Hajj is Rendered Fard

Hajj, which is one of the five pillars of Islam, was rendered fard in the 9th year of the Migration.[1]

 “The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka: full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings:

In it are signs manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to God―those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith; God stands not in need of any of His creatures.”[2] The Messenger of God recited a sermon to the Muslims when the verses above were sent down in the 9th year of the Migration and informed them about this fard as follows: 

“O people! Hajj was rendered fard for you; perform hajj.”[3]

When the Companions heard this sermon, they asked, “O Messenger of God! Is it fard every year?”

The Prophet kept silent; he did not answer.

When the same question was repeated for the third time, the Prophet said, “No, not every year. If I had answered your question as ‘Yes’, it would have been fard for you every year and you would not have been able to do it.”[4]

The Prophet also taught the Companions the following regarding asking the same questions repeatedly.

“When I leave you as you are without proposing you anything, you leave me as I am. The nations before you were destroyed because of asking too many questions and opposing their prophets. Therefore, when I order you to do something, do it as much as you can; when I prohibit you from doing something, abandon it.”[5]

The Prophet stated the following in another hadith:

“Islam has been built upon five things – testifying that there is no god save God, and that Muhammad is His Messenger; performing salah; giving zakah; performing hajj and fasting during Ramadan.”[6]

The Prophet Postpones the Hajj He has Intended

When Hajj was rendered fard, the Prophet wanted to perform hajj. However, he later postponed it by saying, “The polytheists will be in the Kaaba and circumambulate it naked. I do not want to perform hajj unless this situation is eliminated.”[7]

Indeed, the polytheists used to circumambulate the Kaaba naked at night, men and women together; they regarded it as respect to the Kaaba.[8]

Hazrat Abu Bakr is Appointed as the Leader for Hajj

When the Messenger of God decided not to go to hajj, he appointed Hazrat Abu Bakr as the leader for hajj in the 9th year of the Migration so that he would lead hajj and show the Muslims how to perform hajj.[9]

Hazrat Abu Bakr set off for hajj with three hundred Muslims from Madinah; when he arrived in Dhul-Hulayfa, the place of ihram for Madinans, he entered ihram and uttered talbiyah: “Labbayk! “Labbayk! Allahumma Labbayk! Lab­bay­ka la sharika Laka Labbayk! Innal hamda wan’ni­ma­ta la­ka wa’l-mulka la sharika laka.” (Here I am, O God, here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and all sovereignty, You have no partner.)

Hazrat Ali is Sent After them

A short while after the first hajj caravan of Islam left Madinah, the chapter of Baraa (at-Tawba) was sent down. The Companions said, “O Messenger of God! Will you send this chapter to Abu Bakr so that he will inform people about it.”

The Prophet said, “This declaration has to be made by me or someone from my household.”[10]

According to the customs and traditions of Arabs, a treaty could be signed or annulled only by the leader of the tribe or one of his relatives.

Hazrat Ali was closer to the Prophet in terms of kinship. Therefore, the Messenger of God summoned Hazrat Ali and said, “Take this beginning part of the chapter Ba­raa.” Then, he said,

“When people gather in Mina on the day of sacrificing animals, call out loudly: No unbeliever can enter Paradise. After this year, no polytheist can perform hajj. Nobody will circumambulate the Kaaba naked. If anyone has a treaty with the Messenger of God, it will be valid until it ends; the treaties that have no periods of time will be valid for four months only from now on.”[11]

Hazrat Ali wanted to find out why the Prophet wanted to send him.  He said,

“O Messenger of God! I am not old and I am not an orator.”

The Prophet said, “Either I or you will go. However, you will go. God will definitely strengthen your tongue and heart.”[12]

Thereupon, Hazrat Ali set off from Madinah immediately. He went together with Abu Hurayra. They caught up with Hazrat  Abu Bakr.

Hazrat Abu Bakr asked him, “Are you the leader or an official”

Hazrat Ali said, “I am an official.” He explained the reason why he came as follows: “The Messenger of God (pbuh) sent me so that I will recite the people the chapter of Baraa and tell the people of the treaty that the treaties will be valid.”[13]

Arriving in Makkah

The first hajj caravan led by Hazrat Abu Bakr arrived in  Makkah safely. Hazrat Abu Bakr recited a sermon. He told people how to perform hajj.

When Hazrat Abu Bakr finished his sermon, Hazrat Ali stood up and said,  “O people! I am the envoy of the Messenger of God.” Then, he recited the first thirty or forty verses of the chapter of Baraa (at-Tawba).

The first six verses of this chapter is as follows:

“A (declaration) of immunity from God and His Messenger to those of the pagans with whom ye have contracted mutual alliances.―

Go ye, then for four months, backwards and forwards, (as ye will), throughout the land, but know ye that ye cannot frustrate God (by your falsehood) but that God will cover with shame those who reject Him.

And an announcement from God and His Messenger, to the people (assembled) on the day of the Great Pilgrimage― that God and His Messenger dissolve (treaty) obligations with the pagans. If, then ye repent, it were best for you; but if ye turn away know ye that ye cannot frustrate God. And proclaim a grievous penalty to those who reject Faith.

(But the treaties are) not dissolved with those pagans with whom Ye have entered into alliance and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided anyone against you. So fulfill your engagements with them to the end of their term: for God loveth the righteous.

But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of God; and then escort him to where he can be secure: That is because they are men without knowledge.”[14]

Then, Hazrat Ali said, “I am ordered to tell you four things.” Then, he informed the people about what he was ordered: “No unbeliever can enter Paradise. After this year, no polytheist can perform hajj. Nobody will circumambulate the Kaaba naked. If anyone has a treaty with the Messenger of God, it will be valid until it ends; the treaties that have no periods of time will be valid for four months only from now on. After that, there is no treaty or protection for any polytheists.”[15]

Along with Hazrat Ali, Abu Hurayra sometimes declared the issues mentioned above loudly to the people.

After completing hajj, Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Ali and the Companions who were together with them returned to Madinah.


[1]Tecrid Tercemesi, Vol. 6, p. 11-12.

[2]Aal-i-Imran, 96-97.

[3]Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, Vol. 1, p. 255; Muslim, Sahih, Vol. 2, p. 975.

[4]Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 113-255; Muslim, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 975.

[5]Muslim, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 102.

[6]Bukhari, Sahih, Vol. 1, p. 11; Muslim, ibid, Vol. 1, p. 45; Tirmidhi, Sunan, Vol. 5, p. 5.

[7]Ibn Kathir, Sirah, Vol. 2, p. 332.

[8]Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, Vol. 3, p. 233.

[9]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 188; Ibn Kathir, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 68.

[10]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 190.

[11]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 190; Tirmidhi, ibid, Vol. 3, p. 222.

[12]Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, Vol. 2, p. 333.

[13]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 190; Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 2, p. 168.

[14]Baraa (at-Tawba), 1-6.

[15]Ibn Hisham, ibid, Vol. 4, p. 190-191; Ibn Qayyim, Zadu’l-Maad, Vol. 3, p. 30.

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