Islamic Wisdom: The Spiritual Journey| The Pillar of Islam Hajj

Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam, precisely the fifth pillar. After performing the pilgrimage of Hajj, a Muslim will have their soul and record of sins cleansed as if they had just been born again!!

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ello, readers and followers, welcome back to my new story about “ The Spiritual Journey of The Pilgrimage: Hajj” , Hajj is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is a sacred event in Islam. There are five basic foundation beliefs of Islam like other religions.

Muslims are monotheistic and worship one, all-knowing Allah, Angels, Prophets, Holy books, the last day, and predestination. The major beliefs of Islam are Monotheism which means;

“ There is only One God (Allah) & Allah alone is worthy of Worship”, the second major belief is Prophethood which is “Allah elected some righteous men to Guide Humanity towards Devine guidance & Muhammad(PBUH) was the Last Messenger of God” and the last major belief is Life After Death.

Read more about other pillars of Islam here;

In today story, I’ll share with you religious side and also general philosophy and spiritual impact on both health and its importance in Islam. There are many things to say and share with you so;

Today’s story is going to be a bit of a long one but I hope you stay for the full ride because it’s also a super interesting one! Be Patience and Stay connected till the end.

The Islamic Pilgrimage Hajj:

Each Year, Millions of Muslims from around the world gather annually in Mecca in anticipation of Hajj the religious pilgrimage, which follows the actions of the Prophet Muhammad 1,377 years ago.

According to Islamic rules and regulations, literally meaning “to intend a journey”.

It is the largest annual gathering of human beings on earth, with approximately three million people gathering each year for three to five days between the eighth and 12th of Dhul-Hijjah, the last month of the Muslim calendar.

Taking part in the pilgrimage at least once in one’s lifetime is a major obligation for all able-bodied Muslims of financial means, and between two and three million people participate in the six-day ritual every year.

The Hajj pilgrimage is an obligation that should be completed at least once in all able Muslims lives. It is also believed that the journey allows Muslims to wipe away any sins and wipe the slate clean in front of Allah (SWT).

Muslims retrace the route as followed by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and prophets Ibrahim (AS) and Ismail (AS) before him, as well as the path that the wife of Ibrahim (AS), Hagar, ran seven times between two hills as she sought water for her dying son. In Islamic belief, Allah (SWT) created a spring that continues to run to this very day.

Mecca and Kaaba is Islam’s most sacred site because it represents the metaphorical house of God and the oneness of God in Islam. As such, it is a deeply spiritual destination for Muslims all over the world; it is the heart of Islam. At the heart of the sanctuary at Mecca lies the Ka’ba, Islamic tradition holds that the cube-shaped Kaaba building that Muslims believe was built by prophets Ibrahim (AS) and his son Ismail (AS) as a house of monotheistic worship thousands of years ago.

Mecca is the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH and It was in Mecca that the Prophet Muhammad received the first revelations in the early 7th century. Therefore the city has long been viewed as a spiritual center and the heart of Islam.

The rituals involved with Hajj have remained unchanged since its beginning, and it continues to be a powerful religious undertaking which draws Muslims together from all over the world, irrespective of nationality or sect. Observant Muslims around the world face the Kaaba during their five daily prayers.

In pre-Islamic times, Mecca was an important site of pilgrimage for the Arab tribes of north and central Arabia. Although they believed in many deities, they came once a year to worship Allah at Mecca and the Kaaba was used to house pagan idols worshipped by them.

During this sacred month, violence was forbidden within Mecca and this allowed trade to flourish. As a result, Mecca became an important commercial center. The revelation of Islam to the Prophet Muhammad (d. 632) restored the ancient religion of the One God to the Arab people and transformed Mecca into the holiest city in the Islamic world.

