Hajj & Umrah Guide

Some people think that the performance of Hajj and Umrah is very complicated. Therefore, they don’t make enough effort to learn to perform the essential rites correctly and have to pay Dam (sacrifice of an animal) as a penalty. Then some people are put off by the lengthy Dua’as in Arabic listed in the most books. To put these people at ease from the very beginning, we start with the suggestion to use the simple Dua’as that they already know. Then the procedure of Hajj and Umrah is presented in a simplified way.

SUPPLICATIONS (Dua’as)

There are no prescribed prayers for the Hajj rites, except Talbiyah which is very short and can be memorized easily. It is:

TALBIYAH

“Labbayk,
Allahumma Labbayk.
Labbayk.
La shareeka laka.
Labbayk.
Innal-hamda wan-n’imata
laka wal-mulk.
La shareeka lak.”
( Here we come,
O Allah, here we come !
Here we come.
No partner have You.
Here we come!
Praise indeed, and blessings, are Yours—
the Kingdom too!
No partner have You!)

If you still can’t remember it, you can say its translation in English or in any other language but Talbiah or its translation is pronounced in a loud voice by men and in a subdued voice by women.

Regarding other du’as (supplications), consider yourself in front of your Creator and ask Him whatever you want in life and the life hereafter in your own language. You can praise Allah Almighty in short Arabic phrases or sentences, such as,

Allahu Akbar,
Subhan Allah,
Alhamdu Lillah,
Subhan Allah Wabe Hamde hi Subhan Allah hil Azim
,
first Kalimah, etc.

Surah Fatihah “Alhamdu Lilla Hi Rab-Bil Aala Meen…” is a du’a which is recited in every rakah of the salah. There are two very short du’as:

1. Rabbana atina fid-dunya hasanatan wa fil-akhirati hasanatan wa qina azabin-nar.

2. Allahumma antas salamu wa minkas salamu tabarakata ya dhaljalali wal ikram.

There is another du’a which is mostly recited in the salah:

Rabbij’alni muqimas salata wa min dhurriyyati Rabbana wa taqabbal du’a.
Rabbanaghfirli waliwalidaiyya wa lil mu’minina yawma yaqumul hisab
.

Then there is a Darud Sharif in the salah, use that.

According to Muslim and Bukhari Sharif if you recite Surah Al-Ikhlas (given below) three times, you get the reward (thawab) of reciting the whole Quran and you know in Masjid al-Haraam this reward is increased 100,000 times. Subhan Allah!!

Bismillahir rahmannir rahim.

Qul hu wal lahu ahad.
Allahus samad.
Lam yalid wa lam yulad.
Wa lam ya kul lahu kufuwan ahad.

Here is another Surah called Al-Kafirun which, according to Tirmidi Sharif, if recited four times fetches the reward of reciting the whole Quran:

Bismillahir rahmannir rahim.

Qul ya ayyuhal kafirun.
La a’budu ma ta’budun.
Wa la antum abiduna ma a’bud.
Wa la ana abidum ma abadtum.
Wa la antum abiduna ma a’bud.
La kum dinukum walia din.

During the two Nafls after wearing the two sheets of Ihram, some scholars have recommended to recite Surah Al-Kafirun in the first rakah after Alhamd and Surah Al-Ikhlas in the second rakah after Alhamd. Then again when two Nafls are offered at Maqam-e-Ibrahim after the seven circuits of Tawaf, it is a Sunnah to recite these two Surahs in the same manner. But remember that reciting these two Surahs particularly is not a Fard (imperative) or Wajib (compulsory).

Now I point out to you the smallest Surah in the Quran called Al-Kawthar which you may already know, if not, it is easy to memorize because it has only three verses:

Bismillahir rahmannir rahim.

Inna a’tainakal kawthar.
Fa salli lirabbika wanhar.
Inna shani’aka huwal abtar.

These are some of the surahs and du’as that you already know, you can use them repeatedly and for the rest of the time ask your Creator whatever you want in your own language.


IHRAM

ihram

The literal meaning of Ihram is to make haraam (forbidden). When a haji pronounces the Niyyah (intention) of Hajj and Umrah and utters Talbiyah, certain halaal (permissible) things become haraam for him. This combined action (Niyyah and Talbiyah) is called Ihram. The two sheets that a haji wears are figuratively known as Ihram but the real Ihram is Niyyah & Talbiyah. If someone wears these two sheets and does not declare his intention and utter Talbiyah, he does not become aMuhrim. That is why, before Niyyah and Talbiyah, he can cover his head during two rakahs of Nafl, an act which is not allowed in the real state of Ihram.

PROCEDURE

1. Preparations for Ihram. Comb your hair, shape the beard, trim your mustache, cut your nails, and remove unwanted body hair.

2. Purification. Take a bath with the intention of Ihram otherwise do wudu. Here it is noted that there are two ways of purification:

o Purification of the body, shower or wudu.

o Internal purification, sincere repentance on your sins. Say something like this: “O Allah, I sincerely repent on my sins and seek your forgiveness.”

3. Ihram Sheets. Men should wear a sheet of white cloth around the waist and cover the upper body with the other sheet. Women’s ordinary clothes are their Ihram. Both should wear the flip-flops (hawai chappal) so that the middle bones of the upper part of the feet are not covered.

4. Nafl Salah. If it is not makruh (undesirable) time, offer two rakahs of nafl for Ihram by covering your heads.

5. Advice. If going to Jeddah by an airplane, it is convenient to get into the status of Ihram inside the plane. Here is what you do. Do everything at home or at the airport except Niyyah (intention) and Talbiyah. Have your shower, pray two rakahs of nafl but you are still not in the status of ihram because you haven’t done the main thing yet, i.e., intention and Talbiyah which is done at or before the boundary line called Miqat.

Go to the airplane and sit down with the white sheets on. In a Hajj flight when you are close to Miqat, the pilot will announce that this is the border line to make your intention and to say Talbiyah. Those who did not change their clothes before should do so now although it is not convenient inside the plane. Please note that:

o It is a good idea to ask at the time of boarding if the arrival of Miqat will be announced by the pilot. If not, make your intention and say Talbiyah on your own approximately one hour before you reach Jeddah.

o If you are flying with a group, follow the instructions of the group leader.

6. Intention and Talbiyah. Now uncover your head and declare your intention. It is assumed that you are performing Hajj al-Tammat’u in which Umrah is performed first as described later in the “Kinds of Hajj”.

“O Allah! I intend to perform Umrah. Please make it easy for me and accept it from me. Amen.”

