20.3 HAJJ

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20.3.1 OBLIGATION, taklif

Hajj is obligatory once in a life-time on adult sane Muslims who are financially and physically capable Financial ability is judged by enough funds travel expenses and family maintenance. Physical ability is judged as security of the road, health, a mahram for a woman, or two trusted women traveling together. Jihad, caring for parents and the family take precedence over hajj. Proxy hajj can be performed for both the living and the dead.



Environmental hazards of hajj include air-borne and food-borne infections, fire, heat and stroke. Physical exhaustion is common. Patients on regular medical treatment should bring their medicine with them and continue taking it regularly. The heat of Hejaz may excercabate skin diseases. Moisturizers should be used to treat dry skin. Regular exercise before going for hajj prepares the body for the physical rigors of hajj. Foot wear to protect the feet should not break laws of ihraam. A skin cream can be used to protect against severe sunlight.


20.3.3 REGULATIONS & ETIQUETTE OF HAJJ, ahkaam wa adab al hajj

Pilgrims undertake hygienic measures like bathing, shaving or trimming hair (head, axillary, and pubic) and the moustache, cutting nails. Men wear only the rida and izaar but no sewn clothes or shoes. Women wear ordinary clothes but cannot veil their faces. Hajj can be performed in three variants: tamattu (rites of ‘umrah are completed rites of hajj), ifrad (rites of hajj before rites of ‘umrah), and iqraan (hajj and ‘umrah are performed simultaneously). Those choosing tamatu'u and iqraan there is a fidyat of slaughtering a goat or fasting 10 days, 3 in Makka and 7 after return to the home country. Mawaqiit are sites outside the holy sanctuary of Makka at which the approaching pilgrim makes the intention to perform hajj. The pillars of hajj and ‘umrah are: ihram; tawaaf; trot between safa and marwa, sa'ay; shaving the hair, al halaq. Hajj has the additional pillars of: standing in Arafat, stoning the jamaraat, sleeping at Muzdalifat, sleeping at Mina, and the farewell circumbulation. Leaving out any pillar is expiated by slaughtering or fasting. Violation of any of the following prohibitions of ihram requires kaffarat (slaughtering, feeding the poor, or fasting): sewn garments, perfume, removing nails or hair, sexual intercourse or foreplay, and hunting. The following actions are forbidden for the muhrim: marriage contract, sexual intercourse, cutting nails, shaving hair, except for medical purposes like lice which requires kaffarrat, and using perfume. The pilgrim prays 2 raka’ats before entering the haram. Talbiat is continued all the time except when making tawaf or the trot between safa and marwa. Circumbulation of the ka’aba is 7 times with 2 raka’ats being offered at the end. The trot between safa and marwa is 7 times starting at safa. On the morning of 8th of Dhul al hijja the pilgrims move to Mina. Where they pray dhuhr, asr, maghrib, isha, and fajr. Then they move to Arafat and spend the day. After maghrib they start moving from Arafat and spend a night at Muzdalifat from where they pick pebbles after fajr. They move to Mina for stoning the jamaraat and slaughter. They then cut a bit of hair from both men and women signifying partial release from ihram. From Mina they then move to Makka where they perform tawaf al ifadhat and are then completely released from ihram. They perform the farewell circumbulation, tawaaf al widai, before leaving Makka. A menstruating woman can do all rites except tawaf and may leave Makka without performing the farewell circumbulation. Hormonal regulation of menstruation is allowed to prevent interference with hajj rites. It is recommended to visit the Prophet's mosque in Madina. The following are forbidden because of the sanctity of Makka: hunting, cutting thorns, but laws of homicide apply.



Extreme heat could make the performance of outdoor rites difficult. War & Insecurity in Hejaz or on the way could interfere with hajj. If a pilgrim can not be assured of safety of person and property, he can discontinue the hajj wherever he is and return another year. Disease epidemics in Hejaz or on the way are a reason for delaying hajj and taking other precautionary public health measures.  Other causes of difficult circumstances are famine, drought, and overcrowding.


20.3.5 PILGRIMAGE OF THE SICK, hajj al mariidh

The physically disabled can circumbulate the ka’aba riding on a vehicle or being carried by another person. The weak can leave Muzdalifat earlier to avoid the crowds. The very old and those with debilitating chronic diseases can ask another person to perform hajj on their behalf. However if the disease is curable it is better to delay hajj until the next year.  In case of a fracture, hajj is stopped and is repeated the next year. If disease occurs during hajj, the sick can be carried to Arafat because al hajj Arafat and missing Arafat is missing the whole hajj. They are assisted to complete the other rites as much as is possible.

(c) Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. 2004