What Is Hajj? | Definition, Merits, & Facts

Hajj | Definition, Merits, & Facts

What is Hajj in Islam? now we will answer this question.

Hajj (pilgrimage) is worshipping Allah by going to Makkah (Mecca in Saudi Arabia) at fixed times to perform the rites of Hajj. Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. they come once a year to worship Allah at Mecca.

During the months of pilgrimage, violence was forbidden within Mecca and this allowed trade to flourish. As a result, Mecca became an important commercial center in the world.

The Hajj now attracts about three million pilgrims every year from across the whole world coming to Mecca. Hajj is the unique annual mass that is obligatory once in a lifetime.

Merits and secrets of Hajj:

1- Hajj (pilgrimage) is a practical manifestation of Islamic brotherhood and the unity of the Islamic ummah whereby differences in races, colors, languages, countries, and social class vanish and the reality of servitude to Allah and brotherhood becomes prominent. All the people wear the same clothes, they face the same qiblah and they worship one God.

2- Hajj is a school where a Muslim becomes accustomed to patience and remembers the Day of Judgment and its horrors. He feels the sweetness of servitude to Allah, he knows the greatness of His Lord and the entire creation’s need of Him.

3- Hajj is a great time to earn rewards and expiation of sins. A servant stands before His Lord affirming His Oneness, acknowledging his sins and his inability to fulfill the rights of His Lord. Thus he will return from Hajj clean from his sins like he was the day he was born.

4- In Hajj there is a reminder of the conditions of the prophets and their acts of worship, their da‘wah, their jihad, and their manners. A Muslim also gets accustomed to separation from his wife and children.

5- Hajj (pilgrimage) is a scale by which the Muslims know the condition of each other, and their condition in terms of knowledge, ignorance, richness, poverty, uprightness, and deviation. Hajj brings out their qualities and it is a sign of their unity.

The borders of the sacred territory of Mecca:

  • The Western side: Ash-Shumaysi (Al-Hudaybiyyah) and it lies 22 kilometers away from the Sacred Mosque on the road to Jeddah.
  • The Eastern side: The Western bank of the ‘Uranah valley is located 15 kilometers away from the Sacred Mosque and the road to Taif passes through this place.
  • From the side of Ju‘ranah, the border is Shara’i‘ al-Mujahideen and it is situated 16 kilometers away from the Sacred Mosque.
  • The northern side: At-Tanim, which is approximately 7 kilometers away from the Sacred Mosque.
  • The southern side: Adah Lin, on the road to Yemen, and it is approximately 12 kilometers away from the Sacred Mosque.

Upon whom is Hajj compulsory:

pilgrimage is compulsory for a capable person.
A capable Muslim is a healthy person, capable of traveling, with provision and transportation which enables him to perform Hajj and return to his home.

Enough money should remain with the Muslim intending to perform Hajj after paying for the necessary things like debts which are due, and legitimate expenditure for himself and his family.

Whoever is capable of performing Hajj physically and financially, it is compulsory for him to perform Hajj physically. Whoever can afford pilgrimage financially but cannot physically perform it, it is incumbent upon him to appoint someone who will make Hajj on his behalf.

Whoever is capable of performing Hajj but does not have the financial capability to do so, Hajj is not compulsory on him.

The requirement to perform Hajj falls away from whoever is physically and financially incapable of performing Hajj.

It is permissible for a person who has no money to take funds from Zakah to perform Hajj because Hajj is an endeavor in the cause of Allah.

If a Muslim upon whom pilgrimage is incumbent dies without performing it, some money should be taken out of his estate to finance a Muslim to make Hajj on his behalf.

pilgrimage is not compulsory for a woman except if she has a mahram like her father, son, or husband and so on to accompany her on the journey.

Allah  said:

‚And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves – then indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds.‛

[Surah Al-Imran (3):97]


It’s is the intention to start the rites of Hajj or umrah.

The wisdom of ihram:
Allah has put borders and Miqats for His Sacred House which Muslims who intend to go to the sacred territory of Mecca cannot pass except in a specific state and intention.

