What is Hajj

What is Hajj

Hajj is the largest annual pilgrimage that Muslims undertake to the Holy Land Makkah al-Mukarramah & al-Madīnah al-Munawwarah in Saudi Arabia. Over three million people perform Hajj every year.

The word Hajj comes from the Arabic language, which literal meaning is “heading to a place for the sake of visiting.” Therefore Muslims visit the most sacred building- Kaaba (House of Allah).

Why Hajj is so important?

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is obligatory on every Muslim who is physically and financially able to make the trip to Saudi Arabia (for performing Hajj) at least once in their lifetime. But there is no objection to performing it again and again.

Therefore, it is essential for the Muslim community. Every Muslim knows about the importance of five pillars which are respectively, Shahadah, Salat (Prayer), Zakat, Sawm (fasting), and Hajj.

What is the purpose of Hajj?

People can wipe their past and present sins by Hajj. There are several verses Quran on this topic.

Here two verses of Quranic Surah are described:

quranic verses for purpose of Hajj

Translation of Quranic verses in English:

They ask you, [O Muhammad], about the new moons. Say, “They are measurements of time for the people and for Hajj.” And it is not righteousness to enter houses from the back, but righteousness is [in] one who fears Allah. And enter houses from their doors. And fear Allah that you may succeed. (2:189)

Then depart from the place from where [all] the people depart and ask forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. (2:200)

If you do not know the purpose of Umrah, then you can find out by clicking on “What is the purpose of Umrah“.

How many days in Hajj?

Hajj worship consists of 5 days of the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Dates in the Muslim calendar are always changed every year. Therefore Hajj dates are altered in the Gregorian calendar automatically. Islamic lunar calendar is about 11 days shorter than the 365 days of the fixed Gregorian calendar.

These five fixed days are continued from 8th to 12th dates of Dhul Hijjah– last & 12th month.

Who should go on the Hajj?

Hajj is an Islamic pilgrimage and is only prescribed to this religion’s believers. Non-Muslims can never join the Hajj journey.

Poor, insane, slave, non-adult people are not included to perform it. Without Mahram, a woman cannot perform it and if she does it, then she is making a sin.

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:

No woman should travel except with a mahram and no man should enter upon her unless she has a mahram with her.”

A man said:

O Messenger of Allah, I want to go out with such-and-such an army, but my wife wants to go for Hajj. He said: Go with her.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1862 

Importance and Virtues of Hajj:

Hajj worship has a unique place in Islam. Therefore it is essential for us due to some reasons which are mentioned here.

  • Hajj is one of the Pillars of Islam
  • Hajj purifies the soul of Muslim from sins then his/her position becomes sinless in the world as newborn.
  • The reward of accepted Hajj by Allah is Paradise.
  • It equals Jihad (in reward) for women or weak people.
  • Being a guest of Allah Almighty.

 

History of Hajj _ How did start Hajj?

Hajj is performed in the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah. It is performed to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim (عليه السلام) who was commanded by Allah to construct the Kaaba as a representation of His house on Earth. The Quran states:

“Indeed, the first House [of worship] established for mankind was that at Makkah – blessed and a guidance for the worlds.” (3:96)

This pilgrimage history can be traced back to the time of Prophet Ibrahim (AS). This first step of Hajj was started when Allah gave his Prophet Ibrahim an order to leave his wife and son. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) accepted the order of Allah and left her wife- Hajra (RA) and son- Ismail (AS) into desert right at this place where today Makkah city situated in Saudi Arabia country.

They had a little quantity of water and food and no inhabitant at that time there. A time came there when eating and drinking items had gone, and the infant child’s condition started to deteriorate due to water.

No mother in the world can bear the poor condition of her child. Therefore Prophet’s wife- Hajra (RA), could not bear his child’s condition, and she began to looking water around staying place. She desperately ran seven times between the two hills of Safa and Marwah in search of water. But alas, she didn’t find even a drop of water.

When she came back to her son in despair mood, and she sees an amazing scene that spring water is flowing underneath the of her baby’s feet. Hajra (RA) said to stop the water Zamzam, and then water flowing stopped.

For more information about Zamzam water, click on “What is Zamzam water“.

After passing some time, different tribes started to settle there, and thus the city of Makkah was settled. Allah tests His Prophet Ibrahim (AS) again in the way of sacrifice. Ismail was young then. A father never sacrifices his young son for any, but Father was Prophet, and his son was also Prophet there.

Ibrahim told the son about his ordeal then Ismail did not oppose this trial. Instead, he said yes and cooperated with his father in the sacrifice ordeal. Allah tested His two Prophets in which one is father and second is the son. Both Prophets passed this test.

