Pilgrimage as a Fundamental Institution
Pilgrimage to Makkah is performed in the month of Zul Hijja, the twelfth month of the Islamic year. It is the fifth pillar of Islam and an obligatory religious duty, to be performed once during life-time. It is founded upon express injunctions in the Qu’ran. It is a divine institution and has the following interpreted authority in the Qu’ran for its due observance: - “And proclaim to the people a pilgrimage. They will come to you on foot and on every fleet camel coming from remote defile.” [22:27]
“The rites of pilgrimage are performed in the well-known months, so whoever determines the performance of the pilgrimage therein, let him not transgress by intercoursing with women, or by making unlawful dispute or any wrangling, and whatever good you may do, God certainly knows it. And make provision [for you journey]; but the best provision is the fear of God. So fear Me, O you people of understanding.” [2:198]
“It shall be no sin with you in seeking bounty  from your Lord, so when you hasten on from Arafat then remember God, Who has guided you, though, before, you were certainly going astray.” [2:198], “When you have performed your sacred rites, then praise God as you do your own fathers, or with a yet more intense lauding. But there are some people who say, Our Lord, give us [our portion] in this world: but such shall have no portion in the Hereafter.” [2:200].
“And some other people who say, Our Lord, grant us good in this world and good in the next and safeguard us from the chastisement of the fire.” [2:201]. “These shall be allotted of what they have earned: God is swift at reckoning.” [2:202]. “The first House [mosque] established for mankind was that at Bakka [Makkah], a place of blessing and a guidance for all beings.” [3:96], “… pilgrimage to the House is a duty, due to God, upon all mankind who is able to undertake the journey” [3:97]
Certain Rites of the Institution
Preparatory: Pilgrimage is a fundamental ordinance of practical devotion in Islam; and it represents the last stage in the spiritual progress in this life.
Of the principal requirements of the pilgrimage is what is called ihrâm, which represents the severance of all worldly connections. All these costly and fashionable dresses, in which the inner self is so often mistaken for the outward appearance, are cast off, and the pilgrim has only two seamless wrappers to cover himself, and thus shows that in his obedience to his creator, he is ready to cast off all lower connections. The other important requirement is making circuits round the kába. called tawâf, and running between two appointed small hills known as Al-Safa and Al-Marwa, called sáay. Of the rites to be observed in connection with the institution of pilgrimage is the kissing of a monumental “Black Stone”; when making certain appointed circuits round the kába.
 Bounty here stands for trading. What is meant is that there is no harm is seeking an increase of wealth by trading in Makkah in the pilgrimage season. Before the advent of Islam, fairs were held for trading purposes in the pilgrimage season. The Muslims thought it a sin to take part in this, and they are told that trade was not forbidden to them even in these days.
 In the days of ignorance, i.e. before the advent of Islam, the Arabs used to boast among themselves of the greatness of their fathers or forefathers after they had performed their pilgrimage. They were now bidden to laud God who would make them much greater than their forefathers.
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