Brotherhood reinforces men’s love for one another. In Islam, it is not legitimate to limit the existence of this love to the frontiers of one’s homeland, nor even to one’s race or continent. Fraternal love must have no spatial limits whatever. That is why Islam commands that men from all corners of the world know, defend and fraternize with one another, that their love for one another in Allah may be strengthened and their conviction of Allah may be confirmed. The instrument proper for such exercise is the congregation of men from all corners of the earth in one place and for one purpose. The best locality for such a convocation is precisely the place where the light of this great love has broken through, namely Allah’s sanctuary in Mecca This assembly is the Islamic pilgrimage or Haj.

‘This great international gathering, attended by thousands of pilgrims every year, not only from adjacent countries but from such distant places as China, Senegal, or Cape Town, is an impressive manifestation of the unity of the Muslim world, and serves to keep alive the feeling of brotherhood in Islam. The same thought is impressed upon those Muslims who have been unable themselves to make the pilgrimage, in that on the very same day in which the sacrifices are being performed outside the city of Mecca, the faithful in every other part of the world celebrate the Feast of sacrifice in a similar fashion, and are thus linked by bonds of sympathy with their more fortunate breth­ren in the sacred City.’ (Arnold, ‘The Islamic Faith’, p. 37)

“The pilgrimage proved in the end a great aid in unifica­tion, for the men of every tribe and race met at Mecca with a common purpose, and in a common worship, and a feeling of broth­erhood could not but be engendered in the process.” (Denison, op. cit. p. 275)

“Down through the ages this institution has continued to serve as the major unifying influence in Islam and the most effective common bond among the diverse believers. It rendered almost every capable Moslem perforce a traveller for once in his lifetime. The socializing influence of such a gathering of the brotherhood of believers from the four quarters of the earth is hard to over- estimate. It afforded opportunity for Negroes, Berbers, Chinese, Persians, Syrians, Turks, Arabs rich and poor, high and low — to fraternize and meet together on the common ground of faith.” (Prof. Hitti, “History of the Arabs”, p. 136)

“On this great and unique occasion when the believers per­form the pilgrimage aiming at fraternizing with one another and thus strengthening their conviction of God, all distinctions between man and man must fall to the ground. All men must feel that they are equal before God, and all must turn their minds and hearts to Him in response to His call and fulfillment of His command. They should approach the pilgrimage fully convinced of His felicity and deeply grateful for His bounty. But what bounty and felicity are greater than Iman in God, the source of all good and all bounty? May He be adored! Before the light which such Iman brings, all the worries and concerns of life dissolve; all its vanity, whether of wealth, children, political power or glory, utterly vanishes. By virtue of this light, man becomes capable of apprehending the truth, goodness, and beauty of this world, the eternal laws and immutable pattern on which the world is founded. It is this general convocation, namely the Pilgrimage that embodies the meaning of equality and brotherhood among all believers and does so in the most comprehensive, clear, and sublime manner.” (Muhammad Husayn Haykal, “The Life of Muhammad”, p. 538-539)

Pilgrimage has been ordained as one of the five fundamental articles of Islam in 9 A.H. It is the perfection of faith and true surrender to the Almighty. It is the symbol of the final stage in the spiritual development of men. Some religions intro­duced the theory of asceticism and absolute Monasticism and pre­scribed measures too rigid and hard. Christianity invented Monasticism. Hinduism introduced the system of Banaprastha wherein a Hindu is advised to go to the jungle and exclusively devote himself to divine service. Islam abolished this idea of self-isolation, as man is a social being. It prescribes rules and regulations of life, which lead to the perfect development of a man both in the material and spiritual world. It has, therefore, instead of taking the extreme rigour of life, introduced Haj and Jihad. Jihad and the forces of evil remove the forces of matter by Haj.

Pilgrimage is not an institution introduced for the first time by the Holy Prophet. The origin of this institution is unknown and cannot be traced back in history. Mr. Muir says: “Tradition represents the Ka’bah as from time immemorial the scene of pilgrimage from all quarters of Arabia… So extensive a homage must have had its beginning in an extremely remote age.” The Holy Ka’bah was visited by the Semitic people. They sued to circumambulate it in a naked state and worshipped innumerable idols that were installed within the holy shrine. On this occa­sion, they used to hold fair and bazaars and even pre-Islamic poets had their poetical duels therein. The Holy Prophet was greatly moved to see all these pagan practices linked with the oldest shrine of monotheism and so he revived the original spirit of pilgrimage as founded by the Patriarch Abraham, the spiritual leader of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and abolished the polytheistic nature of the rituals.


(1) Highest training for spiritual advancement. Haj affords the best training ground for absolute and complete surrender to the Divine Command. There the pilgrim forgets his own hearth and home, his comforts and amenities of life, his dear wife and children, his hard-earned wealth, his friends and relatives and everything he possesses, and in their stead takes up an arduous journey to a barren and unproductive land with a great risk of life, pangs of absence from near and dear ones, and takes up a dress of two unsewn pieces of cloth bidding adieu to all physical comforts and luxuries.

(2) It fosters a brotherhood of mankind. Haj has got another object, namely to foster a spirit of brotherly love and affection among the Muslims of different countries and climes. It is the highest manifestation of Islamic brotherhood and Islamic democra­cy. Not only there is a uniformity of religion among the pilgrims, but there is also a unity of living and a unity of feelings in Ihram. Dr. Laner says about it in his “Religious Systems of the World”: ‘The demonstration of equality furnished on the occasion of Haj is so complete that it is well nigh impossible to distinguish a servant from a master. The whole of humanity assumes one aspect and one attitude and thus the noblest sight of equality and brotherhood is witnessed in Haj. There is in this City a force, which transcends the littleness and divisions of mankind.’

The following five conditions make Haj compulsory on a Muslim.

(1) He shall be free and not slave;

(2) A major person;

(3) He shall be sane;

(4) He shall have a sound body;

(5) He shall have the ability to undertake a journey.

All these things combined make a Haj compulsory on a person only once in his life. The Holy Qur’an says: And Pilgrimage to the House is incumbent upon men for the sake of Allah, upon everyone who is able to undertake the journey to it. (3:96) The fifth condition depends on two circumstances – safe journey and suffi­cient means for taking a journey to Mecca and to return home and for provision for the dependants during absence from home. As soon as a man finds himself in the above conditions, Haj becomes Farz on him; and if after sometime, he becomes ill or poor or loses one of the five conditions, will not be exonerated from the sin of not making pilgrimage in due time. He is free to absolve himself from the duty by performing it at any time during his life, and after his death his heirs may perform it on his behalf with the assets left by him and free him from the sin. A repre­sentative may make pilgrimage on behalf of another person provid­ed he performed his own pilgrimage previously. Haj is also Farz on a woman provided her husband or one of her relatives within the prohibited degrees is available to accompany her to Mecca.

The following are the Farz duties in Haj: –

(1) To observe Ihram;

(2) To wait at Arafat;

(3) To make Tawaf round the Ka’bah;

(4) To observe these duties in order.

If one of them is given up, Haj becomes void.

There are five Wajib in Haj:

(1) To run between Safa and Marwah;

(2) To stay at Muzdalifah on the 10th night of Dhul Hijja;

(3) To throw stones at Jamrahs;

(4) To shave or cut the hair of the head;

(5) To make Tawaf at the time of leaving the city of Mecca.

If anybody breaks one of these duties, he does not thereby render his Haj void but only invalid. He shall have to make amends by the sacrifice of at least a goat.

Haj may be performed in either of the following three modes: –

(1) Haj-e-Qiran: In this the main pilgrimage and the Umrah are performed together so the rites of the Umrah are in­cluded in the act of the main pilgrimage. The pilgrim declares his intention to perform this form of pilgrimage by saying: “O Allah. Here I am at Your Service. I respond to Your call with a pilgrimage and Umrah.”

(2) Haj-e-Tamattu: In this the pilgrim will perform the Umrah before he performs the main Haj and will declare his intention by saying: “Here I am, O Allah, at Your service. I respond to You with an Umrah.” After performing the Umrah he is no longer in a state of dedication, and only enters the state of Ihram again for the main pilgrimage.

(3) Haj-e-Ifrad: In this the pilgrim will perform only the main pilgrimage, declaring: “Here am I, O Allah, at Your service. I respond to you with a pilgrimage.” After the main pilgrimage, he may perform the Umrah if he wishes. Haj-e-Ifrad is the best form of Haj.

