Hajj Rituals – How to Perform Hajj: The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca) that must be carried out by Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey and can support their family during their absence at least once in their lifetime.
As many of you will be going for Hajj this year and they want to know how to perform Hajj, so in this article, we will talk about Hajj with full details.
How to Perform Hajj
It is one of the five pillars of Islam alongside shahada, Salah, Zakah, and Sawm.
The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslims, and their submission to Allah.
Hajj means “ to intend a journey ,” which connotes both the outward act of a journey and the inward act of intentions.
Every year, the Hajj starts on 8th Dhil Hijjah and ends on 12th Dhul Hijjah^
‘Let’s see these five days’ activities.
Entering the sacred stats: Ihram
The Ihram is meant to show equality of all pilgrims in front of Allah; there is no difference between the rich and the poor.
When the pilgrims reach the appropriate Miqaat*, they enter into a state of holiness – known as Ihram.
The Ihram consists of wearing two seamless white clothes for the male. One is wrapped around the waist reaching below the knee, and the other draped over the left shoulder and tied at the right side;
For the female Wearing ordinary dress that fulfills the Islamic condition of the dress with hands or face uncovered.
Wearing these seamless clothes, they declare the intention (Niyah) to perform pilgrimage and refrain from certain activities.
Restricted Activities in Ihram
Clipping the nails, shaving any part of the body, having sexual relations, using perfumes, damaging plants, killing animals, covering the head (for men) or the face and hands (for women), or carrying weapons.
Tawaf and Direction of Tawaf
Tawaf involves walking seven times, counter-clockwise around the Kaaba.
Upon arriving at al-masjid al-haram, pilgrims perform an arrival Tawaf either as the Welcome Tawaf. Or as a part of Umrah.
It starts about one yard before the Black Stone (Hajar Aswad).
During Tawaf, pilgrims also include Hateem** inside their path.
Each circuit starts with the kissing or touching of Hajar el- Aswad (the Black Stone).
If kissing the stone is not possible because of the crowds, they may simply point towards the stone with their hand on each circuit.
Men are encouraged to perform the first three circuits at a hurried pace,( known as Ramal) and the following four at a more leisurely pace.
The Tawaf is done in an anti-clockwise movement.
During Tawaf, they should put their left shoulder towards the Kaaba.
During the Tawaf of ‘Umrah and tawaf al-qudoom, the tawaaf of arrival, they should uncover the right shoulder and walk quickly with short steps (with Ramal) only for those who are doing Hajj Ifraad or Hajj Qiran.
Iztiba and Ramal
Iztiba is sunnah in all the seven rounds of the Tawaf after which sa’i is performed.
However, Ramal (walking while jogging and putting small steps) is sunnah only in the first three rounds, after which there is sa’i.
Two Rakaats after Tawaf
The completion of Tawaf is followed by two rakats prayers at the Maqam e Ibrahim, a site near the Kaaba inside the mosque.
Tawaf is followed by Sai, running or walking seven times, between the hills of Safa and Marwah located near the Kabah.***
From Makkah to Makkah via Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat
After welcome Tawaf, the pilgrims are reminded of their duties. Getting the guidance about the activities of Hajj from the imam, pilgrims go to Mina on 8th Dhul Hijjah in the morning.
They stay there a whole day.
On 9th Dhul Hijja, the next morning, they go to the (plains of) Arafat to join the speech of Ameer e Hajj.
There they remain after declining the sun till the sunset. They offer two prayers of Zuhr and Asr in the time of Zuhr.
After Maghrib without offering the Maghrib Salah, they started out to spend a night in the plain of Muzdalifah.
They offer their Maghrib and Isha prayer in the time of Isha and spend that night in Muzdalifah praying to Allah and asking Him.
The time of Wuqoof e Muzdalifa starts at Fajr.
After Fajr prayer in the morning of 10th Dhul hijjah, pilgrims come back to Mina before the sun rises.
They perform symbolic stoning by throwing 21 stones at three pillars at Mina before the sun decline,
Then they should perform a ritual of animal sacrifice if they wish.****
The pilgrims then shave their heads and become free from all refrains and celebrate the global Islamic festival of Eid ul Ad’ ha.
After that, they go to Makkah again and perform the last Tawaf named tawaf e ziyarah.
Having performed tawaf e ziyarah, they go to Minah and perform stoning the devils two days and three days if they want.
After that, they go to Makkah again and perform tawaf e wada before returning their homes. And this one is obligatory.
On this, the Hajj has completed, now the pilgrims may comeback their homes. That’s all about the question of What Is Hajj!
This is all about Hajj and Hajj rituals. We tried to solve your questions about Hajj. Now you can do all rituals with full of confidence. We humbly request you to pray for all muslims and to remember us in your best prayers.
Written By (Mufti) Mohd Anas Nadwi
^the twelfth and the last month of the Islamic calendar
*depending on where they’re coming from
**an area at the north side of the Kaaba
***previously in the open air, the place is now entirely enclosed by the Sacred Mosque and can be accessed via air-conditioned tunnels.
****Sometimes it is obligatory when the pilgrim performs Hajj and Umrah together.
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