The Hajj Season (3)

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TOPSHOTS Muslim pilgrims perform the final walk (Tawaf al-Wadaa) around the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Mecca on November 30, 2009. The annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage to Mecca wound up without the feared mass outbreak of swine flu, Saudi authorities said, reporting a total of five deaths and 73 proven cases. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

Ustaz Abubakr Siddeeq Muhammad

Whoever performs Hajj after a break between umrah is called Mutamatti’, therefore he has to make an offering as part of his pilgrimage rites.  This is the type of Hajj that most pilgrims perform today, because of its ease and convenience. You start by performing Umrah in the days of Hajj, after which you resume your normal activities like any other person, enjoying everything, without observing the restrictions on a muhrim, one who is in a state of ihraam.

Then on the 8th of Zul Hijjah you assume your ihraam a second time with the intention of performing Hajj, go out with the multitude of pilgrims to Minaa, taking part in all Hajj rites, and offer sacrifice on yaumun-nahr because of what you enjoyed between your umrah and hajj, which makes you a mutamatti’.

but if he cannot afford it, He should fast three days during the hajj and seven days on his return, Making ten days in all. A mutamatti’ is to sacrifice an animal on yaumun-nahr, but if he does not have the animal and cannot afford one, then he should fast for 3 days while on Hajj and seven after his return, making 10 in all.

When will he fast for the first 3 days? Some scholars said he should start the fast as soon as he makes intention for Hajj; while others said he is to fast immediately after performing his umrah before he starts observing the Hajj rites. Another group of scholars said his fast should commence on the 7th of Zul Hijjah and end on the 9th; meaning he will fast on 7th, 8th and 9th. He should fast during the days of Minaa, according to other scholars, even though some of them consider it Makruh.

The Mother of Believers, Aisha (RA) said, ‘He should fast from the moment he assumes ihraam for Hajj; if he is not able to do that, he fasts the days of Tashreeq, (11, 12, and 13 of Zul Hijjah).’

The reason for the difference of opinion among the scholars is in their interpretation of the phrase ‘during Hajj’. Is it the time of Hajj,  the period of Hajj or when the pilgrim makes his intention for Hajj?

…and to fast for seven days after your return, means when you return home to your family, according to some jurists, or when you finish your Hajj rites and have stopover somewhere, you can fast there without necessarily returning home, according to others. However, majority of the scholars prefer observing the fast after you return home amidst your family.

This is for those whose household is not in [the precincts of] the Sacred Mosque.

It is for those who are not the inhabitants of Makkah. Residents of Makkah are exempt from what has been mentioned. Now we come to the question –

To what does this is refer to? Does it refer to all we have discussed on hady, or is it confined to the issue of Tamattu’?  If it refers to hady then inhabitants of Makkah are exempt from making the offering even where they perform Tamattu’ on their hajj. But if, on the other hand, it refers to Tamattu’ itself then residents of Makkah cannot perform Tamattu’ or Qiraan, combining Hajj and umrah together; if they perform any of these, it will be obligatory on them to make fidyah, ransom by slaughtering an animal because of doing what they should not, which is different from hady as in the case of those permitted to perform Tamattu’ on their hajj.

This is for those whose household is not in [the precincts of] the Sacred Mosque. We ask another question. Who are the inhabitants of Makkah? People who reside there exclusively, some scholars averred. Others said the inhabitants of Makkah are those living within the radius of the wamaaqeet, places of assuming ihraam and making intention for hajj or umrah. That radius is a very wide one, because by this, people living around the meeqaat of  Zul Hulaifah which is actually in Madinah,  for example, will be considered as being the residents of Makkah. Going by this position such people as reside in part of Madinah are affected by a law that pertains residents of Makkah, thus they cannot have option of Tamattu’ when they perform hajj, and if they do that they have to sacrifice an animal as ransom and not hady.

The better of these positions, and Allah knows best, is that of the scholars who said, the real inhabitants of Makkah are those that the distance between their houses and the Ka’bah will not permit shortening of prayers, qasr. Meaning, if they leave their dwellings to the Haram they are not considered as travellers because they are still within Makkah. This exempts even people from Jeddah which geographically is part of Makkah, because the distance between the two cities permits shortening of prayers, qasr, not to speak of people living in Zul Hulaifah who will have to travel for about 4 hours before they reach Makkah.

The verse ends by admonishing hajjis to fear Allah and avoid anything that will vitiate their pilgrimage.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said the only reward for an acceptable Hajj is Aljannah.

