HAJJ Pilgrimage –Rituals of Hajj | Details | Guide | Info






Allah Light bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem
This article presents a summarized version of the steps involved in Hajj. More details are available at the end of the article.

Hajj – One of the Islamic Pillars

Hajj pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam – i.e. one of the five obligatory duties of a Muslim. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran:
  • Indeed, the first House [of worship] established for mankind was that at Makkah – blessed and a guidance for the worlds.
  • In it are clear signs [such as] the standing place of Abraham. And whoever enters it shall be safe. And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves – then indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds.
Quran (Surah Aal-e-Imran, 3:96-97)
The rites of Hajj were laid down by Allah (SWT) to mark historic events in the life of Prophet Ibrahim, which show his absolute and total submission to the Will of Allah.

The Building of Kaabah

With the help of his son Ismaeel (Ishmael), Ibrahim (alaihis salam) built the House of Allah on the ground where the Kaaba stands to this day.
The Archangel Jibraeel brought from Paradise a stone, known as the Black Stone (Al-Hajar Al-Aswad), which was set into one corner of the Kaaba.
In the Holy Qur’an, the Kaaba is described as follows:

“The first House (of worship) Appointed for men was that at Bakka (Makkah) Full of blessing And of guidance. For all kinds of beings.” (Aal-e-Imran, 3: 96)
There are three Ways of Performing Hajj:
  • Hajj al-Tamattu’
  • Hajj al-Ifrad
  • Hajj al-Qiran
The stages of Hajj al-Tamattu’ and the rituals that must be performed are described in the following:

Ihram – The Hajj Garment


Ihram is distinctive garb of the male pilgrim worn during Hajj or Umrah. It consists of two pieces of white un-sewn and plain cloth. One of the pieces is wrapped around the midriff to cover his body from just above his navel to his ankles, and the other is draped around his shoulders to cover the upper body. The pilgrim should wear a pair of stitched or unstitched sandals or shoes which do not cover the ankles. The head should not be covered, and no other clothing should be used. For ladies, their ordinary and unpretentious clothes of everyday wear which fulfill the Islamic conditions of public dress, regardless of the color, constitute their Ihram. Their hands and face should be uncovered in Ihram but heads should be covered.

Things to be avoided in the state of Ihram


A Muhrim (someone who is in state of Ihram) must avoid the following acts: Cutting hair, shaving any parts of the body, clipping nails, putting perfumes or colognes, killing or hunting animals, sexual intercourse, making marriage proposals, or marriage contracts. He should be focused solely on the Hajj.

Entering the Masjid Al-Haram


The pilgrim should enter the Holy Sanctuary (al Masjid al Haram), preferably right foot first through the Bab as-Salam gate, reciting the Talbiyah:

Image result for labaik allahuma labaik


The above means:
‘Here I am O Allah, (in response to Your call), here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise, grace and sovereignty belong to You. You have no partner.’
He should then say: “In the name of Allah, may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah. O Allah, forgive me my sins and open to me the doors of Your mercy. I seek refuge in Allah the Almighty and in His Eminent Face and in His Eternal Dominion over the accursed Satan.”
After this, the pilgrim moves forward to prepare for the circumambulation of the Kaaba (Tawaf).
To prepare for the Tawaf, he must ensure ablutions have been performed. He should pass the upper garment of the Ihram (the rida’) under the right arm and over the left shoulder, thus leaving the right shoulder bare. This procedure is called iddtibaa’.
When he reaches the Black Stone (al-Hajar al-Aswad), he has arrived at the starting point for the circumambulation (Tawaf), and he may cease reciting the Talbiyah.

Niyyah (Intention) of Hajj

The pilgrim next stands facing the Kaaba, with the Black Stone to his right and performs the Niyyah (i.e. express his intention to start the performance of Umrah).