The place for wearing ihram:

The Sunnah is that the clothes for ihram should be worn after a ritual bath at the Miqat. The ihram for men is an Izar, Rida’ and sandals.

It is permissible for Muslims whose house is near the Miqat like the people of Madinah and Taif to wear the ihram clothes from his house, then enter the state of ihram from the Miqat. This ruling applies to those who travel by air on their journey to Mecca.

It is Sunnah for Muslims entering the state of Ihram to mention the rites that he wants to engage in.

-Thus a person going for umrah says:
لبيك عمرة
‚I am here before You, O My Lord to perform umrah.

-A person intending to perform the Ifrad Hajj says:
لبيك حجا
‚I am here before You, O My Lord to perform Hajj.

-If he is to perform a Qiran Hajj, he should say:
لبيك عمرة وحجا
‚I am here before You, O My Lord to perform Hajj and umrah.

-If he wants to perform Tamattu‘ Hajj, he should say:
لبيك عمرة
‚I am here before You, O My Lord to perform umrah

The form of Talbiyah:

It is Sunnah for Muslims who are in the state of ihram that after entering that state, or when he sits on his riding animal after praising Allah the Exalted, making Tasbih and Takbir, he should say:

I respond to Your call O Allah, I respond to Your call, and I am obedient to Your orders, You have no
partner, I respond to Your call All the praises and blessings are for You, All the sovereignty is for You,
And You have no partners with you.

Actions that are compulsory upon the Muslim performing pilgrimage:

It is compulsory for the Muslim performing Hajj or Umrah to perform the rites as they were done by the Prophet, or in the way that he ordered that they should be performed so that these acts of worship can be accepted.

It is incumbent on the Muslim performing Hajj and others to strive in doing acts of worship, avoiding prohibited things, to guard the tongue from lying, backbiting, arguments, and bad manners. He should choose good companions and take lawful, pure wealth for his pilgrimage and umrah.

Prohibited Acts for a Muhrim whether he is male or female:

1- Shaving the hair or clipping it.
2- Cutting the nails.
3- Men are not allowed to cover their heads.
4- Men are not allowed to wear sewn clothes.
Sewn clothes: are those which have been sewn according to the size of the whole body like a shirt, or those which have been sewn according to the size of the upper half of the body like a vest, or those which have been sewn according to the size of the lower half of the body like the trousers, or what has been sewn according to the size of a part of the body, like gloves for the hands and khuffs for the feet, and a turban, Taqiyah
(Muslim cap or topi) and the like for the head.
5- Using perfume and incense on the body or clothing in any manner.
6- Killing the permitted game of the land or hunting it.
7- Contracting a marriage.
8- A woman should not cover her face with a niqab or burqa or the like, nor should she cover her hands with gloves.
9- A man should not touch his wife in areas other than the private parts. If he ejaculates because of touching (and embracing his wife without engaging in sexual intercourse) his state of ihram and pilgrimage do not become invalid. However, he is guilty of a great sin, and it is incumbent upon him to take a ritual bath, repent, ask for Allah’s forgiveness and complete his rites.
10- Sexual intercourse, and is the most serious of the prohibited things in ihram in terms of the gravity of the sin.
11- A muhrim should avoid having sexual relations, committing sins, (unjustified) disputes, and squabbles.

What is done to a Muhrim if he dies:

Whoever died while he is performing pilgrimage or umrah, the remaining actions of Hajj or umrah should not be done on his behalf. He should be buried in the clothes that he died in because he will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment while saying Talbiyah.
Whoever dies while not performing prayers at all; then it is not permissible to make Hajj on his behalf or give charity on his behalf because he is an apostate.

Ibn ‘Abbas narrated:
‚A man was killed by his camel while we were with the Prophet  and he was a muh}rim. So the Prophet said, “Wash him with water and lotus leaves and shroud him in two pieces of cloth and neither perfume him nor cover his head, for Allah will resurrect him on the Day of Resurrection and he will be saying the talbiyah.‛

The source is Summarized Islamic Fiqh For Sheikh Mohamed Ibrahim Toijery

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