What Is Hajj: The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by adult Muslims, who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence.
So, in today’s article we will resolve your question on what is hajj? as many of you will be going for hajj and wanted to know that what is hajj thought Islamic scholars.
What Is Hajj
It is one of the five pillars of Islam, alongside shahada, Salah, zakah and saúm. The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslims, and their submission to Allah. The word Hajj means “to intend a journey”, which connotes both the outward act of a journey and the inward act of intentions.
The pilgrimage occurs from the 8th to 12th of Dul Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar.
Ihram is the name given to the special spiritual state in which pilgrims wear two white sheets of seamless cloth and abstain from certain actions.
The Hajj is associated with the life of prophet Muhammad (S) from the 7th century, but the ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca is considered by Muslims to stretch back thousands of years to the time of Ibrahim. (A/S)
During Hajj, pilgrims join processions of hundreds of thousands of people, who simultaneously converge on Mecca for the week of the Hajj, and perform a series of rituals: each person walks counter-clockwise seven times around the Kabah (the cube-shaped building and the direction of prayer for the Muslims).
Runs back and forth between the hills of Safa and Marwah goes to the plains of Arafat to stand in vigil, spends a night in the plain of Muzdalifah, and performs symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing stones at three pillars at Mina.
The pilgrims then shave their heads, perform a ritual of animal sacrifice, and celebrate the three-day global Islamic festival of Eid ul Ad’ha.
The present pattern of Hajj was described by prophet Muhammad (S) However, according to the Quran, elements of Hajj trace back to the time of Ibrahim (A/S) around 2000 BCE. According to Islam, Ibrahim was ordered by Allah to leave his wife Hajarah and his son Ismaeel alone in the desert of ancient Mecca. In search of water, Hajarah desperately ran seven times between the two hills of Safa and Marwah but found none.
Returning in despair to Ismaeel, she saw the baby hitting the ground with his knee and a water fountain sprang forth underneath his foot. Later, Ibrahim was commanded to build the Kabah and to invite people to perform pilgrimage there. The Quran refers to these incidents in verses 124-127/2 and27-30/22. The archangel Jibraeel brought the black stone from Heaven to be attached to the Kabah.
The last prophet Muhammad (S) performed his only and last Hajj in the last year of his age with a large number of followers, and taught them the rites of Hajj.
TIMING OF HAJJ
The date of Hajj is determined by the Islamic Hijri calendar. Every year, the events of Hajj take place in a five-day period, starting on 8 and ending on 12 Dul Hijja, the twelfth and last month of the Islamic calendar. Hajj 2017 will start on 30, August, 2017.
Among these five days, the 9th Dul Hijja is known as Day of Arafaat and this day is called the day of Hajj.
When the pilgrims reach the appropriate Miqaat (depending on where they’re coming from), they enter into a state of holiness – known as Ihram– that consists of wearing two white seamless cloths for the male, with the one wrapped around the waist reaching below the knee and the other draped over the left shoulder and tied at the right side;
Wearing ordinary dress for the female that fulfills the Islamic condition of dress with hands or face uncovered taking ablution; declaring the intention (niyah) to perform pilgrimage and to refraining from certain activities such as clipping the nails, shaving any part of the body, having sexual relations; using perfumes, damaging plants, killing animals, covering head (for men) or the face and hands (for women); or carrying weapons.
The ihram is meant to show equality of all pilgrims in front of Allah, there is no difference between the rich and the poor. On the 8th Dul-Hijjah, the pilgrims are reminded of their duties.
DIRECTION OF TAWAF
Tawaf involves walking seven times counterclockwise around the Kaaba. Upon arriving at al-masjid al haram pilgrims perform an arrival tawaf either as part of Umrah or as a welcome tawaf. During tawaf, pilgrims also include Hateem – an area at the north side of the Kaaba – inside their path.
Each circuit starts with the kissing or touching of the Black Stone (Hajar al- Aswad). If kissing the stone is not possible because of the crowds, they may simply point towards the stone with their hand on each circuit. Men are encouraged to perform the first three circuits at a hurried pace, known as Ramal, and the following four at a more leisurely pace.
Although the circuits around the Kaaba are traditionally done on the ground level, Tawaf is now also performed on the first floor and roof of the mosque because of the large crowds.
TWO RAKAATS AFTER TAWAF
The completion of Tawaf is followed by two rakaats prayers at the Maqam e Ibrahim, a site near the Kabah inside the mosque. However, again because of large crowds they may instead pray anywhere in the mosque.
SAYI OF SAFA AND MARWAH
Tawaf is followed by Sayi running or walking seven times between the hills of safa and marwah located near the Kabah, previously in open air, the place is now entirely enclosed by the Sacred Mosque, and can be accessed via air-conditioned tunnels.
Pilgrims are advised to walk the circuit, though two green pillars mark a short section of the path where they run. There is also an internal “express lane” for the disabled.
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FROM MAKKAH TO MAKKAH VIA MINA, MUZDALIFAH AND ARAFAAT
After welcome tawaf (tawaf e qudoom) during Hajj, pilgrims go to mina on 8th Dul Hijja in the morning after getting the guidance about activities of Hajj from imam, where they stay a whole day, In the next morning they go to the plains of Arafat to join the speech of Ameer e hajj where they stay after declining the sun till the sun set.
They perform two prayers of zuhr and asr in the time of zuhr, after maghrib without offering the maghrib Salah, they started out to spend a night in the plain of Muzdalifah, they perform their maghrib and isha prayer in the time of isha and spend that night in Muzdalifah praying to god and asking him.
The time of wuqoof e muzdalifa starts at fajr. After fajr prayer in the morning of 10th Dul hijja pilgrims comeback to Mina before the sun rise and perform symbolic stoning by throwing 21 stones at three pillars at Mina before the sun decline, perform a ritual of animal sacrifice, if they wish.
Sometimes it is obligatory when the pilgrim perform hajj and Umrah together. The pilgrims then shave their heads and become free from all refrains and celebrate the global Islamic festival of Eid ul Ad’ha.
After that they go to Makkah again and perform the last tawaf named tawaf e ziyarah. Having performed tawaf e ziyarah they go to minah and perform stoning the devils two days and three days if they want. After that they go to Makkah again and perform tawaf e wada before returning their homes. And this one is obligatory.
Conclusion: What Is Hajj
On this the hajj has completed, now the pilgrims may go their homes. That’s all about the question of What Is Hajj!