Hajj is an imperative duty (fard) for all Muslims who have the resources. It is to be performed during the days of Hajj, preferably once in a lifetime. The word Hajj means, literally, repairing to a place for the sake of visit, and in the terminology of the Islamic Sharia, it implies repairing to Bait-Allah (the House of Allah, one of the names of al-Ka'aba) to observe the necessary devotions. Hajj is not a new institution introduced by Islam in its Sharia, This institution is as old as al-Ka'aba itself which is called in the Holy Koran first House of Divine Worship appointed for mankind (3:95). This verse corroborates the Hadith (Prophetic Saying) which tell us that al-Ka'ba was first built by Adam, the first man on earth.
History Of Hajj The whole ceremony of Hajj is commemorative of Prophet Ibrahim and his family's acts of devotion to Allah Almighty. This demonstrates that Muhammad, the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon did not innovate this institution but purged it of all evil practices and made it an obligatory act of piety by which one can develop God-consciousness; hence it is one of the five pillars of faith incumbent upon each believer to do if he is capable physically and financially. Pilgrimage is rightly said to be the perfection of faith since it combines in itself all the distinctive qualities of other obligatory acts of prayer, patience, privation of amenities of life, devotion, Zakat (alms) and application. In fact, physical pilgrimage is a prelude to spiritual pilgrimage to Allah when man would bid good-bye to everything of the world and present himself before Him as His humble servant saying: 'Here I am before Thee, my Lord, as a slave of Thine.'
There are three forms of Hajj: Tamattu', Ifraad and Qiran.
Tamattu': A pilgrim wears Ihram for Umrah only during the months of Hajj, which means when a pilgrim reaches Makkah, he/she makes Tawaf and Sa'yi for Umrah. Then shaves or clips the hair. On the day of Tarwiya, which is the eighth of Dhul-Hijja, a pilgrim puts on his Ihram for Hajj only and carries out all of its requirements.
Ifraad: A pilgrim wears Ihram for Hajj only. When he reaches Makkah, he performs Tawaf for his arrival and Sa'yi for Hajj. He doesn't shave or clip his hair as he doesn't dis-engage from Ihram. Instead, he remains in Ihram till after he stones Jamrah Al-Aqaba on the Eid day. It is permissible for him to postpone his Sa'yi for Hajj until after his Tawaf for Hajj.
Qiran: A pilgrim wears Ihram for both Umrah and Hajj or he wears Ihram first for Umrah, then makes intentions for Hajj before his Tawaf for Hajj. The obligations on one performing Ifraad are the same as those on one performing Qiran, except that the latter must slaughter whereas the former is not obligated to do so. The best of the three forms is Tamattu'. It is the form that the prophet-may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him encouraged his followers to perform.
Even if a pilgrim makes intentions to perform Qiran or Ifraad he is allowed to change his intentions to Tamattu'; he can do this even after he has performed Tawaf and Sa'yi.
When the Prophet said- may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- who performed Tawaf and Sa'yi during the year of the Farewell Hajj with his companions, he ordered all those who hadn't brought sacrificial animals to change their intentions for Hajj to intentions for Umrah, cut their hair, and disengage from Ihram till Hajj. He said, " If I hadn't brought the sacrificial animal, I'd have done what I've ordered you to do."