Fast Facts about Hajj

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, a once in a lifetime pilgrimage every Muslim hopes to make. Here are some fast facts to inspire and share with others.

The Oldest Practised Pilgrimage

Hajj became an Islamic practice in the 7th Century when our Prophet (ﷺ) performed it with the early Muslims for the first time in 632CE. But it predates Islam.

Hajj was first performed by Prophet Ibrahim (AS), father of the three Abrahamic religions. It was he who re-built the Kaba and was commanded by Allah (SWT) to invite people to perform pilgrimage there.

‘And ˹remember˺ when We assigned to Abraham the site of the House, ˹saying:˺ “Do not associate anything with Me ˹in worship˺ and purify My House for those who circle ˹the Kaba˺, stand ˹in prayer˺, and bow and prostrate themselves. Call ˹all˺ people to the pilgrimage. They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel from every distant path.”’ (Qur’an 22:26-27)

The Month of Pilgrimage

Hajj is performed in Dhul Hijjah, the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar. It begins on the 8th day and ends on the 12th day of the month.

Timings for Hajj shift a little each year according to the lunar calendar. This year, Dhul Hijjah is expected to commence on the 7th of June, which means Hajj 2024 is expected to begin on the evening of June 14th and end on evening of July 19th.

Even if you are not able to perform Hajj this year, you can still earn rewards through worship in the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah. Fasting on day 9 – the Day of Arafah is also highly recommended. The Prophet (ﷺ) is reported to have said that fasting on this day:

‘[…] expiates the sins of the past year and the coming year.’ (Muslim)

Muslims all over the world also offer Qurbani in this month. This time-honoured Sunnah allowed us to distribute 562,000 kgs of premium meat to 93,000 families in need across Pakistan last year.

Reconnecting with the Past

We all know that Hajj involves a pilgrimage to Mecca, the Holy Kaba, and its sacred environs. But did you know that most of the rituals and practices of Hajj come to us from the life and trials of Ibrahim (AS) and his family? This goes to show how much Allah (SWT) has honoured them.

Here are some of those rituals, which our Prophet (ﷺ) revived when he became the first Muslim to perform Hajj.

  • Sa’i
    One of the integral rites of Hajj and Umrah, this practice comes from our mother Hajar (AS), when she paced between the hills of Safa and Marwa, in search of water for her baby Ismail (AS). The literal meaning of Sa’i is: to walk, strive or pursue.
  • Ramy al-Jamarat
    The stoning of the pillars at Mina represents the trials of Ibrahim (AS). On the day he resolved to offer his son in sacrifice to Allah (SWT), he stoned the devil when he tried to tempt them from their devotion.
  • Arafah
    The Day of Arafah is the climax of Hajj when pilgrims go at sunrise to the Plain of Arafat and spend the day there in worship. Also known as Jabal ar-Rahman – the Mount of Mercy, Mount Arafat is where Ibrahim (AS) was prepared to offer his son Ismail (AS) as a sacrifice to Allah (SWT). In His mercy, Allah (SWT) sent a ram to be substituted in place of Ismail (AS). Mount Arafat is also the place where our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) gave his last sermon.
  • Udhiya/Qurbani
    Offering an animal sacrifice is one of the final rites of Hajj. It re-enacts Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail (AS); as well as Ismail’s (AS) willingness to offer his life in sacrifice to Allah (SWT). Muslims who are not on the Hajj pilgrimage also offer Qurbani during Eid ul-Adha every year.
  • Circumambulation of the Kaba
    We have no way of knowing where the practice of circling the Kaba comes from, but based on early sources, we know that Ibrahim (AS) and Ismail (AS) did so after they built the Kaba and performed the first Hajj as commanded by Allah (SWT).

The Manifold Benefits

Hajj is a Fard – obligatory for all able Muslims who have the means to perform it. The manifold spiritual and tangible benefits of Hajj can neither be known nor counted. But we’ve listed some of the most obvious ones for reflection below:

  • A Life-Changing Journey
    Who doesn’t love travelling to exotic locations to be enriched by awe-inspiring experiences? Mecca is the most sacred place on earth. And the pilgrimage rites of Hajj, performed at sites revered for their spiritual potency, pack life-altering power for believers.
  • A Way to Give Thanks
    The highest form of Shukr – showing gratitude to Allah (SWT) is through our actions. Performing Hajj, which is physically and financially challenging, is a way for us to express gratitude to Allah (SWT) for blessing us with the health and wealth we need for this journey.
  • A Means for Spiritual Cultivation
    The first rite of Hajj is Ihram – dressing in the pilgrim’s garb of two, seamless white sheets for men, and plain, modest clothing for women. It represents a spiritual consecration that pilgrims enter, by removing their worldly clothes and possessions. In their state of Ihram, pilgrims must avoid:

    – Harming any living thing
    – Having intimate relations with their spouses
    – Cutting their hair and nails
    – Using perfume
    In this way, Hajj is a way for pilgrims to practice patience, self-restraint, and endurance, since performing the rites in the Arabian heat is often demanding.
  • A Way to Revive the Unity of the Muslim Ummah
    During Hajj and Umrah, Muslims from all walks of life, who travel from all corners of the earth worship side by side at the sacred house of Allah (SWT).

Did you find these facts useful? Download our Hajj Quiz and test your knowledge.

Download the Hajj Quiz

Check out our other resources for Eid ul-Adha and Qurbani below. Share them with your family and friends to spread knowledge and benefits this month.

The Story of Qurbani Believe in barakah Dhul Hijjah 2024

If you are offering Qurbani, find out why our donors trust us to carry out their sacrifice each year.

Qurbani With Confidence Back to Latest News