The Hajj (Pilgrimage)
The Quranic Way
Just like all other practices of Islam, all the rites of Hajj that are decreed by God Almighty are fully listed in the Quran. Sadly, many innovations have crept into the Hajj that is practised today. These innovations not only have no Quranic reference, they also violate the concept of Hajj as given in the Quran. In an attempt to present the true Quranic Hajj to the reader, the following issues are analysed in the light of the Quran:
FIRST: The rites of Hajj that are decreed in the Quran.
SECOND: The idolatrous rituals that violate the Quran.
THIRD: The price of abandoning God's Law.
The Purpose of Hajj
The ritual of Hajj is not any different from any other ritual of Islam. These rituals are acts of worship and must be dedicated to the name of God alone (6:162). They must be observed in the exact manner prescribed by God, that is, if the people worship God alone.
The Quran stresses in a number of verses that the only purpose of Hajj is to commemorate the name of God. As a result, every precious hour and day of the Hajj should be spent in commemorating the name of God Almighty alone:
And proclaim the Hajj to the people …… to commemorate God's name during the known days. 22:27-28
You shall commemorate God for a number of days. 2:203
When you disperse from Arafat you shall commemorate God at the Mishaar Al-Haram. 2:198
Then once you have completed your rituals, you shall commemorate God. 2:200
We also read in Sura 6 that all our worship practices must be dedicated to God alone:
It follows that if we commemorate any name during our Hajj other than the name of God, then we would have violated the command in all the above verses and our Hajj becomes invalid.
The Commencement, Months and Duration of Hajj
1- The sighting of the crescent moon signals the commencement of Hajj:
They ask you about the crescents, say, "They are timing devices for the people as well as for Hajj." 2:189
1- The first word is "farada". This verb is from the word ‘fard’ which means an obligatory duty set by God on the believers. The Salat is a 'fard' so is the Zakat and Hajj. Thus the verb "farada" means to actually execute or consummate the command.
2- The second word is "feehinna". This word is in fact two Arabic words joined together. They are ‘fee’ which means (in), and ‘hinna’ which means (them) and is used in the feminine gender. Thus the whole word means (in them). The word (them) here refers to the specified months. Now by placing these words inside the verse we get:
Whoever executes the Hajj in them (the specified months) shall refrain from … 2:197
In these two Arabic words execute the Hajj in them God endorses the legality of executing Hajj anytime within the specified months.
Those who have corrupted the law of God, and reduced the time of Hajj to the first ten days of the 12th month, justify their claims by corrupting the meaning of some Quranic verses such as:
Ccommemorate God's name during the known days. 22:28
You shall commemorate God for a number of days. 2:203
They claim that the words "known days" and "a number of days" indicate that Hajj can only be observed in the ten day period and not anytime during the four months.
The reply to that is two folded:
Immediately Almighty God has given us a clear distinction in the verses that speak about Hajj. When God addresses Hajj itself, the words "specified months" are used as in 2:197. The reason for that being that the duration of Hajj is the full four months. However when God addresses the believers, the words "a number of days" are used, as in:
"You shall commemorate God for a number of days". The words "You shall" which addresses the believers speak of "a number of days" for the simple fact that any believer who goes to observe his Hajj goes for a number of days, he does not stay for the whole four months.
Consider the example of the fasting of Ramadan as in the following verses:
The month of Ramadan, in which the Quran was brought down, a guidance for the people, as well as clarification of the guidance and the Criterion. Therefore, those of you who witness the month shall fast it. 2:185
Here we read "the month" as being the duration of fasting.
Now consider the following verse:
A number of days (for fasting), but whoever among you is ill or travelling, then an equal number of other days (may be substituted). 2:184
Here fasting is spoken of as "a number of days". However, none of the hadith scholars have come up with a claim that we should only fast the first ten days of Ramadan!
A month, or months, can also be spoken of as days, simply because a month is made up of days. The fact that they are spoken of as days does not change the fact that they are still months. This is similar to someone describing the years of his childhood by saying 'they were the best days of my life'.
