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Q. What is Hajj?


Q. Do Hajj & Umrah expiate major sins?


Q. Is a child Hajj valid?


Q. What is the wisdom in kissing the black stone?


Q. Can a pregnant woman go for Hajj and Umrah?


Q. Should I go for hajj or help my son get married?






Q. What is Hajj?



Answer:


Hajj means traveling for the purpose of visiting the Ka`bah (the sacred place in Makkah (Mecca) to which Muslims turn in prayer), in order to perform the rites (Manaasik), i.e., the actions and words reported in tradition of the Prophet’s Hajj, such as Tawaaf or walking around the Ka`bah seven times, As-Sa`y, or running between the hills of As-Safa and Marwa seven times, standing at the mountain of `Arafaat, stoning the Jamaraat (stone pillars representing the Satan) at Mina, etc.


Most scholars hold that Hajj was prescribed in the sixth year after Hijrah (Migration of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, from Makkah to Madinah (Medina) for it was then that the following verse concerning it was revealed: "And perform properly the Hajj and `Umrah in the service of Allah" (Al-Baqarah: 194)

Hajj brings immense benefits to people, as they declare the Oneness of Allah. There is forgiveness for the pilgrims, Muslims get to know one another and learn the rules of their religion, and so on.

Alimighty Allah knows the best.


(Source: www.islamiconline.net)




Q. Do Hajj & Umrah expiate major sins?



Answer:
With regard to this question, Dr. Salah Sultan, President of Islamic American University, Detroit, US, and former professor of fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) at Cairo University, Egypt, answers:

“Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says: "The performance of `Umrah is expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous ones. And the reward for Hajj Mabrur (pilgrimage accepted by Allah) is nothing but Paradise." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 3, Book 27, Hadith no. 1)

It is also reported that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him says: "Alternate between Hajj and `Umrah, because both rid one of poverty and sins just as the blacksmith's bellows removes all impurities from metals like iron, gold and silver. The reward for Hajj Mabrur is nothing short of Paradise." (Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 2, chapter on the Reward of Hajj and `Umrah; the Hadith is graded as Hasan Sahih (good and authentic) by Sheikh Al-Albaani, may Allah bless his soul, Hadith no. 650)

The previous Hadith shows that `Umrah serves as an expiation for all types of sins, whether major or minor, because the wording of the Hadith is general and thus it encompasses both categories.

However, there are two main conditions for the acceptance of Hajj and `Umrah:


1. To have complete sincerity (Ikhlas) by performing those rituals solely for the sake of Allah the Almighty.


2. To perform both Hajj and `Umrah the same way it is mentioned in the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).

Generally speaking, it is not necessary to perform `Umrah just for seeking forgiveness for your sins, but one should resort to Almighty Allah at every time and place. Allah Almighty says: "And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way." (Al-Baqarah: 186)” 

Almighty Allah knows best.


(Source: www.islamiconline.net)




Q. Is a child Hajj valid?



Answer:
According to the view that is deemed to be the most correct, if a child performs Hajj, then his/her Hajj is valid and he/she will be rewarded for it, in sha’ Allah. However, this Hajj will not count as the obligatory Hajj. The child must make Hajj again (if he/she is financially and physically able) after reaching puberty. This view is backed by Prophetic Hadiths as well as the consensus of Muslim scholars. However, the child’s father or guardian should inform him about the acts that are prohibited during ihram and should help the child perform the rituals.


As regards this question, Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author, states:


"Muslim scholars agree that Hajj and `Umrah are not obligatory upon those who have not reached the age of puberty, because the Pen is lifted from children, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The Pen is lifted from three (i.e., their deeds are not recorded): a child until he reaches puberty; an insane man until he comes to his senses; and one who is asleep until he wakes up.” (Reported by Abu Dawud, 4403; Ibn Majah, 2041)


However, if a child performs Hajj, then his Hajj is valid and he will be rewarded for it according to the prevalent view which is maintained by the majority of scholars, and it was narrated that there is consensus on this point.


Ibn `Abbas, (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) met some riders in al-Rawha’ and said, “Who are these people?” They said, “Muslims.” They said, “Who are you?” He said, “The Messenger of Allah.” A woman lifted up a child and said, “Is there Hajj for him?” He said, ‘Yes, and you shall have a reward.” (Reported by Muslim, 1336.)

Having said that, we would like to stress that if a child has reached the age of discernment but has not yet reached puberty and his father or guardian wants to take him for Hajj, he should tell the child to put on ihram garments and the child should do all the rituals of Hajj for himself, starting with entering ihram from the miqat, until the end of the rituals of Hajj, and his father or guardian should stone the jamarat on his behalf if he cannot do that by himself.


The guardian of the child should tell him to avoid things that are prohibited during the ihram. However, if the child is below the age of discernment, then his father or guardian should make the intention of entering ihram for Hajj or `Umrah on the child’s behalf (while making the intention of entering ihram on his own behalf as well). He should then perform tawaf or circumambulation around the Ka`bah), and sa`i or running between the two hills of Safa and Marwa with the child and accompany the child in performing the other rituals."

Almighty Allah knows best.


(Source: www.islamiconline.net)



Q. What is the wisdom in kissing the black stone?
 


Answer:
With regard to this question, we should know that faith in the Unseen as well as the complete surrender to the Commands of Allah are basic pillars in Islam. As a Divine religion, Islam contains many things whose specific wisdom cannot be perceived by the limited mind of human being and it is only Allah who knows them the Almighty. These matters are called Ta`abuddi acts. The significance to do these acts is to show obedience and surrender to Allah. All these matters serve in differentiating the true worshippers who completely follow the Divine Commands from those whose faith is but lip service.


