Sound Hajj Leads to Paradise

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Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, says, “For Hajj are the months well-known. If anyone has undertaken that duty their-in, let there be no obscenity nor wrangling in the Hajj.” [2:197]

Like all of Ibadaat, Hajj can be acceptable to Allah only when the following two conditions are satisfied:

* Ikhlass or Purifying one’s intention. That is to do Hajj with sincerity to Allah seeking to please Him alone.

* Mutaba’ah or the following of the Prophet’s example. That is making sure one does Hajj according to the teachings of the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, and sticking to that at all times.

Once completed, such Hajj causes the Muslim to loose all of his sins, so that as he returns back home, he goes as pure as the day he was born. Abu Hurayrah (Radhiallaahu Anhu) said that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, said, “A Mabroor or sound Hajj has no reward other than Paradise.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The Fifth Pillar of Islam

According to the majority of scholars, Hajj was legislated in the ninth year after the Hijrah. Allah says, “Hajj thereto is a duty people owe to Allah, those who can afford the journey; but if any dent it, Allah stands not in need of any of his creatures.” [3:97] The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) made Hajj therefore only once, and it was the tenth year of Hijrah.

Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam. One who denies its obligation is not a Muslim. The Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, said, “O people, Allah has made Hajj an obligation upon you therefore perform it.” one man asked, “Every year?” to which the Messenger was silent. The man repeated “Every year?” and again the Messenger was silent. The same man asked a third time ‘O Messenger of Allah, Every year?’ to which the Prophet said, ‘If I said yes it would become an obligation and you would never be able to fulfill it.”‘ (Muslim)

Any one who is a Muslim, Mature, Sane and able is obliged to make the Hajj. Some scholars are with the opinion that the obligation is immediate. This means that if one does not go for Hajj after being able he is sinful. Most others, however, are of the opinion that it is acceptable to defer going for Hajj until a more convenient time. But it is important that one not procrastinate or unnecessarily delay it, the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wasallam, said, “Hasten to perform Hajj, for one does not know what may come into his way” (Ahmad) Ability means having enough provisions for food and transportation beyond his and his family’s other basic needs.

Forms of Hajj

1. Hajj at-Tamattu: One makes Ihram for Umrah first during any of the months of Hajj, finish it, go out of the Ihram state then start Hajj of the eight day of Thul Hijjah of the same year.

2. Hajj al-Ifrad: One wears Ihram for Hajj only. And continues in the state of Ihram until Hajj is finished.

3. Hajj al-Qiran: One wears Ihram for both Umrah and Hajj or he wears Ihram first for Umrah, then makes intention for Hajj before his Tawaf for Hajj.

For those who choose to do at-Tamattu or al-Ifrad, a mandatory sacrifice is required from them during the days of Eid. Those who live in Makkah are exempted of this requirement.

The Miqat

The Miqat is the place for initiating Ihram. They are five places: Thul Hulaifah, al-juhfah, Qarnul Manazil, Yalamlam and Thatu Irq. They are for those who live there and those who pass by them intending Hajj or Umrah. Those who live in Makkah or any place between these Miqat places can make ihram from within Makkah.

THUL HULAIFAH: It is the Miqat for those coming from Madinah. It is the farthest Miqat from Makkah – being about ten riding stations away. It is called, ‘wadi al-Aqeeq’ and its Musjid is called the Musjid of the Tree.

AL-JUHFAH: It is a village that is about three travel stages away from Makkah. It is the Miqat for those coming from Madinah – if they come by this route. Ibn Taymiyyah said, “It is the Miqat for those who make Hajj from the direction of the west, like the people of Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, and the people of Egypt and the rest of the West (including America and Canada).”

QARNUL MANAZIL: Also called “Qarnu th-Tha’alib” and is near Makkah. About a day’s journey away from it. It is the Miqat for those coming from Najd.

YALAMLAM: A place that is at a two-nights distance from Makkah. It is the Miqat for those coming from Yemen.

DHATU IRQ: It is a place our in the desert, marking the border between Najd and Tihamah. It is located about forty-two miles from Makkah. This is the Miqaat for those coming from Iraq.