Hajj ( الحج ) is The bragging day, Allah is proud of his servants who came to him in complete devotion, seeking his pleasure and mercy. During those few days of sincere devotion to Allah, we left all worldly pleasures, seeking Allah’s mercy and forgiveness.
We came from all over the earth with different races, languages, and cultures, but we gathered in one place and united by doing the same things. You could hear whispers all the time, and you know what it could be, the supplication to Allah to free our necks from the eternal flames.
You will feel like belonging to people you have never met before. This is your nation, and the hajj will remind you that our strength in this belonging and the weakness our nation is witnessing today results from its distance from union and interdependence.
Hajj is a great chance to get rid of all your heavy sins and return you to your pure state, which will lead you to your righteous seat in the life after, Muslim hajj is our way to eternal paradise.
what is hajj?
Haaj is a religious ritual in most religions, and in Islam, it’s one of the five pillars of Islam.
On the authority of Abdullah Ibn Omar, may God be pleased with him, that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: (Islam is built on five: the testimony that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, perform the prayer, zakat (obligatory payments), pilgrimage (Hajj), and fasting of Ramadan)
Here, the prophet showed us that those five actions are the five pillars of our religion that can’t be built without them, it’s impossible to be a Muslim without entire faith that those five pillars are Allah’s commands.
Conditions of Haaj;
As we previously mentioned Haaj is one of the Islamic pillars, and each pillar has conditions, here the conditions of Haaj are:
- Being a muslim
- Have a healthy mind, it’s not Mandatory for the insane.
- Puberty, it’s not mandatory for children.
- Freedom, it is not mandatory for slaves.
- Ability, you have money to pay, and you don’t have any diseases which prevent you.
Allah said in Al haj surah the verse number 27:
(And proclaim to the people the ḥajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every distant pass)
Hijj is an Arabic word, and it means intending to go to a particular place at a particular time for a religious purpose, it’s a religious ritual in most religions,
in Islam, our destination is the sacred house and Arafat mountain in Mecca, and the time is the months of Hajj, and they are three months Shawal, Zul Q’dah, and Zul Hijaah.
The rites of the Pilgrimage are performed on particular days of Zu Al Hija Months, and we will talk about them in detail.
when is hajj?
Muslims are traveling from all over the earth to mecca to perform hahj rites during the months of
Hajj and are three months in the Muslim calendar, Shawal, Zu Al Qi’da, Zu Al Hijah(exactly the first ten days of it).
Allah said in Al Bakara surah verse number 197:
Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do – Allah knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding.
So as Allah said, Ihram could be performed during those months.
what are the months of hajj?
The months of Hajj are two months and ten days, shawal, Zu Al qi’dah, and the first ten days of Zu al Hijah.
The companions of the prophet peace be upon him, concurred that those months were named months of hajj because the Muslim hajj rites are performed on them, and Ihram is performed on them.
Ihram is that Muslims intend to perform the Hajj and avoid all the prohibitions that the prophet, peace be upon him, illustrated to us.
When does the hajj start
Muslim hajj rites begin on the eighth day of zu al Hijjah month, here Muslims head to” Mina”, and this day is called the day of Tarwiyah, here, Muslims are preparing themselves to move to “Arafat”.
Heading to minah is desirable, not obligatory, but Muslims keen to perform hajj as our beloved prophet, peace be upon him, performed Hajj rites, but if you couldn’t reach Mecca on this day and reached it on the day of Arafat, your Hijj is correct.
how long does hajj last?
As we previously mentioned, the beginning of the Muslim hajj is on the eighth day of zul hijjah month, and it lasts for six days.
Each day of those six days contains a performance of one of hajj Islam rites, and each day is named by a particular name according to what is performed on it, or a special action the prophet was doing in.
how many days hajj completed?
hajj in mecca takes place six days to be completed, and each day’s name indicates the hajj rite that takes place.
- The first day of pilgrimage to mecca is named the day of Tarwiyah because in the era of the prophet, peace be upon him, there was no water in Arafa and mina, so the pilgrims were taking water from mecca.
( Tarwiryah is an Arabic word that means to drink water until the thirst is over).
- On the Day Of Arafat, the ninth day, the pilgrims arrive at the mountain of Arafat on it.
- The day of al Nahr, is the tenth day, and it’s the first day of Al Adha eid.
(Nahr in Islam is slaughtering an animal as the prophet peace be upon him did, and according to the legislation of Islam).
- Qar day: the day number eleven, and its name come from the Arabic word that means settling down, because pilgrims are settling down in Mina.