More than two million pilgrims of the 800 million Muslims across the world are able to obey the Divine call each year. Today the pilgrimage is a miracle of faith and organization, the world’s most astonishing logistical exercise. They come in huge jet planes and oceangoing liners. In the peak days of the pilgrim season, almost one million passengers land at Jeddah airport from all over the world. Many are illiterate peasants who have devoted their life savings to the journey. Some are men of wealth, and others know only poverty. Yet on the road to Mecca they are all joined in a common band of devout servitude to Allah and obedi­ence to the word of the Prophet, who said: “Know that every Muslim is every Muslim’s brother. Nothing belonging to his brother is lawful to man, unless it is given freely and with good grace. So wrong not yourselves…”

When they arrive in Saudi Arabia, pilgrims complete their preparations for their visit to the Holy City. There is a rigid ritual for each stage of the pilgrimage and these rites should be followed without deviation. It is possible for a pilgrim to complete the pilgrimage within the five days, which begin on the 8th day of Dhul Hajj. This is the month set aside for the pil­grimage and is calculated by the movements of the moon, which govern the Islamic calendar. But almost every pilgrim allows himself at least two weeks for this great event, which is climaxed on the 9th day of Dhul Hijja by the migration to Arafat, the day every pilgrim converges on the same place.

The crowds, which throng the specially built Pilgrim City on the outskirts of Jeddah from a vivid splash of Ihram, white cloth. For most pilgrims are already wearing the Ihram, two pieces of seamless white cloth. The word Ihram refers both to the garment and the special duties of the pilgrim’s search for spiritual purity, a mark of chastity.

A pilgrim can enter into Ihram as soon as he starts from his home but it is excessively hard on him to follow the rules of Ihram from a distant land, he may travel in normal state till he reaches the Miqat where he is required compulsorily to enter into Ihram. The fist thing for Ihram is to have a bath or at least ablution. Then two unsewn pieces of white cloth, one covering the lower portion and another the upper portion of the body are worn. Women may dress according to their habits. Then after performing two Rak’ats of prayer, Niyyat shall be taken for Haj. During the first prostration of the prayer the pilgrim recites, after the Opening Chapter of the Qur’an (Surah Fatihah), the chapter called the Unbelievers (Kafiroon). During the second, he recites the chapter called ‘Devotion’ (Ikhlas or Tawhid). He then recites: “O Allah, I make Niyat for Haj and Umrah (or for Umrah or for Haj). So make them easy for me and accept them from me.” It is necessary to pronounce which form of pilgrimage he intends to make. Talbi­yah shall next be recited aloud: “Present to Thee, O Allah, present to Thee! Present to Thee! Present to Thee! Verily all praise and all grace are Thine and also dominion. Thou hast no partner.” To recite Talbiyah is Wajib according to Imam Abu Hanifa, and Sunnat according to Imam Sha’fai.

The times and the places where the pilgrim has to be in Ihram on his way to Mecca were designated by the Prophet and are part of the rites of the pilgrimage, sacrosanct, unchanging in form, style and tradition. The times start in Shawwal, the month after the month of Ramadhan, and end on the month of Dhul Hijja, the month of pilgrimage.

The places are: For the people of Medina, Dhul Halifah or Bayr Ali. It is situated at a distance of 5 miles from Medina and 295 miles from Mecca; for the people of Syria and Egypt, al-Zuhfah. It is a habitation near a place known as Rabigh and is situated at a distance of 150 miles from Mecca on the side of the western coast; for the people of Yemen, Yelumlum. It is situated on the hillocks of Tihama at a distance of 60 miles from Mecca. So far as the water route is concerned, one reaches this place after travelling 380 miles from Kamran Island and Jeddah is only 75 miles away from this spot; for the people of Najd, Qarn-al-Manazil. This place is known now a days as Sail; for the people of Iraq, Zat-al-Irq which is situated at a distance of 77 miles from Mecca to the north of Sail; for the people of India and Pakistan, the frontiers of Yelumlum range, a place amidst the sea beyond Kamran. Other people from different places also be in a state of Ihram when they pass by, if not, they must offer a sacrifice. (Muhammad Asim, “Fiqh-al-Sunnah” Vol. II, p. 382)

From the moment the pilgrim dons the Ihram, he is in the state of constant dedication which remains until he has completed all the rites. There is a consensus of opinion that a pilgrim is not al­lowed to put on sewn clothes or to cover his head or hands. If he wears stocking or shoes, these must not be above the ankles. This is done in order to foster a sense of humanity and feeling of brotherhood among the Muslims. The Ihram or pilgrim’s garment consists of two unsewn pieces of white woollen or cotton cloth, of which one is wound around the waist and reaches below the knees, while the other is slung loosely around one shoulder, with the head remaining uncovered. Male pilgrims alone are required to wear it and not the female.

