The Merits of the Hajj

  1. The Hajj is a practical manifestation of Islamic fraternity whereby a Muslim feels he is the brother of every Muslim in the world.
  2. The Hajj is also a practical expression of the unity and equality of the Muslim nation regardless of race, color, or homeland. They all have one Rubb, and one Book, and one Qiblah. The Hajj is a school in which a Muslim learns perseverance, generosity, co-operation, forbearance, and love. He also enjoys the beauty of the submission to Allah, from Whom the Muslim receives forgiveness and benevolence.
  3. The Hajj is an Islamic university which gives joy to all Muslims and fills with fear the hearts of the enemies of Islam and Muslims everywhere.
  4. The Hajj is an excellent season for earning rewards. In it, the rewards are multiplied and the sins are effaced. The pilgrim returns home after performing it sin-free as the day he was born.
  5. The Hajj constitutes a declaration against Satan and his accomplices on one hand and means opening a new page in dealing with Allah through sincerity and repentance on the other.

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The Book of Hajj and Umrah

2. The Status of the Hajj in Islam

* The Hajj is a duty on every adult, sane, free Muslim who is capable of performing it once in a lifetime. A capable person is the one who can afford the trip financially and health-wise.

* If an under-aged performed the Hajj, it would be considered as supererogatory for him, but he still has to perform it once he has reached the age of puberty to fulfill it as an obligatory act of worship.

* If a Muslim is unable to perform the Hajj due to old age, terminal illness or the like, he must deputize someone to perform it on his behalf at his own cost.

* As for a woman, she must have a Mahram to accompany her, such as a husband, a male sibling of hers, a father, a son, a brother, or an uncle, as a precondition for the incumbency of Hajj upon her. Although her Hajj would by valid, yet she would commit a sin if she goes for Hajj by herself.

* A Muslim must first perform Hajj for himself before performing it on behalf of someone else.

* It is praiseworthy for the pilgrim to give out to the poor people in the Haram (The Masjid al-Haram in Makkah) and be charitable more often.

* The provisions and expenses of the Hajj must be earned lawfully.

* It is permissible for a menstruating woman, and a woman in the postnatal period to have a bath or shower upon entering the state of Ihram for the purpose of performing the Hajj or the Umrah. She must remain in her Ihram in Makkah until she becomes clean and has a bath thereafter to complete the Hajj rituals.

3. Al-Mawaqeet

(The Mawaqeet (pl. of Miqat), points at which pilgrims on their way to perform the Hajj or the Umrah assume the state of Ihram, that is, consecration and the ritual dress that marks it)

* Al-Mawaqeet are of two kinds:
a – The Mawaqeet in terms of time: the months of the Hajj season.

b – The Mawaqeet in terms of location. The Muslim intending to perform the Hajj, or the Umrah must enter the state of Ihram before crossing them.

These points are:

1. Dthul-Hulaifah, the Miqat of the residents of Madinah and those passing through it. It is 435 km from Makkah. It is the furthest Miqat from Makkah. It is also known as Abbyar Ali.

2. Al-Juhfah, the Miqat of the residents of Syria and Egypt as well as of those passing through those two countries. It is a village located near Rabigh which is 180 km away from Makkah. Nowadays people enter the Ihram
from Rabigh.

3. Yalamlam, the Miqat of the people of Yemen and countries aligned with it, and for those passing through them.
Yalamlam is a valley which is 92 km away from Makkah.

4. Qarn al-Manazil, the Miqat of the people of Najd, Taif, and those passing through them. It is also known as As-Sayl Al-Kabeer, which is 75 km away from Makkah, and the valley of Muharram is the highest point in Qarn
al-Manazil.

5. Dthat irq, the miqat of the people of Iraq, Khurasan, middle and nort of  Najd, the towns aligned with them, as well as for those passing through them. This Miqat is a valley which is approximately 100 km away from
Makkah.

* Those living within the radius of the Mawaqeet may enter the Ihram from the place in which they live.

* A Makkan intending to perform the Hajj may enter the Ihram in Makkah itself, but if he intends to perform Umrah, he may enter the Ihram from any place outside the boundaries of the Haram, such as Masjid Aa’ishah in the
Tan’eem, or Al-Ju’ranah.

* If a person traveling to Makkah in a direction other than his town’s Miqat, he may assume his Ihram from any nearest point to a Miqat aligned with his town’s Miqat. This applies to those coming to Makkah by air, sea, or land.

* It is not permissible for anyone intending to perform the Hajj or the Umrah to cross the Miqat without entering the state of Ihram. He who does so must return to the Miqat to assume Ihram, or to assume Ihram from wherever he happens to be, provided he sacrifices a sheep as an expiation. If he assumes his Ihram before arriving at the Miqat, though it is unpraiseworthy,  his Hajj remains valid.