The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: “Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any obscenity or transgression shall return [free from sins] as he was on the day his mother gave birth to him.”
And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka’bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allaah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence). [Qur’an, 3:97].
Ibn Umar R.A, said: “The Messenger of Allah said: “Islam is built upon five (pillars): testifying that there is no god worthy of worship but Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing regular prayer, paying Zakaah, Hajj and fasting Ramadan” (Bukhaari).
Hajj is one of the best acts of worship. It is one of the pillars of Islam. It is an obligation upon every able-bodied and financially capable Muslim, both male and female, to be completed at least once in a lifetime.
Hajj begins on the 8th day of Dhual-Hijjah, when pilgrims make their intentions to undertake the pilgrimage by donning the Ihram. Dhul al-Hijjah got its name because it is the month in which the 5th pillar of Islam, Hajj, is performed.
The ten most important Hajj rituals step by step are:
1. Reassume Ihram and the intention of performing Hajj. After completing Umrah rituals, pilgrims must assume the state of Ihram and declare their intentions to do Hajj.
2. Travel to Mina: Soon after observing the morning prayers, all pilgrims must head to Mina, where they stay an entire day carrying out ritual prayers – Duhr, Asr, Maghrib, Isha, Fajr and Qasr – as stated in the
3. Travel to Mount Arafat to perform Waquf:
During the second day of Hajj, 9th day of Dhu-al-Hijjah, pilgrims travel to Arafat from Mina reciting Istaghfar & making supplications. Upon reaching Mount Arafat, pilgrims observe Duhr and Asr combined with Qasar prayers.
On the day of Arafah, pilgrims travel to the plains of Arafat, where they will combine their Dhuhr and Asr prayers and then spend the entire day making du’a. This is the most important ritual of the Hajj, without which the Hajj would be incomplete.
Arafah is the Day of Hajj and the essence of the pilgrimage. The Prophet said, “Hajj is Arafah”,-(Nasai), meaning it’s all about that day.
4. Offer Prayers in Muzadalifah: Post sunset, pilgrims head to Muzadalifah (a town between Mina and Mt. Arafat) to observe the evening prayers and rest the night until Fajr prayers in preparation for the next day’s ritual of stoning the devil.
On the 10th day, Dhu al-Hijjah, pilgrims leave for Mecca before sunset to do Tawaf al-Ifadah and Sa’iy and get back to Mina to perform Rami, Nahr and Halq.
5. Perform Rami in Mina: On the 10th, 11th and 12th days of Dhu-al-Hijjah, pilgrims must complete the stoning of the Devil.
6. Animal Sacrifice – Nahr: The culmination of the stoning ceremony calls for an animal sacrifice. For this, pilgrims can purchase a sacrifice voucher or a coupon, which states that a sacrifice has been made in their name. The sacrificial animal is either a lamb or a camel.
7. Halq (shaving the head) or Taqsir (clipping or shortening of the hair for men and women):
Men should get their heads completely shaved, or get their hair clipped. While women are forbidden to shave their heads and are only allowed to have a lock or strand of their hair clipped.
8. Perform Tawaf ziyarah and Sa’iy.
9. Repeat Stoning at Mina After Sunset On the 11th and 12TH day of Dhu al-Hijjah ‘: The stoning ritual is repeated by throwing pebbles at two other monuments other than Jamrat al Aqabah – Jamrat Oolah (the first Jamrat) and Jamrat Wusthad (the middle Jamrat).
10. Perform the Farewell Tawaf: The next and the final step is the farewell Tawaf, circumambulating the Kaaba anti-clockwise seven times. Pilgrims reflect on their experience and thank Allah for everything, while circumambulating the Kaaba. This final step marks the end of the Hajj rituals.
Ibn Abbas R.A said: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Whoever wants to go for Hajj, let him hasten to do it, because he may fall ill or some other problems may arise”. (Abu Daawood, 1732).
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