Sura al-Hajj

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This article is an introduction to the Sura al-Hajj; to read its text see text:Sura al-Hajj.
Sura al-Hajj
Sura Number22
Revelation Number104
Verse Count78
Word Count1282
Letter Count5315\

Sūra al-Ḥajj (Arabic: سورة الحَجّ) is the twenty second sura of the Qur'an. It is a Madani sura located in juz' seventeen. This sura is named "Hajj" due to mentioning some rulings and issues about hajj in verses twenty five to thirty seven and also the announcement of the public order for hajj. This sura includes some rules of jurisprudence about hajj such as its obligation, rules of sacrifice, the permissibility of eating animals' meat, the obligation of tawaf of the Ka'ba in hajj, etc. It is transmitted that for the recitation of this sura, rewards are given the same as the rewards of a person who performs hajj and Umra.


  • Naming

The name "al-Hajj" is adopted from verse twenty seven of the sura. Moreover, this naming is made due to the importance of hajj and the existence of some rules of hajj in verses twenty five to thirty seven and also the announcement of the public order for hajj.[1]

  • Order and Place of Revelation

Sura al-Hajj is a Madani sura and it was the 104th sura revealed to the Prophet (s). In the current order of compilation, This sure is twenty second sura of the Qur'an located in juz' seventeen.[2]

Authors of the history of the Qur'an disagree on whether this sura is Makki or Madani. Some consider it, Makki except some of its verses and some others believe that except some verses, the rest of the sura was revealed in Medina due to the relation of its verses with the situation of Muslims in Medina,[3] the emphasis of some verses on the issue of jihad, giving the order about hajj as an obligation and explaining its details. Allama Tabataba'i too, believed that the context of the sura suggests that it was revealed in Medina at the beginning of the immigration of the Prophet (s), before the battle of Badr.[4]

  • Number of Verses and Other Features

"Sura al-Hajj" has seventy eight verses, 1282 words and 5315 letters. Regarding volume, it is among Mathani suras and is average in size and takes exactly half of one juz'.[5] Verses eighteen and seventy seven of "Sura al-Hajj" have recommended prostration and it is the sixth sura of fourteen suras having prostration.


They say that Sura al-Hajj explains the principles of religion in details in a way that both monotheists and polytheists benefit from them and also explains some secondary principles of religion in brief so that only believers benefit from them.[6]

In this sura, Unity of God, necessity of worshipping One God, warning about polytheism and its negative consequences, definiteness of happening the Day of Judgment and its overwhelming earthquake are emphasized and some secondary religious principles such as spiritual and jurisprudential dimensions of hajj, jihad with despots, prayer and its connection with God, zakat and other financial rights and enjoining the good and forbidding the evil are discussed.[7] Other topics discussed in this sura are some moral values such as trust in God, warning about sinning and disobedience of God and the connection between God-wariness, righteous deed, and divine assistance.[8]

In Sura al-Hajj, disputing about God without knowledge and following any disobedient devil are prohibited and by illustrating the true faces of the two groups one of which is in the way of God and the other is in the way of taghut and fight each other, it demonstrates the inability and incompetence of tyrant disbelievers in the form of a proverb.[9]