Immediately after that utter the words of Talbiyah three times and as often afterwards as possible. Men should say it in a loud voice but women should say it in a subdued tone.

7. Du’a. After this recite Darud Sharif and supplicate to Allah Almighty any du’a in Arabic or in your own language.

8. Prohibitions of Ihram. After intention and Talbiyah, you are in the status of Ihram and from this time on you should not do acts that are forbidden in Ihram , for example, here are some of the things a muhrim must not do:

o Cover head (men), cover face (women)

o Cover the middle bone of the upper part of the feet (Both men and women))

o Shave / cut hair

o Cut nails

o Wear perfume

o Wear stitched clothing (men) / (Women can wear their ordinay clothes)

o Hunting / killing

o Sex

9. Journey towards Makkah. When this sacred journey towards Makkah al-Mukarrama starts, recite Talbiyah frequently on the way. Then enter the city very humbly and with great fondness still reciting Talbiyah.

After arranging for your residence, proceed to the Haram Sharif to perform Umrah.


HAJJ

hajj

KINDS OF HAJJ
There are three ways of performing the Hajj:

Hajj al-Tamatt’u (Interrupted)
This is the easiest way of performing Hajj as described below.

Hajj al-Qiran (Combined)
This denotes entering into ihram for both Umrah and Hajj at the same time, not taking it off until the day of sacrifice at Mina.
In Qiran one has to stick to the long-lasting restrictions of Ihram

Hajj al-Ifrad (Single)
This means entering into ihram only for the Hajj and taking it off only on the day of sacrifice.

Note :

1. All three kinds of Hajj are essentially the same except intention and duration of Ihram.

2. However, in Hajj al-Tamatt’u and Hajj al-Qiran the sacrifice in Mina on 10 Zil-Hijja is Wajib (essential) but in Hajj al-Ifrad it is only Mustahab (desirable).

3. An Afaqi person has the option to wear Ihram for any kind of Hajj but the residents of Makkah and those living in Hil (the area from Miqat to Haram of Makkah, such as Jeddah) are not allowed to perform Hajj al-Tammatt’u or Hajj al-Qiran.

4. According to Hanafites, the most excellent kind of Hajj is Qiran, then Tammatt’u and then Ifrad.

5. After Umrah for Hajj al-Tammatt’u one can perform more Umrahs before Hajj but in case of Hajj al-Qiran one is not allowed to perform more Umrahs before Hajj. And in case of Hajj al-Ifrad also no Umrah is permitted before Hajj.

HAJJ AL-TAMATT’U

People who come to Saudi Arabia from other countries usually perform Hajj al-Tamatt’u. The Ihram they wear on or before Miqat is for Umrah only and perform Umrah first, then they slip into their ordinary clothes and on 8 Zil Hijjah they put on Ihram for Hajj at their residence in Makkah and perform the rites of Hajj. It is taken off on the day of sacrifice. This article describes the procedure to perform Hajj al-Tamatt’u.

HOW TO PERFORM UMRAH

THE RITES OF UMRAH: The only rites of Umrah are:

• Entering the state of Ihram

• Tawaf of Ka’bah

• Sa’yee between the hills of Safa and Marwah

• Shaving or clipping of the hair

IHRAM FOR UMRAH AND ENTERING MASJID AL-HARAAM

1. Ihram: You should be already in Ihram for Umrah before entering Makkah as mentioned above.

2. Entering Masjid al-Haraam: While reciting Talbiyah, enter Masjid al-Haraam preferably through Bab

image006as-Salam with right foot first. Supplicate to Allah and proceed towards Ka’bah. You may recite the following supplication which is usually used before entering a mosque:Allah huma aftah li abwabe rahmate ka

3. First Sight: At the first sight of Ka’bah, keep your eyes fixed at Baitullah and standing at one side, it is suggested that you do the following:

§ Say Allahu Akbar three times

§ Say La Ilaha Illallah three times

§ Proclaim Darud on our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) and very humbly and with tears in your eyes supplicate to Allah for whatever you wish. This is a special time for the acceptance of prayers.

The idea is to praise and glorify your Creator before proclaiming Darud and supplications. Therefore, in lieu of Allahu Akbar and La Ilaha Illallah, you may recite some other similar holy verses if you so desire.

After this, while uttering Talbiyah, move forward to perform Tawaf of Ka’bah.

TAWAF OF UMRAH

Tawaf means circling around something . Here it means moving around Ka’bah seven times with extreme love and devotion.

1. Preparation: Pass the upper sheet of Ihram from underneath the right arm and put it on the left shoulder. This act bares the right shoulder and is known as Iztaba. Ablutions (vudu) is essential for tawaf. Reciting of Talbiyah is stopped when you reach Hajar-e- Aswad, the starting point of tawaf.

2. Niyyah (Intention): Stand in front of Ka’bah facing Hajar-e-Aswad (the Black Stone) in such a way that the whole Hajre-e-Aswad is on your right side. To achieve this end, you may get help from the black stripe on the floor. This stripe should be on your right side. Then without raising your hands make Niyyah (intention) for Umrah:

” O Allah, I perform Tawaf of Umrah to please You. Make it easy for me and accept it from me.”

3. Istilam: Now moving towards right, come in front of Hajar-e-Aswad and kiss it if possible, or touch it with a stick and kiss the stick; if that also is not possible, raise your hands to your ears keeping your open

image008palms towards Hajre-e-Aswad and say:” Bismillahi Allahu Akbar Wa Lilla Hil Hamd”

and drop your hands down. Now point the palms of your hands again towards Hajar-e-Aswad and kiss them. This act of kissing Hajar-e-Aswad or pointing towards it is called Istilam.

4. Tawaf Starts: After Istilam, turn right and start tawaf counter clockwise.

WARNING

§ The authorities often apply perfume to Hajar-e-Aswad, Rukn Yamani and Multazam. If so, do not touch them while in the state of Ihram, otherwise a dum will be required as a penalty.

§ During tawaf, it is not permissible to face or turn your back towards Ka’bah except when you are kissing or pointing towards Hajar-e-Aswad.

5. Ramal: For the first three circuits of Tawaf of Umrah and Tawaf of Arrival, men are required to move their shoulders and walk with quick short steps. This act is called Ramal and is Sunnah. They walk normally during the remaining four circuits.

6. Supplications of Tawaf: There are no fixed supplications for tawaf but there are several recommended supplications listed in the books of Hajj and Umrah out of which the following supplication is easy to memorize:

“Subhan-Allah wal-hamdu-lillahi wa la ilaha ill-Allah wa-Allahu Akbar wa la haula wa la quwwata illa-billah.”

