[b] [color=violet] 1. Introduction
Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the five pillars of Islam. Hajj was made obligatory in the 9th year of Hijra. The Holy Prophet sent off 300 Muslims under the leadership of Hazrat Abubakr Siddique (may Allah be pleased with him) to Mecca so that they could perform Hajj. That was the year when it was banned for the Mushrikeen (those who associate partners with Allah) to enter Ka’ba. It was also made unlawful to perform Tawaaf (circling of Ka’ba) with naked body.
The following year, 10th Hijra, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) announced a head of time he himself would perform Hajj that year. He led tens of thousands of Muslims to Hajj that year and demonstrated to Muslims how to perform all the rites and rituals of the Hajj. This Hajj is known in history as Hajjatul Wida’ or Farewell Pilgrimage because this proved to be the last Hajj the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) performed. At the end of this farewell pilgrimage, the divine revelation that had started some 22 years ago came to an end with the following verse of Surah Al-Maidah:
“This day have I completed My commandments for you, and have brought to its fullness the favor that I have bestowed upon you, and have chosen Islam as your religion”
.Hajj is an act of worship just like Salat (five daily prayers) and Sawm (fasting in the month of Ramadan). Muslims from all over the world gather in Mecca in the last month of Muslim calendar and worship Allah. Hajj is a special worship that lasts for several days. This is an occasion that brings Muslims of all countries, colors, and races to one place – the Ka’ba. This is a unique opportunity of worshipping Allah collectively in a large gathering at one place.c
2. Significance & Philosophy of hajj
Every nation and society has a center of unity where they get together to worship God. They see prosperity and culture as relics of unity. People of the society get to know each other and understand each other’s difficulties. They form a unified front to remove these difficulties and achieve their goals. Allah says in the Holy Quran: “And to every people We appointed rites of sacrifice, that they might mention the name of Allah…” (22:34)
With this idea, Hajj has been made a pinnacle of worship in order that Muslims who gather to perform Hajj can praise their Lord and Master, be thankful for His blessings, and humbly pray to Him for the removal of their difficulties. Muslims living in various parts of the world get to know each other, lay the foundation of social culture, give advice to each other, and provide opportunity for collective struggle.
3. Upon Whom Is It Obligatory To Perform Hajj
An adult Muslim of a sane mind, an able body and having means to bear the expenses must perform this act of worship once in his/her lifetime. There should be peace on the way to Mecca and there should be no hindrance or restriction in traveling to Mecca. Hajj is not obligatory for children, the sick, and those who are unable to bear the expenses for Hajj.
4. What are the Timings of Hajj (Pilgrimage)
There are specific months for performing the Hajj and are called “Months of Pilgrimage.” These three Islamic months are Shawwal, Ze-Qa’d and Dul-Hajj. During these three “Months of Hajj”, one prepares for the pilgrimage, attains good morals, and completes other physical conditions for the pilgrimage. All the essential duties of the pilgrimage have to be completed between 8th and the 13th day of Dul-Hajj. Additional tawaaf (circling around the Ka’ba), however, may be performed until the end of the month of Dul-Hajj.
5. Pillars of Hajj
There are three basic pillars for performing Hajj:
1.To enter into state of “Ihram” and have the intention to perform the pilgrimage.
2.To stay at the field of “Arafat” on the ninth of Dul-Hajj If someone cannot go to the field of Arafat even for a short time then his/her pilgrimage will not be complete. He/she has to perform the pilgrimage again the following year.
3.Additional circling of the “Ka’ba” that is done after the stay at the field of “Arafat” and performed from the tenth to the end of the month.
6. Sequence of Rites and Actions for performing Hajj:
A. Departure From Home
A Muslim must be mindful of his/her duties towards family and fellow human beings. A Muslim who intends to perform Hajj must make sure, before departing for Hajj that his family is provided for during the period he is away for the Hajj. He should pay up his debt and seek forgiveness from fellow human being whom he might have caused harm in the past. He should be diligent in observing Salat (five daily prayers) and Sawm (fasting) in the month of Ramadhan as well as carrying out other religious obligations. He must shun all arrogance and exhibit a character of modesty and humbleness. He must not use unlawfully acquired money or unlawful means to perform Hajj. He should seek sincere repentance from Allah of all his past sins. In short, one should depart for Hajj just like one would wish to depart from this world.
One should spend some money in charity as well. A woman is not allowed to perform Hajj alone and must be accompanied by an adult Muslim Mahram (father, husband, son or brother etc.)