Content of Sura al-Hajj[10]
inviting to performing the order of God and fighting opposers of religion
Introduction: Verses 1-2
The importance of observing God-wariness
First discussion: Verses 3-24
Categorizing people regarding their obedience to God
Second discussion: Verses 25-37
The importance of the rites of hajj and confronting those who impede their performance
Third discussion: Verses 38-66
God's support for the Prophet (s) and believers against disbelievers
Fourth discussion: Verses 67-78
Duties of the Prophet (s) and believers against disbelievers
First group: verses 3-7
Ignorant people and rejecters of God's Power
First issue: verses 25-26
Confronting those who impede the performance of hajj
First issue: verses 38-41
God's support for believers by issuing the order of jihad
First duty: verses 67-71
Inviting people toward God regardless of the opposition of disbelievers
Second group: verses 8-10
Leaders of the falsehood
Second issue: verses 27-29
Determination to perform the rites of hajj accurately
Second issue: verses 42-51
God's support for the Prophet (s) against rejecters
Second duty: verse 72
Emphasis on the punishment of disbelievers because of their insults
Third group: verses 11-13
Faithless profiteers
Third issue: verses 30-32
Refraining from sins in hajj
Third issue: verses 52-54
God's support for the Prophet (s) against evil plots
Third duty: verses 73-76
Reminding the inability of disbelievers against the will of God
Fourth group: verses 14-16
People of faith and righteous deeds
Fourth issue: verses 33-37
Following the religious rulings of slaughtering in hajj
Fourth issue: verses 55-95
God's support for the Prophet's (s) companions in the hereafter
Fourth duty: verse 77
Servitude of God and performing good deeds
Warning: verses 14-16
God judges among different groups in the hereafter
Fifth issue: verses 55-95
God's assistance for oppressed believers
Fifth duty: verse 77
Jihad in the way of God's religion

Stories and Historical Accounts

Some stories and historical accounts of Sura al-Hajj are:

Occasion of Revelation of Some Verses

Verse 11

About verse eleven of Sura al-Hajj, two occasions of revelation are mentioned:

Some exegetes say that this verse was revealed about Bedouins who went to Medina from desert and accepted Islam and were confident upon their faith until they had an easy life, but when they received a harm or received their share from zakat late, Satan tempted them that this religion brought them nothing but harm and they returned to their past beliefs and this verse was revealed about them.[11]

Atiyya b. Abi Sa'id Khidri says that this verse was revealed about a Jew who newly became Muslim and became blind when he accepted Islam, lost his wealth and his son died; so, he considered Islam ill-omened. Therefore, he went to the Prophet (s) and asked to break his allegiance. The Prophet (s) told him, "Islam purges the rust from iron, silver, and gold like fire and puts humans to test." It was after this conversation that verse eleven of Sura al-Hajj was revealed.[12]

Verse 19

About the occasion of revelation of verse nineteen of Sura al-Hajj, it is mentioned that two groups were fighting about God and on one side there were Hamza, Abu Ubayda b. al-Harth and Ali b. Abi Talib (a) and on the other side, there were Ataba, Shayba and Walid b. Aqaba. Also, some people transmitted from Imam Ali (a) that verses twelve to nineteen of Sura al-Hajj were revealed about the battle of Badr.[13] It is transmitted from Ibn Abbas that this verse was revealed about the fight between Jews, Christians and Muslims about the closeness of themselves, their books and their prophets to God.[14]

Famous Verses

Some of the verses of Sura al-Hajj are famous.

Public Announcement for Hajj (verse 27)

The word "hajj" is defined as "intention" and the special rituals performed in al-Masjid al-Haram which were first ordered as religious rules by Prophet Abraham (a) and were followed in the religion of Muhammad (s) were called "hajj", because anyone who want to perform these rituals, should intend to visit the Ka'ba.[15] Most exegetes considered this verse addressing Abraham (a) to call people with loud voice to perform hajj rituals and inform them about the obligation of hajj.[16] Some others considered this verse about the Prophet of Islam (s); but, Allama Tabataba'i did not consider this view to be in agreement with the context of verses, because in his view, the phrase "And proclaim the Hajj to all the people…" is conjoined to the phrase "Do not ascribe any partners to Me" in the previous verse which is an address to Abraham (a).[17]

Venerating the Sacraments (verse 32)

Divine sacraments are considered to be symbols God has appointed for His obedience.[18] Exegetes consider sacraments including all divine rituals and general plans of religion which make human remember God and rituals of hajj and sacrificing in hajj is just one part of these rituals. Therefore, there is no reason for specially venerating the sacrifice, and rather it includes other divine sacraments as well.[19] The relation between venerating the sacraments with God-wariness of the heart is considered because the truth of God-wariness and avoiding sins is a spiritual issue originated from the heart;[20] as it is mentioned in a report from the Prophet (s) that he (s) pointed to his chest and said, "the truth of God-wariness is here."[21]

