How To Perform Hajj. Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam that are obligatory on every Muslim. Every year Muslims from around the world gather in the city of Makkah in anticipation of Hajj, it takes place in the last month of Islamic lunar calendar named ‘Dhul-Hijjah, between the eighth and thirteenth days of the month.
Every Muslim, male or female who is physically and financially able is required to perform pilgrimage once in their lifetime. It is that spiritual journey that serves as a means to seeking forgiveness for all the mistakes done in the past, intentionally or unintentionally. Allah (SWT), The Supreme and The Most Merciful forgives the sins of those who embark on this beautiful journey of Hajj.
What Are The Islamic Rituals Of Hajj
↓1 – Prepare Yourself For Hajj
It is very important to prepare yourself for this sacred journey. Hajj must be performed as prescribed by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and with full devotion to Allah (SWT). Thus, it is imperative that you are aware about everything and fully willing to go on this journey.
↓2 – Decide The Type Of Hajj To Be Undertaken
There are three types of hajj for Muslims, each with a slightly different experience. The first one is ‘Tamattu’. This is the most commonly form of Hajj that the Muslims perform as this was recommended by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) himself. It requires the Muslims to perform the rituals of Umrah first and then the rites of Hajj. This article is a guideline for those who will perform this type of Hajj.
The second type of Hajj is ‘Qiran’. In this Hajj, pilgrims perform the rites of both Umrah and Hajj but without any break. Lastly, the third type is ‘Ifraad’ and it involves the pilgrims to perform only the rituals of Hajj and does not require animal sacrifice.
↓3 – Be Ready To Enter The Religion
Once you enter the sacred state of Ihram, you must forbid smoking, swearing, shaving, cutting one’s nails, and sexual intercourse. You should avoid indecent clothing, makeup and perfume etc.
↓4 – Perform The Rituals Of Umrah
The first and foremost rite of Hajj or Umrah is entering the state of purity; the Ihram. Before entering Ihram, you must clean yourself, remove unwanted hair and avoid putting any cologne or perfume. For men, Ihram is a plain white sheet which they must wrap around their waist and wear the other over their upper body. They should avoid covering their head and use simple flip flops for their feet. As for women, there is no specific piece of clothing, they should just be clean and modest and avoid makeup and perfume.
After entering the state of Ihram, pilgrims must recite Niyyah at Miqat with the intention of completing Umrah and then they should recite Talbiyah, which is prayer repeated frequently during the pilgrimage.
↓5 – Move Towrads Ka’bah To Perform Tawaf And Sa’ey
When you first put your eyes on Ka’bah, you must recite holy verses, pray to Allah (SWT) and blessings for the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Then, start Tawaf – You are supoosed to walk clockwise so that the Ka’bah stays at your left. You must complete seven circles of the Ka’bah praying what so ever. There are no specific prayers to be recited during Tawaf, so you can pray from your heart or any prayer that you usually use in your daily lives.
After performing Tawaf, Muslims are required to perform Sa’ey. In Islam, it means to walk or run between the mountains of Safa and Marwa. Once you are done walking between Safa and Marwa seven times, men are supposed to cut their hair short or either completely shaved. However, if a man does not want to shave his head completely during Umrah then he should do it after he has performed the rites of Hajj. Whereas women can just trim their hair a little.
↓6 – Performing The Rites Of Hajj – First Day
The first thing after the break from Umrah is to get back in the form of purity again; the Ihram. Muslims who perform Tamattu type of Hajj get this break between their Umrah and Hajj. After Ihram, Muslims say another Niyyah and head towards Mina, a small town near Makkah city, where the saudia government provides thousands of air conditioned tents for pilgrims where women and men stay in seprate tents.
↓7 – Arafat – Second Day
There are no specific rituals on the first day, however on the second day Muslims are required to reach Arafat, a mountain nearby before afternoon so they can perform ‘Wuquf’. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) gave his last sermon on this mount hence this is known as the Mount Mercy. After the tiring journey of 14.4 km journey from Mina to Arafat, pilgrims spend the day here in respectful prayers.
↓8 – Muzdalifah
After the sundown, pilgrims move back but now towards Muzalifah, a place between Mina and Arafat. Here they collect pebbles for the ritual of Rami which they have to perform later and then spend the night under the sky.
↓9 – Stoning The Devil – Third Day
Before dawn Muslims head back to Mina and perform the ritual of ‘Rami’ which is symbolized as stoning the devil. The pilgrims are required to throw seven pebbles at the largest of the three monuments known as Jamrat ul Aqabah. This can be a very tense and emotional ceremony because of the crowd and the historical importance it holds.
After the pilgrims are done performing Rami, they are required to perform sacrifice. Earlier each pilgrim used to do it by themselves however, it has been made a lot easier now. The pilgrims are supposed to buy a sacrifice voucher and then a qualified expert will perform the sacrifice in your name. Sacrifice can be performed on the 10th,11th or 12th of Dhul hijjah however it is important that it is being done after one has performed Rami. Lastly, after the sacrifice men are required to shave their heads and women are required to cut a little part of their hair.
↓10 – Tawaf And Sa’ey
After the sacrifice and hair cutting ceremony, Muslims move towards Makkah to perform tawaf and sa’ey just like they performed during Umrah. Once this is done, Muslims can remove their Ihram and then they are supposed to head back to Mina for the night.
↓11 – Fourth And Fifth Day Of Hajj
Now that the Muslims are back in Mina, they must participate in the Rami ceremony again on the fourth and fifth day of Hajj after the sundown. However this time they should also throw pebbles at the other two monuments i.e. Jamrat Oolah and Jamrat Wustah.
↓12 – Farewell Tawaf
Once every ritual has been performed Muslims should wait till the very last of their stay at Makkah and then perform a farewell Tawaf just to thank Allah (SWT) for choosing them for this life-changing journey.