The Hajj, often called Hadj, Hadji, or Haj in English, is an annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which is considered to be the holiest city for Muslims. All adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of making the pilgrimage and supporting their family while they are away from home are required to perform the Hajj at least once in their lives.

A pilgrimage known as the Hajj is performed to the Kaaba, also known as the “House of God,” during the month of Dhul Hijjah, the twelfth month in the Islam calendar. It is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, along with Sahada (oath to God) Salat (prayer), Zakat (almsgiving), and Sawm (fasting of Ramadan).

The Hajj serves as a symbol of the Muslim community’s unity and commitment to God (Allah). The meaning of the word “Hajj,” which means “to attend a voyage,” encompasses both the outer act of traveling and the inner act of having intentions.

Hajj In Islam

Hajj in Islam is a chance to renew our faith in Allah (SWT), purify ourselves of our sins, and face a spiritual, emotional, and physical struggle.

According to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him):

“Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of Allah and does not utter any obscene speech or do any evil deed, will go back (free of sin) as his mother bore him.” (Bukhari; Muslim)

However, it’s crucial to make as much preparation as you can before leaving due to the physical demands of each stage of the Hajj and the spiritual ceremonies.

Allah (SWT) commands us to undertake this sacrificial pilgrimage in the Holy Qur’an:

“You will enter the Sacred Masjid, God willing, perfectly secure, and you will cut your hair or shorten it (as you fulfill the pilgrimage rituals) there. You will not have any fear. Since He knew what you did not know, He has coupled this with an immediate victory.” (48:27)

This holy pilgrimage is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many people. It will undoubtedly go down in history!

What Is Hajj-e-Akbar?

Various Islamic jurists have different perspectives on the Hajj-e-Akbar. The widely held belief is that Hajj-e-Akbar is the name of the day on which the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) conducted the Hajj. When that Hajj was performed, it was a Friday.

Therefore, the Muslims refer to the Hajj that occurs on Friday as Hajj-e-Akbar to revive the remembrance of the Hajj done by the Beloved and Blessed Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

What Is Hajj-e-Mabroor?

The primary indicator of a “Hajj Mabroor” or “accepted Haj” is when one’s life improves after returning from the pilgrimage. He completely perfects his punctuality in carrying out Allah’s Almighty commandments. His love and propensity for the Hereafter grow, while his affection for earthly pleasures decreases.

Therefore, the pilgrim must exercise caution in all of his deeds and make every effort to instill in himself virtues and abstain from all forms of evil. He should make every effort to follow the rules set forth by Allah and abstain from everything He forbids.

Why do Muslims go on Hajj?

Every capable Muslim must perform the Hajj pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. Additionally, it is said that Muslims can purge their sins and start over in front of Allah (SWT) by traveling.

Although the Hajj is linked to the life of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, who lived in the seventh century AD, Muslims believe that the tradition of making the pilgrimage to Mecca dates back thousands of years, to the time of Abraham.

Muslims believe that Allah told Ibrahim (AS) to leave his wife Hajar and son Ismail alone in the desert of ancient Mecca. Hajar frantically sprinted seven times between the two hills of Safa and Marwah in quest of water but came up empty-handed. She watched the infant scraping the ground with his leg as she returned to Ismail in despair, and a water fountain appeared nearby.

This is the Zamzam Well, which is located in Mecca’s Masjid al-Haram. While undertaking the Hajj or the Umrah, pilgrims go to the well to sip its water.

Millions of people congregate in Mecca during the week of the Hajj in procession during the Hajj and pilgrims perform many rituals.

The 7 Stages Of Hajj

The 7 main rituals of the Hajj pilgrimage include:

1. Ihram

When pilgrims arrive in Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage, they enter the state of ihram (purity). Males are required to dress in the ihram, which consists of two white, seamless sheets wrapped over the body. Since there are no overt indications of class, income, rank, or culture, the dress also represents equality and unity in addition to purity.

Women are subject to fewer restrictions and typically wear all-white clothing, leaving only their hands and faces exposed.

Pilgrims must refrain from cutting their hair or nails, engaging in sexual activity, arguing, or fighting while they are in the state of ihram, among other things.

2. Tawaf

In Masjid Al-Haram, participants circle the Kaaba (the cube-shaped structure that serves as the direction of prayer for all Muslims) seven times in the counterclockwise direction. The most revered place in Islam is the Ka’aba, which was constructed by Ibrahim (AS).

3. Al-Safa & Al-Marwa

As Hajar did when looking for water, pilgrims traverse the mountains of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah seven times.

4. Mount Arafat

Pilgrims then travel to the plains of Mount Arafat, where the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) delivered his last sermon.

5. Stoning The Devil

After Arafat, pilgrims travel to Muzdalifah and then Mina to carry out a symbolic stoning ceremony that involves throwing stones at three barriers known as jamarat. This represents how the devil tried to get Ibrahim (AS) to turn away from Allah, but he was repelled when the prophet flung stones at him three times.

6. Eid ul Adha

The three-day festival of Eid ul Adha begins on the tenth day of the month of Dhu-al-Hijja (the Feast of Sacrifice). The pilgrims finish their Hajj by performing the ritual of animal sacrifice (Qurbani) and other ceremonies.

7. Qurbani

Qurbani is also known as Udiyah in Arabic, honors the sacrifice Ibrahim (AS) was prepared to make of his son Ismail (AS) for Allah, who spared the boy by sending down a ram to take his place.

Who Should Perform Hajj?

The hajj is performed by about two million people annually, and by bringing Muslims from all backgrounds together in religious celebration, it acts as a unifying force in the religion. After completing the journey, a believer may change his or her name and add the titles “hajj” or “hajji” (for a male) or “hajjah” (for a female). If the pilgrimage is correctly carried out, the true believer is said to have their former sins forgiven.

Every Muslim who is physically capable, mentally stable, and financially capable is required by Islam to perform the Hajj at least once during their lifetime. Those who finish the trip might call themselves “Hajjis.”

The word “hajj,” which means “to intend a voyage” in Arabic, is what gives the pilgrimage its name. Children are not required to perform the Hajj since they are not yet deemed capable.

Significance Of Hajj

Muslims view the Hajj as having both religious and social significance. Only if the pilgrimage is made between the eighth and twelfth day of the last month of the Islamic calendar is it considered to have been completed.

An adult Muslim must perform the Hajj in the same year if they are in good health and their lives and possessions are secure. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, delaying it is deemed wicked.

In addition to being a required religious obligation, the Hajj is thought to provide spiritual benefits that give Muslims a chance to rejuvenate themselves. When Muslims believe people will stand before God on the Day of Judgement, Hajj acts as a reminder of that event.

Literature-based on Muhammad’s hadiths (sayings) details the numerous rewards a pilgrim receives for performing the Hajj successfully. Regardless of ethnicity, color, or culture, the hajj also unites and brings together Muslims from all over the world, serving as a symbol of equality.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *