Hajj: Fifth Pillar of Islam

Index
 
Hajj: Fifth Pillar of Islam
 
Mir Lutful Kabir Saadi
 
 
The word "Hajj" literally means heading for an honourable person or 
place. 
Formally Hajj means worshipping Allah by performing the Hajj rituals, 
which 
are defined as specific acts performed at a specific time and place in 
a 
specific way.
 
Performing Hajj is an obligation once in a lifetime upon every Muslim, 
those 
who can afford the journey. Allah, the Almighty, says, "Pilgrimage 
thereto 
is a duty men owe to Allah, - those who can afford the journey; but if 
any 
deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures." Allah 
made 
Hajj an obligation to Muslims in the ninth year after Hijrah. The 
Prophet 
(peace be upon him) performed only the Farewell Hajj.
 
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "(The superstructure of) Islam is 
founded on five (pillars): .... etc. "Among these pillars the Prophet 
mentioned the Hajj. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "The Hajj 
which is 
accepted will receive no other reward than Paradise."
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "He who performs Hajj and neither 
spoke indecently not did he act wickedly would return free of sin as on 
the 
(very first) day his mother born him. "
 
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "O people, Allah made Hajj 
obligatory 
for you; so perform Hajj. Thereupon a person said, `Messenger of Allah, 
(is 
it to be performed) every year?' He (the Holy Prophet) kept quiet, and 
the 
man repeated (these words) thrice, whereupon Allah's Messenger (may 
peace be 
upon him) said, `If I were to say: yes, it would become obligatory (for 
you 
to perform it every year) and you would not be able to do it."
 
Hajj is obligatory and that it represents the fifth pillar of Islam. It 
is 
an obligation that should be performed as soon as possible. The four 
obligatory acts of Hajj: 1. Ihram, 2. Standing by `Arafah, 3. Ifadah 
Circumambulation, 4. Sa`i between Safa and Marwah. Necessary ritual 
means 
whatever ritual a pilgrim must observe and if not, he should offer a 
sacrificial animal. The seven obligations of Hajj: 1. Performing Ihram 
from 
Miqat, 2. Standing by `Arafah, 3. Spending one night in Muzdalifah, 4. 
Spending one night in Mina, 5. Shaving the head or cutting hair short 
(shaving is recommended), 6. Throwing pebbles and 7. Farewell 
Circumambulation
 
Some supererogatory (Sunnah), acts of Hajj: 1. Washing the whole body 
upon 
entering into the state of Ihram, 2. Performing Talbiah, 3. Performing 
the 
arrival circumambulation for a Mufrid or Qarin pilgrim, 4. Spending the 
night of `Arafah in Muzdalifah, and 5. Performing Ramal and Idtibah` 
during 
the arrival circumambulation
 
There are three types of Hajj: Tamattu`, Qiran and Ifrad. TAMATTU`: It 
is 
the act of performing `Umrah in the Hajj season then performing the 
Hajj 
itself in the same year. In this type of Hajj, a pilgrim intends to 
perform 
Tamattu` before setting forth on journey. He intends `Umrah and enters 
into 
the state of Ihram while uttering, "O Allah! I answer Your call to 
perform 
`Umrah. O Allah! I intend to perform `Umrah, so make it easy for me, 
and 
accept it from me. I intend to perform `Umrah and I put on the garb of 
Ihram 
only for You, O Allah (the Almighty)." He then starts to pronounce the 
Talbiah. Such a pilgrim, upon reaching Mecca and visiting the Sacred 
House, 
circumambulates the Ka`bah seven times, walks between Safa and Marwah 
seven 
times, then removes his Hajj garb and gets his hair cut or shaved.
 
He may do everything that is permissible but was prohibited for him in 
the 
state of Ihram till the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah (the day of Tarwiah), as he 
states his intention and puts on the Hajj garb from his residence, 
while 
uttering "O Allah! I answer Your call to perform Hajj. O Allah! I 
intend to 
perform Hajj, so make it easy for me, and accept it from me. I intend 
to 
perform Hajj and I put on the garb of Ihram only for You, O Allah (the 
Almighty)."
 
