Sunnah Steps to Perform Hajj

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The eighth of Dhul-Hijjah is the first day of Hajj, which starts after the Maghrib prayers of the seventh of Dhul-Hijjah.

Steps to perform Hajj as per Sunnah

Ihram and Niyah: Ihram literally means to make Haram (forbidden). When a Hajj pilgrim pronounces the Niyah (intention) of Hajj and Umrah and says Talbiyah (Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik…), certain Halal (permissible) things become Haram for him. This combined action of Niyah and Talbiyah is called Ihram. The two sheets that a pilgrim wears are symbolically known as Ihram, but the Ihram is actually the Niyah and Talbiyah.

Departure to Mina: Pilgrims proceed towards Mina after the sunrise. They utter the Talbiyah, as often as they can. Pilgrims have to offer Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, Isha prayers and spend the night of eight Dhul-Hijjah (first day of Hajj) in Mina.

Departure to Arafat and performing Waquf: After offering Fajr prayer in Mina on the Ninth of Dhul-Hijjah (second day of Hajj), pilgrims leave for Arafat. Wuquf-e- Arafat starts at declining of sun and ends at the sunset. It is better (Afzal) to do Wuquf while standing, but it is allowed to sit as well. This whole time is spent reciting Talbiyah, repenting on sins, uttering supplications and asking Allah (swt) for His forgiveness. Zuhr and Asr prayers are offered combined at Zuhr time, if prayed in Masjid-e-Namrah, and offered separately, if away from Masjid-e-Namrah.

Departure to Muzdalifah: When the sun sets, pilgrims proceed to Muzdalifah, without offering Maghrib prayer, reciting supplications and Talbiyah. Maghrib and Isha prayers are offered together at Isha time. There is one Iqamah and one Adhan for both prayers. Night in Muzdalifah is a blessed night, which is spent in reciting supplications, Quran and Talbiyah. Pebbles of the size of chick peas are collected in order to perform Ramy (stoning the Shaytan) in Mina. Two Rakah Sunnah are offered at Fajr prayer before Fard and Waquf is performed. Pilgrims proceed to Mina when sun is about to rise.

Perform Ramy (stoning the Shaytan) in Mina: On the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah (third day of Hajj), pilgrims hit Jamrah-Aqabah with seven pebbles one after the other. Talbiyah is stopped, when pilgrims throw the first pebble. After Ramy, pilgrims leave Mina to perform the sacrifice (Qurbani).

Offer a sacrifice: Three days are designated for sacrificing an animal: the tenth, eleventh and twelfth of Dhul-Hijjah. It can be done anytime during day and night.

Get your hair cut (Qasr) or shaved (Halq): Halq or Qasr is done after the sacrifice (Qurbani). If the sacrifice is postponed, Halq or Qasr will be postponed too. It is also a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (sa). After Halq or Qasr, prohibitions of Ihram are lifted, except private relations between husband and wife, which are permissible after Tawaf-e-Ziarah only.

Perform the Tawaf and Sai: It can be done any time, day or night, from tenth of Dhul-Hijjah to the sunset of twelfth Dhul-Hijjah.

Repeat Sai after Sundown on the Fourth and Fifth days: Pilgrims perform Sai after Tawaf-e–Ziarah. It is a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (sa) to make sure that your Wudu is intact.

Return to Mina: Pilgrims return to Mina after performing Sai, where they spend the night.

Ramy of Jamarat: Pilgrims throw pebbles on each of the tree Jamarat on eleventh and twelfth of Dhul-Hijjah after Zawal (decline of the sun).

Tawaf-e-Widah: After Hajj, it is obligatory on pilgrims to perform Tawaf-e-Wida (Farewell Tawaf). This is performed when pilgrims are leaving Makkah for their homeland.

Eid-ul-Adha – The Tenth of Dhul-Hijjah: Muslims around the world celebrate Eid-ul-Adha. Muslims offer Eid prayers any time after the sun completely rises but before the  Zuhr time. The Sunnah of preparation for Eid-ul-Azha prayer includes- making Wudu, offering Fajr prayers and wearing best clothes available. It is a Sunnah of Allah’s (swt) messenger Ibrahim (as).

Allah (swt) mentions in The Quran, “It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is piety from you that reaches Him. Thus have We made them subject to you that you may magnify Allah for His Guidance to you. And give glad tidings (O Muhammad (sa)) to the Muhsinun (doers of good).” (Al-Hajj 22:37)

Slaughtering animal with one’s own hands and distributing the meat among family and Mustahikeen (deserving people) is a Sunnah of Allah’s (swt) Messenger (sa). (Bukhari)

Dhul-Hijjah is a month of great importance for all Muslims. Besides Hajj and Eid-ul-Adha, it is a great opportunity for Muslims to do as many good deeds as possible in the prescribed days of this sacred month.

Ibn Abbas (ra) has narrated that:the Prophet (sa) said: “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those on these (first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah).” Then some companions of the Prophet (sa) said, “Not even Jihad?” He replied: “Not even Jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah’s (swt) sake) and does not return with any of those things.” (Bukhari)

May Allah (swt) make us the people of Taqwa and prevent us from falling into the footsteps of those, who failed before us. Ameen.

Hajj: Journey of a Lifetime

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Linguistically, Hajj means ‘to set out with the intention of religious zeal or return to a sacred place’. It also means simply heading to a place for visiting. In Islam, it refers to heading to Makkah for performing the rites of pilgrimage. Allah (swt) mentions in the Quran: “And perform properly (i.e. all the ceremonies according to the ways of Prophet Muhammad (sa)), the Hajj and Umrah (i.e. the pilgrimage to Makkah) for Allah.” (Al-Baqarah 2:196)

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is obligatory on every adult Muslim, who is physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, to perform Hajj at least once in a lifetime. Hajj is the largest annual Muslim gathering. Person going for Hajj must make necessary arrangements for his family in his absence. Financial and physical ability is referred to as Istitah and Muslim who falls in this criterion is called a Mustati.