Photo by Haidan on Unsplash

Importance of Hajj in The Quran & Hadith:

On the importance of Hajj, Allah SWT mentions in the Quran,

“When We made the House [i.e., the Ka’ba] a place of return for the people and [a place of] security. And take, [O believers], from the standing place of Abraham a place of prayer. And We charged Abraham and Ishmael, [saying], ‘Purify My House for those who perform tawaf and those who are staying [there] for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer].” (Qur’an 2:125)

In another place, the Holy Quran states the following about the importance of Hajj:

“Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and guidance for Al-‘Alamin (the mankind and jinns). In it are manifest signs (for example), the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim (Abraham); whosoever enters it, he attains security. And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Kaaba) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision, and residence); and whoever disbelieves [i.e. denies pilgrimage to Makkah), then he is a disbeliever of Allah], then Allah stands not in need of any of the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns).” (Quran 96–97)

“And complete the Hajj or Umrah in the service of Allah” (Quran 2: 196)

“But those who believe and do deeds of righteousness. We shall soon admit them to Gardens, with rivers flowing beneath, to dwell therein forever. Allah’s promise is the truth, and whose word can be truer than Allah’s?” (Qur’an 4:122)

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Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), on acknowledging Hajj as a pillar of Islam, said;

“Islam is based on five fundamentals: to proclaim that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad (PBUH’s) is the Messenger of Allah, and to establish the prayer, and pay Zakat, to offer pilgrimage of the House [of God] and to fast during Ramadan.” (Sahih Bukhari)

Muslims believes that Hajj Washes Away All of Your Sins. Abu Hurairah (may Allah SWT be pleased with him) in an event said that he heard Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) saying,

“Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of Allah and does not utter any obscene speech or do any evil deed, will go back (free of sin) as his mother bore him.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Jihad is to fight in the name of Allah SWT against the apostles of Islam. According to a narration by Hazrat Ayesha (RA), Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), in an event, said,

“O Allah’s Apostle! We consider jihad as the best deed.” However, “The best jihad (for women) is Hajj Mabrur.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Allah SWT has promised that whoever performs Hajj with a pure heart will be rewarded with paradise or Jannah. This can be proved by a hadith that says,

“From one ‘Umrah to another is the expiation for what is between them, and Hajj Mabrûr has no reward except Paradise.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Also, those who complete the pilgrimage add the title of Hajji to their name. Although there is no obligation on children to perform Hajj, if they want, they can participate in Hajj with their guardian or parents. Moreover, if someone is sick or suffering from a chronic disease, another person can be appointed as a “proxy” to perform Hajj on their behalf.

Types of Hajj:

There are three types of Hajj that a pilgrim may choose to undertake, namely:

  1. Hajj al-Ifrad: This essentially refers to performing the rituals of Hajj alone without the need of a sacrificial animal (Hadee) or Qurbani. A prilgrim who undertakes this form of Hajj is called Mufrid.

2. Hajj al-Qiran: In this type of pilgrimage, one performs both Hajj and Umrah together while being in the state of Ihram. This form requires a sacrificial animal to complete the rituals. A pilgrim who undertakes this form of Hajj is called Qaarin.

3. Hajj al-Tamatt’u: The most common type of Hajj pilgrimage and the one Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) encouraged his companions to perform. It refers to performing Umrah rituals during the Hajj season and then proceeding to complete the steps to Hajj between the 8th and 13th day of Dhu al-Hijjah.

The Rituals of Hajj:

Hajj involves a series of rituals that take place in and around Mecca over a period of five to six days. As per the significance of Hajj, it is also common for Muslims to seek ways to deepen their devotion to Allah (SWT). While the specific rituals carried out by Muslims today date back to the Prophet Muhammad’s “farewell pilgrimage” in 632 AD, travelling to Mecca was a sacred annual rite for Arabian tribes centuries before the advent of Islam.

Important (Wajib) Acts of Worship During Hajj:

  • Overnight Stay in Muzdalifah.
  • Overnight Stay in Mina at Tashriq nights.
  • Ramyul Jamar i.e. stone pelting at the Jamarats.
  • Qurbani or sacrifice of an animal is only due on a Qarin or Mutamatti.
  • Shaving or cutting of hair.
  • Tawaf-ul-Wada or Farewell tawaf.

Read more about the ritual acts of Hajj here;

Dua’s & Azkaar For Hajj:

There are no special Dua & Supplications during Hajj, A person should recite any dua he/she remembers and wishes. But one should try to perform the rituals of Hajj and Umrah as closely to how the Prophet (pbuh) performed. Here are some of most recommended basic Hajj duas and supplications that one should recite while on their journey for Hajj and Umrah:

Dua for entering Haram

Dua to recite at the first glance of Kaabah

Dua to recite when you approach Hajr-e-Aswad, the black stone:

Recite this Dua after facing the Black Stone:

Before starting your Tawaf form your intention as follows:

Supplicate between Yemeni corner and Hajr-e-Aswad:

Dua to recite at Maqam-e-Ibrahim after completing Tawaf:

Dua to recite while drinking Zamzam:

Dua at Mount Safa and Mount Marwah: Before you start Saa’ee at Safa recite the following verse:

Form intention for Saa’ee at Safa-Marwa by reciting the following Dua:

After climbing Mount Safa, face Kaabah and recite the following verse:

There is no specific dua for Saa’ee so recite any Dua from heart between the hills of Safa and Marwah.

