What are the 4 essential parts of the Hajj? What is the important pillar of Hajj? How many are the essentials of Hajj? What is the most important part of Hajj?
The farḍ, wājib, and sunnah acts performed during the hajj are called “manāsik”. Hajj according to the Ḥanafis has three farḍ acts: Iḥrām, ritual standing at Arafat, and obligatory circumambulation (ṭawāf al-ziyārah). The pilgrimage is accomplished by fulfilling these farḍ acts respectively. Among these farḍ acts, iḥrām is a condition (sharṭ), and the other two are essential pillars (arkān). If one of these essential pillars is missing, the pilgrimage becomes invalid. According to this, for example, a person who cannot arrive at Arafat before dawn on the night of Eid al-Aḍḥā in the state of iḥrām will miss the pilgrimage of that year, and he must make it up in the following years.
According to the Malikis and the Ḥanbalis, the essential pillars of pilgrimage are four: Iḥrām, saʿy between Safa and Marwa which consists of seven cycles, and ritual standing at Arafat, and obligatory circumambulation (ṭawāf al-ziyārah). The Shafiʿis add shaving or shortening the hair to these four essential pillars and say that it is also farḍ to observe the order in the first three of these pillars.
We have already explained the subject of iḥrām above. Since saʿy and shaving or shortening the hair is wājib according to the Ḥanafis, we will deal with them under the section of “wājib acts of hajj” below. First, we will explain the two essential pillars of pilgrimage.
A) Ritual Standing at Arafat
Arafat is a region outside the borders of the Ḥaram about 25 km from southeast of Mecca. Ritual standing (waqfa) means to stand or wait in a place for a while. Muslim scholars are in agreement that standing at Arafat, even for a short time, from the sunset on the day of Arafah until the dawn on the first day of Eid al-Aḍḥā is an essential pillar of pilgrimage. It is commanded in a hadith that “Hajj is Arafat.”. Therefore, a person who cannot perform the ritual standing misses the pilgrimage and must perform the pilgrimage again in the following year.
1) Conditions for the ritual standing to be valid
There are two conditions for the ritual standing to be valid. To be in the state of iḥrām for hajj and to perform ritual standing at a certain place and time. Since the subject of iḥrām is explained above, we will give information about the place and time of the ritual standing.
a) Location of the ritual standing: Arafat, which is surrounded by certain borders today, is the place of ritual standing. In a hadith, it is stated that “All of the plain of Arafat is the place of ritual standing”, but the valley of Urana, called the Devil’s Valley, was excluded from it. A certain part of the Namira Mosque located in Arafat from the northwest (qibla) side is outside the place of ritual standing. Although al-Tabarī and al-Maturidī consider it recommended to go to Jabal al-Rahmah (the Mountain of Mercy) for the ritual standing, there is no sound information on this subject. However, the place where the Prophet (saw) performed the ritual standing was determined by the hadith experts and scholars of Mecca as follows: When you turn your face towards the qibla in the plain of Arafat, the mountain stays in front of you from the right. The rectangular building called Adam’s kitchen today is located on the left and slightly behind it.
b) The Time of Ritual Standing: It is the period from the zawāl time, that is when the sun turns west from its zenith, on the 9th day of Dhu’l-Hijja, or the day of Arafah, until the time when the dawn called “fajr al-ṣādiq” starts to break on the first day of the feast. There is a consensus among the schools on this issue. According to only the Ḥanbalis, the first moment of ritual standing time begins with fajr al-ṣādiq on the day of Arafah.
Since intention, sanity and knowledge are not required for the ritual standing to be valid, any person who is conscious, unconscious, asleep or awake, with or without being in the state of wuḍū, within the borders of Arafat for a moment or passes there, will have performed the ritual standing.
According to the Ḥanafis, the Malikis, and the Ḥanbalis, it is wājib to stay at Arafat until the sun sets in order to unite the night and the day. This is because the Prophet (saw) did this and said, “Learn your rites related to hajj from me”. Otherwise, the person who leaves the plain of Arafat before sundown must offer a sacrifice as a penalty. Since the Shafiʿis consider staying until sundown a sunnah, there is no penalty for those who leave before sunset.
