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Every year, millions of Muslims from around the world make the journey to Makkah, Saudi Arabia, for the annual pilgrimage (or Hajj). Dressed in the same simple white clothing to represent human equality, the pilgrims gather to perform rites dating back to the time of Abraham.

Hajj is considered one of the five "pillars" of Islam. Muslims are required to make the pilgrimage once in a lifetime, if they are physically and financially able to make the journey to Mecca.

The conditions for the obligation (wujub) of Al Hajj:


  • To be a Muslim
  • To have a sound mind (sanity)
  • The ability (to perform Hajj)
  • To be free
  • To be an adult

Ability includes the following:


  • Physical health
  • Road safety
  • Non-imprisonment
  • A woman must be accompanied by either her husband or a mahram (a person whom she can't marry)
  • A widow has to pass the "Iddah" period.


Conditions for the correct performance of Al Hajj:


  • Being a Muslim
  • Ihram
  • The correct timing (the time for Ihram)
  • The correct place (the site of Ihram)
  • Common sense
  • Sound mind (sanity)
  • To perform the duties himself, unless for a valid excuse
  • No sexual intercourse

The three types of Hajj:

1- Ifrad: It is the intention to offer Hajj only.
2- Tamattu' The type of Hajj where a pilgrim starts first by performing 'Umrah (the Ihram for 'Umrah starts from his country, when he finishes 'Umrah he is released, then makes Hajj later with an Ihram from Makkah).


The pilgrim following Tamattu' is so called as he enjoys freedom from the requirements of "Ihram" between the 'Umrah and the Hajj.


3- Al Qiran: It is the intention to offer both Hajj and 'Umrah together (i.e. the pilgrim enters into the state of Ihram for both Hajj and 'Umrah together).


Allah says: "Whoever performs 'Umrah [during the hajj months] followed by hajj [offers] what can be obtained with ease of sacrificial animals. And whoever cannot find [or afford such an animal] – then a fast of three days during hajj and of seven when you have returned [home]. Those are ten complete [days]. This is for those whose family is not in the area of al-Masjid al-Haram."

Pilgrims who offer either Qiran or Tamattu' Hajj must offer a sheep (sacrificial animal) as thanks to Allah who helped them offer both 'Umrah and Hajj during the period of Hajj in the same trip to the Holy lands. But if he couldn't afford a sacrificial animal, the pilgrim has to fast for three days during the Hajj and seven days when he returns home.


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