He, (SAW) also said, ‘Whoever performs hajj and avoids angry conversation, abuse and lewdness, shall return sinless as the day his mother gave birth to him.’

The pilgrimage is (in) the well-known months, and whoever is minded to perform the pilgrimage therein (let him remember that) there is (to be) no lewdness nor abuse nor angry conversation on the pilgrimage. And whatsoever good ye do Allah knoweth it. So make provision for yourselves (Hereafter); for the best provision is to ward off evil. Therefore keep your duty unto Me, O men of understanding. (Al-Baqarah 2:197)

What are these months of Hajj? From Shawwaal to Zul-Hijjah, are the months of Hajj. They are not mentioned in the verse, according to some scholars, because they are well-known even before the advent of Islam.

…and whoever is minded to perform the pilgrimage therein (let him remember that) there is (to be) no lewdness nor abuse nor angry conversation on the pilgrimage.  There should be no intercourse nor abuse of any kind nor angry conversation. This is an area where many pilgrims do things that vitiate their Hajj. Some pilgrims not only argue with other hajjis, they have fisticuffs while on pilgrimage, creating angry scenes in holy places.

And whatsoever good ye do Allah knoweth it.

When you avoid lewdness, abuse and angry conversation on Hajj you are obeying Allah’s command and securing your Hajj as these things vitiate your devotions. Whatsoever good you do besides avoiding these evils, Allah is aware of that, and shall give you ample reward for that.

So make provision for yourselves (Hereafter); for the best provision is to ward off evil. It is said that the verse was revealed in respect of some people from Yemen who were travelling for Hajj without provision of food or drink, and used to say, ‘We put our trust in Allah.’ But with this vaunted trust in Allah they ended up importuning people, begging for what to eat and whatnot, making life miserable for those who came into contact with them. Therefore, Allah admonished them to make provision for their upkeep during their stay on Hajj, and avoid the despicable life of importuning other pilgrims for what to eat and drink.

Also, Allah drew their attention to the final journey which is further than that of the world and more lasting. If you must make provision for pilgrimage which is for a few numbered days, then provision for the everlasting journey to the Hereafter is better for people who have sense. The provision then is the fear of Allah which is certain to lead you to success in both the world and the Hereafter.

That is just the reason for revelation of the verse, but its application is on all Muslims until the Day of Judgement. Many people are doing today what those pilgrims from Yemen did, of being on Hajj without proper provision and becoming liability on other pilgrims. Hajj Operations are now better in Nigeria than they were many years ago, thanks to the National Hajj Commission under the aegis of His Eminence, the Sultan, and the leadership of the Commission. No pilgrim goes for Hajj from Nigeria without basic traveling allowance imbedded in the cost of his Hajj. Suffice it to say that for what we have been doing for more than 100 years, we must strive to do it better.

There are laws governing Hajj and umrah.

We have established that umrah is infused into Hajj until the Day of Judgement. That is why Tamattu’ is preferred by many scholars to any form of Hajj. A Mutamatti’ is a pilgrim who goes into the state of ihraam with the intention of performing umrah to be followed with hajj rites later. He completes his umrah during the months of Hajj, goes out of ihraam by shaving his head and enjoying total tahallul like anybody who is not observing hajj or umrah rites. He is to remain within the holy territories, and not to travel. Then on the 8th of Zul-Hijjah he dons his ihraam, making intention for Hajj, goes out to Minaa with other pilgrims and starts his hajj rites.

Ifraad Hajj is to make intention for Hajj first, complete the rites, and then perform umrah after the 4th day of Eid.

Qiraan Hajj means to mix the rites of umrah into those of Hajj.

One of the features of Hajj is ihraam, for men. You cannot put on anything other than the two pieces of white cloths. Everybody is like everybody. You cannot discern a king from his subject or a rich man from a poor man. Some scholars even said, for the purposes of this equality, you cannot put a ring or wear a wristwatch because the quality of these things may set you apart from others as a man of means.

With the ihraam you realise that you are wrapped in kafan, your shroud, ready for burial. If you are to die at that moment, these two pieces of white cloths are enough for your shroud. Many people will give their ihraam cloths to their family after their return from Hajj and say, ‘Please keep these. Just in case. If the inevitable comes, use them for my shroud.’

So, the ihraam cloths remind you of the day you will be put in your grave, striped of your positions and privileges.  You will go into your grave without your Rolex watch, latest phone or even your fleet of vehicles. The ihraam will make you remember that, and the fact that after all, we are equal. We are all from Adam, and Adam from dust.