The word hajj literally means ‘endeavor, aspiration, intention, destination, object, goal, aim’. In Islam it means: ‘to intend to go to the House of Allah to carry out specific rituals which are to be executed within a certain time frame.’

In a spiritual sense hajj is endeavoring to reach a station whose meaning, magnitude and true essence cannot be expressed or explained because of the lack of words to describe it. For this reason there are few who speak of it. In ‘The Lantern of the Path,’ Imam Ja`far al‑Sadiq said:

~ If you want to make the Pilgrimage then empty your heart before your departure of every distraction and concealing veil and turn all your affairs over to your Creator and trust in Him…

~ …then wash your sins away with the water of sincere repentance and don the garments of truth, purity and humility.

There are many different aspects to Hajj and they are generally broken down as follows:

The Pillars of the Pilgrimage

The spiritual Pillars of the Pilgrimage are generally considered to be four in number:

The next excerpt will cover the first of the four spiritual Pillars of Pilgrimage, Al-Ihram…

Excerpts covered in this series:

  1. Hajj
  2. Pillars of the Pilgrimage 1 – Al-ihram
  3. Pillars of the Pilgrimage 2 – The walking around the Ka’bahPillars of the Pilgrimage 3 – Hastening between the stations of pilgrimage
  4. Pillars of the Pilgrimage 4 – The pause on ‘Arafat
  5. Obligatory Actions
    • The stoning of Shaytan
    • The Prohibition against Hunting
    • The Prohibition on Sexual Intercourse while on Pilgrimage
  6. Other Aspects
    • The lesser Pilgrimage (Umrah)
    • Ka’bah
  7. The Levels of the Pilgrimage
    • The Pilgrimage of the Revealed Law
    • The Pilgrimage of the Adepts
    • The Pilgrimage of the Gnostic