Basic Hajj Guide

  • Take a bath (Ghusl) which showcases an act of washing away all impurities with the intention for Ihram.
  • Change into Ihram sheets – Men should change into the two fabrics known as Ridaa and Izaar, whereas women can wear any form of clothing which covers the body and head.
  • Perform the obligatory prayers or offer two rakaat of Sunnah prayer.
  • Face the direction of the Qibla and officially enter Ihram – You must enter Ihram before you leave for the Meeqat in Makkah.
  • At the Meeqat, make the Niyyah (intention) to perform the Hajj.
  • Recite the Talbiyah and it is advised to keep reciting it from the moment Ihram is entered until the performance of the Tawaaf.
  • Upon arriving at the Kaabah, stop reciting the Talbiyyah and you must be in Wudu (ablution).
  • Touch the Black Stone (Hajr e Aswad) and start the Tawaaf. Ideally, touch it with your right hand and then kiss it. If, however, you are unable to kiss it directly, you can touch it with your hand then kiss your hand. If  you are not able to touch the stone with your hand, face your hand in the direction of the stone and say “Allahu Akbar”.
  • Make rounds around the Kaabah with the Kaabah being on your left. Men must keep the right shoulder uncovered during the Tawaaf, which is known as Idtibaa. This is done by placing the Ridaa beneath the right armpit and taking it up on the left shoulder. Men must also practice ‘Raml’ in the first three rounds of Tawaaf, which is essentially walking fast while taking small steps and walk normally during the other four rounds.
  • Upon finishing the seven rounds of Tawaaf, go to the station of Ibrahim (Maqaam e Ibraheem) and recite:

وَاتَّخِذُوْا مِنْ مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيْمَ مُصَلًّى

(And take you (people) the Maqaam (place) of Ibraheem as a place of Prayer. [Quran; 2:125])

  • Perform two rakaat of prayer behind Maqaam e Ibraheem. If that is difficult, you can offer the prayers in any spot of the mosque.
  • Upon offering the prayer, head back to the Black Stone and touch it if possible.
  • Head for the place of Sa’i and when you near the hill of Safa, the following should be recited:

إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِنْ شَعَآئِرِ اللَّهِ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَنْ يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا وَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ خَيْراً فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيْم

(Verily, As‐Safaa and Al‐Marwah are from the symbols of Allah. So it is not a sin on him who performs Hajj or ‘Umrah of the house (ka ‘bah) to perform the going (tawaaf) between them. And whoever does good voluntarily, then verily, Allah is the All‐Recognizer, All‐Knower. [Quran; 2:158])

  • Ascend upon Mount Safaa, face the Qiblah, raise your hands and recite 3 times:

اللّهُ أكبر، اللّهُ أكبر، اللّهُ أكبر

(Allaah is the Greatest, Allaah is the Greatest, Allaah is the Greatest.)

لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَه، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَ لَهُ الْحَمْدُ يُحْيِي وَ يُمِيْتُ وَ هُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيْر؛ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَه، أَنْجَزَ وَعْدَهُ وَ نَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ وَ هَزَمَ الأَحْزَابَ وَ حْدَه

(There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, Alone. He has no partner, To Him belongs the kingdom, & all praise belongs to Him, & He has power above all things, There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, He fulfilled His promise, Granted victory to His servant, And alone He defeated the allied army.)