- The first Nafr day: the twelfth day and here the pilgrims are going to throw the pebbles
- The second nafr day.
how hajj is performed step by step
Now, we will mention the main steps of hajj briefly in the permissible order, and It is not permissible for the pilgrim to change the order of the works and rituals of Hajj, and must perform them in the mentioned order:
- Al ihram
- Arrival tawaf
- Al sa’i between safa and marwa
- Settling in Mina on the day of tarwiya
- Standing at Arafat
- Spending the night at Muzdalifah
- Throwing al aqaba Jamra
- Slaughter Al Hadi
- Ending ihram
- Tawaf Al-Ifadah
- Throwing pebbles
- Tawaf al wada’a
what are the rites of hajj?
Allah said in surah al haj the verse number 30:
That and whoever honors the sacred ordinances of Allah, it is best for him in the sight of his Lord. And permitted to you are the grazing livestock, except what is recited to you. So avoid the uncleanliness of idols and avoid false statement)
Hajj rites are the actions and ordinances of hajj, before talking about the rires we will explain the difference between three things in Hjj rites, and they are:
- Pillar: here if you didn’t make it your hajj isn’t correct, and there are four pillars for hajj, al ihram(the intention), Tawaf al Ifadah, standing in Arafat, and al Sa’ai.
- Duty: if you didn’t make it by mistake or forgot, you will have to sacrifice an animal, and your hajj will be correct. They are seven duties, al Ihram from an appointed place, settling in Muzdalifah, settling in minah, throwing Al Jimar, shaving or shortening, Tawaf al wada’a, and complete the day of Arafat till sunset.
- Sunnah or mustahab: this is a permissible action to do, and you will have good deeds by doing them, and if you didn’t make it there is no sin, and your hajj is correct.
It’s the intention to enter the rituals of hajj with his heart, and it was called Ihram because after doing it, the pilgrim will avoid doing permissible things because it will be not permissible till the end of Ihram, and as we explained before the intention of ihram is one of the four pillars of al Hajj.
Here is one of the seven duties of al Hajj, is al Ihram from the appointed place, and each country has a particular Miqat and there are three appointed places for miqat according to the country of the pilgrims;
- Zul Hulaifah: it’s the appointed place of the pilgrims of al madinah, and those who pass by it, it’s 450 km from Mecca and is known by Abyar Ali.
- Al-juhfa: for the pilgrims of egypt, morocco, and levant, and it’s 187 km from mecca.
- Saadiya: for the pilgrims of Yemen.
Tawaf al qudum
It’s the greeting for the sacred house that the pilgrims who come from outside mecca do, and it’s Sunnah, we will explain what tawaf, how it could be performed, and the difference between its types shortly.
Allah is saying in Al Bakarah surah, verse no 158:
Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the symbols of Allah. So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs umrah, there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing.
- Saa’i is walking between Safa and Marwa, and it begins by reaching As-safa mountain facing al Kaaba and begin by saying verse no 158 of surah al bakrah.
- From assafa to al marwah one circuits, and vice versa, we should make seven circuits.
- Saa’ai is a pillar of the four pillars of hajj.
Settling in minah on the day of al tarwiyah
It’s Sunnah, and it’s desirable to be done on the eighth day of zul hijjah, and it’s desirable for the pilgrims to perform the five prayers beginning with a noon( al duhr) and ending with Fajr.
Standing on arafat
One of al hag four pillars, and there are two conditions for standing on the land arafat:
- The time: the ninth day of zul hijah till sunrise of the tenth day.
- The place; the land of Arafat.
Here is some Sunnah that is preferable to be done during the day of Arafat:
- Washing up with intention of purification.
- Arafat’s sermon is composed of two sermons separated by light setting, and it’s time after noon.
- Combining the two prayers of Duhur and Asr on the time of Al duhur.
- Flooding to Muzdalifah after the sunset of Arafat day.
- Doing a lot of good deeds as a remembrance of Allah, and reciting of Quran.
Settling overnight in Muzdalifah
One of the duties that must be done, and if the pilgrim let it by mistake or forgot, he must sacrifice and his hahj is correct.
Throwing the Aqaba pebble:
It’s one of the duties of the hajj, and it is composed of seven pebbles with each pebble throwing, the pilgrim must say al takbeer.
The form of saying Takbeer is preferable to be as the following:
(In the name of God, and God is great, in spite of Satan and in approval of the Most Merciful, O Allah, make him an acceptable pilgrimage, acceptable walking, and forgivable sins)
Slaughtering Al Hadi:
Reason for slaughtering, there are three types, and they are:
- If the pilgrim has a deficiency in the duties, and it’s not at a particular time.
The other two sacrifices are according to the type of al Hajj:
- Voluntary Hadi: this type of Hadi in Hijj is related to single Hijj, and this means that the pilgrim intends to perform Hijj without Umrah, and here the slaughtering preferred to be during the days of al tashreeq( the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth days of Zul Hijah)
- The third type is related to the other two types of Hijj:
ِal tamatu’ Hajj: and here the pilgrim intends to perform Umrah in the months of hajj, then after ending of umrah he will intend to perform Hijj.