Allah always tests his men from time to time, and who passed His test; they are called believers in real meanings. Allah so kind, therefore He never left alone His creation.

One day Allah again ordered Ibrahim (AS), and this time, it was not solely for Ibrahim. Instead, Ismail was also included in this, so that, to construct a cubic shape building. So in this way, they built the cubic shape building as demanded, and it is called Kaabah.

Today, this building is exactly located in the center of the al-Haram Mosque, where Muslims perform there Tawaf ritual during Umrah and Hajj.

As time went on, different people and nations continued to rule Mecca. There was a time comes that the Quraysh tribe started handling the management of this city. Before the Islamic religion, residents of this city were idol worshippers, and different idols surrounded the Kaaba building. Hajj was performed after the conquered of Makkah.

According to Islamic dates, it was 20 Ramadan, 8 Hijri, and this was a Friday morning when Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) entered in the Makkah with reciting Surah Al-Fatih to conquer this city.

After conquering Makkah, Kaaba was purified by all idols. Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) performed Hajj in 632 CE (10 Hijri).

Messenger of Allah (PBUH) only performed one Hajj in his whole life. Therefore it is only obligatory for one time, whereas Umrah can be done multiple times.

 

types of hajj

Types of hajj

There are three types of Hajj, which are as follows:

  • Hajj al-Ifrad
  • Hajj al-Qiran
  • Hajj al-Tamattu’

Hajj al-Ifrad:

In this type of Hajj, a pilgrim enters the state of Ihram with the intention of performing Hajj only. He may offer an animal sacrifice if he wishes but he is under no obligation to do so. A pilgrim who performs this type of Hajj is called a Mufrid.

Hajj al-Qiran:

 The pilgrim performing Hajj al-Qiran, performs both Hajj and Umrah without changing the Ihram.

Hajj al-Tamattu’:

Hajj al-Tamattu’ is the most commonly performed type of Hajj. Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) performed this Hajj. Hajj al-Tamattu’ is very much like Hajj al-Qiran. The major difference is, pilgrims are required to change Ihram after performing Umrah.

Hajj Rituals

The ritual word belongs to a religious service or other ceremonies which consists of a series of actions performed in a fixed order.

Hajj worship consists of 5 or 6 days in which Muslims do various rituals according to prescribed order as it was performed by Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). 

  1. Ihram
  2. Tawaf
  3. Sa’i
  4. Mina
  5. Waquf
  6. Muzdalifah
  7. Rami
  8. Scarify
  9. Halq or Taqsir
  10. Tawaf Ziyarah
  11. Tawaf al Wadaa

 

Ihram:

Hajj pilgrimage begins with Ihram, like the Umrah. It is required for Muslims to wear Ihram before leaving the Miqat. There are five Miqat, which are mentioned for all upcoming pilgrims from different directions of the world. The wearing method of Ihram is the same as it happens in Umrah.

After entering ihram, Muslims should perform these Niyyas even if they intend to perform Hajj al-Ifrad, Hajj al-Qiran, or Hajj al-Tamattu.

Niyyah during Hajj types

There is no need to recite it by the tongue. Instead, it can be made from the heart. People can recite Niyah in their native languages, but offering in Arabic is preferable there. Always keep in mind that intention from the heart is essential in Hajj.

After leaving the Miqat, pilgrims should start making Talbiyah.

You can get a proper guideline about wearing Ihram during Hajj and Umrah journey after study this topic “How to wear Ihram for Hajj and Umrah?”

Tawaf:

After wearing the Hajj dress, Muslims should move to Makkah city for other rituals. Arriving at the al-Haram mosque, Muslims should perform Tawaf, which consists of seven circles around the Kaaba.

Circles are started from a fixed point where Hajre Aswad is fitted in the wall of the Kaaba. During Tawaf, every loop begins and ends on this Black Stone. Kissing and touching are more preferable actions to start each circumambulation, but it is not compulsory due to the rush of pilgrims around it.

People may point towards the Hajre Aswad with their hands on each circumambulation. During this routine of walking, eating is not allowed, but drinking is permitted there. The method of performing Tawaf is the same as it is done in Umrah.

Females should keep their speed of walking normal, but it is not for males. Men should cover their first three circumambulations at a hurried pace (Ramal) and the other four at an unhurried pace.

At the end of seven circuits around the Kaaba, Muslims should offer two Rakats prayers behind the Maqam e Ibrahim, and it is inside this mosque. After this prayer, People should drink water – Zamzam.

You should go further on this topic to know in detail about the method of Tawaf. What is Tawaf and how to start Tawaf?

Sa’i:

This ritual is performed after walking seven times around the Kaaba. It is the third ritual in Hajj and Umrah. It is performed in Masjid al-Haram. Muslims perform it by walking seven-time between two hills of Safa and Marwah. The first walking step of this is started from Safa hill and ending at the Marwah.

