Al Hajj : How Muslims distorted Al Hajj (The Pilgrimage)
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.
FIRST 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 time and 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:
Say, "My Salat, my worship practices, my life and my death, are all devoted to God, the Lord of the worlds. He has no partner. This is what I was commanded with, and I am the first to submit." 6:162-163
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.
SECOND 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
Since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar the sighting of the first crescent signals the beginning of each month in the Islamic lunar calendar. The first sighting of the crescent in the month of Zhu Al-Hijjah signals the beginning of Hajj. Similarly the sighting of the first crescent in the month of Ramadan signals the beginning of fasting.
2- What is the duration of hajj?
The Hajj is during the known months. 2:197
The first question is how many months are decreed for Hajj?
In 9:36 we read that the count of months is 12 and that 4 out of those 12 are called 'Hurum'. The word 'Hurum' does not mean sacred as some have translated, for the word used in the Quran for sacred is 'muqqaddas', see 20:12, 79:16 and 5:21.
The word 'Hurum' (adjective) is the plural of the word 'Haram' which is also associated with the months of Hajj. Both words come from the noun 'Ihram' which means abstention. Abstention is one of the requirements during Hajj, abstention from war, hunting and so on.
As a result, we know that the number of months which God designated for Hajj are four (2:197).
Sadly, Muslims authorities today allow Hajj only between the 8th and the 13th of the month of Zhu Al-Hijjah. God allowed the believers 4 months for Hajj and they restricted it to 5 days! When asked why they disregard the Quranic law of 2:197, they say, because the hadith says otherwise! This is just one of hundreds of examples how Muslims totally disregard Quranic words in order to follow the hadith!
God is the All-Knower and God knew this corruption would take place, and for the benefit of the genuine followers of the Quran God usually places key words in disputed verses which confirm the correct meaning.
In 2:197 we read the Arabic words "farada feehinna". Here we have two Arabic words of great significance:
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:
FIRST 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.
SECOND 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?
Just as corruption has set in every ritual and practice, the Muslims have also corrupted the issue of which months are the 4 'Hurum Months'. They claim that the 'Hurum Months' are the months of Rajab (7th month), Zhu Al-Qa'dah (11th), Zhu Al-Hijjah (12) and Muharram (1st). According to this classification, there would be 3 consecutive months for Hajj (11, 12, 1) and one isolated month (7).
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 Zhu 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.
God gave the 12th month this specific name so that we would know that Hajj starts when the 12th month arrives. It would make little sense to think that God named the 12 month the 'month of Hajj' when Hajj has already started 5 months earlier (as some claim)!
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.
Indeed, the four 'Hurum Months' designated for Hajj are consecutive. They are the 12th, 1st, 2nd and 3rd months of the Islamic calendar. They are the months of (Zhu Al-Hijjah, Muharram, Safar and Rabi I). The consecutive nature of these four months is confirmed in the following verse:
Then when the Hurum Months have 'insalakha' (withdrawn in succession), you may kill the mushrikeen wherever you find them.'" 9:5
A key word in 9:5 related to this matter is the word 'insalakha'. The word literally means 'skinned'. This is the sense of how we skin a snake for example. The movement of skinning a snake means we would remove the skin gradually from one end to the other, or in other words; a gradual and consecutive movement.
God deliberately used this word in 9:5 in connection to the months of Hajj. God could have simply said: when the 'Hurum Months' have passed. So why did God deliberately use this word?
It is because the word 'insalakha' indicates a consecutive meaning, or in other words it tells us that the 4 hurum months are consecutive months.
Further confirmation of the significance of the verb 'salakha' is found in 36:37 where the same verb is used, and once again it denotes a gradual and successive withdrawal.
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