“The reason for this attire is that during the Haj there should be no feeling of strangeness between the faithfuls who flock together from all corners of the world to visit the House of God, no difference between races and nations or between rich and poor or high and low, so that all may know that they are brethren before God and man.” (Muhammad Asad, “Road to Mecca”, p. 358).

According to Imam Abu Hanifa, a pilgrim may wear trousers in case of the non-availability of two white sheets of cloth, but should undo the stitches, other wise he shall have to pay the compensation, i.e. the sacrifice of an animal. The use of saf­fron, applied as perfume to the clothes, is forbidden in the state of Ihram. The use of antimony for beautification is not approved. If a Muhrim applies perfumed antimony to the eyes, the compensation becomes obligatory. (Nawawi, vol. I, p. 383).

For most pilgrims, Jeddah is but the first stage of the journey, a resting-place to set out for Mecca. The millions in Jeddah merge into the corridor of pious sound, which forms the road from Jeddah to Mecca, making each of the forty-five miles, an affirmation of man’s relationship with God. The sight of this mass of moving humanity is beyond description, an act of devotion, which has to be undertaken to be understood and to be believed. And always, through the days and nights of this most solemn event, the faithful offer up the Talbiyah, as they have done from time immemorial.

At the end of this corridor of dedication is Mecca, into which the pilgrim is suddenly disgorged, to behold, with awe­struck eyes, the Masjid-e-Haram, the Sacred Mosque, the first House of God. It was here, when the building was finished, that Hazrat Ibrahim and Hazrat Ismail prayed thus: “Our Lord! Accept from us (this duty). Lo! Thou; only Thou art the Hearer, the Knower. Our Lord! And make us submissive unto Thee and of our seed a nation submissive unto Thee, and show us our ways of worship, and relent toward us. Lo! Thou, only Thou art the Re­lenting, the Merciful.” (The Qur’an 2:127-128)

It is preferable to enter the Sacred House through the Bab-as-Salaam, the Gate of Peace, stepping forward with the right foot and saying: “I seek refuge in the great God, in His glorious Countenance and in His ancient sovereignty from the accursed devil. In the name Allah, O Allah, grant your blessings to Muhammad and to his family. O Allah, forgive me my sins and open for me the doors of Your Compassion.

During the first minutes in the House, many are overwhelmed at the sight of such a mass of people. The crowd is so orderly and restrained that the newcomers pause in wonderment before raising their hands as their fathers and forefathers did in time gone by, crying out: “O Allah, increase the honour, the glory, the grace, the dignity, and the awe of the House, and increase the honour, the dignity and the grace of the one who makes the Main or the Lesser Pilgrimage to it. O Allah, You are Peace and Peace comes from you. So, greet us, O our Lord, with Peace.”

This is a time of intense emotional fervour for most pil­grims, a time of suspended silence and stillness when they feel a blessed peace falling upon them, a pervasive feeling of wonder and comfort that they never forget. Then the pilgrim performs the Tawaf, circling the Ka’bah seven times, starting each time with the Hajar-al-Aswad, the Black Stone, kissing it or touching it or pointing to it, and saying: “In the name of Allah, and Allah is Supreme.”

Imam Ahmad holds that a man shall raise up his hands as soon as he sees the Holy Ka’bah. The Hidayah and Durr-e-Mukhtar sup­port Imam Abu Hanifa and Malik who hold that raising up hands is not obligatory.

The Tawaf signifies circumambulation round the Ka’bah. The Qur’an says: “And then go round the Ancient House.” (22:29) It occupies the most important place in the devotional acts of Haj as it is the first act when a pilgrim arrives at Mecca and the last act when he leaves the Holy City. The former is called Tawaf-e-Qudum (the Tawaf of arrival) and the latter Tawaf-e-Wida (Tawaf of departure). There is another Tawaf called Tawaf-as-Ziyarat (Tawaf to visit). It is done on the 10th Dhul Hijja and included within the acts of Haj. It may also be performed on the final arrival at Mecca.

Tawaf begins from the Black Stone and ends up to it. The pilgrim shall recite the following invocation:- “O Allah! With (due) faith and testifying The Book, and in fulfillment of Thy Covenant, and in obedience to the way of Thy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).” The circuits are made with the House on the left-hand side, in an anticlockwise direction. The pilgrim touches the Rukn-e-Yemani or the south corner, and it is preferable for him to say then: “O our Lord, give us the favour in this life and a favour in the next and save us from the torments of Hell.”