Mina:

It is a small town near Makkah city, and Muslims spend their whole day there. They offer noon, afternoon, evening, and night prayers in Mina. Muslims spend this day in tents by offering prayers, reciting Quranic verses, and making supplications. These are equipped with all amenities (Human’s need).

Note: There is a restriction for men and women to enter each other tents. People should pass this specific time with different worshipped instead of conversations with each other.

Waquf:

This ritual is performed in the field of Arafah, which is about 2 km east of Makkah. It is a barren land. Muslims must reach this place by the afternoon because, at this time, the Waquf ritual begins.

Here they listen to the sermon, which is delivered from the near Jabal al-Rahmah. Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) delivered the address by standing at this place during the last farewell pilgrimage.

There is a mosque situated which is known with the name of Masjid al-Namirah. Pilgrims offer two prayers (Dhur & Asar) combined at noon in this mosque. All Muslims must spend the afternoon on Arafat. Due to any reason, if anyone does not do it as it describes, then his/her Hajj is not valid, and He/she can perform it next year.

There is no any specific prayer assigned for Waquf ritual, pilgrims may offer supplications, repent on their past sins, and they should seek the mercy of Allah.

Muzdalifah:

After sunset, Pilgrims leave the Arafah land. They should go to Muzdalifah’s place, which is located between Mina and Arafah. Pilgrims offer two prayers (Maghrib & Isha) together after arriving at this place. They must spend this whole night with the open sky. Pilgrims should pick up pebbles from there for the next ritual- Rami.

Rami:

On the 3rd Day of Hajj, Pilgrims return to mina for Rami- the stoning of the devil. In this ritual, pilgrims only throw seven stones at the largest of three pillars (Jamrat al-Aqabah). The timing of it starts from sunrise and ends at sunset.

Sacrifice:

The ritual of sacrifice reminds us of the time of Ibrahim (AS), and it is imperative for anyone who can perform it. Pilgrims perform it after Rami. Nowadays, pilgrims buy a sacrifice voucher in Makkah before starting the Hajj rituals. So in this way, they can perform it. Muslims worldwide celebrate this day by sacrificing the animals, and this day is known as Eid-ul-Adha.

Halq or Taqsir:

After sacrifice, Pilgrims must cut the hairs because it is included in Hajj rituals. There are two methods (Halq & Taqsir) to perform it. Halq is an excellent way to perform it for men, and Taqsir is a better way to perform it for women.

It is the sunnah of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to shave the head entirely, and such a method is called Halq. Cutting the hairs for one fingertip is called Taqsir.

Tawaf Ziyarah:

After all rituals- Rami, Sacrifice, Halq, and Taqsir of Hajj, pilgrims return to al-Haram Mosque for Tawaf, which is known as Tawaf al-Ifadah. It can be performed between the 10th- 12th Dhul Hijjah.

After the Tawaf, Muslims will have to spend the 10th night of Hajj in Mina. They will have to do stoning on pillars again in the next 11th day, but this time stones will have a throw at all three pillars.

On the 12th Day of Dhull Hijjah, pilgrims can leave the Mina for Makkah before sunset after the stoning process. If they do not leave Mina before sunset, then they will wait the next day (13th day) to leave Mina.

Tawaf al-Wadaa:

After leaving Mina, they return to Makkah for the Tawaf al-Wadaa. It is also called farewell Tawaf because the word “wadaa” means “Farewell.”

Note: If anyone has a plan to stay in Makkah for shopping, business, or any other reason, then he/she can firstly complete his/her work before Tawaf al-Wadaa. Before departing the Makkah, performing this is compulsory.

Hajj is the most communal experience you will ever have. Millions of people dressed the same way, performing exactly the same actions. It is an incredible sight that you will not see anywhere in the world.

At the same time, Hajj is a very personal experience as well. When you are performing the rituals of Hajj, there is nothing left between you and Allah. This is once in a lifetime opportunity to pray as you have never done before. You can pray for forgiveness, for your family, for your salvation on the Judgment Day, etc. All your prayers will be answered.

Every Muslim wish to perform Hajj at least once in their life. However Hajj is quite costly, some save money all their life so they could finance the Hajj. There are Cheap Hajj Packages that people who are short on money can avail.

The most frequently asked question at the moment is whether Hajj may be possible after getting a visit visa, but the correct answer is “no” but if you still have a question in your mind then Click on “Can do Hajj on Visit Visa?”

You would love to read our Frequently Asked Questions about Hajj & Umrah packages. It will help you know more about your Holy trip.

Contact Us Right Now