The Hajj ritual deconstructed using the Qur’an

Note: This article has been updated to include the revised translation from The Qur’an: A Complete Revelation. The video uses the old translation.

Today’s article is about the Hajj ritual performed by millions of Muslims in Makkah today. I will be going over this ritual to show you how the religion of Islam has created an entirely idolatrous ritual and attached it with the concept of the hajj in the Qur’an. The hajj in the Qur’an has nothing to do with visiting a stone idol in Mecca. The core meaning of Hajj is to dispute or debate and is used consistently to mean that in the Qur’an. Hence, the hajj was instituted by prophet Abraham to call people towards God to debate with them and this was what prophet Muhammad was doing in his mission; to call men towards monotheism at the masjid-al-haram (the inviolable place of worship). Note that this masjid-al-haram is not the one in Mecca. There is strong evidence to suggest it was in Petra and further archaeology is needed to confirm this idea. What is important is to realize that what is going on in Mecca is pure idol worship when the Qur’an specifically warns us to not worship idols.  What I am presenting may be shocking to those with a Muslim background. I have provided links for the material I have used in this video for you to research this matter thoroughly. Do not dismiss out of hand. We are told to not follow that which we have no knowledge of. The Qur’an also specifically states that we are not to follow our ancestors blindly.

This article is based on key ideas from the excellent work by Sam Gerrans titled The Qur’an: A Complete Revelation and from my book Will You Not Reason? A Concordance of God’s arguments in the Qur’an. All translations are from the Qur’an: A Complete revelation which can be downloaded for free using the link here.

Prophet Abraham commanded to proclaim the hajj

And when We settled for Abraham the position of the house: “Ascribe thou not a partnership with Me to anything; and purify thou My house for those who walk around, and those who stand, and the lowly, and the submitting.

“And proclaim thou among mankind the pilgrimage; they will come to thee on foot, and on every lean mount; they will come from every deep mountain pass,

“That they might witness benefits for them, and remember the name of God on days appointed over their provision of livestock cattle.” So eat thereof, and feed the unfortunate poor;

Then let them make an end of their unkemptness, and fulfil their vows, and walk around the ancient house.

The root of Hajj is Ha-Jiim-Jiim. Let us look elsewhere in the Qur’an where this root is used:

And when they will dispute (yatahajjuna) together in the Fire, the weak will say to those who had waxed proud: “We were your followers; will you avail us something against a portion of the Fire?”

And those who dispute (yuhajjuna) concerning God after that answer has been made to him: their argument has no weight with their Lord; and upon them is wrath, and they have a severe punishment.

So the Hajj was a call to people to come and visit a monotheistic community and not a ritual focused on prostrating and kissing a stone idol. The Kaaba is an idol which was worshipped by the Nabateans of old and has now become a focus of worship in the religion of Islam. Before we proceed let us see what the Qur’an has to say about idols. The Qur’an uses the root nun-saad-ba to mean any erected structure. It is usually translated as altar but can mean any raised structure or monument. The Kaaba is a raised structure towards which the Muslims prostrate during their ritual prayer. 

O you who heed warning: wine, and games of chance, and altars, (wa-alansaabu) and divining arrows are an abomination of the work of the satan; so avoid it, that you might be successful.

The day they will come forth from the graves in haste, as though towards an idol, (nusubin) running,
Their eyes humbled, humiliation covering them. That is the day which they are promised.

And at the mountains — how they were erected! (nusibat)

Worship of standing stones by the Nabataeans 

Nabataean betyl or standing stone

The Nabataeans were an Arab people who inhabited northern Arabia and the Southern Levant in antiquity. They  observed what is called “aniconism” (Gladigow 1988; Mettinger 1995: 18-20) in the veneration and representation of their deities. Aniconism means that rather than using figural images as objects of worship, symbolic forms such as standing stones are taken as the representation of the deity. 

Excerpt from the article “Betyls of Petra” By Robert Wenning 

The defining feature of the Hajj is the circling of the Kaaba counterclockwise seven times. We will encounter the number seven many time as we investigate the rituals performed during the Muslim Hajj. There is no mention of doing any ritual 7 times in the Qur’an. We do, however, see this specific ritual of circling something 7 times in Hinduism.

