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Allah, ta^ala, said:

وَلِلّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً

[ Wa lillahi ^alan-nasi hijjul-bayti manis-tata^a ilayhi sabila ]

 

Ayah 97 of Surat Al ^Imran means: {Allah made Hajj to the Ka^bah obligatory upon those who are able.}

 

Hajj is among the most important matters of Islam. Performing Hajj and ^Umrah once in a lifetime is obligatory upon the Muslim who is free, accountable, and able. Performing them repeatedly after that time is considered sunnah.

Hajj has a special merit that other acts of obedience do not have, in that it clears one of all sins, enormous and small.

The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:


مَنْ حَجَّ فَلَمْ يَرْفُثْ وَلَمْ يَفْسُقْ خَرَجَ مِنْ ذُنُوبِهِ كَيَوْمَ وَلَدَتْهُ أُمُّهُ

[Man hajja falam yarfuth wa lam yafsuq kharaja min dhunubihi kayawma waladat-hu ummuh ]

 

Which means: “Whoever performs Hajj without copulating or committing enormous sins is clear of his sins as he was on the day his mother gave birth to him.”

 

For this special merit to hold: one’s intention must be sincere to Allah, ta^ala, one’s money used for Hajj must be lawful, and one must avoid commiting enormous sins (fusuq). It is also a condition to refrain from sexual intercourse. Among what indicates the special merit of Hajj is that it combines disciplining oneself by spending money and effort in the way of hunger, thirst, staying up at night, overcoming hardships, and parting from one's country, family, and friends, all in obedience to Allah.

 

The integrals of Hajj and ^Umrah:

The integral is that without which Hajj and ^Umrah are not valid. Therefore, the Hajj of whoever leaves out an integral is invalid. Moreover, it is not sufficient for one to make it up by paying expiation or the like. One has to perform this missed integral.

The integrals of Hajj are six:

  1. To have the intention to be in the state of pilgrimage (ihram). So one says in one’s heart for example: I now enter into the actions of Hajj for the sake of Allah.
  2. To be at ^Arafah, even for a moment, between the start of Dhuhr on the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah and the dawn of the following day.
  3. To circumambulate the Ka^bah seven times, making sure that the Ka^bah is on one’s left side, starting with the Black Stone. It is a condition for one to be clear of both ritual impurities.
  4. To walk between the mounts of as-Safa and al-Marwah seven times. It is not a condition for one to be in the state of purification. However, one must start with as-Safa and end at al-Marwah.
  5. Shaving or trimming the hair. This is satisfied by cutting at least three hairs. The women trim, but they do not shave.
  6. The order in most integrals. To do this, one circumambulates the Ka^bah first. One must delay shaving or trimming and the obligatory circumambulation (tawaful-ifadah) until after standing in ^Arafah.

 

The integrals of ^Umrah are five:

  1. To have the intention. One intends in one’s heart, for example: "I now intend to perform ^Umrah for the sake of Allah " (the state of Ihram).
  2. Circumambulating the Ka^bah (tawaf).
  3. To walk between the Safa and Marwah (sa^y ).
  4. Shaving or trimming the hair (halq or taqsir).
  5. Keeping all the integrals in order, as they were mentioned here.

Requisites of Hajj or ^Umrah:

The requisite is that without which Hajj or ^Umrah is valid, but it is an obligation to do. If left out, slaughtering or giving expiation can make up the requisite. If one leaves it intentionally, then one is sinful.

 

Among the requisites of Hajj:

  1. To have the intention of ihram before crossing the site prescribed for it (miqat).
  2. To throw seventy (70) pebbles at the three stations (jamrahs): al-jamrah as-sughra, al-wusta, and al-^aqabah.
  3. To stay at night in Muzdalifah, a place close to ^Arafah from which the pebbles are picked up for throwing.
  4. To stay at night in Mina, a place between Makkah and ^Arafah but it is closer to Makkah.
  5. To perform the farewell circumambulation.

 

If one leaves one of the requisites, one is obligated to slaughter a sheep. The one who is unable must fast ten days, three of which while in Hajj and seven when one returns home.

Prohibitions during Ihram

 

It is unlawful for the man to do two things:

  1. Cover his head
  2. To wear clothes that surround the body by way of sewing, felting, or the like.

 

It is unlawful for the woman to:

  1. Cover her face.
  1. Wear gloves.

It is unlawful for both men and women while in ihram to:

  1. Wear perfumes.
  2. Anoint the head or beard with oil, melted grease, or the like.
  3. Remove fingernails, toenails, and hair.
  4. Conduct a marriage contract.
  5. Hunt an Islamically edible wild land animal, like the deer.