Last updated on April 3rd, 2023 at 08:54 am
In Islam, the Hajj definition is “the greater Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.” Besides being a sacred ritual, it is one of the five fundamental pillars of Islam that are the very foundation of the religion. Hajj takes place in Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
For Muslims, performing Hajj is a spiritual duty, as Allah commanded in the Holy Qur’an:
“You will enter the Sacred Masjid, God willing, perfectly secure, and you will cut your hair or shorten it (as you fulfill the pilgrimage rituals) there. You will not have any fear. Since He knew what you did not know, He has coupled this with an immediate victory.” (48:27)
When is Hajj 2023?
The Hajj pilgrimage starts on the 8th of Dhu al-Hijjah. For the Georgian calendar, this date varies each year; this year, it is predicted to start on Sunday, June 25, 2023, or Monday, June 26, 2023.
What is the Duration of Hajj?
Hajj is completed over five to six days, i.e., between the 8th and 12th/13th of Dhu al-Hijjah.
What is the Importance of Hajj in Islam?
The greater pilgrimage to Mecca is indeed a physical, spiritual, and emotional challenge that requires a lot of perseverance and preparation. But it provides a Muslim the chance to completely submit before Allah Al-Mighty and refresh his mind and body, cleanse himself of all previous sins, and renew his faith.
As the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stated:
“Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of Allah and does not utter any obscene speech or do any evil deed will go back (free of sin) as his mother bore him.”
Background of Hajj in Islam
The rituals of Hajj date back to 2,000 B.C., beginning when the infant son of Hazrat Ibrahim was stranded in the desert with his mother, Hazrat Hajarah. Hazrat Ismail was extremely thirsty and on the verge of death. In an extreme panic, Hazrat Hajarah began running back and forth between two hills – Safa and Marwa – desperately looking for water.
Allah then sent Divine help in the form of Angel Jibra’il, who erupted a spring of fresh water where Hazrat Ismail had been frantically kicking his feet, known today as the Well of Zam Zam (Holy Water). In memory of Hazrat Hajarah’s efforts, the Hajj ritual of Sa’i is performed.
Following the command of Allah, Hazrat Ibrahim built a monument where the spring had erupted, known now as the Holy Ka’aba. Since then, people of all faiths have traveled to Mecca to celebrate at the site.
In 630 A.D., the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) led a congregation of Muslims to Mecca, which is known as the first official Hajj. He destroyed all the idols and reclaimed the site in the name of Allah.
The path that Hazrat Mohammed (peace be upon him) and his followers traveled is replicated by pilgrims during the Hajj rituals, including:
- the walk between Safa and Marwa
- stoning the three Jamarah (Wall of Satan), which mark the three sites where Shai’tan tried to dissuade Hazrat Ibrahim from obeying Allah’s command
- slaughtering an animal to honor the sacrifice that Hazrat Ibrahim made to give his son in the name of Allah
- praying on Mount Arafat, where Hazrat Mohammed (peace be upon him) gave his last sermon
Who is Pardoned from Performing Hajj?
Hajj is mandatory only for Muslim adults (males and females); while children might accompany pilgrims, they don’t need to perform the rituals.
Secondly, extremely weak, ill, elderly, or physically incapable Muslims are pardoned from performing pilgrimage.
Moreover, Muslims who are not financially capable of performing the Hajj are exempt.
Conclusion for When is Hajj? (2023)
Hajj 2023 is just around the corner, and those fortunate enough to be going for the pilgrimage this year will indeed remember this spiritual and enlightening experience for the rest of their lives. Those unable to perform the pilgrimage this year can still make most of these extremely blessed days of Dhul al-Hijjah by devoting maximum time to praying and reciting the Holy Quran.