The ritual of “Saat Phere” in Hinduism

In Hinduism, The saat phere (Hindi: सात फेरे sāt phéré “seven circumambulations“) is one of the most important features of the Hindu Wedding, involving seven rounds around a sacred fire lit for the purpose amidst the Vedic mantras. The bride and groom circumambulate a consecrated fire seven times, reciting specific vows with each circuit (Sanskrit: parikrama). Vows made in the presence of the sacred fire (Sanskrit: agni) are considered unbreakable, with Agnideva

The ritual of “Parikrama” in pagan religions

Parikrama or Pradakshina refers to circumambulation of sacred places to imbibe their energy in Sikh, Hindu, Jain or Buddhist context, and the path along which this is performed. Parikrama means “the path surrounding something” in Sanskrit, and is also known as Pradakshina (“to the right”), representing circumambulation.[1] Both words are mostly used in the context of religious deities in a temple, sacred rivers, sacred hills and a close cluster of temples, and “doing a parikrama” as a symbol of prayer is an integral part of Hindu worship.[1][2][3] In Hinduism and other Indian religions, the Parikrama inside temples or sacred sites is traditionally clockwise.[4][5]

Comparison with Islam

Like Parikrama in Hinduism, Muslims perform circumambulation around Kaaba during their Hajj which they call tawaf.[16] The circumambulation during Hajj is done in a counterclockwise manner.[17] Hindu and Buddhist traditions, in contrast, circumambulate a shrine or sacred site clockwise.[4][5] The only exception is during paying last respects to a dead body during a cremation or event marking a funeral, where the traditional circumambulation in Indian religions is counter-clockwise.

Hajj in the Qur’an was at Bakka not Mecca

The first issue encountered when we look into the Qur’an for guidance on the hajj is that the place where this event took place was located in Bakka and not Mecca. Muslims claim that Bakka was the old name of Mecca but do not bring any proof for this assertion.

(The first house set up for mankind was that at Bakka, blessed and a guidance for all mankind:

The second issue is that the Qur’an does not contain an Islamic calendar from which we can work out the months in which this Hajj is to be performed. The religion of Islam claims that the Hajj is to take place in the the month of Dhul-Hijjah however the Qur’an simply states that the hajj was on “moons appointed” i.e. multiple months. The Qur’an assumes that the people at the time of revelation already knew when these months were. Strangely, Muslims claim that that these months somehow became only one month called Dhul-Hijjah.

The pilgrimage is in months appointed. And whoso undertakes the pilgrimage therein: no sexual approach, and no perfidy, or quarrelling during the pilgrimage. And whatever good you do, God knows it. And take provision. But the best provision is prudent fear. And be in prudent fear of Me, O you men of understanding.

The Hajj ritual details

The Wikipedia article on Hajj describes in detail the steps of this cultic ritual. I will be pointing out the twisting of Qur’anic general words by the religion of Islam in the performance of these rituals and will show how these words are actually used in the Qur’an. You will see the incredible twisting of the clear and general words in the Qur’an to lend support to this idolatrous practice. This exercise will help you in seeing how the religion of Islam twists the words of the Qur’an to lend credence to its rituals. This is something which was done by the Jews and the Qur’an has warned us already of the modus operandi of the deceivers who corrupt God’s words. 

Do you hope that they will believe you? And a faction among them had heard the word of God, then twisted it after they had understood it, when they knew.

Fiqh literature describes in detail the manners of carrying out the rites of Hajj, and pilgrims generally follow handbooks and expert guides to successfully fulfill the requirements of Hajj.[48] In performing the rites of Hajj, the pilgrims not only follow the model of Muhammad, but also commemorate the events associated with Abraham.[49]

Donning of Ihram

When the pilgrims reach the appropriate Miqat (7:142, 56:50) (depending on where they have come from), they are believed to enter into a state of holiness – known as Ihram – that consists of wearing two white seamless cloths for the male, with the one wrapped around the waist reaching below the knee and the other draped over the left shoulder and tied at the right side;

The Hajj starts with the donning of Ihram; a special wardrobe. This specific piece of clothing and the requirement to wear it is not in the Qur’an anywhere. The Qur’an uses the term miqat to mean a time appointed, not a special place where one has to wear a special wardrobe in preparation of the Hajj.

