Hajj – The Fifth Pillar of Islam

What Is Hajj in Islam?

Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, is a pilgrimage undertaken to the holy city of Makkah during the month of Zul-Hijjah. The hajj day in Islamic calendar begins on the 8th of Dhul Hijjah and lasts until the 13th of Dhul Hijjah. This profound journey, marked by its challenges, is an obligatory endeavor for financially and physically capable Muslims along with some other conditions.

It involves completing the designated rituals of Hajj to please Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ. Those who successfully accomplish this voyage earn the esteemed title of Haji. Every year, millions of Muslims gather in Makkah for Hajj– the sacred Muslim Pilgrimage annually, underscoring the unity of humanity and their equal devotion before Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ.

Hajj of Kaaba – A Significant Religious Gathering

As a fundamental and 5th pillar of Islam, Hajj holds immense significance as an act of worship and pilgrimage in Islam. Every year, multitudes of Muslims wear simple and identical attire, transcending differences in colour and race, setting aside discord to assemble in the sanctified precincts of the Haram. The world stands amazed at this extraordinary display of harmony.

This juncture bestows unparalleled blessings upon the pilgrims, endowing them with Allah’s عَزَّوَجَلَّ special favour. The gifts bestowed upon these fortunate individuals in return for their Hajj experience arouse a profound longing among less privileged Muslims, igniting a fervent aspiration to embark on a sacred journey of their own.

Hajj, the sacred pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, holds profound benefits that extend beyond the physical journey. The spiritual benefits of all Hajj stages are manifold, as the pilgrimage offers a unique opportunity for Muslims to cleanse their souls and seek forgiveness for their transgressions. The act of performing Hajj is a demonstration of devotion and submission to Allah’s will, emphasizing the importance of humility and unity among believers.

The importance of Hajj in Quran and Hadith is underscored, with verses highlighting its pivotal role in the spiritual growth and development of a Muslim. The Quran and Hadith stress the transformative power of Hajj, emphasizing its ability to purify the heart and renew one’s faith. The rituals performed during Hajj symbolize the trials and tribulations faced by the Prophet Ibrahim علیہ السلام and his family, exemplifying the unwavering trust in Allah’s providence.

Consequently, the importance of Hajj resonates deeply within the Islamic tradition, serving as a means of drawing closer to Allah, seeking forgiveness, and fostering a sense of communal harmony among Muslims from diverse backgrounds.

How Many Hajj Types in Islam?

There are three types of Pilgrimage in Islam:

  1. Qiran
  2. Tamattu
  3. Ifrad

1. Qiran

This is the most favored form of Hajj, termed as Qiran. Those embarking on this Hajj are referred to as Qarin. In this type, the pilgrim declares the intention for both Hajj and Umrah simultaneously upon entering the state of Ihram.

Intention of Hajj Qiran:

The Qarin is required to formulate the intention for both Hajj and Umrah using the subsequent wording:

“Ya Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ! I make the intention of Hajj and Umrah, make both of them easy for me and accept them from me. I have made the intention of Hajj and Umrah and have put on the Ihram of both just for the sake of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ.”

2. Tamattu

A pilgrim undertaking this form of Hajj is known as a Mutamatte. Those arriving from beyond the Miqat during the Hajj months are eligible to perform this type. For instance, individuals from the Indo-Pak region commonly opt for Tamattu. The advantage lies in the fact that a Mutamatte, having completed Umrah, is permitted to undergo Halq or Qasr and thereby exits the state of Ihram. Subsequently, on the 8th of Dhul Hijjah or earlier, the pilgrim assumes the Hajj Ihram.

3. Ifrad

The individual undertaking this variation of Hajj is referred to as a Mufrid. This category of Hajj solely involves assuming the Ihram for Hajj without incorporating Umrah. Those residing within Makkah and Hilli, essentially the region between the Haram area and Miqat (such as the inhabitants of Jeddah), opt for Hajj Ifrad. This type is also open to individuals arriving from foreign nations.

