Quarterly:  Issue No 48                                                                                                                              Shawwal 1429 / October 2008




Hajj in the Noble Quran

In Surah Al-Baqarah verses 125 – 128, Allah (Glorified be His Name) says:

When We made the House (Ka‘bah of Makkah) a frequented place for men, and a place of peace! Make from the Station of Ibraheem a place of prayer. We gave the (following directive) to Ibraheem and Isma‘eel (Ishmael): “Purify My House for those who are to circumambulate (make Tawāf) and those who stay in I‘tikāf, and those who bow down or prostrate themselves (in prayers).

(Recall) when Ibrāhīm said, “My Lord, make this a city of peace, and provide its people with fruits - those of them who believe in Allah and the Last Day.” He (Allah) said, “As for the one who disbelieves, I shall let him enjoy a little, then I shall drag him to the punishment of the Fire. How evil an end it is!  When Ibrāhīm was raising up the foundations of the House, along with Ismā‘īl (Ishmael) (supplicating): “Our Lord accept (this service) from us! Indeed, You - and You alone - are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing!

Our Lord, make us both submissive to You, and (make) of our progeny as well, a people submissive to You and show us our ways of Pilgrimage and accept our repentance. Indeed, You - and You alone - are the Most-Relenting, the Very-Merciful.

In Surah Al-Baqarah verse 158, Allah (Glorified be His Name) says:

Indeed Safā and Marwah are among the Symbols of Allah.  So whoever comes to the House for Hajj or performs ‘Umrah, there is no sin for him if he makes rounds between them; whoever comes up with good on his own, then Allah is Appreciating, All-Knowing.

In Surah Al-Baqarah verse 196, Allah (Glorified be His Name) says:

Accomplish the Hajj and the ‘Umrah for Allah alone.

In Surah Al-Baqarah verse 197, Allah (Glorified be His Name) says:

The Hajj is (to be performed in) the months that are well-known (i.e. the 10th month, the 11th month and the first ten days of the 12th month of the Islamic calendar, i.e. two months and ten days). So whoever undertakes Hajj in them, there should be no obscenity, no sin, no quarrel in the Hajj. Whatever good you do, Allah will know it. And take provisions (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness). So fear Me, O men of understanding!  

In Surah Al-Baqarah verse 198, Allah (Glorified be His Name) says:

There is no sin on you that you seek the grace of your Lord (by trading). Later, when you flow down from ‘Arafaat, recite the name of Allah near Al-Mash‘ar-ul-Haraam (the Sacred Monument), and recite His name as He has guided you, while before it, you were among the astray.

In Surah Aal-Imraan verse 97, Allah (Glorified be His Name) says:

As a right of Allah, it is obligatory on the people to perform Hajj of the House - on everyone who has the ability to manage (his) way to it. If one disbelieves, then Allah is independant of all the worlds.

In Surah Al-Maa’idah verse 95, Allah (Glorified be His Name) says:

O you who believe, do not kill game when you are in Ihraam (state of consecration for Hajj or Umrah). If someone from among you kills it deliberately, then compensation (will be required) from cattle equal to what one has killed, according to the judgement of two just men from among you, as an offering due to reach the Ka’bah, or an expiation, that is, to feed the poor, or its equal in fasts, so that he may taste the punishment of what he did. Allah has forgiven what has passed, but whoever does it again, Allah shall subject him to retribution. Allah is Mighty, Lord of Retribution.

In Surah Al-Maa’idah verse 96, Allah (Glorified be His Name) says:

Made lawful for you is the game of the sea and eating thereof, as a benefit for you and for travellers. But the game of the land has been made unlawful for you as long as you are in the state of Ihraam. Fear Allah (the One) towards Whom you are to be brought together.

In Surah Al-Maa’idah verse 97, Allah (Glorified be His Name) says:

Allah has made the Ka’bah, the Sacred House, a source of stability for people, and also the sacred month and the sacrificial animal and the garlands.  All this is because you may learn that Allah knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth. Allah is All-Knowing in respect of everything.

In Surah Al-Hajj verse 27, Allah (Glorified be His Name) says:

And announce (O Prophet Ibraheem!) among people about (the obligation of) Hajj, so that they should come to you on foot, and on every camel turned lean, traveling through every distant hilly pathway.

Allah also mentioned the sacrifice together with the first and foremost worship in Islam i.e. Salaah. This is a clear indication of its great importance. Thus, He ordered His Messenger (SAW) to slaughter sacrifices by saying:

So, offer Salaah (prayer) to your Lord, and sacrifice.  (Surah Al-Kawthar: verse 3)


Hajj in the Ahadeeth

Narrated Ibn Umar: Allah's Messenger said:

“Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):

1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's Messenger.

