The Hajj is a holy pilgrimage

the hajj (pilgrimage)

The Hajj (Pilgrimage) is one of the acts of worship which Allah Ta’ala has made obligatory on the believing servants. It is an important pillar of Islam. Verily, it is a ruling from Allah which is obligatory only once in a lifetime. Moreover, Allah Ta’ala has not made this ruling obligatory for all believers. Rather, it is obligatory for certain believers. After performing Hajj once in a lifetime properly, the number of Hajj performed every year will be considered as Nafl Hajj. Of course, Hajj is a significant act of worship in Islam.

So I will present to you a few details of the Hajj and various things related to it, from which you can understand its definition and importance. And I will mention some essential things related to Hajj with proofs which will help you to know a lot. So let’s first know what Hajj is.

What is the hajj (Pilgrimage) in Islam?

In this regard, Abdur Rahman Al-Jaziri (Rh) has mentioned in his book that,

definition of the hajj

The Hajj literally means the intention to a greater part. In the terminology of Shari’ah, Hajj is the particular tasks that be done at an appointed time and in a specific place in a special way.  [Al-Fiqh ‘Ala al-Madhahib al-Arba’ah, volume 1, page 571]

The Hajj is obligatory on whom?

Hajj is obligatory for those who meet five conditions. Those five conditions are:-

  1. Becoming a Muslim,
  2. Being healthy-brain,
  3. Adulthood,
  4. Being free from the slaves of the human. (Verily, the slave has a definition in Islam. Please, ask the Wise Muslim scholars if you do not know about it.)
  5. Being financially and physically capable to perform the Hajj. And a woman is required to have a Mahram man. Verily, it is considered financially capable for a woman.

Allah Ta’ala said about being able in terms of wealth: “And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka‘bah) is a duty owed to Allah upon the people who are able to make their way to it (i.e., those who can afford the expenses for one’s conveyance, provision, and residence); and whoever disbelieves, then Allah stands not in need of any of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exist).” [Surah Ali-‘Imran, verse 97]

In the context of being physically able, It was narrated by Abu Razin Al-‘Uqayli (RA) that he said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! My father is an old man who cannot perform Hajj or Umrah, nor can he travel.’ He (peace be upon him) said: “Perform Hajj and ‘Umrah on behalf of your father.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i, Hadith No. 2637]

Verily, The Hajj is a long holy travel. And it has been described in the context of having mahram man for women in the travel that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “No woman should travel the distance of three days or more unless she is with her father, brother, son, husband or a Mahram.” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith No. 2898] 

Why is the Hajj (Pilgrimage) important in Islam?

Hajj is one of the obligatory rulings of Allah. It is an important pillar of Islam. Undoubtedly, the obligatory and Nafl Hajj are the most honorable and best deeds in the sight of Allah. In this regard, Narrated Aisha, the mother of the faithful believers, (RA), said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him)! We consider Jihad as the best deed.’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The best Jihad (for women) is Hajj Mabrur.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith No. 1520]

It is an act through which everyone can attain nearness to Allah. Verily, Allah Ta’ala has inspired His able servants to perform Hajj. In this regard, Allah Ta’ala said: “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 mountain pass (i.e., every distant pathway to perform Hajj).” [Surah Al-Hajj, verse 27] 

Whoever performs the Hajj for the sake of Allah’s pleasure and in the hope of reward, and tries to abstain from all kinds of forbidden acts, then his Hajj will purify him from all previous sins. In this regard, Abu Hurairah (RA) reported Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) as saying: “He who came to this House (Ka’bah with the intention of performing Hajj), and neither spoke indecently nor did he act wickedly, he would return (free from sin) as on the (very first day) his mother bore him.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 1350a]

The person who intentionally ignores performing Pilgrimage and does not perform it in spite of his ability then is considered among them those who earned Allah’s anger, and he will be a misguided person. Of course, Umar bin Al-Khattab (RA) said: “Who is able to perform the Hajj, but does not perform the Hajj, then it is the same for him that he dies as a Jew or a Christian.” [Tafsir Ibn Kathir, volume 2, page 73]

Types of Hajj (Pilgrimage)

In this context, it has been mentioned in the famous and accepted book of fiqh, Al-Mausu’ah Al-Fiqhiyyah, that

types of the Hajj

The Hajj can be performed in three ways. E.g.

Al-Ifrad. And that is Reciting Haji ‘Talbiyah of Hajj’, that is, the intention to perform Hajj only in the time of assuming his Ihram. Then only he performs the Hajj.

Al-Qiran. And that is to recite the Talbiyah of both Hajj and Umrah. Then completing them (i.e., all deeds of Hajj and Umrah) in one Hajj. 

