Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam; every capable Muslim physically and financially is obligated to perform it at least once.
Hajj in Islam is a chance for Muslims to wipe clean their past sins and mistakes and start new. It was mentioned in the Holy Quran more than once, which shows us how important it is.
But why is Hajj so important in Islam? let’s find out.
What is Hajj in Islam?
Hajj in Islam is known as one of the five pillars that are obligatory for every capable Muslim. In English, it’s called pilgrimage. The word hajj in Arabic means “to set out for a place.”.
Pilgrimage is performed by millions of Muslims every year. It’s performed by going to the holy city of Makkah to perform the rituals of Hajj. When performing Hajj all the sins and bad deeds are erased, and the person is given a new chance.
Where is the hajj located?
Hajj refers to going to the sacred house of Allah, the Kaaba in the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia to perform a pilgrimage.
Why is Hajj important?
Hajj in Islam is one of the five pillars that are obligatory for every capable Muslim. One of its many benefits to us is that it erases our sins and bad deeds, giving us the opportunity to start new, like a newborn baby.
Our beloved prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “When a believer returns home after performing Hajj, he is as he was on the day which his mother gave birth to him.” (Sahih Bukhari)
Allah created the Kabbah to guide us, as he said in the Holy Quran:
إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍۢ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِى بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًۭا وَهُدًۭى لِّلْعَـٰلَمِينَ ٩٦
“Surely the first House ˹of worship˺ established for humanity is the one at Bakkah—a blessed sanctuary and a guide for ˹all˺ people.” [surah Al-Imran: 96]
Hajj strengthens the faith and belief of the pilgrims and give them peace and anyone who enters it is safe. Allah said in the holy Quran:
فِيهِ ءَايَـٰتٌۢ بَيِّنَـٰتٌۭ مَّقَامُ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ ۖ وَمَن دَخَلَهُۥ كَانَ ءَامِنًۭا ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ حِجُّ ٱلْبَيْتِ مَنِ ٱسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًۭا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَنِىٌّ عَنِ ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ ٩٧
“In it are clear signs and the standing place of Abraham. Whoever enters it should be safe. Pilgrimage to this House is an obligation by Allah upon whoever is able among the people.1 And whoever disbelieves, then surely Allah is not in need of ˹any of His˺ creation.” [surah Al-Imran: 97]
The Importance of Hajj in Islam is that Allah created Kaba to be a safe place and a refuge to all Muslims around the world to come back to. Allah said in the holy Quran: “We made the House a place of return for the people and a refuge.” [Holy Quran 2: 125]
Hajj softens the pilgrims’ hearts, and strengthens their faith in Allah, providing them with inner peace. Our beloved prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion, and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the organs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever.” (Muslim)
The prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also said, “The Muslims; their lives are equal, they are united against those that oppose them, the protection offered by the humblest of them is inviolable, and they share with those, not with them.” (Ibn Majah)
Importance of Hajj in Quran and Hadith.
Allah SWT shows us the importance of Hajj in Islam in the Holy Quran:
“Surely the first House ˹of worship˺ established for humanity is the one at Bakkah—a blessed sanctuary and a guide for ˹all˺ people. In it are clear signs and the standing place of Abraham. Whoever enters it should be safe. Pilgrimage to this House is an obligation by Allah upon whoever is able among the people. And whoever disbelieves, then surely Allah is not in need of ˹any of His˺ creation.” [Al-Imran, 96:97]
Kabbah is the first House ˹of worship˺ ever created by the prophet Abraham. It’s a place for us to worship Allah and a safe place.
“And [mention] when We made the House a place of return for the people and [a place of] security.” [surah Baqarah: 125]
Hajj in Islam refers to when millions of Muslims gather in Makkah to perform the rites of Hajj.
“Perform the pilgrimage and the visit (to Makka) for Allah.” [al Baqarah, 196]
The beloved prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “O people! Allah SWT had ordained fard the worship of Hajj. Hurry to perform the Hajj.” (Muslim)
Abu Hurairah narrated, “Allah’s Messenger was asked, ‘What is the best deed?’ He replied, ‘To believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)).’ The questioner then asked, ‘What is the next (in goodness)?’ He replied, ‘To participate in jihad in Allah’s Cause.’ The questioner again asked, ‘What is the next (in goodness)?’ He replied, ‘To perform Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makka) ‘Mubrur, (which is accepted by Allah and is performed with the intention of seeking Allah’s pleasure only and not to show off and without committing a sin and in accordance with the traditions of the Prophet).’” (Bukhari; Book 2, Hadith 25, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nasai, Ibn Maja)
Also, Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessing be upon him) said, “Whoever performs Hajj to this House (Ka’ba) and does not approach his wife for sexual relations nor commits sins (while performing Hajj), he will come out as sinless as a newly-born child (just delivered by his mother).” (Bukhari, Book 28, Hadith 45)
Who performed the first hajj in Islam?
The first Hajj in Islam was performed by our beloved prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his companions in 632 CE
When Was the First Hajj?
Kaaba was built by Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his son, Prophet Ismail (AS), as Allah commanded them to be a place of worship. The first Hajj in Islam was performed by our beloved prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his companions in 632 CE
When is Hajj in the Islamic calendar?
Hajj takes place between the 8th day of Dhū al-Ḥijjah (the last month of the Islamic year) and ends on the 12th day. But Muslims from around the world start coming to Makkah from the 1st of Dhul-Hijjah until the 7th of Dhul-Hijjah.
Can hajj be performed anytime?
No haj is only performed in the last month of the Islamic calendar during specific days, but you can perform umrah at any time.
What’s the difference between hajj and umrah?
There are several differences between the hajj in Islam and Umrah, first, the hajj is done on specific days during the last month of the Islamic calendar while Umrah is done at any time. Umrah takes less time to complete and has fewer rituals than Hajj.
Can you do hajj without Umrah?
Yes, you can do hajj without umrah, umrah is done when the person is not financially capable of performing hajj.
How many times is the word hajj in Quran?
The word hajj itself was mentioned 12 times, but the total number of verses it was mentioned in and referred to is 27 times.
Hajj in Quran
Hajj was mentioned in surah Baqarah, Imran, Al-Maida, Tawba, Hajj, and Fath. Here are the Quranic verses where Hajj was mentioned or referred to:
And [mention] when We made the House a place of return for the people and [a place of] security. And take, [O believers], from the standing place of Abraham a place of prayer. And We charged Abraham and Ishmael, [saying], “Purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who are staying [there] for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer].” (2:125)
Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the symbols of Allah. So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘umrah – there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers well – then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing. (2:158)
They ask you, [O Muhammad], about the new moons. Say, “They are measurements of time for the people and for Hajj.” And it is not righteousness to enter houses from the back, but righteousness is [in] one who fears Allah. And enter houses from their doors. And fear Allah that you may succeed. (2:189)
And complete the Hajj and Umrah for Allah. But if you are prevented, then [offer] what can be obtained with ease of sacrificial animals. And do not shave your head until the sacrificial animal has reached its place of slaughter. And whoever among you is ill or has an ailment of the head [making shaving necessary must offer] a ransom of fasting [three days] or charity or sacrifice. And when you are secure, then whoever performs ‘umrah [during the Hajj months] followed by Hajj [offers] what can be obtained with ease of sacrificial animals. And whoever cannot find [or afford such an animal] – then a fast of three days during Hajj and of seven when you have returned [home]. Those are ten complete [days]. This is for those whose family is not in the area of al-Masjid al-Haram. And fear Allah and know that Allah is severe in penalty. (2:196)
Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do – Allah knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding. (2:197)
There is no blame upon you for seeking bounty from your Lord [during Hajj]. But when you depart from ‘Arafat, remember Allah at al- Mash’ar al-Haram. And remember Him, as He has guided you, for indeed, you were before that among those astray. (2:198)
Then depart from the place from where [all] the people depart and ask forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. (2:200)
And when you have completed your rites, remember Allah like your [previous] remembrance of your fathers or with [much] greater remembrance. And among the people is he who says, “Our Lord, give us in this world,” and he will have in the Hereafter no share. (2:200)
But among them is he who says, “Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” (2:201)
And remember Allah during [specific] numbered days. Then whoever hastens [his departure] in two days – there is no sin upon him, and whoever delays [until the third] – there is no sin upon him – for him who fears Allah. And fear Allah and know that unto Him you will be gathered. (2:203)
Hajj in Islam is of great significance to all Muslims, it wasn’t mentioned in one surah or one verse but rather in different surahs and verses to show its importance.
Indeed, the first House [of worship] established for mankind was that at Makkah – blessed and a guidance for the worlds. (3:96)
In it are clear signs [such as] the standing place of Abraham. And whoever enters it shall be safe. 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. (3:97)
O you who have believed, fulfill [all] contracts. Lawful for you are the animals of grazing livestock except for that which is recited to you [in this Qur’an] – hunting not being permitted while you are in the state of Ihram. Indeed, Allah ordains what He intends. (5:1)
O you who have believed, do not violate the rites of Allah or [the sanctity of] the sacred month or [neglect the marking of] the sacrificial animals and garlanding [them] or [violate the safety of] those coming to the Sacred House seeking bounty from their Lord and [His] approval. But when you come out of ihram, then [you may] hunt. And do not let the hatred of a people for having obstructed you from al-Masjid al-Haram lead you to transgress. And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty. (5:2)
O you who have believed, Allah will surely test you through something of the game that your hands and spears [can] reach, that Allah may make evident those who fear Him unseen. And whoever transgresses after that – for him is a painful punishment. (5:94)
O you who have believed, do not kill game while you are in the state of Ihram. And whoever of you kills it intentionally – the penalty is an equivalent from sacrificial animals to what he killed, as judged by two just men among you as an offering [to Allah] delivered to the Ka’bah or an expiation: the feeding of needy people or the equivalent of that in fasting, that he may taste the consequence of his deed. Allah has pardoned what is past; but whoever returns [to violation], then Allah will take retribution from him. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Owner of Retribution. (5:95)
Lawful to you is a game from the sea and its food as provision for you and the travelers, but forbidden to you is a game from the land as long as you are in the state of Ihram. And fear Allah to whom you will be gathered. (5:96)
Also, the importance of Hajj in Islam was shown in surah Tawbah and Fath.
So, travel freely, [O disbelievers], throughout the land [during] four months but know that you cannot cause failure to Allah and that Allah will disgrace the disbelievers. (9:2)
Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous [who fear Him]. (9:36)
Indeed, the postponing [of restriction within sacred months] is an increase in disbelief by which those who have disbelieved are led [further] astray. They make it lawful one year and unlawful another year to correspond to the number made unlawful by Allah and [thus] make lawful what Allah has made unlawful. Made pleasing to them is the evil of their deeds, and Allah does not guide the disbelieving people. (9:37)
And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass. (22:27)
And [mention, O Muhammad], when We designated for Abraham the site of the House, [saying], “Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate. (22:26)
That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals. So, eat of them and feed the miserable and poor. (22:28)
Then let them end their untidiness and fulfill their vows and perform Tawaf around the ancient House. (22:29)
For you the animals marked for sacrifice are benefits for a specified term; then their place of sacrifice is at the ancient House. (22:33)
And [mention, O Muhammad], when We designated for Abraham the site of the House, [saying], “Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate. (22:36)
Certainly, has Allah shown His Messenger the vision in truth. You will surely enter al-Masjid al-Haram, if Allah wills, in safety, with your heads shaved and [hair] shortened, not fearing [anyone]. He knew what you did not know and has arranged before that a conquest near [at hand]. (48:27)
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