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Hajj - The Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Makkah, Saudi Arabia. It is currently the largest annual pilgrimage in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so.The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to Almighty Allah. The pilgrimage occurs from the 5th to 12th day of Dhu-al-Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar. Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, eleven days shorter than the Gregorian calendar used in the Western world, the Gregorian date of the Hajj changes from year to year. In 2007, the Hajj was from December 17–21; in 2008 from December 6–10, and in 2009 it was from November 25–29. Ehram is the name given to the special state in which Muslims live whilst on the pilgrimage. The Hajj is associated with the life of Islamic Last Holy Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) from the 7th century, but the ritual of pilgrimage to Makkah is considered by Muslims to stretch back thousands of years to the time of Prophet Ibrahim. Pilgrims join processions of hundreds of thousands of people, who simultaneously converge on Makkah for the week of the Hajj, and perform a series of rituals: Each person walks counter-clockwise seven times about the Kabah, (the cube-shaped building) which acts as the Muslim direction of prayer, kisses the Black Stone (Hajr-e-Aswad) in the East corner of the Kabah, runs back and forth between the hills of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, drinks from the Zam Zam Well, goes to the plains of Mount Arafat to stand in vigil, and throws stones in a ritual Stoning of the Devil (Rammi). The pilgrims then shave their heads, perform a ritual of animal sacrifice (Qurbani), and celebrate the global festival of Eid-ul-Adha. As of 2009, more than three million pilgrims participate in this annual pilgrimage. Crowd-control techniques have become critical, and because of the large numbers of people, many of the rituals have become more stylized. It is not necessary to kiss the Black Stone, but merely to point at it on each circuit around the Kabah. Throwing pebbles was done at large pillars, which for safety reasons in 2004 were changed to long walls with catch basins below to catch the stones. The slaughter of an animal can be done either personally, or by appointing someone else to do it, and so forth. But even with the crowd control techniques, there are still many incidents during the Hajj, as pilgrims are trampled in a crush, or ramps collapse under the weight of the many visitors, causing hundreds of deaths. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj has a website, with the message, "Be peaceful, orderly and kind. No crushing." Pilgrims can also go to Makkah to perform the rituals at other times of the year. This is sometimes called Umrah. However, even if they perform the Umrah, they are still obligated to perform the Hajj at some other point in their lifetimes if they have the means to do so. Hajj Guidance - Remember, Hajj requires more of etiquette because a pilgrim has to spend six days in the company of an international assembly of people. Spirit of camaraderie and fraternity must be nurtured. It is out of the mercy of Allah that we are able to live long enough to witness the succession of the days and months, which bring the various seasons of mercy. Through such seasons, we can gain abundance of rewards. The Hajj season is one such blessed occasion. There are two types of people who witness this season: those who have not made the intention to perform the pilgrimage and those who have. It is incumbent upon every Muslim who is capable of performing Hajj to make the intention to go. It is therefore wise to fulfill the duty of performing Hajj at the first available opportunity. This is why the Prophet (PBUH) advised: ‘Hasten to (perform) Hajj for one of you does not know what impediment might come in his way’ (Ahmad) It is indeed, a serious neglect of our duty if we keep postponing the performance of Hajj. On Arrival - 1. Ihram at Meeqat. 2. a) Two Rakats Nafil and Niyah (Declaration of Intention) and Talbiyah must be performed for Hajj and Umrah combined (Qiran) or b) Two Rakats Nafil and Niyah and Talbiyah must be performed for Umrah only (Tamattu) or c) Two Rakat Nafil and Niyah and Talbiyah must be performed for Hajj only (Ifraad). d) Tawaf Qudoom in Makkah (Arrival Tawaf). e) Two Rakats Nafil / Drink Zamzam. d) Sai’e (running between Safa and Marwah). For Qiran maintain Ihram until Hajj. For Tamathu one can come out of Ihram. 08th Dhul Hijjah 1. Ihram from Makkah. For those residing in Makkah, Ihram is from place of residence. 2. Two Rakats Nafil and Niyah for Hajj and Talbiyah. 3. Arrival in Mina before Zuhr, Asar, Maghrib and Isha prayers and Fajr Prayers of 9th Dhul Hijjah. 09th Dhul Hijjah 1. After Fajr prayer, arrival at Arafat. 2. Zuhr, Asr shortened and combined in Nimra Mosque or wherever the tents have been put up in the camps. 3. Standing at Arafat, after sunset, departure to Muzdalifah without performing Maghrib prayers at Arafat. 4. Arrival at Muzdalifah, delayed Maghrib and Isha prayers with one Azan and two Iqamats combined. (Isha shortened). 5. Collect pebbles for Rami of jamra. Pebbles may also be collected in Mina. 10th Dhul Hijjah 1. Arrival at Mina after performing Fajr prayer in Muzdalifah. 2. Lapidation or Rami (casting stone) at Jamra Aqaba (Big Satan) before sun is past meridian. 3. Sacrifice animal. One lamb or sheep per person. Camel and cow can be shared by 7 persons. 4. Haircut or tonsuring of head. 5. Come out of Ihram. 6. Tawaf Ifadah/ Ziarah. 11th Dhul Hijjah 1. Lapidation (casting stones) at all the Three Jamarat after the sun is past meridian (seven pebbles at each jamra). 2. Stay in Mina. 12th Dhul Hijjah 1. Lapidation (casting stones) to be repeated as the previous day. 2. Leave Mina before sunset, perform Tawaf Ifadah if not performed yet. 13th Dhul Hijjah 1. If sun sets in Mina, stay there and do lapidation as on the previous two days after the sun is past meridian, leave Mina for hotel. 