Al-Tamattu. And that is to recite only the Talbiyah of Umrah in the month of Hajj. And to come to Makkah and complete the duties of Umrah, become Halal, and stay in Makkah in a Halal state. After that, assuming the Ihram of Hajj and completing all acts of Hajj. [Al-Mausu’ah Al-Fiqhiyyah, volume 17, page 42]

What is Talbiyah?

Talbiyah is a specific sentence that Muhrim recites. In the regard to this specific sentence, Narrated by Abdullah bin Umar (RA), The Talbiyah of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) was: “Labbaika Allahumma Labbaik, Labbaika la Sharika Laka Labbaik, Inna-l-hamda wan-Ni’mata Laka walmulk, La Sharika Laka’ (I respond to Your call O Allah, I respond to Your call, and I am obedient to Your orders, You have no partner, I respond to Your call All the praises and blessings are for You, All the sovereignty is for You, And You have no partners with you).” [Sahih Bukhari, Hadith No. 1549]

What is Ihram and Muhrim?

Muhrim is who enters the state of Ihram. And the scholars of Hanbali, Shafi’i and Maliki consider that Ihram is the intention to enter into the prohibition matters of Hajj and Umrah. [Al-Mausu’ah Al-Fiqhiyyah, volume 2, page 129]

What is to become Halal?

To become halal means to perform certain acts at appointed times in order to get the approval of those acts which are prohibited after entering the state of Ihram.

Prohibited matters of Hajj and Umrah

After entering the state of Ihram of Hajj and Umrah, Some halal things will be forbidden till the appointed times. Now, I am mentioning here some of the Prohibited matters of Hajj and Umrah.

(1) Uprooting or cutting or shaving the hair of the head or any fur or hair of the body. In this regard, Allah Ta’ala said: “Don’t shave your heads until the Hady reaches the place of sacrifice.” [Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 196]

This part of the verse of the Quran includes the hair of the head and the fur of any part of the body.

(2) Cutting the nails of the hands or legs. In this connection, Alauddin Abu Bakr bin Mas’ud Al-Qasani (Rh) has mentioned in his book that,

cutting the nails for muhrim

“And cutting the nails. In this context, we say that it is not lawful for a Muhrim to cut his nails. Because Allah Ta’ala said: “Then let them complete their prescribed duties (the deeds of Hajj).” [Surah Al-Hajj, verse 29]

And cutting the nails is part of the prescribed duties. And Allah Ta’ala has arranged to complete prescribed duties on the slaughter (Qurbani). Because He mentioned a word that has been made to express the meaning of continuity with delay. (This means that Allah Ta’ala has used the word (ثُمَّ) in His message which expresses that after the slaughter (Qurbani), the nails should be cut and such work should be done. Nails cannot be cut before the slaughter).” [Al-Bada’i Al-Sana’i, volume 2, page 194]

(3) Using oil on the head or the body.

In this regard, Ibn ‘Umar said: “A man stood before the Prophet and said: ‘Who is the (real) Hajj (Pilgrimage), O Messenger of Allah!’ He (peace be upon him) said: “The one with disheveled hair, who smells bad.” So another man stood and said: ‘Which Hajj is most virtuous, O Messenger of Allah?’ He (peace be upon him) said: “The one with loud voices and blood (of the sacrifice).” Another man stood and said: ‘What is ‘the means’, O Messenger of Allah?’ He (peace be upon him) said: “Provisions and vehicle”. [Mishkat Al-Masabih, Hadith No. 2527]

And a piece of vital information has been mentioned in the famous book of fiqh about using oil that,

using oil for muhrim

“Thus, the majority of scholars {But Imam Ahmad (Rh) disagreed, based on the interpretation among themselves} are of the opinion that the use of oil is prohibited (for Muhrim). Although it is fragrance-free. Because using oil has the luxury, of equipping, and making hair beautiful. And these are contrary to the situation in which the Muhrim person must be. Such as having disheveled hair, being dusty, being dependent on Allah, and being humble for Him.” [Al-Mausu’ah Al-Fiqhiyyah, volume 2, page 159]

(4) To marry, to arrange the marriage, and to make the proposal of marriage. In this regard, Aban (Rh) said: I heard ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan (RA) say that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) had stated, “A Muhrim must neither marry himself, nor arrange the marriage of another one, nor should he make the proposal of marriage.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 1409 a]

(5) To have sexual intercourse or to do something that incites to do that or to commit sin intentionally.

