Review of certain verses of Quran in connection with Hajj

Hajj is one of the rites of Islam. Like all other rites of Islam, prophet Abraham was the first to receive the rite of Hajj, which passed down to us. The Quran has detailed out all the ceremonial actions related to Hajj including who are to do, what to do, how to do, when to do and where to do to complete this ritual in the following verses:

  • The House was made a place of meeting for the people in order to perform Hajj rituals and the daily practices of worship. When Abraham and Ismael raised its foundations asked God to accept their effort as well as to make them submitters and show them the rites, and to raise up a messenger from their descendants to teach them the scripture and the wisdom.
  • [2:125] And when we made the House a place of meeting for the people and security, “You shall use the station of Abraham as a prayer house, and we made a covenant with Abraham and Ismael that you shall purify My house for those who go around, those who devote, those who bow and those who prostrate.”
    [2:127] And when Abraham and Ismael raised the foundations of the House, “Our Lord, accept this from us. You are the Hearer, the Omniscient.
    [2:128] “Our Lord, make us submitters to You, and from our descendants let there be a community of submitters to You. And show us our rites and redeem us. You are the Redeemer, Most Merciful.
    [2:129] “Our Lord, and raise up in them a messenger to recite to them Your revelations, and teach them the scripture and the wisdom, and purify them. You are the Almighty, Most Wise.”

  • Traversing the distance between the Safa and the Marwah is one of the rituals of Hajj and Umrah.
  • [2:158] The Safa and the Marwah are among the symbols of God. So, whoever performs Hajj to the House or performs Umrah, then there is no blame on him that he traverses between them. And whoever does goodness, then God is Appreciative, Omniscient.

  • The timing of Hajj is determined by the lunar calendar and the birth of the new moon signals the beginning of Hajj. Thus, when God has decreed any rite for us, He has also given us the way to fulfill it so that we do not have to beat around the bush.
  • [2:189] They ask you about the new moons. Say, “They are measures of timing for the people as well as for the Hajj.” And it is not righteousness that you come to the houses from their backs, but it is righteous for the one who fears God and comes to the houses from their doors, and you shall fear God so that you may be successful.

  • Under unusual situation, when the pilgrims are not able to reach the Sacred Masjid, they shall make an animal sacrifice including head shaven and shortening, which can be expiated by fasting, giving to a charity or any sacrifice if someone has illness or head injury. Under secure condition, the pilgrims complete Hajj and Umrah, and make an animal sacrifice, which can also be substituted with ten days of fasting.
  • [2:196] And you shall complete the Hajj and the `Umrah for God. So, if you have been prevented, then whatever has been obtained with ease from the animal of sacrifice, and you cannot shave your heads until the animal of sacrifice reaches its destination. So, whoever among you has been ill or with an ailment of his head, then expiation either by fasting or charity or sacrifice. So, when you have been secure, then whoever has taken advantage of the `Umrah to the Hajj, then whatever has been obtained with ease from the animal of sacrifice. But whoever cannot find, then fasting of three days during the Hajj and seven when you have returned. This is ten in all; that is for whoever of his family would not be near the Sacred Masjid. And you shall fear God, and shall know that God is severe in the retribution.

  • Hajj can be performed in any of the specified months while sexual intercourse, misconduct and arguments are prohibited throughout the Hajj.
  • [2:197] The Hajj can be performed in the specified months. So whoever decides to perform the Hajj therein, then there shall be no sexual relations, no wickedness and no vain arguments throughout the Hajj. And whatever good you do, God is aware of it; and bring provision, indeed, the best provision is righteousness. And you shall fear Me O people of understanding.

  • When the pilgrims commemorate God at Arafaat, they may also seek from Him provision to support them to lead a righteous life. Then they left for sacred place to remember God there (Muzdalifa) and depart it asking forgiveness of God.
  • [2:198] There is no sin upon you to seek provision from your Lord. So when you depart from Arafaat, then you remember God at the sacred place. And you shall remember Him as He has guided you, even before you were among those who went astray.
    [2:199]Then you shall depart from wherever the people depart, and ask forgiveness of God. God is surely Forgiving, Most Merciful.

  • Upon the completion of Hajj the pilgrims should continue to remember God and ask Him to give them righteousness in this world as well as in the Hereafter instead of just to give them in this world as our priority is the Hereafter.
  • [2:200] And when you completed your rites, then remember God as you remember your fathers or even more. But among the people there are some who say: “Our Lord, give us in this world!”, and they have no share in the Hereafter.
    [2:201] And some of them say: “Our Lord, give us righteousness in this world, and righteousness in the Hereafter, and spare us from the retribution of the Fire.”

