
Hajj Ifrad: Ifrad means to do a thing alone. In Islamic Shariah, it means to perform Hajj without Umrah. The pilgrim, called Mufrad in this case, puts on Ihram with the intention of performing Hajj only. So he performs the Manasak (rites or acts) relating only to Hajj like others. But he is under no obligation to offer sacrifice of an animal.
Those who live in Makkah or within the limits of Meeqaat they perform Hajj Ifrad usually.
Hajj Tamattu: Tamattu means to take benefit. In Islamic terminology it implies the type of Hajj with which one can take benefit of performing Umrah also, but Ihram for Umrah and Ihram for Hajj are put on separately. One puts on Ihram and performs Umrah, then after Umrah one is permitted to put off Ihram and to benefit from all those Halal (lawful) things which had become Haram (forbidden) on account of Ihram. Then again he puts on Ihram on 8th of Zil Hajjah and proceeds to Mina to perform Hajj.
Hajj Tamattu is mentioned in the Qur’an. Verse 196 of Surah Al-Baqarah says: “…… If anyone wants to take advantage of performing Umrah with Hajj, he must offer sacrifice (of animal) such as he can; but if he cannot afford it he must fast for three days during Hajj and for seven days on his return, making ten days in all. This order is for one whose family is not living within the precincts of Sacred Mosque……” According to this verse, a person who performs Hajj Tamattu (called Mutamatti) for him sacrifice of an animal is compulsory. If he cannot afford to offer a sacrifice, he will have to fast for ten days i.e. for three days during Hajj and for seven days after returning home. And this commandment is for him who and whose family do not live within the limits of Harm. So Hajj Tamattu is performed by the people living outside Makkah and Meeqaat (who are called Afaaqees).
Hajj Tamattu is considered better than Hajj Ifrad because in this form of Hajj one performs Umrah in addition to Hajj and thus gets reward of both.
Hajj Qiran: Qiran literally means to combine two things together. As a term of Islamic Shariah, it means to perform Hajj and Umrah together with the same Ihram. The pilgrim, called Qarin, puts on Ihram with the intention of performing Hajj and Umrah and performs them in the same Ihram. First he performs Umrah when he reaches at Makkah. After accomplishing the rites of Umrah, he does not clip or shave his hair, nor he puts off his Ihram. In the same state of Ihram he goes on 8th of Zil Hajjah to Mina, Arafat and Muzdalfah. On 10th of Zil Hajjah, after Rami of Jamaratul Aqba and animal sacrifice, he is permitted to cut or shave his hair and put off his Ihram. Animal sacrifice is obligatory in this form of Hajj also. If he cannot afford or does not offer sacrifice, he must fast for ten days (like Mutamatti), for three days during Hajj and for seven days after returning home. This kind of Hajj is performed like Hajj Tamattu by outsiders i.e. those who live outside Makkah and Meeqaat limits.
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