Al Qiran Hijj: here the pilgrim intends to perform umrah and hajj without ending ihram between them.
In both cases slaughtering is according to most scholars it’s restricted to the three days of Tashreeq, except for shafi’i school the time of slaughtering isn’t restricted you could perform it after Ihram.
Here are two types of it and they are:
The minor ending of Ihram:
After the throwing of al Aqaba pebble, and here the pilgrim could do anything of ihram’s prohibitions except intercourse.
The greater ending of ihram:
After performing Tawaf Al Ifadah, here all Ihram prohibitions are permitted.
Tawaf al ifadah
One of the four pillars consisted of seven circuits, it’s the time from Al fajr of the day of al Nahr till the end of our life, but it’s preferred to do it as soon as possible.
Throwing the pebbles
And they are three:
The first jamrah: it’s performed behind the al Khyf mosque, and it’s the farthest one from mecca, and they are seven successive pebbles.
The second Jamrah: is the middle one and it is composed of seven pebbles with takbeer.
The third one is Jamrat al aqaba: the last one, and we talked about it before.
Tawaf al wadaa or The last circumambulation:
This is the last tawaf before leaving the sacred land, and it’s for the foreign pilgrims, not for the people of Mecca.
what is tawaf in hajj?
One of the pillars of hajj and umrah, and consisted of seven circuits, each one begins in front of the black stone( al hagar al aswad) and ends by it.
the pilgrims perform tawaf while Al kaaba is on his left, and in Sunnah the pilgrim could fasten his steps in the first three circuits.
There are many conditions that must be affirmed during tawaf:
The intention: the pilgrim must intend to do tawaf worshiping Allah in his heart.
Covering awrah: covering the parts of our body that should be covered while praying.
Purity and ablution; the pilgrim must be sure that his body and cloth are clean of any uncleanliness, and he must preserve his ablution, if the ablution was ended he must perform it again.
how many tawaf in hajj?
There are three types of Tawaf in hajj in mecca, and they are:
- The Arrival tawaf or Tawaf al qudum: it’s sunnah for the pilgrims in their first meeting and greeting of the sacred house.
- Tawaf al Ifadah: it’s one of the Muslim hajj pillars, and its time is from al fajr of the day of Nahr till the end of life.
- Tawaf al wada’a: it’s a duty of the foreign pilgrims and if you did al ifadah tawaf you shouldn’t do it, but if you perform it you should leave mecca.
how to perform hajj?
It will begin on the eighth day of zul Hijah, we will begin with Ihram from the appointed place( al Miqat), then after that our destination is mecca to perform Tawaf Al qudum and Sa’ai.
After that, we will go to Mina to continue the day of Tarwiyah, and it’s desirable to complete it till Fajr and pray five prayers from duhur till Fajr.
Then we will go to Arafat to stay the day of Arafa and we will pray duhr and asr together in the time of Duhur.
Then we will move to Muzdalifah, spend the night there, and begin to collect the pebbles.
On the tenth day, the day of Nahr, we will move to throw jamrat al aqaba, and end the ihram, the Minor one.
After that, we will move to mecca to perform Tawaf al ifadah, then the major ending of ihram.
Throwing the pebbles via the days of tashriq, and at the end and before leaving the sacred land, we will perform twaf al wadaa, after spending the best days that the earth witnessing till the end of our life.
where is hajj located?
Hajj place in Makkah, and Arafat, they are the sacred lands in Saudi Arabia.
And according to the rites that you will perform it will be your destination, the first day will be in mecca to perform tawaf alqudum, then mina, then Arafah, then muzdalifah, then mecca again.
what to say while performing hajj?
We will begin our journey to the sacred land by Doaa al safar, the supplication of traveling, which our prophet peace be upon him taught us to say while traveling:
- Doaa al safar:
Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest.
The glory is to Allah who makes this in our service, and we wouldn’t be able to make this by ourselves, and our final destination is to him, O Allah we ask you Taqwa and Birr in our journey, and from deeds what please you.
O Allah Facilitate our journey and make us spend the distance quickly, you are the companion on traveling and the successor over the family.
O Allah I take refuge with You from the difficulties of travel, from having a change of hearts and being in a bad predicament, and I take refuge in You from an ill-fated outcome with wealth and family.
- Then, when we come to the appointed place of ihram, it’s desirable to wash up and after the intention, the pilgrims will begin to say Al Talbiyah, and it’s desirable for men to recite it loudly.
“Labaik allahuma labaik, labaika la sharika laka labaik, inna al hamda, wal ni’mata, laka, wal mulk, laa sharika lak”.