Dua to recite when leaving Masjid-ul-Haram:

Common Mistakes to Avoid During Hajj:

Below are the misconceptions and prohibitions during Hajj that one should be careful about in order to have a blissful Hajj experience:

Mistake 1: Changing the intention of Hajj

Making intention is the most important part of Hajj. The reward of a deed depends on the intention. One is allowed to change his/her intention about the type of Hajj he/she wants to perform before assuming Ihram. If one wants to change his/her intention afterwards, he/she can change from Tamattu to Qiran but not from Tamattu to Ifrad.

Mistake 2: Not changing the ihram clothes

Some people wrongly think that changing the white sheets of ihram will relinquish their ihram. One is allowed to change the ihram whenever he/she requires. The pilgrim comes out of ihram which he/she intended only after completing all the essential rites of Hajj and shaving or clipping of hair.

Mistake 3: Touching or wiping over the Kabah or any part of Masjid-ul-Haram

Some people try to touch and wipe over any part of Kabah and Maqam-e-Ibrahim thinking that there is barakah and khair in it. This is one of the most common misconceptions and mistakes during Hajj, and has no basis in hadith or sunnah. The Prophet (pbuh) did not touch any part of Kabah except the Black stone and Yemeni corner. Innovation in religion is one of the things forbidden in Hajj and therefore, it must be prohibited.

Mistake 4: Doing multiple Umrahs

Some people perform multiple Umrahs by going to Masjid Ta’neem or other Meeqat to assume ihram again and again. It is not from sunnah and one should not make the mistake of doing it. Instead of performing multiple umrahs one should try to perform as many tawaf as possible to gain greater rewards.

Mistake 5: Getting emotional at Jamarat

Jamarats are not the devil/s disguised as the stones. There is no devil present at the Jamarat. It is the stone indicating the spot where the devil (shaitan) tried to mislead Prophet Ibrahim (AS). It is recommended to glorify Allah by saying Allahu Akbar each time you throw a pebble at the stone pillar.

Mistake 6: Kissing Hajr-e-Aswad from Distance

Kissing the black stone is a beautiful sunnah and it is an honour to be able to do that. But majority of the people are not able to reach Hajr-e-Aswad because of the crowd. Therefore, many people try to kiss it from the distance. They stop in the middle of performing tawaf, face the black stone and put their hands up to kiss the black stone in air as if the stone is right in front of them.
Distance kissing is not from sunnah. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would kiss the black stone if he could easily do so or touch it with his hand and then kiss his hand. But, if it was too crowded, he would only point towards it with his hands and say “Allahu Akbar”.

Ibn Abbas said, “The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) performed Tawaf on his camel, and every time he came to the corner (where the Black Stone is) he would point to it and say Allāhu Akbar.” [Al-Bukhari]

Mistake 7: Thinking Dua is accepted at first glance of Kaabah

Most of the people have a wrong notion that the first time they witness the Kaabah, any du’a they make, will be answered. It is simply not true and has no evidence in Shariah. Any Hadith that we find in this matter is weak or fabricated.

Mistake 8: Shouting Du’a in Unison

Some people shout dua in unison while performing tawaf. They follow a leader or an imam who speak out different dua’s loudly and the people repeat after him in unison. This creates a lot of confusion and disturbs others engaged in their own duas. It is not correct.
The right thing to do before you go for Tawaf, is to make a list of Du’a that you want to make or the verses from Qur’an you want to recite. So you won’t have to follow anybody and you will be making Du’a from your own heart in your own language. Make your dua with humility and Khushoo’.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Each one of you is conversing with his Lord, so do not disturb one another or raise your voices over one another when reading (or he said) when praying.” [Abu Dawood, Sahih by Al-Albani]

Mistake 9: Designating specific Du’a for different rounds of Tawaf

Some pilgrims designate specific Du’as for each round and there are even books with specific Du’as written for every round. This is not from sunnah. Neither the Prophet (pbuh) nor the Sahabas recited any specific Du’a in any of the rounds of tawaf. The only Du’a that the Prophet (pbuh) specified during Tawaf was upon reaching between the Yemeni Corner and the Black Stone when he would say,
“Rabbana atina’ fid-dunya hasana wa fil-akhirati hasana wa qina adhaban-nar”
[“Our Lord, give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter and save us from the punishment of the Fire.’’]