3- Which months are the 'Hurum Months' and which is the first month for Hajj?
This classification violates the Quran on two counts.
1- The Quranic 'Hurum Months' are the months of Zhu Al-Hijjah (12th), Muharram (1st), Safar (2nd) and Rabi Al-Awwal (3rd).
2- The Quran also gives us evidence that the 4 'Hurum Months' are consecutive.
1- Which months are the 4 'Hurum Months'?
The 12th month of the Islamic calendar is not called Zu Al-Hijjah for nothing other than it ushers in the beginning of Hajj. In 2:31 we read that God taught Adam all the names, or in other words, everything is given its name by God. It is God who called a tree a tree, and a car a car, and it was also God who named winter as winter and summer as summer and so on. It follows that it was also God who named the months of the year, of every calendar. It is God who gave the month of Zhu Al-Hijjah its name. The literal meaning of the name Zhu Al-Hijjah is: that (month) of the Hajj.
For the same reason, God named the 9th month Ramadan, so that when the Quran instructs us to fast the month of Ramadan, we would know when to start fasting when Ramadan starts.
2- The 4 'Hurum Months' are consecutive months.
The Rituals of Hajj in the Quran
1- Abstentions (Ehraam) during Hajj
Hunting is prohibited during Hajj as per the following verses:
You shall not permit hunting while you are hurum. 5:1
Once you are no longer in abstention you may hunt. 5:2
O you who believe, do not kill any game while you are hurum. 5:95
b- War and fighting
All warfare is prohibited during the Hurum Months of Hajj except in self defence:
They ask you about the Haram Month and fighting therein: say, "Fighting therein is a grave matter." 2:217
c- Sexual intercourse, misconduct and arguments
These abstentions are given in the following verse:
Whoever executes the Hajj in them (the known months) shall refrain from sexual intercourse, wickedness and arguing during Hajj. 2:197
d- The cutting of the hair
Abstaining from cutting one's hair is a requirement during Hajj. The wisdom being to remove the distractions of vanity and to encourage the believers to concentrate on the spirituality of the occasion.
You shall complete the Hajj and Umrah for God. If you are prevented, then make a convenient offering, and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches its destination. 2:196
It must be noted here that the claim by some that the hair must be cut or shortened at the conclusion of the Hajj is without any Quranic reference. All that the Quran states is that a person observing Hajj must refrain from cutting his/her hair during the days of Hajj. What he/she does at the conclusion of Hajj is a matter left to their own choice.
2- The visit to the Kaaba and commemoration of God
The customary visit to the Kaaba and prayers therein are an integral part of Hajj, having been mentioned in the following verse that speaks of Hajj:
Then, they shall end their state of unkemptness, fulfil their vows and visit the Ancient House. 22:29
3- The Safa and Marwah and commemoration of God
The Safa and Marwah are among the rites decreed by God. Therefore anyone who observes Hajj at the House or observes Umrah commits no error by passing by them. 2:158
4- Mount Arafat and commemoration of God
The commemoration of God at Mount Arafat is also one of the Quranic rites for Hajj:
When you disperse from Arafat you shall commemorate God at the Mishaar Al-Haram. 2:198
The Mishaar Al-Haram is the Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca. This is because the Masjid Al-Haram is the only House called 'Haram' in the Quran.
5- Animal Offerings
The animal offerings are one of the Quranic rites of Hajj.
The animal offerings are among the rites decreed for you by God. In them there are benefits for you. 22:36
The Quran makes the point clear that this is not to be confused with the pagan concept of animal sacrifice for the gods, by stating that God Almighty is in no need of any sacrifice. This is emphasised by the words "benefits for you". This is also asserted in the following verse:
Neither their meat nor their blood reaches God. What reaches Him is your reverence. 22:37
The offerings to the Masjid Al-Haram and the traditional markings on them are also mentioned in the following verse:
God has decreed the Kaaba, the Haram House, to be maintained for the people, as well as the Haram Month, the 'hadye' (offerings) and the 'qala'id' (garlands marking them). 5:97
When the believers observe the animal offering they are instructed to eat from the meat and feed the poor, unless for health reasons they cannot eat the meat:
6- Convenient Offering
For those who progress from Umrah to Hajj, they shall make a convenient offering (to the poor and needy). If a person cannot afford to make an offering, then fasting is given as an alternative:
The Quran does not specify what the offering should be, thus it can be anything donated to the poor, such as money, clothes, food and so on.
