Alhamdullilah, Hamdan Shukran li-llahi subhanau wa taaala.. Wa sala Lahu ala sayyidina Muhammad, wa ala alihi wa sahabihi wa man tabiahu nbi ihsani ila yao-mi-deen. Amin. Praise and glory to Allah who have chosen you to be one of the millions of people that will perform hajj this year.
First we need to consider the story of Hajj, when it started and how the Prophet (s.a.w) performed it. The below piece will help you and guide you through the step by step of performing the Holy Pilgrimage.
The Story of Hajj
While Hajj is something that was taught to Muslims by the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w), its origin actually dates back to the teachings of another of Islam’s beloved Prophets, Ibrahim (AS) thousands of years before.
The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) began the Hajj in 628 CE during the month of Dhul Hijjah, and is the same Hajj that Muslims perform today. The Kaaba is the central place in this regard and it also known by Muslims as Baitullah, or ‘the House of God’. It plays an important part in the rites of Hajj but is ultimately a mosque and not something that Muslims worship.
In fact, the Kaa’ba was built by Ibrahim (AS), or Prophet Abraham, thousands of years earlier by the command of Allah (SWT) – it is because of Ibrahim (AS) that Muslims perform Hajj.
Hajar, Isma’il (AS) And The Well Of Zamzam
Ibrahim (AS) or Khalilullah (the friend of Allah) as he is referred to, is considered to be one of the greatest of Allah’s (SWT) creations. His reflective nature and the soundness of his heart brought him to the revelation of one God, Allah (SWT) – Ibrahim’s (AS) story of prophet-hood is well documented in the Islamic tradition.
During his prophet-hood, Ibrahim (AS) encountered several trials that serve as reminders and lessons to mankind regarding devotion to Allah (SWT), sacrifice, faith, as well as other crucial tenets of Islam. These trials include the test of Ibrahim’s (AS) willingness to sacrifice his son Ishaq (AS) for the sake of Allah (SWT), and the test of leaving his wife Hajar and son Isma’il (AS) alone in the desert of Makkah – it is this test that provides the basis for Hajj.
By the instruction of Allah (SWT), Ibrahim (AS) was to leave Hajar and Isma’il (AS) in the ancient desert of Makkah. The little food and water that they had soon ran out, and Isma’il (AS), an infant at the time, was crying of thirst. Hajar, desperately in search of water, ran between the nearby hills of Safa and Marwah in the hope of spotting someone who may be able to help.
Hajar returned to find Isma’il (AS) striking and scraping the ground with his leg in distress, when suddenly a spring burst forth from the barren desert. By the command of Allah (SWT), a source of water from deep within the earth (that is still in use today), provided Hajar and Isma’il (AS) with water – this is known as the well of Zam Zam.
The water source provided a means of trade for Hajar, with passing nomads exchanging food and other provisions for water. The site became prosperous for Hajar and her son, and when Ibrahim (AS) was commanded to return to them in the desert, he was amazed to see the miracles that had unfolded for them, and the fruits of his faith in Allah (SWT).
The Construction of the Kaa’ba
It was at the site of the well of Zam Zam that Ibrahim (AS) was commanded to build the Kaa’ba.
Ibrahim (AS) and his son Isma’il (AS) worked together to build a small stone structure called the Kaa’bah. It was built to mark a space for the sacred gathering of Muslims – all those who believed in the one God, Allah (SWT).
The first Hajj
As time elapsed, the site of the miracle well of ZamZam and the Kaa’bah would provide the means for Makkah to become a thriving and prosperous settlement. Ibrahim (AS) returned to the site each year to offer his pilgrimage to Allah (SWT), and years later, when Isma’il (AS) was given his prophethood, he continued the tradition – the inception of the Hajj.
However, the site that was built to commemorate the lessons of Ibrahim’s (AS) trial, the miracle of Allah (SWT) and most importantly the belief in one God, was taken over by pagan Arabs and the worship of idols and spirits. This now thriving and prosperous settlement grew into a city for trade and the worship of pagan Gods – of which the Kaa’ba would eventually house.
