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The collections of Hadith related to Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, are too voluminous for any single report. This article is, therefore, a compilation of ten hadith about Hajj. The annual pilgrimage is a devotional journey that is undertaken to visit (Ziarat) the House of God (Kaaba). One of the aims will be to capture the reader’s imagination and interest by highlighting some of Hajj’s most salient features.
Hadith about Hajj, the 5th pillar of Islam
In a Sahih Hadith found in Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet (PBUH) said that the five pillars, which are the Shahadah (testimony of faith), Salah, Zakat, Hajj, and fasting. This is the opener from amongst the ten hadith about Hajj. It illustrates that traveling to the holy city of Mecca to perform pilgrimage is an obligation on every adult Muslim. That is to say, those who have the health and resources should perform Hajj once in their lifetime.
Islam is like a building that rests on five pillars, a structure that would soon collapse unless all its pillars were kept standing upright. Every Hajji (pilgrim) who answers Allah’s call, fulfilling his duty to Him, preserves the foundation of his faith.
Hadith: Avoid delaying the annual pilgrimage
In a Hadith in Abu Dawood, the Prophet (PBUH) said that one who wishes to make the pilgrimage should hurry to perform it, as he could suffer a sudden sickness or encounter some other obstacle.
Every Muslim who is physically and financially able should pray that Allah expedites his journey to perform Hajj. And once invited, he should not procrastinate, lest something unexpected happens, and his plans fail. The Hadith warns us against squandering away our good fortune by delaying tactics. A Muslim is one who hastens to perform good deeds.
Hadith: The Talbiyah, a Muslim’s answer to Allah’s call
In a Hadith in Sahih Bukhari, it is narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) asked his companions to assume Ihram for Umrah instead of Hajj when they reached Makkah on the 4th of Dhul Hijjah – with the exception of those who had sacrificial animals with them.
The Hadith begins by depicting the annual pilgrimage, as a supreme leveler and symbol of Muslim equality and unity. Where both the king and the pauper, the black and the white, cry out with one voice: Lab bayka Allaah umma lab bayk, lab bayka laa shareeka laka lab bayk. Inna al-hamd wa’l-ni’ mata laka wa’l-mulk, laa shared ka lak (A call of acknowledgment that one is here for Allah, who has no associates. Then it is mentioned that all praise and blessings belong to Allah, and all sovereignty, He has no associate).
An answer of solemn servitude to Allah’s call, that echoes through the streets of Mecca. It also indicates that Hajj and Umrah (minor pilgrimage) require a niyyah (intention). The requirement of wearing the Ihram upon reaching the designated Miqat is further mentioned. And finally, the necessity for every Hajji (pilgrim) to offer a Hadi (animal sacrifice) as a token of appreciation, is also brought to light in this comprehensive Hadith.
Hadith: Abstinence during the performance of Hajj and Umrah
According to a Hadith in Sahih Muslim, the Prophet (PBUH) said that one who performs Hajj for Allah’s sake, abstains from sexual relations with his spouse, avoids sin, and doesn’t dispute unfairly at Hajj, will emerge like a newborn baby.
This Hadith comes as a welcome conditional guarantee! Every sincere Hajji who, during Hajj, abstains from marital sexual relations, sins, and injustice when disputing, is promised absolute forgiveness. He would return home, as sinless as a new-born baby. Only a fool would leave his family behind, spend a fortune to earn Allah’s pleasure, and then waste it. Excellence in the performance of one’s duties involves both self-restraint and proper observance of rites.
Hadith about Hajj and Circumambulation (Tawaf), offering a two Rakat prayer at Maqaam-e-Ibrahim, and the performance of Sa’i between Safa and Marwa
In a Hadith in Sahih Bukhari, ‘ibn ‘Umar narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) reached Makkah and did Tawaf round the Kaaba (seven times) and then offered Salah of two rakat behind Maqaam-e-Ibrahim. After that, he went toward Safa.
This is perhaps, one of the most exhaustive Hadith from amongst the ten hadith about Hajj. It touches upon some of the fundamental rites of pilgrimage. What is historically compelling about it is the fact that it chronicles the only Hajj our beloved Prophet (PBUH) ever performed. He is our divinely declared role model and guide. Through this narration, we learn that Tawaf (circumambulation) consists of seven complete rounds around the Kaaba. (House of Allah). It also specifies the number of rakats (two), that a pilgrim is required to pray at Maqam-e-Ibrahim. The exact spot where Ibrahim (PBUH) had stood while building the Kaaba.
