What is Hajj in Islam and History of Haj post

What is Hajj?

Understanding Hajj: The Sacred Pilgrimage in Islam

Each year, millions of Muslims from all over the world embark on Hajj, the sacred pilgrimage and the fifth pillar of Islam. This profound journey takes place in Makkah, modern-day Saudi Arabia, during the holy month of Dhul Hijjah, the 12th month in the Islamic calendar.

The Importance of Hajj in Islam

Hajj is a spiritual obligation and one of the five pillars of Islam. Every Muslim who is financially, physically, and emotionally able must perform Hajj at least once in their lifetime. However, it is permissible to perform Hajj multiple times while sincerely seeking Allah’s (SWT) pleasure.

Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an:

"And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves – then indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds." Qur’an 3:97

The Spiritual Significance of Hajj

For anyone preparing to perform Hajj, it’s an incredibly exciting and spiritually significant time. The first pilgrimage can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a Muslim. Hajj is a test of patience and temperament, offering a spiritual, emotional, and physical challenge. It provides Muslims with the opportunity to renew their spiritual selves, cleanse their sins, and draw closer to Allah (SWT).

As Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of Allah and does not utter any obscene speech or do any evil deed, will go back (free of sin) as his mother bore him." Hadith | Bukhari and Muslim

When Does Hajj Take Place?

Hajj occurs annually between the 8th and 12th of Dhul Hijjah. Because Muslims use the lunar calendar, the corresponding Gregorian dates vary each year. In 2024, Hajj will take place from 14th June to 19th June in the Gregorian calendar.

A Comprehensive Guide to Hajj

This comprehensive Hajj guide will help you understand the various aspects of the holy pilgrimage, from its origin to the steps involved in performing Hajj.

The Origin and Story of Hajj

While Hajj was taught to Muslims by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), its origins date back to the teachings of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) thousands of years before. The Hajj rituals were established in 628 CE by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) during the month of Dhul Hijjah and continue to be performed in the same manner today.

Historical Significance of Dhul Hijjah

Dhul Hijjah was a sacred month even in pre-Islamic Arabia, where fighting was forbidden, and pilgrimages were made to the Kaaba – a structure housing pagan idol at the time. Muslims today know it as Baitullah or the House of God, playing a crucial role in Hajj but not as an object of worship.

Hajar, Isma’il (AS), and the Well of Zamzam

Ibrahim (AS) left his wife Hajar and their son Isma’il (AS) in the desert of Makkah by Allah's command. In search of water, Hajar ran between the hills of Safa and Marwah. Her desperate search ended when a spring of water, now known as Zamzam, gushed forth. This miraculous water source became a means of survival and prosperity for Hajar and Isma’il (AS), laying the foundation for the city of Makkah.

Construction of the Kaaba

Ibrahim (AS) and his son Isma’il (AS) built the Kaaba at the site of the Zamzam well, marking a sacred gathering place for believers in the one God, Allah (SWT). Over the centuries, the Kaaba became central to the Hajj pilgrimage.

The Inception of Hajj

Ibrahim (AS) performed pilgrimage to Makkah annually, a tradition continued by his son Isma’il (AS). However, over time, the Kaaba became associated with pagan worship. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), the last messenger of Allah (SWT), re-established Hajj in 632 CE, restoring the Kaaba’s original purpose.

Hajj Today

Today, over 2.5 million Muslims from around the world travel to Makkah during Dhul Hijjah to fulfill the rites of Hajj, standing equal before Allah (SWT). Some save their entire lives for this pilgrimage, while others perform it more than once. Regardless of individual circumstances, the month of Dhul Hijjah offers countless blessings for Muslims globally.

Who Is Eligible to Perform Hajj?

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, making it obligatory for all Muslims to perform it at least once in their lifetime if they are able. This sacred duty holds immense spiritual significance, drawing believers closer to Allah (SWT) and reinforcing the principles of faith, sacrifice, and unity.

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