Hajj is a spiritual journey like no other. Every year during the month of Dhul Hijjah, we hear or see live pictures of the millions of pilgrims flocking to Mecca, Mina, and Muzdalifah to perform this sacred pilgrimage.
Last year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, 60,000 pilgrims performed Hajj and 2022 is expected to bring a much larger turnout.
Allah (SWT) has made Hajj compulsory, just like Salat, Sawm and Zakat. Every able Muslim who has the finances available (after taking care of all family obligations), is required to embark on this journey once in their life. And since it is the command of Allah (SWT), the Creator of us all, it is the duty of every Muslim to make sure they perform Hajj while they can.
Hajj is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. These pillars make up the core of the Islamic beliefs. These include to believe in Allah (SWT) and His Messenger, to perform Salat, to fast during Ramadan, to pay Zakat, and to embark on Hajj; these five things define a Muslim. Every Muslim needs to get this right in order to be identified as a person of the Islamic Faith.
Prophet Muhammad performed Hajj and as it is written that we should perform the task as He did, people embark on Hajj to obtain the blessings of Allah (SWT) and to follow in His footsteps.
Hajj serves not just as a spiritual journey but also as a means of seeking forgiveness for the mistakes of the past as well. Muslims who embark on Hajj also get their sins forgiven by Allah, The Merciful.
Dhul Hijjah is the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar. It’s the holiest of all the months and both the Hajj and Eid ul-Adha occur in Dhul Hijjah.
Since the Islamic calendar follows the lunar year, the dates in which the months fall vary from year to year. This year, Dhul Hijjah is set to begin Thursday 30 June and end on Friday 29 July; however, this will depend on the sighting of the moon and is subject to change.
During the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah, Muslims are provided with the opportunity to repent and bring themselves closer to Allah (SWT). It’s impossible to combine acts of worship such as this at any other time of year, as Allah (SWT) attaches great importance to the initial 10 days, allowing one to attain Dhul Hijjah Dua. Similarly, Dhul Hijjah fasting is common and cutting nails during Dhul Hijjah is also avoided.
May Allah (SWT) accept their Hajj and the Qurbani sacrifice of all Muslims around the world. Muslim Aid would like to wish all already en route and those already in Mecca, a safe, swift, and memorable Hajj pilgrimage.