The subtle mention of Safa is another refreshing reminder of the sacrifices made by Ibrahim (Abraham PBUH) and his family. The Safa and Marwa (hills) testify to Hajra’s (Haajar) prayers of desperation after she and her infant son Ismail (PBUH) were left abandoned by Ibrahim (PBUH) upon Allah’s instructions. As baby Ismail wept inconsolably, his distraught mother (Hajra) ran to and fro from Safa and Marwa, searching for any sign of water. Then the miracle of Zamzam (holy water) occurred, and the rest is history…
Hadith: Hajr-e-Aswad, the Black Stone. Umar’s remark
In Sahih Bukhari, it is narrated that ‘Umar came to the Black Stone and kissed it, then stated that it was a stone that could neither benefit nor harm anyone. He said he only kissed it because he saw the Prophet (PBUH) doing so.
Hajr-e-Aswad is a black, oval stone mounted in a silver frame. During Tawaf, pilgrims may kiss, touch, or simply point towards it. In this Hadith, Umra (R.A) is denying the possibility of any reverential significance being attached to it. On the contrary, he makes it abundantly clear that he would have never kissed it had he not seen the Prophet (PBUH) do so.
Hadith about Hajj, the equivalent of a ‘beautiful’ jihad for womenfolk
In Sahih Bukhari, when Ayesha (R.A) asked Muhammad (PBUH) if women can also join campaigns and wage Jihad, the Prophet (PBUH) said that the supreme and most beautiful of Jihad is a Hajj that is accepted.
It was also reported by Ayesha (R.A), that she never stopped going for Hajj after she heard this prophetic glad-tiding. This piece of information also testifies to Allah’s flawless wisdom and justice. Not wanting to deprive women of the reward of Jihad, Hajj was declared its equal. Praise be to Allah.
Hadith: The Pilgrim (Hajji) is considered to be Allah’s guest
In An-Nasai, the Prophet (PBUH) stated that Allah’s three guests are the Ghazi, the Hajji (one who performs pilgrimage), and the performer of Umrah.
For a pilgrim to be named alongside someone who fights for Allah’s cause, and one who performs Umrah is indeed an honor. Yet to be addressed as Allah’s guest, is an overwhelming privilege beyond compare.
Hadith: The permission to perform Hajj-e-Badal granted to one who has completed his own Hajj
In At-Tirmidhi, we find that a woman asked the Prophet (PBUH) if she should perform the pilgrimage on her dead mother’s behalf, as she had not performed the Hajj while alive. The Prophet (PBUH) replied in the affirmative.
From this Hadith about Hajj, we learn that anyone who has already performed their own Hajj can undertake Hajj-e-Badal on behalf of someone else. And whether the person whom Hajj is being performed for, is living or deceased.
Hadith: Hajj-e-Mabrur merits a reward no less than Heaven
In Ibn Majah, the Prophet (PBUH) stated that an accepted pilgrimage results in nothing less than the reward of Paradise.
How befittingly, does this concluding Hadith about Hajj, carry the assurance of Paradise to every single pilgrim, whose Hajj is accepted.
How To Perform Hajj
Once you arrive at the Holy Mosque in Makkah, you must be in a state of Ihram, and you can begin your Hajj. You must start with Tawaf and Sa’i. For Tawaf, you have to walk around the Kaabah anti-clockwise seven times. You may also perform prayer. Then, you must offer Sa’i, which means to walk and run between the hills of Safa and Marwa seven times.
On 8th Zil Hajj, you must assume Ihram once again and then go to Mina with the rest of the pilgrims. At Mina, you stay in a tent and pray all five prayers from Zuhr to Fajr; you should shorten the four rakat to two only. On the next day after Fajr, you must head to the plains of Arafah. Spending 9th Zil Hajj at Arafah is one of the greatest things a Muslim can experience.
At Arafah, you must ask Allah for forgiveness and make dua. According to Allah’s instructions, you should also perform Zuhr and Asr combined. The Day of Arafah is the day that Allah perfected the religion of Islam for Muslims on; hence, it’s very virtuous. After this, we go to Muzdalifah and offer prayers there during the night. There, you should also collect pebbles for the Jamarat.
On the next day, pilgrims should sacrifice their animals and throw the stones at the Jamarat (Devil). This is a symbolic action. After the sacrifice, men should ideally shave their heads while women can trim some of their hair, and you can leave Ihram. Then, you go back to Makkah and perform the Tawaf al-Ifaadah and Sa’i.
During the next two days, you should go and stone the Jamarat once again. Then, you complete your Hajj by offering Tawaf al-Wida (Farewell Tawaf) before leaving Makkah.