The above are the only rites of Hajj decreed by God in the Quran.
Corrupt Rituals that
violate the Quran
1- The ‘Black stone’
Throughout the Quran there is a clear message to stay away from all stones and altars, yet during the visit to the Masjid Al-Haram, and at one of its corners, Muslims congregate and push and shove their way ferociously to get to what is known as the Black Stone, in order to touch it and kiss it! They believe that in doing so there is some blessing! This is a clear case of idol worship. Not surprisingly, this ritual has no reference anywhere in the Quran. This ritual originates from a hadith which alleges that this stone descended from Heaven during the time of Abraham, and is thus sacred. The hadith goes on to say that the Prophet used to kiss it! The Quran informs us that Abraham destroyed all the stones that his people were worshipping and said:
Do you then worship besides God what does not benefit you in any way nor harm you? 21:66
Clearly, this dubious hadith is in clear contradiction to God's instructions in the Quran, and is thus an insult to the Prophet, since it implies that he ignored God's instructions and instead went on to kiss a stone that has no power to "benefit" or "harm" anybody. That is not all, some flagrant hadith claim that the Black Stone will come to life on Judgement day and then develop two eyes and a tongue and will testify in favour of those who touched it in sincerity!
It is also a sad sight today at the Kaaba to see hundreds of people rubbing their bodies against the walls of the Kaaba, thinking that the walls of the Kaaba will bless them! The scenes at the location of the Black Stone are abhorrent and they make any sincere believer wonder if those idol worshippers have ever read the Quran!
In front of the Black Stone there is a line drawn on the ground. This line is intended as a marker from which people could keep count of each lap they have completed; however it is indeed a truly sad sight to see the people raising their hands in awe in the direction of the Black Stone every time they pass the line! Some even pray on the line itself in total awe of the Black Stone!
Say "Do you worship besides God what does not posses any harm nor benefit for you?" 5:76 also see 10:18 and 25:55.
The following are some of the outrageous hadith which form the basis for such an idolatrous ritual:
1. "Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "The Black Stone came down from Jannah (Paradise)."
(At-Tirmidhi, Sunan, hadith no. 877, and classified as authentic hadith by Sheikh Al-Albaani in his book Sahih At-Tirmidthi, hadith no. 695 )
2. "Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "When the Black Stone came down from Paradise, it was whiter than milk, but the sins of the sons of Adam made it black."
3. "Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) related that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “By Allah, Allah will bring it forth on the Day of Judgment, and it will have two eyes with which it will see and a tongue with which it will speak, and it will testify in favor of those who touched it in sincerity."
4. "Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying: “Touching them both [the Black Stone and Ar-Rukn Al-Yamani] is an expiation for one’s sins."
(At-Tirmidhi, Sunan, hadith no. 959. This hadith is classified as hasan by At-Tirmidhi and as Sahih by Al-Hakim (1/664), and Adh-Dhahabi agreed with him.)
5- "Narrated 'Abis bin Rabia: 'Umar came near the Black Stone and kissed it and said "No doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit anyone nor harm anyone. Had I not seen Allah's Apostle kissing you I would not have kissed you."
Sahih Bukhari 2:26:667, also Sahih Bukhari 2:26:657 and Sahih Muslim 7:2912-2915
2- The water of ‘Zamzam’
The idolatrous practices do not end at the Black Stone. The devil has indeed instilled in the human being the worship of objects that cannot benefit nor harm him. A further idolatrous superstition is connected to the water of Zamzam. This water is available inside the Masjid Al-Haram and is regarded to be sacred by Muslims and that it is able to cure one's ailments! Muslim historians claim that the well of Zamzam was made to flow for Hagar and her infant Ishmael when the two of them ran in desperation between the hill tops of the Safa and Marwah in search of water.