2. To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly.

3. To pay Zakaah (i.e. obligatory charity).

4. To perform Hajj. (i.e. Pilgrimage to Makkah)

5. To fast during the month of Ramadan.”  (Bukhari: Book 2, Hadith 7)

“An accepted Hajj has no reward except Jannah”. (Bukhari & Muslim)

Narrated Ibn Umar: A man asked the Messenger of Allah:

"What (kinds of clothes) should a Muhrim (a Muslim intending to perform Hajj or Umrah) wear?  He replied: ‘He should not wear a shirt, a turban, trousers, a head cloak or garment scented with saffron or Wars (kinds of perfumes). And if he has no slippers, then he can use Khuffs (leather socks) but the socks should be cut short so as to make the ankles bare.’”  (Bukhari: Hadith 615, Vol. 2).

Allah's Messenger said:

"He who is not prevented from performing the pilgrimage by an obvious necessity, a tyrannical ruler, or a disease which confines him at home, and dies without having performed the pilgrimage, may die if he wishes as a Jew, or if he wishes as a Christian."  (Tirmidhi: 2535, Narrated Abu Umamah) (Darimi transmitted it)

"There are no days during which good deeds are more beloved by Allah than these (first ten) days (of Zul Hijjaj)."  (Bukhari, Tirmidhee and others)

Amr Ibn Al-Aas narrates: “When Islam entered my heart, I went to the Messenger of Allah and said: ‘Give me your hand so that I may pledge allegiance to you.’ The Prophet spread his hand, but I withdrew mine. He said, ‘What is wrong Amr?’ I said, ‘I want to make a condition.’ ‘And what is that?’ he said. I said, ‘That Allah will forgive me.’ Then the Messenger of Allah said, ‘Did you not know that Islam wipes out what came before it, and that Hijrah wipes out what came before it and that Hajj wipes out what came before it!’” (Muslim: 121)

Abu Hurayrah narrates: “I heard the Prophet say: ‘Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any Rafath (obscenity) or Fusooq (transgression), he returns (free from sin) as the day his mother bore him’”. (Bukhari)

Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) asked the Prophet (SAW): “We find that Jihad is the best deed, shouldn’t we (women) do jihad?” The Prophet replied, ‘Rather the best Jihad is a Hajj Mabroor!’ Aisha later said, ‘I’ll never cease performing Hajj after I heard that from Messenger of Allah’”. (Bukhari and Muslim)


The Messenger of Allah said: “There is no day on which Allah frees more of His slaves from the Fire than the Day of Arafaat, and He verily draws near, then boasts of them before the angles, saying: ‘What do they seek?’” (Sahih Muslim) 

And in another Hadith: “Verily Allah boasts of the people of Arafaat before the people of Heaven (angels) saying: ‘Look to my servants who have come to Me dishevelled and dusty.’”  Standing at Arafat is one of the greatest pillars of Hajj as stated by the Prophet.  He said: "Hajj is Arafat." (Ahmad)

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah say: ‘Whoever does Hajj for the sake of Allah and does not have sexual relations (with his wife), commit sin, or dispute unjustly (during the Hajj), will come back like the day his mother gave birth to him.’” (Bukhari: 1449, Muslim: 1350)

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “Umrah is an expiation for the time between it and the previous Umrah, and an accepted Hajj has no less a reward than Jannah.” (Bukhari: 1683, Muslim 1349)

Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood said that the Messenger of Allah said: ‘Keep on doing Hajj and Umrah, for they eliminate poverty and sin just as the bellows eliminate impurities from iron and gold and silver.’” (Tirmidhi: 810, Nasa’i: 2631)



It is indeed the normal Muslim boast that Islam has no priestly hierarchy.  Equally we assert that rather than priesthood, Islam recognizes TAQWA with knowledge and acquired learning, as the only distinguishing characteristic between believers. Yet, we go on with the everlasting slogan of insisting that only certain groups of learned elites have the right to learn and interpret the Quran and Ahaadith.  What is this if not a clergy?  Indeed, some of these self-proclaimed righteous people actually dress, behave and perform the functions of a clergy.  Equally to be blamed are the ordinary Muslim masses who are practising the evil of personality worship – unknown to exist at the time of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).


This hierarchy of traditional Muslim scholars, who solely claim authority, was created mainly to silence intellectual and beneficial debate amongst Muslim scholars in general.  The majority of Muslims are told by these few elites what the Qur'an and Hadith means. Other Muslim scholars can only present questions to warranted scholars and follow - without questioning - the answers given by them.  Unfortunately, to challenge the opinion of this traditional body is considered a “weakness” of Imaan.