However, since the Malikis consider it necessary to be in Arafat during both day and night, even if it is for a short time, a person who performs the ritual standing only during only the day or only at night is not considered to have validly performed the pilgrimage of that year. Accordingly, the person who comes to perform the pilgrimage must enter the plain of Arafat before the sun sets on the day of Arafa even if it is for a short time, and then must spend a part of the night there, however short.
There is no difference of opinion among Muslim scholars that state of wuḍū, satr al-awrah, turning to the qibla and the intention is not essential for performing the ritual standing. Accordingly, the ritual standing to be performed by a ceremonially impure person (janabah) or a menstruating or postpartum bleeding woman is also valid. This is because it is recorded that Aisha performed the ritual standing while she was menstruating, by the order of the Messenger of Allah (saw).
2) Sunnah Acts of Ritual Standing at Arafat
a) To spend the night that connects the 8th day of Dhu’l-Hijja, the day of tarwiyah to the day of Arafa, in Mina, and set off for Arafat after the sun rises on the morning of the day of Arafa.
b) Being in the plain of Arafat before zawāl time on the day of Arafa and, if possible, performing ghusl before performing the ritual standing.
c) Delivering a sermon at the Namira Mosque before the noon prayer after zawāl
d) To perform the noon and afternoon prayers by combining them in the form of jamʿ al-taqdīm.
e) To be in the state of wuḍū and facing the qibla during the ritual standing.
f) To perform the ritual standing after the prayers performed in the form of jamʿ al-taqdīm. Standing during the ritual standing is more virtuous than sitting, and being on a mount is more virtuous than standing.
g) If possible, perform the ritual standing near the hill called Jabal al-Rahmah.
h) Not fasting on the day of Arafa.
i) Observing as many acts of worship as possible such as talbiyah, dhikr, ritual prayer, and istighfār throughout the day. Supplicating for oneself, parents, children, and all the Muslims.
Jamʿ al-taqdīm: It is sunnah to combine the noon and afternoon prayers and perform them together in the time of noon prayer in Arafat on the day of Arafa. This is called “jamʿ al-taqdīm (combining two prayers by performing the second prayer ahead of its time)”.
According to Abu Ḥanīfa, two conditions are necessary for these prayers to be performed with jamʿ al-taqdīm. a) To be in Arafat in the state of iḥrām for hajj on the day of Arafa, b) To perform in a large congregation in Namira Masjid. Otherwise, each prayer is performed on its own time.
According to the other three schools and Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad, it is sunnah for those who are in iḥrām for pilgrimage on the day of Arafa to perform the noon and afternoon prayers together at Arafat, whether in the Masjid of Namira, in tents, in a congregation or alone.
The performance of these prayers in jamʿ al-taqdīm is as follows: After the adhān for noon prayer is recited, the first sunnah of the noon prayer is performed first. Then, the iqāmah is recited and the farḍ cycles of the noon prayer are performed. Then the iqāmah is recited again and the farḍ cycles of late afternoon prayer are performed. The adhān for the afternoon prayer is not recited and the sunnah cycles between the farḍ cycles of the two prayers are not performed, either. Here, a second call (iqāmah) is needed, since the late afternoon prayer will be performed ahead of its time. One adhān and one iqāmah are sufficient in combining the evening and night prayers in Muzdalifah. After performing the farḍ cycles of both prayers, the talbiyah and the takbīrs of tashrīq are recited.
If a person who dies after performing the ritual standing at Arafat has left a will to complete the pilgrimage, his or her pilgrimage is completed by sacrificing a camel.
B) Tawaf Al-Ziyarah
Ṭawāf means “to go around something, to turn around”. In Islamic legal terminology, it means turning around the Kaʿba seven times, starting from the corner or somewhere in line with it where Ḥajar al-Aswad is located. Each turn around the Kaʿba is called “shawṭ”. Seven shawṭs consist of one ṭawāf (circumambulation). Ṭawāf al-Ziyārah is obligatory and one of the essential pillars of pilgrimage. This is also called “ṭawāf al-ifāḍa”. The following is stated in the Qur’an, “Then let them complete the rites prescribed for them, perform their vows, and (again) circumambulate the Ancient House (Kaʿba)” Ṭawāf is a kind of ritual prayer. The following is stated in the hadith, “Ṭawāf is a ritual prayer in which Allah has made it permissible to speak while circumambulating.”