2. Tawaf Wida (Farewell Tawaf) when leaving Makkah for Madinah or home country. Talbiyah - Pilgrims are also recommended to repeat the traditional phrase declaring that they are responding to Allah’s call for them to offer the pilgrimage and complete it. They repeat these phrases as they go into Ihram. Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik Laa Shareeka Laka Labbaik Innal Hamda Wannimata laka walmulk Laas Shareeka Lak. “I respond to your call my Lord, I respond to you, there is not deity save you. All praise, grace and dominion belong to you. You have not partners”. Men should utter this aloud while women should say it silently. Repeat this Talbiyyah frequently, and engage in the praise of Allah, in supplication for forgiveness and in the enjoining of what is good and the forbidding of what is evil. Essential of pilgrimage There are four essentials of pilgrimage which must be done for it to be valid. Omitting anyone of these will invalidate one’s Hajj. These are: 1. Ihram. 2. Attendance at Arafat at the specified time. 3.The Tawaf of ifaadah and 4. Saie between Safah and Marwah. 5. A fifth essential is added by Shafie school of thought, which is to shave one’s head (for men only) or to shorten one’s hair. Restrictions of Ihram - In the state of Ihram the following acts are forbidden. 1. To cut or shave the hairs of head or body, till the sacrifice of animals is completed. 2. To cut the nails. 3. To wear stitched clothes (for men only). 4. To wear turban or cap or anything which covers the heads (for men only)? 5. To wear shoes or socks above the ankle. 6. To cover the face. 7. To hunt animals. 8. To fight or quarrel. 9. To have sex. Women in Hajj - 1. It is obligatory for women to cover the head. 2.Stitched cloth is allowed. 3. Any colour dress is allowed. Bukhari and Ahmed have reported that the Prophet (Pbuh) said: ‘A pilgrim woman must neither cover her face nor wear gloves”. This proves that the woman in state of Ihram should not cover her face and hands. On Menstrual Days - It is reported by Hazrath Aishah that once on a Hajj Pilgrimage when she experienced the monthly period the holy Prophet (Pbuh) noticing her inconvenience said: “There is no need to cry. This is something that Allah has made as a natural occurrence for daughters of Adam (Pbuh), meaning all women”. Most scholars are of the opinion that purification is not necessary for performing Sa’I between Safa and Marwah, in the light of what the holy Prophet (Pbuh) said to ‘Aishah once when she menstruated. He told her. “You may perform all rites (of Hajj) as other pilgrim’s do, except performing tawaf around the Kabah which you may do after you are clean and no longer menstruating”. ‘Aishah and Umme Salamah said: ‘A woman who performs the tawaf, offers to rakah prayer (by the Station of Ibrahim), and then finds that her period has started, may perform Sa’i between Safa and Marwah. “It is preferable, however, to various rites of Hajj or ‘Umrah, because cleanliness is commendable in Islam. 1. It is permissible for woman to enter the state of Ihram in case she has experienced menstrual period or child birth by performing the Ghusl (obligatory bath) and making the Niyat (intention) of Hajj or Umrah. She will have to recite Talbiyah. This is enough for her to enter the state of Ihram. 2. She may not offer the two rakats nafil salat of ihram until she is fully clean and performed the obligatory Ghusl. 3. After Ihram she may perform the duties of Arafat, Muzdalifa and Mina. 4. She may not perform tawaf in this state after reaching Makkah. 5. She may pray and recite Istaghafar and all other duwas. 6. If a woman fears that she may begin to menstruate she may perform the Tawaf Al-Ifadah early on the day of Nahr- 10th of Dhul Hijjah as a precaution against the menses. 7. If a woman (pilgrim) is afraid of her monthly period, she may perform the Tawaf of Kabah before throwing the pebbles at Jamarah and even before her sacrificial animal is slaughtered. 8. Women may touch and kiss the Black Stone when there is an opportunity and no men are around. It is reported that ‘Aishah said to a woman, “Do not crowd with others at the Black Stone, but if you find a chance, touch and kiss it, otherwise if there is crowding, then say a takbir (Allah is the Greatest) when you are opposite to it, and make y our tawaf and do not cause any harm to anyone. 9. Staying at Arafah means physical and mental presence in any part of Arafah, whether one is awake, asleep, riding, sitting, lying down, walking and regardless of whether one is in a state of purity or not, e.g., a menstruating woman. 10. Persons who for valid reasons, illness, etc., cannot themselves throw the pebbles on their behalf. Jabir said, “We performed Hajj with the Prophet (Pbuh) and we had some women and children with us. We (adults) uttered talbiah and threw pebbles on behalf of the children. “This was reported by Ibn Majah. 11. Abu Dawud and others reported from Ibn Abbas that the Prophet said, “Women pilgrims do not have to shave (their heads); they may only shorten their hair, Ibn ‘Umar said, “When a woman wants to cut off her hair, she may hold her hair at the front and cut it off about the length of the tip of a finger. Prohibited Act while in the state of Ihram - The following acts are prohibited during the state of Ihram: 1. Sexual intercourse as well as al sex-play and acts and talks of romance. 2. Quarrelling and fighting. 3. Hunting land animals. 4. To inform a hunter of the where abouts of an animal. 5. To aid a hunter in any way whatever. 6. To chase a wild animal. 7. To break an egg of a wild bird. 8. To injure any wild animal, even removing its feathers. 9. To sell wild animals. 10. To purchase wild animals. 11. To remove the milk of a wild animals. 12. To cook the meat or eggs of wild animals.

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