الآية رقم (197) - الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَاتٌ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلاَ رَفَثَ وَلاَ فُسُوقَ وَلاَ جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ وَمَا تَفْعَلُواْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللّهُ وَتَزَوَّدُواْ فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَى وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُوْلِي الأَلْبَابِ

(197) - (Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein, there is no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do - Allah knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding.)

( الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَاتٌ ) (Hajj is [during] well-known months.): The Hajj’s deeds, duties, and pillars are done in days not in months, but the preparation, travel, and what related to the rituals of Hajj may need months. These months are Shawwal, Dhul-Qa’da and Dhul-Hijjah. We have noticed that when it came to fasting, Allah (swt) specified the month of Ramadan by name:

 {شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ }

(The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it.) (Al-Baqara:185)

As for Hajj pilgrimage, it is these well-known months, that are Thil-Q’ida and Thil-Hijjah in particular.

The months of Hajj were known, the Arabs used to make a pilgrimage to the sacred house before Islam, even that this pilgrimage began from the call of the Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH):

 وَإِذْ بَوَّأْنَا لِإِبْرَاهِيمَ مَكَانَ الْبَيْتِ أَن لَّا تُشْرِكْ بِي شَيْئًا وَطَهِّرْ بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْقَائِمِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ * وَأَذِّن فِي النَّاسِ بِالْحَجِّ يَأْتُوكَ رِجَالًا وَعَلَىٰ كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ يَأْتِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ * لِّيَشْهَدُوا مَنَافِعَ لَهُمْ وَيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْلُومَاتٍ عَلَىٰ مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّن بَهِيمَةِ الْأَنْعَامِ ۖ فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا وَأَطْعِمُوا الْبَائِسَ الْفَقِيرَ * ثُمَّ لْيَقْضُوا تَفَثَهُمْ وَلْيُوفُوا نُذُورَهُمْ وَلْيَطَّوَّفُوا بِالْبَيْتِ الْعَتِيقِ

(And [mention, O Muhammad], when We designated for Abraham the site of the House, [saying], “Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate. % And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass – %That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals. So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor. %Then let them end their untidiness and fulfill their vows and perform Tawaf around the ancient House.)  (Al-Hajj:26-29)

These verses show us that the one who has proclaimed people to Hajji was our Master Ibrahim (PBUH) the beloved to Allah (swt). The Arabic word (Az-zen) which means (Proclaim) is derived from the root word (Ozon) which means the human ear.

Hence, the Hajj is during well-known months, it starts from the beginning of the Hajj’ journey or preparation for it; Shawwal, Thil-Q’ida, and Thil-Hijjah. However, the days of performing the Hajj are in the month of Thil-Hijjah, but notice the accuracy of the Holy Qur’an:

 {وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللَّهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا }

(If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction.) (An-Nissa: 82)

If the Holy Qur’an had been rom any other than Allah (swt), then this phrase would not have come in this way: (Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself) , Who has made the Hajj obligatory? Are we who obliged Hajj upon ourselves? Or He is Allah (swt) who obliges Hajj upon us? Another verse in Surah Ali-Imran says:

 {وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا }

(And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way..) (Ali-Imran: 97)

So, Allah (swt) obliged Hajj, but why He (swt) says here: (so whoever has made Hajj obligatory), as if the man is obliged Hajj on himself. Of course, these words are precise, because Allah (swt) knows that the believer is the one who commits himself to undertake this duty. In other words, who cannot do Hajj this year, and does not have its means – the vehicle and money – he would delay his pilgrimage until these conditions are available. So, the Muslim himself who determines the time when he can perform Hajj according to the conditions. Unlike all other worships, in this particular worship which is an important pillar of Islam, it is the man who determines to engage himself in it, and he who does his best to be able to perform it. Therefore, they are the people who oblige themselves and decide the time of doing this pillar. However, Allah (swt) has obliged Hajj once in a lifetime of man. Now, what are the Hajj’ obligations?:

( فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ ) (there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj…): How great this religion is of which each of its obligations, and everything related to its matters is of a high moral values which spread values and ethics in society!

In Hajj pilgrimage time, there are changes in habits, in sleep, food, movement and the nature of life. So, there are things that must not be in the pilgrimage, which human can fall in.

(disobedience) is a general word. The Arabic word (Fasaqat) is used to indicate that the dates is ripened, that is the outer shell of it become easily removed. Therefore, (disobedience) means that a human comes out of the obedience of Allah (swt). It is said, A disobedient man to mean that a Man is outside of the obedience of Allah (swt), but he is not a disbeliever; rather he does not perform the orders of Allah (swt)

So, in hajj pilgrimage, it does not come that you are going on a journey that is all for Allah (swt), leaving the worldly life, the people, the money and everything but Allah (swt) to go to perform the duty which may not be repeated again in your life and yet you do a disobedience. That means there has to be no lying, no gossip, no backbiting, no stealing, no bribery, no adultery, no killing, no beating, no insult; every bad matter is forbidden totally even (disputing) although it is allowed in general, Allah (swt) says:

