بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In previous posts we had learned that the first ‘House’ established for man-kind by Allah, is in ‘Bakka’ (Makkah). This House is guidance for all believers. The systems of ‘Salat’ and ‘Tawaf/Hajj’ have been established in this House for all times. The guidance which mankind is to take from this House of God, is to follow the sunnat/practice of the system of ‘Salat’ and ‘Hajj’ established at this House of the Lord. These systems are already established at the House for those who want to take guidance.
3:96-97 إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ فِيهِ آيَاتٌ بَيِّنَاتٌ مَّقَامُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۖ وَمَن دَخَلَهُ كَانَ آمِنًا ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ
Without doubt, the first House appointed for mankind is that at Bakka (Makkah); blessed and of guidance for all worlds. In it are clear ayahs / signs, the standing position of Ibrahim; whoever enters it attains security. And for Allah is pilgrimage of the House on people, those who can afford the journey, but if anyone denies, surely Allah is not in need of any in the worlds.
It is upon mankind to do pilgrimage of the House of Allah, whoever has the capacity to perform Hajj.
The purpose of Hajj is the training of nafs, i.e self control in difficult situations. People have to exercise restraint and control their anger and impulses, while being out of their comfort zones and showing empathy towards their brethren who are in similar difficult situations.
The system of Hajj is established in Makkah for all times. The months of Hajj are known to believers. They were known to believers in the past as well. So, anyone who makes an intention of performing Hajj, should align himself to the task with no bickering, fighting and unnecessary argumentation in these months. The goal is to get closer to Allah.
2:197 الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَاتٌ ۚ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ ۗ وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّهُ ۗ وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَىٰ ۚ وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ
The months of Hajj/Pilgrimage are known, so whosoever imposes Hajj / Pilgrimage (on himself) in them, he should not commit obscenity nor commit immoralities and no bickering in the Hajj / Pilgrimage. And what you do from goodness, Allah knows it. And take provision, so surely the best of the provisions is to take guard and take guard from Me O’ you who posses the core (of Knowledge/Spirit of the Book)
Prophet Ibrahim (a.s) is the Imam/leader for the mankind. He has been ordered to purify the House for the ‘salat’ and ‘tawaf’ around this House (2:125). People who intend for the Hajj would seek many means of transportation to plan their arrival to the sacred place.
22:27 وَأَذِّن فِي النَّاسِ بِالْحَجِّ يَأْتُوكَ رِجَالًا وَعَلَىٰ كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ يَأْتِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ
“And proclaim the Pilgrimage to mankind. They will come to thee on foot and riding from all remote places.”
When pilgrims actually reach the starting place of Hajj known as ‘Miqat’ they attain the state of ‘ahram/hurum’. Hurum state forbids them killing any animal or even insects within the ‘Haram area’ i.e the places of Hajj. As a large number of pilgrims visit the place every year, this stipulation is necessary in order to preserve the place and its flora and fauna.
5:95 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَقْتُلُوا الصَّيْدَ وَأَنتُمْ حُرُمٌ ۚ وَمَن قَتَلَهُ مِنكُم مُّتَعَمِّدًا فَجَزَاءٌ مِّثْلُ مَا قَتَلَ مِنَ النَّعَمِ يَحْكُمُ بِهِ ذَوَا عَدْلٍ مِّنكُمْ هَدْيًا بَالِغَ الْكَعْبَةِ أَوْ كَفَّارَةٌ طَعَامُ مَسَاكِينَ أَوْ عَدْلُ ذَٰلِكَ صِيَامًا لِّيَذُوقَ وَبَالَ أَمْرِهِ ۗ عَفَا اللَّهُ عَمَّا سَلَفَ ۚ وَمَنْ عَادَ فَيَنتَقِمُ اللَّهُ مِنْهُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ ذُو انتِقَامٍ
O you people who believe! Do not kill the game/hunt when you are in Ahram/pilgrim state. If any one does so intentionally, the compensation is an offering similar to the animal killed, brought to the Ka’ba, as adjudged by two just honest men among you; or the atonement is the feeding of the indigents; or its equivalent in fasts. That he may taste of the penalty of his deed. Allah forgave what was past. For the one who repeats, Allah will avenge from him and Allah is exalted, Lord of retribution.
