It is obligatory upon all Muslims to perform Hajj, at least once in their lifetime if they financially and physically able, as long as they possess the actual means. As is clear from the following verse from the Holy Quran that Hajj is one significant pillar among the five base pillars of Islam.
Verse 3:97 and 3:96 of Holy Quran:
* In it are clear signs [such as] the standing place of Abraham. And whoever enters it shall be safe. And [due] to ALLAH from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves – then indeed, ALLAH is free from need of the worlds.
* Indeed, the first House [of worship] established for mankind was that at Makkah – blessed and guidance for the worlds.
The core meaning of the word Hajj is “to make pilgrimage.” Canonically, it refers to a Muslim act of ibadah (worship) that is performed annually, in which the worshipper do tawaaf or circumambulation the House of ALLAH in Makkah, stays awhile in the plain of Arafat and also performs other rites and rituals which together constitute Hajj, the act of pilgrimage.
Hajj is a comprehensive and complete act of ibadah (worship), involving both physical exertion and financial outlay. Both remembrance of ALLAH and sacrifice for ALLAH’S sake are part and parcel of Hajj. Hajj is an act of ibadah (worship) in which the strength and spirit of all acts of ibadah (worship) has.
The sacred responsibilities of Hajj revolve around the House of ALLAH, the Holy Kaaba, in Makkah. What does the House of ALLAH represent to a Muslims? It brings to life a entire prophetic tradition, stretching from Hazrat Ibraheem (AS) to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The House of ALLAH stands as a representation of true faith in ALLAH Almighty, and submission to the ALLAH Almighty.
The sacred journey to Hajj is actually a journey to ALLAH Almighty. It shows the ultimate nearness one can achieve to ALLAH Almighty while living in this world. Other acts of ibadah (worship) are ways of remembering ALLAH Almighty; Hajj is a way of worshipping ALLAH Almighty.
To make Hajj is to worship ALLAH Almighty. When the pilgrim reaches at the station of Meeqat, the border of the Sacred and blessed Territory, he or she is filled with awe and fear of ALLAH Almighty; pilgrim feels that he or she is leaving his own world. Among all the Muslim acts of ibadah (worship), Hajj holds a prominent place. Hajj has been prescribed so that it can inspire us with religious passion. To return from Hajj with one’s faith in ALLAH Almighty rekindled and strengthened, that is the characteristic of a true pilgrim.
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