That means in English “We came to you, responding to your proclaim, we came to you and there is no partner with you, indeed the praise, blessings, and grace are for you, no partner with you, you are the only god”.
- Then when he enters the sacred mosque, he will say:
In the name of God, and prayers and peace be upon the Messenger of God, O God, forgive my sins, and open the doors of Your mercy for me.
- When he sees Al kaaba for the first time he will say:
O Allah, give this house more glory and honor.
- Then he will begin tawaf he will point to the black stone with his right hand and say:
“In the name of Allah and Allah is the greatest, O Allah of faith in You, belief in Your Book, fulfillment of Your covenant, and following the Sunnah of Your Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace”.
- Then at the beginning of saa’i when he cones closer to saffa he will begin to say” indeed the safa and marwa from the symbols of Allah”
And throughout the Muslim hajj, it’s preferable to increase your worship from supplications, zikr, and reciting Quran.
do you have to shave your head for hajj?
For men, they could choose at the end of their ihram between shaving or shortening their hair, but for women, the shortening is only permissible.
how much for hajj?
The Saudi Arabia government offered digital services to assist pilgrims from the West to communicate with trusted tourism companies in the Kingdom as the Mutawif site, which will provide you with the trusted tourist companies with the package which is suitable for you.
can a woman go to hajj without mahram?
The prophet peace be upon him said in the authentic hadith that a woman couldn’t travel without a mahram, which means a man from her family as a husband, or another man who is not permissible to marry her.
The scholars said that if the woman was in a safe group with women, she will be safe with them, there is no problem traveling without a mahram.
Can hajj be performed anytime?
Allah said in surah Albakrah that haj is well-known month, so the ihram could be in the months of hijj and can’t be in any other months, and the rites of hijj must be performed on particular days, as we previously explained.
can you do hajj for someone else?
In Islam, you could perform Hajj for another but with conditions:
- The person who we will perform hahj instead of him must be unable to perform hahj because of illness or imprisonment, and he should be able to pay for Muslim hajj from his own wealth.
- The person who will perform the hijj instead of another one has performed his.
can you do hajj on behalf of a dead person
If the dead person didn’t do haji makkah before his death, we could perform it instead of him, but the performer has to be already finished.
what’s the difference between hajj and umrah?
Umarah composes of Tawaf and saai, each one is composed of seven circuits, and it begins with ihram, and ends with ihram ending, and it could be done at any time of the year.
Hijj is restricted to a particular time, and it composes of many rites and tawaf and saai, are between them, the ending of ihram is composed of a minor, and greater.
can you do hajj without umrah:
According the type of hijj, the single muslim hajj is done without umrah, but tamatu’, and qiran are performed with Umrah.
what to do before going to hajj?
There is some advice before mecca hahj, and they are:
- Hajjs coming from outside Saudi Arabia should take a corona vaccine approved by the World Health Organization, and the second dose will be at least a week before entering Saudi Arabia.
- Try to visit your doctor to make a check-up, and especially your dentist.
- If you have any chronic diseases, be sure that you have your drugs, and write notes in your drug bag for each drug.
- Buy comfortable shoes.
what to say to someone going for hajj?
We will supplicate Allah to keep them safe and accept their haji makkah and forgive their sins, and we will ask the pilgrim to pray to us.
One of the well-known supplications in this case:
O Allah, we ask you for an acceptable Hijj, and forgive sins, O Allah forgive them and us.
how do you know if your hajj is accepted
“The accepted Hijj has no reward except paradise’, said the prophet, peace be upon him.
You should have deep faith that Allah will accept your worship, as you do it just seeking his pleasing and mercy.
The scholars said there are many signs of the accepted Hijj:
- When you become after Hijj better than before.
- The facility of doing good deeds and the difficulty of making bad ones.
But we have to understand that Satan will continue in his war with us to facilitate the way of sins, so if you did bad things again the doors of forgiveness are open just ask Allah’s forgiveness, and he will.
what to say when someone returns from hajj?
“O Allah make his Hijj accepted and his sins forgave”
This is one of the supplications that we can say to Hajjs after his return, that the tiredness and hardship that they face him during Hijj will be rewarded with Allah’s acceptance and blessings.
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The days of Muslim hajj are the best days, are full of mercy, blessings, and accepted supplications as Allah will.
It’s one of the five pillars of Islam, that you couldn’t be Muslim without a complete faith that they are Allah’s commands.
There are five conditions for Hajj, to be Muslim, to have a healthy mind, after puberty, not for children, for the free Muslim, the ability by money and health.
The rites of hajj are divided into pillars, duties, and Sunnah, and each one has time and manner to be performed.
Finally, we all supplicate to Allah to bring us back to Mecca to perform Hajj, accept our deeds, and forgive our sins.