Introduction: One of the five pillars of Islam is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia known as the Hajj. The Hajj is held at Makkah, Saudi Arabia, in the Islamic calendar’s 12th month of Dhul Hijjah, a holy month. Every year, between the eighth and twelfth of Dhul Hijjah, the Hajj is performed. Millions of Muslims embark on this holy trip with the goal of being closer to Allah and spiritually purified. This article seeks to offer a thorough explanation of the Hajj ritual, including significant Arabic supplications (duas) and clearing up frequent misconceptions about this significant religious obligation.
Importance of Hajj: Hajj is a fundamental act of worship that holds immense spiritual significance for Muslims. It represents the unity of the global Muslim community and commemorates the actions of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his family. Performing Hajj is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for those who are physically and financially able. As the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of Allah and does not utter any obscene speech or do any evil deed, will go back (free of sin) as his mother bore him. Hadith | Bukhari and Muslim

Criteria for Hajj: Hajj is considered obligatory for financially and physically capable Muslims to perform at least once in their lifetime. The financial criteria for the obligation of performing Hajj are based on a person’s ability to afford the expenses associated with the pilgrimage. Here are some key points to understand:
Muslim adults (whether male or female) are required to perform Hajj. This means that while children may go to Hajj, it is not required of them.
The very weak, sick, elderly, or otherwise physically incapable Muslims are exempt from having to perform the pilgrimage.
The Muslim must be financially able to perform Hajj. This means that a person in debt is not obliged to perform Hajj until he has cleared his debt – and must have the intention of doing so as a priority. However, if one is in debt, they may still perform Hajj as long as The creditor permits it; The debtor has time to pay off the debt; Hajj does not affect their ability to pay off the debt.
Nisab: The financial threshold for the obligation of Hajj is determined by the concept of “Nisab,” which refers to the minimum amount of wealth a Muslim must possess before becoming liable for certain Islamic duties, including Hajj. Nisab is calculated based on the value of gold or silver.

Ability to afford expenses: In addition to meeting the Nisab threshold, Muslims must have the financial means to cover the expenses of Hajj without incurring excessive debt or hardship for themselves or their dependents. The cost of Hajj includes travel expenses, accommodation, transportation, food, and other associated costs.
Personal circumstances: The financial capability to perform Hajj varies depending on an individual’s financial situation and responsibilities. A person’s financial obligations, such as debts, supporting dependents, and other essential expenses, must be considered. If fulfilling these obligations would be significantly affected by the expenses of Hajj, it may be advisable to delay the pilgrimage until the financial circumstances improve.

Prioritizing essential needs: Islam emphasizes the importance of meeting one’s basic needs and fulfilling obligations towards family, society, and oneself before undertaking acts of worship. Muslims are encouraged to prioritize fulfilling their financial responsibilities and ensuring the well-being of their dependents before embarking on the Hajj journey.
Borrowing for Hajj: Islam discourages Muslims from incurring excessive debt or resorting to borrowing to finance their Hajj pilgrimage. It is generally recommended to save and plan for Hajj over time, rather than relying on loans or credit.
It’s important to note that the decision of whether one meets the financial criteria for Hajj is subjective and depends on individual circumstances. Consulting with a knowledgeable religious scholar or an Islamic authority can provide specific guidance tailored to a person’s situation.

Hajj preparations

Physical preparation: Engage in physical activities to enhance stamina and endurance, as Hajj involves significant physical exertion. Consult with a healthcare professional to ensure you are physically fit to undertake the pilgrimage.
Packing essentials: Prepare a checklist of necessary items such as appropriate clothing, personal hygiene products, first aid supplies, copies of important documents, and comfortable footwear.
Types of Hajj: There are three forms of Hajj: Tamattu, Ifraad, and Qiran. For the purpose of this Hajj guide, we will use the Tamattu form of Hajj, which is what the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) encouraged the Muslims to perform.