And We appointed for Moses thirty nights, and completed them with ten; so he completed the time appointed (miqatu) by his Lord of forty nights. And Moses said to his brother Aaron: “Be thou my successor among my people; and make thou right; and follow thou not the path of the workers of corruption.”

Say thou: “The former peoples and the latter
“Will be gathered together at the appointed time (miqati) of a known day.”

So miqat simply means a time appointed which has been twisted to mean a place where the pilgrim is to put on special clothing in preparation for the Hajj. It is worth nothing that the Ihram dress itself matches the style of the Kasaya; a special clothing worn by Buddhist monks.

Muslim wearing Ihram (left), Buddhist monk wearing Kasaya (right)

Continuing on with the article on Hajj on Wikipedia: 

First day of Hajj: 8th Dhu al-Hijjah

On the 8th Dhu al-Hijjah, the pilgrims are reminded of their duties. They again don the ihram garments and confirm their intention to make the pilgrimage. The prohibitions of ihram start now.

The ritual of Tawaf (52:24, 56:17, 76:19) involves walking seven times counterclockwise around the Kaaba.[55] Upon arriving at Al-Masjid Al-Ḥarām (Arabic: المَسجِد الحَرَام‎, The Sacred Mosque), pilgrims perform an arrival tawaf either as part of Umrah or as a welcome tawaf.[56] During tawaf, pilgrims also include Hateem – an area at the north side of the Kaaba – inside their path. Each circuit starts with the kissing or touching of the Black Stone (Hajar al- Aswad).[57] If kissing the stone is not possible because of the crowds, they may simply point towards the stone with their hand on each circuit. Eating is not permitted but the drinking of water is allowed, because of the risk of dehydration.

The word tawaf does not mean circling anything 7 times. It is based on the root tay-waw-fa which means to walk around, mingle. Here is the word being used in the Qur’an:

And there will circulate (wa-yatufu) among them youths of their own, like hidden pearls.

Circulating (yatufu) among them are youths made eternal

O you who heed warning: let ask leave of you those whom your right hands possess and those who have not reached puberty among you at three times: before the duty of the dawn, and when you lay aside your garments at noon, and after the duty of the night: three times of nakedness for you; you and they do no wrong beyond them, some of you moving about (tawaffuna) among others of you. Thus God makes plain to you the proofs; and God is knowing and wise.

We can see clearly that tawaf means to mingle unless you are ready to believe that the verse above means that people circle around each other 7 times as they go about their daily business.

Now we come to the verse that is used to support this cultic circling of a stone idol 7 times.

Then let them make an end of their unkemptness, and fulfil their vows, and walk around (wa-alyatawaffu) the ancient house.

It is plain that it means that once the pilgrimage is over people can move around and sight-see the ancient house.

Quoting again from the article on Hajj again:

The completion of Tawaf is followed by two Rakaat prayers at the Place of Abraham (Muqam Ibrahim)(2:125, 3:97), a site near the Kaaba inside the mosque.[57][58]

Let us look at the article on Muqam Ibrahim on Wikipedia

The Maqām Ibrāhīm (Arabic: مَـقَـام إِبْـرَاهِـيْـم‎, lit. ‘Station of Abraham’)[1][2] is a stone associated with Abraham, Ishmael and their rebuilding of the Ka‘bah in what is now the Great Mosque of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. According to Islamic tradition, the imprint on the stone came from Abraham’s feet.[3][4] According to one tradition it appeared when Abraham stood on the stone while building the Kaaba; when the walls became too high, Abraham stood on the maqām, which miraculously rose up to let him continue building and also miraculously went down in order to allow Ishmael to hand him stones. Other traditions held that the footprint appeared when the wife of Ishmael washed Abraham’s head, or alternatively when Abraham stood atop it in order to summon the people to perform the pilgrimage to Makkah .

This term Muqam Ibrahim – which we are to believe is a set of footprints left by Abraham – is mentioned in the Qur’an but it means something else entirely. Again, we see the twisting of a general term to mean something of a special cultic significance. The maqam Ibrahim in the Qur’an is not a set of footprints but the the stance of Abraham as a strict monotheist. We are to take him as a model for our duty to live by the commandments of God, submit to God alone and call others towards God.

And when We made the house a meeting place for mankind, and a place of security — and make from the station of Abraham (maqaam-i-Ibrahim) a place of duty — and We made a covenant with Abraham and Ishmael: “Purify My house for those who walk around, and those who remain, and the lowly and the submitting.”