Performing the Welcome Tawaf and Sa’ee

makkah tawaf

Tawaf is the devotional act of circumbulating (i.e. walking around) the Ka’bah while reciting prayers and supplications. One complete circuit around the Ka’bah constitutes a shawt ( pleural: ashwat), and seven ashwat complete one Tawaf.. During Tawaf (circumbulating), the pilgrim cannot enter inside the Kaaba nor stop anywhere around it.

Doing Sa’i between Safa and Marwah

After expressing Niyyah for Sa’I the pilgrim performs the act of running between the hills of Safa and Marwah during the Umrah.
Safa – a small knoll (i.e., hillock) approximately 200 yards from the Ka’bah inside the Masjid Al-Haram.
Marwa – a small knoll located approximately one hundred and fifty yards from the Ka’bah.

Ihram for Hajj al-Tamattu’

If one performs Hajj al-Tamattu’, he completes the Umrah and ends the Ihram. The pilgrim then re-enters the state of Ihram for Hajj from his location in Makkah.

8th of Dhu’l-Hijjah

On 8th of Dhu’l-Hijjah the pilgrim bathes himself (ghusl); puts on the white clothing of Ihram; and after donning Ihram and verbally declaring the intention to perform Hajj, recites the Talbiyah. The same prohibitions of Ihram are applicable once again.
Going to Mina from Makkah
mina hajj saudi Makkah

Mina is a desert location approximately three miles from Makkah where several Hajj rites are performed. The Pilgrim goes to Mina on 8th of Dhu’l-Hijjah. He stays in Mina for one day from after dawn prayer (Fajr) on 8th of Dhu’l-Hijjah till after dawn prayer (Fajr) on 9th Dhu’l-Hijjah. He performs five prayers, starting with the noon (Zuhr) prayer and ending with dawn (Fajr) prayer on the day of Arafat. The pilgrim also collects some of the seventy small pebbles that are needed later for the “stoning” ceremony (ramy).

9th of Dhu’l-Hijjah (Going to Arafat from Mina)


hajj arafat


This is the Day of Arafat. The pilgrim stays in Arafat from after dawn until after sunset on 9th Dhu’l-Hijjah.
After performing the dawn (Fajr) prayer at Mina, the pilgrim leaves for Arafat on the morning of the 9th of Dhu’l-Hijjah. In Arafat, as much time as possible is devoted to prayers, repentance for sins, and in seeking the forgiveness of Allah.
From noon onwards, Wuquf should be performed at Arafat. This is the most holy of times when the pilgrim stands alone with Allah. Facing the Qibla in the Holy City of Makkah, hands should be raised and prayers offered to Allah with all one’s heart, even in one’s own language, for the forgiveness of sins.
When the sun has set, the pilgrim should leave Arafat for Muzdalifah.

Going to Muzdalifah from Arafat


(9th – 10th of Dhu’l-Hijjah: The pilgrim stays in Muzdalifah from after sunset on 9th of Dhu’l-Hijjah until after the dawn prayer (Fajr) on 10th of Dhu’l-Hijjah.
The stay in Muzdalifah is under the open sky. The evening prayer (Maghrib) is offered followed by an overnight stay.
While at Muzdalifah, the pebbles needed for the “stoning” ceremony (ramy) should be gathered. Some pebbles may have been collected in Mina but one should ensure having enough by picking up as many as required from the foot of the hills at Muzdalifah. 70 pebbles in total are needed.
At dawn, after offering Fajr (the dawn prayer), before the sun has risen, the pilgrim sets off for Mina.

10th of Dhu’l-Hijjah (Proceeding to Mina from Muzdalifah)


The next stage is proceeding to Mina for the stoning (ramy) of Jamarat ul Kubra; the stoning is performed according to pre-determined schedules. The stoning is followed by the sacrifice and the shaving/cutting of hair (Halq/Taqseer).
After the stoning of the devil, a Sacrifice of an animal such as a lamb is required.
The pilgrim then leaves the state of Ihram, by shaving his head (or, if a woman, by clipping her hair). The prohibitions imposed by Ihram are now removed, except for sexual relations. (Husband and wife may not enjoy conjugal relations until after Tawaf al-Ifadha – the Circumambulation of the Kaaba, central to the Hajj rites.)
The next stage is proceeding to the al Masjid al Haram in Makkah to perform Tawaf al-Ifadha.