It is sufficient to make a heartfelt intention for a deed to be performed. It is also mustaḥab to express the intention with the tongue. Walking around the Kaʿba without making the intention for circumambulation will not be accepted as circumambulation. It is not necessary to determine the type of circumambulation in the intention. Absolute intention for circumambulation is sufficient. This is because the first circumambulation to be performed on the days of Eid is ṭawāf al-ziyārah, and the circumambulation around the Kaʿba performed by the āfāqīs before the ritual standing in Arafat is accepted as ṭawāf al-qudūm.
In all types of pilgrimage, the starting time of the obligatory circumambulation is important. There is no limit for its last time, it is sufficient to do it at any time until the end of life. However, delaying it until after the days of the feast necessitates offering a sacrifice.
According to the Ḥanafis and the Malikis, the starting time of visiting circumambulation starts from the first day of the feast of sacrifice after fajr al-ṣādiq (true dawn). According to the Shafiʿis and the Ḥanbalis, it starts on the day of Arafa after midnight. Although ṭawāf al-ziyārah can be performed at any time throughout the life, according to Abu Ḥanīfa, it is wājib to perform it on the days of sacrifice, that is, until the sun sets on the third day of the Eid, and until the end of the month of Dhu’l-Hijjah according to the Malikis. If it is left for later without an excuse, the penalty of offering a sacrifice (dam) is required.
According to Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad, the Shafiʿis, and the Ḥanbalis, performing the ṭawāf on the first three days of the Eid is not wājib but sunnah. Although it is makrūḥ to leave it for later without an excuse, it does not require any punishment.
It is more virtuous to perform the visiting circumambulation on the first day of Eid.
Ṭawāf must be performed inside the Ḥaram and around the Kaʿba. The place where circumambulation is done around the Kaʿba is called “the circumambulation area (matāf)”. Ṭawāf is not just performed here. Provided that it is done inside the Masjid al-Ḥaram, it can be performed in larger rings, or it can be performed from the upper floors of the mosque. This is because, according to the Ḥanafis, the sky above the Kaʿba is also considered the direction of the qibla.
According to the Ḥanafis, performing more than half of the shawṭs in ṭawāf, that is, at least four is a condition for the validity of ṭawāf, and if the last three shawṭs are missing, ṭawāf will still be valid. However, it is wājib to complete the missing shawṭs in farḍ or wājib circumambulation. Failure to do so requires a penalty for each shawṭ. According to the other three schools, all seven shawṭs are essential pillars and ṭawāf is not valid unless all shawṭs are made.
There is no harm in passing in front of those praying during ṭawāf. As a matter of fact, it is reported that while the Prophet (saw) was praying in front of Ḥajar al-Aswad, men or women passed in front of him and there was no sutrah (barrier) in front of him. Some jurists interpreted this as “It is permissible to pass in front of the person praying in the Kaʿba.
If a farḍ prayer is started to be performed in congregation during ṭawāf, if there is the hope of reaching the first cycle together with the imam, the shawṭ is completed, otherwise, the shawṭ is left and the imam is followed, and after the prayer, shawṭ left incomplete is continued.
While performing ṭawāf and saʿy, if a person separates the shawṭs for a period of one day, shawṭ, ṭawāf or saʿy will not be invalid, but it is mustaḥab to start again.
It is makrūḥ to eat something during ṭawāf, but it is permissible during saʿy. However, it is permissible to drink water in both of them.
