Hajj (the holy pilgrimage) means to visit the sacred house of ALLAH in Makkah Mukaramah during Hajj days (8, 9, 10, 11 and 12th of Zil Hijjah). Hajj is fifth religious duty of Muslims. It’s a basic pillar of Islam. It erases the past sins of pilgrim. Hajj is among social act of worship and has great importance both spiritually and socially. Among all acts of worship hajjis the only one for which a complete Surah is revealed in Holy Quran. Importance of hajj can be gauged from following facts:
• Hajj frees mankind from all sins of past.
• It’s a kind of Jihad (holy crusade) of weak and women.
• It removes poverty as blacksmith’s furnace separates dross from iron.
• The reward of hajj accepted by ALLAH Almighty is nothing but paradise.
• ALLAH Almighty forgives “Hajji” (the pilgrim) and those too for whom he prays.
Once the Holy Prophet was asked: “What is the best work? He said: “Faith in God, Jihad in the way of God and an accepted Hajj.
According to Quran:
Holy Prophet PBUH mentioned:
Upon Whom Hajj is Farz (conditions)
Hajj is obligatory for every Muslim once in lifetime when he is free, accountable and can afford to reach Makkah and return to his home. There are certain conditions which are obligatory to perform hajj:
• To be a Muslim
• To be mentally and physically fit. Hajj is not obligatory on insane and handicapped person.
• To be a free person(not to be a slave)
• To be able to afford all expenses of Hajj and also have sufficient provision for one’s dependant, e.g. Children, wife
• Women must be accompanied by her husband or Mehram.
The Prophet of God (S.A.W.) said to Imam Ali (A.S.): O Ali, someone who is able to do Hajj but he avoids doing it is a great sinner.
Umrah is Sunnate Muakkadah to perform it once in lifetime. It can e performed throughout the year however an Umrah performed during Ramadan is superior to other days. As Holy Prophet PBUH mentioned, “An Umrah performed during Ramadan is equal (in reward) to performing Hajj with me.”
There are four pillars of Umrah:
1. Entering the state of Ihram.
2. Tawwaf is circumambulation around Holy Ka’bah.
3. Sa’y is fast walking round hills of Safa and Marwa.
4. Tahlul-lul which means comes out of state of Ihram.
Umrah can be performed any time during the year. It is Sunnah of Holy Prophet neither imperative nor mandatory. Umrah has great reward.
According to Holy Prophet:
It Is Obligatory at least once in a lifetime as found in this Hadith
‘Aa’ishah said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, do women have to engage in jihad?’ He said, ‘yes, they must do jihad in which there is no fighting: Hajj and ‘Umrah,’ Ibn Maajah
In another Hadith, the Prophet (SWS) says:
One Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed between it and another Umrah. (Bukhari, Muslim)
The Prophet (S) said:
“The performers of Hajj and Umrah are deputations of Allah (SWT). If they call Him, He answers them and if they seek His forgiveness, He forgives them.”
Like Hajj, the act of Umrah is amongst the best deeds one can perform when pleasing Allah (swt). Allah (SWT) loves those who strive in his path in hopes of pleasing Him alone and Umrah is an act in which Allah (SWT) considers the pilgrim to be answering His call.
Ibne Umar (R) narrates that Prophet (S) said, ‘The warrior in the cause of Allah, the pilgrim and the one who is performing Umrah are all the delegation of Allah. He called them and they responded and they will ask of His bestowals and He will give it to them.’
Dear brothers and sisters Hajj and Umrah are the favorite deeds which could be done to make ALLAH Almighty happy. So they should be done with sole intention of performing it for the sake of Allah; it should not be for worldly praise or to gain worldly profits but it’s an obligation upon all Muslims who can afford it.
May Allah bless all of us to perform this act of worship Ameen.