For the pilgrims intending Hajj, keeping sanctity of this sacred place and all its symbols such as ‘Safaa’, ‘Marwa’, ‘tawaf’, etc, is important. The people of various groups and sects will come there with a common cause of getting good pleasure of Allah. At Hajj, the pilgrims are not to show acrimony with any group even if they have problems and hatred with that group before Hajj. In all matters of piety and righteousness, pilgrims are ordered to co-operate with one another and not to co-operate in any matter of rancor, hatred and sin.
5:2 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُحِلُّوا شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ وَلَا الشَّهْرَ الْحَرَامَ وَلَا الْهَدْيَ وَلَا الْقَلَائِدَ وَلَا آمِّينَ الْبَيْتَ الْحَرَامَ يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرِضْوَانًا ۚ وَإِذَا حَلَلْتُمْ فَاصْطَادُوا ۚ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ أَن صَدُّوكُمْ عَنِ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ أَن تَعْتَدُوا ۘ وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ
O you people who believe! Do not violate the sanctity of the symbols of Allah, nor of the sacred month, nor of the gift (animals for sacrifice) nor the garlands (crowd formation of garland shape around Kaaba in Tawaf), nor the people resorting to the sacred house, seeking the bounty and good pleasure of their Lord. But when you are clear (of the sacred precincts and of pilgrim garb), you may hunt and let not the hatred of some people in preventing of the Sacred Mosque, lead you to transgression. Co-operate in righteousness and piety, but do-not co-operate in sin and rancor. Fear Allah, for Allah is strict in punishment.
Allah has bound everyone’s hands in the valley of Makkah from fighting in the sacred valley. So whoever succeeds in reaching the valley, then he should not fight and argue with those present there.
48:24 وَهُوَ الَّذِي كَفَّ أَيْدِيَهُمْ عَنكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ عَنْهُم بِبَطْنِ مَكَّةَ مِن بَعْدِ أَنْ أَظْفَرَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرًا
And it is He Who has restrained their hands from you and your hands from them in the belly of Makkah, after that He made you successful over them, and Allah sees well all that you do.
After attainting the condition of ‘Hurum’ i.e abiding by the ‘Ahram’ they need to do ‘tawaf’ of the House. This is the first step of the ‘Hajj’ process.
22:29 ثُمَّ لْيَقْضُوا تَفَثَهُمْ وَلْيُوفُوا نُذُورَهُمْ وَلْيَطَّوَّفُوا بِالْبَيْتِ الْعَتِيقِ
Then they should end their uncleanliness and they should complete their vows, and they should circumambulate the Ancient House.
15:87 وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَاكَ سَبْعًا مِّنَ الْمَثَانِي وَالْقُرْآنَ الْعَظِيمَ
And We have bestowed upon thee the Seven repeated ones and the Grand Al-Qur’an.
During Hajj and Umra, the 7 circles around the Kaaba are repeated by pilgrims. Pilgrim should recite ‘prayers/duas’ advised by Allah in Quran as practice of messengers and people.
18:158 إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ ۖ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا ۚ وَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ
Surely! Safa and Marwah are among the symbols of Allah, so if any who goes for Hajj or Umra of the House, It is no sin on him, that he goes round them and whoever voluntarily does good, so surely Allah is He, who is thankful and knowing
After ‘tawaf’ of ‘Kaaba’, the pilgrims perform ‘tawaf’ of ‘Safa’ and ‘Marwa’ the two raised symbols near Kaaba.
After completing Tawaf, pilgrims move to their camps and from there they present them selves in the plains of ‘Arafat’ on the day of Hajj. This is the second and most important step of ‘Hajj’ called ‘Hajj e Akbar’. During that long day of ‘Hajje Akbar’ pilgrims are advised to get rid of any idols/associates in their psychology by identifying them and symbolically stoning them in coming days of Hajj.
2:198 لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَبْتَغُوا فَضْلًا مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ۚ فَإِذَا أَفَضْتُم مِّنْ عَرَفَاتٍ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ عِندَ الْمَشْعَرِ الْحَرَامِ ۖ وَاذْكُرُوهُ كَمَا هَدَاكُمْ وَإِن كُنتُم مِّن قَبْلِهِ لَمِنَ الضَّالِّينَ
There is no blame on you if you seek of the bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage). Then when you spread from ‘Arafat’, you all remember Allah at the ‘Mash’aril Haram’, and remember Him as He has directed you, even though, before this, you were the strayers.
2:199 ثُمَّ أَفِيضُوا مِنْ حَيْثُ أَفَاضَ النَّاسُ وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
Then you shall disperse from where the people dispersed, and seek God’s forgiveness; God is surely Forgiving, Merciful.