This story, which has no reference in the Quran, finds its roots in the Biblical story of Abraham's slave wife Hagar when she was sent away to the wilderness of the desert with her child Ishmael. The Biblical narration goes that in desperation and fear of dying out of thirst, Hagar ran back and forth between two hill tops in search of water, at which point God mercifully produced for her a gushing well from which she and Ishmael drank (Genesis 21:14-21).
The absence of such narration in the Quran could only mean that the hadith writers borrowed the Biblical story then conveniently modified it to fit the surroundings of the Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca.
There is one snag though! When we read the Biblical story of this event we find that it took place in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba which is located south of Jerusalem, between Gaza and the Dead Sea. Obviously this is nowhere near Mecca where the water of Zamzam is extracted! This, wide disparity of locations, together with the fact that there is no Quranic evidence to substantiate or invalidate this story, adds a great deal of uncertainty about the story connected to the water of Zamzam!
One thing is for certain; there is nothing in the Quran that says that we should idolize and hold sacred any object, whether it is the water of Zamzam or the Black Stone, thinking that either could benefit us in any way. On the contrary, doing so is in direct violation of 5:76, 21:66 and other verses as mentioned. A genuine worshipper of God arrives at the Masjid Al-Haram to worship and commemorate God and not to idolise any physical object.
Editor's note: One of my aunts observed no less that 14 Umrahs and a few Hajjs over the years. At the end of every journey she used to return home from Mecca with a good supply of water from Zamzam in the belief that it will cure her from various illnesses. She used to fill little bottles with the water and distribute them among members of the family! Her good intention aside, up until the time of her passing away, all the water she brought back never cured her nor any family member of any illness!
3- The Stoning ritual
Another ritual that is considered by Muslims to be an integral part of the Hajj is the Stoning of Satan. Not only is this ritual not mentioned in the Quran, but in actual fact, all the Quranic verses which speak of Stoning indicate that it is a ritual done only by the idol worshippers, see (11:91, 18:20, 19:46, 36:18). All the correct rituals of Hajj are mentioned in the Quran. In contrast, the Stoning ritual is not found in the Quran and was never authorised by God.
All three jamarat are meant to represent the devil: the first and largest represents his temptation of Abraham against sacrificing his son Ishmael, the second represents the temptation of Abraham's wife Hagar to induce her to stop him, and the third represents his temptation of Ishmael to avoid being sacrificed. He was rebuked each time, and the throwing of the stones symbolizes those rebukes.
Because the hadith advocates cannot find any Quranic authorisation for the ritual of Stoning they attempt to link the Stoning ritual to the Quranic word 'rajeem' as per the following verse:
He (God) said, 'Then, get out of it, for you (Satan) are 'rajeem' (outcast). 38:77 and 15:34.
The word 'rajeem', which simply means outcast, has been corrupted to mean 'stoned', hence it is claimed that the stoning ritual during Hajj is an authorised Quranic command!
In support of their claims, reference is made to a number of hadith, one of which claims that every time a stone is thrown at any of the three Satanic stations, that Satan in fact feels pain and groans in agony! This laughable notion which pictures the devil sitting at the 3 altars waiting to be aimed at, does nothing other than guarantee the devil to be rubbing his hands in joy for succeeding in deviating the millions of idol worshippers from the sole aim of Hajj, which is to 'Praise and commemorate God'. By duping millions into observing the Stoning ritual, the devil has succeeded in taking up three days of their Hajj days for his name! The fact that they are stoning him and cursing his name and not singing his praises is totally irrelevant, for they should have been using these days for the sole purpose of glorifying God.
