Surah Hajj (سورة الحج) is the 22nd surah of the Quran that Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad in the city of Medina . The surah is named Hajj, meaning the hajj pilgrimage because several verses of it speak about the rulings of hajj and the necessity of going on this pilgrimage. In this article on Islam4u, the following topics will be discussed:
Facts About Surah Hajj
|Order of revelation||104|
|No. of verses||78|
|No. of words||1282|
|No. of letters||5315|
Benefits of Reciting Surah Hajj
- The reward of going on a hajj pilgrimage: The Noble Prophet has said, “Whoever recites surah Hajj is like someone who has gone on a hajj pilgrimage and he will be given reward as much as all those who go on hajj in the past and the future.”1
- Having the privilege to go on the hajj pilgrimage: Abu Abdullah, Ja‘far ibn Muhammad has said, “Whoever recites surah Hajj once every three days, he will go on the hajj pilgrimage the same year. And, if he dies while on the hajj pilgrimage, he will go to heaven.”2
- Knowing the outcome of one’s deeds: It has been said that if verse 70 of surah Hajj is recited 201 times, one would find out the outcome of one’s deeds.3
The Gist of Surah Hajj
Surah Hajj aims at explaining the roots of religion in such a way that both a monotheist and polytheist could benefit from it. It also briefly mentions the branches of religion, which only the believers could benefit from it.4 In this surah, monotheism and the necessity of worshipping one God has been emphasized. Moreover, people have been warned against skepticism and its consequences have been mentioned. Surah Hajj also talks about the Qiyamah and the terrifying earthquake on that day. It also talks about some branches of religion such as hajj, jihad against the tyrants, prayer, zakat, and enjoining the good and forbidding evil.5 Some of the other topics discussed in this surah are:
• reliance on and trust in Allah
• warning people against committing sins and disobeying Allah
• always being Godwary
• doing righteous deeds
• divine assistance6
Verse 11 of surah Hajj talks about a group of people who worship Allah conditionally. The verse reads:
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَعْبُدُ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ حَرْفٍ ۖ فَإِنْ أَصَابَهُ خَيْرٌ اطْمَأَنَّ بِهِ ۖ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ فِتْنَةٌ انقَلَبَ عَلَىٰ وَجْهِهِ خَسِرَ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةَ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْخُسْرَانُ الْمُبِينُ ﴿١١﴾
And some people worship God [only] in words, so when fortune favors him, he is pleased with it, but when he faces hardship, he turns his face [and abandons belief]. Thus, he loses the world and the Hereafter [altogether] and it is an obvious loss.7
We can see examples of such people even today. Some people only worship and believe in Allah so long as they live in comfort. They say, “Now that Allah has given us so many blessings, we will worship Him and obey Him.” However, when they are faced with hardship or a calamity, they say, “Where is that God who we used to worship? How come He has left us alone?” Therefore, they do not worship Allah when faced with hardship. According to some exegetes, the verse is about a group of Bedouins who were like this at the time of the Prophet. However, it is worth noting that such people even exist today. Therefore, the verse can also include people of all times.
Famous Verses of Surah Hajj
There are some famous and well-known verses in surah Hajj. Let us go over them.
The Verse of Public Announcement of Hajj
Verse 27 of surah Hajj announces and invites people to go on the hajj pilgrimage:
وَأَذِّن فِي النَّاسِ بِالْحَجِّ يَأْتُوكَ رِجَالًا وَعَلَىٰ كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ يَأْتِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ ﴿۲۷﴾
And declare among the people to make Hajj, [so] they should come to you on foot, on every lean camel from every distant [or near] place.8
Hajj means to make the intention for going somewhere. The reason it is named hajj is that whoever wants to perform the hajj rituals must make the intention for the house of Allah.9 Most exegetes have said that the verse addresses Prophet Ibrahim to loudly proclaim the performance of hajj and inform them that it is obligatory for them to go on the hajj pilgrimage.10
The Verse of Honoring Allah’s Rites in Surah Hajj
ذَٰلِكَ وَمَن يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِن تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ ﴿٣٢﴾
Allah’s rites mean divine signs that Allah has placed for others to obey Him.12 Exegetes have said that Allah’s rites or sacraments include all the divine guidelines and programs of religion that remind one of Allah. The rites of hajj and sacrifices that are offered during hajj are only one example of Allah’s rites. Therefore, Allah’s rites that are mentioned in the above verse include the other rites of religion as well.13 The relationship between honoring Allah’s rites and Godwariness or piety of the heart is that Godwariness is a matter that relates to spirituality.14 There is a hadith from the Prophet that states, “His holiness pointed to his chest and said, ‘The true essence of Godwariness is here.’ ”15
Verse 38 of Surah Hajj
إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُدَافِعُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ خَوَّانٍ كَفُورٍ ﴿۳۸﴾
Indeed, God defends the believers, [but] He does not like any ungrateful traitor.16
The above verse refers to how Allah defends the believers who are under the pressure of the polytheists because resistance against the superstitions of polytheists might have made them angry. For this reason, in order to support the believers, Allah introduces Himself as their defender. Exegetes say that this promise of Allah is not limited to the believers at the time of the Prophet, but rather it is a promise that is true and inevitable at all times.17
What does it mean? It means that Allah will come to the help of believers, provided that they also help Allah’s cause as the Quran says in verse 40 of surah Hajj:
وَلَيَنصُرَنَّ اللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ ﴿٤٠﴾
Indeed God surely helps those who help Him. Indeed, God is the All-Strong, All-Powerful.18
This is one of the sunnahs of Allah, meaning Allah’s course of action that will never be changed. Therefore, all of those who are oppressed and are fighting in the way of Allah to support Islam should know that Allah Himself would help and defend them.
Surah Hajj is one of the chapters of the Quran that Allah revealed to the Prophet in Medina. The surah is named hajj because several verses of it are about the rulings of hajj. Surah Hajj discusses many topics such as reliance on and trust in Allah, warning people against committing sins and disobeying Allah, always being Godwary, doing righteous deeds, and divine assistance. The Prophet has said that whoever recites surah Hajj, it is as though they have performed hajj and will receive the reward of all those who have gone on the hajj pilgrimage in the past and the future. By reciting this surah, we will also be among those who receive the reward of going on the hajj pilgrimage, God willing.
- Majma‘ al-Bayan, vol. 7, p. 123.
- Thawāb al-A‘māl, p. 108.
- Al-Miṣbāḥ, p. 456.
- Al-Mīzān, 1390 AH, vol. 14, p. 338.
- Tafseer Nimūnah, vol. 14, p. 4.
- Ṣafawī, “Surah Hajj,” p. 718.
- Quran 22:11 (Foroutan).
- Quran 22:27 (Foroutan).
- Al-Mīzān, 1390 AH, vol. 14, p. 369
- Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 7, p. 128.
- Quran 22:32 (Foroutan).
- Al-Mīzān, 1390 AH, vol. 14, p. 373.
- Tafseer Nimūnah, 1371 SH, vol. 14, p. 97.
- Al-Mīzān, 1390 AH, vol. 14, p. 374.
- Al-Jāmi‘ li Aḥkām al-Qur’ān, 1364 SH, vol. 12, p. 56.
- Quran 22:38 (Foroutan).
- Tafseer Nimūnah, 1371 SH, vol. 14, p. 111.
- Quran 22:40 (Foroutan).