What is Hajj? A brief intro of Hajj:
In this article, I will elaborate you everything about how to do Hajj step by step, all of its rituals, and the method of their performance.
Hajj is a religious obligation, that is the dream of billions of Muslims all around the world. Hajj is a sacred pilgrimage of Islam that is the fifth pilgrimage of Islam. It is a story of spiritual odyssey to Makkah and Madinah. It is performed in the Holy month of Dhul Hijjah, according to the Lunar calendar dates. Hajj is obligatory for every Muslim who can afford it once in life.
It can be performed more than once if the person is financially, physically, and emotionally stable to afford this holy pilgrimage. Hajj is a demanding religious duty, that requires guidance at every step.
How to Perform the Hajj? Step-by-Step Guide:
For performing Hajj, it is necessary to know How to perform the Hajj, and keenly knowing its each and every ritual. Here I will explain every step of the hajj in an easy and understandable way. After reading this you may picture the whole process of this spiritual pilgrimage.
Step# 1. Preparation and Intention:
Before your arrival at Makkah to start the Hajj pilgrimage, it is necessary for you to make your intention to perform Hajj. Keep a check on your niyyah, it should be purely for the sake of Allah, for his happiness, and for the sake of ease and reward in the hereafter (akhirah). Purify and again purify your niyyah (intention) that it should not be to show off or for worldly gains, or for praise, or anything like that.
Step# 2. Entering in state of Ihram:
After preparation and intention, the next step is the entrance into the state of Ihram. What is Ihram?
Ihram is a special piece of white cloth, that is worn by men in the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage. There are two pieces of unstitched garments, one piece of garment covers the waist and lower waist area in men, and the 2nd piece of white cloth is draping around the shoulders.
Women can wear any kind of dress but this dress should be appropriate and modest, covering the body properly. Ladies’ dress should adhere to the rules of hijab. Face should not be covered during the hajj pilgrimage.
Ihram is showing as there is Allah’s army in the same uniform. Without any distinction. Everyone is equal in the front of the almighty without any discrimination of cast, color, creed, or wealth.
While you are entered into the Ihram. You should be careful about your words and actions. don’t say or do anything that harms any of the creatures of the Almighty, especially your fellow Muslims throughout the world.
Do not use any kind of addictive thing, smoking, alcohol, marital relationship with your spouse, swearing, smoking, shaving and cutting of your hair, use of any kind of perfume is prohibited. You should avoid shampoo, soap, cosmetics, or any kind that contains fragrance in it.
Tip #1. It’s good to carry an extra piece of ihram with you.
Tip#2. Full foot covering shoes are not allowed in Hajj, instead, you should wear sandals whether you are a man or woman. It’s good to choose a decent and comfortable pair of trekking sandals, this will allow you to easily walk for long distances.
Wear your shoes when you are departed for Saudi Arabia, or for Makkah. This will save you from blisters on your foot while you walk for long distances in Hajj. Your foot will adapt as you wear your shoes before starting the hajj.
Step #3. Tawaf:
Tawaf is moving around holy Kabba 7 times, in complete seven circles, in anticlockwise motion. Tawaf starts with Black stone and ends with black stone. At the end of Tawaf, you can perform extra prayers, or nawafil as gratitude to the almighty that he made you reach there safe and sound.
Step # 4 Walking between Safa and Marwa:
The next step of the Hajj pilgrimage is Sai between Safa and Marwa. Sai is walking and jogging between Safa and Marwa. It starts from Safa towards Marwa. When you walk or run from Safa and reach Marwa this will complete your one lap. And when You’re walking or running from Marwa to Safa, you will complete your 2nd lap. There are two green-marked points between Safa and Marwa, you have to run between these points.
Sai is an important ritual of Hajj, that leads us back to our beloved prophets Hazrat Ibrahim, Hazrat Hajra, and Hazrat Ismail (A.S). Who made the story of memorable sacrifice and devotion for the sake of Allah Almighty will. The purpose of including Sai in Umrah is to tell the Muslims the true value of belief and faith in the Almighty even in the worst conditions. And in the end, the Almighty makes the impossible possible for you. Sai symbolizes the struggles of our life and our belief in Allah.
Be patient, and don’t hurry to complete Sai, you can drink zam zam, and complete it at your own pace.
Step#5 Clipping and Shaving of Hair:
After completion of Sai, men shave their heads, while women cut their hair up to the length of one inch. At this point, Umrah is completed. You can remove your ihram after clipping or shaving your hair.
Step# 6. Resting and Praying:
Now after completing your Umrah, it is good for you to rest, and drink ZamZam. Remove your tiredness of Tawaf and Sai. And ready yourself for wearing your Ihram again on the 8th of Dhul Hijjah. This is the next stage of entering into the spiritual journey.
Step#7. Enter in the state of Ihram:
8th of Dhul Hijjah is the time to enter again into the state of Ihram, there are many things that you have to take care of during the state of Ihram, when you are in the state of Ihram you are not allowed to smoke, clipping your hair, or nails, swear, or argue with anyone.