When the pilgrim reaches the door of the Ka’bah, he shall recite the following: “O Allah! This House is Thy House and this Sanctuary is Thy Sanctuary and this security is Thy security and this House is a place of refuge from the Fire.”

Then reaching the Rukn-e-Iraqui, he shall recite the follow­ing invocation: “O Allah! I seek refuge to Thee from doubt, polytheism, infidelity, hypocrisy, enmity, bad conduct and bad look in family, property and children.”

Then proceeding further, he shall recite the following: “O Allah! Give me shade under Thy shade on the day on which there will be no shade but the shade of Thy Throne. O Allah! Give me from the cup of Muhammad (peace be upon him) such a drink that will not thereafter leave my thirst.”

Thereafter reaching the Rukn-e-Shami, he shall recite the following invocation: “O Allah! Make it an accepted Haj, and an accepted effort of gratefulness and a forgiven sin and a merchan­dise that is never destroyed. O Almighty! O Forgiver! Forgive and show mercy and pardon what Thou knowest. Verily Thou art the Most Glorious, the Most Honourable.”

Thereafter reaching the Rukn-e-Yemani, he shall recite: “O Allah! I seek refuge to Thee from infidelity, and I seek refuge to Thee from poverty, and from the punishment of the grave, and from the calamities of life and death, and I seek refuge to Thee from the disgrace of this world and the Hereafter.”

When going to finish the round near the Black Stone, the pilgrim shall recite the following: O Allah! O our Lord, give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us by Thy Mercy from the punishment of grave and the punishment of the Fire.”

The pilgrim should not be defiled in any bodily way during this time, especially by way of urination or defecation, and he must be ritually cleansed and purified. The pilgrim makes the first three rounds of the Ka’bah at a fast pace, preferably with short steps, the remainder at walking pace. Women are not re­quired to comply with this tradition. The lame and sick are carried.

After performing the Tawaf, the pilgrim moves to the Station of Abraham where he says: “And they have made of Abraham’s sta­tion a place of prayer.” He performs two rak’ats of prayer. During the first Raka’t he recites Surah Kafiroon. During the second he recites Surah Tawhid. When the Sacred House is crowded, especially at the time nearest to the day at Arafat, the multi­tudes are so vast that the pilgrims are allowed to make circuit beyond both the well of Zamzam and Abraham’s Station, and the obligatory prostration are allowed anywhere within the precincts of the Sacred House, even in the passages.

Zamzam, the well uncovered by the angel Gabriel during Hagar’s ordeal and rediscovered by the Prophet’s grandfather, is said to contain the purest water on earth. After his prostration at Abraham’s Station, the Pilgrim goes there to drink. It was the Prophet who said: The water of Zamzam is good for any thing, it is drunk for. And Ibn-e-Abbas, when drinking, would recite: O Allah, I beg you to give me useful knowledge, plenty of liveli­hood and a cure from every disease.

These rituals are one of the most remarkable and devout acts of piety and worship to be seen – hundreds of thousands of people seeking spiritual purity, devoid of anger, humbling themselves before Allah. Nowhere else do masses of people move with so much brotherhood and compassion. From Zamzam, the pilgrim crosses to the hills of al-Safa and al-Marwah, the symbols of patience and perseverance, saying: Al-Safa and Al-Marwah are two of Allah’s places of rituals. Anyone performing the Main or Lesser Pilgrim­age is under no reproach to circumambulate them. He who volun­teers to do good, then Allah is Responsive and all-knowing.” The pilgrims turn to the Ka’bah and say: “There is no deity but Allah, and Allah is Supreme. There is no deity but Allah alone having no partner. His are the Sovereignty and Praise. He gives life and causes death, and He is Able to do anything. There is no deity but Allah alone…”

The pilgrim shall run seven times between the mounts of Safa and Marwah. When running, the following invocation has been recommended: “O Allah! Forgive and show mercy and pardon what Thou knowest. Verily Thou art the Most Glorious and the Most Honourable. O Allah! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter and save us from the Fire.”

According to Hanafi Mazhab, to run between Safa and Marwah seven times is Wajib, while Shafa’i Mazhab does not hold it to be so. If the Ihram terminates there, the hair of the head shall be shaved or clipped.