(The first house set up for mankind was that at Bakka, blessed and a guidance for all mankind:

In it are clear proofs of the station of Abraham; (maqaamu-Ibrahim) and whoso enters it is safe. And God’s claim upon mankind is a pilgrimage to the house, for whoso is able to find a path to it; and whoso denies: God is free from need of all mankind.)

Now, if we are to believe that these claimed footprints of Abraham are the Muqam Ibrahim and we are to perform a ritual prayer near them then these footprints need to be inside the stone structure i.e. in the Kaaba and not outside it as it says “In it (i.e. the house which is claimed to be the Kaaba) are clear proofs of the station of Abraham (which the religion of Islam claims to be Abrahams footprints)”. Yet, we find that the Muqam Ibrahim is outside the Kaaba. Hence, logically this claim of footprints being the Muqam Ibrahim mentioned in the Qur’an — even if we were to assume that these were footprints and not a monotheistic stand — does not stand up to reason and contradicts the Qur’an. 

The presence of footprints near a pagan shrine or site is not unique to the Kaaba. Similar footprints are found near Buddhist shrines.

Alleged footprints of Abraham (left), Alleged footrprints of Buddha (right)

The following is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article on Buddha footprint.

The footprint of the Buddha is an imprint of Gautama Buddha‘s foot or both feet. There are two forms: natural, as found in stone or rock, and those made artificially.[1]:301 Many of the “natural” ones are acknowledged not to be genuine footprints of the Buddha, but rather replicas or representations of them, which can be considered cetiya (Buddhist relics) and also an early aniconic and symbolic representation of the Buddha.

The footprints of Buddha are on the path from aniconic to iconic which starts at symbols like the wheel and moves to statues of Buddha. His footprints are meant to remind us that Buddha was present on earth and left a spiritual path to be followed. They are special as they are the only artifacts that give Buddha a physical presence on earth as they are actual depressions in the earth. A depression atop Sri padaya in Sri Lanka is among the largest and most famous footprints.

Continuing on with the article of Hajj on Wikipedia:

Tawaf is followed by sa’ay (2:205, 34:5, 53:39), running or walking seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah, located near the Kaaba.[55][58]

Again, we see the twisting of a general word sa’ay giving it a special meaning of running and walking between two hills. The root siin-ayn-ya means effort, endeavor. Here how it is used in the Qur’an:

And when he turns away, he strives (sa’a) in the land working corruption therein and destroying tilth and progeny; and God loves not corruption.

And those who strive (sa’aw) against Our proofs, to frustrate: those have the punishment of a painful scourge.

And that man has not save that for which he strove, (sa’a)

Al-Safa and Al-Marwah are supposedly the names of two hills where this running takes place. It is true that these terms are are mentioned as two tokens or signs of God in the Qur’an:

Al-Ṣafā and Al-Marwa are among the tokens of God. So whoso made pilgrimage to the house or visited, he did no wrong to walk around (ya-tawaffa) between them; and whoso does good voluntarily, God is grateful and knowing.

I do not know what Al-Ṣafā and Al-Marwa was but since we have already established that the site for Hajj is in Bakka and not Mecca we can be sure that Al-Ṣafā and Al-Marwa are not these two objects to which the Qur’an is referring. There is no guarantee that the Qur’an even means hills for these two objects, they may be some other makers; God knows best.

Continuing on with the article of Hajj on Wikipedia:


After the morning prayer on the 8th of Dhu al-Hijjah, the pilgrims proceed to Mina where they spend the whole day and offer noon (Note: On Friday, Friday Prayer is Offered, instead of Dhuhr Prayer, at Mina), afternoon, evening, and night prayers.[61] The next morning after morning prayer, they leave Mina to go to Arafat.

Second day: 9th Dhu al-Hijjah

The 9th Dhul-Hijjah is known as Day of Arafah, and this day is called the Day of Hajj.[45]


Main article: Day of Arafah

On 9th Dhu al-Hijjah before noon, pilgrims arrive at Arafat, a barren and plain land some 20 kilometers east of Mecca,[62] where they stand in contemplative vigil: they offer supplications, repent on and atone for their past sins, and seek mercy of God, and listen to sermon from the Islamic scholars who deliver it from near Jabal al-Rahmah (The Mount of Mercy)[61] from where Muhammad is said to have delivered his last sermon.