Thousands of years later, a man named Muhammad, born into the high-status Quraysh tribe of Makkah, was given revelation and prophethood. The last of Allah’s (SWT) messengers, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), established Islam in the land for mankind – with this came the commandment to restore the Kaa’ba to its original purpose and resume Hajj.
The first Hajj was performed in In 632 CE, by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), re-establishing the traditions started by the Prophet Ibrahim (AS).
TYPES OF HAJJ
There are 3 main different types of Hajj, see below
To make your decision easier, we’ve explained the three different types of Hajj you should be aware of when planning for the divine trip.
1. What is Hajj-ul Ifrad?
Hajj-ul-Ifrad is performed by the residents of Miqat, haram, and Jeddah. While the pilgrims do wear ihram, they do so only to perform Hajj, not to perform Umrah. It’s this intention that differentiates Hajj-ul-Ifrad from the rest of the forms of Hajj, both of which involve Umrah. A pilgrim who ends up performing an umrah before engaging in Hajj rituals is no longer a Mufrid (a person who performs Hajj-ul-Ifrad). They’ll be required to perform either of the two other types of Hajj.
As a Mufrid, you are not supposed to exit the state of ihram until you’re done throwing stones at Jamarat. The practice of stoning at Jamrah Al Aqabah is performed on the day of Eid. Although you are not required to offer animal sacrifice when performing Hajj-ul-Ifrad, you may do so if you want to.
What is Hajj ul Qiran?
Hajj-ul-Qiran is truly a blessing for Muslims who live far away from the sacred Mosque, Masjid al-Haram. This is because it allows them to perform both Hajj and Umrah in a single visit. In fact, the Qarin (a person who performs Hajj-ul-Qiran) must enter the state of ihram with the intention to perform both Hajj and Umrah. The pilgrim is supposed to perform Umrah first and then proceed to Hajj. Regardless of the length of duration between the two rituals, the Qarin must perform Hajj and Umrah in the same ihram.
While the pilgrim may perform Umrah in the preceding Islamic months of Shawwal and Dhul-Qa’dah, the common practice is to perform it during the first 8 days of Dhul-Hijjah. Since you’ll stay in the state of ihram between Umrah and Hajj, this approach is most convenient.
Upon arriving at Masjid al-Haram, Makkah, the pilgrim begins with Tawaf and Saee, the two key practices in Umrah. After performing Umrah, you can clip your hair but not shave until you’ve performed Hajj and offered animal sacrifice. Keep in mind that animal sacrifice is a mandatory practice in Hajj-ul-Qiran, unlike the case for Hajj-ul-Ifrad.
What is Hajj ul Tamattu?
Hajj-ul-Tamattu is the third type of Hajj, and the person performing this Hajj is referred to as Mutamatti. Again, the pilgrim is supposed to perform Umrah before Hajj, but he is not obliged to perform the two rituals in the same ihram. A Mutamatti enters the state of Ihram with the intention of performing Umrah only. Once they’ve performed the Umrah, they’ll exit the state of Ihram and re-enter a new Ihram when proceeding to Hajj on the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah. This way, they’re relieved of the restrictions imposed by Ihram during the time between Umrah and Hajj.
It’s important to understand here that Umrah must be performed during the Hajj season. Any Umrah that’s performed before the start of Shawwal or during the days of Hajj is considered invalid. Also, anyone who performs Umrah as part of Hajj-ul-Tamattu can’t leave without performing Hajj. No matter what, they must perform Hajj before going back to their destinations. Hence, even if you’re a resident of Saudi Arabia, avoid departing from Mecca if you’re unsure that you’ll be able to return and enter the state of Ihram in time.
As in the case of Hajj-ul-Qiran, a pilgrim must offer animal sacrifice when performing Hajj-ul-Tamattu. If for some reason, you can’t offer animal sacrifice, you must conduct a 10-day fast as a substitute. However, do not fast during the day of Eid-ul-Adha; it’s forbidden to fast on any of the Eid days.
Which is the best type of Hajj to perform?