Then comes to waiting at Arafat and Muzdalifah. Arafat is the name of a plain surrounded on three sides by mountains; it is so called because pilgrims go there to know Allah. It is said that Adam and Eve came to know each other here after they had lost Paradise and that Jibrael taught Abraham here the various devotional acts of pilgrimage. Then the pilgrims, start­ing from Mecca on the 8th Dhul Hijja and staying the night at Mina or starting form Mecca on the 9th morning, reach Arafat at noon and perform Zuhr and Asr prayers together with two Aqamats and wait there till sunset with divine praises and glorification. This waiting is so important that if anybody does not attend Arafat from noon of the 9th Dhul Hijja till before the appearance of the dawn of 10th, his Haj would be considered as void. There the Imam delivers Sermon on the Mount to the vast assembly declaring the common fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of men.

Then preferably after sunset, the pilgrims hasten to Muzdalifah and reaching there they perform Maghrib and Isha prayers together. This place is known in the Holy Qur’an as Mash’ar-al-Haram (the Holy Monument) and sometimes in Hadith as Al-Jam (the place of gathering). During the night at Muzdalifah, pilgrims ought to be engaged in divine glorifications. Then after saying Fajr prayer at the early hours, the pilgrims start towards Mina on the 10th Dhul Hijja reaching there the same day before noon.

Hazrat Ayesha reported that the Apostle of Allah said: There is no day on which Allah sets free more servants from the Fire than on the day of Arafat; and He comes near (with forgiveness) and then takes gratifications therewith from the angels. Then He says: What do these people want? (Sahih Muslim)

Hazrat Amr bin Shuaib from his father who from his grandfa­ther reported: The Apostle of Allah said, “The best invocation is the invocation on the Day of Arafat and the best of what I and the Prophets before me said is: There is no god but Allah; He is One; There is no partner of Him; for Him is the dominion and for Him is all praise; and He is Powerful over all things.” (Tirmizi and Malik)

Hazrat Abbas bin Merdas reported that the Apostle of Allah prayed at Arafat at night for forgiveness of his followers. He was given the response: I have forgiven them all except acts of oppression for I shall compensate the oppressed therefrom. He said: O my Lord! If Thou wisheth Thou mayest give Paradise to the oppressed and forgive the oppressor. He was not given any response to it at night. When he waited at Muzdalifah up to morning, he repeated the invocation and he was given response to what he had implored. Then the Prophet laughed (or smiled). Abu Bakr and Umar said to him: My father and mother be ransomed to thee! This is certainly an honour wherein you are not to laugh. What has made you to laugh? May Allah make you laugh all your life. He replied: When the devil, the enemy of Allah, learnt that the Almighty and Glorious Allah granted my prayer and pardoned my followers, he took some earth and began to throw it upon his head and curse it with woe and destruction. The despondency I saw from him made me laugh.” (Ibn-e-Majah and Baihiqui)

Arriving at noon at Mina on the 10th Dhul Hijja, the pilgrim shall proceed to throw pebbles, which he has taken from a place near Muzdalifah. Then throwing seven pebbles at the last Jamrah called Jamrah-Aqabah, he shall return to his camp. Takbir shall be recited at the time of each throwing. Thereafter animals shall be sacrificed. This rite extends upto 12th Dhul Hijja.

On the 11th, 12th and 13th Dhul Hijja, which are known as the days of Tashriq, the pilgrim will throw pebbles at three Jamrahs (places of pebbles) with seven pebbles at each Jamrah on each day. If anybody remains at Mina on the 13th Dhul Hijja, it is Wajib on him to throw pebbles on that day. The pilgrim may however leave Mina on the 12th in the afternoon. On the 10th Dhul Hijja or on any subsequent day, the pilgrim shall make Tawaf of the Ka’bah (one of the Farz rituals of Haj). If it is finished and also the throwing of pebbles at Aqabah, the pilgrim gets out of Ihram and can live like a non-pilgrim; but if Tawaf remains due, he is prohibited from hunting and sexual intercourse though other things become lawful on the completion of pebbles-throwing at Aqabah and shaving of the hair of the head.

The day of the sacrifice is the 10th Dhul Hijja on which two rak’ats of Wajib prayers are performed. The rite of sacrifice an animal extends up to 12th Dhul Hijja. Some portion of the meat of the sacrificed animal shall be distributed among the poor and the needy, and the skin or its price shall be given in charity. It was the pre-Islamic custom to mark an animal for sacrifice by inflicting a wound in some portion of its body. The reason is that if it was lost, anybody finding it would take it to the place of sacrifice. The Prophet in more humanitarian form retained this Practice by marking a sign without wound. According to Imam Abu Hanifa one cow or one buffalo or one camel is suffi­cient for seven persons and one goat for one person. Imam Malik holds that one cow or one goat is sufficient for a whole family. The sacrificial animal shall not be used for riding purposes except in case of extreme necessity.