Pilgrims must leave Arafat for Muzdalifah after sunset without praying maghrib (sunset) prayer at Arafat.[63] Muzdalifah is an area between Arafat and Mina. Upon reaching there, pilgrims perform Maghrib and Isha prayer jointly, spend the night praying and sleeping on the ground with open sky, and gather pebbles for the next day’s ritual of the stoning of the Devil (Shaitan).[64]

Third day: 10th Dhu al-Hijjah

After returning from Muzdalifah, the Pilgrims spend the night at Mina.

Ramy al-Jamarat

Back at Mina, the pilgrims perform symbolic stoning of the devil (Ramy al-Jamarat) by throwing seven stones from sunrise to sunset at only the largest of the three pillars, known as Jamrat al-Aqabah.[15][65] The remaining two pillars (jamarah) are not stoned on this day.[66] These pillars are said to represent Satan.[67] Pilgrims climb ramps to the multi-levelled Jamaraat Bridge, from which they can throw their pebbles at the jamarat. Because of safety reasons, in 2004 the pillars were replaced by long walls, with catch basins below to collect the pebbles.[68][69]

Animal sacrifice

After the casting of stones, animals are slaughtered to commemorate the story of Ibrahim and Ismael. Traditionally the pilgrims slaughtered the animal themselves, or oversaw the slaughtering. Today many pilgrims buy a sacrifice voucher in Mecca before the greater Hajj begins, which allows an animal to be slaughtered in the name of God (Allah) on the 10th, without the pilgrim being physically present. Modern abattoirs complete the processing of the meat, which is then sent as charity to poor people around the world.[15][60] At the same time as the sacrifices occur at Mecca, Muslims worldwide perform similar sacrifices, in a three-day global festival called Eid al-Adha.[16]

Hair removal

After sacrificing an animal, another important rite of Hajj is shaving head or trimming hair (known as Halak). All male pilgrims shave their head or trim their hair on the day of Eid al Adha and women pilgrims cut the tips of their hair.[70][71][72]

Tawaf Ziyarat

On the same or the following day, the pilgrims re-visit the Sacred Mosque in Mecca for another tawaf, known as Tawaf al-Ifadah, an essential part of Hajj.[71] It symbolizes being in a hurry to respond to God and show love for Him, an obligatory part of the Hajj. The night of the 10th is spent back at Mina.

Fourth day: 11th Dhu al-Hijjah

Starting from noon to sunset on the 11 Dhu al-Hijjah (and again the following day), the pilgrims again throw seven pebbles at each of the three pillars in Mina. This is commonly known as the “Stoning of the Devil”.[65]

Fifth day: 12th Dhu al-Hijjah

On 12 Dhu al-Hijjah, the same process of stoning of the pillars as of 11 Dhu al-Hijjah takes place.[65] Pilgrims may leave Mina for Mecca before sunset on the 12th.

Last day at Mina: 13th Dhu al-Hijjah

If unable to leave on the 12th before sunset or opt to stay at free will, they must perform the stoning ritual again on the 13th before returning to Mecca.[65]

Tawaf al-Wadaa

Finally, before leaving Mecca, pilgrims perform a farewell tawaf called the Tawaf al-Wadaa. ‘Wadaa’ means ‘to bid farewell’. The pilgrims circle the Kaaba seven times counter-clockwise, and if they can, attempt to touch or kiss the Kaaba.[15]

There is no mention of stoning a devil’s representation anywhere in the Qur’an. Stoning is specifically mentioned as a threat by idolaters to their respective prophets and messengers. 

They said: “If thou cease not, O Noah, thou wilt be of those stoned.”

They said: “O Shuʿayb: we understand not much of what thou sayest; and we consider thee among us as weak. And were it not for thy family, we would have stoned thee; and thou art not to us one respected.”

As it is clear from this article, the Hajj ritual as practiced today is straight forward idol worship. As I said earlier, I ask you to do your own research on the matter. We are all responsible for what we do in this life and on the Day of Judgment we will be questioned by our Creator. 

And follow thou not that whereof thou hast no knowledge; the hearing and the sight and the heart, each of those will be questioned.

Peace and blessings be upon you,

Said Mirza