If you don’t remember these words, you may glorify Allah by repeatedly uttering:

Subhan Allah,
Al-Hamdu lilla,
Allahu Akbar,
La Ilaha Illallah, etc.

The Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) has said that there are two kalimahs that are light on tongue and (on the day of judgment) they weigh heavy on the scale (Mizan) and are liked by Allah. These kalimahs are:

Subhan Allah Wabe Hamde hi Subhan Allah Hil Azeem (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi)

You may also use supplications used in the daily Salah or you may seek forgiveness of Allah and ask Him whatever you wish in your own language.

7. Hatim: Hatim is a semi-circular half-built portion which was originally a part of the Ka’bah but which could not be included in the main structure when the Ka’bah was rebuilt. It is obligatory to go around Hatim also while performing tawaf.

8. Rukn Yamani and its Supplications: After passing the three corners of the Ka’bah you reach the fourth corner known as Rukn Yamani. Touch it with both hands or with right hand. There is a beautiful supplication to be used while walking between Rukn Yamani and Hajar-e-Aswad:

“Rabbana atina fid-dunya hasanatan wa fil-akhirati hasanatan wa qina azabin-nar.”

Our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) has repeatedly recited this supplication. The first circuit is complete when you reach Hajar-e-Aswad.

9. Seven Circuits: At Hajar-e-Aswad, start the second circuit by kissing it or pointing towards it as you started the first circuit, i.e., come in front of Hajar-e-Aswad, raise both hands to your ears with open palms towards it and say:

” Bismillahi Allahu Akbar Wa Lillah Hil Hamd

Now kiss both palms and drop your hands. After this go around Ka’bah as you did before and similarly complete the seven circuits.

10. The End of Tawaf: At the end of seven circuits, do Istilam of Hajar-e- Aswad or point towards it eighth time which is Sunnat Mu’akidah. Also say:

“Bismillahi Allahu Akbar Wa Lillah Hill Hamd”

11. Iztaba Finished : Now Iztaba is finished, therefore, you cover your both shoulders with upper portion of the Ihram sheet. This does not apply to women.

12. Multazam: Now, come to Multazam which is a place five or six feet in length between Hajar-e-Aswad and the door of Ka’bah. This is a highly sacred place where prayers are accepted. Among a large crowd of people, if it is possible to reach Multazam, cling to it pressing your chest and cheeks, and while trembling and crying with devotion and with all humility seek Allah’s mercy, His blessings and ask Him whatever you wish. If you are unable to come close to Multazam, just face towards it and supplicate from a distance.

13. Maqam Ibrahim: Next offer two rakahs of nafls behind and close to Maqam Ibrahim without covering

image010your head. If it is zawal time when sajdah is not allowed, you have to wait till this undesirable time is passed and then offer prayers.In the niyyah (intention), say that you are offering 2 rakahs of nafls wajib al- tawaf. Recite Qul ya ayya hal kafroon in the first rakah and Qulhu wallah in the second rakah. After this, supplicate to Allah in Arabic or in your own language. Ask Him whatever you wish and invoke His blessings.

If it is not possible to offer this obligatory prayer near Maqam Ibrahim, it can be offered anywhere in Mataf, or in Hatim or anywhere in Masjid al-Haraam or even at any place in Haram of Makkah.

14. Zamzam: Now go to Zamzam well situated in the basement of the Haram about 200 feet from the Ka’bah’s door. There are separate portions for men and women. Zamzam is the best available water in the world. Drink this water to fill while in standing position saying Bismillah. Then supplicate to Allah:

“Allahummah inni as’aluka ilm-an naafi’an wa rizqan waasi’an wa shifa’am min kulli daa’in.”

(O Allah! I implore Thee for beneficial knowledge, for vast provisions, and for cure from every disease.)


RULES FOR TAWAF OF UMRAH

1. One should be in the state of Ihram before starting Tawaf.

2. There are three conditions essential for Tawaf of Umrah and for all other kinds of Tawaf as well, namely:

a. To be a Muslim

b. Niyyah (intention)

c. To perform Tawaf inside Masjid al-Haraam

Without niyyah, Tawaf is not valid. Tawaf can be performed in Mataf or on different floors of Masjid al-Haraam or even on its roof.

3. While performing Tawaf, one should not look towards Ka’bah. One has to face Ka’bah only when doing Istilam of Hajar-e-Aswad.

4. After completing the seven circuits of Tawaf, if someone deliberately starts the eighth circuit, it becomes obligatory (wajib) for him to complete the second Tawaf by doing six more circuits.

5. Undesirable times for prayer are not considered undesirable for performing Tawaf.

6. If someone has to discontinue Tawaf because of time for prescribed prayer or because a dead body is brought for a funeral prayer or need for fresh ablutions arises, he can later resume Tawaf at the point where he discontinued.


A CHEKLIST FOR OBLIGATORY (WAJIB) PARTS OF TAWAF

Tawaf is finished but here is a checklist to make sure that no obligatory part is missed.

1. One should be free from the state of impurity and must have performed vudu (ablutions). The women are not allowed to perform Tawaf during their monthly period and during the impure state after childbirth.

2. One should be properly dressed. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) has said:

“Nobody should go around the Ka’bah in a naked state.” (Bukhari)

3. To perform Tawaf on foot, performing Tawaf while riding is permissible only when one is unable to do so on foot.

4. To start Tawaf from one’s right side in the counter clockwise direction.

5. To complete seven circuits of Tawaf.

6. During Tawaf, to pass Hatim as well which is in fact a part of the Ka’bah.

7. To start Tawaf from Hajar-e-Aswad.

8. To offer two rakahs of nafls after each Tawaf. It is undesirable (Makrooh) to combine two Tawafs together and not to offer two rakahs of nafls in between.

9. As Tawaf of Umrah is performed while in the state of Ihram, one has to observe all the prohibitions associated with this state.


SA’EY

The literal meaning of Sa’ey is to run or to make effort, but as a Hajj and Umrah term, Sa’ey denotes

image012walking back and forth seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah which are situated to the south and north of the Ka’bah respectively. Now there are only signs of these hills and the whole route between them is enclosed in a long gallery.Sa’ey has a historical background. Prophet Abraham left his wife Hazrat Hajra and infant son Hazrat Ismael in the wilderness of Makkah at the command of Allah. The mother and son lived for five days on the food and water they had when the water was completely finished. The mother ran frantically seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah in

search of water for her son. Suddenly the fountain of Zamzam oozed miraculously near the feet of Hazrat Ismael. Sa’ey is included in the rites of Hajj and Umrah to commemorate this event of search and struggle.

