Pilgrimage (Hajj)

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Pilgrimage (Hajj)

Hajj is one of the most important doctrines of religion and a great pillar of Islam. Hajj (pilgrimage) means visiting the House of Allah (the Ka'bah) in Makkah, and performing all those ceremonial rites and rituals which have been ordered to be performed there. The detailed rules regarding Hajj are described in chapter al-Hajj of the Holy Quran:

“And when We assigned to Abraham a place of the House saying: Behold; we gave the site to Abraham, of the sacred house saying: Do not associate anything with Me and purify My house for those who make the circuit around it, or stand up, or bow, or prostrate themselves. And proclaim the Pilgrimage among the people: they will come to you on foot and on every camel, lean on account of journeys through every remote path. That they may witness the benefits for them, and celebrate the name of Allah, during the appointed days, over the cattle which He has provided for them (for sacrifice): then you eat thereof and feed the distressed ones in want. Then let them complete the rites prescribed for them, perform their vows, and circumambulate the Ancient House.” (verses 26-29)

Hajj is the great international gathering of the Muslims. There is no such institution in any other religion of the world. This shows that Islam is the final religion of mankind and it is for all peoples and races. On the occasion of Hajj, all nations of the earth gather together, forgetting all differences of race and nationality, rank and riches, and stand forth all in one dress, as ordinary human beings before the Almighty Allah. This shows and reminds the Muslims that they are all equals, that no one in Islam is great or small, except by his deeds.

Allah (S.W.T.) said in the holy Quran:

“Verily, the first house made for mankind is the one in Makkah, blessed and a guidance for the worlds. In it are the clear signs, the standing place of Abraham. Whoever enters it is secure, and for God mankind is required to make the pilgrimage to the house if they can able to travel thither, and whoever denies, then verily God is Self-Sufficient, above any need of the worlds”. (chapter Aal-e-Imran, verses 96-97)

Rule no.2037. Hajj (Pilgrimage) means visiting the House of Allah (the Ka'bah), and performing all those acts of worship which have been ordered to be performed there. It is obligatory on a person once in his lifetime, provided that he fulfils the following conditions:

(1) He should be adult.

(2) He should be sane and free, that is, he should not be insane and should not be a slave.

(3) Because of proceeding for Hajj, he should not be obliged to commit a prohibited act, avoidance of which is more important than Hajj, nor should he be compelled to forsake an obligatory work which is more important than Hajj.

(4) He should be capable of performing Hajj, and this depends upon number of factors:

(a) He should possess provisions and means for transportation, or he should have enough money to buy them.

(b) He should be healthy and strong enough to go to Makkah and perform Hajj.

(c) There should be no obstacle on the way. If the way is closed, or if a person fears that he will lose his life, or honour, while travelling to Makkah, or he will be robbed of his property, it is not obligatory on him to perform Hajj. But if he can reach Makkah by another route, he should go to perform Hajj, even if the other route is a longer one.

(d) He should have enough time to reach Makkah, and to perform all the acts of worship in Hajj.

(e) He should possess sufficient money to meet the expenses of his dependents whose maintenance is obligatory on him, such as his wife and children, as well as the expenses of those whom people consider it necessary for him to meet.

(f) On return from Hajj, he should have some means of livelihood, like farming, income from the property, business, employment etc. so that he may not lead a life of hardship.

Rule no.2038. When a person is in need of owning a house, performance of Hajj will be obligatory on him if he also possesses money for the house.

Rule no.2039. If a woman can go to Makkah but does not have any means of support on her return, for example, her husband is also poor and cannot provide her subsistence, subjecting her to hard life, Hajj will not be obligatory on her.

Rule no.2040. If a person does not possess necessary provisions for the journey, nor any means of transport, and another person asks him to go for Hajj undertaking to meet his expenses as well as of his family during his Hajj, and he (i.e. the person who is asked to go for Hajj) is satisfied with what the other man offers, Hajj becomes obligatory on him.

Rule no.2041. If a person is offered the expenses of his return journey to Makkah, as well as the expenses of his family during that period, on a condition that he will perform Hajj, and if he accepts this condition, Hajj becomes obligatory on him, even if he is indebted and does not possess means of support with which to lead his life after his return.

Rule no.2042. If a person is given expenses of going to and returning from Makkah, and the expenses of his family during that period, and is asked to go to Hajj, but that help is not given as his property, performance of Hajj becomes obligatory on him.

Rule no.2043. If a person is given an amount to cover expenses just sufficient for Hajj, with a condition that on his way to Makkah he will serve the person who gave the expenses, Hajj does not become obligatory on him.

Rule no.2044. If a person is given as much amount that Hajj becomes obligatory on him, and he performs Hajj with it, even if he himself later becomes wealthy, another Hajj will not become obligatory on him.

Rule no.2045. If a person goes, for example, to Jeddah in connection with trade, and acquires sufficient money to go to Makkah, he should perform Hajj. And if he performs Hajj, performance of another Hajj will not be obligatory on him, even if he later acquires enough wealth to enable to go to Makkah from his hometown.

Rule no.2046. If a person is hired to perform Hajj on behalf of another person, but he cannot go for Hajj himself, and wishes to send someone else, he should seek permission from the person who hired him.

Rule no.2047. If a person could afford to perform Hajj but did not perform it, and then became poor, he should perform Hajj even though it will be hard for him. And if he is not at all able to go for Hajj, and if another person hires him for Hajj, he should go to Makkah and perform Hajj on behalf of the person who has hired him. He should then remain in Makkah for a year, and perform his own Hajj. But, if it is possible that he is hired and given his wages in cash, and the person who hires him agrees that he may perform Hajj on his behalf next year, he should perform his own Hajj in the first year, and that on behalf of the person who has hired him in the second year.

Rule no.2048. If a person goes to Makkah in the year in which he becomes capable of performing Hajj, but cannot reach Arafat and Mash'arul-Haram at the prescribed time, and cannot afford to go for Hajj during the succeeding years, Hajj is not obligatory on him. But, if he could afford to go for Hajj in the earlier years, and did not go, he should perform Hajj in spite of all difficulties.

Rule no.2049. If a person did not perform Hajj in the year in which he became capable of going to Hajj, and cannot perform Hajj now owing to old age, or ailment, or weakness, and does not expect that in the future he will be able to perform Hajj, he should send someone else to perform Hajj on his behalf. In fact, even if he does not lose hope, the obligatory precaution is that he should hire a person. And when he becomes capable afterwards, he should perform Hajj himself also. And the same applies if a person becoming capable of going for Hajj for the first time is prevented to perform Hajj because of old age, ailment or weakness, and loses hope of gaining strength. In all these cases, however, he should, as an obligatory precaution, hire a person who is going for Hajj for the first time (and has not performed Hajj before).

Rule no.2050. A person who has been hired by another person to perform Hajj should perform Tawaf-un-Nisa for himself, failing which his own wife (i.e. the wife of the hired person) becomes prohibited for him, as a recommended precaution, he should also perform Tawaf-un-Nisa on behalf of the person who has hired him.

2051. If a person does not perform Tawaf-un-Nisa correctly, or forgets to perform it, and if he remembers it after a few days and returns to perform it, his action is in order. And if his returning is difficult for him, he can depute another person to perform the Tawaf on his behalf.