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1) Pilgrimage is an obligation for Muslims, according to the precepts of the Holy Quran and the Sunna (Practice of the Prophet and Companions.

a) In the Quran God says:

"Pilgrimage thereto is a duty that men owe to God, those who are able to make the journey".

This means that Pilgrimage is a duty imposed on all Muslims and which they cannot avoid so long as they are able to find the means to do so.

b) As for the Sunna, Ibn 'Abbas reported that the Prophet said in one of his speeches:

"O people, pilgrimage is ordained for you so fulfill it." Then al-Aqra' Ibn Habis asked: "Is it to be yearly, 0 Messenger of God?"

To this the Prophet replied:

"If I say so, it will be taken for an obligation which lies beyond your power... Pilgrimage is to be performed once, and whoever performs it more than once does so voluntarily".

2) According to the above-mentioned hadith(saying of the Prophet), pilgrimage is a duty one owes to God once in the course of one's life; to do so more than once is voluntary. All the scholars (Ulama) have agreed upon this.

3) As for the Lesser Pilgrimage, some scholars state that it is desirable, but not compulsory, quoting Abu Hurayra, who reported that the Prophet said:

"Pilgrimage is a duty, but the Lesser Pilgrimage is optional." Once a Bedouin came to the Prophet and said: "0 Messenger of God tell me about the Umra, is it a duty ?"

The Prophet answered: "No, but it is better for you that you perform it".

4) The Messenger of God recommended the quick fulfillment of the pilgrimage:

"He who intends to set out on a pilgrimage must hasten; he may fall sick, lose his means of conveyance, or be faced with poverty".

 
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