  • This verse refers to the visit to Mena and talks about the number of days staying there for remembering God. The pilgrims may stay there any number of days as long as righteousness is maintained while minimum two days meet the requirement. It is a place where the symbolic stoning of Satan and animal sacrifice for God are done on behalf of the pilgrims.
  • [2:203] And you shall remember God in a number of days. But whoever hurries in two days, then there is no sin upon him; and whoever delays, then there is no sin upon him who is righteous. And you shall fear God, and know that before Him you will be gathered.

  • The Sacred House is located in Becca (Mecca) wherein the people are to perform Hajj for God, who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey to it.
  • [3:96] The first House established for the people is the one in Becca, a blessed and guidance for all the people.
    [3:97] In it are clear signs, the station of Abraham, and whoever enters it is safe. And the people are to perform Hajj to the House for God, whoever is able to make a journey to it. But whoever has disbelieved, then God does not need any of the people.

  • God has specified what is lawful and what is unlawful around the Hajj. He has commanded us not to violate the God given rites concerning the sacred month, hunting game animal, animal sacrifice or what is garlanded, those coming to the Sacred House and inciting hatred for a people when prevented from going to the Sacred Masjid, helping one another.
  • [5:1] O you who believe, you shall fulfill your contracts. Made lawful for you are the livestock, except that which is specifically mentioned to you, not being permitted to hunting while you are in the state of Ihram. Indeed, God decrees whatever He wills.
    [5:2] O you who believe, do not violate the rites of God, nor the sacred month, nor the animal sacrifice, nor what is garlanded with, nor those coming to the Sacred House for seeking bounty from their Lord and blessing. And when you come out of Ihram, then you may hunt. And let not you incite the hatred for a people when you are prevented from going to the Sacred Masjid that you transgress. And help one another in righteousness and piety, but do not help one another in committing sin and aggression. And you shall fear God, indeed, God is severe in enforcing the retribution.

  • Hunting is prohibited during Hajj but if anyone kills the game on purpose, he must compensate it judging by the two equitable men, which need to reach the focal point. The equitable compensation may be from a livestock, or an expiation feeding the needy persons or its equivalent in fasting. He has made the game of the sea lawful while the game of the land unlawful throughout the Hajj. It is also noteworthy that the game is a wild animal which is lawful for us to eat.
  • [5:94] O you who believe, God will test you with some of the hunting that can be reachable to your hands and your spears, so that God may make evident who honors Him in the unseen. So whoever has transgressed after that, then there is a painful retribution for him.
    [5:95] O you who believe, do not kill any game while you are in a state of Ihram. And whoever among you has killed it deliberately, then the recompense is to expiate with the same from the livestock that is equivalent to the game he killed being judged by two equitable men among you, as an offering reaching the Ka’bah or an expiation feeding the needy persons or its equivalent in fasting so that he may perceive the consequence of his deed. God has pardoned what has past but whoever returns, then God will avenge from him. And God is Almighty, Avenger.
    [5:96] Made lawful for you is the game of the sea and its food as provision for you as well as for the travellers but made unlawful for you is the game of the land as long as you are in a state of Ihram. And you shall fear God to whom you will be gathered.

  • God has told us to travel freely in four months, which indicates that these four months are consecutive and is an opportunity for us to perform Hajj being sacred out of the twelve months according to the lunar calendar.
  • [9:2] Therefore, roam the land for four months and know that you cannot escape God, and that God will humiliate the disbelievers.

  • God has made four months sacred out of twelve months of the lunar calendar in which fighting is sacrilege while any adjustment of sacred months with other months leads us to astray because of augmentation of disbelief. Thus, we must follow what God has decreed for us.
  • [9:36] The count of the months with God is twelve months in ordinance of God from the day He created the heavens and the earth; four of them are sacred. That is the perfect religion, so do not wrong yourselves therein. And fight the idol worshipers all together as they fight you all together, and know that God is with the righteous.
    [9:37] Indeed, postponing the sacred months is an increase in disbelief as those who disbelieve are led astray by it. They alternate it every other year adjusting the number of months what God has made sacred. Thus, they violate what God has decreed as sacred months. Their evil works have been adorned for them, and God does not guide the disbelieving people.

