Al-Hajj [Pilgrimage to Mecca]

Allah, the Exalted, says:

"....And Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House is incumbent by Allah upon the people whoever is capable of performing it, and whoever denies (it), then surely Allah is above any need of the worlds." (3:97)

Performing the Hajj was made obligatory in the 9th year of the Hijrah. It is one of the basic foundations of Islam, and a sacred devotional act through which Muslims get nearer to Allah, the Exalted.

Further verses and many Traditions confirm that the Hajj is Wajib, (obligatory) and stress its significance and importance, as shown in the above verse, and in the following Tradition which attaches great importance to this holy duty: "The accepted Hajj has no reward but Paradise, and from a Umrah [the minor Hajj] to the next it would be considered Kaffarah (expiation) for what would be in between."1

The Imam Ja'far As-Sadiq (a.s.) said: "The religion [Islam] remains as firmly established long as the Ka'bah remains so."2

The Objectives and Advantages of the Hajj

In addition to the fact that the Hajj is a holy devotional duty, it has many objectives in the human life. The feeling of brotherhood and equality would be obtained by practising it: All wear the unified [towel­like] Ihram while performing the Umrah and the Hajj, a very simple and modest dress worn by the Hājj (pilgrim), while shouting the same cry:

''Labbayk A Allahumma Labbayk. Labbayka La Sharika Laka Labbayk. Innal-Hamda Wan-Ni'mata Laka Wal-Mulk. La Sharika Laka Labbayk," [O Allah, here I am (at Your service)! Here I am! (O You) Who have no partner, here I am! Praise, blessing, and kingdom are Yours, (O You) Who have no partner, here I am!].

All, thus, feel that there is no distinction among them in their servitude to Allah. In the Hajj season Muslims gather together, discuss the affairs of their lives, and beliefs, become acquainted with one another's social and political problems and exchange experiences, advices, opinions and good habits.

Through the Hajj rituals the Hājj grows accustomed to patience, good behaviour, modesty, sociability as well as avoiding lying, backbiting, enmity, etc. so the Hajj is the season for teaching and educating the Muslim, besides being a worshipping service expiating one's sins and bringing about forgiveness.

In the Hajj, there are economic and living advantages. On the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah a large number of animals are slaughtered as sacrifices. They can be used to feed the poor and the needy. Thus, the slaughtered animals, can be used to overcome hunger and poverty suffered worldwide by some Muslims.

Conditions of the Hajj being Wajib

Performing the Hajj once in one's life is Wajib according to the following conditions:

1. To be able to financially afford it and physically endure it, as the Hajj is not Wajib except on the Muslim who owns enough money to cover all the expenditure of himself and his family during his pilgrimage, and who is strong enough to bear the difficulties of the journey and the rites of the Hajj, provided that the journey is safe and no danger is expected against oneself, family and property.

2. Maturity, it is not Wajib on a minor to perform the Hajj, even if other conditions of the Hajj were present.

3. Sanity, as it is not Wajib on the mad.

4. Freedom, that is, he must not be a slave owned by another person.

The Kinds of Hajj

There are three different kinds of Hajj:

1. Hajjul Ifrad: This is the Hajj which is Wajib on the Mustafi [the one who has all the conditions required for the performance of the Hajj] who lives in Mecca or within 86 km around it. It is called "Hajjul-Ifrad because the Hājj comes to the Hajj without a Hady [a sacrificial animal like a sheep, a camel, etc].

2. Hajjul-Qiran: It is the same as above, but the Hājj comes to the Hajj bringing a Hady.

In these two different kinds of Hajj, the Hājj must perform the Hajj before performing the Umrah.

3. Hajjut-Tamattu3, which is Wajib4 on those who live farther than 16 Farsakhs (86 km). In this Hajj the Umrah is to be performed before performing the Hajj.

