In the name of Allah, the most Merciful, the most Beneficent
Hajj is the fifth of the five “PILLARS” (Arkan) of Islam. It was made Fard on the 9th Hijra, after the revelation of the Ayah; translation:
“Hence Hajj to this Bait (House) is a duty owed to Allah by all people who are able to undertake it. And as for those who deny the truth – Allah does not stand in need of anything in all the worlds”. 3.97
It is a duty obligatory on every Muslim, man or woman, who has reached the age of puberty and is sound of mind to perform the Hajj once in his or her lifetime provided that they have the means to do so. The very fact that Hajj is Fard and Umrah is Sunnatul Mu’akkadah only once in a person’s lifetime, makes it all the more imperative on them to acquaint themselves thoroughly, with the procedure of performing Hajj and Umrah. Moreover Hajj has very specific “MANASIK” (rites and ceremonies), that are to be performed strictly in a given sequence of time and place and the errors made even inadvertently are not condoned and are liable to Jaza. You may commit an error and you may even not know that your Hajj is impaired. So much about the form of Hajj. Its soul that lies in absolute surrender to the will of Allah actuated by the divine love and devotion, is still harder to come by. But what often happens is this that an ordinary pilgrim takes it lightly and gets little benefit out of his arduous journey that also entails great expenses on him.
Literally, in Arabic, Hajj means “a resolve”, i.e., to resolve to some magnificent duty.
As a technical term in Shari’ah (Islamic Law), Hajj is the name of those acts which are performed after entering into the state of Ihram with the Niyyah (intention) of Hajj. They comprise Fard (necessary duty), Tawaf (circumambulation of Ka’bah), Wuquf (stay) at Arafat and some Wajibat (obligatory actions) which are performed in a given order at appointed times.
All the rites and ceremonies of Hajj are the acts actuated by the ecstasy and divine madness of love. But this does not mean that a pilgrim will have to face no difficulties and hardships while performing them. This simply means that the rites of Hajj are the acts of a person in love and while performing them, he is so happily engrossed in achieving the favor and nearness of his beloved Allah, that he tramples down all the thorns of the way smilingly, and becomes an embodiment of patience and submission. In spite of all the facilities that a pilgrim can possibly have while performing Hajj, there always be some difficulties and hardships. Therefore, to seek the pleasure and nearness of Allah he should bear them all patiently. Rasulullah says, “To endure hardship in Hajj is like enduring hardship in Jihad (fighting for the cause of Allah). Therefore, he who patiently bears hardships and difficulties will have a great recompense in the hereafter, his efforts will not go unrewarded” (Ittihaf).
Before proceeding for Hajj, a pilgrim should feel that in response to the call of his Master, His bondsman intends to kiss His threshold and leaves his home in the hope of being accepted. He should leave his home in the spirit as if he is leaving this world. If he has been unkind or unjust to a person or has hurt him, he should crave his forgiveness and if he has deprived a person of his due or rightful claim, he should redress it.
He should offer supererogatory Salah (Nafl comprising two Rak’at) with the intention of Tawbah (repentance for his sins), then he should send Durud (blessings) and Salam (salutations) on Rasulullah , should sincerely repent all his past sins and misdeeds, whether great or small, should recite Istighfar (O Allah forgive me) and should make a firm determination that he would never commit sins again (Insha Allah).
“HAJJ” AS A DUTY AND ITS KINDS
Hajj is Fard (a duty necessary) on every Muslim, man or woman, who has reached the age of 13 puberty and who has means to do so. The person who performs it gets Thawab (recompense) for it, and he, who does not perform it (in spite of means) is Fasiq (a sinner) and he will be punished for it in the hereafter and he, who denies that it is a Fard, becomes Kafir (an infidel).
It is narrated by Hadrat Ali that Rasulullah said, “A person who has the provision for Hajj and has the conveyance that can take him to Baitullah (the House of Allah) and even then he does not perform Hajj, it makes no difference whether he dies a Jew or a Christian and this is because Allah says that Hajj of Baitullah is Fard on those who have the means to do so” (Tirmidhi).
Those who do not perform Hajj are worth reprimanding while those who perform it without knowing the Arkan (ordinances of Shari’ah) and what they are supposed to do, also deserve the same. Everyone knows that nothing can be achieved without learning. How pitiable it is that they do not care a little to learn about Ibadah (acts of worship) that is Fard on them and is prescribed only once in their life time, and that they do nothing to embalm their hearts with the love of Allah and Rasulullah .
It is narrated by Hadrat Abu Hurayrah that Rasulullah said, “The person who performed Hajj just to please Allah and abstained from lustful acts, wickedness and sins of all sorts, shall return from it pure and sinless as he was at the time of his birth”.
“Al-Hajjul Mabrur” is the Hajj during which a pilgrim neither commits any sin nor anything that is forbidden in the state of Ihram. After performing Hajj, he becomes indifferent to the worldliness and the life of the next world attracts him more. And some scholars are of the opinion that “Al-Hajjul Mabrur” is yet another name for the Hajj that is “Maqbul” (accepted and approved by Allah) and its sign is this that after performing it, a person is more prone to do good and to abstain from sin. (Hayat, Umdatul Fiqh)
Hajj is Fard on a Muslim, only once in his lifetime, provided he has the means to perform it, that is after paying his debt, including Mahr (dowry), he has enough money necessary for his journey to Makkah and back home, for his stay there and for the sustenance of his family during his absence. A house, household effects and personal garments are included in the daily necessities of life. If a person has money, as detailed above, Hajj is Fard on him, and he is a sinner, if he delays it. The common belief that Hajj is not Fard on a person who has an unmarried daughter, till she is married, is absolutely wrong, and also that a person, before proceeding on Hajj, must set aside enough wealth for the dowry of his unmarried daughter.
The Hajj is not Fard on a woman, who neither has her own independent income, nor she has saved enough money of her own, to be able to perform Hajj. However, if her husband has enough wealth to take his wife and children along with him, he can certainly do so. But a man ought not delay his Hajj until he saves enough money so as to take his wife also with him. Hajj is Fard on that woman also who has personal ornaments, that she can sell and meet her own expenses and those of her Mahram ( a male relative with whom marriage is forbidden).
A Hadith says, “Hasten to perform Hajj, for who knows about the future. You may fall ill or may be forced by some need to forgo Hajj”. Another Hadith says, “Hajj has precedence over Nikah (to get married)” (Kunz, Fadail-e-Hajj).
Some people have wrongly publicized that Hajj becomes Fard on a person, who has performed Umrah. Hajj is not Fard on a person who does not have enough wealth to perform it, even if he has performed Umrah in the months of Hajj.
Talbiya for Hajj –
لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ ، لَبَّيْكَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ ، لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ
“I am present, O Allah, I am present, there is no partner unto You. I am present. Definitely praise and glory is yours (for You). The Kingdom is also Yours. There is no partner for You”.
Jazak Allahu Khairan