Hajj is one of the most beloved forms of worship for Allah (SWT). It serves as one of the five main pillars on which the religion of Islam is founded upon. Without the completion of this pillar, a Muslim’s religious duty remains incomplete.
The various ways in which the annual pilgrimage can be performed and the specific rules and regulations that come with it, depending on where the pilgrims reside, their intention of performing the Umrah along with Hajj or whether they intend to offer an animal sacrifice. Therefore, these different methods of performing the Hajj have been condensed into three main categories:
- Hajj Tamattu’
- Hajj Ifraad
- Hajj Qiraan
All three types of Hajj, when carried out correctly, fulfill the mandatory requirement of performing Hajj once in a lifetime. Let us take a closer look at what each type of Hajj entails.
This type of Hajj involves the performance of both the Umrah and the Hajj. The pilgrims who perform this type of Hajj are known as Mutamatti. The pilgrim enters Ihram with the intention of performing the Umrah specifically during the months of Hajj, i.e. the month of Shawwal, Dhul-Qadah, and Dhul-Hijjah. Upon reaching Mecca, the pilgrim performs Tawaf and Sae'y for Umrah, which in turn requires him to shave his head or cut his hair (for males) and then exit the Ihram. Afterward, on the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah, also known as the day of al-Tarwiyah, the pilgrim enters Ihram for Hajj and follows through will all the rituals and steps of completing Hajj.
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Hajj Ifraad essentially means entering the Ihram with the intention of performing only the Hajj. The pilgrims who perform this type of Hajj are known as Mufrid. A Mufrid does not perform the Umrah, only the pilgrimage. The residents of Mecca and those who reside in the surrounding Hills are only allowed to perform Hajj Ifraad. Basically, when the pilgrim enters Mecca, he performs the ‘Tawaaf al-Qudoom’ and Saa’i for Hajj. However, the pilgrim does not exit ihram or shave/cut his hair but instead, he stays in ihram until after the stoning of Jamarat al-Aqabah on Eid day. The pilgrim may also postpone the Sae'y of his Hajj until after the Tawaf of Hajj.
Qiraan holds the literal meaning of ‘combining two things’. For Hajj Qiraan, the pilgrim enters ihram with the intention of performing the Umrah and Hajj together, without exiting ihram in between. A pilgrim who performs this type of Hajj is known as a Qarin. The method of Hajj Qiraan is identical to that of Hajj Ifraad, except that the Qarin has to offer a sacrifice at the end, while a Mufrid does not.