One should say two Rakat Nafl (supererogatory) prayer before leaving home for Hajj.
B. Ihram at Miqat
When one reaches “Miqat” (any one of the appointed places in Mecca where pilgrims make a vow of pilgrimage) one must perform ablution or take a bath, use perfume, and put on two clean, unstitched, preferably white, pieces of cloth. This pair of clothing is called Ihram. One sheet should be wrapped around the lower part of the body and the other sheet around the upper body; the head should not be covered. Women can perform pilgrimage in the cloths they are wearing. Under normal circumstances a woman’s face should not be covered unless she comes face to face with a stranger and she has to conceal herself. During the five days of Hajj, all Muslims engaged in this worship must remain in this same simple dress. As soon as a pilgrim puts on Ihram and declares his intention to perform Hajj, he/she enters into the state of Ihram and his/her Hajj begins.
After putting on the Ihram, men and women offer two Raka’ts of Nafl (supererogatory) prayer followed by recitation of their “intention” and saying the following words:
“Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik; La Shareeka-laka Labbaik; Innalhamda wan-na’mata-laka wal-mulka Lashreeka-laka"
“Here I am, O Allah! Here I am in Thy August presence; there is no associate with Thee, here am I; surely all praise is Thine and all favors are Thine and the kingdom is Thine, there is no associate with Thee.”
These words are recited in Arabic and called “Talbiyah”. These words are an essential part of the state of Ihram and Ihram will not complete without reciting these words. After saying Talbiyah pilgrim is ready to fulfill his obligation of Hajj and is required to fulfill all the conditions laid down for Hajj. While one is in the state of Ihram it is strictly forbidden to engage in foul talk, sexual conduct, arguments, or enter into a war. Allah says in the Holy Quran: “ …so whoever determines to perform the Pilgrimage in these months, should remember that there is to be no foul talk, nor any transgression, nor any quarreling during Pilgrimage. …” (2:198)
D. Entering Masjid-el-Haram
After reaching Mecca, one should head straight to Ka’aba that is situated in bounds of Masjid-el-Haram and perform Tawaaf. It is said that when one has his/her first glance at Ka’aba, whatever prayers one makes is granted.
E. Istlam (Kissing the Hajr-e-Aswad)
The act of kissing the Hajr-e-Aswad (Black Stone) is called Istlam. While kissing the Hajr-e-Aswad, ones hands should be on the wall of the Ka’ba in the same position as when one performs a Sajdah (prostration) during a prayer. If it is not possible to salam the Hajr-e-Aswad, it is permissible just touch it with a hand and if that is not possible the just point to the Hajr-e-Aswad and blow a salam to it.
F. Tawaaf (Circling of ka’ba)
After performing Istlam (kissing the Hajr-e-Aswad) as described above, a pilgrim should perform Tawaaf of Ka’ba. Tawaaf is performed by going around Ka’ba seven times keeping the Ka’ba on left hand side (counter clock-wise). Istlam should be performed during each circle. It is also permitted to perform Istlam of Rukun-e-Yemeni (Pillar of Yemen). The seventh circle ends at the Hajr-e-Aswad.
G. Nawafal at Muqam-e-Ibrahim
After completing the Tawaaf, the pilgrim should move to the Muqam-e-Ibrahim (Place of Ibrahim. At this place one should offer two Rakats of prayer while facing Ka’ba.
H. Sa’ee (Running between Safa’ and Marwah)
Allah the Exalted has said the Holy Quran:
“Surely, Al-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the Signs of Allah. It is, therefore, no sin for him who is on pilgrimage to the House, or performs Umra, to go round the two. And whoso does good beyond what is obligatory, surely then, Allah is Appreciating, All-Knowing.” (2:159)
After praying two Rakats of prayer at Muqam-e-Ibrahim, the pilgrim then moves to “Safa”. At this place, he should face towards Ka’ba and recite Durood, Takbir and Talbiyah. The he should walk briskly towards Marwah and recite the same at Marwah. This counts as one circuit. Now one should move to Safa’ and repeat the prayers. One should complete seven circuits between Safa’ and Marwah. These circuits are called Sa’ee.
After performing the circuits between Safa’ and Marwah, one is free to move about and go to a resting place.
I. Arriving at Mina
On 8th day of Dul-Hajj the pilgrims reach at Mina early in the morning after performing Tawaaf-Qudoom. A pilgrim offers Duhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha’ prayers at Mina and camp there for the night.
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