From ‘Arafat’ people will move in large numbers towards a place called ‘Muzdalfa’. ‘Muzdalfa’ and ‘Mina’ are two small temporary dwellings close together. In Quran they are referenced as ‘Mash-aril Haram’, i.e sacred place for getting consciousness of Allah by remembering Him. In ‘Muzdalfa’, people spend the night under the open sky remembering Allah and also collect pebbles in preparation of ‘Jamrat/ceremonial stoning of so called ‘Satan’. The staying in Muzdalfa is the 3rd step of Hajj.
It is advisable to do self introspection within oneself for any psychological idols in one’s self and then imagine these idols being broken while stoning them in coming days at ‘Jamrat’. The ‘idols’ residing deep in one’s psyche are mainly emotional attachments named in Quran as ‘Desires’, ‘Longings’, ‘Pride’, ‘Love’ etc. It is only Allah who can kill the idols in your psychology by His will. The idols mentioned in Quran are detailed in previous post ( https://topicsfromquran.com/2017/08/07/ilahs-false-gods-mentioned-in-al-kitab/)
8:17 فَلَمْ تَقْتُلُوهُمْ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ قَتَلَهُمْ ۚ وَمَا رَمَيْتَ إِذْ رَمَيْتَ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ رَمَىٰ ۚ وَلِيُبْلِيَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْهُ بَلَاءً حَسَنًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
It is not you who killed them; but it was Allah who killed them. And you did not throw pebbles when you threw them but Allah did threw the pebbles in order that He might test the believers by a gracious trial. Verily Allah hears and knows (all things).
After spending night in Muzdalfa the pilgrims move to Mina and stone the Jamrat from the pebbles they collected the night before to perform 4th step of Hajj. The symbolic stoning of the three ‘Jamrat’ (commonly known as Satan) is the psychological killing of idols in one’s psyche. The ‘illahs’ and false gods reside in one’s psychology. During Hajj, when one is away from his business activities, there is an opportunity to do self retrospection and identity the idols within oneself. Only by the leave of Allah, the false gods in one’s psyche can be killed. The false gods lives in our psyche and Satan instigates them by playing with our emotions. Pilgrims throw pebbles at Satan as a symbol of casting him away and the false gods he wants us to associate with.
48:25 هُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَصَدُّوكُمْ عَنِ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَالْهَدْيَ مَعْكُوفًا أَن يَبْلُغَ مَحِلَّهُ ۚ وَلَوْلَا رِجَالٌ مُّؤْمِنُونَ وَنِسَاءٌ مُّؤْمِنَاتٌ لَّمْ تَعْلَمُوهُمْ أَن تَطَئُوهُمْ فَتُصِيبَكُم مِّنْهُم مَّعَرَّةٌ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۖ لِّيُدْخِلَ اللَّهُ فِي رَحْمَتِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ لَوْ تَزَيَّلُوا لَعَذَّبْنَا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا
They are the ones who rejected and prevented you from the Sacred Mosque and the gifts/sacrificial animals, detained from reaching their place. Had there not been believing men and believing women whom you did not know that you were trampling down and on whose account a crime would have accrued to you without (your) knowledge, that He may admit to His Mercy whom He will. If they had been apart, We should certainly have punished the Unbelievers among them with a grievous Punishment.
The group who dissuades from Hajj as being a ritualistic practice of going to Makkah; they also cut off the connection of the gift of sacrificial animals with the practice of Hajj. Allah would have punished this group, if it were not that some believing men and women are mixed up with this group. Ayas 2:196 and 22:33 establish the connection of gift of sacrificial animals with the practice of Hajj.
