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Hajj: Its Rule, Legitimacy, Status and Virtues

Place : Saudi Arabia / Riyadh / None / None /
Business Category : Hajj
date of publication : 1439/05/26
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Elements speech
1- The rule and legitimacy of Hajj. 2- Hajj is prescribed once in lifetime and any additional one is voluntary. 3- Conditions for the obligatoriness of Hajj. 4- Hastening to perform Hajj. 5- Status of Hajj in the religion of Islam. 6- Some of the virtues of Hajj .

First Sermon:


All praise is due and belongs to Allâh. We praise Him, seek His help and forgiveness and repent to Him. We seek refuge with Allâh from the evils of ourselves and from the wickedness of our own deeds. Whomever that Allâh guides, none can mislead him, and whomever He sends astray, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allâh alone with no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.


( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ )

(O you who believe, fear Allâh as he should be feared and die not unless you are Muslims) [Al-Imran: 102]


( يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاء وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا )

(O people fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul. From it, He created its spouse, and from both of them scattered many men and women. Fear Allâh, by whom you ask one another, and (fear) the wombs (lest you sever its relationship). Allâh is ever watching over you). [An-Nisa: 1].


( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا * يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا )

(O you, who believe, fear Allâh and say sound statements. He will mend your deeds for you and forgive your sins. Whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger shall win a great victory) [Al-Ahzab: 70-71].

It is innate in human nature to ask for tangible and concrete thing to serve as a symbol and a beacon, which he seeks, and in line with this natural instinct Allâh, the Most Purified and Exalted has made the Ka’bah for the Muslims, as a tangible and perceptible thing towards which they offer their prayers, make pilgrimage to and circumambulate. He has made the Black Stone for them in the Ka’bah to kiss and point to and the Prophet of Islam (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) has informed them that this stone came down from the heaven, saying: «The Black stone is from Paradise». (An-Nasaei). Therefore, in the Ka’bah, there is a portion of the Paradise.


The linguistic connotation of pilgrimage is absolute intention. Some say it is the act of intending someone for veneration. However, in Islamic law, Hajj means to intend Ka’bah, the house of Allâh, the Almighty, to perform specific rituals, in a formal time.

Hajj is a perfect and an unabrogated obligation, and an imperative duty upon every capable Muslim who can afford it physically and financially. Allâh the Most High said,


( وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ حِجُّ ٱلۡبَيۡتِ مَنِ ٱسۡتَطَاعَ إِلَيۡهِ سَبِيلاً۬‌ۚ)

And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka’bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allâh, those who can afford the expenses [Al-Imran: 97].


 This verse has disclosed that pilgrimage is a duty only upon one who is capable, and that it is lifted from people who cannot afford it.

He, the Most Glorified and Exalted also said commanding:


( وَأَتِمُّواْ ٱلۡحَجَّ وَٱلۡعُمۡرَةَ لِلَّهِ‌ۚ )

And perform properly the Hajj and ‘Umrah (i.e. the pilgrimage to Makkah) for Allâh [Al-Baqarah: 196].


Moreover, Ibn Abbas, May Allâh be pleased with them, said: During Hajjat-al-Wada` (Farewell Hajj) of the Prophet, a woman from the tribe of Khath’am came up and said, “My father has come under Allâh’s obligation of performing Hajj but he is a very old man and cannot sit properly on his Mount. Shall I perform Hajj on his behalf? The Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) replied in the affirmative (Agreed upon). If it were not an obligation, he would not have ordered her to do Hajj for him.


It is only compulsory once in a lifetime, and whatever that is additional is a voluntary act and not an obligation, except if one vows to perform it. This is Al-Aqra bin Habis asking the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) saying: O Messenger of Allâh pilgrimage hajj is to be performed annually or only once? He replied: Only once, and if anyone performs it more often, he performs a supererogatory act » (Ibn Majah).


It is narrated that Abu Hurairah said, The Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) delivered a sermon and said, “O people! Hajj (pilgrimage to the House of Allâh) has been made incumbent upon you, so perform Hajj.” A man inquired: “O Messenger of Allâh is it prescribed every year?” He (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) remained silent until the man repeated it thrice. Then he (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said, “Had I replied in the affirmative, it would have surely become obligatory, and you would not have been able to fulfill it.” Afterwards he said, “Do not ask me so long as I do not impose anything upon you, because those who were before you were destroyed on account of their frequent questioning and their disagreement with their Prophets. So when I order you to do something, do it as far as you can; and when I forbid you from doing anything, eschew it » (Agreed upon).


In addition, Ibn Majah transmitted from Anas bin Malik that he said: They said: ‘O Messenger of Allâh is Hajj (required) every year?’ He said: ‘If I were to say yes, it would have become obligatory, and if it were to become obligatory, you would not (be able to) do it, and if you did not do it you would be punished » (Ibn Majah), and no punishment is inflicted except for neglecting an obligation.


