Hajj is the last divine pillar of Islam which strengthens faith, perseverance and comprises practices that reinforce commitments towards Allah Almighty. Being able to perform Hajj is the blessing for all Muslims. Hajj is the form of worship that Muslim owes to Allah Almighty. Hajj is a veneration that symbolizes the core dogmas of Islam i.e. yearning to turn towards Allah wholeheartedly with ardent devotion. Muslims were honoured to become the Guests of Allah in His Holy House the Kaaba and through Divine Guidance have completed the rituals of Hajj with great love and enthusiasm for Almighty Allah. Allah (SWT) says:
فِيهِ آيَاتٌ بَيِّنَاتٌ مَّقَامُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمَن دَخَلَهُ كَانَ آمِنًا وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ
“In it (are) signs clear, standing place of Ibrahim, and whoever enters it – is safe. And (due) to Allah upon the mankind (is) pilgrimage (of) the House (for one) who can [it] (find) away. And whoever disbelieved then indeed, Allah (is) free from need of the universe.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:97)
Hajj is obligatory on every financially and physically stable Muslim once in a lifetime. It exemplifies equality, which is a re-enactment to the rituals and teachings of Prophet Abraham (AS), a way to commemorate his sacrifice and sheer love for the sole Lord. Muslim can erase all his previous sins by performing Hajj with love and enthusiasm for Almighty Allah. In Quran Allah says:
وَجَاهِدُوا فِي اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ هُوَ اجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ مِّلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ مِن قَبْلُ وَفِي هَٰذَا لِيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ فَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِاللَّهِ هُوَ مَوْلَاكُمْ فَنِعْمَ الْمَوْلَىٰ وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ
“And strive for Allah (with the) striving due (to) H He (has) chosen you and not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty. (The) religion (of) your father Ibrahim. He named you those-who-submit/Muslims before and in this, that maybe the Messenger a witness over you and you may be witnesses on the mankind. To establish the prayer and give zakah and hold fast to Allah. He (is) your Protector – so an Excellent [the] Protector and an Excellent [the] Helper.” (Surah Al-Hajj 22:78)
Hajj has a special virtue in all acts of worships as it clears all kind of sins no matter how small or big they are but one needs to perform this obligatory act of worship with obedience. The person who is performing Hajj should have sincere intentions for Allah Almighty, money used for Hajj must be lawful and one should stay away from committing different sins. While performing Hajj one should be aware of all integrals and requisites of Hajj.
Useful Tips for a Productive Hajj
The journey of Hajj should be a spiritual experience that makes a Pilgrim knowledgeable than before. It’s not only you just perform Hajj but it counts all your actions and behaviour during the journey of Hajj. The following tips every pilgrim must know and prepare for Hajj journey and make it productive.
- First of all, before you travel keep photocopies of all your legal documents and also make extra copies of your passports and photos. You never know when you will need them.
- Keep with you both national currency and Saudi Riyals.
- Make sure that your agent checks in for all the bookings, hotels, foods, agreements beforehand.
- Educate yourself and gained proper knowledge about every aspect of Hajj.
- One should re-learn the basics of Islam. Those going for Hajj should make sure that they are performing Wudhu perfectly and offering Salah in a meaningful manner.
- Must be familiarized with Hajj plan don’t depend on Imam that he will guide you in every little dua or prayer.
- Don’t involve in incorrect practices related to shirk.
- Learn common Arabic vocabulary and phrases needed during Hajj so that it eases communication.
- To make you comfortable during the journey of Hajj wear durable and easy to carry shoes or sandals.
- Keep a spare Ihram with you while in Mina in case it gets dirty.
- Keep your essential things in your bag and stay light.
- Have some basic medicines with you.
- Women must have a pair of scissors so that it is easy to cut their hair at the end of Hajj.
- Get a mini Quran with yourself with pocket-size Hajj guidebook.
- Keep phones with you which have longer battery life. You may not find a place to charge your smartphone in Arafat and Muzdalifah.
- Learn relevant Duas to be recited when doing Hajj.
