Hajj: The Islamic Pilgrimage



All praise is due to Allah, the Lord and the Cherisher of the Universe. May the peace and mercy of Allah be upon our beloved prophet, Muhammad (PBUH), his household, companions and all followers of the right guidance till the Day of Judgment.

The month of Dhul-Hijjah (the 12th Islamic month) is one of the four Holy months in Islam and the first ten days are very special. Our beloved prophet, Muhammad (PBUH) said: There are no days greater  in the sight of Allah  and in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so during this time recite a great deal of Tahleel (La ilaha ill-Allah), Takbeer (Allahu akbar) and Tahmeed (Alihamdulillah). Reported by Ahmad.

A special act of worship in this month is Hajj. Ibrahim (Abraham) (PBUH), the father of faith and a friend of Allah, was the first person to perform Hajj. So, we Muslims are following the footstep of Ibrahim by performing Hajj and sacrificing ram. Allah, the Exalted, says:

"O people of the Book! (Jews and Christians) why dispute you about Abraham when the Law and the Gospel were not revealed till after him?  Have you no understanding? Ah! You are those who fell to disputing (even) in matters of which you had some knowledge! But why dispute you in matters of which you have no knowledge?  It is Allah Who knows and you who know not!; Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian but he was true in faith and bowed his will to Allah's (which is Islam) and he joined not gods with Allah.  Without doubt among men the nearest of kin to Abraham are those who follow him as are also this Apostle (Muhammad) and those who believe; and Allah is the Protector of those who have faith". (Q3:65-8)

"And who turns away from the religion of Abraham but such as debase their souls with folly? Him We chose and rendered pure in this world: and he will be in the Hereafter in the ranks of the righteous. Behold! his Lord said to him: "Bow (thy will to Me); He said: "I bow (my will) to the Lord and Cherisher of the universe". Q2:130-1. See also Suratul-Hajj (Q22:78)


Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam and it is obligatory once on whoever (among Muslims) can afford  it. Allah says:

"The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka (Makkah) full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings. In it are signs manifest; (for example) the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith Allah stands not in need of any of his creatures". (Q3:96-7)

"And complete the Hajj or `Umra in the service of Allah.  But if you are prevented (from completing it) send an offering for sacrifice such as you may find and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches the place of sacrifice. And if any of you is ill or has an ailment in his scalp (necessitating shaving) (he should) in compensation either fast or feed the poor or offer sacrifice; and when you are in peaceful conditions (again) if anyone wishes to continue the 'Umra on to the Hajj he must make an offering such as he can afford or he should fast three days during the Hajj and seven days on his return making ten days in all. This is for those whose household is not in (the precincts of) the Sacred Mosque.  And fear Allah and know that Allah is strict in punishment. For Hajj are the months well known. If anyone undertakes that duty therein let there be no obscenity nor wickedness nor wrangling in the Hajj.  And whatever good you do (be sure) Allah knows it.  And take a provision (with you) for the journey but the best of provisions is right conduct.  So fear Me O you that are wise!". (Q2:196-7)

The reward of a flawless Hajj is Paradise, our beloved prophet (PBUH) was reported to have said:

"(The performance of) 'Umra is an expiation for the sins committed (between it and the previous one). And the reward of Hajj Mabrur (the one accepted by Allah) is nothing except Paradise". ( Bukhari 3.1)

Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

"He who performs Hajj for Allah's pleasure and avoids all lewdness and sins will return after Hajj free from all sins as he was the day his mother gave birth to him". (Bukhari and Muslim)


Those that are not performing Hajj are expected to increase in acts of worship and good deeds during this period. It is recommended that one should fast during the first nine days or on the 9th day (i.e. the day of Arafat). If one can do this his past sins will be forgiven. And if one can afford it, he should sacrifice ram on the 10th day of Dhul - Hijjah, and share the meat with the poor and those that cannot afford to make sacrifice. One should avoid all that are prohibited by Islam particularly alcoholic drinks and extravagance.


In Islam, there is always one or more lessons that Allah, the Exalted, wants the believers to learn from acts of worship. Like we saw above in (Q2:130-1), the first lesson of Hajj is submission to Allah in everything.  Ibrahim (PBUH) did this and Allah made him the father of faith. Allah, the Exalted, says in Suratul- Hajj:

"The sacrificial animals we have made for you as among the Symbols from Allah: in them is (much) good for you: then pronounce the name of Allah over them as they line up (for sacrifice): when they are down on their sides (after slaughter) eat you thereof and feed such as (beg not but) live in contentment and such as beg with due humility: thus have we made animals subject to you that you may be grateful.  It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah: it is your piety that reaches Him: He has thus made them subject to you that you may glorify Allah for His guidance to you: and proclaim the Good News to all who do right". (Q22:36-7)

The second lesson is that Allah may test our faith with what our hearts dislike, we should exercise patience and perseverance during hardship, if we do this Allah will reward us in manifolds. Ibrahim (PUBH) was tried and he passed the test. The other lessons are self-restraint, tolerance, unity and equality (Q2:197). Many people, from different countries, gather in Makkah during Hajj dressed in the same way, doing the same thing at the same time. One needs to be extremely patient to cope with such a huge crowd and the associated inconveniences.

While we celebrate Eid-Adha, we should not forget these lessons. I wish you all a happy celebration in advance. May Allah have mercy on us, accept our acts of worship and provide good sustenance for us.

Ma salam.