According to the opinion of the majority of learned scholars, pilgrimage was imposed in the late ninth year of Hijrah, and that the words of Allâh, the Most High,

( وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ حِجُّ ٱلۡبَيۡتِ مَنِ ٱسۡتَطَاعَ إِلَيۡهِ سَبِيلاً۬‌ۚ)

And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka’bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allâh, those who can afford the expenses [Al-Imran: 97].


was revealed in later part of the ninth year of delegations.


Pilgrimage is legislated based on the Qur’an and Sunnah and the consensus of the Islamic nation. Moreover, the Muslims are unanimously agreed that anyone that denies the obligation of Hajj is an apostate and has gone beyond the pale of Islam. Moreover, anyone who treats it with complacency after it has become obligatory on him is in grave danger. Al-Farouq Umar bin al-Khattab, may Allâh be pleased with him, says: ” I was thinking that I should send a man to these regions, to observe every man that is able but did not perform Hajj, and to impose tax on them; they are not Muslims, they are not Muslims “.


O believers! Let us now know check on some of the conditions for the obligatoriness of Hajj on people.


The first is to be a Muslim, because the non-Muslim is not permitted to enter the haram (Sacred Precincts) and the house of Allâh. Allâh, the Most High, said,

( يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِنَّمَا ٱلۡمُشۡرِكُونَ نَجَسٌ۬ فَلَا يَقۡرَبُواْ ٱلۡمَسۡجِدَ ٱلۡحَرَامَ بَعۡدَ عَامِهِمۡ هَـٰذَا‌ۚ)

O you who believe! Verily, the polytheists are impure. So let them not come near Al-Masjid-al-Harâm (at Makkah) after this year [At-Tawbah: 28].


Second: One should be sane. Hajj is not obligatory on the insane person, because all the obligations are waived off from the insane. It was narrated from ‘Aishah that the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said: « The pen has been lifted from three: From the sleeper until he wakes up, from the minor until he grows up, and from the insane until he comes back to his senses or recovers » (An-Nasaei).


Third: One should be an adult due to the previous Hadith, though if he performs pilgrimage it will be sound, but that does not count for the obligatory Hajj because is not yet legally obliged. The evidence to prove that his hajj is sound is the narration by Ibn Abbas that a woman held up a child of hers to the Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allâh is there Hajj for this one?” He said: « Yes, and you will be rewarded » (Muslim).


Fourth: To be free from slavery. No hajj has been imposed on an owned slave; because he is owned by another person and has no say of his own.

Fifth: To be able. This is exactly what Allâh, the Most Glorified and Exalted preconditioned when He said:

( وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ حِجُّ ٱلۡبَيۡتِ مَنِ ٱسۡتَطَاعَ إِلَيۡهِ سَبِيلاً۬‌ۚ )

And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka’bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allâh, those who can afford the expenses [Al-Imran: 97].

This ability has been interpreted as physical and financial capacity. Therefore, anyone who is financially able, but physically not capable, should delegate someone else to perform Hajj on his behalf.


The sixth and seventh conditions are in respect of women. The first: the availability of the Mahram (perpetually unmarriageable relative), based on the saying of Allâh’s messenger, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), « A woman should not travel for more than three days except with a Dhu-Mahram (i.e. a male with whom she cannot marry at all, e.g. her brother, father, grandfather, etc.) or her own husband) ». (Agreed upon).


The second: The woman should not be in a waiting period of divorce or death; for she is prohibited from leaving her home. Allâh, the Most High, said,

( يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ إِذَا طَلَّقۡتُمُ ٱلنِّسَآءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِہِنَّ وَأَحۡصُواْ ٱلۡعِدَّةَ‌ۖ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ رَبَّڪُمۡ‌ۖ لَا تُخۡرِجُوهُنَّ مِنۢ بُيُوتِهِنَّ وَلَا يَخۡرُجۡنَ إِلَّآ أَن يَأۡتِينَ بِفَـٰحِشَةٍ۬ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ۬‌ۚ)

O you Prophet! When you divorce women, divorce them at their ‘Iddah (prescribed periods), and count (accurately) their ‘Iddah (periods). And fear Allâh your Lord (O Muslims), And turn them not out of their (husband’s) homes, nor shall they (themselves) leave, except in case they are guilty of some open illegal sexual intercourse [At-Talaq: 1].


Some learned scholars have stipulated road security for the obligatoriness of Hajj, but if the road Allâh’s house is not safe such as when there is an enemy or bandits awaiting to harass them… hajj will not be obligatory then.


It should be noted as well that the expense for the pilgrimage must be gotten from a lawful source; otherwise, it will be rejected and not acceptable; for Allâh does not accept but the lawful. Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said: « O people! Allâh is Pure and, therefore, accepts only that which is pure» (Muslim).


The pilgrim should also avoid whatever that can reduce the reward of his Hajj such as disputing unjustly, obscenity, and immorality. Allâh, the Most Glorified and Exalted said:


( ٱلۡحَجُّ أَشۡهُرٌ۬ مَّعۡلُومَـٰتٌ۬‌ۚ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ ٱلۡحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِى ٱلۡحَجِّ‌ۗ )

The Hajj (pilgrimage) is (in) the well-known (lunar year) months. So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihrâm), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj. [Al-Baqarah: 197].