Intention of Hajj

After putting on the Ihrm of Hajj, the Mufrid should make the following intention. Similarly, after putting on Ihram, the Mutamatte’ should also make the following intention on 8th Dhul Hijjah or before it.

“Ya Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ! I make the intention of Hajj, make it easy for me and accept it from me. Help me in offering it and make it blessed for me. I have made the intention for Hajj and have worn its Ihram for the sake of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ.”

Do You Know the Difference Between Hajj and Umrah?

Hajj and Umrah may look similar in various aspects but essentially, they are two different pilgrimages. Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam. It represents the height of faith (Iman) when a Muslim travels towards the holy cities of Mecca and Madina and performs the sacred rituals defined by Sharia to complete the obligation. On the other hand, Umrah is an entirely optional and voluntary pilgrimage.

Furthermore, Hajj has specific dates, occurring annually during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah, with rituals performed over several days, culminating in the major event of standing at Arafat. Umrah, however, can be performed at any time of the year except during the days of Hajj. Another interesting difference to be noted is that there are multiple steps of Hajj whereas there are fewer steps in Umrah.

To sum up, the intention behind performing Hajj is to fulfill one of the fundamental duties of Islam, and it carries great spiritual significance. Hajj is believed to cleanse the soul of sins and bring the pilgrim closer to Allah. Umrah, while also spiritually rewarding, is considered a form of voluntary worship with its own blessings and benefits.

How Do You Prepare for Hajj?

Preparing for Hajj is important because it’s an event that requires physical and spiritual commitment from the pilgrim. To prepare for rituals of Hajj step by step, the first and foremost thing is to learn about the rituals and significance of Hajj by studying reliable sources such as books, online resources, or attending lectures. Understanding the spiritual importance of each ritual will enhance your experience.

You can also read the book “Rafiqul Haramain” authored by Allama Maulana Abu Bilal Muhammad ILys Attar Qadiri Rizvi دامت برکاتھم العالیہ

Apart from that, hajj preparation involves Hajj financial planning. The reason is that Hajj can be expensive, so it’s essential to budget and save accordingly. Consider all costs, including travel expenses, accommodation, meals, and purchasing necessary items for the journey.

Moreover, a pilgrim that intends to perform Hajj needs to be physically apt and strong enough to fulfill the obligation of Hajj to satisfaction. Therefore, physical health is of paramount importance. So, it’s advised to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure you are physically fit for the journey. Start a regular exercise routine to improve stamina and endurance.

Finally, it’s best that you go through and adopt the several tips for Hajj that are available on the internet or valid Islamic books. That’s to make sure that your hajj experience is unhindered by lack of knowledge of the essentials that make for an accepted Hajj.

Hajj Rituals – the Major Hajj Steps

Performing the Hajj, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, involves a series of mandatory steps. The entire hajj process is summarized into key points below.

–          Preparation and Intention

–          Ihram

–          Tawaf of Kaaba

–          Sa’i – Safa and Marwa

–          Arrive at Mina

–          Day of ‘Arafah

–          Muzdalifah (under the night sky)

–          Ramy al-Jamarat (stoning the devil)

–          Qurbani (sacrifice)

–          Halq or Taqsr (Trim hair/ Shave Head)

–          Tawaf al-Ifada

–          Farewell Tawaf (al-Wida)

Prophet’s Hadith On the Mecca Pilgrimage

What a magnificent experience it is to engage in Tawaf while being blessed by rain! Sayyiduna Abu Iqaal رضی اللہ عنہ has expressed: “I was once privileged to perform Tawaf with Sayyiduna Anas Bin Malik رضی اللہ عنہ in the rain. After we offered two Rakat Salah at Maqaam Ibrahim.” Sayyiduna Anas رضی اللہ عنہ said to me, “Start your deeds anew. Indeed, your previous sins have been forgiven. The Beloved Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم gave the same good news to us and we were privileged to perform Tawaf with him in the rain.” (Ibn Majah, vol. 3, pp. 524, Hadith 3118)