RULES FOR SA’EY

1. Sa’ey is obligatory (wajib) after the conclusion of the Tawaf and not before it.

2. To be free from impurity is not obligatory (wajib) for Sa’ey, therefore, women during their monthly period can perform Sa’ey although they are not allowed to enter Masjid al-Haraam, offer Salat or perform Tawaf. They can enter the place of Sa’ey from the outside entrance.

But it is a Sunnah to be free from all types of impurity and be in the state of ablutions during Sa’ey.

3. Sa’ey has seven trips and all are obligatory (wajib). But according to Maulana Khalil-ur-Rahman of Pakistan, the four trips are Fard and the remaining three are obligatory (wajib). Just remember all seven trips have to be completed.

4. It is a Sunnah to start Sa’ey right after Tawaf but it is not obligatory (wajib). Therefore, if Sa’ey is delayed for some reason, there is no penalty.

5. It is obligatory (wajib) to start Sa’ey from the hill of Safa and end at Marwah.

6. It is obligatory to perform Sa’ey on foot unless somebody has an excuse when it can be performed by riding.

7. During the Sa’ey of Umrah, it is obligatory to be in the state of Ihram. One should also be in Ihram for the Sa’ey performed after Tawaf of Arrival (Qudum), but it is a Sunnah to perform the Sa’ey after Tawaf of Visit (Ziyarah) in ordinary clothes.

8. Sa’ey is performed only once during Hajj, either after Tawaf of Arrival (Qudum) or Tawaf of Visit (Ziyrah). But it is better to perform Sa’ey after Tawaf of Visit.

9. It is a Sunnah to climb the hills of Safa and Marwah and raise hands for supplication, facing the Ka’bah.

10. It is undesirable (Makrooh) to do business during Sa’ey, but one can talk if the need arises.

HOW TO PERFORM SA’EY

1. Istilam of Hajar-e-Aswad. Before starting Sa’ey, do Istilam of Hajar-e-Aswad again the ninth time or point towards it, saying:

“Bismillahi Allahu Akbar Wa Lillah Hil Hamad.”

Now Proceed towards Safa. It is a Sunnah to be in the state of ablutions during Sa’ey.

2. Start of Sa’ey at Safa. Climb the hill of Safa and make intention (niyyah) for Sa’ey:

” O Allah! I perform Sa’ey between Safa and Marwah to please You. Make it easy for me
and accept it from me.”

Now recite:

“Inn-as-Safa wal-Marwah min Sha’a’irillah.”

(Al-Qur’an 2 : 158)

(Indeed Safa and Marwah are among the Signs of Allah.)

After this climb Safa to the point from where you can see the Ka’bah, then facing the Ka’bah raise your hands in supplication, say Allahu Akbar three times and recite the following supplication or ask Allah whatever you wish:

“La ilaha ill-Allahu wahdahu la Sharika lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu wa ala kulli shai’in Qadeer.”

If you don’t remember this, you may use the supplication recited earlier during Tawaf:

“Bismillahi Allahu Akbar Wa Lillah Hill Hamd”

3. Proceed towards Marwah. Come down from Safa and move towards Marwah while reciting this supplication:

“Subhan-Allah wal-hamdu-lillahi wa la ilaha ill-Allah wa-Allahu Akbar wa la haula wa la quwwata illa-billa.”

If you don’t remember this supplication also, recite Subhan Allah, Alhamdu Lillah, Allahu Akbar repeatedly and keep moving. You may also praise Allah and ask for His mercy in your language or use supplications taken from the daily Salah. When you reach two green pillars between which men have to run but the women walk with their normal pace.

4. At Marwah. When on top of Marwah, praise Allah facing the Ka’bah and repeat the same supplications that were recited at Safa. One trip is over, second trip will end at Safa and third trip will end at Marwah.

5. End of Sa’ey. In the same way, the seventh trip will end at Marwah. In all trips the men will run between the green pillars but the women will walk in a normal way.

6. Two raka’at Nafl. If it is not an undesirable (Makrooh) time, offer two raka’ats of nafl in the al-Haram.

7. Shaving or clipping of hair. After Sa’ey, men should get their heads completely shaved or get their hair clipped to the length of the upper third of their finger or a little more. Both shaving and clipping are permissible for men, though shaving is preferable. Women are, however, allowed to have a lock of their hair clipped. They are forbidden to shave their heads.

8. Umrah is complete. After cutting the hair, umrah is complete. The restrictions of Ihram are finished. Now wear your everyday clothes and lead a normal life. Be thankful to Allah that He provided the opportunity for performing Umrah and lead rest of your life according to the commands of your Creator.

NAFL TAWAF
You may perform Umrah as often as you want according to the above procedure. And if you want to perform just a nafl Tawaf, follow the same procedure, however, in a nafl Tawaf there is no Ihram, no Ramal, no Iztaba and even no Sa’ey.

PERFORMANCE OF HAJJ
(STEP BY STEP)


SYMBOLS
  Red color is the symbol of Fard the performance of which is imperative otherwise Hajj and Umrah will be invalid.
  Orange color is the symbol of Wajib the performance of which is obligatory otherwise Dam is required as a penalty.
  Green color stand for Sunnah or Mustahab (desirable). Try to perform these acts but no Dam is required if not done.
  White color is a symbol indicating general instructions.
8 Zil Hijjah–First Day of Hajj

Hajj Preparations

The date 8 Zil Hijjah starts after the Maghrib prayer of 7 Zil Hijjah. Complete all the Hajj preparations during these night hours.

Preparations for Ihram

Comb your hair, shape the beard, trim your mustache, cut your nails, and remove unwanted body hair.

Bath

Take a bath with the intention of Ihram otherwise do wudu.

Ihram

Men should wear a sheet of white cloth around the waist and cover the upper body with the other sheet. Women’s ordinary clothes are their Ihram. Both should wear the flip-flops (hawai chappal) so that the middle bones of the upper part of the feet are not covered.

Nafl Salah

If it is not makruh (undesirable) time, men offer two rakahs of nafl for Ihram in the Haram Sharif by covering their heads. Women can offer these nafls at home.

Intention
and
Talbiyah

Now uncover your head and declare your intention saying:“O Allah! I intend to perform Hajj. Please make it easy for me and accept it from me. Amen.”

Immediately after that utter the words of Talbiyah three times and as often afterwards as possible. Men should say it in a loud voice but women should say it in a subdued tone.