C) Types of Tawaf
1) Ṭawāf al-Qudūm: Qudūm means “coming and arrival”. Accordingly, the ṭawāf of qudūm is the ṭawāf of arrival to Mecca and greeting it, and its ruling is sunnah. According to the majority of jurists, the first circumambulation to be performed by those who came to Mecca from outside the borders of Mīqāt (āfāqî) and who intend only to perform the pilgrimage before the ritual standing at Arafat, is “ṭawāf al-qudūm”. The first circumambulation to be carried out by the āfāqīs, who intend to perform the pilgrimage of tamattūʿ and qirān, is the “ṭawāf of ʿumra”. Since the pilgrim who performs hajj al-qirān completes the pilgrimage in a single state of iḥrām, he does not need ṭawāf al-qudūm. The one who performs hajj al-tamattūʿ, on the other hand, performs ṭawāf al-qudūm when he or she enters the state of iḥrām for hajj on the day before the Day of Arafa (on the 8th of Dhu’l-Hijja) and can also perform the saʿy of the pilgrimage afterward if he or she wishes. Those who arrive late and go directly to the plain of Arafat without entering Mecca, and women who, due to their special circumstances, could not perform ṭawāf al-qudūm before the ritual standing at Arafat, are not required to perform ṭawāf al-qudūm. In like manner, the people of Mecca and those who live within the borders of the mīqāt do not perform ṭawāf al-qudūm.
2) Ṭawāf al-Ziyārah (ifāḍa or obligatory ṭawāf): Hajj is not complete without performing the essential pillar ṭawāf in all types of hajj. The first four shawṭs of this circumambulation are farḍ, and the last three are wājib. Pilgrims are commanded to circumambulate the Kaʿba with the following verse in the Qur’an, “Then let them complete the rites prescribed for them, perform their vows, and (again) circumambulate the Ancient House (Kaʿba).” Since we have explained this type of ṭawāf above, we will not go into its details again.
3) Ṭawāf al-Wadā (ṣadar): Ṭawāf al-wadā is the last ṭawāf that āfāqî pilgrims, who are not from Mecca or not from the places subject to the rule of Mecca, should perform before leaving Mecca. According to the Malikis, this ṭawāf is mandūb to be performed, but according to other schools, it is wājib. This is also called ṭawāf al-ṣadar. Ṣadar means “to leave, to say farewell”.
As those residing in Mecca, in the Ḥaram region, or within the boundaries of the mīqāt do not have to do farewell circumambulation, the requirement of performing this farewell circumambulation is also relinquished for the women who have their menstruation before they have done their farewell circumambulation, or who are in the post-partum bleeding and have to leave Mecca without being ritually cleansed. However, if these women are ritually cleansed before leaving Mecca, they must perform the farewell circumambulation before they leave.
If an āfāqî leaves Mecca without performing the farewell circumambulation, returns before leaving the mīqāt limits, and performs this circumambulation without entering the state of iḥrām, the penalty will be waived. If he is out of the mīqāt limits, he can enter the state of iḥrām again, perform ʿumra and then make up the farewell circumambulation. Otherwise, the punishment of offering a sacrifice is required for abandoning a wājib act.
After the ritual standing at Arafat, the first circumambulation performed on or after the feast days is accepted as ṭawāf al-ziyārah regardless of the intention. Every circumambulation performed after ṭawāf al-ziyārah is considered a farewell circumambulation.
According to the Ḥanafis, it is more virtuous to perform the farewell circumambulation while leaving Mecca, but it is also permissible to do it beforehand. In such a case, it is not necessary to do it again when leaving Mecca. After performing the farewell circumambulation, there is no harm in going to the Ḥaram al-Sharīf and praying or performing the circumambulation. In this case, the last circumambulation would be considered “ṭawāf al-wadā”.
According to the Shafiʿis and the Ḥanbalis, ṭawāf al-wadā is performed while leaving Mecca, and if it has been performed before, it must be re-performed.
4) Ṭawāf for Tahiyyat al-Masjid: If the one who comes to the Kaʿba will perform the circumambulation, this will replace the tahiyyat al-masjid prayer. If one is not in the state of iḥrām, it becomes a ṭawāf for tahiyyat al-masjid. Instead of taḥiyyāt al–masjid prayer, which is recommended to perform when entering a mosque, it is recommended to perform a circumambulation upon entering the Masjid al-Ḥaram to show respect and to greet it. This is called “ṭawāf for tahiyyat al-masjid” meaning ṭawāf for greeting the masjid. The circumambulation required as part of hajj or ʿumra takes the place of ṭawāf for tahiyyat al-masjid.