Shaving the head or clipping its hair is Wajib on a pilgrim. The Qur’an says: Let them accomplish their needful acts of shaving and cleansing. (22:29) You shall certainly enter the sacred mosque, if Allah pleased in security, having their heads shaved and having their hair clipped. (18:27)

Shaving takes place in case of Umrah immediately after the running between Safa and Marwah: and in case of Haj on the Day of Sacrifice after the throwing of pebbles at Aqabah. Women are exempted from shaving. It is enough if they clip some hair at the back.

‘Umrah’ is a respectful visit to Ka’b that may be per­formed, unlike Haj, at any time of the year, with fewer rites and ceremonies than Haj proper. While the Haj is obligatory on every Muslim who possesses the means necessary for the journey, Umrah is only an act of additional merit. Umrah is technically a reli­gious visit to the sacred place at Mecca, with the performance of the ceremony of Ihram — the circulating round the Ka’bah and the going to and fro between Safa and Marwah. Umrah differs from Haj in that the latter is performed at a particular time of the year and is not complete without the halting at Arafat on the day of Arafat (9th Dhul Hijja), but in the case of the former there is no fixed time.

It was commonly believed in the pre-Islamic days that it was a grave sin to perform Umrah during the three months of Haj (Shawwal, Dhul Qadah and Dhul Hijja). This wrong notion continued haunting the minds of the people even after they had embraced Islam. Since the pilgrimage performed by the Holy Prophet in 10th A.H. was the Farewell Pilgrimage, he was, therefore deputed by Allah to efface all traces of the time of ignorance from the rituals of Haj and Umrah. Thus the wrong notion that Umrah could not be performed during the month of Haj had to be completely obliterated. The Holy Prophet told his companions in clear terms that he who intended to enter into the state of Ihram for Haj only was permitted to do so and was allowed to enter into the second Ihram after completing his Umrah at Mecca (this is known as Tamattu). Permission was also granted to enter into the state of Ihram both for Haj and Umrah together (which is known as Qiran). The Holy Prophet had, along with some of his companions, entered into the state of Ihram both for Haj and Umrah. There were not a few companions who still had in their minds that erroneous impression of the days of ignorance that Umrah could not be performed during the months of Haj; they, therefore, put on Ihram for Haj alone and felt reluctant in performing ‘Umrah’ during these days. The Holy Prophet was very anxious to remove this wrong notion root and branch and show it to the people that one is permitted to perform Umrah during this period not with any loss but with full reward and benefit. It was in Mecca that the Holy Prophet felt how strongly this wrong notion of ignorance had taken hold of the minds of the people. He also felt that he could better explain the foolishness of such a wrong idea if he had himself first performed Umrah and then Haj under different Ihrams during the days of Haj so that the people could see him perform­ing Umrah distinctly from Haj, but the conditions did not permit him to do so. He had brought with him sacrificial animals and no pilgrim who has sacrificial animal with him is allowed to put off Ihram until he has sacrificed the animal on the 10th Dhul Hijja. As the Holy Prophet and those who had sacrificial animals with them could not perform Umrah separately, the Messenger of Allah therefore, exhorted all his companions who had not got the sacri­ficial animals in their possession to do so, so that this wrong notion might be effaced from their minds. How this wrong notion had taken its root in their minds can be well imagined from the reluctant attitude of some of the companions. They went so much upset by the new command that Saraqa bin Malik, one of the noted companions of the Prophet stood up and said: O Messenger of Allah! Is it for this year only that one is permitted to perform Umrah during the months of Haj? The Holy Prophet told him that it was a permanent command. He, in order to explain it put the fingers of his one hand into those of the other hand and said: This is how Umrah has been incorporated into Haj: In other words Umrah can be performed during the months of Haj and there is nothing wrong about it.

It is advisable to take children for pilgrimage in order to give them training in the rituals of Haj and Umrah. But it should be borne in mind that performance of Haj at an early age does not exempt one of the responsibility of Haj as one reaches the age of maturity.