- Pray or make dua for all you know and even for those whom you don’t know. Make dua for the oppressed, including Muslims in Syria, Palestine, and Burma.
- Stay focused during the whole journey of Hajj. Keep cell phone just for emergency use and focus solely on your purpose of being there.
- Make Talbiyah throughout the journey of Hajj and keep in mind that you are here for Almighty Allah.
- Don’t waste your time in idle talk make most of the time in remembrance of Allah Almighty.
- Always use Miswak to clean your teeth before each prayer. Using Miswak is the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)
- Let go of all anger, hate, and disappointment of those who have wronged you. Be able to forgive, forget and love even your enemies. Make sure to give them a second chance by forgiving them.
- During the journey keep your diet balanced. Though, don’t stuff yourself with too much food or drink when you plan to walk a lot.
- Leave your ego, selfishness, and expectations at your home and fill your bag with the bundle of patience with you in the journey of Hajj.
- Clean your body and soul as Allah Almighty give you a chance from millions of Muslims so use your time in the right way and make most of Duas and ask Allah for forgiveness as much as you can.
Signs of an Accepted Hajj
Below we will discuss some signs that will help pilgrims to let them know whether their Hajj has been accepted or not by Almighty Allah.
- The accepted Hajj refers to the one performed truly and offered with full sincerity to Allah Almighty.
- Signs of an accepted Hajj also includes that the man returns from Hajj as a better person than the one he was before the Hajj and that he keeps away from sins.
- The sincerity of intention should remain even after the Hajj. The pilgrim should not show off about Hajj.
- The sign of an Accepted Hajj is that upon one’s return, his life changes from worst to good. The person who performed Hajj indulges in good deeds and always tries to fulfil the commands of Allah Almighty.
- If pilgrim Hajj is accepted the person will run away from all those things that Allah Almighty disliked.
- Pilgrim should try his best to fulfil the obligations laid down by Allah and must be grateful that his Hajj has been accepted.
Integrals of Hajj (Pilgrimage)
Below the integrals (Rukns) of Hajj are mentioned that one should know about to perform this act of worship properly with full of obedience.
- First of all, Intention to be in the state of pilgrimage while wearing Ihram and also says in the heart that I now enter into the actions of Hajj for the sake of Almighty Allah.
- One should be physically present in Arafat between the start of Dhuhr on the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah and the dawn of the following Eid day.
- Tawaf that is one needs to circumambulate the Kaaba seven times.
- One has to walk between the mount of Safa and Marwa seven times and also perform Sa’ey.
- Shaving or trimming the hair is the next integral. This is satisfied by cutting at least three hairs. The women should also trim their hair but they don’t shave.
- Observe the order in performing the integrals.
Requisites of Hajj (Pilgrimage)
Requisites are those things without which the Hajj is valid but these are obligatory acts that one needs to perform.
- The intention of Ihram before crossing the site prescribed for it that is Miqat.
- Staying at night in Muzdalifah and Mina.
- Throwing pebbles at Jamrahs during the days of Tashriq.
- To throw pebbles at the station of Jamrat-ul-Aqabah on the day of the Feast that is Eid-al-Adha.
- Performing farewell Tawaf before leaving the Makah.
Unlawful Things during Hajj (Pilgrimage)
Below mentioned are the unlawful things that one should avoid during Hajj.
- To wear perfumes.
- Rub the head and beard with oil or things like that.
- To remove or cut fingernails, toenails, and hair.
- To perform sexual intercourse.
- To conduct the marriage.
- To hunt any Islamically edible animal.
- To cover the head for men and to cover the face for women.
Rules of Ihram
Upon entering the state of wearing Ihram one should have to do ghusl or to take shower and perform wudu (ablution) for purification of the body. Must make the intention of entering into the Ihram while reciting Talbiyya لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ ، لَبَّيْكَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ ، لَا شَرِيكَ لَك once. If in some cases, water is not available then it is permissible to skip the shower and just perform ablution to continue Hajj rituals.