  • God assigned to Abraham the location of the Ka’bah to worship Him without associating any partners with Him and ordered him to proclaim the Hajj to the people. Thus, the Hajj has been decreed for us to His House (Shrine) including an animal sacrifice as a rite for the pilgrims indicating details of the animal sacrifice.
  • [22:26] And when we assigned to Abraham the location of the House that do not associate anything with Me and you shall purify My House for those who go around, those who devote, those who bow and those who prostrate.
    [22:27] And proclaim the Hajj to the people; they will come to you on foot and on every transport; they will come from every farthest location.
    [22:28] That they may witness the benefits for themselves and remember God’s name at specified days for what He has provided them with livestock of the animal. So eat from it and feed the needy and the poor.
    [22:29] Then let them complete their obligations and fulfill their vows, and go around the ancient House.
    [22:33] In it there are benefits for you for a certain period of time, then their place of sacrifice is to the ancient House.
    [22:36] And the livestock, we have made them for you among God’s rites wherein there is righteousness for you. So you shall mention God’s name upon them in the line, so is when are down at their sides. Then you shall eat from it and shall feed the poor and the needy. It is thus that we have made them for your service that you may appreciate.

  • The attempt of Abraham to sacrifice his son for the sake of God on the basis of his dream is substituted with an animal sacrifice, and this event is preserved through two rituals: (1) animal sacrifice and (2) stoning of Satan on behalf of the pilgrims.
  • [37:107] And we ransomed him with a great sacrifice.
    [37:108] And we left him in the later generations.

  • The great victory came to the early Muslims when prophet together with the believers was able to enter the Sacred Masjid secure, fulfilling the Hajj rituals with no fear. History indicates that in the meantime, the Ka’ba was under the control of the idol worshippers of Mecca, who used it as a shrine for the tribal gods and idols of Arabia, and prevented prophet and the believers from entering it for performing Hajj therein. The Quraysh held an annual pilgrimage to the Ka’ba and a fair that attracted pilgrims from all over Arabia.
  • [48:27] God has fulfilled His messenger’s vision with truth: “You will enter the Sacred Masjid, God willing, secure, having with your heads shaven and shortened, without having any fear.” Thus, He knew what you did not know, and He granted, besides that a near victory.

Hajj and Umrah are addressed in the Quran covering all practices in 31 verses across 7 suras including what need to be done by the pilgrims in the exceptional cases to complete Hajj. The birth of the new moon of Zul Al-Hijja, 12th month of lunar calendar that signals the beginning of Hajj, is extended up to Rabi I, 3rd month of the lunar calendar being four sacred months.

Hajj begins with a state of sanctity called “Ihram” and throughout Hajj, the pilgrims shall abstain from sexual intercourse, vanities such as shaving and cutting the hair, arguments, misconduct or bad language and hunting. Upon arrival at the Sacred Mosque in Mecca, the pilgrims walk around the Ka`bah seven times (tawaaf), while glorifying and praising God Then they walk a half-mile distance between the Safa and the Marwah seven times, with occasional trotting (Sa’i). This completes the `Umrah portion of the pilgrimage. The pilgrims then go to `Arafat to spend a day of worship, meditation, and glorification of God, from dawn to sunset and after sunset, they go to sacred location (Muzdalifah) where the Night Prayer is observed. From Muzdalifah, the pilgrims go to Mina to spend two or more days wherein they offer an animal sacrifice and observe the ritual of stoning in condemnation of Satan. The pilgrims then return to Mecca and observe a farewell circumvolution of the Ka`bah seven times and completes the Hajj. Thus, Hajj rituals are limited around the Ka’ba and within the vicinity of the city of Mecca.

Hajj consists of two parts: Hajj and Umrah. The steps of normal Hajj are: (1) state of sanctity (Ihraam), (2) circling the Ka’ba seven times (tawaaf), (3) walking the distance between Safa and Marwah (sa’i), (4) going to Arafat for a day long commemoration of God, (5) Observing Night Prayer and staying overnight at Muzdalifa, (6) offering animal sacrifice and (7) stoning of Satan staying at Mina, and (8) circling the Ka’ba seven times to mark the completion of Hajj (farewell tawaaf). However, the circling of the Ka’ba seven times and walking the distance between the Safa and Marwah seven times is Umrah portion of Hajj.

If we carefully review the above verses in connection with Hajj, we may have a clear understanding of how to observe Hajj to the Sacred Masjid for God correctly. However, who has already done Hajj following any innovations and corruptions may repent to God and ask His forgiveness as He is Forgiving and Most Merciful.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.
Tafazzal (9/9/2016)