The Zil-Hajj moon was sighted on September 24, 2014 in Saudi Arabia and shall probably be seen on September 25 in Pakistan. As such Hajj would be performed on October 3, 2014 and Eid should fall on October 4 in Makkah. However, a Maulana of Peshawar has announced that Eid ul Azha will be observed on October 5, 2014 in Peshawar. I am confused why in Pakistan, or for that matter anywhere else in the world, except Makah the dates of Hajj or Eid ul Azha can be determined? To me Hajj cannot be performed anywhere in the world except in Makkah. Is it, therefore, something not very strange that we see it being performed, live on our TV screens, and yet we say, “Oh no, our Hajj will be tomorrow and the Eid day after?

We do it because we stick to the concept that Hajj is to be performed on the 10th of Zil-Hajj and in our case the 10th of Zil-Hajj falls a day or two later than it falls in the Saudi Arabia. I don’t know how we have limited Hajj to the 10th of Zil-Hajj only. The Qura’n doesn’t give any such date for Hajj, on the contrary it clearly says that Hajj can be performed at any time during the ‘Special Sacred Months’ [Quran 2:197] “Hajj shall be observed in the specified months that are the known months”. Please note it is months and not a month. Allah (swt) has not used the word “Shahrun” in the ayah, therefore, it is not one month. He has not said “Shahrain” either, so it is not two months also. He has used the word “Ashhurun”, which means “months”, it is, therefore, definitely three or more months.

Please also refer to (2:197; 9:2, 36), where it says, Hajj shall be observed during the specified Sacred Months. It is also clear from the Quran that the four ‘Sacred Months’ are continuous, and that the Sacred Months and the regular months are not to be alternated. Hence, where the 10th of Zil-Hajj has come from, needs to be probed into. Will someone more knowledgeable please clarify that in Pakistan, do we have to stick to the 10th of Zil-Hajj or to the actual day Hajj is performed at Makkah? Can we observe Hajj or Edi ul Azha on the days other than these are observed at Makah?

COL. RIAZ JAFRI (RETD),

Rawalpindi, September 25.