Defending Believers by God (verse 38)

This verse points to the support of God for believers who were suppressed by polytheists; because, resisting against superstitions of polytheists could provoke their anger; therefore, God introduces Himself as their support in order to bring confidence to their heart. Exegetes did not consider this divine promise specific to the time of the Prophet (s) and rather consider it a promise which is irrefutable in all times.[22]

Verses of Ruling

Verses which either contain religious rulings or used in the process of deduction of rulings are called "verses of rulings".[23] Jurists have benefited from some of the verses of Sura al-Hajj including verses thirty six and 27 – 29 in the deduction of rulings in jurisprudence which are mostly related with hajj rituals and its obligation for all people.

Verse Text Chapter Subject
30 You are permitted [animals of] grazing livestock except for what will be recited to you Eating and Drinking Religiously edible
36 We have appointed for you the [sacrificial] camels as part of Allah’s sacraments Hajj Rulings of Slaughter in Hajj
28 Over the livestock He has provided them. So eat thereof and.. Hajj Rulings of Slaughter in Hajj
27-29 And proclaim the Hajj to all the people: they will come to you on foot and on lean camels Hajj Obligation of Hajj
36 We have appointed for you the [sacrificial] camels as part of Allah’s sacraments... eat from them, and feed the self-contained needy and the mendicant Hajj Rulings of Slaughter in Hajj
60 And whoever retaliates with the like of what he has been made to suffer, and is aggressed against [again] thereafter, Allah will surely help him Retaliation Same Retaliation
77 O you who have faith! Bow down and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord Prayer Worship

Merits and Benefits

For the recitation of Sura al-Hajj, different merits and benefits are transmitted; including that, whoever recites Sura al-Hajj is as if he has performed hajj and Umra and will be rewarded to the number of those who perform hajj and Umra in the past and in the future.[24] Also, it is transmitted from Imam al-Sadiq (a), "whoever recites Sura al-Hajj once every three days, will find the opportunity to visit the House of God in that year and if he dies in the journey of hajj, he will enter the paradise."[25]


  1. Ṣafawī, "Sura-yi Hajj," p. 718; Khurramshāhī, "Sura-yi Hajj," p. 1243.
  2. Maʿrifat, Āmūzish-i ʿulūm Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 168.
  3. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 14, p. 4.
  4. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 14, p. 338.
  5. Khurramshāhī, "Sura-yi Hajj," p. 1243.
  6. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 14, p. 338.
  7. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 14, p. 4.
  8. Ṣafawī, "Sura-yi Hajj," p. 718.
  9. Khurramshāhī, "Sura-yi Hajj," vol. 2, p. 1243.
  10. Khamagar, Muhammad, Sakhtar-i suraha-yi Qur'an-i karim, Mu'assisa-yi Farhangi-yi Qur'an wa 'Itrat-i Nur al-Thaqalayn, Qom: Nashra, ed.1, 1392 Sh.
  11. Wāḥidī, Asbāb nuzūl al-Qurān, p. 316.
  12. Wāḥidī, Asbāb nuzūl al-Qurān, p. 316.
  13. Wāḥidī, Asbāb nuzūl al-Qurān, p. 317-318.
  14. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 7, p. 124.
  15. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 14, p. 369.
  16. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 7, p. 128.
  17. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 14, p. 369.
  18. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 14, p. 373.
  19. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 14, p. 97.
  20. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 14, p. 374.
  21. Qurtubī, Al-Jāmiʿ li-aḥkām al-Qurʾān, vol. 12, p. 56.
  22. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 14, p. 111.
  23. Mu'īnī, Āyāt al-aḥkām, p. 1.
  24. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 7, p. 109.
  25. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 7, p. 109.


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