  {وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ}

(and argue with them in a way that is best.)  (An-Nahl: 125)

but in Hajj it is because people have various tempers. These various tempores will all come together in one place; they are from different colors, races, languages, traditions, and customs. The preoccupation of pilgrims with quarreling will affect badly this great and shared rite. That is because the Hajj has to be a full obedience. The sexual intercourse is allowed between couples outside the Hajj, whereas the (disobedience), is prohibited inside and outside Hajj and, disputing, on the other hand, is allowed outside Hajj. Notice that when the Prophet (saws) said:

Whoever performs Hajj (pilgrimage) and does not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commits sin, nor disputes unjustly, then he returns from Hajj as pure and free from sins as on the day on which his mother gave birth to him.[1]

Why did not the Prophet (saws) add “and does not dispute” when he (saws) talked about the situation when returning from Hajj? Because the verse is clear and the Prophet (saws) is the only one who has the right to specialize the general meaning through his clarification and interpretation of verses, Allah (swt) says:

 {وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ }

(And We revealed to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought.)  (An-Nahl: 44)

In this Hadith, the Prophet (saws) was not talking about the condition after coming back from the Hajj ritual, since after completing the Hajj, human being very likely do argue with somehow, but the (disobedience) must not be at all. Hence, when you go to Hajj dispute may happen, but since Allah’s (swt) mercy included everything, therefore, the Prophet (saws) said that “he returns from Hajj as pure and free from sins as on the day on which his mother gave birth if he does not have sexual relations , nor commits sin.” but there is a leeway in the matter of dispute because it does not relate to faith, morality or even values, rather it is less than that, so this Hadith is about forgiveness and mercy after returning from Hajj pilgrimage. Thereof, when we want to interpret the Holy Qur’an, we must always refer to the words and deeds of the Prophet (saws).

After the three (NOs) (no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing), here is the positive expression:

( وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّهُ ) (And whatever good you do – Allah knows it…): Whatever good even if it is very small and you consider it less than to be considered good, Allah (swt) is aware of it:

 {فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ % وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ  }

(So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, * And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.)  (Az-Zalzalah: 7-8)

Our Islamic religion is a religion of easiness, not an intolerance and Allah (swt) is with you wherever you are. Therefore, good deeds are more than you think, and righteous deeds are more than you think, so the verse is accurate by using (whatever) word.

( وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَىٰ ۚ  ) (And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me..): Why to take provisions? Because Because the journey of Hajj needs provisions, He (swt) wants to show us that the real and best provision is the piety.

(And take provisions) means to provide for the great trip, you are now going for the small journey which is the Hajj pilgrimage in which you see some general aspects close to the scene of the resurrection day. As such when you stand in Arafat with millions of people together, dressed in one uniform, one speech, one call, saying: “I am at Your service, O Allah, I am at Your service”. All these meanings are very close to the general description of the Great Journey which is certainly coming, no one can run from death, and no one can ask the angel of Death to delay the time:

 {فَإِذَا جَاءَ أَجَلُهُمْ لَا يَسْتَأْخِرُونَ سَاعَةً ۖ وَلَا يَسْتَقْدِمُونَ }

(So when their time has come, they will not remain behind an hour, nor will they precede [it]) (Al-A’raaf: 34)

No one can say, “I don’t want to die,” Allah (swt) says:

 {تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ % الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُور}

(Blessed is He in whose hand is dominion, and He is over all things competent – % [He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving) (Al-Mulk: 1-2)

So this journey needs provision. This journey is the last journey. Human always wants goodness for himself and his descendants after him, however, human always thinks of the short journey, no matter how long life is, while does not think of the permanent, remaining, and timeless trip which will be eternal. The whole life and the last life needs provision, which is piety, not money, gold, pounds, nor dollar.

 {يَوْمَ لَا يَنفَعُ مَالٌ وَلَا بَنُونَ }

(The Day when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children.) (Ash-Shu’araa: 88)

Therefore, the Prophet (saws) forbids the believer to attach his heart to what will end. Therefore, He (saws) said:

“Wretched is the slave of the Dinar, the slave of the Dirham and the slave of the Khamisah. If he is given anything, he is satisfied; but if not, he is unsatisfied. He is wretched and will be thrown (into Hell) on his face, and if he is pricked with a thorn may find no relief.”[2]

Verify, ‏the real provision is piety, and piety is the collection of all good.

( وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَاب ) (And fear Me, O you of understanding.): Our God here asks us to fear Him (swt), to be afraid of Him (swt), and make between you and His (swt) anger a protection by your good deeds.

(O you of understanding) Meaning, use your mind, you who understand. It is an honor for human when he is addressed by the Lord (swt) with the dearest and honorable thing Allah (swt) has gave him, which is the mind and it is the thinking. That is because, if you think, you will conclude, if you think, you will know that this life no matter how long it is, it is temporary.

Therefore, provision is necessary, and it is the piety.

[1]  Sahih al-Bukhari, Book of Hajj, Chapter “the acceptance of Hajj’, Hadith No. (1449).

[2] Almu’jam Al-Awsat of Al-Tabarani, chapter of ” whose name is Ibrahim, Hadith no. (2595).