What Is Hajj in Islam.
Hajj means traveling for the purpose of visiting the Ka’bah, the sacred House of Allaah, to perform the rites (manaasik), i.e., the actions and words reported in accounts of the Prophet’s Hajj, such as Tawaaf or walking around the Ka’bah seven times, al-Saa’ee or running between the hills of Safaa’ and Marwa seven times, standing at ‘Arafaah, stoning the Jamaraat (stone pillars representing the Shaytaan) at Mina, etc. Hajj brings immense benefits to people, as they declare the Unity (Tawheed) of Allaah, there is forgiveness for the pilgrims, Muslims get to know one another and learn the rules of their religion, and so on.
What is the Benefit of Hajj?
1. It is undertaking one of the pillars of Islam without which it is not complete. This is indicative of its importance and shows that Allah loves it.
2. It is a kind of jihad for the sake of Allah; hence Allah mentions it after the verses of jihad. And it is proven in al-Saheeh that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) when she asked him whether jihad is obligatory for women, “Yes, for them there is a jihad in which there is no fighting, Hajj and ‘Umrah.”
3. There is an immense reward for the one who does it in the prescribed manner. It is narrated in a saheeh report that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “An accepted pilgrimage brings no less a reward than Paradise.” And he said: “Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any obscenity or commit any evil will go back (free of) sin as on the day his mother bore him”. And it was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (RA) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The pilgrims performing Hajj and ‘Umrah are the guests of Allah; if they call upon Him He will answer them, and if they ask Him for forgiveness He will forgive them.” Narrated by al-Nasaa’i and Ibn Maajah.
4. In Hajj, remembrance of Allah is established, He is venerated and some rituals are carried out, such as reciting the Talbiyah, circumambulating the Ka‘bah (tawaaf), going between al-Safa and al-Marwah (saa‘i), standing in Arafat, staying overnight in Muzdalifah and stoning the Jamrah, along with what accompanies that of dhikr (remembrance of Allah), takbeer (proclaiming His greatness) and venerating Him. In the hadeeth it is narrated that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Circumambulation of the Ka‘bah, going between al-Safa and al-Marwah and stoning the Jimaar have only been prescribed to establish the remembrance of Allah.”
5. During Hajj, Muslims from all parts of the world come together and show their love for one another and get to know one another. That is also accompanied by exhortations, guiding towards truth, and encouraging people to adhere to it.
6. Muslims demonstrate unity in time, place, actions, and appearance. All of them stand in the different locations of Hajj at the same time, doing the same actions, wearing the same clothes (the izaar and Rida’), with humbleness before Allah, may He be glorified and exalted.
7. The season of Hajj brings a great deal of good in both spiritual and worldly terms, as the Muslims may benefit by coming together, learning from one another, and doing business. Hence Allah, may He be exalted, said (interpretation of the meaning): “That they may witness things that are of benefit to them” [al-Hajj 22:28]. This includes both spiritual and worldly benefits.
8. It includes offering both obligatory and mustahabb sacrifices, which demonstrate respect for the rituals prescribed by Allah, and eating from the meat and giving some in charity to the poor.
The benefits and hidden wisdom of Hajj are many.
Who should go on the Hajj?
– Being Muslim: This applies to all acts of worship because worship done by a kaafir is not valid. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And nothing prevents their contributions from being accepted from them except that they disbelieved in Allaah and in His Messenger”
– Being of sound mind and being an adult: They must be of sound mind and physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey.
– Being free: Free from work and he is not a slave. He does not have responsibility towards his job or his owner, because he is distracted by his duties towards his master. Also, the money that he uses to reach the sacred House should be surplus to his basic needs, the spending enjoined on him by sharee’ah, and what he needs to pay off his debts. If a person has a debt, and he does not have enough money to both do Hajj and pay off the debt, then he should pay off the debt first and he does not have to go for Hajj.
What is Ruling for women to go to Hajj?
Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: This action – Hajj without a mahram – is haraam because of the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, when he was delivering a sermon, “No woman should travel except with a mahram.” A man stood up and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, my wife has set out for Hajj, and I have signed up for such-and-such a military campaign.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Go and do Hajj with your wife.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3006; Muslim, 1341.
So it is not permissible for a woman to travel without a mahram. A mahram is a man whom she is forever forbidden to marry because of blood ties or for a permissible reason. This is also subject to the condition that he be an adult of sound mind. A minor child cannot be a mahram, and neither can one who is not of sound mind. The reason for a mahram’s presence being required is so that he can look after her and protect her so that she will not be bothered by those who do not fear Allaah and do not show mercy to the slaves of Allaah.
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When Is Hajj?
The pilgrimage must take place during the month of Dhu al-Hajj, the last month of the Islamic calendar. The rites of Hajj are performed from the 8th to the 12th of Dhu al Hijjah.
As the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar year, the date changes in the Gregorian calendar each year, and is 10 to 11 days earlier than the preceding year.
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