In this context, Allah Ta’ala said: “The Hajj (pilgrimage) is (in) the well-known (lunar year) month. So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihram), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj (Pilgrimage). And whatever good you do, (be sure) Allah knows it. And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness). So fear Me, O men of understanding!” [Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 197]

(6) Hunting land animals. In this regard, Allah Ta’ala said: “It is lawful for you to hunt and eat seafood, as a provision for you and for the travelers. But hunting land animals is forbidden to you as long as you are in the state of Ihram. And fear Allah to Whom you will be gathered.” [Surah Al-Ma’idah, verse 96]

(7) For men, to wear sewn clothes, covering the head. In this regard, it was narrated by Abdullah bin Umar (RA) that: a man asked the Messenger of Allah ‘What clothes can the Muhrim wear?’ The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “They should not wear shirts nor Turbans, or pants, or Burnoses (the clothes which cover the head), or Khuffs (socks) – unless a person cannot find sandals, in which case he may wear Khuffs. But he should cut them lower than the ankles. And they should not wear anything that has been touched by (dyed with) saffron or Waras (one kind of fragrance color).” [Sunan an-Nasa’i, Hadith No. 2669]

(8) For women, to wear Niqab (the veil of their faces) and Gloves.

In this context, Abdullah bin Umar (RA) said that he heard “the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prohibiting women in their state of ihram to wear gloves, veil (their faces), and to wear clothes with the dye of waras or saffron on them. But afterward, they can wear any kind of clothing they like dyed yellow or silk or jewelry or trousers or shirts or socks.” [Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith No. 1827]

However, if a man who is not mahram comes to a woman or there is a danger of fitnah, then she can keep a garment on her face. And when he will leave, she will keep her face open immediately. In this regard, it was narrated that Aishah (RA) said: “We were with the Prophet (peace be upon him) while we were in Ihram. When a rider crossed by us we would lower the garment on our faces.” [Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, Hadith No. 2691]

In another hadith has been mentioned that, “and when he has gone, we would lift them (the garment) up again (from our faces).” [Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith No. 1833, Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith No. 2935]

(9) Using perfume or fragrance or it’s similar things on the body or clothes. In this context, it was narrated from Safwan bin Ya’la that his father said: A man came to the Messenger of Allah wearing a Jubbah and having applied yellow color perfume to his beard and head; when He (peace be upon him) was in Al-Jirranah (the name of a place). Then he said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! I have entered Ihram for ‘Umrah and I am as you see.’ He (peace be upon him) said: “Take off the Jubbah and wash off the perfume, and whatever you would do for Hajj, do it for ‘Umrah.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i, Hadith No. 2710]

What is Umrah, and what is the ruling of it in Islam?

Umrah is the act of worshiping Allah by assuming Ihram, visiting the House of Allah, performing Tawaf, performing Sa’i between Safa and Marwa, and shaving or shortening hair of the head. After that, to become halal. [Manasik Al-hajj Wal-umrah of Sa’id Al-Qahtani, volume 1, page 11]

Umrah is basically a minor Hajj (Pilgrimage). And there is disagreement among the scholars about the ruling on Umrah. A group of scholars thinks that Umrah is Sunnah Al-Mu’aqqadah. Another group of scholars considers that Umrah is obligatory.

And the fact that Umrah is obligatory has been narrated by Ali (RA), Ibn Abbas (RA), Ibn Umar (RA), Ayesha (RA), Zayn al-Abedin, Taus, Al-Hasan al-Basri, Ibn Sirin, Saeed bin Zubair, Mujahid, Ata, and others. [Nail Al-Awtar, volume 4, page 332]

In this connection, Wahbah bin Mustafa Al-Zuhaili (Rh) has mentioned in his book that,

ruling of umrah

“And it has been expressed to me that the second opinion (i.e., Umrah is obligatory) is more correct because this verse of the Qur’an (i.e., Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 196) points to it, and the hadiths presented by the first group (who thought that Umrah is a Sunnah Al-Mu’aqqadah) are weak.” [Fiqh al-Islami wa-Adillatuhu, volume 3, page 207]

What are the obligatory acts of Pilgrimage?

Hajj has many obligatory acts. Some of the obligatory acts are:

(1) Assuming Ihram

(2) Tawaf Al-Ifadah or Tawaf al-Ziyarah

(3) Tawaf e Sadr or Tawaf al-Wida

(4) Sa’i between Safa and Marwa

(5) Wukuf di Arafah

(6) Wukuf di Muzdalifah

(7) Staying the night in Minah

(8) Throwing the stones

(9) Shaving or cutting the hair of the head

(10) Slaughtering (Qurbani)

If you want to know more details and you have good knowledge of the Arabic language, then you can read the book Fiqh al-Islami wa-Adillatuhu.

Our dua

May Allah grant us the grace to perform Hajj and Umrah and give us the opportunity to spend every moment of our lives in obedience to Him. Ameen


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