2:196 وَأَتِمُّوا الْحَجَّ وَالْعُمْرَةَ لِلَّهِ ۚ فَإِنْ أُحْصِرْتُمْ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْيِ ۖ وَلَا تَحْلِقُوا رُءُوسَكُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَبْلُغَ الْهَدْيُ مَحِلَّهُ ۚ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ بِهِ أَذًى مِّن رَّأْسِهِ فَفِدْيَةٌ مِّن صِيَامٍ أَوْ صَدَقَةٍ أَوْ نُسُكٍ ۚ فَإِذَا أَمِنتُمْ فَمَن تَمَتَّعَ بِالْعُمْرَةِ إِلَى الْحَجِّ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْيِ ۚ فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ فِي الْحَجِّ وَسَبْعَةٍ إِذَا رَجَعْتُمْ ۗ تِلْكَ عَشَرَةٌ كَامِلَةٌ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن لَّمْ يَكُنْ أَهْلُهُ حَاضِرِي الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ
And complete the Hajj and Umra for Allah and if you are prevented, then give it what is easy from the hadiya / gift, and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches its place. And if any of you is ill, or has an ailment in his head, (He should) in compensation either fast, or give sadaqa, or correcting act; and when you are in peaceful conditions (again), if any one wishes to continue the ‘umra on to the hajj, He must make an offering, such as he can afford, but if he cannot afford it, He should fast three days during the hajj and seven days on his return, Making ten days in all. This is for those whose household is not in (the precincts of) the Sacred Mosque. And fear Allah, and know that Allah Is strict in punishment.
After presenting the gift of sacrificial animal, the pilgrims shave their heads. After that the pilgrims go to Makkah and circulate the Kaaba seven times and perform Saa’y between hills of Safa and Marwa which is the fifth step of Hajj. They then drink from Zam-zam well and return to Mina.
Those who can not afford to offer a gift of sacrificial animal, they would compensate by fasting 3 days in Hajj and 7 more when they return home. Those who are unable to shave their heads due to some ailment they have to compensate with Sadaqa or with fasting as described above i.e three plus seven fasts.
48:27 لَّقَدْ صَدَقَ اللَّهُ رَسُولَهُ الرُّؤْيَا بِالْحَقِّ ۖ لَتَدْخُلُنَّ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ إِن شَاءَ اللَّهُ آمِنِينَ مُحَلِّقِينَ رُءُوسَكُمْ وَمُقَصِّرِينَ لَا تَخَافُونَ ۖ فَعَلِمَ مَا لَمْ تَعْلَمُوا فَجَعَلَ مِن دُونِ ذَٰلِكَ فَتْحًا قَرِيبًا
Allah has indeed fulfil the vision of His messenger with truth, If Allah wills, definitely you shall enter the Sacred/Forbidden Mosque in security without fear, your heads shaved and (Salah/Prayer) curtailed/shortened. For He knows what you know not, and He made besides that, an opening nearby.
Pilgrims then carry on from Makkah to stay in Mina for two to three days and they again stone the ‘Jamrat’ to each of the three pillars on 11th and 12th of Dhul-Hijjah, which is the sixth step of Hajj.
2:203 وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْدُودَاتٍ ۚ فَمَن تَعَجَّلَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ وَمَن تَأَخَّرَ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ لِمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ ۗ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ
And remember Allah in the appointed days. Thus if any one hastens in two days, there is no blame on him, and if any one delays, there is no blame on him, if he does it for Taqwa. And take guard of Allah, and know that you will surely be gathered towards Him.
After completing this ritual, pilgrims return to Makkah and perform the final Tawaaf of Kaaba as a ‘Farewell Tawaaf’ in Masjid al-Haram. This marks the end of Hajj.
2:200 فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُم مَّنَاسِكَكُمْ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَذِكْرِكُمْ آبَاءَكُمْ أَوْ أَشَدَّ ذِكْرًا ۗ فَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَاقٍ
So when you have completed your rites, remember Allah, as you remember your ancestors,- even more than their remembrance. There are people who say. “Our Lord! Give us (your bounties) in this world!” but they will have no portion in the Hereafter.
After completing the Hajj rites pilgrim should engage in remembrance of Allah. Allah’s remembrance should not be some repetitive chants, but more like intelligent discourse as some one who takes pride in talking about good deeds of his ancestor.
It is the usual practice of pilgrims to visit the mosque known as prophet’s (pbuh) mosque in Madinah which is about 400 km from Makkah and people witness the same blessings and atmosphere there as well. The atmosphere and blessings surrounding these two mosques are unique in the world. No other mosque in the world can boast of similar blessings which is divinely bestowed on these two mosques.
17:1 سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ
Glory to He who took His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the ‘far-off Mosque’, whose surroundings We blessed,- to show him some of Our Ayats/Signs. for He is the One Who hears and sees (all things).
There are three slight variations of Hajj depending upon if you do Umra and Hajj with one ‘ahram’ or separate and if one is resident of ‘Haram’ area. More information in Hajj booklets. An example booklet link is given below: https://www.iipccanada.com/english_pdf/hajj_pilgrimage.pdf