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On Hajj

As far as I know Hajj becomes compulsory when one has the means. It does not depend on having performed ʿUmrah before this.

This is the most correct answer so far walHamdu lillah. Hajj is fard in absolute terms and does not become more so or less so just because of ʿUmra, although there is disagreement as to the immediate fulfillment of Hajj being also Fard if one has the means to perform it and if we say yes, then if one has the means to perform ʿUmra he should definitely perform Hajj instead - or first, or together with ʿUmra - because there is disagreement as to the fard nature of ʿUmra while there is absolute Consensus that Hajj is fard and - more so - a Pillar of Islam.

Add to this that Allah mentioned Hajj first so it should come first in our intention also, which is not harmed if we perform ʿUmra and then Hajj in the very same trip.

What happens to a person who had enough money - not in the months of Hajj - so he performed ʿUmrah (which is Sunnah) and later he is overcome with poverty and unable to perform Hajj ?

In the madhhab of Imam al-Shafiʿi, ʿUmra is also fard. Nevertheless: see the remarks above. These remarks apply even more if he follows other than the Shafiʿi madhhab to the effect that he should save his money for Hajj, but Allah Most High knows best.


Hajj Gibril ©

More Questions on Hajj

What is Hajj?

Hajj lexically means "inhabitation" and in Islamic terminology refers to the pilgrimage to the mosque of the noble Kaʿba in the magnificent city of Mecca.

Describe and explain why a Muslim might take part in the Hajj, and what this involves.

A fit and materially able Muslim man or woman is obligated to undertake the Hajj once in his/her lifetime. This act combines the pecuniary and bodily types of worship and symbolizes the faithful response of mankind to God's call. It involves leaving behind one's family and property and going to visit the holiest divine sanctuary of Islam along with millions of the faithful, to renew one's pledge to one's Creator and come back as one reborn.

Explain the meaning and significance of the events of Hajj for a Muslim

The male pilgrim's garb of two unsewn white cloths must be worn upon entering the sacralized state of pilgrimage and it symbolizes the bare weakness, dependence, and universal equality of people before their Creator. The Kaʿba symbolizes God' House and His nearness. The Black Stone embedded in one of its four corners symbolizes God's right hand, the kissing of which symbolizes one's pledge of faith to one's King and to His Law on earth. The sevenfold anti-clockwise circumambulation of the Kaʿba represents the orbiting of human hearts towards their spiritual center. Drinking the unforgettable, delicious spring water from the well of Zamzam gives a foretaste of the pure waters of Paradise. The ensuing coursing back and forth between the hillocks of Safa and Marwa retrace the frantic steps of our Mother Hagar, looking for water in the desert to save the life of her infant son, Ismaʿil. The day-station of supplicating Muslims on the plain of Arafa symbolizes the station of mankind awaiting judgment on the Day of Resurrection, "when there shall be no shade other than that of Allah's Throne." The lapidation of the three stone pillars at the nearby Mina site renews the believers' declaration of war against the enemy of mankind, Satan.

What difficulties might there be for a Muslim performing Hajj

Discomfort, sickness, swindlers, road bandits (in the past), unexpected material straits, fatigue, and other tests. "Travel is tribulation," "In travel character is revealed" (Arabic proverbs). It is said that pilgrimage conditions as a whole give clues as to one's spiritual standing, within the ranges of extreme difficulty indicating divine displeasure, to uncommon ease indicating divine acceptance. Spiritually dormant travel companions are one of the worst difficulties, although not equally felt as others.

How might participating in Hajj affect the life of a believer?

He/She may experience any of the following states among others:

- Boundless joy at having reached "the House"
- A feeling of increased intimacy with "the Lord of the House"
- Restless gratitude that one can ask anything from the Munificent Creator
- Forgetting one's problems and leaving the world behind
- A sharper awareness of the brevity of life
- Redoubled desire to fill one's every moment there with good deeds
- Lack of sleep and eagerness to offer worship in its various forms, especially at night
- Inexpressible awareness of the invisible world engaged in constant worship of The One God
- An increased consciousness of one's actions in the balance of the hereafter
- An palpable increase in one's capacity for sincerity
- A heartfelt longing for repentence on earth and success in the Hereafter
- A inexpressible bond of mercy with mankind as a whole
- Sadness at leaving, together with an insatiable desire to know one's Lord better and be with those who know Him, and hear from them

Upon return from pilgrimage the pilgrim finds him/herself making more frequent supplication. In Islamic countries pilgrims are received with festivities and people visit them for three days, asking for their prayers.

The Hajj is unthinkable without the visit to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in the radiant city of Madina, although this visit is not required nor part of the rituals of Hajj. This visit can be done either on the way to or from Mecca, and bears special spiritual significance of its own.

'A True pilgrimage is really a journey within' Do you agree?

For us humans, a true pilgrimage is a journey within and without as we are a combination of body and soul. In the moral sense, Hajj is definitely a migration away from bad manners to good manners, and a jihad against one's ego.

Any insight you have on any of those questions would be most apprecitated.

Recently back from Hajj, I wrote up my impressions which some friends posted at the following URL:

! xx was formerly on this site - naqshbandi.net - two_sanctuaries

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latest update: Thu, 12 Feb 2009
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