Allah, the Exalted, Said:
وَلِلّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً
This Ayah means: [Allah obligated people, who are able, to perform Pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah].
As the Hajj season has commenced, the truthful righteous believers started to feel in their hearts the blessings of this season. Some even started preparing themselves for this Holy journey to Makkah and Madinah, the city of the Best Prophet, Muhammad peace be upon him.
Others who long for the Holy Cities of Makkah and Madinah but are unable to go remained struck with grief and sadness especially because they are unsure whether or not they would be able to perform Hajj in the upcoming years.
To perform Hajj means to go to the Ka^bah at a particular time with the intention to perform there the specific known actions which Allah ordered to be done in performing this worship.
The scholars hold the consensus that performing Hajj is an obligation on the Muslim who is able, free, and accountable. Allah said in Surat al-Baqarah, Ayah 196:
وَأَتِمُّوا الحَجَّ وَالعُمْرَةَ لله
This verse means: [Perform Hajj and ^Umrah completely in obedience to Allah.]
Performing Hajj is among the matters of the Religion known by the Muslim scholar and layman alike, therefore the one who denies its obligation blasphemes. However, the one who does not deny its obligation, but delays performing it until one dies, although one is able to do so, does not blaspheme. Rather, one commits an enormous sin.
Al-Bukhariyy narrated the sahih hadith of the Prophet:
مَن حَجَّ فَلم يَرْفُثْ ولم يَفْسُقْ خَرَجَ مِنْ ذُنُوبهِ كيومَ وَلَدَتْهُ أُمُّه
It means: “The one who performs Hajj and while muhrim refrains from sexual intercourse or committing enormous sins, then one will be as clear of one’s sins just as one was clear of sins when one’s mother gave birth to one.”
Performing Hajj and ^Umrah once in a lifetime becomes obligatory upon the Muslim when one is free, accountable, and can afford to reach Makkah and return to his home place. This includes that one has in excess of one’s debts, appropriate lodging and clothing, and what one is obligated to spend on those whom one must support from one’s departure until one’s return.
Hajj has six Integrals (Rukns), they are:
Intention; made during the months of Hajj— The first integral step for the person intending to travel to Makkah to perform the Pilgrimage (Hajj) is to establish the intention in his heart to enter into the actions of Pilgrimage (Hajj or ^Umrah). It is this intention and not just donning the clothes of ihram which causes one to become in that state.
Physical presence at ^Arafat; for some time between the start of Dhuhr on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah and the dawn of the following day. The Prophet said: الحجُّ عَرَفَة
It means: “The greatest integral of Hajj is one’s presence in ^Arafat.”
Tawaf; It is not valid to perform this integral of tawaf except after the middle of the night preceding the ^Id day. Tawaf is performed by circling the Ka^bah seven (7) times, keeping the Ka^bah to one’s left side starting with the black stone. To perform tawaf, one must be clear of any ritual impurities (both minor and major) and be clear of najas-filth on one’s body or clothes or what one is carrying, as is the case when in the prayer.
Sa^y; (performed after a tawaf).
Shaving the head or trimming the hair; (after the middle of the eve of the 10th).
Observing the order; in performing most of these five (5) integrals.
Hajj has six (6) integrals (rukns): i.e., those matters which must be performed for Hajj to be valid and which, if not performed, cannot be replaced or corrected for by slaughtering. Some of these integrals have a very specific and limited time frame to perform them in. So, if one misses performing them in their time, then one’s Hajj is invalid and one cannot do anything to make it valid. However, (unlike the integral) leaving out a requisite such as throwing pebbles at the three jamrahs, does not invalidate Hajj. Rather, the person is sinful and an expiation is due on him.
In the end we ask Allah to grant us the ability to perform the pilgrimage and ^umrah and the privilege of being able to visit Prophet Muhammad at his grave. Ameen.