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The Hajj is the annual pilgrimage of the Muslims towards the city of Makkah. The meaning of the word “Hajj “is to make a visit to something.
Hajj is one of the fifth pillars of Islam. One who is financially or physically able, it is necessary for him or her to visit Kabbah for the Hajj ceremony. According to the Hadith and Surah of the Quran, the Hajj is an essential obligation for those who have the capacity.
Dhu al-Hijjah is an important month in which the ceremony of Hajj takes place. The religious rituals of the Hajj ceremony start from 8th to 12 or 13th Dhu al-Hijjah.
Hajj is one of the biggest human gatherings of the human on earth. Around 2 or 3 million attends the Hajj ceremony.
There are following different rites of Hajj, initial Tawaf, Sa’ee of Al Safah, and Al Marwah, going on Mount Arafat, Stoning the devil at Minnah, celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr and Sacrificing animal.
There are two important religious gatherings that are celebrated near the Kabbah” the house of Allah.” One is Hajj, and the second is Umra. The main difference between Hajj and Umrah is that the Hajj can only be offered at a specific time in a year while one can do Umrah at any time in the year.
Muslims wear a specific dress ‘Ihram,” to perform the Hajj. There are numbers of Hadith and verses of the Quran which describe the significance of the Hajj.
What does the Holy Quran say about Hajj?
There are countless verses about the Hajj, which secures the important place for the Hajj in the religion of Islam.
Allah says in the Holy Quran,” Indeed, Al-Saffah and Al-Marwah are amongst the signs of Allah Almighty. So, one who offers Hajj to the House of Allah or Umrah, there is no doubt upon him to walking between them; whoever does good, indeed, Allah is appreciative and aware of. “ (2:158)
The Quran clarifies that the Hajj, which Allah has implemented on us, offers near the house of Kabbah. It is an obligatory act.
Allah Almighty says in the Quran, “ There is no blame upon you to seeking mercy from Allah (during the Hajj), but, when you set out from Arafat, keep remember Allah near Al-Mashar –Al –Haram, and remember him, as he has told you, indeed, you were before that among those astray.” (2:198)
The Quran says that Hajj is the opportunity to win the blessing and rewards of Almighty Allah. So, if we are financially or physically able, we should do Hajj remember Allah, as he told us.
What did Prophet Muhammad SAW say about Hajj?
Prophet Muhammad SAW described the importance of Hajj in these Words.
Prophet Muhammad SAW,” One who offers Hajj and does not commit any transgression and obscenity, he will return without any sins as he was without sins when his mother gave birth to him.”
Similarly, In Sahih Al-Bukhari, Prophet Muhammad SAW says, “The reward for a Hajj Mabror is nothing but the reward of Paradise.”
There are different Ahadith, which becomes clear, the status of Hajj.
Some Places To visit During Hajj
There are several places, which are essential but obligatory and optional by a religious perspective to visit. The places are following.
1. Visiting cave of Hira
Cave of Hira is located on the mount Hira which is 2 Miles away from Kabbah. It is 4 meters long in length and one and a half in width.
This is an important place where Allah revealed the Quran for the first time. This mountain also calls by the mountain of light.
We commonly need 45 minutes to climb up to the cave.
2. Visiting cave of Thawr
Cave of Thawr is another essential place to visit during the ceremony of Hajj. It was also an essential place in the history of Islam. When Prophet SAW and his beloved companion Abu Bakr Sadiq (May Allah be pleased upon him) had to leave Makkah and started the migration to Madina, they had to spend some time in this cave while avoiding to be founded by enemies.
During this stay, Hazrat Abu Bakr Sadiq (May Allah be pleased upon him) bites by a poisonous snake. Prophet Muhammad SAW cured him by his Saliva.
3. Visiting Mount Arafat
During the ceremony of Hajj, Mount Arafat is an important place, visits by Muslims. Mount Arafat is 70 meters (230 feet) high.
It is an important place where Prophet Muhammad SAW gave his last sermon while performing the first and last Hajj of his life.
On 9th Dhu Al-Hijjah, Muslims gather in the ground of Arafat, where Sermon of Hajj of given. The most important thing is that Zuhr prayer and Asar prayer offers together.
If one fails to be present in the plain of Arafat to listen to the sermon of Hajj, his Hajj is incompletes.