After the Niyyat is done, it is also recommended to pray two Rakat Salah to finally step into the pure state of Ihram. In the Holy Quran, Almighty Allah says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَوْفُوا بِالْعُقُودِ أُحِلَّتْ لَكُم بَهِيمَةُ الْأَنْعَامِ إِلَّا مَا يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْكُمْ غَيْرَ مُحِلِّي الصَّيْدِ وَأَنتُمْ حُرُمٌ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحْكُمُ مَا يُرِيدُ
“O you who believe! Fulfil the contracts. Are made lawful for you the quadruped (of) the grazing livestock except what is recited on you, not being permitted (to) hunt while you (are in) Ihram. Indeed, Allah decrees what He wills.” (Surah Al-Ma`idah 5:1)
Every pilgrim must wear Ihram before passing the Miqat. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) stated in one of His hadith: “One shouldn’t pass the Miqat unless he/she is in the state of Ihram.” (Al-Bukhari)
Prohibitions of Ihram
Once an individual enters in the state of Ihram after making the intention then following actions are prohibited:
- Men can’t wear stitched clothes but women can wear their ordinary clothes.
- Men are not allowed to cover their head and women can’t cover their face.
- Shaving or cutting the hair and the nails. It says in the Noble Quran: “And do not shave your heads until the Hady (sacrificial animal) reaches the place of sacrifice” (Quran, 2:196).
- Do not use perfume, women can’t wear makeup and for men wearing socks or shoes is also prohibited.
- Hunting animals is also prohibited. Almighty Allah says in the Quran: “O you who believe! Kill not the game while you are in a state of Ihram (for Hajj or ‘Umrah (pilgrimage)).”(Quran 5:95)
- Sexual intercourse is also prohibited. In Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihram), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj.” (Quran, 2:197)
Duas that one should memorize and recite during the journey of Hajj
Dua when leaving Home
بِسْمِ اللهِ ، تَوَكَّلْتُ عَلَى اللهِ وَلاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاّ بِاللهِ
Translation: “In the name of Allah, I place my trust in Allah, and there is neither might nor power except with Allah.”
Dua when entering Masjid al-Haram
أَعُوذُ بِاللهِ الْعَظِيمِ وَبِوَجْهِهِ الْكَرِيمِ وَسُلْطَانِهِ الْقَدِيمِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِا, للَّهُمَّ افْتَحْ لِي أَبْوَابَ رَحْمَتِكَ
Translation: “I seek refuge with Allah, The Supreme and with His Noble Face, and His eternal authority from the accursed devil. O Allah, open the doors of mercy”.
Talbiya of Hajj
لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ ، لَبَّيْكَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ ، لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ
Translation: “I am present, O Allah, I am present, there is no partner unto You. I am present. Praise and glory are yours (for You). The Kingdom is also Yours. There is no partner for You”.
Dua for Tawaf
سبحانلله والحمدلله و لا إلها اللله والله أكبر و لا حالة و لا قوات البيلله
Translation: “Praise to be Allah, and God is the greatest, and not the state, nor the forces of the people.”
Dua for Sa’ey
إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِنْ شَعَائِرِ الله فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَنْ يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا وَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ الله شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ
Translation: “Verily! As-Safa and Al-Marwah are of the Symbols of Allah. So it is not a sin on him who performs Hajj or ‘Umrah of the House (the Kabah at Makah) to perform the going between them (As-Safa and Al-Marwah). And whoever does good voluntarily, then verily, Allah is All-Recognizer, All-Knower.”
Dua when Drinking Zamzam water
للَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ عِلْمَاً نَافِعَاًً وَرِزْقَاً وَاسِعَاًَ وَشِفَاءً مِنْ كُلِّ دَاءٍ
Translation: “O Allah, I seek beneficial knowledge, wide sustenance, and cure from all ailments from You.”
May Allah Almighty accept the Hajj of all pilgrims who performed this year and before, help them to maintain it until they reach the end of their life, and also take them again in His house for performing Hajj. We also ask Allah (SWT) to accept our good deeds and provide us with steadfastness and uprightness until death. Ameen!