"And pilgrimage to the House is a duty unto God for mankind, for him who can find the way thither" Quran (3:97)
With many of us now in the depths of preparing for Hajj later on this year, we thought we would put together some interesting and lesser-known facts about this incredible time of year, whether you’re planning to make the journey in 2019 or some time in the future. It’s a proud tradition which should be celebrated for all of the spiritual virtues it offers us as Muslims to achieve – but did you know all of the below?
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – the pure scale of Hajj makes it a worldwide phenomenon. More than 2 million Muslims make the pilgrimage every single year (with 2012 seeing a record three mil), meaning it’s up there with the planet’s largest gatherings, whether religious or otherwise.
It’s an obligation we need only undertake once, with Allah’s Messenger ﷺ himself being no exception. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ performed Umrah four different times throughout his lifetime, and Hajj just the once, as is tradition.
In light of the vast number of Muslims travelling to Makkah each year, officials are said to be considering ways to expand the Masjid al-Haram – rather than having to limit the number of pilgrims attending. This is to make Hajj a safer, more convenient and ultimately accessible journey for all Muslims.
As our calendar follows the lunar year, the Hajj date changes by 10-11 days each year. This means that your Hajj can be somewhat difficult to plan – but, nonetheless, the rewards more than make up for the work which precedes it.
Whilst there are multiple channels with which to gain Allah’s mercy throughout the year, such as conducting your five daily prayers or giving in charity, it is stated in the Hadith that performing Hajj will leave you entirely cleansed – “Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of Allah and does not utter any obscene speech or do any evil deed, will go back (free of sin) as his mother bore him.”
The Messenger of Allah said: “The guests of Allah are three: The ghazi, the Hajj and the Mu'tamir.”
If you’re planning to undertake your pilgrimage this year, here’s us at MBCO wishing you a safe and happy Hajj. Asalumu alaikum!