Hajj is a fardh activity in Islam, by visiting the Kaaba, or “House of God,” in Saudi Arabia’s historic city of Mecca. It is one of Islam’s Five Pillars. Hajj has been connected with the life of Prophet Muhammad (عليه السلام) since the 7th century (A.D).
Eid-ul-Adha, 2nd Eid in Islamic theology, celebrated on 10th dhu-al-Hijjah in commemoration of Ibrahim’s preparedness to sacrifice his son. In literal words Eid-ul-Adha means “Feast of Sacrifice”.
Some scholars agree on the interconnection of both Hajj and Eid-ul-adha but most of them believe that these two events are different in their own nature and have no connection with each other.
However, the rituals of the Hajj and Eid-ul-Adha, have tied up with the events in Ibrahim’s (عليه السلام) life.
Origin Of Hajj and Eid-Ul-Adha
When Ibrahim (عليه السلام) was childless with his first wife, Sarah, he took Hajra (Hagar) as his second wife. Through her, he became the father of Isma’il (عليه السلام) at a very advanced age. Soon after the child was born, he was commanded by Allah (الله جل جلاله) to settle the infant with his mother Hajra in the valley of Makkah. During this period, Ismail (عليه السلام) ‘s mother Hajra performed some acts to find Allah (الله جل جلاله) ‘s help for the survival of his only son. Hajj is performed to recall those efforts and acts of obedience.
During their stay in the Arabian Peninsula, when Ismail (عليه السلام) became mature, Allah demanded his sacrifice.
“And when his son was old enough to walk with him, (Abraham) said: O my dear son, I have seen in a dream that I must sacrifice you. So, look, what do you think?” (37:102)
Isma’il (AS) answered, “O my father! Do that which you are commanded. Allah willing, you shall find me of the steadfast.” (37:102)
“Then, when they had both surrendered (to Allah), and he had flung him down upon his face, we called unto him: O Abraham: You have already fulfilled the vision. Lo! Thus, do We reward the good. Lo! That verily was a clear test. Then We ransomed him with a tremendous sacrifice.” (37:103-107)
Ibrahim (عليه السلام) was not required to sacrifice his son. Instead, he was ordered to sacrifice a ram delivered to him as a ransom for Isma’il (عليه السلام). Muslims celebrate Eid Ul Adha in the memory of Ibrahim’s (عليه السلام) readiness to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of obedience to Allah’s behest.
Rebuilding of Kaaba Laid Foundation of Hajj
Kaaba is considered to be the Bayt Allah ( بَيْت ٱللَّٰه, ’House of God’) and is the qibla (direction of prayer) for Muslims around the world when performing salah—believed by Muslims to have been modified into a few times since forever ago, most broadly by Ibrahim and his child Ismail, when he got back to the valley of Mecca after leaving his wife Hajra and Ismail thereupon Allah(الله جل جلاله) ‘s command.
Circling the Kaaba seven times counterclockwise, known as Tawaf, is a Fard(Obligatory) custom for completing the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages. The Kaaba and the Mataaf are encircled by pilgrims during the entire Islamic year, except the 9th of Dhu al-Hijjah, known as the Day of Arafah. Rites obligatory for Muslims to be performed in the Sunnah of Ibrahim (عليه السلام) and Prophet Muhammad (عليه السلام) are:
- Tawaf and sai
- 1st day of Hajj: 8th Dhu al-Hijjah (Tarwiyah Day)
- 2nd day: 9th Dhu al-Hijjah (Arafah Day)
- 3rd day: 10th Dhu al-Hijjah (Qurban Day)
- 4th day: 11th Dhu al-Hijjah
- 5th day: 12th Dhu al-Hijjah
Guidance to rites, as mentioned above, is available in many online Islamic studies courses to guide pilgrimages to perform these rites correctly.
Eid-Ul-Adha – When Ibrahim Set Example of Total Allegiance
Islam honors the accomplishment of the Sunnah of Abraham/Ibrahim (عليه السلام) and recommends obeying the acts and doings of the Holy prophet (عليه السلام). Allah SWT demanded the sacrifice of his beloved son in the days when he (Ibrahim) and his son were very close with each other. The reason behind the sacrifice of the beloved son is to display the total allegiance to Allah (الله جل جلاله) in a humble manner, as it is per demand. As a result, the example of sacrifice was set to teach submission and amenability in front of Allah (الله جل جلاله). Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated in the memory of those remarkable commitments to Allah.
Remember when Abraham was tested by his Lord with ˹certain˺ commandments, which he fulfilled. Allah said, “I will certainly make you into a role model for the people.” Abraham asked, “What about my offspring?” Allah replied, “My covenant is not extended to the wrongdoers.”
Allah tests every Muslim in their daily life by imposing hardships to check whether they obey the instructions set by the almighty or not. Islam guides us in every aspect of life through Holy Quran and hadith.
Muslims need to learn the Quran and memorize its principles with the core of heart. Nowadays, you can learn Quran online through any Quran academy. You can memorize it in Quranic Arabic or in your mother-language from an online Quran memorization course.
Significance Of Sacrifice/Qurbani
As we revise the Sunnah of Ibrahim (عليه السلام) every year in the formality of religious norms, very few of us acknowledge its importance and meaningfulness. We must carry out the duties set by Allah (الله جل جلاله), such as reciting Salat, completing Sawm/Fasting, paying Zakat, and undertaking the Hajj pilgrimage, which ultimately leads toward his obedience and mercy.
Studying the revelation (Holy Quran) can only acknowledges these instructions given by Allah (الله جل جلاله) to withstand the standard of “Momineen”. There are a bunch of academies providing the best online Quran classes to learn Quranic Arabic for a better understanding of Islamic values and revelations of Prophets (عليه السلام) mentioned in the Quran. May Allah (الله جل جلاله) provide us the ability to follow Ibrahim’s (عليه السلام) Sunnah and adopt it in practical life year after year. Ameen!
Importance Of Hajj – What to Learn
Apart from being an obligatory religious duty, the Hajj has spiritual merit that provides the Muslims with an opportunity for self-renewal. Hadith literature (sayings of Muhammad) articulates various merits a pilgrim achieves upon completing their Hajj. Hajj unites Muslims from different parts of the world irrespective of their color, creed and culture, which shows a symbol of equality.
Religion and Tolerance in Islam’s Global Gathering and conducted in conjunction with Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, the study noted that the Hajj “increases belief in equality and harmony among ethnic groups and Islamic sects and leads to more favorable attitudes toward women, including greater acceptance of female education and employment” and that “Hajjis show increased belief in peace, equality and harmony among adherents of different religions.”
Philosophy behind the event of Hajj, is to exhibit the unity of Muslims of all nations, irrespective of color, creed, nationality and designation. On the other hand, Eid-ul-Adha does not require the sacrifice of animals, but it is the event in one’s life that trains one for sacrifice of everything which leads against the will of Allah (الله جل جلاله). Muslims should keep these objectives in mind while performing these necessary events. May Allah (الله جل جلاله) give us the ability to observe the underlying reason for these events. Amen!