Hajj is one of the pillars and foundations of Islam, the act of worship of a lifetime, the seal of all that is commanded, the perfection of Islam and the completion of religion. Such a worship deserves that much attention to be devoted to explaining it and to detailing its essential elements, its properties, its merits, and its mysteries. This little book is translated from Kitab Asrar al-Hajj, the seventh chapter of the celebrated 12th-century work, Ihya Ulum al-Din. Al-Ghazali invites readers to dwell on the subject of the hajj beyond its mechanics and rituals, and to pay attention to its true substance, purpose and philosophy.
And concerning it the Prophet the blessing of God be upon him said, ‘Whoever dies without, having performed the Pilgrimage let him die, if he wish, either a Jew or a Christian.’ How exalted is that act of worship without which religion is lacking in perfection, and the evader of which is equal in, waywardness to Jews and Christians: [Such a worship] deserves that much attention be devoted to explaining it and to detailing its essential elements (arkan), its proprieties, its merits, and its mysteries. All of this will be disclosed, by the grace of God the Most High, in three chapters:
1. The first chapter concerns its merits and the merits of Mecca and the Ancient House and its essential parts and the criteria [that determine] its obligatory character (Wujub).
2.The second chapter [deals with] its outward acts in [correct] order according to their order, from the beginning of the journey until the return.
3.The third chapter concerns its exact proprieties, its hidden mysteries and its inner (batina) acts
About the Author
Abu Hamid Muhammad, famous in the world of learning as al-Ghazali was born in 450 AH (1058 A.D). in Persia . He graduated from the Nizamia Madressa at Nishapur, with distinction.a very famous educational institution in Nishapur. Later he was appointed as a teacher at the Nizamia College in Baghdad, where he proved very successful in imparting knowledge to the scholars under his care. This valuable gift of sustaining interest of his pupils and passing on his knowledge to them made him so famous that students from all parts of the country flocked to study under him.
Imam al-Ghazali was fondly referred to as the ‘Hujjat-ul-lslam’, Proof of Islam, He is honored as a scholar and a saint by learned men all over the world.
Al-Ghazali is generally acclaimed as the most influential thinker of the Classical period of Islam, in his autobiography The Deliverance from Error, the Imam describes his education and his intellectual crisis, which left him so paralyzed by doubt that he he gave up his academic pursuits and worldly interests and became a wandering ascetic. This was a process (period) of mystical transformation. Later, he resumed his teaching duties, but again left these. An era of solitary life, devoted to contemplation and writing then ensued, which led to the authorship of a number of everlasting books (Many of which have been translated in English)