You cannot even fight with anyone, you are prohibited from killing, hunting, or breaking anything unjustified. You are not allowed to use scents, perfumes, perfumed soap, makeup, or any beauty product. You can use unscented toiletries, these are allowed.
Dua after wearing Ihram:
When you have entered into the state of Ihram you will recite Talbiyah.
لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ، لَبَّيْكَ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ لاَشَرِيْكَ لَكَ
Some useful Tips:
Although you are not allowed to wear any kind of scented or perfumed product for your skincare. But there is a huge variety of non-scented products available in the market. You can buy them from shops near haram in Saudia. It is necessary for you to use sunblock while you are going in the sun. Vaseline is also good to carry with you to protect you from painful rashes.
Step #8 Arrive at Mina:
The next step in How to perform Umrah is Heading towards Mina. Soon after saying the Fajar prayer, all pilgrims go to Mina, the tent city. Here in Mina, you will be allocated a tent. You will pray Dhuhr, Asr, and Maghrib, in combination. And then Isha and Fajr in combination. Spend your time in the best of the state of faith. Say your prayers at the time, recite the holy Quran, and do dhikr with the purity of your heart.
Remember one thing the tents might be tight; and you may feel congestion. But try to stay cool and calm, and don’t forget the spiritual purposes of this pilgrimage and its hardships.
Keep yourself hydrated as there is very hot weather in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Hajj authorities arrange cold water near every tent, so do not forget to drink plenty of water. Familiarize your surroundings quench your thirst and don’t forget the spiritual purpose of your Hajj pilgrimage.
Step# 9. Day of Arafah:
After sunrises in Mina, on the 2nd day of Hajj on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah, pilgrims head towards Arafah, where they recite Istaghfar and make supplications. Upon reaching the mountain of Arafat, pilgrims will say the Duhar and Asr prayers combining them with the Qasar prayer. This is called Waquf al Arafat. Pilgrims stay here till sunset.
Khutba (sermon) is delivered at the Masjid al Nimra. Listen to the Khutba carefully. Khutba at Al Arafah is very important as it is mentioned in the Holy Quran. In Surah Al Maida. Make lots of Dua at Al Arafat, and seek forgiveness from Allah.
There is a Hadith E Nabi about al Arafat.
The Holy Prophet S.A.W says:
There is no day when Allah Almighty does not free people from the fire, more than the people on the day of Arafah.Hadith of Holy Prophet S.A.W
Don’t waste your energy climbing up the mountain of Al Arafah, the level area of Arafat is called the Plains of Al Arafah. Make supplications and Istaghfar.
Step#10. Offer Prayer at Muzdalifah:
Pilgrims after spending their day at Arafat, head towards Muzdalifah, this is an open plane between Mina and Arafat. After reaching there Muslims perform evening prayer there. They spend their night there. They rest until Fajar, during their stay in Muzdalifah, pilgrims also collect pebbles to throw the shaitan the next day. It is recommended to pick up 49 pebbles to kill the devil, but it’s better if you collect 70 pebbles. The reason for collecting extra pebbles is that you may miss the target, or some pebbles may fall from your hand while you are throwing pebbles to Shaitan during jamarat. So, it is best practice to collect extra pebbles.
- While you are staying in Muzdalifah, you have to spend the night under the night sky. Although there are lots of lights, it’s best for you to stay near your group, to avoid any kind of inconvenience.
- Toilets and wudhu places are present there in plenty, but there is a huge crowd, so be patient. It’s recommended that you use the toilet before leaving Muzdalifah, and refresh yourself.
Step# 11. Rami:
This is the 3rd day of Hajj, this is also called Yawm al Nahr, the Pilgrims after performing their Fajr prayer return back to Mina, while reciting the Talbiyah. There is a stone structure known as Jamarat al Aqabah, pilgrims through pebbles to this stone. At Minah they sacrifice their animals and stone the devil. Pilgrims are required to complete the Rami and sacrifice their animal till the 12th of Dhul Hijjah.
Why Pilgrims through stones during Hajj?
Rami is an essential ritual and part of Hajj if we talk about the origin of Rami. It brings us back to our beloved Prophet Ibrahim (AS), when he was going through the trials by Allah Almighty, shaitan appeared and he used to try to distract Ibrahim (AS) from the right path, towards disobedience of Almighty. Allah sent Jibrail (AS), when Ibrahim (AS) was at Jamarat ul Aqiba. Hazrat Jibrail (AS) asked Hazrat Ibrahim to through seven stones to the Iblis and he ran away.
Rami is in fact in remembrance of Ibrahim (AS), when he throws the pebbles at Iblis at three different places and Iblis flees away. Now there are three stones at the place where Ibrahim (AS) threw stones at Iblis, pilgrims perform Rami as per the command of the Almighty.
How to Perform the Rami?