Slaves of Allâh! Learned scholars have differed as to whether Hajj is obligatory instantaneously or a duty one can delay performing. However, the best practice in all cases is to hasten to perform Hajj whenever the Muslim is capable. Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said, «Hasten to perform Hajj, meaning: the obligatory hajj; for none of you knows what may happen to him » (Ahmad).


In Ibn Majah’s transmission: «Whoever intends to perform Hajj let him hasten to do so, for he may fall sick, lose his mount, or be faced with some need ».


Among the evidence that shows that it is absolutely better to hasten to perform Hajj is the hadith of Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri that the Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), said, « Allâh said: ‘A person whose body I make healthy and to whom I grant ample provision but five years go by and he does not come to Me is indeed deprived » (Ibn Hibban).


O you Muslims! Hajj in Islam occupies a luxuriant and great status. It is one of the pillars of Islam and one of the mainstays upon which the lofty edifice of Islam rests. Abdullah bin Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said, « Islam is built upon five: “the testimony that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allâh, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allâh, establishing regular prayer, giving Zakah (poor dues), pilgrimage to the House (Ka’bah), and fasting the month of Ramadan » (Agreed upon).


Performing Hajj to the Sacred House of Allâh the Almighty, and coming to the holy lands is the wish of every Muslim on earth, and this is in response to the invocation of Ibrahim, peace be upon him,

( رَّبَّنَآ إِنِّىٓ أَسۡكَنتُ مِن ذُرِّيَّتِى بِوَادٍ غَيۡرِ ذِى زَرۡعٍ عِندَ بَيۡتِكَ ٱلۡمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ فَٱجۡعَلۡ أَفۡـِٔدَةً۬ مِّنَ ٱلنَّاسِ تَہۡوِىٓ إِلَيۡہِمۡ وَٱرۡزُقۡهُم مِّنَ ٱلثَّمَرَٲتِ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَشۡكُرُونَ)

“O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in an uncultivable valley by Your Sacred House (the Ka’bah at Makkah); in order, O our Lord, that they may perform As-Salâh, so fill some hearts among people with love towards them, and (O Allâh) provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks [Ibrahim: 37].


Ibn Abbas and others said, had he said: «the hearts of the people» the Persians, Romans, Jews, Christians and all people would have overcrowded for Hajj, but he said (some hearts among people), making it exclusive for the Muslims. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir).


It is also a response to the call (adhan) that Allâh commanded Ibrahim to proclaim when He the Most Glorified and Exalted said,

( وَأَذِّن فِى ٱلنَّاسِ بِٱلۡحَجِّ يَأۡتُوكَ رِجَالاً۬ وَعَلَىٰ ڪُلِّ ضَامِرٍ۬ يَأۡتِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ۬ )

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 and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Hajj) [Al-Hajj: 27].


In addition, Hajj is the best of deeds after faith and jihad. Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) was asked: “Which deed is the best?” He (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) replied, “Faith in Allâh and His Messenger”. Then he was asked: “What is next?” He replied, “Jihad (holy fighting) in the Cause of Allâh”. Then he was asked, “What is after that?” He (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) replied, “Hajj Mabrur (an accepted pilgrimage) » (Agreed upon).


Moreover, the mother of the believers Aisha, May Allâh be pleased with her, reported that she said: “O Messenger of Allâh! We consider Jihad as the best deed, should we not then go for Jihad?” The Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said, “The best Jihad for you women is Hajj Mabrur (i.e., one accepted by Allâh) » (Al-Bukhari)


Second sermon:


All praise is due and belongs to Allâh alone, and may the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon the last Prophet.


O believers! Hajj or Pilgrimage to the house of Allâh has many blessings and virtues that are hardly finite, including the following:

Hajj atones for the sins of the past. The Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said, « Whoever performs Hajj for Allâh’s pleasure and does not have sexual relations with his wife, and does not do evil or sins then he will return (after Hajj free from all sins) as if he were born anew ». (Agreed upon); i.e.: pure, innocent just like the fetus that came out of the womb of its mother.


Again, acceptable Hajj is a way to the Paradise.  The Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said, « The reward for Hajj Mabrur (the one accepted by Allâh or the one which was performed without doing any wrong) is nothing save Paradise”. (Agreed upon).


Hajj with its scenes and ihram garments reminds of the Day of Judgment on the plane of resurrection, and before that, it reminds of death. How similar is the Ihram garment to the shrouds by which the dead is clothed. O Allâh, O Lord, decree for us to perform pilgrimage to Your House, in a Hajj that will be blessed, free from sins and accepted.


Invoke prayers and blessings of Allâh upon the one Allâh, the Most Exalted and Glorified, has commanded you to do so when He said,

( إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا )

Allâh sends His Salâh (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet (Muhammad) and also His angels too (ask Allâh to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salâh on (ask Allâh to bless) him (Muhammad), and (you should) greet him with the Islamic way of greeting [Al-Ahzab: 56].