10th of Dhu’l-Hijjah (Tawaf al-Ifadha in the Holy City of Makkah)

The pilgrim returns to the Holy City of Makkah to perform Tawaf al-Ifadha on 10th of Dhu’l-Hijjah.
Tawaf al-Ifadha is an essential element of Hajj.
The pilgrim circumambulates the Kaaba seven times and then offers prayers (rakaat) behind Maqam Ibrahim; performs Sa’y between Safa and Marwah and drinks water from the Well of Zamzam. The Hajj Tawaf (Tawaf al-Ifadha) having been completed, the state of Ihram is completely ended and all restrictions are lifted including those relating to sexual relations with one’s spouse.

11th – 13th of Dhu’l-Hijjah (Returning to Mina from Makkah)

The pilgrim stays in Mina for up to three days for the stoning of the three pillars representing Satan (ramy of the three Jamarat).
The three pillars will be stoned in a set order, performing ramy al-uula, ramy al-wusta and ramy al- kubra. The pilgrim then may return to al Masjid al Haram to perform the Farewell Tawaf after ramy on 12th of Dhu’l-Hijjah, or he may stay till 13th of Dhu’l-Hijjah, performing ramy for the third time, before returning to al Masjid al Haram for the Farewell Tawaf.
The act of stoning the devil (shaytan) commemorates the three attempts the devil made to tempt the Prophet Ibrahim (alaihis salaam). The Prophet rejected all three of the devil’s attempts, stoning him and driving him away. The three stone pillars mark the places where the failed temptations took place and the act of stoning commemorates the Prophet Ibrahim’s constant obedience to Allah and the vanquishing of the devil.

Farewell Tawaf in the Holy City of Makkah

This, the Farewell Tawaf (Circumambulation), marks the end of one’s Hajj. Sa’y does not form part of the Farewell Tawaf.

Departing for home

The Hajj is now completed and the pilgrim can leave the Holy City of Makkah promptly for his next destination.
(Hajj al-Tamattu’ has an extra stage after performing the Welcome Tawaf and Sa’y i.e. the third step Ihram for Hajj al-Tamattu’ which is not included in Hajj al-Ifrad and Hajj al-Qiran.)
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Extra info:

Hajj is one of the 5 basic articles of Islam, which Fardh (obligatory) on those who have the means of reaching there.  Hadhrat Imam Ghazali (May Allah shower His mercy on him) says: vIn this worship, such things have been ordered, which are beyond the comprehension of the intellect.  For e.g., throwing stones, running between Safa and Marw, etc.  Those things, which the mind can understand, they seem familiar to one's nature and one feels comfortable in performing them.  However, the perfection of our slavery to our Lord is that we heartily bow our heads to with all sincerity to His orders without thinking about the hows and whys of it and the perfection of the slave is in the obedience of the master and not in worrying about the wisdom of the command.

Whoever steps on this path should remove the very thought of bodily comfort from his (or her) heart.  He (or she) should take the thorns on the path to be flowerbeds, the dunes of sand to be silken bedspreads and the sweltering sun to be the cool early morning breeze.  His eyes should be full of tears in the separation from the beloved.  His heart should be restless for the city of the Beloved.  He should passionately stride forward and his gaze should not be raised for anybody apart from the Beloved.  Even the though of disobeying Him should not cross the heart.  Let alone, fighting with somebody, he should love even the dog of the Beloved, because the Beloved is aware of every stray thought that crosses the heart and His gaze is on every movement of his hands and legs.