Prohibitions of Ihram

Now the prohibitions of Ihram start. Recall their detail and follow the rules. From this point on men cannot cover their heads for the duration of Ihram.

Departure to Mina

After the sunrise proceed towards Mina. On the way, pronounce Talbiyah as often as you can and also utter other supplications. But it is ok to follow the procedure of your Mu’allimwho usually arranges for hajis to leave for Mina during the night after Isha prayers.

In Mina

In Mina offer Zuhar, Asr, Maghrib and Isha prayers. Spend that night in Mina and on 9 Zil Hijjah, offer Fajr prayer there.

9 Zil Hijjah–Second Day of Hajj

Departure for Arafat

Offer Fajr prayer in Mina, say Takbir Tashriq (Allah-u Akbar, Allah-u Akbar La Ilaha ill-Allah wa-Allah-u Akbar, Allah-u Akbar wa Lillah-il-hamd) and Talbiyah. Get ready and reach Arafat by zawal (declining of the sun).

Bath

Take a bath, if possible, otherwise perform wudu and have meals. Packages of food are usually provided by the Mu’allim. Also take some rest.

Waquf-e-Arafat

Waquf is started at the beginning of zawal (declining of the sun) and ends at the sunset. Spend this time uttering Talbiyah, repent on your sins, seek forgiveness and mercy of Allah, say Darud Sharif and utter all the supplications (du’as) in Arabic and in your own language. It is better to do Waquf while standing but sitting down is also allowed.

Zuhr and Asr Prayers

In Masjid-e-Namrah, the imam leads Zuhr and Asr prayers, combined and shortened, at Zuhr time with one adhan but separate iqamahs. At other places in Arafat, some people similarly combine these two salats. But it is advisable that away from Masjid-e-Namrah, offer them at their proper times with jama’at as recommended by the most scholars.

Departure for Muzdalifah

When the sun sets in in Arafat, proceed to Muzdalifah without offering Maghrib prayer reciting Zikr and Talbiyah on the way.

Maghrib
and
Isha Prayers

In Muzdalifah offer Maghrib and Isha prayers together at Isha time. For both prayers there is one adhan and one iqamah.

  • First offer Fard prayer of Maghrib with jama’at. Then say Takbir Tashriq and Talbiyah.
  • Immediately after that offer Fard prayer of Isha with jama’at.
  • After this offer two Sunnah of Maghrib.
  • Then offer two Sunnah of Isha followed by Witr prayer.
  • Offering Nafl prayer is optional.

Zikr and Du’a

This is a very blessed night in which glorify Allah, recite Darud Sharif, read Quran, utter Talbiyah and supplicate very humbly. Also take some rest.

Pebbles

Pick up forty-nine pebbles of the size of big grams (chick peas) if Rami is to be performed for three days and seventy if for four days.

Fajr Prayer and Waquf

At the Fajr time after two rakah Sunnah, offer Fard prayer with jama’at. then perform waquf.

Return to Mina

Proceed to Mina when the sun is about to rise.

10 Zil Hijjah–Third Day of Hajj

Rami of Jamrah Aqabah

In Mina, hit Jamrah Aqabah with seven pebbles one after the other. On account of risk to life, the old, weak or sick persons can perform Rami a little before sunset or at night.

Stop Talbiyah

Stop saying Talbiyah when you throw the first pebble. Also don’t stop for du’a. Just go to your residence and do Qurbani (animal sacrifice).

Qurbani (Animal Sacrifice)

There are three days designated for qurbani, i.e., 10, 11 or 12 Zil Hijjah. It can be done any time during day or night. It is usually easy to sacrifice an animal on 11 Zil Hijjah. Do qurbani yourself or ask a reliable person to do it for you.

Halq or Qasr

After qurbani men should preferably get their whole head shaved (Halq) but it is permissible to cut the hair (Qasr) of their whole head equal in length to a joint of a finger (about an inch). It is also permissible to cut the hair (about an inch) of one fourth of the head. A woman is prohibited to shave her head. She can cut about an inch long hair of one fourth of her head. But according to some scholars it is sufficient for a woman to have a lock of her hair clipped.

  • If the sacrifice is postponed till the next two days, Halq or Qasr is also postponed because it comes after the sacrifice.
  • Halq or Qasr can be done at any time up to the 12 of Zil Hijjah even if the sacrifice is not postponed. After Halq or Qasr all prohibitions of Ihram are lifted except the private relations between husband and wife which are permissible after Tawaf-e-Ziarah.
  • Halq or Qasr in Mina is a Sunnah. But you are allowed to do it anywhere in Haram. If done outside the precincts of Haram, it requires a Dam.
  • You have to make sure that Rami, sacrifice and shaving or clipping of the hair are performed in the order in which they are listed otherwise a Dam is required as a penalty.

Tawaf-e-Ziarat

Now perform Tawaf-e-Ziarat. It can be performed any time, day or night, from 10 Zil Hijjah to the sunset of 12 Zil Hijjah. Usually it is convenient to do it on 11 Zil Hijjah. Its procedure is similar to that of Tawaf of Umrah and it is essential that you have performed wudu. According to Sunnah this tawaf is to be performed after Rami, sacrifice and shaving or clipping of the hair, and every effort should be made to do that, but the Fard stands discharged even if Tawaf-e-Ziarat is performed prior to all these practices. As mentioned earlier, Halq or Qasr after Qurbani lifts all the prohibitions of Ihram but the private relations between man and wife are permitted only after this Tawaf.

Sa’ey of Hajj

After this perform Sa’ey. Its procedure is the same as that of Sa’ey of Umrah. It is a Sunnah to make sure that your wudu is intact

Return to Mina

Return to Mina when Sa’ey is done and spend the night there.

11 Zil Hijjah–Fourth Day of Hajj

Rami of Jamrarat

Throw seven pebbles on each of three Jamarat after zawal (decline of the sun). Rami is usually easy a little before sunset and at night. And it is permissible to do Rami at night if there is a risk to life.

Supplicate

Throw seven pebbles at Jamrah Oolah. Then move a little forward. And with your hands raised and facing Qibla, praise Allah and recite Arabic du’as or supplicate in your own words. There are no prescribed du’as.

Supplicate

After this throw seven pebbles at Jamrah Wustah. Here too facing Qiblah, praise Allah and earnestly seek his mercy and blessings. No particular du’a is prescribed here either.

Do not supplicate

Then throw seven pebbles on Jamrah Aqabah. But this time do not supplicate at all, after Rami just return to your place.