And proclaim Hajj to the people ……… to commemorate God's name during the known days. 22:27-28
You shall commemorate God for a number of days. 2:203
When you disperse from Arafat you shall commemorate God. 2:198
Once you have completed your rituals, you shall commemorate God. 2:200
4- The Hajj garments
Another tradition of Hajj which has no Quranic support is the Hajj garments for men. According to this tradition, men should wear two seamless white wrappings, one worn around the waist and the other thrown loosely over the shoulder. Also nothing made of metal may be worn to the extent that even a safety pin may not be used to tie the wrappings together!
When we look closely at this deep rooted tradition we find that not only does it contradict the wisdom of the Quran, but it also violates a clear Quranic verse. When we contemplate the wisdom of the Quran, we clearly realise that on no occasion is a dress code a requirement of any ritual or form of worship. Instead God Almighty stresses the fact that He will judge people by what is in the heart and not by what they wear:
Only those who come to God with a pure heart (will be saved). 26:89
Those who came up with this un-Quranic tradition have made it a requirement of the 'ihram'. The word 'ihram' in Arabic means abstention, thus it is said that these garments are worn so as to abstain oneself from anything ostentatious. However all the requirements of 'ihram' are included in the Quran; a dress code is not one of them. The abstentions listed in the Quran during Hajj are abstentions from war, hunting, sexual contact, cutting one's hair, misconduct and arguments.
More important, the Hajj garments, which have become an integral part of the Hajj violates the following Quranic verse:
O children of Adam, take along your 'zinah' to every Masjid. 7:31
The word 'zinah' means adornments or any item that is worn to make oneself beautiful. Since the words in 7:31 said 'every Masjid', and no exception has been made to this totality, then it should also include the Masjid Al-Haraam. The Masjid Al-Haram is a Masjid first and foremost. What this really means is that God instructed us to dress in nice clothes and adorn ourselves with beautiful things, as long as we are not too flashy, so as to treat the visit to the Masjid as a happy and festive occasion.
One cannot help but wonder, what could be more inspiring and gratifying than celebrating the trip of the Hajj in a happy and festive manner?
One thing which Christians got right is that when they go to Christmas Mass they dress up in their best clothes to live up to the occasion. By doing so, the Christians are undoubtedly more in line with God's instructions in 7:31 than the Muslims observing their Hajj! Commemorating and glorifying God should always be a happy occasion, not a dismal self denying experience! The origin of this behaviour lies in the cultures of many Muslims, especially the Arabs, by which it is thought that dramatising everything, as well as indulging in morbid states of self denial, would denote an air of sincerity and submission to God! Needless to say, this cannot be any farther than the truth! The credibility of any action or its sincerity lies only in the heart and never in appearances.
The classic justification given by Muslims for wearing the Hajj garments is their claim that it equates the rich with the poor. They add that the poor will not feel uncomfortable or embarrassed by their dress, since all people look alike during Hajj. This argument is unsound for a number of reasons. The Friday congregational prayer has no dress code, everyone wears what they like, yet no poor man feels uncomfortable or embarrassed by what they wear, nor does a rich man feel special by what they wear. Dress is never an issue during the Friday congregational prayer, and why should it be? During the prayer, the general mood of the people in the Masjid is one of worship. No sincere worshipper is interested in what others are wearing! If that is the mood during prayer, why should it be any different during the Hajj where people are more focused on spirituality than during a routine weekly congregation?
Furthermore, a poor man would be better off going to Hajj in whatever clothes he already has, rather than being burdened to spend extra money to buy additional garments (towels, special sandals, special belt) just for the occasion.
We have seen that the Hajj garments are a clear violation of the instructions in 7:31. It can also be shown that the Hajj garments were never required by God through a rationale that demonstrates how God is indeed the Most wise. To explain this logic it must first be stressed that God will never command the believers to perform a certain practice and then make it impossible for them to exercise it. God decreed for us to perform Hajj anytime during the four specified months (2:197). We also know that the Saudi authorities will not allow any person to observe Hajj outside the first 10 days of the month of Zhu Al-Hijjah. Now let us assume that Hajj garments were truly authorised by God, this would make it impossible for any genuine believer to observe his Hajj and visit Arafat wearing the Hajj garments at any time outside the 10 days. The Saudi authorities would not permit him to do so; they will stop him on the grounds that he is attempting to observe Hajj outside the correct timing of Hajj (their Hajj)!