Then he starts to pronounce the Talbiah that goes: "O Allah! Here I am 
at 
Your service. I respond to Your call, O Allah! Here I am at Your 
service. I 
respond to Your call. Here I am at Your service. I respond to Your 
call, and 
I am obedient to Your orders, You have no partner. Here I am at Your 
service. I respond to Your call. All praises and grace are due to You 
and 
all sovereignty is (too) for You and You have no partner with You. O 
Allah! 
I forbid myself, my hair, skin and body from wearing perfume on and 
from 
touching women. This is something that You prevent the one who is in a 
state 
of Ihram from doing it, and I do this only for Your sake, O Allah! Lord 
of 
the worlds."
 
Upon this, he must make an Offering, because he has performed `Umrah 
during 
the season of Hajj, as stated in the Holy Qur'an: "If any one wishes to 
continue the `Umrah on to the Hajj, he must make an Offering such as he 
can 
afford." For the pilgrim performing Tamattu` Hajj, the Circumambulation 
[Tawaf] of `Umrah is performed instead of the Arrival [Qudum] 
Circumambulation. Then, after the first act of removing the garb of 
Ihram, 
he performs the Ifadah Circumambulation and walks between Safa and 
Marwah 
for Hajj.
 
QIRAN: It is to combine both Hajj and `Umrah in only one Ihram. In this 
type 
of Hajj, the pilgrim intends to perform both of them with declaring his 
intention only once, saying, "O Allah! I answer Your call to perform 
Hajj 
and `Umrah." Then, he starts to pronounce the Talbiah, and remain in 
the 
state of Ihram till the morning of the ` Eid Al-Adha. Then, he sets 
forth to 
throw pebbles at the greater Jamrah of Al-`Aqabah located near Mecca, 
gets 
his hair shaved or cut, and slaughters his Offering. Upon completing, 
he can 
do the first act of removing his Ihram, and enjoy everything except 
touching 
women. Also, he can perform the Ifadah Circumambulation [Tawaf] while 
wearing his usual clothes. As for the one who performs the Qiran, the 
Sa`i 
which he performed after the Circumambulation upon entering the Sacred 
House, will not have to be performed after the Ifadah Circumambulation. 
That 
is because that Sa`i was performed for both Hajj and `Umrah. Finally, 
he 
must make an Offering because he has joined the rituals of Hajj and 
`Umrah 
together.
 
IFRAD: It is the intention to perform Hajj only. In this type of Hajj, 
a 
pilgrim declares that intention while still at his own home and wears 
the 
garb of Ihram for the Hajj only. Upon reaching the Sacred House, he 
starts 
to circumambulate the Ka`bah and to walk between Safa and Marwah for 
Hajj 
only. He must keep wearing the garb of Ihram till the morning of ` Eid 
Al-Adha Then, he sets forth to throw the pebbles at the greater Jamrah 
of 
Al-`Aqabah near Mecca, then gets his hair shaved or cut, and slaughters 
his 
sacrificial animal. Then, he can remove his Ihram, and no Offering has 
he to 
make.
 
To perform the Hajj, pilgrims enter a state of consecration known as 
ihram. 
In this state they may not clip their nails, cut or pluck any hair, or 
have 
any sort of sexual contact. Male pilgrims wear special clothes 
consisting of 
two seamless strips of white cloth, one covering the back and 
shoulders, the 
other covering from the waist to the knees. Female pilgrims can wear 
ordinary clothing that covers everything but the face and hands.
 
The rituals of Hajj date back to the time of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be 
upon 
him) and commemorate his willingness to sacrifice his only son, Isma`il 
to 
fulfil the desire of Allah (SAW). During the days of Hajj, the pilgrims 
attempt to forget all but their most basic worldly needs and to focus 
their 
attention and devotion on Allah (SAW) Alone. Upon arriving in Makkah, 
the 
pilgrims first circumambulate the Ka`bah seven times in a ritual known 
as 
Tawaf. This ritual reminds the pilgrims that Allah (SAW) should be the 
focus 
and center of their lives.
 