Second chance for Tawaf
of Ziarah

If you could not do Tawaf-e-Ziarah yesterday, do it today and return to Mina for overnight stay.

Zikr and Ibadah

At your residence, recite Quran, glorify Allah, repent on your sins, and seek forgiveness. Ask Allah whatever you want and don’t commit any sin.

12 Zil Hijjah–Fifth Day of Hajj

Rami of Jamrarat

Throw seven pebbles on each of three Jamarat after zawal (decline of the sun). Rami is usually easy a little before sunset and at night. And it is permissible to do Rami at night if there is a risk to life.

Supplicate

Throw seven pebbles at Jamrah Oolah. Then move a little forward. And with your hands raised and facing Qibla, praise Allah and recite Arabic du’as or supplicate in your own words. There are no prescribed du’as.

Supplicate

After this throw seven pebbles at Jamrah Wustah. And facing Qiblah, glorify Allah, recite Darud Sharif and supplicate earnestly for whatever you desire. There is no du’a prescribed for this occassion.

Do not supplicate

Then throw seven pebbles on Jamrah Aqabah and come back to your residence without any du’a.

Last chance for Tawaf
of Ziarah

If you could not do Tawaf-e-Ziarah earlier, it is essential to do it today before Maghrib.

Option

After today’s Rami, you have the option to return to Makkah before sunset. But if the sun sets before you are able to depart, remain in Mina for the third night and throw pebbles the next day in the same order.

Tawaf-e-Wida

After Hajj, when you intend to return to your country from Makkah, it is Wajib (obligatory) to perform Tawaf-e-Wida (Farewell Tawaf). Its procedure is the same as that of a Nafl Tawaf.

image015

VISITING MADINAH
(A Journey of Love)

To visit Madinah is not a Hajj or Umrah rite, but the unique merits of the Prophet’s city, his Mosque and his sacred tomb attract every pilgrim to visit it. There is no Ihram nor talbiyah for the visit to Madinah or the Prophet’s Mosque.

Madinah is situated in central Hejaz. Red Sea is towards the west and Makkah is about 200 miles to the south.

Madinah was called Yathrib before Hijrah and came to be known as Taybah or Madinah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) had great love for this city. He once said that “There is a cure for every disease in the dust of Madinah” (Al-Targhib).

Unique Merit of the Prophet’s Mosque. The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself participated in the construction of this mosque, called it “My Mosque” and led prayers in it for years. He has also said that a salah performed in the Prophet’s Mosque is better than a thousand salats in any other place except Masjid al-Haram in Makkah.

According to Hazrat Anas, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has also said:

“The person who offers 40 prayers consecutively in my Mosque, without missing a prayer in between, will secure immunity from the fire of Hell and other torments and also from hypocrisy.” (Musnad Ahmad)

Visiting the Holy Tomb. It is a great privilege for the pilgrims to visit our beloved Prophet’s tomb. The Prophet (peace be upon him) once said:


image017“The person who comes solely for the purpose of paying a visit to my grave, has a right on me that I should intercede for him.”
(‘Ilm al-Fiqh, Vol. V)And he has also said:“The person who performs Hajj and then visits my Tomb, will be regarded as though he had seen me in my worldly life.” (Baihaqi)

PROCEDURE TO VISIT MADINAH

1. Travel to Madinah and Niyyah. When you start travel to Madinah, Make niyyah (intention) as such:

” O Allah! I start journey to visit the holy tomb of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Please accept it from me.”

During this journey, recite Darud Sharif frequently. When the city of Madinah is in sight, show your extreme fondness and excitement and humbly enter the city while reciting Darud and Salam.

2. Masjid-e-Nabvi. After putting your luggage at your residence, take a bath or perform ablutions (vudu), wear nice dress, apply perfume and proceed towards the Prophet’s Mosque while uttering Darud.

3. Bab-e-Jibril. Enter the mosque through Bab-e-Jibril or Bab-us-Salaam or if this is not possible, enter through any other door.

4. Right Foot. Place your right foot first in the entrance, praise Allah (such as say Allhu Akbar, Subhan Allah, Alhamdu Lillah, etc.), recite Darud and say:

“Allah humma aftah li abwabe rahamte ka”

5. Two Raka’t Nafl. If it is not undesirable (Makrooh) time, offer two rakahs of nafl tahiyyat al-masjid (greeting of the masjid) preferably in Riaz al-Jannah near the tomb of the Prophet or otherwise anywhere else in the mosque.

6. In front of the Holy Tomb.

image019
1. The Holy Prophet

2. Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique

3. Hadrat Umar Farooq

8. In front of the sacred tomb of The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), there are three sections of brass screens and all three have holes in them. Look at the picture carefully. If you stand in front of the middle section between the pillars, you’ll see a big round hole on your left. This is in front of the face of the Holy Prophet. Adjacent to it is a door that stays closed. Right after it on the right side is a round hole which is in front of the face of Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique. On the right of it, there is another round hole which is in front of the face of Hadrat Umar Farooq.

image020Here is an enlarged view of the screen in front of the sacred face of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him). Standing in front of it and facing it, say in a respectful and hushed voice:“Assalamu alaika, ayyuhan-nabiyya wa rahmatul-lahi wa barakatuhu”
(Peace be on you, O Prophet, and the mercy and blessings of Allah.)After this say:“Assalatu was-salamu alaika ya Rasul-Allah”
“Assalatu was-salamu alaika ya Nabi-yallah”
“Assalatu was-salamu alaika ya Habib-Allah”
Then supplicate to Allah for good things in this life and the life after death. You may use the same supplication recited earlier during the Tawaf :“Rabbana atina fid-dunya hasanatan wa fil-akhirati hasanatan wa qina azabin nar.”

9. Offer Salam of others. Now offer salam of relatives or friends in your own language or say:

“Asslamu alaika ya Rasul Allah min—-.”

After the word “min”, add the name of your friend or relative.

10. Salam on Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique. Then move a little to the right and stand before the grave of Hazrat Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him). Greet him and supplicate to bestow His mercy and forgiveness on him.

11. Salam on Hazrat Umar Farooq. Again move a little to the right before the grave of Hazrat Umar ( may Allah be pleased with him), and greet him and make supplication for him.

12. Forty Prayers. Men should offer forty prayers (Salat) in the Prophet’s Mosque, but it is not a requirement of any kind. It is only Mustahab, i.e., rewarding if done, but if not done there is no sin.