The journey of Hajj should be spent happily and one should embrace piety in this journey.  One should perform Dhikr of Allah Ta'ala profusely and refrain from misbehavior and anger.  One should bear the misbehavior and the anger of others and embrace leniency and magnanimity.

Translation of Hadith: The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: Allah Ta'ala forgives all the sins of that person who dies either going to or coming from Makkah.  He will not have to account for his (or her) deeds and neither will his (or her) deeds be weighed.  He (or she) will keep getting the reward of Hajj until the Qiyamah.  This person will enter Jannah without any questioning and without any kind of punishment.

Translation of Hadith:  If a person stays in the plain of Arafaaton the day of Arafah, even for a short period of time, and thinks that Allah Ta'ala has not forgiven that person, then this is that person's greatest sin.

Translation of Hadith: The Sahabah (the companions) asked the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), what are the good deeds of the journey of Hajj?  The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: Feeding others and talking gently.

Translation of Hadith: Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of Allah Ta'ala and did not talk to women about desires of the flesh and did not quarrel and/or abuse the fellow passengers, then while returning, that person will be so pure as if his mother has given birth to him on that very day.

Translation of Hadith: Offering 1 Raka'at in the Haram is like offering 100,000 Raka'at anywhere outside it and offering 1 Raka'at in my Masjid (Masjid Nabawi) is like offering 50,000 Raka'at anywhere outside it and offering 1 Raka'at in Bait Ul Muqaddis is like offering 25,000 Raka'at anywhere outside it. Every good deed will be rewarded in this proportion only.
The conditions of Hajj


The person who is performing Hajj should be free (i.e. not a slave to somebody), sane, adult, healthy and should be able to bear the necessary expenses and should be able to provide for the family until he returns. The way should be peaceful. For a woman, the company of either the husband or some other adult and pious Mahram relative is necessary. Hajj is not correct without the husband or other pious Mahram relative.

Translation of Hadith: The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: It is not permissible for a Momina (Muslim woman) to travel more than 3 leagues without her brother, husband or some other Mahram relative.

The etiquette of Hajj


Hadhrat Imam Ghazali (May Allah shower His mercy on him) says: There are 7 points of etiquette to be observed in Hajj:

1.  The first is that, before the Hajj, the expenses of the journey should be arranged from Halal earnings and a pious friend should be searched for, as Halal earnings create Noor in the heart and a pious friend will stop you from sinning and remind you of good deeds.
2.  The second is that in this journey, there should be no thought of trade or business, because when we lean towards business, etc., our intention of Hajj will not remain sincere. Although, the Holy Quran has not forbidden business, but there is a world of a difference between the Sahabah and us. They would perform business also to aid the religion and we will end up performing Hajj with business considerations.

3. During the journey, widen your board and share it everyone, your fellow passengers, with whom you take vehicles on hire, feed all of them and make them happy. Don’t talk harshly with anyone, instead behave with be gentle and loving with everyone.

4. Stop indecent talk, quarrels, useless talk and talk about the matters of this world. After taking care of what is needed, busy your tongue in recitation of the Holy Quran and Dhikr of Allah Ta'ala.

5. As far as possible, try to avoid any grand means of conveyance. Instead sit on the supply camel (or other such vehicle), so that when you present yourselves at the door of Allah Ta'ala, you are disheveled, covered with dust and look like the poor and needy people. In this journey, don’t think about adorning yourself or any comfort.

6. Sometimes, get down from the mount and walk a bit. The owner of the mount (vehicle) will also feel happy with it, the mount will also be relieved and with this, you will also remain active.

7. Be goodhearted about whatever expenses or financial/monetary losses occur in this journey. Consider this a sign of the acceptance of your Hajj and hope for reward from your Lord.

