Distinguishing Hajj With the Pilgrimage in other Religions

What distinguishes Hajj from the pilgrimage of other religions?

What distinguishes hajj in Islam from the pilgrimage in Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity is that pilgrimage is mentioned in the scripture of Muslims, whereas you will not find pilgrimage specified in the scriptures of other religions. People have attached religious significance to certain places and designated pilgrimage to them, even though it is not found in their religious books. Allah says in the Qur’an:

ولِلَّهِ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ حِجُّ ٱلۡبَيۡتِ مَنِ ٱسۡتَطَاعَ إِلَيۡهِ سَبِيلاً۬‌ۚ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإنَّ اللهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ العالَمِيْنَ

“And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka'bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allâh, those who can afford the expenses (for one's conveyance, provision and residence); and whoever disbelieves [i.e. denies Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah), then he is a disbeliever of Allâh], then Allâh stands not in need of any of the 'Alamîn (mankind and jinn and all that exists).”[1]

Hajj is defined in the Quran as a general instruction and its method and detailed instructions are found in the Sunnah. It is established in the religion of Islam from the very beginning. We can say it is a command from God, whereas we cannot say the same for the pilgrimages in other religions because it is not mentioned in their scriptures.


[1] Quran, 3:97.

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