Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam. It is a pilgrimage to Mecca and Arafat. The meaning of the Hajj is intention while in Shariah, the meaning of the Hajj is going to visit the house of ALLAH, Kaaba and performing the obligatory actions during the days specific to Hajj. These days are from the 8th of the Zul Hajj to the 13th of the Zul Hajj.
Hajj is obligatory for all those Muslims who can afford to perform it. According to a hadith that our Holy Prophet Mohamed (Peace be upon him) once said that if a person didn't perform hajj without any compulsion like financial issues or because of any brutal or cruel ruler who didn't allow people to go to hajj and he dies, it is just like he dies as Jew or Christian.
Hajj is not obligatory for men only but it is obligatory for women also but they have to perform in the company of any of their mahram.
The Obligatory Actions For Hajj
Ahram - The Dress for Hajj
There is a specific dress for Hajj which is known as Ahram. For men, it is consists of two unstitched cloth sheets while women can wear their dress as usual with just a scarf as a compulsory part of her dress.
Meeqat The Place to Wear Ahram
Pilgrims go to meet to wear Ahram. It is the start of the Hajj.
Tawaf is going all about going around the Kaaba. To perform one tawaf, it is essential to go around the Kaaba seven times.
There are also 7 runs in the Sa'i but these runs are in between two mountains which are called Safa and Marwa.
Waquf The Stay at Arafat
It is compulsory to stay at Arafat on the 9th of the Zilhajj. It is the most essential act of Hajj. Without this stay, the hajj will always remain incomplete.
Rami-Stoning to The Devil
Next three days the practice of stoning to the devils is continued.
The sacrifice of an Animal
After Rami, the sacrifice of an animal is done.
Halaq or Qasar
Halaq is referred to complete head shave and Qasar is referred to trimming of hairs at the head. After that, pilgrims can come out of the conditions of Ahram.
Importance of Hajj in The Holy Quran
As it is included in the pillars of Islam, it is discussed in the Quran. In one place it is said in the Quran like:
'And Complete the Hajj or Umrah in the service of ALLAH (Al-Baqara)'
In another place, it is said as:
'And Pilgrimage to the House is incumbent upon men for the sake of Allah, (upon) everyone who is able to undertake the journey to it'(Aal-e-Imran).'
Importance of Hajj in Hadith
The importance of Hajj is also discussed in hadith as well. In a hadith, it is said,
'If Hajj becomes obligatory on a person and it is not performed, then he/she will be raised as a Christian or Jew on the Day of Judgment'.
In another hadith, it is said,
'When a Person, on whom Hajj becomes obligatory, completes the Hajj properly: his/her sins are forgiven such as if he/she is a newly bornchild.'
Unity of the Muslims is Shown Here
Every year millions of the Muslims gather to perform the hajj. They come from every part of the world. They belong to different backgrounds. They speak different languages, wear different types of dresses, eat different types of foods but all have one thing common in between all of them and that is their religion. Islamic brotherhood makes them closer to each other which is shown during hajj.