13. Other places to visit. Other important places to visit are: Masjid Quba, Jannat al-Baqee, graves of Hazrat Hamzah and other martyrs of Uhud (may Allah be pleased with them). These places are described under the heading: “Historical Places of Madinah”.

14. Departure from Madinah. When you have to leave Madinah, offer your Salam again to the Prophet (peace be upon him), cry at this separation, supplicate to Allah and leave with the earnest desire to come back.

HISTORICAL PLACES OF MADINAH

The following are some of many historical places in Madinah which a pilgrim would like to visit. Out of these a visit to Masjid Quba is highly recommended as it is only next to the Holy Prophet’s Mosque in status and sanctity. But spending time in Masjid-e-Nabvi is far better than visiting other places, because the reward for offering 1 raka’at of prayer there is 1,000 times more.

1. Jannat al-Baqee. The graveyard of Madinah, where a large number of Sahabah karam (companions) including Hazrat Usman, Hazrat Abbas, Imam Hassan, and wives and daughters of the Holy Prophet are buried. This graveyard is close to the tomb of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), right after the courtyard of Masjid-e-Nabvi.

2.


105754825  Masjid Quba.
This is the first mosque in the history of Islam whose foundation stone was laid down by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself on his migration to Madinah. To offer 2 raka’ats of nafl in it is equal to one Umrah. After visiting the Prophet’s Mosque and his tomb every pilgrim should try his best to visit it and pray in this mosque as well.
A visit to Masjid Quba is highly recommended, and I repeat myself for the sake of emphasis, that 2 raka’ats of nafl here equal one Umrah.

4.

  qiblatain-mosque-in-madinah-saudi-arabiaMasjid Qiblatain. In this mosque, Allah directed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who was in the middle of a sal’at along with sahaba karam, to turn his face from Islam’s first qibla (Bait-ul-Muqqadis) to Ka’bah in Masjid al-Haram. That is why this mosque is known as a mosque with two qiblas.

5. Masjid Jum’a. This mosque was built at a place where the Prophet (peace be upon him) offered his first Jum’a prayer in Madinah.

6. Masjid Ghamama. This mosque is not far from Masjid-e-Nabvi. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to offer his Eidain prayers here. Once the Prophet led Istasqa prayer in it and suddenly the clouds appeared and it started raining, hence the name ghamama (clouds).

7. Masid Abu Bakr, Masjid Umar Faooq and Masjid Ali. These three mosques are near Masjid Ghamama.

8. Badar. The plain of Badar is 20 miles south west of Madinah where the first battle between 313 Muslims and 1000 Qureish of Makkah took place in 624 A.D. The Muslims had seventy camels and two horses whereas the Qureish had a cavalry of 200 Horses and 700 camels. They were superior in weapons too, but Muslims were victorious because they were strong in morale and strategy due to the leadership of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).

9. Jabal-e-Uhad. About four miles on the north of Madinah, famous battle of Uhad was fought at 3 A.H. Hazrat Hamza, the Holy Prophet’s uncle and other companions are buried here.

10. Jabal-e-Sal’aa. This is the site for the battle of Ditch which was fought in 5 A.H. Now there are six mosques at this place.


Hajj – Pilgrimage To Mecca

The fifth pillar of Islam is to make a pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, at least once in one’s lifetime. This pillar is obligatory for every Muslim, male or female, provided that he/she is physically and financially able to do so.

Prerequisites for performing the Hajj are to be a Muslim, to be free, to be an adult or mature enough, to be of sound mind, and to have the ability to afford the journey and maintain one’s dependents back home for the duration. The reward for the Hajj is nothing less than Paradise.

The Hajj is the ultimate form of worship, as it involves the spirit of all the other rituals and demands of the believer great sacrifice. On this unique occasion, nearly two million Muslims from all over the globe meet one another in a given year. Regardless of the season, pilgrims wear special clothes (Ihram) – two, very simple, unsown white garments – which strips away all distinctions of wealth, status, class and culture; all stand together and equal before Allah (God).

The rites of Hajj, which go back to the time of Prophet Abraham who built the Ka’bah, are observed over five or six days, beginning on the eighth day of the last month of the year, named Dhul-Hijjah (pilgrimage). These rites include circumambulating the Ka’bah (Tawaf), and going between the mountains of Safa and Marwah, as Hajar (Abraham’s wife) did during her search for water for her son Isma’il. Then the pilgrims stand together on the wide plain of Arafah and join in prayers for God’s forgiveness, in what is often thought of as a preview of the Last Judgment. The pilgrims also cast stones at a stone pillar which represents Satan. The pilgrimage ends with a festival, called Eid Al-Adha, which is celebrated with prayers, the sacrifice of an animal, and the exchange of greetings and gifts in Muslim communities everywhere.

When Ibrahim (peace be upon him) completed the structure of the Ka’bah, Allah commanded him to call the people to Hajj. Ibrahim (peace be upon him) pleaded, “O Allah! How shall my voice reach all of those people?” Allah told him that his duty was only to give the call and it was up to Allah to make it reach the people.

Ibrahim (peace be upon him) then climbed Mount Arafat and called out in his loudest voice, “O People! Verily Allah has prescribed upon you Hajj, so perform Hajj.”

Allah revealed in the Quran:

And proclaim the Hajj among mankind. They will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways.

[Noble Quran 22:27]

To this very day millions upon millions of Muslims continue to answer the call of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). Perhaps this year you shall be amongst those who answer the call.

‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas narrates, “When Islam entered my heart, I went to the Messenger of Allah and said, ‘Give me your hand so that I may pledge allegiance to you.’ The Prophet spread his hand, but I withdrew mine. He said, ‘What is wrong ‘Amr?’ I said, ‘I want to make a condition.’ ‘And what is that?’ he said. I said, ‘That Allah will forgive me.’ Then the Messenger of Allah said, ‘Did you not know that Islam wipes out what came before it, and that Hijrah wipes out what came before it and that Hajj wipes out what came before it!” (Sahih Muslim).

Hajj is the fifth pillar upon which Islam stands. Allah made it compulsory upon every able Muslim male and female to perform it, at least once in a lifetime. Allah revealed:

Hajj thereto is a duty mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the journey, but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures.

[Noble Quran 3:97]

Performance of the Hajj washes away all sins. Abu Hurayrah narrates: I heard the Prophet say, “Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any Rafath (obscenity) or Fusuq (transgression), he returns (free from sin) as the day his mother bore him” (Sahih Bukhari).

