This page provides Facts and Books on Hajj. It also provides links on topics and websites such as Fiqh of Hajj for Women, ten Days of Dhul Hijjah, and how to perform the Rituals of Hajj and Umrah
Hajj - Introduction
One of the things on which there is scholarly consensus among all the Muslims, ancient and modern, past and present, is that Hajj or pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah is one of the five pillars of Islam, as proven in al-Saheehayn from the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) and others.
It is well known that Hajj, like other acts of worship, involves special actions, and each of these actions must be done in the prescribed manner, such as entering ihram from the meeqat, tawaf, sai between al-Safa and al-Marwah, standing in arafah, staying overnight in Muzdalifah, stoning the Jamarat, slaughtering the sacrifice, and the other well-known actions of Hajj. All of these actions should be done in accordance with the teachings of the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). There are very many ahadeeth which describe the Hajj of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him); these have been compiled by Imam Ibn al-Qayyim in Zad al-Maad and by al-Hafiz Ibn Katheer in his book al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah; these scholars have also explained the rulings derived from these ahadeeth. The Muslim should pay attention to learning these rulings and acting upon them.
Then we should remember that the basic purpose of the actions of Hajj is to establish the remembrance of Allah, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Then when you leave arafat, remember Allah (by glorifying His Praises, i.e. prayers and invocations) at the Mashar-il-Haram. And remember Him (by invoking Allah for all good) as He has guided you, and verily, you were, before, of those who were astray.
Then depart from the place whence all the people depart and ask Allah for His forgiveness. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.
So when you have accomplished your Manasik [rituals of Hajj], remember Allah as you remember your forefathers or with a far more remembrance. But of mankind there are some who say: ‘Our Lord! Give us (Your Bounties) in this world!’ and for such there will be no portion in the Hereafter…
And remember Allah during the appointed Days. But whosoever hastens to leave in two days, there is no sin on him and whosoever stays on, there is no sin on him, if his aim is to do good and obey Allah (fear Him), and know that you will surely be gathered unto Him” [al-Baqarah 2:198-203]
So the Muslim venerates the rituals of Hajj because Allah has commanded him to venerate them, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Thus it is and whosoever honors the Symbols of Allah, then it is truly, from the piety of the hearts” [al-Hajj 22:32]
Al-Bukhari narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) kissed the Black Stone and said, “Were it not that I had seen the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) kissing you, I would not have kissed you.”
By honoring the House and going there, and establishing a sanctuary (Haram) around it are acts of veneration. Arriving there unkempt and disheveled is like a slave turning to his Lord in humility and submission, and that is clear. A person feels at ease performing rituals that he understands, and that motivates him to do them, but to achieve full submission there are some rituals that a person may not understand, so he will not be at ease and will not comprehend them. In this case the only motive is to obey the commands of Allah. This is a greater form of humility and submission.” See Mutheer al-azm al-Sakin.
1 – When was Hajj enjoined? When did Hajj begin?
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And proclaim to mankind the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Hajj)” [al-Hajj 22:27]
Ibn Katheer says in his commentary on this verse (3/221):
This means: Proclaim (O Ibraheem) the Hajj to the people, calling them to come on pilgrimage to this House which We have commanded you to build. It was mentioned that he said, “O Lord, how can I proclaim it to the people when my voice does not reach them?” He said, “Call and We will convey it.” So he stood in his maqam (station) – or it was said, on the rock, or on al-Safa, or on Abu Qubays (a mountain) – and said: “O people, your Lord has taken a House, so come to it on pilgrimage.” And it was said that the mountains lowered themselves so that his voice could reach all parts of the earth and those who were still in the wombs or in men’s loins also heard, and everything that heard him, cities, nomad encampments and trees, and everyone whom Allah has decreed should perform Hajj until the Day of Resurrection responded, (saying) Labbayk Allahumma labbayk (Here I am, O Allah, here I am. This is the summary of what was narrated from Ibn abbas, Mujahid, ‘Ikrimah, Saeed ibn Jubayr and others among the salaf. And Allah knows best.
Ibn al-Jawzi, in his book Mutheer al-azm al-Sakin (1/354) narrated something similar, but more briefly, and he attributed it to the narrators of Seerah.
This has to do with the history of the enjoining of Hajj before the sending of the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). With regard to the enjoining of Hajj in Islam, there is some scholarly difference of opinion concerning that. It was said that it was enjoined in 6 AH, or in 7 AH, or in 9 AH, or in 10 AH. Imam Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) was certain that it was enjoined in 9 or 10 AH. He (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Zad al-Maad:
“There is no dispute that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not perform Hajj after he migrated to Madinah apart from one Hajj, which was the Farewell Pilgrimage. And there is no dispute that that occurred in 10 AH… When the command to perform Hajj was revealed, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) hastened to perform Hajj with no delay. Because the enjoining of Hajj came at a later stage, in 9 or 10 AH, one might say, How can you prove that the command to perform Hajj was delayed until 9 or 10 AH? We would say that the first part of Soorah Al ‘Imran was revealed in the year of delegations (am al-wufood), during which the delegation from Najran came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and he made a treaty with them regarding their paying the jizyah, and the (ruling on) jizyah was revealed in the year of Tabook, 9 AH, when the first part of Soorat Al ‘Imran was revealed…”
Al-Qurtubi said in his Tafseer (2/4/92): Hajj was known to the Arabs. When Islam came, they were told about something they already knew and what was enjoined upon them was something they were familiar with…” See also Ahkam al-Quran by Ibn al-arabi, 1/286.
