Hajj And Eid-Al-Adhaa – Two Gifts Of Dhul-Hijjah

Islamic calendar comprises of 12 different months, each of them having its own significance; “Dhul-hijjah” being the last of them and perhaps the most important of them as well, because it offers Muslims all around the world the honor of “Hajj”, followed by “Eid-al-Adhaa”.

The two of these are considered to be the most revered of religious occasions (celebrations, in fact) for Muslims. This post serves to furnish you with some basic information about both “Hajj” as well as “Eid-al-Adhaa”.

Hajj – The Annual Religious Pilgrimage

“Hajj”, also referred as the “Annual Pilgrimage to Makkah”, is basically a special way of worship performed during designated days of this month. Hajj is one of the most important ways of worship practiced in Islam. In fact, it is taken as 5th pillar of Islam along with Shahadah (acknowledgment of Allah’s oneness and acceptance of Prophet Muhammad PBUH as His last Prophet), Salah(5 times daily prayers), Sawm (fasting during the month of Ramadan), and Zakat (sparing a fixed amount from your wealth to the poor and needy ones).

Quran teaching in this regard informs us:

Al-Baqara [2:197] Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of Ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do – Allah Knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding.

Hajj, being extremely significant element of Islamic ideology, needs detailed elaboration, which is not possible in this short space. In fact, there are many detailed books available on the topic, explaining the essence and details of the philosophy and rituals of Hajj. Given below is only the most basic and most important information about it:

  • Hajj is an obligation for every adult Muslim (for males as well as females) who is physically and financially sound enough to understand and carry out the rituals of Hajj, at least once in their life.
  • One needs to dress up in a specific manner (different for males and females) before reaching Makkah to perform Hajj rituals.
  • According to some, the essence of Hajj is the recital one needs to practice while circling around “Haram”. It translates as:

“Here I am at Thy service O Lord, here I am. Here I am at Thy service and Thou hast no partners. Thine alone is All Praise and All Bounty, and Thine alone is The Sovereignty. Thou hast no partners.”

Eid-al-Adhaa (The Sacrifice)

Eid-al-Adhaa can be referred as the culmination of Hajj, where Hujjaj (the ones who performed Hajj) and all other Muslims around the world who afford to do so, sacrifice an animal in the name of Allah, to please The Mightiest. In fact, sacrificing an animal is considered being an act of sacredness in all religions beholder of Divine Book. Even societies other than those also considered sacrificing of an animal as an act to please their God(s).

The process of sacrifice follows very much after Hajj, when Hujjaj sacrifice an animal (only from the “halaal” or permitted to consume ones) as a commemoration and homage in association to the act of Prophet Abraham (A.S) who vowed to sacrifice his son Ismael (A.S) as his ultimate love and submission to Allah Almighty. The following verse from Quran also highlights the act of sacrifice:

Al-Baqara [2:196] And complete the hajj or `Umrah in the service of Allah. But if ye are prevented (from completing it) send an offering for sacrifice, such as ye may find and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches the place of sacrifice. And if any of you is ill or has an ailment in his scalp, (necessitating shaving) (he should) in compensation either fast, or feed the poor, or offer sacrifice; and when ye are in peaceful conditions (again) if anyone wishes to continue the ‘Umrah on to the hajj, he must make an offering such as he can afford, but if he cannot afford it, he should fast three days during the hajj and seven days on his return making ten days in all. This is for those whose household is not in (the precincts of) the Sacred Mosque. And fear Allah, and know that Allah is strict in punishment.

Conclusion

Dhul-Hijjah is a month that bestows Muslims with the opportunity to end their year reverting to Allah Almighty, courtesy to Hajj and Eid-al-Adhaa; thus helping them seek the accord of their Lord. May Allah bless us with the honor of understanding and performing an activity as revered as Hajj.

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