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Hajj, Its Definition, Ruling and Virtue.   

Fifth: the Book of Hajj (Pilgrimage), it includes seven chapters.

The First Chapter: an introduction to Hajj. It covers some matters.

The First Matter: Definition of Hajj:

The word Hajj, linguistically, means heading to a place for the sake of visiting; in Islamic terminology, it implies worshipping Allah by observing  rituals (of pilgrimage) in a specific place at a specific time, as stated by the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).

The Second Matter: Ruling on Hajj and its virtue:

1- Ruling on Hajj: Hajj is one of Islam's pillars and great obligations; Allah Almighty says:

{وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ} (آل عمران: 97).

Interpretation of meaning: {And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House - for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves - then indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds} (Qur'an 3:97).

He also says:

 {وَأَتِمُّوا الْحَجَّ وَالْعُمْرَةَ لِلَّهِ} (البقرة: 196).

Interpretation of meaning: {And complete the Hajj and 'umrah for Allah} (Qur'an 2:196).

It is narrated on the authority of ('Abdullah) son of 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) that the Prophet (may peace of Allah be upon him) said:

[بُنِيَ الإِسْلاَمُ عَلَى خَمْسٍ شَهَادَةِ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَإِقَامِ الصَّلاَةِ وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ وَحَجِّ الْبَيْتِ وَصَوْمِ رَمَضَانَ].

[Islam has been built on five [pillars]: testifying that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the Salah (prayer), paying the Zakat (obligatory charity), making the Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House, and fasting in Ramadan] [1]

Also, the Ummah  (the Islamic community) unanimously agreed that Hajj is obligatory upon each  Muslim capable of performing it once a lifetime.

2- Its virtue: there are many hadiths that indicated the virtue of Hajj, including the following:

The hadith narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (may peace of Allah be upon him) said:

[الْعُمْرَةُ إِلَى الْعُمْرَةِ كَفَّارَةٌ لِمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَالْحَجُّ الْمَبْرُورُ لَيْسَ لَهُ جَزَاءٌ إِلاَّ الْجَنَّةُ].

[An Umra is an expiation for the sins committed between it and the next, and Hajj which is accepted will receive no reward other than Paradise][2]

Also, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

[مَنْ حَجَّ لِلَّهِ فَلَمْ يَرْفُثْ وَلَمْ يَفْسُقْ رَجَعَ كَيَوْمِ وَلَدَتْهُ أُمُّهُ].

[Whoever performs Hajj for Allah's pleasure and does not have sexual relations with his wife, and does not do evil or sins then he will return (from Hajj as pure and free from sins) as on the day on which his mother gave birth to him] [3]

Along with other hadiths.

The Third Matter: Does Hajj obligatory more than once a lifetime?

Hajj is obligatory only once a lifetime and performing it more than once is considered voluntary act of worship; for the hadith narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira –may Allah be pleased with him- that the Prophet –peace be upon him- said:

["أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ فَرَضَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمُ الْحَجَّ فَحُجُّوا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَجُلٌ أَكُلَّ عَامٍ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ فَسَكَتَ حَتَّى قَالَهَا ثَلاَثًا فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ لَوْ قُلْتُ نَعَمْ لَوَجَبَتْ وَلَمَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ"].

["O people, Allah has made Hajj obligatory for you; so perform Hajj". Thereupon a man said: O Messenger of Allah, (is it to be performed) every year? He (the Prophet) kept quiet, and the man repeated (these words) thrice, whereupon Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: If I were to say" Yes," it would become obligatory (for you to perform it every year) and you would not be able to do it"] [4]

Also, the Prophet –peace be upon him- didn't perform Hajj except once after his migration to Madina, and Muslim scholars have unanimously agreed that Hajj is obligatory upon the Muslim who is capable of it once a lifetime.

Therefore, the Muslim should hasten to perform the Hajj once its prerequisites are fulfilled. Delaying performing Hajj for no reason is considered a sin; for the Prophet –peace be upon him- said:

[تَعَجَّلُوا إِلَى الْحَجِّ فَإِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ لَا يَدْرِي مَا يَعْرِضُ لَهُ].

[Hasten to do Hajj – i.e. the obligatory Hajj – for one of you does not know what is going to happen to him] [5]

It's also narrated from numerous reports as strengthening one another that he (peace be upon him) said:

  [من استطاع الحج فلم يحج، فليمت إن شاء يهودياً، وإن شاء نصرانياً].

[Whoever is able to perform Hajj but he does not perform it, let him die -if he wishes- as a Jew or -if he wishes- as a Christian] [6]



[1] Sahih Al-Bukhari (8)

[2] Sahih Muslim (1349)

[3] Sahih Al-Bukhari (1521); and Sahih Muslim (1350)

[4]  Sahih Muslim (1337)

[5] Narrated by Ahmad (1/314); classed as Hasan by Al-Albani in Al-Irwa’ (990)

[6] See Nail Al-Awtar (4/337)

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