According to a Hadith, Prophet Muhammad SAW, “One who misses the standing on Arafat, he has missed Hajj. After saying this, Prophet SAW further said,” the Hajj is Arafat.” (Al-Hakim)
4. Visiting Muzdalifah
Muzadalifah is the place in Makkah. It is located in the Mount Arafat and Mina valley.
The famous verse of the Quran about Muzdalifah is that’ When you leave from Arafat, keep remember Allah at Mashar Al-Haram.’ In these verses, the world Mashar Al-Haram refers to Mazdalifah.
Prophet Muhammad SAW during in his first and last Hajj; he stood at Mushar Al-Haram. In a Hadith, which is in the book of Muslim,” Although I am here in Muzdalifah (at Mushar Al-Haram), you should stand anywhere in Muzdalifah. ‘
The Magirb and Isha prayer offers together in Muzdalifah. It holds the status of Wajib. The pebbles to stone at the Jammrat collect from here. It is not obligatory, but it is best to collect from here.
Jam is another name of Muzdalifah; this name is given due to the people gathering here.
5. Visiting Masjid Al-Haram
The grand mosque of Makkah calls some time the Mashid Al-Haram. The Kabbah’ the house of Allah’ is inside the Masjid Al-Haram.
Muslims cannot complete the scared journey for Hajj without visiting Majid- Al-Haram. The black stone, which brought from Paradise, is in the Grand Mosque (Masjid Al-Haram).
Zamzam well is also inside the Grand Mosque of Makkah. Similarly, Safa and Marwah and Maqam Ibrahim are also part of Masjid-Al-Haram.
The history of the Grand mosque earlier joins the time when Prophet Abraham received an order from Allah to build Kabba. After a long time, Prophet Muhammad SAW laid the foundation of Majdi-Al-Haram.
From time to time, it has been going from different expansion projects due to hosting more Muslims.
6. Visiting Minah, the city of Tent
Mina sometimes calls the city of Tent. It is also one of the essential places to visit during the Hajj ceremony. It Is 8 KM away from Majdi-Al-Haram. The city of Tent hosts many Muslims during the Hajj ceremony.
According to an estimate, there are 100000 tents in this city every year on the occasion of Hajj.
The city of Minah is the place where Muslims perform stoning. It is the sunnah of the Prophet Abraham. It is a historical event that when Prophet Abraham received an order to sacrifice his son. Satan came here to misguide the Prophet, Abraham. Prophet Abraham threw a stone at him to keep him away from misguiding him.
Essential places in the city of Madinah
After completion of Hajj, some people necessarily go to Madinah to visit the holy places. It should be in mind that the visit to these places is not an obligatory part of Hajj.
7. Visitng Masjid Nabwi
Visiting Masjid Nabwi is optional, it is not obligatory part of the Hajj.
Prophet Muhammad SAW laid the foundation of Majid Nabwi after migration to Madina. It holds the second important place after Majid Al-Haram. It was also an important place due to the fact that the Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW buried here.
In Bukhari, a hadith narrated,’ if one offers one Salalah in my mosque, it is better than one thousand Salah except in the Grand Mosque of Makkah.”
8. Visiting Quba Mosque
Visiting the Quba mosque is also optional; it is not the obligatory part of Hajj. Quba Mosque is one of the most visited places in Madina.
Prophet Muhammad SAW laid the foundation of this mosque. It is located in Madinah.
In Sahih Al-Bukhari,
Ibn Umar narrated,’ Prophet Muhammad SAW was often went to Quba Masjid, he used to offer two Nafal there. ‘
It is one of the essential, optional places visiting for Ziyarat during Hajj.
9. Visiting Masjid Al-Azab
Visiting Majid Al-Azab is one of the optional, which is most visited. It is pertinent to mention that the visit of this mosque is not obligatory in the Hajj ceremony.
This mosque is at the place where the Uhud battle fought. The Quresh faced a humiliating defeat in the battle of
Badr by only 313 Muslims, they continued their try to gather a large army to ponder on the Muslims. But, again, due to the long trench across Madina city, they faced defeat once more.
Hazrat Hamzah RA buried near the Masjid Al-Azab. It is one of the most-visited places by pilgrims of the Hajj.
There are several forums available to know the holy places. Some lucky Muslims get the chance to visit these holiest places in days of Hajj. We should pray to be one of them.