The Wajib (Obligatory) Rituals of the Hajj

These rituals consist of two obligatory rituals:

1. The Umrah (Umratut-Tamattu)

2. The duties of Hajj (Hajjut-Tamattu)

First: Umratut-Tamattu

Umratut-Tamattu is to be performed prior in time to Hajjut­Tamattu. It consists of 5 acts;

1. The Haram [putting on the special dress for the occasion], starting from any one of the following Mawaqit [places assigned for wearing the Haram] which are on different roads to Mecca. These are:

a. Masjidush-Shajarah.

b. Al-Juhfah

c. Wadil-Aqiq

d. Yalamlam

e. Qarnul Manazil

The time to wear the Ihram for this Umrah starting from any day of the month of Shawwal through the month of Dhul-Qi'dah up to the 9th of the month of Dhul-Hijjah, the day on which the pilgrims are to start the rites in Arafat. During that period we are allowed to make the Niyyah for the Hajj, wear the Ihram for Umratut-Tamattu, which is part of the Hajj duty, and then, having finished the manasik [the rites of the Umrah] the Hājj wears his common clothes releasing himself from the Ihram's obligations-which implies the meaning of Tamattu, and waits for the Hajj on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah to perform the manasik of the Hajj. The process of Ihram consists of:
a. The Niyyah.

b. Wearing the two dresses of Ihram.

c. At-Talbiyah; that is repeating the recitation of "Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk, Labbayka La Sharika Laka Labbayk. Innal-Hamda Wan-Ni'mata Laka Wal-Mulk, Lasharika Laka Labbayk."

2. The Tawaf around the Ka'bah seven times.

3. Performing a 2 Rak’ah Salatut-Tawaf behind Maqam Ibrahim (a.s.).

4. As-Sa'y, [running] between As-Safa and Al-Marwah [places near the Ka'bah] seven times.

5. At-Taqsir, which means cutting off hair from one's head, beard or, moustaches, or clipping the nails.


The Niyyah is Wajib for every act of the Umrah and the Hajj.

Second: Hajjut-Tamattu

Hajjut-Tamattu consists of thirteen Wajib acts:

1. The Ihram, which begins in Mecca, better if started in Al­Masjidul-Haram [the mosque in which the Ka'bah is located], where the Hājj wears the two dresses of Ihram, makes the Niyyah to perform Hajjut-Tamattu, begins the Talbiyah and sets off for Arafat.

2. The stopover in Arafat, which means staying in Arafat on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah, from noon till sunset, then setting off for Muzdalifah after sunset.

3. As a precaution, it is better for the Hājj to stay overnight in Muzdalifah, as it is Wajib for him to stay in Muzdalifah from the dawn of the day of the Eid until sunrise, as it is not allowed to leave the place before sunrise. It is sufficient, however, to stay for a short while, then proceed to Mina.

4. Throwing seven pebbles at Jamratul-Aqabah in Mina on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah.

5. Sacrifcing a sheep, a goat a cow, or a camel (sound and healthy) in Mina on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah.

6. Shaving the head (if it was one's first pilgrimage) for men, while women are to cut some of their hair. This is to take place in Mina on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah then returning to Mecca to complete the Wajib acts of Hajj in Mecca like:

a. Performing seven circumambulations (Tawafs) around the Ka’bah, with the intention of performing Hajjut-Tamattu. Each round is to start from Al-Hajarul-Aswad [the black stone fixed in the wall of the Ka'bah], and to end at it, during which the Hājj is to keep his left side towards this stone.

b. Salatut-Tawaf which is a 2 Rak'ah Salat to be performed behind Maqam Ibrahim (a.s.), with the Niyyah of Hajjut-Tamattu.

c. Sa'y from As-Safa to Al-Marwah and back, seven times, with the same Niyyah, starting from As-Safa and ending at Al-Marwah.

d. Tawafun-Nisa5, which is alos seven rounds around the Ka'bah

e. Salatu-Tawafin-Nisa, which is a 2 Rak'ah Salat performed behind Maqam Ibrahim (a.s.) after which the Hājj is to go back to Mina once again, to complete the rest of the Hajj rites like:

f. Slaying in Mina on the 11th, 12th and 13th nights for the one who was still in Mina during the sunset of the 12th day (of Dhul-Hijjah).

g. Throwing seven pebbles at the three Jamarat [places], starting from the first, then the middle, then the Aqabah on the 11th and 12th days. This is to be repeated on the 13th day by the one who had to stay in Mina during the night of the 13th.