This scenario would mean that no believer would be able to observe his Hajj outside the 10 days, that is, if he was to wear the Hajj garments.
In contrast, if he was not wearing the Hajj garments, simply because they are not required by God, he would be able to visit Arafat and observe a full Hajj without any problem.
He would also be able to visit to the Kaaba and the Safa and Marwah in normal clothes without any problem. The Kaaba is a Masjid and is frequented by many locals when the time of the Salat is due, and they are dressed in normal clothes, so it is never a problem to be in the Kaaba, Safa and Marwah or Arafat dressed in normal clothes.
By making it possible for the believers to wear normal clothes during Hajj, God the Most Wise has in effect made it possible for them to follow His law anytime during the four months in spite of the idol worshippers.
5- Hajj by Deputization!
God asserts the fact that no person will be accountable for the sins of another, and also that no person will be credited from the deeds of another. In other words, every person will be held accountable only to what he/she has done.
The human being will benefit from nothing other than his own work. 53:39
No person benefits except from his own work. 6:164
In spite of these clear assurances in the Quran, we find Muslims today observing Hajj and Umrah for their dead relatives! They do so in accordance with various hadith that allege that the Prophet supposedly said that one can observe Hajj, fast Ramadan and also give Zakat on behalf of one's dead relatives!
This is yet another case of total disregard for God's words in favour of a number of hadith which clearly contradicts the Quran! Had they believed the Quran they would have known that these hadith are lies and that the Prophet of God is innocent of such lies. The Prophet would never preach what contradicts the Quran.
6- Ihram (abstentions) during Umrah!
The word 'ihram' is clearly defined in the Quran as a requirement during Hajj and not Umrah. Ihram is closely connected to the Shahr Al-Haram' (the abstention months). These are the four months designated for Hajj. However, when Muslims observe their Umrah anytime during the year, they still get into a state of 'ihram' and impose the wearing of the Hajj garments!
The state of 'ihram' is decreed in the Quran in connection of the four Hurum Months of Hajj and not for the rest of the year. Since Umrah may be observed outside the four Hurum Months, this is confirmation that 'ihram' is not required during Umrah.
7- Women not allowed to perform Hajj without a 'mihrim'!
Another corrupt restriction that has no Quranic reference is the forbidding of women to observe their Hajj or Umrah without being in the company of a 'mihrim'. A 'mihrim' is any male who is unlawful for marriage to the woman in question. Thus for any woman, her father, brother, son, grandfather, etc are all 'mihrims'.
God has never imposed such restrictions in the Quran on women. This restriction is one of a string of countless innovations which derive from male dominated cultures, and by which men of such cultures attempt to subject their women to subordination. The origin of this corrupt condition, not surprisingly comes from yet another hadith that says that no man shall be in the company of a woman alone and in seclusion. Besides the fact that this rule is non-Quranic, a crowd of around two million visitors to Mecca during Hajj can hardly be described as 'seclusion'! Moreover, to demonstrate that this rule is nothing but a product of male dominated cultures, we may rightly inquire: If it is prohibited for a male to be in the company of a woman alone, then why is the man not also required to take a 'mihrim' woman (his mother, sister, etc) with him during Hajj and Umrah? Obviously it is one rule for men and another for women.
8- Women forbidden from observing their Salat during menstruation, and thus forbidden from completing their Hajj rituals!
A good believing woman once said to me:
"God commanded married couples to abstain from sexual intercourse during the woman's menstruation (2:222). Yet our Merciful God, who gave us the gift of worshipping Him to nourish our souls, has never deprived man nor woman of worshipping Him at any time (except in the case of being intoxicated, 4:43)."
She added :
"What authority does a man give himself to deprive a woman from observing her Salat, fasting or indeed coming anywhere near a Masjid during menstruation? What authority does a man have to call us dirty during these days, when in fact, we are merely going through a cycle devised by God Himself, not any different from any other cycle of the body? Is it not through God's design that the initial growth of every man inside his mother's womb stems from that very same blood that is now used to label us 'dirty'! Please show me any justification or rationale in this idiocy."
