The Rites of Hajj-Part One


This is the first part of three in which we will briefly discuss the basic Fiqh of Hajj according to the majority opinion of Sunni scholars. This part comprises of 6 subtitles (summarized and translated from the book Al Mulakhas Al Fiqhi by Shaikh Saalih Al Fawzaan): 


  1- Hajj: A pillar of Islam 

بيان أن الحج من أحد أركان الإسلام

وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ

“And Hajj to the House (Ka’bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence); and whoever disbelieves [denies Hajj, then he is a disbeliever of Allah], then Allah stands not in need of mankind and jinns.” (Surah Al’Imran: 97)

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, 

بني الإسلام على خمس شهادة أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله وإقام الصلاة وإيتاء الزكاة وحج البيت وصوم رمضان

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 Salaah (prayer), paying the Zakah (obligatory charity), making the Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House, and fasting in Ramadan. (Bukhari and Muslim)

2- The wisdom behind legislating Hajj

الحكمة في مشروعية الحج

Allah says in the Quran,

لِّيَشْهَدُوا مَنَافِعَ لَهُمْ وَيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْلُومَاتٍ 

“That they may witness things that are of benefit to them (i.e. reward of Hajj in the Hereafter, and also some worldly gain from trade, etc.), and mention the Name of Allah on appointed days (i.e. 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah)..” (Surah Al Hajj: 28)

Therefore, the benefit is for the slave and not for the Lord of the slave; He has no need to be praised by His creation. Plus this verse will be explained in the upcoming posts insha Allah.

3- When was it legislated?

 مشروعية الحج

It was legislated in the ninth year of Hijrah and the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam performed Hajj only once in his lifetime, which is called the Farewell Pilgrimage. He did not perform Umrah except four times in his life.

4-The objective in performing Hajj

المقصود من الحج

The objective in performing Hajj and Umrah is to worship Allah in the places that He has legislated for worship.

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, 

 إنما جعل رمي الجمار و السعي بين الصفا و المروة لإقامة ذكر الله

“Indeed, the stoning of the Jamaraat and Sa’ee between Safa and Marwa were legislated for the remembrance of Allah.” Tirmidhi (Hasan Saheeh)

5-The Ruling on Hajj 

الحكم الشرعي في الحج

Hajj is obligatory on an able person once in his lifetime by the consensus of the Muslims.

Umrah is obligatory according to the majority opinion.

سئل النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم: هل على النساء من جهاد؟ قال: نعم عليهن جهاد لا قتال فيه: الحج و العمرة

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was asked, “Is Jihad sanctioned for women?” He said, “Yes, it is upon them to perform Jihad in which there is no killing: Hajj and ‘Umrah.” He indicated the difficulty that comes with Hajj and ‘Umrah by using the word “Jihad.”

It is obligatory on a Muslim to be quick in performing the Hajj, and he is sinful if he delays without reason. 

قال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم تعجلوا إلى الحج فإن أحدكم لا يدري ما يعرض له

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Be hasty in performing the Hajj, because one of you does not know what may happen to him.” In other words, he may lose his wealth or some other sort of problem may arise which blocks him from accessing the means to perform Hajj.

6- The five pre-conditions that make it obligatory


  • Muslim– therefore, Hajj is not accepted from a Kafir. It is obligatory on a Kafir first and foremost to become Muslim, after which all of the acts of worship will become obligatory on him

  • Sane- therefore, it is not accepted from an insane person until he regains his sanity

  • Adult-it is accepted from a young child who has not reached the age of puberty but it will be counted as a voluntary Hajj and he must perform another one once he grows up. A child who is below the age of discernment gets rewarded for the Hajj and so does his guardian; and his guardian may perform the rites on his behalf; such as the intention, and keeping him away from nullifiers of the Ihram, Tawaf, Sa’ee, Mina, ‘Arafah, Muzdalifah, and throwing the stones at the Jamaraat. As for the child who is above the age of discernment (5 years and above), then he may make the intention himself and perform as much as he is able to from the rites of Hajj, and anything that he is unable to do such as throwing the stones at Jamaraat can be done by his guardian. In principle, these actions can only be done on behalf of the guardian if the child is truly unable; otherwise it is better for the child to do them himself.

  • Able– the Muslim must have the physical and financial ability to perform Hajj; he must have the financial means for his transportation and travel expenses as well as sufficient wealth that he leaves behind for his family and those who are under his care. He must also clear out the rights of others on him such as debts. As for the person who is unable to perform Hajj due to an illness that he will never recover from, then he is obliged to send someone on his behalf.

  • For women: She must have a Mahram accompanying her. The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, 

لا تسافر المرأة إلا مع محرم 

“A woman should not travel except in the company of a Mahram.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

و قال رجل للنبي صلى الله عليه و سلم إني أريد أن أخرج في جيش كذا, و امرأتي تريد الحج؟ فقال: اخرج معها

A man said to the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “I want to take part in this army, and my wife wants to perform Hajj.” He sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Go with her.” (Bukhari)

The next part will explain the Sunnah method of preparing for Hajj, the times and places in which Hajj is legislated, the nullifiers of Hajj, and a summary of the types of Hajj, insha Allah. 

الله أكبر .. الله أكبر .. لا إله إلا الله، الله أكبر .. الله أكبر .. ولله الحمد 

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)


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