5) Supererogatory ṭawāf: The ṭawāfs performed whenever possible other than the ones performed as part of hajj and ʿumra during the time in Mecca, are of this nature. According to the Ḥanafis, like other supererogatory acts of worship, it is wājib to complete a supererogatory circumambulation that has already been started. The supererogatory circumambulation of those who have come from far places (āfāqīs) is more virtuous than the supererogatory prayers they will perform in the Masjid al-Ḥaram for the duration of the circumambulation. For while ritual prayer can be performed anywhere, the circumambulation can only be performed in the Kaʿba. This is also the case for the Meccans except during the pilgrimage season.
Apart from these, there are also votive ṭawāf and ṭawāf for ʿumra. The first four circuits of ṭawāf for ʿumra are among the pillars of ʿumra, and there is no qudūm or farewell circumambulation in ʿumra.
D) Virtues of Tawaf
In the Qur’an, visitors for hajj or ʿumra are asked to circumambulate the Kaʿba. On the other hand, the Messenger of Allah (saw) stated that circumambulation is like a ritual prayer, yet it is permissible to speak while performing it.
The Prophet recited the supplication of “Rabbanā atinā…” between Ḥajar al-Aswad and Khatīm in every turn of the circumambulation, and stated that seventy angels would say “Āmīn” to those who recite the following supplication at the Yemen corner (Rukn al-Yamānī):
“Allāhumma innī as’aluka’l-afwa wa’l-āfiyata fī’d-dunyā wa’l-ākhirah. Rabbanā ātinā, fī’d-dunyā ḥasanatan wa fī’l-ākhirati ḥasanatan wa qinā azāba’n-nār.”
(O Allah! Surely, I ask you for my forgiveness and my peace in this world and in the hereafter. O our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the hereafter and protect us from the torment of the fire.)
According to the narration from Abu Huraira, the Prophet (saw) said, “Whoever circumambulates the Kaʿba by reciting the following supplication without saying anything else, ‘subḥanallāhi wa’l-ḥamdu lillāhi wa lā ilāha illallāhu, wallahu akbar. Wa lā ḥawla wa lā quwāta illā billāh’, ten of his sins are erased and ten rewards are written for him, and his rank is raised ten degrees.”
On the other hand, for those coming from outside, the supererogatory circumambulation is more virtuous than prayer and it can be performed at any time. For the locals of Mecca, praying in Mecca is more virtuous than performing supererogatory circumambulation. As a matter of fact, Jubayr Ibn Mutʿim (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saw) called to the sons of Abdu Manaf with the following words, “Do not prevent anyone who circumambulates this House, and those who pray there day and night at any time he wishes.”
 Zuhayli, al-Fiqh al-Islami wa Adillatuh, Damascus 1985, III, 91 ff. Al-Tirmidhī, Tafsīru surah 2/3, 22; Abū Dawūd, Manāsik, 57, 68; Ibn Maja, Manāsik, 57; al-Darimī, Manāsik, 54. Muslim, Ḥajj, 149; Abū Dawūd, Ṣawm, 5, Manāsik, 56, 64; al-Tirmidhī, Ḥajj, 54. Ibn Maja, Manāsik, 55, 73. Ibn Abidīn, ibid, IV, 532. Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, Musnad, III, 318, 366. Al-Kasanī, ibid, II, 125, 127; al-Maydanī, ibid, I, 191 ff.; Ibn Abidīn, ibid, II, 237; Ibn Rushd (Averroes), ibid, I, 335-337. Ibn Abidīn, ibid, IV, 6. Al-Ḥajj, 22: 29. Al-Nasā’ī, Manāsik, 36; al-Darimī, Manāsik, 32; Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, III, 414, IV, 64, V, 377. Ibn Abidīn, ibid, IV, 521. Ibn Abidīn, ibid, IV, 511. Al-Ḥajj, 22: 29. See al-Kasanī, ibid, II, 125-133, 143 ff.; al-Maydanī, ibid, I, 184, 189, 191; Ibn Qudāmah, ibid, III, 370, 440, 442, 444, 458-465. Ibn Abidīn, ibid, IV, 499. Al-Ḥajj, 22: 29. Al-Nasā’ī, Manāsik, 36; al-Darimī, Manāsik, 32; Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, ibid, III, 414, IV, 64, V, 377. Ibn Maja, Manāsik, 32. Ibn Maja, Manāsik, 32. Al-Nasā’ī, Manāsik, 137.