The months of Hajj.

Allaah has said in Quran:

"The Hajj (is in) known months". Since He has not said: "Shahrun", it is not one month, He has not said "Shahrain", so it is not two months either, but since He has said "Ashhurun", "months", it is definitely three months or more.  According to our fiqh books, the ‘known months of Hajj’ referred to by Allaah in His book, are actually two months and ten days, i.e., Shawwal, Dzu-Qaa’idah and 10 days of Dzul-Hajj. Our elders say it is "two months and ten days"! But despite their interpretation like this, the (obligatory acts of the) Hajj – particularly the visit to the Allaah’s House - has to be carried out on 10th of Dzul Hajj only (with a grace period of two days!) Even in the so called “month of Hajj”  -  Dzul Hajj - nobody can do the Hajj before the 10th day of this month, nor after 12th of Dzul Hajj until the 10th of Dzul Hajj next year, as per the teachings of our elders.


If Allaah had wanted to say ‘two months and ten days’, he would have said so. There is no difficulty for Him.

For example,

a)      He says in verse 2:226 about those who swear from going to their wives, that they should wait for four months (before their separation is formalised).

b)      In respect of those who die, leaving behind them their wives, He says that they (the women) should wait for four months and ten days (before they marry another person). (2:234)

So, why would He say months, (which in Arabic denotes three or more months), when He actually wanted to say ‘two months and ten days’?

Even in the month which is named “The month of Hajj” - Dzul-Hajj, we are permitted by our 'ulamaa to perform the Hajj to baithullaah (visit to Allaah’s house) and its tawaaf on the 10th day of Dzul-Hajj and not before that day. If Hajj were to (begin and) end on the 10th day of Dzul-Hajj, how is it that they have permitted extension of the tawaaf of the Ka’bah by another two days?

The other reference in Quran to the word "Months" (relating to our study) is regarding the Sacred Months, about which Allaah has said that they are four.

“The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year), so ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are sacred  (9:36 part)

When we search the Quran to find out the Sacred Months, we come across a reference to "The Sacred Month":

"They question you (O Muhammad) regarding warfare in the sacred month." (2:217 part).

The only month mentioned by name in Quran is: Ramadan, about whose superiority it has been said that Quran, the guide for the mankind, was descended in this month.

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur-aan, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs from the guidance, and the Criterion (of right and wrong).”  (2:185 part)

Such being the superiority of this month, we cannot imagine it being excluded from the four Sacred Months

If we consider Ramadan as the first sacred month, then the last of the four sacred months is Dzul Hajj : Ramadan, Shawwal, Dzu-Qaa’idah and Dzul-Hajj.

What could be the reason for the Muslims accepting these particular dates fixed by those in authority, at a later period after our prophet (peace upon him) and the rightly guided caliphs? The only possibility is that the prophet would have performed Hajj on these dates and the same would have been enforced in the beginning as a desirable following of sunnah and later reinforced as the only acceptable dates. Otherwise, what has become of us that we hear the verses of Quran day in, day out, and yet do not reflect upon what are the "known months of Hajj"?

If somebody arrives in Makkah during the known months of Hajj, (Ramadan to Dzul Hajj), he has to straight away carry out the hajj rites recognized in Quran, which he is permitted to complete in more or less two days (2:203).

1.      Visiting the Mount Arafath, (2:198)

2.       Remembering Allaah (in the manner taught by Him), near Mash’arul Haraam after having come down from Mount Arafath. (2:198)

3.      Sacrificing the permitted animal mentioning Allaah’s name upon it and eating from it (after we know that it is not alive any more) and distributing it to the poor. (22:28 & 22:36))

4.      Shaving the head or shortening the hair from it.  (2:196 & 48:27)

5.      Cleansing oneself with a bath and going round the Ka’bah in Tawaaf. (22:29) 

6.      Tawaaf between Mount Safa and Marwah. (2:158)

(The pilgrim assumes the State of Ihraam the moment he leaves his house, until he completes the Tawaaf of Ka’bah. The ‘State of Ihraam’ prohibits committing any obscenity / lewdness or wickedness or wrangling / angry conversation. It also prohibits hunting of land animals, but not hunting of sea animals. (2:197 & 5:96)  )  Qur-aan contains full details about what should be done if prevented from going to Hajj, and details of action to be taken in other contingencies,

If someone arrives before Ramadan and still has some days before the month commences, and if he wants to come out of the state of Ihraam (and enjoy - tamattu - the state of normalcy: ), by performing Umrah, still he has to offer some sacrifice which he can easily afford. (2:196) “Then when you are in safety, whosoever benefits himself with ‘Umrah till Hajj, then that which can be sacrificed with ease.”

Now, people arriving in the known months of Hajj, for example: in the first week of Dzul Hajj or during the last week of Dzu-Qaaidah perform Tamattu Hajj, i.e., they come out of Ihraam by performing umrah on arrival, but still they offer no sacrifice for Tamattu, violating the verse quoted above. They do not realize that the hajj is during the months known for it, (so they could have straightaway performed Hajj on arrival) and only in the rest of the period of the year, i.e., the remaining 8 months, the visit to the Ancient House is called Umrah and not during the months of Hajj.

The whole system of Hadeeth and Fiqh – followed and propagated by those running the religious affairs – has a habit of partly revealing a fact and partly hiding it, thereby depriving the Muslim Ummah of its benefit, because they know the superiority of an act, but do not make use of it where it would benefit most.  For example, there is the hadeeth (of course, quoting our beloved prophet – peace upon him), which highly praises a particular set of tasbeeh which I mention below :

The hadeeth says about it:

" Two sayings light upon the tongue, heavy in the scale : SubhaanAllaahi wa bihamdihi, SubhaanAllaahil 'Azweem."

Research about the correct method of praying led me to the conclusion that the two sentences " SubhaanAllaahi wa bihamdihi, SubhaanAllaahil 'Azweem" are indeed the right (and required) tasbeeh - repetitive praise - that should be uttered in the Rukoo' and Sujood of the prayers. Then I realized that this fact has been suppressed in the often-mentioned hadeeth, thus depriving the Muslims of saying the correct tasbeeh on the only occasion (Rukoo / Sujood) in which most of the Muslims say the tasbeeh. The hadeeth praises the tasbeeh but does not prescribe it for Rukoo and Sujood.

Similarly, a hadeeth says, quoting our prophet (peace upon him) as having said: "The umrah in Ramadan equals a Hajj done with me."

After having encouraged the Muslims to visit the Baithullaah in Ramadan, it suppresses the fact that the visit in Ramadan constitutes Hajj and instead says that it is an Umrah which is equal to Hajj, done in the company of the prophet. (The intention behind this is:  to motivate the Muslims to go to Makkah in large numbers in the month of Ramadan, but making them commit sin by missing on the sacrifice of animals, which the Fiqh books have exempted in Umrah, whereas we have come to know from the above study that the sacrifice is obligatory both in Umrah and in Hajj.)

And if we ask them: whether to be eligible to the benefit of Hajj in the Umrah of Ramadan, one has to perform the Umrah only on the 10th of Ramadan (as in Dzul-Hajj)? They will surely say: No, the benefit is available throughout the month of Ramadan. That means, out of the 2 months and 10 days that Allaah mentions in Qur-aan, according to their interpretations, only on one day you can perform the Hajj and in a month that Allaah has not mentioned, the benefit is available on every single day of the month. What a bundle of contradictions!

In the light of the above explanations, I call upon my brothers not to get carried away by the inventions of the people of the old times but to listen to what our Creator and Cherisher, Allaah says in His book and to commence Hajj from the month of Ramadan.

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