There are three days for stoning the devil, the 10th, 11th, and 12th day of Dhul Hijjah, you will need a total of 49 stones, but it is better for you to have more than 49 pebbles. it’s best for you to collect them in some kind of mini bag. Collect similar-sized pebbles, their size should be equivalent to the size of the date.
On the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, you will have to hit 7 pebbles, on the 11th of Dhul Hijjah you have to hit 21 pebbles, and on the 12th of Dhul Hijjah, you have to hit 21 pebbles. Recite takbir “اللهُ أَكْبَرُ” upon throwing the pebbles.
Don’t rush to throw pebbles, but wait for your turn. Saudi Hajj authorities usually have allocated time for every group to come and perform Rami. This thing reduces the crowd.
Don’t throw any valuable thing on these stones, because Iblis is not present there. This is just the ritual of the hajj you have to complete.
Step# 12. Animal Sacrifice, Nahr: (Qurbani on Eid ul Adha):
10th of Dhul Hijjah is the day of the feast of sacrifice, for Muslims all around the world. All the pilgrims and Muslims all around the globe can afford to sacrifice animals. And utilize the meet by themselves and distribute it among the relatives and to the needy people.
Step# 13. Shaving of Head:
At this point you can shave your head, male should trim completely from their head, while women will trim just the length of their fingertips. Use disposable blades while shaving the hair of your group members. If you avail the services of a barber for shaving your hair, ask him to use disposable blades. After shaving their hair pilgrims leave their Ihram, now they are allowed to do all the halal things that they were prohibited from doing in the state of the Ihram, except for sexual intimacy. It’s recommended to use perfumes as its sunnah to use after leaving the Ihram.
Step#14. Tawaf al Ifadha and SAAI
After leaving the Ihram you will go to Haram and perform the tawaf which is named tawaf al Ifadha. After completion of tawaf al Ifadha, you will perform Sai. After completion of these two rituals, you are allowed to do all the halal things including sexual intimacy. You can now go to your tent in mina and relax.
On the 11th of Dhul Hijjah, you will throw the 21 pebbles to the three stones specified for pebble throwing. After doing this ritual you can go to your tent and spend your time praying, in supplications, dhikr, or in recitation.
This is the last day for Rami, ready your 21 pebbles again to repeat the same process you have done the last day. Again, you will hit all three stones.
Step#15. Tawaf al widah:
This is the last step in How to Perform the Hajj, according to Hanafi, Shafi and Hanbali this Tawaf al wida is wajib Obligatory. but it is Sunnah to perform before leaving the Haram for Maliki. Tawaf starts with circumambulating along with the Kaaba, starting from Hijra e Aswad, in an anti-clockwise direction. You can kiss the holy stone at the end of tawaf.
When you have completed the Twaf al widah, Mabrook, Mabrook, mabrook! you have completed the holy pilgrimage of Hajj. You can leave the Haram, by setting left foot out first, while saying supplications.
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1. How many days are required to perform Hajj?
Five to six days are required to perform Hajj. it starts on the 8th of Dhul Hijjah and ends on the 12 to the 13th of Dhul Hijjah. The Hajj pilgrimage includes a series of rites and rituals that have to be performed in sequence and on special days. So, it takes the time period of five to six days to complete the hajj rites and rituals.
2. What are the Farz of Hajj?
People are often confused about how to perform the Hajj and the Farz and sunnah of the Hajj pilgrimage. There are seven Farz of hajj.
- Entering into the state of Ihram.
- Standing and praying in Arafah.
- Spending a night in Mina.
- Spending a night in Muzdalifah.
- Clipping the head hair.
- Tawaf al Widah.
- Is it necessary to stay in Mina during Hajj?
Staying in mina is a ritual of Hajj, haji stay here and spend the night under the sky. They collect pebbles from Mina for Rami. There are different schools of thought present for is it necessary to stay in mina during hajj. Hanbali school of thought has two views about it, one considers it as sunnah and the other considers it as Farz. Hanafi school of thought considers it as sunnah and recommends it to perform it.
- How to perform Hajj in 2024?
Hajj policies change every year, so it is necessary to stay updated and informed about the changing perspectives of Hajj 2024. For this purpose, you should stay in touch with Al Madinah Travels, they will give you every update about how to perform the Hajj in 2024.
- What are the Farz of Hajj?
It is necessary for every pilgrim to know the Farz of Hajj, so that his efforts may not be wasted due to a lack of knowledge of Hajj rituals and obligations. These rituals are known as Farz of hajj, it is compulsory to perform these rituals. These Farz of Hajj include:
Wrapping up How to Perform the Hajj?
Hajj is a sacred and profound spiritual journey, that is required at least once in a lifetime to all Muslims who can afford it. This is a life-transforming experience if you have knowledge about each and every step of How to perform the Hajj. In this article, I have given a comprehensive account of how to perform the Hajj along with the tips that will add ease and value to your spiritual journey.
If you are planning to set on this holy odyssey in 2024 choose Al Madinah Travels, they have been providing Hajj and Umrah services for years and ensure a smooth and safe experience.