Hazrat Abu Nadra reported: “Ibn-e-Abbas commanded the perform­ance of Mut’a (putting on Ihram for Umrah during the months of Dhul Hijja and after completing it, then putting on Ihram for Haj), but Ibn-e-Zubayr forbade to do it. I made a mention of it to Jabir bin Abdullah and he said: It is through me that this Hadith has been circulated. We entered into the state of Ihram as Tamattu with the Messenger of Allah (May peace be upon him). When Umar was installed as Caliph, he said: Verily Allah made permis­sible for His Messenger whatever He liked and as He liked. And (every command) of the Holy Qur’an has been revealed for every occasion. So accomplish Haj and Umrah for Allah as He has commanded you…” (Sahih Muslim)

The question arises as to why Hazrat Umar laid stress on performing Haj and Umrah separately. The answer is that he did not deem Tamattu as forbidden, and he could not do so as it was permitted by the Holy Prophet, but he was of the view that it was preferable to perform Haj and Umrah separately after completing each one of them. But this was not his own idea. In this respect also he sought guidance both from the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith.

The Holy Qur’an states: Perform the pilgrimage and Umrah for Allah. (2:196) On the basis of this verse Hazrat Umar was justi­fied in stressing the point that the Muslims should accomplish Haj and Umrah separately. This is in the normal conditions when there is no necessity to do otherwise. In this connection he was also guided by a Hadith transmitted on the authority of Hazrat Ayesha in which the Holy Prophet told her about her Umrah that her reward was determined on the basis of her labour (undertaken by her). Hazrat Umar, therefore, concluded that when there had been peace in the land and the conditions had become normal, the Muslims should show zeal and undergo hardships for performing Haj and Umrah separately. The Holy Prophet had exhorted his compan­ions to perform Tamattu (Haj and Umrah under separate Ihrams but in the same journey); he had performed Qiran in order to grant them permission of this and in order to weed out the wrong notion which had taken hold of their minds that Umrah could not be performed during the month of Dhul Hijja. What Hazrat Umar did was not an abrogation of the sanction given by the Holy Prophet. He only exhorted the Muslims to adopt a preferable course (Haj-e-Ifrad) which required greater labour and thus ensured greater reward.

It may also be stated that the head of Islamic State can neither abrogate any law of the Shariat nor is he allowed to forbid that which has been declared lawful by Allah and his Apostle, nor make lawful what is forbidden by the Shariat, but he is authorized to ask the Muslims to adopt the preferable course out of the permitted courses which he finds more rewarding according to the Shariat and more useful according to the public interest.

The first Umrah performed by the Holy Prophet was during the sixth year A.H. (year of Hudaybiah) when the pagans of Mecca did not allow him to proceed to the Ka’bah. He was, therefore, obliged to put off Ihram at Hudaybiah and slaughter the animals and get his head shaved there, and then go back to Medina without circumambulation of the House and running between Safa and Marwah. The second Umrah was performed next year when he, accord­ing to the truce of Hudaybiah, entered Mecca and stayed there for three days and performed Umrah. The third one in the eighth year of Hijrah in the year of Victory over Mecca on his way back from the battle of Hunayn, and the fourth one in the tenth year of Hijrah, when the Holy Prophet incorporated Umrah in his Farewell Pilgrimage.

Hazrat Ka’b bin Ujra lived in Kufa and died at Medina in 51 A.H. at the age of 75. Many companions and their successors narrated traditions from him. He reported: It was I for whom this verse was revealed (to the Holy Prophet). “And whoever among you is sick or hath an ailment of the head must pay a ransom of fasting or almsgiving, or offering.” (2:196) He said: I came to him (the Holy Prophet) and he said: Come near. So I went near. He (again) said: Do the vermins trouble you? Ibn Aun (one of the narrators) said: I think he (Ka’b bin Ujra) replied in the af­firmative. He (the Holy Prophet) then commanded to do compensation by fasting or by giving Sadqa (feeding six needy persons) or by sacrificing (of an animal) that is available. (Sahih Muslim)

Hazrat Abdullah bin Ma’qal narrated: I sat with Ka’b bin Ujra in this mosque, i.e. Kufa Mosque, and asked him about the meaning of: ‘Pay a ransom of either fasting or… (2:196) He said: I was taken to the Prophet while lice were falling on my face. The Prophet said: I did not think that your trouble reached to such an extent. Can you afford to slaughter a sheep (as a ransom for shaving your head)? I said: No. He said: Then fast for three days, or feed six poor persons by giving half a Sa’ of food for each and shave your head. So the above verse was revealed especially for me and generally for all of you. (Bukhari)


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