The history of Hajj dates back to Prophet Ibrahim (as), which is around 2000 years before the birth of Prophet Isa (as).

Hajj commences from the eighth and ends on the twelfth of Dhul-Hijjah, which is also the last month of Islamic calendar. It was performed by Prophet Muhammad (sa) in the seventh century and is followed by his Ummah.

Historical significance of Hajj

The history of Hajj dates back to Prophet Ibrahim (as), which is around 2000 years before the birth of Prophet Isa (as). Ibrahim (as) was ordered by Allah (swt) to leave his wife Hajar and son Ismail (as) alone in the desert of Makkah. Hazrat Hajar ran back and forth between the mountains of Safa and Marwah in search of water and asked Allah (swt) for His help. Ismail (as) hit the ground with his feet as he cried. At that very moment, Allah (swt) answered her prayers and sent down His angel Jibrael (as) to dig a well underneath where Ismail (as) was hitting his feet, and Zam-Zam well miraculously sprang forth. Later, Ibrahim (as) was commanded by Allah (swt) to build Kabah and invite people to perform pilgrimage. These events are mentioned in Quran in verses 2:124 to 2:127 and 22:27 to 30. Angel Jibrael (as) brought the Black Stone “Hajr-e-Aswad” from heaven to be attached to Kabah.

Allah (swt) mentions in the Quran: “Verily! As-Safa and Al-Marwah (two mountains in Makkah) are of the symbols of Allah. So it is not a sin on him who perform Hajj or Umrah (pilgrimage) of the House (the Kabah at Makkah) to perform the going (Tawaf) between them (As-Safa and Al-Marwah). And whoever does good voluntarily, then verily, Allah is All-Recogniser, All-Knower.” (Al-Baqarah 2:158)

Abu Bakr (ra) was sent by Prophet Muhammad (sa) to lead the first Hajj in the ninth year after Hijrah. After Prophet Muhammad (sa) returned from the battle of Tabuk, he appointed Abu Bakr (ra) to lead three hundred Muslims to Makkah and instruct them about the rituals of Hajj.

The divine revelation descended upon the Messenger of Allah (swt) with some important verses from Surah At-Taubah. Prophet (sa) sent Ali Ibn Abu Talib (ra) to Abu Bakr (ra), so he could pass on Allah’s (swt) message (i.e., the Quranic verses) to the pilgrims in the season of Hajj.

Our Prophet’s (sa) last justful sermon

Abu Bakr (ra) led the pilgrimage in the ninth year with three hundred Muslims. In the following year, the Prophet (sa) performed Hajj with more than one hundred thousand Muslims. Prophet Muhammad (sa) delivered his last sermon, also known as “Khutba-e-Hajjatul-Wida, on the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah in the tenth year after Hijrah. The sermon was delivered in the valley of Mount Arafat. It was a delivered more than fourteen centuries ago, yet it reflected the best example of eloquence and wisdom. It was as humane, rational and favourable to justice and equality as any message could be.

Abu Hurairah (ra) has narrated that the Prophet was asked: “Which is the best deed?” He said: “To believe in Allah (swt) and His Apostle.” He was then asked: “Which is the next (in goodness)?” He said: “To participate in Jihad in Allah’s (swt) cause.” He was then asked, “Which is the next?” He said: “To perform Hajj-e-Mabrur.” (Bukhari)

Hajj is considered the best Jihad for women.

There are three forms of Hajj:

  1. Hajj At-Tamattu (Interrupted): This is where a pilgrim assumes Ihram for Umrah only, during the months of Hajj, which means that when he reaches Makkah, he makes Tawaf and Sai for Umrah. Then he shaves or clips his hair. On the eighth day of Dhul-Hijjah, the pilgrim assumes Ihram again for Hajj only and carries out all of its requirements. Pilgrims performing this form of Hajj are called Mutamatti.
  2. Hajj Al-Ifrad (Single): This is where a pilgrim assumes Ihram for Hajj only. When he reaches Makkah, he performs Tawaf for his arrival and Sai for Hajj. He does not shave or clip his hair as he does not disengage from Ihram. Instead, he remains in Ihram until after he stones the Jamratul-Aqabah on the Eid day. It is permissible for him to postpone his Sai for Hajj until after his Tawaf for Hajj (i.e., Tawaf Al-Ifadhah). Pilgrims performing this form of Hajj are called Mufrid.
  3. Hajj Al-Qiran (Combined):This is where a pilgrim assumes Ihram for both Umrah and Hajj, or he assumes Ihram first for Umrah, then makes his intention for Hajj before his Tawaf for Hajj. The obligations on one performing Ifrad are the same as those on one performing Qiran, except that the latter must slaughter; whereas the former is not obligated to do so. Pilgrims performing this form of Hajj are called Qarin.

The best of the three forms is Tamattu. It is the form that the Prophet (sa) encouraged his followers to perform.

Hajj is considered the best Jihad for women. Aisha (ra) has narrated: “I said: ‘O Allah’s Apostle (sa)! We consider Jihad as the best deed.’ The Prophet (sa) said: ‘The best Jihad (for women) is Hajj Mabrur.’ (Bukhari)

Hajj is performed, as it was performed and prescribed by Prophet (sa).