2 – Tawaf around the House
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“and We commanded Ibraheem (Abraham) and Ismaeel (Ishmael) that they should purify My House (the Kabah at Makkah) for those who are circumambulating it, or staying (I‘tikâf), or bowing or prostrating themselves (there, in prayer)” [al-Baqarah 2:125]
This verse indicates that tawaf around the Kabah was known at the time of Ibraheem (peace be upon him).
3 – Raml
Raml means walking quickly with short steps. This is Sunnah for men but not for women during the tawaf of arrival (tawaf al-qudoom), which is the first tawaf performed when one arrives in Makkah.
Al-Bukhari narrated in his Saheeh (2/469-470, 1602) and Muslim also narrated (2/991-992, 1262) that Ibn abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came with his companions and the mushrikoon said, “There have come to you people who have been weakened by the fever of Yathrib. So the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded them to walk quickly (raml) in the first three circuits… According to another report, he said, “Walk quickly so that the mushrikeen will see that you are strong.”
4 – The water of Zamzam and sai between al-Safa and al-Marwah.
Al-Bukhari narrated in his Saheeh that Ibn abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
Ibraheem brought Hajar and her son Ismaeel when she was still breastfeeding him, to a place near the Kabah under a tree on the spot of Zamzam, at the highest place in the mosque. During those days there was nobody in Makkah, nor was there any water. So he left them there and left with them a leather bag containing some dates, and a small water-skin containing some water, and set out homeward. Ismaeel’s mother followed him saying, “O Ibraheem! Where are you going, leaving us in this valley where there is no person whose company we may enjoy, nor is there anything (to enjoy)?” She repeated that to him many times, but he did not look at her. Then she asked him, “Has Allah commanded you to do this?” He said, “Yes.” She said, “Then He will not forsake us,” and went back while Abraham proceeded onwards. When he reached al-Thaniyah where they could not see him, he turned to face the Kabah, and raising both hands, invoked Allah saying the following prayer:
“O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in an uncultivable valley by Your Sacred House (the Kabah at Makkah) in order, O our Lord, that they may perform As‑Salah (Iqamat‑as‑Salah). So fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allah) provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks” [Ibraheem 14:37]
Ismaeel’s mother went on breastfeeding Ismaeel and drinking from the water (she had). When the water in the water-skin had all been used up, she became thirsty and her child also became thirsty. She started looking at him (i.e. Ismaeel) tossing in agony. She left him, for she could not endure looking at him, and found that the mountain of al-Safa was the nearest mountain to her on that land. She stood on it and started looking at the valley keenly so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody. Then she descended from al-Safa and when she reached the valley, she tucked up her robe and ran in the valley like a person in distress and trouble, till she crossed the valley and reached al-Marwa where she stood and started looking, expecting to see somebody, but she could not see anybody. She repeated that (running between al-Safa and al-Marwa) seven times.
Ibn abbas said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “This is the (origin of) the people’s sai (walking) between them between them (i.e. al-Safa and al-Marwa).” When she reached al-Marwa (for the last time) she heard a voice and she said to herself “Shh!” and listened attentively. She heard the voice again and said, “O, (whoever you may be)! You have made me hear your voice; have you got something to help me?” Then she saw an angel at the place of Zamzam, digging the earth with his heel (or his wing), until water appeared. She started to make something like a basin around it, using her hand in this way, and started filling her water-skin with water with her hands, and the water was flowing out after she had scooped some of it.
Ibn abbas said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “May Allah have mercy on the mother of Ismaeel! Had she let Zamzam (flow without trying to control it) (or had she not scooped from that water) (to fill her water-skin), Zamzam would have been a stream flowing on the surface of the earth.” And he said: “The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid of being neglected, for this is the House of Allah which will be built by this boy and his father, and Allah never neglects His people’…”
Ibn al-Jawzi said in his book Mutheer al-azm al-Sakin (2/47): “This hadeeth explains the reason why it is called Zamzam, because when the water flowed, Hajar tried to control it (zammat-ha). The linguist Ibn Faris said: Zamzam comes from the words zamamtu al-naqah(I reined in the camel).
5 – The standing at arafah
Abu Dawood and al-Tirmidhi (883) narrated that Yazeed ibn Shayban said: We were standing in arafah in a place far from the mawqif [where the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stood]. Ibn Mirba al-Ansari came to us and said, “I am the messenger of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who says to you: ‘Stay where you are (for it is also the place of standing), for you are standing in the area where your father Ibraheem stood.’” Classed as saheeh by al-Albani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 1688.
Many of the actions of Hajj stem from the time of Ibraheem (peace be upon him), but the mushrikeen introduced some innovations which were not prescribed. When the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was sent, he opposed them in that and explained what was prescribed for the actions of Hajj.