The next ritual is Sa`i, which is walking back and forth seven times 
between 
the hillocks named Safa and Marwah. This commemorates the search for 
water 
made by Hajar when Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) left her and her 
infant son Isma`il (peace be upon him) in the desert. On 8 Dhul-Hijjah, 
pilgrims head to Mina, where they spend the day supplicating Allah. 
Early 
the next morning they go to `Arafah. They spend the day supplicating 
Allah 
and begging for His forgiveness. When the sun sets on the Day of 
`Arafah, 
the pilgrims╝ sins are forgiven.
After sunset the pilgrims move on to Muzdalifah, where they spend the 
night 
and collect pebbles to be used in the next ritual.
 
The next morning, 10 Dhul-Hijjah, is the Day of Sacrifice. Most 
pilgrims 
slaughter a sheep, goat, camel or cow. Muslims who are not on Hajj also 
slaughter that day, which is known as `Eid Al-Adha. The ritual 
commemorates 
Ibrahim╝s willingness to sacrifice his son Isma`il (peace be upon them 
both) 
and Allah╝s provision of a ram as a substitute sacrifice. But before 
slaughtering, the pilgrims go to throw pebbles at the stone pillars 
known as 
Al-Jamarat. This ritual commemorates Ibrahim╝s stoning of Satan when 
the 
latter tried to tempt him to disobey Allah.
 
After this, the pilgrims cut or shave their hair (women cut off only a 
small 
amount) and return to Makkah to repeat Tawaf and Sa`i. They sleep at 
Mina 
and repeat the stoning of the pillars on the next two days. A final 
Tawaf 
before leaving Makkah completes the Hajj. Pilgrims also go to Madinah 
before 
or after Hajj in order to pray in the Prophet╝s Mosque and visit his 
holy 
grave. Visiting his tomb at Madinah is not an essential obligation to 
make 
Hajj valid or complete. Honoring him remains a matter of the heart, and 
a 
Muslim proves his love towards the Prophet by following his path of 
Islam.
 
As Hajj provides every pilgrim with tranquility of heart, inner purity, 
and 
fullness of understanding of his existence in the cosmos, every single 
step 
should recall the ideas of the creation, glory of divine transcendence, 
and 
the unity of the believers that crosses boundaries and ethnic and 
gender 
diversities. In the heart of every aspect of Hajj is some reflection 
signifying the Hereafter.
 
The pilgrim should watch the duties of his heart at all stages. He will 
realize if he has been accepted or not by watching his heart and its 
conduct. If he finds his heart adverse to this world and inclined to be 
intimate with Allah, then he may count on acceptance, for Allah accepts 
only 
those whom He loves. Throughout the performance of Hajj, the pilgrim 
can 
easily observe that it is a course of spiritual enrichment and moral 
rearmament, a journey of intensified devotion and disciplinary 
experience, a 
course of humanitarian interests and inspiring knowledge, all put 
together 
in one single Pillar of Islam.
 
If the pilgrim understands where Hajj really stands in Islam, he will 
notice 
in himself a process of spiritual transformation through the rituals. 
Every 
step of Hajj serves as a reminder, a sign of submission to Allah, an 
instructive tool for self-discipline and devotion, and an exhortation 
to the 
faithful aspirant. If the pilgrim hopes his visit is to be accepted, he 
should carry out Allah╝s commands, cast off iniquities, repent for all 
acts 
of disobedience, and sever his heart╝s connection from all worldly 
concerns 
during Hajj. Then he can turn to Allah as he turns his face in the 
direction 
of the Ka╗bah in each prayer. Unless the pilgrim does so, he will get 
nothing from his journey except trouble and hardship at the outset, and 

dismissal and rejection at the end.

 

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