Is this verse talking to the pilgrims on Hajj in Saudi Arabia, or those who could not make the journey, but wanted to? And does a person become a pilgrim the moment she decides to make the pilgrimage, whether she makes it that year or not? If not, then when is a person officially “on Hajj”?
“And complete the Hajj or ‘Umra in service of Allah. But if you are prevented, send something of value that is manageable. And do not shave your heads until the offering reaches the place of sacrifice. And if any of you are sick, or has an ailment in his scalp, he should in exchange, either fast, feed the poor, or offer sacrifice. When ready, if any one wishes to continue the ‘Umra, on to the Hajj, he must make an offering, such as he can afford. But if he cannot afford it, he should fast three days during the Hajj and seven days on his return, making ten days in all. This is for those whose household is not in the Sacred Masjid. And be conscious of Allah, and know that Allah is strict in punishment.” 2:196
The verse seems to be talking to people who tried to make the journey, but for whatever reason (perhaps not enough money, or an illness) they were prevented from making the Hajj. If so, this would mean the entire verse is speaking to them (send something of value, shave your head, etc).
This verse also seems to be saying a person can begin Hajj without ever having reached a physical destination. This says to me that the Hajj begins when you set your mind to try to go, because if it did not mean that the Hajj begins the moment you decide you will try to go, then when would you consider its start?
What do you think? Post a comment.