What is Fardh and Wajib in Hajj


There are 3 things Fardh (obligatory) in Hajj:

1.  Ihraam.

2.  Stay in Arafaat (Wuquf-e-Arafaat)

3.  Tawaf-e-Ziyarah.


The Wajib articles of Hajj are 6:

1.  Spending the night which comes after the 9th of Dhul Hijjah in Muzdalifa.

2 .  Doing Rami i.e. throwing stones at Jamraat

3.  Performing Sa'ee between Safa and Marwah.

4.  Shaving the head or i.e. cutting the hair (Halq or Qasr)

5.  Performing the Tawaf Sadr i.e. performing Tawaf Wada'a at the time of leaving, which is also called as Tawaf Wada'a (Farewell Tawaf).

Visiting the holy shrine of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) is almost Wajib .

Translation of Hadith:  The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Whoever visits my grave, my shafa'at (intercession) becomes Wajib for that person .
Also said :

Translation of Hadith:  Whoever performs Hajj and ever visits my grave, it is as if, that person has had the honor of meeting me in my (earthly) lifetime .

It is a Sunnah to travel on Thursday and it is Mustahab (commendable) to travel on Monday .

Translation of Hadith:  The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:  Even after having the money for food and traveling, if any person does not perform Hajj, there is no difference between him and the Jews and the Christians .

And also said :

Translation of Hadith
:  Whoever dies without performing Hajj, even when there was no external reason or a threat from a cruel ruler or any kind of severe illness which did not allow that person to perform Hajj, then we don’t care whether that person dies as a Jew or a Christian .

It is forbidden to perform Hajj with Haraam income like from bribery, from robbery, from extortion or from usury.  Whoever has the desire of performing Hajj, it is compulsory for him to make his money in Halaal way .

It is Makruh (undesirable) to perform Hajj without taking permission from whom it is compulsory to take permission, like poor parents, wife, small children or any other relatives who rely upon this person for their necessary expenses .
It is mentioned in the Hadith :

Translation of Hadith:  If any person performs one Hajj, that person has fulfilled what was obligatory on him (or her).  If anybody performs a second Hajj, that person gives a loan to his Lord.  If any other performs a third Hajj, Almighty Allah will make forbid the fire of Hell for even each and every hair of his body .

Hadhrat Abu Jaa’far (May Allah shower His mercy on him) says :

Translation: Piety, which will stop a person from sinning, magnanimity, which will save that person from anger and being nice to one's friends, these are the signs of the Hajj being accepted .

After the Hajj, you interest in this material world should lessen and you should be more concerned about the hereafter .

The reward of an accepted Hajj (Hajj-E-Maqbool) is nothing but Jannah .

Hadhrat Imam Ghazali (May Allah shower His mercy on him) said:  The journey of Hajj is similar to the journey of the hereafter.  What is intended here is that by performing the articles, etc. of Hajj, and in the journey of the Hajj, the Hajjis are reminded of death and what happens after death .

For e.g., while leaving for the journey, while taking leave of the relatives, etc. the Hajji should think about the throes of death .

At the time of leaving the country, the Hajji should reflect upon leaving this world .
At the time of boarding any means of conveyance, the Hajji should think about his (or her) Janazah (i.e. when the dead body is being shouldered to the graveyard ).

At the time of wearing the white Ihraam, the Hajji should think about he (or she) being bound in the funeral shroud .

In the journey, while crossing the jungles and valleys, the Hajji should think about the difficult-to-cross valley, which one has to cross after death up to the Qiyamah, i.e. the Barzakh (the netherworld) i.e. the grave .

When facing difficulties in the journey, the Hajjis should think about the questions of Munkir and Nakeer and their helplessness .

At the time of the stay in the plane of Arafaat, all alone without the company of the relatives, friends, etc., the Hajji should think about the loneliness and terror of grave .

On facing difficulties due to insects, etc., the Hajji should think about the snakes and scorpions of the grave .

When saying "Allahumma Labbaik," one should think about the time when we are reawakened from death and come out of the grave, when you will come to the Mahshar when Allah Ta'ala gives the call .

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