Hajj and Good Manners

07 August, 2019
Q Salam. I am confused when I read about rituals of Hajj. In Islam, sex with spouse is something rewarded, it is even a charity, so why in Hajj it is not allowed despite all other physical needs like eating, sleeping, drinking are allowed? Is sex here a vice? There is another thing confuses me, in Hajj Muslims are asked to express all good manners like cooperation and support, but I find bad manners like group pushing pilgrims to find more space for themselves, is not it a selfishness?

Answer

Short Answer:  The wisdom is that the common atmosphere during hajj is that of devotion, submission, surrender, peace of mind, and invocation to God. God wants all pilgrims to perfect their hajj by focusing on every possible act of worship to get closer to Him. When a pilgrim cuts this state of devotion by having sex with his wife, he deprives himself of a golden opportunity to draw closer to God.  Forbidding sexual intercourse during hajj does not imply that sex is a vice. It is forbidden for a limited period for certain wisdom, then is it allowed when the pilgrim completes the hajj rituals. Among the disliked practices during hajj are pushing others to get closer to the Kaabah to kiss it during the tawaf and jostling while throwing the pebbles.

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Salam Dear Sister,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

I would like to congratulate all Muslims on the occasion of the approach of the hajj season. We pray to Allah the Almighty to give us the means to fulfill this great act of worship. Hajj is about recognizing the Oneness of God, the unity of Muslims and the universality of Islam.

When Muslims are commanded to do a certain act of worship, they willingly submit themselves to this command. Sometimes the wisdom behind a certain command is known, and sometimes the wisdom is known only to Allah.

Dhikr and Duaa

The rituals of hajj are all about two main things; namely dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and duaa (supplication). About dhikr we read in the Quran what means:

{But it is no offence to seek some bounty from your Lord. When you surge down from Arafat remember God at the sacred place. Remember Him: He has guided you. Before that you were astray. Surge down where the rest of the people do, and ask forgiveness of God: He is most forgiving and merciful. When you have completed your rites, remember God as much as you remember your own fathers, or even more…} (Al-Baqarah 2:198-200)

{Remember God on the appointed days…} (Al-Baqarah 2:203)

All the rituals of hajj are a reflection of God’s remembrance. A pilgrim is always in a state of dhikr and duaa; after wearing the ihram attire, during the tawaf, during the sai, on the day of Arafah, while throwing the pebbles, and when slaughtering the sacrifice.

We also notice that the Quran always associates acts of worship with good manners. About Hajj we read what means:

{All this [is ordained by God]: anyone who honors the sacred ordinances of God will have good rewards from his Lord. Livestock have been made lawful to you, except for what has been explicitly forbidden. Shun the filth of idolatrous beliefs and practices and shun false utterances.} (Al-Hajj 22:30)

Here pilgrims are commanded to shun idol worship and false utterances.

Rafath

During Hajj men and women are not allowed to have sexual intercourse with their spouses and to engage in arguments or quarreling. This is in accordance with the Quranic injunction:

{The pilgrimage is (in) the well known months, and whoever is minded to perform the pilgrimage therein (let him remember that) there is (to be) no lewdness nor abuse nor angry conversation on the pilgrimage…} (Al-Baqarah 2:197)

Quran commentators interpret the word rafath to mean sexual intercourse and indecent speech. Ibn Abbas and Ibn Umar said that rafath means to have sex with women. Some scholars consider all acts that lead to sexual intercourse during hajj such as touching with pleasure, kissing and the like as forbidden.

The wisdom is that the common atmosphere during hajj is that of devotion, submission, surrender, peace of mind, and invocation to God. God wants all pilgrims to perfect their hajj by focusing on every possible act of worship to get closer to Him. When a pilgrim cuts this state of devotion by having sex with his wife, he deprives himself of a golden opportunity to draw closer to God.

Also, God wants to purify the hearts of the pilgrims and lift up their souls. This state of purification will help them draw closer and closer to God.

Forbidding sexual intercourse during hajj does not imply that sex is a vice. It is forbidden for a limited period for certain wisdom, then is it allowed when the pilgrim completes the hajj rituals.

Hajj and Good Manners

Among the disliked practices during hajj are pushing others to get closer to the Kaabah to kiss it during the tawaf and jostling while throwing the pebbles.

While it is recommended to kiss the Kaabah, it is prohibited to harm others. Therefore, caring for others during hajj should be given priority so as to get the hajj accepted by God.

Saudi authorities do their best to enlarge the places of the rituals to avoid the hajj stampede incidents that used to happen previously.

About the reward for avoiding bad manners during hajj, the Prophet is reported to have said:

“Whoever performs Hajj for Allah’s pleasure and does not have sexual relations with his wife, and does not do evil or sins then he will return (after Hajj free from all sins) as if he were born anew.” (Al-Bukhari)

I hope this answers your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-about-islam/hajj-journey-spiritual-healing/

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-about-islam/lessons-draw-hajj/

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-about-islam/stoning-satan-hajj-beyond-symbolism/

 

About Dr. Mohsen Haredy
Dr. Mohsen Haredy holds a PhD in Hadith literature from Leiden University, the Netherlands. He is the former Executive Manager and Editor-in-Chief of E-Da`wah Committee in Kuwait, and a contributing writer and counselor of Reading Islam. He graduated from Al-Azhar University and earned his MA in Hadith literature from Leiden University.