Sūrat al-Hajj

Sūrah No. 22, Revealed in Madīnah, 78 verses.

There is some debate among scholars whether all the verses of this Sūrah were revealed in Madīnah. The Sūrah takes its name from the mention of the Hajj in verse 27. Al-Hajj is the only Sūrah which has two verses (18 and 77) after which it is recommended to perform sajdah.

Merits of reciting the Sūrah

Whoever recites Sūrat al-Hajj, Allah will reward him both the reward of pilgrimage and lesser pilgrimage of all those who have done them in the past and all those who will do them in the future. Holy Prophet a (Tafsīr al-Sāfī quoted in Enlightening Commentary into the Light of the Quran).

Note: Tafsīr Namūneh mentions that these rewards are for those who read, reflect and develop closeness (uns) with the Sūrah and its contents which in turn spurs action.

General synopsis of contents

1) Day of Judgment and a warning to the heedless ones.

2) Countering the arguments of the polytheists.

3) The eventual outcome for the people of the past Prophets.

4) Discussion on Hajj.

5) Advice and encouragement towards certain virtues.

Selected Lessons

1) The Day of Judgment will have some very strange scenes (verse 2)

2) People argue about Allah without any knowledge or guidance (verse 8)

3) All of creation except some human beings prostrate to Allah (verse 18)

4) The humble are those whose hearts tremble with awe when Allah is mentioned (verse 35)

5) The people of past Prophets also rejected their Prophets (vv. 42-44)

6) Mankind does not regard Allah with the regard due to Him (verse 74)


Important Messages

1) Occurrences of the Day of Judgment will affect the emotions as well as the intellect.

2) Do not make religion a guarantee for good in this world.

3)Worse than the physical punishment of the fire will be the emotional and spiritual pain.

4) Inner purity must come before outer purity.

5) The Taqwa of the hearts must have an outer manifestation.

6) Those who reject faith oppose all houses of worship.

7) Do not argue with those who are stubborn and prone to arguing.

Suggested verses for reflection and memorization.

1) 22:11 – And among the people are those who worship Allah on the [very] fringe: if good fortune befalls him, he is content with it; but if an ordeal visits him he makes a turnabout, to become a loser in the world and the Hereafter. That is manifest loss. 

2) 22:32 – And whoever respects the signs of Allah, this surely is through the piety of hearts.

3) 22:40 (end of verse) – Allah will surely help those who help Him. Indeed, Allah is all-strong, all-mighty.

4) 22:46 – Have they not travelled through the land so that they may have hearts by which they may exercise their reason, or ears by which they may hear? Indeed, it is not the eyes that turn blind, but it is the hearts in the chests that turn blind!

Activities for self-study

1) Read verse 5. Break down the stages of human creation described in this verse. Write and illustrate these stages.

2) Verses 26-29 talks about some aspects of Hajj. List the different injunctions regarding Hajj in these verses.

3) Ponder over the parable in verse 73. What lessons does it give?