When was hajj rendered fard? What verses were sent down regarding the issue?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

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 Allah,- those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures."2

The Messenger of Allah 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 Allah! 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 Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger; performing salah; giving zakah; performing hajj and fasting during Ramadan.”6

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

Footnotes:

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.

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