On circumambulating the Ka`bah, it is sufficient for a Muslim to believe that this Holy Mosque was built by Abraham, peace and blessings be upon him, who destroyed idols and was the father and first man to call to monotheism or the oneness of God. He himself was a nation and was never of the polytheists.


As for the origin of the black stone, Ibn `Abbas is reported to have said: "The Black Stone came down from Paradise. It was white in the beginning but it became black due to the sins of human beings." (Reported by At-Tirmidhi).


It was also reported that Abraham, peace be upon him, wanted a special stone to be placed in the Holy Mosque and so Gabriel brought him that stone.


Anyhow, this stone is blessed and it is reported that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, kissed it. Following the Prophet's example, `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, kissed it and said: “By Allah! I know for sure that you are a mere stone that can neither harm nor benefit anyone. Had I not seen the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, kissing you, I would not have done so."


Thus, we conclude that kissing the Black Stone is a mere act of worship and a reflection of one's surrender to the Commands of Allah and following the example of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. 

Almighty Allah knows best.


(Source: www.islamiconline.net) 




Q. Can a pregnant woman go for Hajj or Umrah?



Answer:

First of all, it should be clear that, though Hajj is a religious duty that a Muslim has to carry out once he/she is able, Muslim jurists state that ability in Hajj includes both the physical as well as the financial abilities.


In response to this question, Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author, states:


“There is no reason why a pregnant woman should not perform Hajj. A pregnant woman is pure; she has to pray and fast.


It is narrated in the Sunnah that Asma’ bint `Umays (may Allah be pleased with her) went out for Hajj with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) when she was pregnant, and she gave birth at the miqat (the place where pilgrims put on the clothes of ihram). It was narrated that `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “Asma’ bint `Umays – the wife of Abu Bakr – gave birth to Muhammad at the Shajarah (referring to the place of miqat) and the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told Abu Bakr to tell her to do ghusl (purifiactory bath) and enter ihram.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 1209).


If a woman has not yet done the obligatory Hajj, then pregnancy is not an excuse for her not to do Hajj, because she can avoid the places where there is too much crowding and pushing and shoving. If she is unable to throw the pebbles herself, she can delegate someone to do so on her behalf. If she cannot do tawaf (circumambulation of Ka`bah) and sa`i (walking between the hills), then she can do so in a wheelchair, and so on.


However, if trustworthy doctors tell a pregnant woman that going for Hajj will pose a risk to her or her baby because she is sick or weak or for some other reason, then she should be prevented from offering Hajj that year. This is indicated by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), “There should be no harming nor reciprocating harm.” (Reported by Ibn Majah, no. 2340).


Some doctors differentiate between early pregnancy, when there may be a risk to the fetus, and late pregnancy when such fears are groundless.”


Based on the above fatwa, it becomes evident that a pregnant woman can go for Hajj, provided that this will not endanger her life or the life of the fetus upon the consultation of trustworthy professional doctors. Also, if she plans to travel to Hajj by air, she should check the policy of the airlines, as some airlines will not carry a woman who is in her seventh month or beyond.

Almighty Allah knows best.


(Source: www.islamiconline.net ) 




Q. Should I go for hajj or help my son get married?



Answer:


With regard to this question, Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, answers:


“A father is not obliged to help his son to get married; it is only a recommended act for him. However, Hajj is mandatory upon one who is able to perform it. If the observation of an obligatory act conflicts with a voluntary one, the former takes precedence over the latter. Thus, the father should perform Hajj first because it is an obligation and he can afford it. There is a Hadith that warns against deferring Hajj, particularly if one is able to perform it. Furthermore, the majority of jurists maintain that Hajj must be performed as soon as one is able to, and delaying it is counted as a sin.


The son should be patient and wait until Almighty Allah enables him to get married. Allah the Almighty says: "And let those who cannot find a match keep chaste till Allah give them independence by His grace." (An-Nur: 33)


Also the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: “O youth, whoever is able to marry, let him marry, because it spares one looking at what one should not, or lapsing in immorality. And whoever is not able to, let him observe fasting, as it is a shield (against sin)." (Reported by Muslim) “Able” means he can afford marriage costs.


If the son is in urgent need to marry in order to protect himself from sin, he should propose to a woman who is financially suitable for him. There are many Muslim women who would agree to marry with a humble dowry and furniture.


Likewise, if a father wants to prepare his daughter for marriage, it is considered a recommended act and not obligatory, whereas Hajj is obligatory and as such it is to be given priority.


If a young man is financially able to either marry or perform Hajj (for the first time), what should he do? If he is able to resist his sexual desires, he should perform Hajj before getting married because Hajj is compulsory, whereas marriage is generally recommended. But if he cannot control himself to such an extent that he can easily fall into the abyss of sin, he should get married and not perform Hajj because marriage is obligatory in this case. In the latter case the person is not legally considered able to perform Hajj, because ability means to meet one’s basic needs, and marriage is among those basic needs which should be met. Here marriage acts as a means to remove evil, and as such should be given priority over Hajj, which is performed with a view to bringing about good.


However, if the father has already performed Hajj once and wants to perform it for the second time, he can choose between two recommended acts: helping his sons and daughters to get married or performing Hajj.” 



Almighty Allah knows best.


(Source: www.islamiconline.net)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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