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
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 -
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:
(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
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
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
animal. One lamb or sheep per person. Camel and cow can be shared by 7
4. Haircut or
tonsuring of head.
5. Come out of
6. Tawaf Ifadah/
11th Dhul Hijjah
(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
(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.
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
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:
2. Attendance at
Arafat at the specified time.
3.The Tawaf of
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
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
7. To hunt animals.
8. To fight or
9. To have sex.
Women in Hajj -
1. It is obligatory
for women to cover the head.
2.Stitched cloth is
3. Any colour dress
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
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.
while in the state of Ihram -
The following acts are
prohibited during the state of Ihram:
intercourse as well as al sex-play and acts and talks of romance.
2. Quarrelling and
3. Hunting land
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
7. To break an egg
of a wild bird.
8. To injure any
wild animal, even removing its feathers.
9. To sell wild
10. To purchase
11. To remove the
milk of a wild animals.
12. To cook the
meat or eggs of wild animals.