  • Descend down to Marwah and the men are to run between the green lights. The distance is marked by two green markers – the men should run till the second marker and then walk up normally to the hill of Marwah and climb up.
  • Face the Qibla and recite what you have said at Safa.
  • Descend again and head towards Safa. Upon reaching Safa,  repeat what you did the first time and repeat the same when you go back to Marwah for seven circuits (One circuit is from Safa to Marwah).
  • Set out from Makkah to the sprawling tent-city of Mina after the Fajr prayer on the 8th of Dhul Hijjah whether by foot along pilgrim paths or by buses and cars. It is an 8 km journey.
  • Spend the entire day in Mina up till Fajr of next day. Most of the time in Mina is to be spent in prayer and remembering Allah.
  • On the 9th of Dhul Hijjah, travel to Arafat from Mina after Fajr reciting Istighfar and making supplications.
  • Upon reaching Mount Arafat, observe Duhr and Asr combined with Qasar prayers near the Jabal al-Rahmah from noon to sunset. This act is known as Wuquf (standing before Allah), the most solemn rite of the Hajj.
  • After sunset, head to Muzadalifa to observe the evening prayers.
  • Combine Maghrib and Isha prayers and spend the night in the open sky.
  • Collect the pebbles you will need for the Stoning.
  • At dawn, perform Fajr prayers and before the sun has risen, set off for Mina again.
  • Throw seven pebbles at the Jamraat al Aqaba and after stoning of the pillars of temptation (signifying the temptations of Satan), a sacrifice is required if you are performing Hajj Qiran or Hajj Tamattu’. A sacrifice is recommended, although not required, for Hajj al-Ifrad.
  • Return to Masjid al Haram in Makkah to perform Tawaaf al Ifadah before returning to Mina. Repeat steps of Tawaaf (refer to Tawaaf al Qudum).
  • It is called Tawaaf al Ifadah’ because the pilgrims pour forth (‘Ifadah’ means ‘pouring forth’) into Makkah from Mina. It is also called ‘Tawaaf al Hajj’ because by consensus of all the schools it is rukn of the Hajj.
  • Spend time in Mina and throw seven pebbles at all three Jamraat on each day.
  • You will stone the three pillars in a set order, performing Jamraatul as Sughra, Jamraatul al Wusta and Jamraatul al Qubra.
  • Men should get their head completely shaved, or get their hair clipped. While women are forbidden to shave their heads and only allowed to have a lock or strand of their hair clipped. The act of cutting the hair symbolizes one’s detachment from physical appearances and complete subjection to Allah.
  • This Tawaaf (the farewell Tawaaf) marks the end of your Hajj. Repeat steps of Tawaaf (refer to Tawaaf al Qudum).

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Meaning of Hajj

Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Makkah that Muslims are expected to make at least once in their lifetime (unless they are prevented from doing so by ill health or financial hardship) as it is the fifth pillar of Islam. The word Hajj is an Arabic word, meaning ‘to intend a journey’.

The act of Hajj includes visiting the Kaabah during the month of Dhul Hijjah and doing all the mandatory rites for Hajj.

Meaning of Umrah

Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year.

In Arabic, Umrah means ‘to visit a populated place.’ Umrah can be performed together along with Hajj and on other days as well.

Hajj Ifrad

Hajj Ifrad means isolated Hajj and this means that a person just performs Hajj but does not perform Umrah. The person who performs Hajj Ifrad is known as Mufrid. This is for the people who are living inside the boundaries of Masjid al Haram. The person will wear Ihram with the intention of performing Hajj only. This person can not perform Umrah, if he performs Umrah then he is no longer performing Hajj Ifrad.

Hajj Qiran

Hajj Qiran is also known as accompanied Hajj. It is for the people who do not live near Masjid al Haram. The person who performs this type of Hajj should wear Ihram with the intention of Umrah and Hajj, and both have to be performed in the same Ihram. One wears Ihram and then leave Ihram after Hajj and Umrah is completed. The person can not leave Ihram until both Hajj and Umrah are completed.

Hajj Tamattu

When you perform Hajj together with Umrah it becomes Hajj Tamattu. It is also known as Mutamatti meaning enjoyable Hajj. People who come from abroad to perform Hajj usually do Hajj Tamattu because it includes Umrah as well. To be noted that Umrah has to be done before Hajj days. One has to perform Hajj Tamattu in two different Ihrams, one for Umrah and one for Hajj.

Umrah Mufradah

Umrah Mufradah refers to Umrah that is performed independently to Hajj and can be carried out at any point during the year, except during the days of Hajj.

Umrah Tamattu

When performed alongside the Hajj, Umrah is deemed as Umrah Tamattu and is part of a fuller enjoyable Hajj (Hajj Tamattu). More precisely, the rituals of the Umrah are performed first, and then the Hajj rituals are performed.

The Differences between Hajj and Umrah

1. Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam, and it is mandatory for everyone who is physically and financially able to perform it once in a lifetime. Umrah is not a pillar of Islam and it is only recommended and not obligatory.

2. Hajj must be performed in the prescribed time period, namely the months of Hajj, and even more specifically, the major rites are done in the first two weeks of Dhul Hijjah. Umrah, however, can be done any time of the year.

3. Umrah involves only the rites of Tawaf and Sa’i with Ihram; whereas Hajj involves staying in Mina, performing the rite of Wuquf at Arafat, staying in Muzdalifa, and pelting the stone pillars, as well as sacrifice in some cases. Umrah, however, does not involve any of these.

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