By this the rites of the Hajj are completed.

Forbidden Acts During Haram

Having started the Ihram, and worn Ihram dress, the Hājj he must refrain from practising certain acts which become Haram to him as long as he has not finished the rites of the Hajj. These acts are:

1. Hunting, taking part in hunting, killing (except wild beasts which may injure people) and eating wild animals.

2. Having Sexual intercourse with one's spouse, as well as masturbation.

3. Concluding a marriage contract for oneself, for others6 or even taking part in it as a witness.

4. The use of perfume, eye make-up, hair ointments, looking in a mirror to beautify oneself, wearing rings as adornment and wearing jewelry by women, except what is common, provided that these are not to be shown to men, even to the near kin.

5. The wearing of sewn clothes by men, as well as wearing footwear that covers the upper part of the feet, including socks.

6. Abusing, telling lies, showing lewdness, etc.

7. Al-Jidal, which means swearing by Allah!", to confirm an argument, such as saying: "Yes, by Allah! or No, by Allah!"

8. Killing insects of the body, like the flea.

9. Removing hair from the body.

10. Causing bleeding from the body, removal of a molar tooth and clipping the nails.

11. Walking knowingly under the shade, covering the head (for men), and covering the face for women.

12. Cutting down trees and plants from the Mecca district (as was known during the Prophet's days).

13. Carrying weapons.

Recommendable Acts of Hajj

If a Hājj wanted to leave Mecca after completing the manasik of the Hajj, it is Mustahabb for him to make Tawaful-Wada [farewell Tawaf], with seven rounds around the Ka'bah, to touch Al-Hajarul-Aswad, thank Allah, praise Him and send blessings on Muhammad and his progeny.

It is also Mustahabb to visit the holy shrine of the Messenger of Allah (s) in the Luminous Madinah before the Hajj or after it.

The Kaffarahs (Atonements)

If the Hājj deliberately committed any of the said Haram acts which should not be done during the Ihram, he would have to expiate for it. In most cases the expiation is to sacrifice a sheep, a camel, a cow, etc. In other cases according to the violation committed, it is to feed a poor person or more, or to fast for three days.


Q1. Mark the true statement with T and the incorrect one with F.
a. Hajj is Wajib even for minors.

b. Hajj is Wajib for the sane, mature person who is able to afford it and to bear its difficulties, and is certain of safety.

c. In Hajjul-Qiran the Hājj brings his Hady with him.

Q2. What does the Ihram consist of?

Q3. After finishing the manasik in Mina, the Hājj returns to Mecca on the 10th to perform five acts, which are:






Q4. As soon as the Hājj wears the Ihram, he will be prohibited from doing certain acts. Describe five of these acts, briefly.

Q5. Why is it called Hajjut-Tamatu?

  • 1. Sunanun-Nasa'i, by An-Nasa'i, vol 5, Kitab Manasikul-Hajj, p. 112.
  • 2. “Wasa’ilush Sh-Shi'ah”, by Al-Hurrul-Amili, vol. 8, Kitabul-Hajj, p. 14, 5th ed.
  • 3. It is called “Hajjut-Tamattu" because the Hājj may enjoy himself within the period between the Umrah and the Hajj, that is after finishing the acts of the Umrah, the things which had been Haram during Ihram become Halal for him, except the cutting down of trees and the plants of the old Mecca district.
  • 4. The four sects say: “Every Hājj, whether Meccan or not, may choose to perform any one of the three different kinds of Hajj of: At-Tamattu, Al-Qiran, and Al-Ifrad without being Makruh. But Abu Hanifah says that it is Makruh for the Meccan to perform Hajjut-Tamattu and Al-Qiran.
  • 5. The four sects say that this Tawaf is not Wajib, as there is no Wajib Tawaf after Tawaful-Hajj.
  • 6. Abu Hanifah says: It is allowed to conclude a marriage contract and it would be valid.