In actual fact, I could not give her an answer! The only answer I had was that I am a man who is indeed totally ashamed of other ignorant men who call themselves Muslims yet they readily twist, distort and corrupt God's words to dominate and keep their women under subjection.
Their claim that these restrictions come from the teachings of the Prophet is yet another great insult to the integrity of the Prophet of God. The Prophet of God was commanded by God to follow the Quran and nothing else (46:9 and 5:48), and thus the Prophet would never teach what is in contradiction to the Quran.
These corrupted restrictions rob women of their rightful duty to worship God for up to seven days in every month. In the unlucky event of the woman menstruating during the Hajj days, and by depriving her of her duty to observe her Prayers, they prevent the woman from completing her Hajj rituals.
Those with any degree of intelligence would surely know that God would never deprive any human being of the benefit of Prayer due to a bodily cycle that is designed by God Himself!
The law in 4:43 which forbids a person from observing the Salat while intoxicated is quite understandable, for in such a state a person would not know what they are saying, plus the fact that becoming intoxicated is the fault of the person. However, what is the fault of a woman going through menstruation to be deprived of the gift of worshipping her Creator?
9- Corrupt Misconceptions
Many corrupt misconceptions have crept into the practice of Hajj. As to be expected, none of these misconceptions have any Quranic support. The following are some examples:
1- Although we are told in the Quran that God commanded Abraham to proclaim Hajj as a fundamental ritual of the religion, the corrupt Muslim scholars claim that Hajj did not become compulsory until the 9th year after Hijrah!
We appointed for Abraham the location of the House, "Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for the visitors and those who stand, bow and prostrate.
And proclaim the Hajj to the people. They will come to you on foot and on every lean animal; they will come from every deep ravine." 22:26-27
The words "And proclaim the Hajj to the people" are self evident. To say after that the Hajj was not made compulsory until after the 9th year of Hijra is clearly a contradiction to the words of the Quran.
2- Another misconception that has no origin in the Quran is the claim that Hajj wipes out all previous sins. Naturally, there are numerous hadith that endorse this idea, one of which says that whoever observes the Hajj returns without sins! Not only does this false concept have no origin in the Quran, but it is also a grave intrusion on God's Will. We are told in the Quran that God being the Most Merciful may wipe out some of our sins or He may wipe out all of them for whom He pleases. However, to claim knowledge of God's Mercy is totally presumptuous.
How can any of these hadith represent the true words of the Prophet when God commanded him to proclaim that he does not even know what will happen to himself:
Say (O Muhammad), "I am not a novelty among other messengers, nor do I know what will happen to me or to you. I follow nothing other than what is revealed to me (Quran). I am no more than a clear warner. 46:9
We know that the Prophet performed his Hajj just before his death yet, contrary to the false concept of all sins being forgiven at the completion of hajj, he was still commanded to say that he does not know what will happen to himself.
10- Visiting the Prophet's tomb in Medina and declaring it a second "Haram Masjid"
The majority, if not all, of those observing their Hajj make it a custom to visit Prophet Muhammed's tomb in Medina at the Masjid that carries his name. By doing so they are committing the most flagrant act of idol worship, and thus invalidating their Hajj.
According to the command in 6:162 we are told that we should dedicate all our rituals to the name of God alone. Hajj is older than the prophet Muhammed himself. Abraham and his descendants performed Hajj, they did not have Muhammad's tomb to visit. For all the followers of hadith who insist that they following the religion in the same way that the Prophet did, well, Prophet Muhammad observed his Hajj in Mecca, but he did not visit his grave during his Hajj, did he?
