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-Ḥijjah. The date of hajj 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 endeavour for financially and physically capable Muslims.
It involves completing the designated rituals of Hajj in honor of Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ. Those who successfully accomplish this voyage earn the esteemed title of Ḥaji. Every year, millions of Muslims gathered in Makkah for Hajj festival – the sacred Muslim Pilgrimage annually, underscoring the unity of humanity and their equal devotion before Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ.
A Significant Religious Gathering
As a fundamental and 5th pillar of Islam, Hajj holds immense significance as an act of worship. 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 Hajj are manifold, as it offers a unique opportunity for Muslims to cleanse their souls and seek forgiveness for their past 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.
Types of Hajj
There are three types of Pilgrimage in Islam:
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.”
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 exit the state of Ihram. Subsequently, on the 8th of Zul-Hijjah or earlier, the pilgrim assumes the Hajj Ihram.
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 Zul-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.”
The Privilege of Hajj Tawaf in the rain along with Holy Prophet ﷺ
What a magnificent experience it is to engage in Tawaf while being blessed by rain! Sayyiduna Abu Iqaal رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہ has expressed: “I was once privileged to perform Tawaf with Sayyiduna Anas Bin Malik رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہ in the rain. After we offered two Rakat Salah at Maqaam Ibrahim.” Sayyiduna Anas رضی اللہ تعالیٰ 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, Hadees 3118)
Rewards & Blessings of an Accepted Pilgrimage
The sacred ahadith about hajj elaborates the hajj significance and merits of Hajj-e-Mabroor.
1. The Prophet Hazrat Muhammad صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has 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, Hadees 8405)
2. Furthermore, The Prophet of Mercy صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has 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 to be promoted.” (Kanz-ul-Ummal, vol. 3, pp. 7, Hadees 11830)
Indications of an Accepted Hajj
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 Hadees 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 in various instances. He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه mentioned:
· “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)
· “An accepted Hajj is the Hajj that is performed after offering Salah etc.” (Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 4, pp. 146)
· “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 or”
· “It is a Hajj, after which, the Haji abstains from sins till his death and does not perform any act that ruins his Hajj.”
· “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.”
· “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)
· “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)