There is no best or worst type of Hajj in Islam. The type that’s right for you depends on where you’re located, how much time you have before the days of Hajj, and your reservations. For example, if you’re a resident of the city of Jeddah and only have a day or two before the Hajj commences, Hajj-ul-Ifraad may be an ideal decision for you. When you make an intention to perform Hajj-ul-Ifrad, you won’t be required to perform Umrah and thus won’t risk getting late for Hajj, the more important of the two rituals. However, if you do have a few days before Hajj begins, you can either perform Hajj-ul-Qiran or Hajj-ul-Tamattu.
On the other hand, if you reside in another country such as the Nigeria or any where in Africa, Europe or America, the only two options you have include Hajj-ul-Qiran and Hajj-ul-Tamattu. So, how do you decide between the two? It depends on when you plan to perform the Umrah. If you’re arriving at Masjid al-Haram weeks before the Hajj days, it’s best to make an intention of Hajj-ul-Tamattu, so that you don’t have to abide by the restrictions imposed by Ihram during the extensive period between Umrah and Hajj. Most Muslims from around the world spend 4 to 5 weeks in Mecca, so they choose Hajj-ul-Tamattu, making it the most commonly performed Hajj type.
In Nigeria, we perform Hajj-ul-Tamattu.
Keeping in mind the strict penalties for violating the rules of Ihram, it’s best not to take any chances. We recommend that you opt for Hajj-ul-Tamattu if you’re proceeding for Hajj from outside of Saudi Arabia.
Steps for Umrah
- Preparation, bath and Intention.
- Enter state of Ihram
- Tawaf 7 times
- Safa and Marwa
- Shave Head or cutting part of it by women (At this point, Umrah ends)
See Guide on how to perform Umrah on https://kaabanews.com/guide-on-how-to-perform-umurah/
Steps for Hajj
- Preparation, Bath and Intention (starts on 8th of Zhul-Hijjah)
- Enter state of Ihram
- Arrive at Mina (sleep at Mina)
- Day of ‘Arafah
- Muzdalifah (sun set)
- Jamarat (stoning of the devil Al-Aqabah)
- Slaughtering a ram
- Shaving of the Head
- Jamarart (stoning continues)
- Farewell Tawaf al-Ifada and Wida in Kaaba
1. Preparation and Intention
Before you arrive at Makkah to begin Hajj, it’s important to make your intention (niyyah) within your heart. The intention must be to perform the Hajj for the sake of Allah alone, with a desire for good in the hereafter. It should not be done with the intention of being seen by others or for worldly gain.
2. Entering The State Of Ihram
Next, you’ll enter into the state of Ihram (ritual purity). For men, this means wearing the designated white cloth with one piece wrapped around your shoulder and one around your waist. Ladies may wear any clothing of their choice but should ensure they observe the rules of Hijab. Face coverings, however, are not permitted. Fully-covering shoes are also not permitted. Footwear must be in the form of sandals for both women and men.
Ihram describes the spiritual state you enter once you have made the intention to go to Hajj. When over 2.5 million pilgrims descend into Makkah, there should not be any outward distinction between them. Everyone stands equal before Allah (SWT) – one’s status, race, culture, and wealth are irrelevant. The rules around the clothing of Ihramare extremely simple, yet strict and must be adhered to.
Throughout these holy days and whilst in the state of Ihram , we should also be particularly mindful of our behaviour and words. We should avoid smoking, engaging in sexual relations, swearing, shaving our hair, and cutting our nails. We must also not use perfume or scented soaps.
Once you arrive at the holy Masjid al-Haram in Makkah, with these preparations in mind, you’re ready to start the biggest spiritual journey of your life!
Tip: Carry spare Ihram clothing if you can. As for sandals, we recommend investing in a decent pair of trekking sandals. They tend to be the most comfortable and practical, given that you will be walking long distances on tarmac as well as gravel. Try and wear-in your sandals before you depart for Saudi so that you don’t break out in blisters or face discomfort once you’re there.
Upon arrival in Makkah, you must first perform your Umrah, which means you will do your Tawaf and Sa’i as outlined in the next steps.