Hajj is one of the greatest deeds one can accomplish in his or her lifetime. Abu Hurayrah narrates: The Prophet was asked, “What deed is the best?” He said, “Iman in Allah and His Messenger.” “Then what?” “Jihad in the sake of Allah.” “Then what?” “Hajj Mabrur, a Hajj accepted by Allah.”

Abu Sha’tha’ said, “I contemplated the good deeds that a person does. I found that Salah as well as fasting are a jihad of the body. And that Sadaqah is a jihad of someone’s wealth. But Hajj is a jihad of both body and wealth.”

Hajj is the greatest jihad. Ayshah asked the Prophet (peace be upon him), “We find that jihad is the best deed, shouldn’t we (women) do jihad?” The Prophet replied, “Rather the best jihad is a Hajj Mabrur!” Ayshah later said, “I’ll never cease performing Hajj after I heard that from the prophet of Allah” (Agreed Upon).

The Du’a of the one in Hajj shall be accepted. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The soldier in the path of Allah and the one who performs Hajj and the one who performs ‘Umrah, all are the delegation of Allah! He called them and they answered. And they asked Him, and He shall grant them (what they ask for)!” (Authentic, narrated by Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban).

In the Islamic history books it was narrated that on the day of Arafat, a man from Turkmenistan stood on the plains of Arafat in Hajj. To his left all he could see was Muslims crying and praying to Allah. To his right all he could see was Muslims crying and praying to Allah. Because of his native tongue, he could not imitate the lengthy prayers of the others. At this realization everything blurred in front of him. His face reddened, his eyes poured tears as he raised his hands, “O Allah! Grant me everything that they are asking for! Grant me everything that they are asking for!” And Allah accepted his Du’a.

There is not a single day that the sun has come up on more beloved to Allah than the Day of Arafat. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “There is no day on which Allah frees more of His slaves from Fire than the Day of Arafat, and He verily draws near, then boasts of them before the angles, saying: ‘What do they seek?'” (Sahih Muslim). And in another Hadith: “Verily Allah boasts of the people of Arafat before the people of Heaven (angels) saying: ‘Look to my servants who have come to Me disheveled and dusty.'”

Abdullah ibn Al-Mubarak narrates: I went to Sufyan ibn al-Uyaynah as the day of Arafat was setting. He sat on his knees, his hands raised to the Heavens, and tears moistened his cheeks and beard. He turned and looked at me, so I asked him, “Amongst the people who have gathered here for Hajj, who is in the worst state?” Sufyan ibn al-Uyaynah said, “He who thinks that Allah will not forgive him.”

Ayshah would see the Prophet (peace be upon him) standing in prayer at night so much so that his feet would crack. She would ask him, “Why do you do this when Allah has forgiven all your sins, the past and anything you may do in the future?” And he would reply, “Shouldn’t I be a thankful slave?”

With this example of the Prophet (peace be upon him), what should our attitude be when we hear of Paradise and forgiveness of sin for those who perform Hajj? Does it mean that after Hajj we fall back into all the disobedience that we went to Hajj with? Does it mean that we are promised Jannah no matter what sin we do after Hajj? Many people think this to be the case and it is a very dangerous presumption.

You will find in many of the Hadith regarding the virtue of Hajj the term Hajj Mabrur. Do you know what Mabrur means? It means an accepted Hajj. A Mabrur Hajj is one in which Allah is not disobeyed during or after. Others have said that a Hajj Mabrur is one that is accepted, and the sign of its acceptance is that a person will go back in a better state then when he came, and that he will discontinue the sins that were between him and Allah.

I once saw a group of Hajjis with all of their paraphernalia. Plastered on their t-shirts and hats was ‘Hajj Mabrur 1997!’ I remembered then when Ibn Umar was on his deathbed and his son reminded him of all the good deeds that he did with the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the companions. He told him, “Quiet! Don’t you know whom Allah accepts from? Verily Allah only accepts from the God-Fearing (Al-Muttaqun).”

When Ali ibn Al-Husayn wore his Ihram towels and sat upright on his camel in preparation for the journey to Mecca, his face changed color, his skin shivered and he cried, unable to say the Talbiyah, Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk. Someone asked him, “What’s wrong?” And he replied, “I’m afraid that when I say it, it shall be replied, ‘La Labbayka wa La Sa’dayk’ (May you never have come and may you not have happiness).”

With that spirit, let us march forward in the search of the Mercy of Allah and His forgiveness, to the first house of Allah on earth, to Hajj.

In the Hajj of 1996 you may have heard of the Jamarat crowd in which 600 people died. It was Dhuhr time that it happened and I had been sitting there from the early morning waiting for noon to throw my pebbles. About 30 minutes before Dhuhr a wave of people, like dominoes, toppled over us. I had said to myself earlier that if I were ever in an emergency situation I would jump up on a bus or anything high to escape the crowd. Now, I saw people doing just that and I knew this was the situation that I had feared. My friend said, “What shall we do?” With a glance over the sea of people I knew there was no way we could walk opposite of the crowd and so I replied, “Go and throw our Jamarat.”

People died that day. Ambulance sirens were blaring and helicopters were thundering above. In the pain and exhaustion, losing my friend, I sat leaning, my back on a sister and her back on me. We did not even realize what we were doing. I tasted what the Prophet (peace be upon him) meant when he said that on the Day of Judgment people would be naked and Ayshah asked him, “Won’t the men and women look at each other?” And he replied, “Ayshah, the issue is more severe than that.”

I saw 3 men looking anxiously for their friend and I just sat staring at them. All of a sudden their faces exploded in happiness, “Ahmad! Ahmad!” they called, and one of them could not handle the happiness and he cried and cried.

Limping back to the Ka’bah I found a place with shady trees and a carpeted patio leading to a villa. The owner, an older man, stood watching as all the people walked by. And I sat watching him.

People would come up to him and beg for a glass of water. He would jump and bring them the coldest water he had. They would pray from the bottom of their hearts for him. I knew what kind of Du’a that was, because I was feeling the same thirst that they all felt. Whenever he saw someone sick, he would spring out to the road and invite them in, giving them a bed and food to relax them.

I was shy at first, but the thirst overcame me and I asked him for water. I had been on that patio for some time and when I asked him, he realized he had not offered me anything. He ran inside, and in addition to the water, he brought me packets of fruit juice. I thought about this man as I made my way back to the Ka’bah. If a human was so merciful to these people who had come for Hajj, these people who had come for no other reason than to say ‘La ilaha illa Allah’, how merciful was Allah going to be to these Hajjis?

Indeed, the Prophet said, “And there is no reward for an accepted Hajj…except Jannah!”