Hajj and the First Ten Days of Dhu’l-Hijjah
By: Ayatullah Shaheed Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim
Hajj is one of the most important devotional acts of Islam. According to some traditions, it follows the ritual prayer with regard to its significance and favorability in the list of the Islamic devotional acts. Moreover, Hajj has been described as one of the two jihads (i.e. holy struggle).
In this respect, Shaykh al-Kulayni has reported through a valid chain of authority that ‘Abdullah ibn Yahya al-Kahili heard Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) quoting the Holy Prophet (S) as saying:
Hajj is one of the two jihads. It is the jihad of the weak.
Commenting on this saying, Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) says: We are the weak. Verily, there is nothing better than Hajj except the ritual prayer; however, there is prayer in the Hajj but there is no Hajj in the prayer.1
Hajj is also the support of the religion and the foundation of its existence. It is thus reported: This religion is kept existent as long as the Ka’bah is still standing.2
The Hajj has a historical root that extends to the time before the existence of Adam (‘a) on earth although the divine call to perform Hajj as an obligatory duty upon all people actually began at the time of Prophet Abraham (‘a).
In this regard, Shaykh al-Kulayni, through a valid chain of authority, has reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying: When Adam (‘a) returned from Mina (as a ritual practice), he was received by the angels who said to him, “Make lawful your Hajj, for we have been going on Hajj to this house two thousand years before you.”3
Through another valid chain of authority, Shaykh al-Kulayni has reported Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) as saying: When the construction of the House was completed by Abraham (‘a) and Ishmael (‘a) by the command of Almighty Allah, Abraham (‘a) sat in a corner and called out, “Come you all to the Hajj.” If he had called out, “Come to the Hajj,” none would have come except the human beings of that time, but when his call was, “Come you all to the Hajj,” all people even the unborn in the loins of their fathers responded to him, saying, “We do respond to the caller of Allah. We do respond to the caller of Allah…” Thus, those who repeated this statement of response ten times will go on Hajj ten times. Those who repeated it five times will go on Hajj five times and so every one will go on Hajj as many times as he repeated this statement. Likewise, he who repeated it once only will go on Hajj once only and who had not responded will not go on Hajj at all.4
Performing the Hajj Pilgrimage is obligatory only once upon any adult who possesses the expenditure of the Hajj journey along with an amount sufficient to provide livelihood to one’s dependents, and that such a journey will not cause disorder in one’s livelihood or personal conditions. At the same time, it is highly recommended to go on Hajj as many times as possible—an act that is preferred to many other devotional acts.5
It is also impermissible to suspend the Hajj or to leave the Holy Ka’bah unvisited. In this regard, it is obligatory upon the supreme religious authority to force people to perform this religious duty and fund their journeys if they cannot find money to do so.
Detailed guidance on the performance of this duty is available in books on the practical laws of Hajj, known as manasik al-Hajj (Rites of the Hajj).
1. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 8:77, H. 2 as quoted from Shaykh al-Kulayni, Furu` al-Kafi.
2. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 8:14, H. 5 as quoted from Shaykh al-Kulayni, Furu` al-Kafi and reported through a valid chain of authority.
3. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 8:5, H. 6 as quoted from Shaykh al-Kulayni, Furu` al-Kafi.
4. - Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi`ah 8:5, H. 9.
5. - In many traditions, Hajj is preferred to manumission of slaves, giving of alms, and even holy struggle against enemies. It is recommended to prefer going on Hajj for one’s personal worldly affairs. In view of such matters and more details, the Hajj, in the sight of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), enjoys high value and a distinctive particularity. See Sayyid al-Borujerdi, Jami` Ahadith al-Shi`ah 10:149-216 Section: Merits of the Hajj.