Fulfilling your sacred obligation of Hajj will be the most spiritual period of your life Insha’Allah (God willing), filled with blessings and forgiveness from Allah (SWT)! The 8th day of Dhul Hijjah marks the beginning of the days of Hajj and the next stage of your spiritual journey. You’ll purify yourself and enter the state of Ihram once again.
Rules of Ihram
It’s very important to note that when you are in a state of Ihram, you are not permitted to smoke, swear, shave, clip your nails, or engage in any form of sexual relations.Fighting and arguments are also forbidden, and participants are prohibited from hunting, killing, or unjustifiably breaking anything. You must also avoid scented products such as perfumes, moisturisers, makeup, or soaps. You may, however, substitute them for unscented toiletries which are permissible to use.
Once you’re all set to enter the Ihram, you’ll begin reciting the following invocation called the Talbiyah:
لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ، لَبَّيْكَ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ لاَشَرِيْكَ لَكَ
Labbayka Allāhumma labbayk. Labbayk lā shareeka laka labbayk. Inna al-ḥamda, wa n-‘imata, Laka wal mulk. Lā shareeka lak.
Translation: “Here I am, O Allah, here I am, here I am. You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and all sovereignty. You have no partner.”
You will then proceed with your Hajj group to the neighbourhood of Mina in Makkah, which is located roughly eight kilometres from the centre of Makkah.
Tip: We would highly recommend carrying some essentials such as unscented sun cream, moisturiser, Vaseline and soap. Sun cream is particularly handy, especially if you have no hair as it is not permissible for men to cover their head or face whilst in ihram. Vaseline is also particularly valuable for both women and men to protect against painful rashes that may occur as a result of constant walking. All of these are readily available in Saudi Arabia.
3. Arrive at Mina
Once you arrive in the tent city (neighbourhood) of Mina, you’ll settle into your allocated tent. Here you’ll pray Salah (obligatory prayers), including Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, ‘Isha and Fajr, shortening your four-unit prayers to two units each, without combining them,as stated in the Qu’ran.
You’ll spend the night and pray to Allah (SWT), reading the Qur’an and preparing for day two. It’s an important time for spiritual reflection and devotion, so try and make the most of this special night.
Tip: Be patient here, as space inside the tents can be very tight, and you might find yourself very close to fellow pilgrims. The weather is likely to be very hot, so remember to keep yourself hydrated. The Saudi authorities have installed cold water stations in close proximity to all tents, so familiarise yourself with your surroundings. You may also notice that Hajj authority workers regularly stock up complementary cold drinks in cooler boxes next to your tent. They’re there for you to consume, so enjoy them to quench your thirst, but don’t forget the spiritual purpose of being there.
4. Day of ‘Arafah (Day 2 / 9th Dhul Hijjah)
After sunrise in Mina, you’ll then head to the plains of ‘Arafah, reciting Istaghfar (asking for forgiveness) and making supplications – marking the Day of ‘Arafah when we ask Allah (SWT) for forgiveness for our sins.
Upon reaching the plains of Mount ‘Arafah, pilgrims observe shortened Dhuhr and Asr prayers combined (two rakat instead of four). However, according to Abu Hanifa, the combining of Dhur and Asr is only valid if one prays behind the Imam in the Masjid. Therefore if one was to pray in the tent, then they should not combine both salah.
On this day, there will be a sermon delivered from Masjid al-Nimra on Mount ‘Arafah.
Try to listen to the Khutbah (sermon) if possible. Your group may also facilitate a translation of this sermon in English.
The day of ‘Arafah is one of the most important days for Muslims across the world, as Allah (SWT) refers to the Day of ‘Arafah in Surah al-Maidah as the Day on which He perfected His religion, completed His favours upon His beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and approved Islam as a way of life!
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also said: “There is no day on which Allah frees people from the Fire more so than on the day of ‘Arafah. He comes close to those (people standing on ‘Arafah), and then He reveals before His Angels saying, ‘What are these people seeking.”
So, be sure to stand on the plains of ‘Arafah and make lots of Du’a (supplication), focussing your energy on Allah (SWT), asking Him for forgiveness and blessings for you and your family. Don’t forget to include your friends, relatives, neighbours as well as the wider Ummah (community) in your Du’a on this special day.