This is a serious problem facing the Muslim Ummah today and for the future.  It disqualifies concerned, thinking and educated Muslim scholars from engaging in earnest and reasoned debate whilst leaving a stultified closed system of education producing scholars who have little knowledge of the complexity and problems of the modern world.  These traditional scholars must know that most of the knowledge that they have acquired in their respective Darul Uloom is now easily acquired from a CD like “The Alim”; where you will find all the basics you need. You don't have to rely on your memory.  The CD stores the information for you, leaving your mind free to think and ponder over the teachings of Allah and His Messenger.  Moreover, most of the other information like the various tafsirs can now be easily obtained from reliable internet websites in Arabic, Urdu and English.  Beyond that there are libraries, publications and a diversity of resources that are readily available – most abundantly in western countries - for anyone wanting access to the source material of traditional Islamic scholarship without enrolling for a Specialist Islamic Religious Studies course.  More and more Muslims who take advantage of these resources have questions and information with which to think and reason with the traditional body of Islamic thought, and bring their own experience and ideas to bear on how they read the Qur'an and Hadith.  They do this not to claim or usurp the traditional scholars (ulama) but to engage in a dialogue with them for the betterment and well-being of the Muslim Ummah.  Why then should such a dialogue be regarded as impossible, presumptuous and unacceptable?  


In the meantime there are plenty, schooled in religious madrasahs and universities and equipped with traditionalist Islamic knowledge that masquerade as the mouthpieces of Muslims and are busily hijacking Islam for a host of inward-looking and life-denying ideologies. This is neither sensible nor sustainable for the future of Muslim Ummah.


Finally, the issue of authority comes down to power and territory.  For too long now that a group of traditional scholars have been usurping the power to comment on the Qur'an and Hadith and have been defending this territory with tooth and nail.  Alhamdulillah!  Muslim scholars in general are now taking this power back to where it belongs: with all Muslim scholars who are equipped with Taqwa and sound knowledge, irrespective of their race and colour.  As one European Muslim sister quite rightly points out:

"If indeed the human mind is the target of Divine Texts, if indeed Divine Texts are for all humans and not just the scholarly mind, why will I need more than 15 different qualifications to use my brain?"  She goes on to say: "Yes, there are dangers inherent in the exegetical (tafseer) process but there are dangers in eschewing too.  Since we all are fallible beings, 'unscholarly' interpretations should serve as a reality check for Muslim scholars, for then there is less of a chance that truly traditional Muslim scholars will cross the line if they know we all are watching, thinking and actively participating in religious discourses that affect us all."


It is at these times we miss truly great Islamic thinkers and unselfish scholars like the famous Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri (Rahmatullahi Alayhi).  He was noted for his moral uprightness, devotion and piety as well as for his literary contributions.  Alhamdu lillah! I am proud to state that my late father Maulana Abdul Kadir Saheb was one of his direct students.


In the debates on whether Muslims should acquire western education and secular sciences, the reputed and profound scholar of his time, Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) differed from the majority of the traditional ulama of Deoband in his time, and exhorted his students to study the English language and other secular sciences. (Malfoozat Muhaddith-e-Kashmiri – page 95). 

On another debate on whether it is obligatory for Muslim women to cover their face as part of their veil, here he also differed from the majority of the Ulama by saying that it was permissible for a Muslim woman not to cover her face in front of strangers as long as she was confident that she was safe from any form of abuse.  Likewise it was perfectly in order for her to look at a male stranger only when it was necessary for her to do so. (Malfoozat Muhaddith-e-Kashmiri – page 263). 

On yet another debate on the dissolution of marriage of a woman whose husband’s whereabouts is not known, he differed with the majority view.  Though he was an ardent follower of the Hanafi School of Islamic Jurisprudence, he advocated that rulings from any of the four schools could be sought whenever there arises a need to do so.  Taking into consideration the difficulties of a woman to wait indefinitely for the return of her husband who has mysteriously disappeared, he suggested that it will be within her rights to request that her marriage be annulled after the lapse of FOUR years by following the Maliki School, instead of the Hanafi School’s ruling of annulling the marriage after the husband’s age reaches 120 years. 

On the issue of women attending the Masjid for Salaah with jama’ah, he did not go along with the majority view of the traditional Ulama.  He emphasized the fact that the Prophet (SAWS) allowed Muslim women to attend the congregational Salaah in the masjid.  He also stated that the Prophet said that none should prevent Muslim women from attending the Masjid.  He insisted that in the books of Islamic Fiqh there are specific stipulations where the women are designed a particular place in the Masjid and where they should stand while performing congregational Salaah.  However, he did also say that it is not an obligation for them to attend the congregational prayers in the Masjid, but an option which they can exercise.


Rather than being told what to think, concerned Muslim scholars everywhere need to get back to their religious duty of actively participating in Islamic knowledge - which can only come from lively discussions and debate with the sincerely orthodox Ulama – if only they can accept this fact.


May Allah guide us all to remain steadfast and sincere in the Straight Path as commanded by Allah and His beloved messenger Muhammad!  Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family and all his companions.  Ameen!


Requesting your humble duas!


Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir


Umhlanga Rocks,

KZN, South Africa.