Mistake 10: Doing Tawaf on someone’s behalf

Many people make this mistake. They complete their tawaf and then perform an extra round for a friend, relative or a deceased person. It is not correct and has no basis in sunnah. Only Hajj and Umrah can be performed on behalf of someone but tawaf individually cannot be done on someone’s behalf.

Mistake 11: Thinking praying 40 raka’t prayers in Madinah is compulsory

Some people think praying 40 raka’t Naf’l is compulsory in Masjid-e-Nabawi and it is a part of Hajj. Neither the Naf’l prayers nor visiting Madinah is a part of Hajj. It is good that you spend as much time as you can in praying inside the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah but to think that it is necessary to do so, is not correct.

Note: It is recommended to consult and seek an opinion from scholars on doubtful Islamic matters.

Hajj Experiences:

The sacred act of Hajj motivates Muslims to do good deeds by polishing their consciences and enhancing their moral senses. It plays a vital role in rebuilding the foundation of purity, honesty, and integrity in the heart of every individual, encouraging a righteous and positive Muslim society.

A Muslim during the pilgrimage journey in the holy city of Makkah might face several difficulties and hardships when settling into the new environment. From the patience during the challenging ritual of Hajj to the process of submission that calms and composes one’s soul, the act of Hajj builds the character of every Muslim standing in the House of Allah SWT.

From a social point of view, every year, people of all races, colors, and backgrounds come for Hajj from around the world. These people have countless differences but only one thing that binds them together: Islam.

Regardless of their financial and physical differences, everyone performs Hajj in the same manner, exhibiting equality, unity, purity, and hope. The clothing of Ihram eradicates differences between nationalities and worldly status and strengthens the identity of Muslims. It represents the fact that all Muslims are equal in the eyes of Allah SWT.

Also known as the fifth pillar of Islam, Hajj should be performed by all sahib-e-hasiyat (financially sound) Muslims at least once in their lifetime. The physically demanding and religiously purifying journey offers Muslims the chance to wipe their sins and start anew before Allah SWT. During Hajj, every Muslim pilgrim is considered as a guest of Allah SWT. May Allah SWT bless all of us with the sacred opportunity to perform Hajj. Ameen!

Final Thoughts:

The best opportunity of life, as it has been the very kind of Allah, and probably you have good deeds who took you to this best opportunity. It make us to feel being confident of choosing the right way of the world, and it would help us be stood against the difficulties of the life.

And eventually your final will be heaven, God willing.

May Allah give us the strength, the power, the courage and the effort to do our best to obey Allah and follow His teachings. May Allah guide us and strengthen our Iman. We pray that Allah help us live another year with sincerity and devotion.

May Allah make us realize that one year of our life is over and we are one year closer to our graves. Let us wake up and do our best to please Allah in our daily life.

Let us ask Allah for forgiveness.

Finally, I pray to Allah to benefit those who read this article and others, grant me truthfulness in what I say and do, preserve my thoughts and my pen from deviation and guide me in all my affairs.

And all praise and thanks are due to Allah, without Whose help and guidance nothing can be accomplished. May Allah bless you with happiness, success, guidance, health, and knowledge. May Almighty Allah give us the strength to follow the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and make us part of the group who is among the most righteous! Ameen.

Be patient with yourself. And Keep learning!!

Always start your day by renewing your intention that everything you do for yourself and your community, whether it be your acts of worship or daily chores. It all has to be merely for the sake of Allah (SWT) and also, I ask Allah (SWT) to make my work dedicated only to him and forgiveness from Allah (SWT), if I have got anything wrong. It is He who is the Hearing, the knowing.

I will be calmer, I will spread love as long as I can, I will live a spiritual life, I will do what I please no matter what and I will prove my theories.

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May Allah bless you all

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Raja Muhammad Mustansar Javaid

Writer | network engineer | Traveler | Biker | Polyglot. I’m so deep even the ocean gets jealous