Four Questions You Might Ask about Hajj

Hajj is the most glorious manifestation of Muslims' unity, where millions of Muslims say "Yes" to the divine invitation and come together around the Kaaba in Mecca. You might have already read about the philosophy of Hajj and the details around it. Here, we answer some questions that you might want to know more about Hajj. 

 

1. Who Built Kaaba and Why? 


According to most of the references, Kaaba was first built by Adam (PBUH). Later on, in the era of Noah (PBUH), when a flood occurred throughout the whole Earth, Kaaba was not completely ruined but damaged. Some years later, the location of the Kaaba was shown to Prophet Abraham (PBUH) [1]. He had the mission to reconstruct Kaaba with the help of his son Ishmael (PBUH) [2]: "As Ibrahim raised the foundations of the House with Ishmael, [they prayed]: 'Our Allah, accept it from us!'" (2:127). According to the verses of the Quran, the reason to build Kaaba was to found a place of reward for humankind and a sanctuary [3] where people come to worship Allah: "And proclaim the Hajj to people" (22:27).

 

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2. Who Can Perform Hajj?


As one of the practical principles of Islam, Hajj is obligatory only once in one's lifetime, if he/she fills some conditions that consist of:

 

  • To be of sane mind;
  • To have reached puberty;
  • To be free; 
  • To have financial means (called Istita'ah), i. e., to have enough money to support oneself and his/her family on this journey;
  • To be in good physical condition, i. e., Hajj is not obligatory for the sick, the extremely old who cannot even move or those who are either unable or would face severe hardship;
  • To possess means for a safe trip.


If one fulfills all these conditions, then it is mandatory for him/her to perform Hajj.

 

3. Why Is the Phrase "Labbayk" Repeated?


Labbayk means "I am abiding upon your compliance" and is used to answer in the affirmative, to agree with, and accept an invitation [4]. The phrase Labbayk is one of the obligations during Hajj by saying which one can enter the state of Ihram [5]. 


According to Imam Kazim (AS), Allah Almighty will forbid the Hellfire to those who entered the state of Ihram during Hajj. Saying "Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk" is actually an answer to Almighty Allah in return to what He has said." [6]. In another narration, it is stated that this phrase is an answer to the call of Almighty Allah (22:27) to perform Hajj [7]. 

 

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4. How Is Hajj an Expression of the Beliefs of Islam?


Hajj is the most significant congregation of Muslim society from all over the world that manifests how religion and society are linked. The rituals that must be performed during Hajj and the words that should be repeated remind us of: 

 

  • Monotheism: the fundamental axiom of Islam that implies the existence of one creator, a divine source, and a higher power, and His absolute uniqueness and singularity;

 

  •  Denial of all other powers: by testifying to monotheism, every other power, whether eastern or western, will be rejected. That means those who believe in monotheism won't be indifferent about the injustice, cruelty, and oppression that world powers inflict on their people or other countries;  

 

  • The importance of unity: millions of pilgrims who have left behind the religious conflicts, and follow the same intention, perform the same actions, and wear the same outfit, represent the glorious Islamic unity;

 

  •   International peace and amity: bringing together the people of various nationalities, skin colors, languages, and sects and considering all of them equal except for their degree of piety, encourage brotherhood and peace in the whole world.

 

Here we discussed some of the common questions about Hajj, but there is much more to know. If you have any questions in this regard, do not hesitate to write to us.

 


References:

[1] The Quran (22:26)

[2].    N. Makarem Shirzi, “Tafsir Nemooneh”, vol. 14, p. 67.

[3] The Quran (2:125)

[4].    https://www.islamquest.net/en/archive/question/en19648

[5].    M. Bahjat, "Manasik Hajj va Umrah", p. 90.

[6].    Shaykh H. Amili, “Wasa'il al-Shia”, vol. 12, p. 375.

[7].    Shaykh H. Amili, “Wasa'il al-Shia”, vol. 12, p. 377.