The Quran consistently mentions one 'Haram Masjid', yet today's Muslims talk about 'Two Haram Masjids' (Al-Haramayn)! In a glaring act of idolatry, they have set up Muhammed's tomb as a second 'Haram Masjid'! This is a clear violation of the Quran where believers are told that the Masjids belong to God alone:
The Masjids (places of worship) belong to God, so do not call on anyone else besides God. 72:18
If the hadith followers care little about the Quranic commands in favour of their hadith, then it remains a mystery why they also violate their own hadith which again prohibits them from conducting any prayers at the graves of their messengers:
Muslim, Book 4, Number 1083:
"Jundub reported: I heard from the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) five days before his death and he said: …….. Beware of those who preceded you and used to take the graves of their prophets and righteous men as places of worship, but you must not take graves as mosques; I forbid you to do that."
The Price of deserting God's Law
As a result of rejecting God's Law for Hajj, the following evils have resulted:
The average number of Muslims who converge on Mecca annually to observe the Hajj is two million. However, a conservative estimate of at least ten times this number (20 million) or more world-wide are refused visas due to the limited capacity of the location and facilities. The majority of those refused visas may never get another chance to fulfil what is an integral part of their religion. The Quran says that it is the duty of every Muslim to observe Hajj, provided he can afford it, not if he is lucky enough to get a visa! (see 3:97)
The question here is how can it be possible that God may decree a ritual for the believers yet make it very difficult for the majority of them to observe? In reality this question is not applicable unless God has in fact decreed only ten days for the Hajj, but because God has granted the believers four months every year to observe the Hajj, it becomes obvious that it is those who have changed God's law who are really responsible for depriving millions of Muslims of observing their Hajj. They are also the ones to blame for making Hajj an overcrowded, hazardous and tense experience that can only be accomplished by the minority of people.
If Hajj was spread over the four months appointed by God all those extra millions of Muslims would be able to observe Hajj. The pressure cooker atmosphere experienced during those 10 days would also be eliminated.
Due to the extreme overcrowding, many accidents, fires and deaths occur every year. The majority of fatalities occur at the site of the Stoning, which is not really a coincidence but can be taken as a sign from God to the those who perform the idolatrous act of Stoning.
For more information regarding the grave tragedies that have occurred through the years, please see: Stoning Tragedies
As a result of the limited number of applications allocated for every country for Hajj, an evil situation has arisen where a number of travel agents who organise the Hajj trips have reduced Hajj to becoming an extremely profitable business! Some of these parasitic traders only work during the few weeks preceding Hajj, extorting huge sums of money from travellers and living off those gains for the rest of the year! What they are doing is making extorted profits from selling what is in fact a religious duty!
Due to the huge number of people (two million) who visit Mecca in a period of a few days, the number of livestock being slaughtered far exceeds the necessary amount required to feed everyone present. The result of which is that a great amount of meat is wasted, thrown away or rots under the hot sun. Once again, if God's law was enforced and the Hajj spread over four months, there would be better control on the distribution of the huge amounts of meat.
Due to the extremely large crowds that are present at one time in a limited area, instead of having ample time for meditation and spirituality, the main concerns of the visitors are reduced to avoiding being robbed by petty thieves, avoiding being detached from their accompanying groups, avoiding being trampled on and avoiding being struck by flying stones at the Stoning site! This is not to mention the problems related to washing facilities and all sanitation issues. All these negative factors turn the journey of Hajj into a very hectic and strenuous experience instead of it being a relaxing spiritual one.
Needless to say, if the Law of God was respected and applied, whereby Hajj was restored to the four Hurum Months, all these problems would largely be eliminated.
Due to the un-Quranic restriction on women, which dictates that they are not allowed to observe their Hajj unless they are accompanied by a 'mihrim', thousands of women are deprived of their rightful right to observe the Hajj. Often the case is that on the particular year when a woman is ready and able to observe her Hajj it is not always possible to find a 'mihrim' who is willing to travel and who is also financially able to afford the high cost of the Hajj journey.
From my personal experience at the Masjid Al-Haraam, I have felt that in visiting the Kaaba, God has indeed set a great test for the believers; are they going to go to the Kaaba to worship God alone, or are they going to worship the walls, the stone and the water? In my heart I am saddened by the fact that millions upon millions are failing the test of the Kaaba!