Tip: Don’t be tempted to exhaust your energy and trek up Mount ‘Arafah, also known as Jabal al-Rahmah, on this day. Jabal al-Rahmah is the hill from where the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) delivered his sermon. There is no authentic source to suggest any benefit in trekking the hill itself or to undertake this climb as a religious ritual. The level area surrounding the hill is called the Plains of ‘Arafah and this is where you should be spending your time in contemplation and prayer.
5. Arrive in Muzdalifah
After sunset, you’ll depart ‘Arafah and head to Muzdalifah – an open plain between Mina and ‘Arafah. Once you reach Muzdalifah you’ll perform your Maghrib and ‘Isha Salah, one after the other, shortening the ‘Isha Salah to two Rakat.
As Abdullah ibn Umar (RA) narrates: “The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) offered the Maghrib and ‘Isha prayers together at Muzdalifah with a separate Iqamah (second call to prayer) for each of them and did not offer any optional prayer in between them or after each of them.”
Afterwards, you can then spend the night in worship or resting. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) went to sleep until shortly before Fajr, choosing not to engage in night worship as he normally did. So, don’t be tempted to exhaust yourself but rest instead – you have a long day ahead of you!
While in Muzdalifah, you may also collect pebbles to perform Rami (the stoning of the devil) over the next three days.
The size of the pebbles should be similar to the size of date stones/seeds. You will need a total of 49 pebbles.
However, it is advised that you pick up a further 21 pebbles as a precautionary measure to bring your total up to 70.
When you proceed to the phases of throwing the pebbles at the Jamarat (the stone pillars), you may miss the target, or some pebbles may fall from your hand. Therefore, it’s better to have more than to be short. Pebbles can also be collected from anywhere in Mina.
Tip: At Muzdalifah, you will stay under the night sky. There are no tents or other accommodation facilities here. Although there are plenty of lights, it is still fairly dark. Try to stay near your group, as it is very easy to get lost among the thousands of pilgrims. Toilets and Wudhu facilities are available in Muzdalifah, but they will likely be crowded so patience must be exercised here.
We would highly recommend you use the toilets and freshen up before you leave ‘Arafah.
6. Stoning (Day 3 / 10th Dhul Hijjah)
Origin Of The Stoning Of The Devil
The stoning of the Jamarat – otherwise referred to as the ‘stoning of the devil’ – is a ritual carried out by Hajj pilgrims whereby pebbles are thrown at three stone structures in Mina across three days.
The first day of stoning occurs on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah. On this day Muslims also offer Qurbani and celebrate Eid al-Adha.
The act of throwing stones at the Jamarat is known as Rami. The ritual of Rami is symbolic of the actions of Ibrahim (AS) when he was faced with the trial of having to sacrifice his son, Isma’il (AS) upon the commandment of Allah (SWT).
On the way to carry out the commandment, Iblis (Satan) repeatedly tried to tempt Ibrahim’s (AS) into disobeying Allah (SWT). As Ibrahim (AS) reached Jamarat al-Aqaba, Allah (SWT) ordered Angel Jibreel (AS) to instruct Ibrahim (AS) to throw seven stones at Iblis. He obliged, and Iblis fled immediately. The three Jamarat indicate the three places where Iblis tried to dissuade Ibrahim (AS) from obeying the command of Allah. However, the pillars do not contain Iblis, as many people are wrongly led to believe.
How To Perform The Stoning Of The Devil
On the 10th, 11th, and 12th day of Dhul Hijjah, you will perform the stoning of the devil. The size of the pebbles should be similar to the size of date stones or seeds. You will need a total of 49 pebbles.
You’ll need a certain number of pebbles for each of the three days. The breakdown is as follows:
7 pebbles for the 10th of Dhul Hijjah
21 pebbles for the 11th of Dhul Hijjah
21 pebbles for the 12th of Dhul Hijjah
Once you reach the Jamarat, you will head to Jamarat al-Aqaba, which is the largest pillar, and here you will throw the first seven pebbles at the concrete pillar. You will only pelt this one pillar on the first day.
