عَنِ غَنِيٌّ اللَّهَ فَإِنَّ كَفَرَ سَبِيلًاوَمَن إِلَيْهِ اسْتَطَاعَ مَنِ الْبَيْتِ حِجُّ النَّاسِ عَلَى وَلِلَّهِ الْعَالَمِين
“And Pilgrimage to the House is incumbent upon men for the sake of Allah, (upon) everyone who is able to undertake the journey to it; and whoever disbelieves, then surely Allah is Self-sufficient, above any need of the worlds.”
(Aal-e-Imran, Chapter #3, Verse # 97)
Why is Hajj an obligatory duty?
Allah has created humankind to worship Him. However, the human becomes entangled with mundane life and forget about Him. Merciful Allah thus presents Hajj an obligatory duty that is a unique blend of prayers, zakat and fasting. Hajj gives us the opportunity to surrender ourselves to the glory of Allah and seek forgiveness. All that Allah asks for is to be mindful towards Him and submit.
Materialistic thoughts are not able to provide the peace of mind that all men are looking for ages. Duties, stress, hectic work pressure and other tension pull you away from your true nature that is to be close to Allah. Hajj allows a man to forget about everything, get detached from rest of the world, submerged in the thoughts of Allah, and find the peace in His arms.
Allah makes Hajj an obligatory duty, done once in a lifetime, to all the Muslim people who are sound mentally, physically and financially. Every Muslim also needs to ensure that they are fulfilled all their worldly responsibility before that.
When is it performed?
As per Islamic calendar, capable Muslims are required to travel to Makkah with an intention to perform Hajj. Each year Hajj starts on the 8th day of the lunar month, Dhu al-Hijjah. Hajj is a five-day-long process that lies between the 8-12th days of the lunar month. The solar calendar (Gregorian calendar) precedes the lunar calendar (Islamic calendar) by around ten days every year. Due to this reason, hajj falls 10-11 days earlier than its previous year dates in the Gregorian calendar.
Hajj an obligatory duty includes many rituals such as wearing Irham, staying and offering prayer in Mina, Arafat, Muzdalifah, performing Ramy (throwing seven pebbles) at ‘Jamarat-al-Ula’, ‘Jamarat-al-Wusta’ and ‘Jamarat-al-Aqaba’ and sacrificing the animal in the name of Allah. They also need to perform Tawaaf (seven times anti clock circumambulations around the Kaaba; Starting from the Hajar-al-Aswad), drinking water from Zamzam well, Sa’y (to and fro walking between As-Safaa and Al-Marwah seven times) and performing Qasar or Halaq (a ritual of cutting hair either entirely or trimming it equal to a length of a fingertip).