Indications of an Accepted Hajj in Islam

Hujjat-ul-Islam, Imam Muhammad Ghazali رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه has expressed: It is narrated, “One of the signs of an accepted Hajj is that a Haji gives up all those acts of disobedience that he was indulged in the past, he quits the company of bad friends and keeps the company of pious people, he abandons the gatherings of sports and entertainments, and attends the gatherings of Zikr and Fikr (contemplation) and the gatherings in which the Zikr of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ and His Beloved Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is done abundantly.” (Ihya-ul-Uloom, vol. 1, pp. 803)

Imam e Ahle Sunnat, Maulana Shah Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه, famously known as Ala Hadrat, has stated: “The sign of a Hajj-e-Mabroor (an accepted Hajj) is that the Haji becomes better than before when he returns.” (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 24, 467)

Allamah Maulana Mufti Muhammad Amjad Ali Azami رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه, a distinguished and prominent scholar of Shariah and Tareeqah, conveyed: “The Haji should take provisions more than his need so that he can help his fellow travellers and give Sadaqah (charity) to the poor. This is also a sign of an accepted Hajj.” (Bahar-e-Shariat, part 6, vol. 1, pp. 1051, slightly modified)

The revered ‘Allamah ‘Abdul Mustafa Azami رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه, a distinguished authority in Hadith studies, has expressed: “An accepted Hajj is a Hajj during which the Haji does not commit any sinful act, nor is there any doubt of showing-off nor fame, rather, good deeds are performed only for the pleasure of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ .” (Bihisht ki Kunjiyan, pp. 107, slightly modified)

Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه, a distinguished interpreter and a profound thinker of the Ummah, has also outlined indicators of an accepted Pilgrimage and the virtues of hajj in various instances. He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه mentioned:

v “An accepted Hajj is that Hajj which is free from quarrels, sins and showing-off and is performed correctly.” (Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 4, pp. 87)

v “An accepted Hajj is the Hajj that is performed after offering Salah etc.” (Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 4, pp. 146)

v “An accepted Hajj refers to a Hajj in which one abstains from sins or the Hajj in which one abstains from showing-off and fame .”·    “It is a Hajj, after which, the Haji abstains from sins till his death and does not perform any act that ruins his Hajj.”

v “Sayyiduna Hasan Basri رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه has said: An accepted Hajj is such a Hajj, after which, the Haji desires the Hereafter and not the world.”

v “It is a Hajj that softens the heart of the Haji and he has sorrow in his heart and wetness in his eyes” (Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 5, pp. 441)

v “An accepted Hajj is one that is performed correctly with Halal earnings, that is performed with sincerity and the Haji does not perform any such act till his death that ruins his Hajj, that is, the reward of an accepted Hajj will not be only in the form of worldly food and forgiveness from sins or salvation from Hell or relief in torment, but Paradise must be granted.” (Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 4, pp. 96)

Rewards & Blessings Upon the Acceptance of Makkah Hajj

The sacred Hadiths about hajj elaborates the significance of the obligation of hajj and merits of Hajj-e-Mabroor.

  1. The Prophet Hazrat Muhammadصَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّمhas conveyed: “The reward of an accepted Hajj is not less than Paradise.” It was humbly asked, “What is meant by Maqbool (accepted)?” It was replied, “The Hajj in which food is given and good conversation is made.” (Al-Mujam-ul-Awsat, vol. 6, pp. 173, Hadith 8405)
  2. Furthermore, The Prophet of Mercyصَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّمhas stated: “The reward for an accepted Hajj is Paradise.” The blessed companions humbly asked, “Ya Rasoolallah صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم! What is an accepted Hajj?” It was replied, “The Hajj in which the hungry are fed and Salam is promoted.” (Kanz-ul-Ummal, vol. 3, pp. 7, Hadees 11830)

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