Upon each throw, you’ll say the takbir:
“Allah is The Greatest”
Tip: Don’t rush to perform the stoning. The Hajj authority will most likely allocate a set time for your group to go and perform the stoning. They do this to minimise overcrowding and the risk to pilgrims.
Try not to get angry and throw your sandals or other valuable possessions at the pillars. Iblis is not contained within the pillar, so you’ll only lose your valuables and there is no benefit in doing so!
7. Ram Sacrifice & Eid al-Adha The 10th of Dhul Hijjah is also called the Yawm al-Nahr, or the Day of Sacrifice
On this day, Pilgrims perform the sacrificial animal and also commence the first of three days ‘stoning of the devil’ rite. We know this from this verse in the Qur’an:
“And when you are safe, then, whoever avails the advantage of the ‘Umrah along with the Hajj shall make an offering of whatever animal is available. However, any one who finds none shall fast for three days during Hajj, and for seven days when you return; thus they are ten in all. This is for him whose family folk are not residents of Al-Masjid-ul-Harām.” Qur’an | 2:196
8. Shaving The Head & Stoning (Day 4 / 11th Dhul Hijjah)
Remember that 21 pebbles have to be thrown at the station of jamarat, 7 pebbles each at the three station which total equals to 21 pebbles.
After you have sacrificed animal, you throw the first and second day at the Jamarat and also shaved your head, now you are allowed to leave the state of Ihram and wear comfortable clothing. You are also allowed to resume otherwise Halal activities that were forbidden in the Ihram, except for sexual intimacy. It is Sunnah (practice of the Prophet PBUH) to apply perfume as the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) smelt strongly of musk at this point.
Tip: Use disposable blades to shave each other’s head within your group. If that’s not possible, you’ll notice a number of barbers in Mina ready to shave your head for a price. Ensure that the barbers use new blades to avoid infection.
9. Completion of the Stoning (Day 5 / 12th Dhul Hijjah)
You will have to complete the throwing of the pebbles which is the third day running with the 21 pebbles, 7 pebbles at each station of the three. That is Jamarah al-Ula (the small pillar), then Jamarah al-Wusta (the second/middle pillar) and finally, Jamarah al-Aqaba (the third/large pillar). Then, you will have to proceed to Makkah for the final rite which is Tawaf al-Ifada. Note that you must not sleep in Mina again on the 12th of Dhul-hijja, else you have to go throw another round of 21 pebbles.
10. Tawaf al-Ifadha and Saai’ (Day 5 / 12th Dhul Hijjah)
You will now go to Makkah to perform Tawaf al-Ifadha and then another circuit of Saai’as part of your Hajj rituals.
Tawaf al-Ifada and Sa’i are obligatory. You must perform the tawaf al-Ifadha and the Saai’
With the completion of the Tawaf and Saa’i, you are then allowed to relax and do everything that was lawful before entering the Ihram, including engaging in marital relations.
Note that on the first day at Jamarat after throwing the first 7 at Al-Aqabah, performed sacrifice, shaved your head, you can proceed to Makkah to do your Tawaf Al Ifada, do Saai’, you can exit ihram, change to your usual clothings and return to your tent in Mina to complete the remaining stoning the following day.
Tip: The Tawaf area will be extremely crowded during this time. Try to use the upper levels of the Haram or the roof. You might want to do this around midnight when it tends to be quieter.
Tawaf al-Wida (The Farewell Tawaf)
You’ve now only one step left to perform before completing Hajj and departing from Makkah. The farewell Tawaf is the last rite Muslims must perform.
This Tawaf is Wajib (obligatory) according to Hanafis, Shafi’is and Hanbalis but Sunnah according to Malikis and must be performed prior to leaving the boundaries of the Haram. Omitting this Tawaf, without a valid reason, is not deemed lawful in Islam.
Ibn Abbas (RA) narrated: “The people were ordered to perform the Tawaf al-Wida as the last thing before leaving (Makkah), except the menstruating women who were excused. “
For this Tawaf, you will complete seven laps of Tawaf. Then perform two Rakat of Salah and drink Zam Zam water. There is no Sa’i or shaving/trimming of the head after this Tawaf.
Mabrook! You’ve now completed your Hajj!