All Hajj related FAQ's
The rituals of Hajj are important as they make pilgrims enter a state of spiritual purity referred to as “ihram” which aims to get rid of symbols of materialism. The pilgrim gives up worldly pleasures so as to focus on their inner self instead of their outward appearance. The rituals test pilgrims’ patience as well as tolerance.
On the 9th Dhul Hijjah before noon the pilgrims come to Arafat which is a barren and plain land. Here they stand in contemplative vigil. They will offer supplications, will repent for sins they have committed, and seek the mercy of Allah. They will listen to the sermon carried out by Islamic scholars. Lasting from noon through sunset, or known as wuquf, it is said to be one of the most important rites of Hajj. The pilgrims will offer noon and also afternoon prayers at Masjid al-Namirah together at noontime. The pilgrim needs to spend the afternoon on Arafat or else the Hajj is regarded as being invalid.
The Hajj is regarded as one of the pillars of Islam. All able-bodied Muslims need to perform it at least once in their lifetime. Hajj allows one to wipe clean their past sins and begin fresh. Many people aim to deepen their faith and some ladies take on “hijab” or the Islamic hair covering when they return from Hajj.
Hajj is the greater Muslim pilgrimage that occurs to Mecca. It happens in the last month of the year. All Muslims need to at least perform Hajj once in their lifetime, if they are able to afford to do so. It is also one of the Five Pillars that Islam has.
There are three forms of Hajj, i.e. Tamattu, Ifraad and Qiran. The following tells you about the Tamattu form of Hajj. This is what the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) encourages people to perform. It consists of:
- Preparation and Intention – You need to make niyyah or intention before going to perform Hajj.
- Going into the state of Ihram- Next you will go into the state of Ihram or ritual purity.
- When you arrive in Makkah, you need to first perform Umrah. You will need to do Tawaf and Sa’i. Tawaf is when the pilgrim walks in circles around the Kaa’bah. This is in an anti-clockwise motion. A single Tawaf consists of seven complete circles. You can even offer voluntary prayers so as to thank Allah (SWT) for reaching safely and to begin this special journey.
- Safa and Marwa- When you have performed Tawaf, you will need to perform Sa’i. This includes walking and running particularly between the two hills that are of Safa and Marwa.
- Clip or shave the hair- When Sa’i is completed, the men need to get their hair clipped or shaved. A women will clip her hair which will be to the length of her fingertip. When this is done, the completion of Umrah occurs. You can then leave Ihram till the 8th of Dhul Hijjah.
- Resting plus praying- When Umrah has been performed, for the rest of the month, you will remain in Makkah to finish the Hajj. You should perform sincere acts of worship at this time. The Hajj will start on the 8th Dhul Hijjah.
- Re-entering the state of Ihram- The 8th day of Dhul Hijjah will be the start of the days of Hajj. It will be the next stage of the spiritual journey. You need to purify yourself then go into the state of Ihram again.
- Arrive at Mina- Here you will go to your allocated tent. You need to pray Salah or obligatory prayers. This will encompass Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, ‘Isha and Fajar. You need to shorten the four-unit prayers to two units each. This is without combining them. You will stay the night and pray, reading the Qur’an. You will prepare for day two.
- Day of ‘Arafat- After sunrise you will go to the plains of ‘Arafat. You will recite Istaghfar and make supplications.
- Arrival in Muzdalifah- After sunset you will leave ‘Arafat and go to Muzdalifah. When you reach Muzdalifah you need to perform Maghrib and ‘Isha Salah. You can collect pebbles from here to perform Rami.
- Rami and Hady- The 10th of Dhul Hijjah is the Day of Sacrifice. You will perform the Hady and start the first of three days of “stoning the devil” rite.
- Qurbani and Eid al-Adha- This will be on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah. You will offer Qurbani or sacrifice.
- Shaving the head- After the Hady you will shave or trim the hair if you are a man. A women will trim her hair that will be by the length of a fingertip. You can leave Ihram now.
- Tawaf al-Ifadha and Saai’- Now you will go to Makkah where you will perform Tawaf al-Ifadha. Then another circuit of Saai’.
- Second day or Rami- On the 11th of Dhul Hijjah you will carry out second day of Rami.
- Spend night in Mina- When the second Rami is done, you will go to your camp in Mina then spend the time in worship.
- Third day or Rami- On the afternoon of the 12th of Dhul Hijjah will be the final stoning day.
Tawaf al-Wida- This Tawaf will be performed before leaving the boundaries of the Haram.
Mina is a valley that is surrounded by mountains. Pilgrims spend the nights of 8th, 11th and 12th of Dhul Hijjah here. They occasionally can spend the night of the 13th here also. Mina Hajj is even an important symbol for the stoning ritual because it is where the three stone pillars of Jamarat are present.
It is important to stay in Mina because pilgrims spend a full day as well as night within the tents located at Mina. This is knowns as Layali al Tashriq. Pilgrims will read the Holy Quran and offer prayers. They will worship Allah SWT and perform Zikr. They also listen to Islamic lectures.
At Mina three hard stone pillars get struck by pilgrims. This is part of the ritual of stoning the devil.
Pilgrims spend two or three days in Mina.
Muzdalifah consists of an open and level area close to Mecca in the Hejazi region of Saudi Arabia. It is southeast of Mina and on the route present between Mina and Arafat.
The 9th of Dhul Hijjah is spent at Muzdalifah. This will be under the open sky. Here pilgrims will gather pebbles to throw at the pillars of Jamarat.
When at Muzdalifah the pilgrim can pray to Allah SWT. They will ask for blessings and forgiveness. Here they can rest so that they are prepared for the next three days of Hajj.
Before sunrise the pilgrims will leave Muzdalifah for Mina.
The Day of Arafat occurs on the ninth day of Dhul Hijjah. Muslims go to Arafat to pray and supplicate to Allah SWT. The following ayah was also revealed on this day therefore it is even regarded as being important “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” (Surah al Maa’idah 5:3)
The Day of Arafat is when many Muslims’ sins get forgiven by Allah. It is known as the day that Allah perfected Islam. The above verse was also revealed on this day.
It commemorates the finality of revelation as well as the completion of the Hajj.
Muslim pilgrims will throw pebbles at three walls known as Jamarat.
Jamarat means a small piece of a pebble or stone.
Seven small stones are thrown at Jamarat.
Hajj includes a series of rituals which occur in and around Mecca and are over a period of five to six days.
Umrah is not compulsory prior to Hajj.
The Hajj ministry has officially let women to perform the pilgrimage without a male relative or Mehram. This is if they go in a group.
The Tawaf occurs in an anti-clockwise movement. Here a full circle is completed every time that a person gets back to the Black Stone, or even parallel to it. Often the pilgrim will do the Tawaf three times which is for the pilgrimage, then once for the Umrah.
You will say “Bismillahi wallahu akbar”.
No obligation is present on the Duas that you need to recite during Tawaf. You can read the verses that are from the Holy Quran. You may take the name of Allah. One can recite personal Duas in any language. There are some recommended Duas that you can read while circling around the Holy Kaaba.
Dua for the first turn:
“Allahumma as’aluka bi ismikal ladhi yumshi bihi ‘ala talilil mai kala yumshi bihi ‘ala judadil ardhi; as’aluka bi ismikal ladhi yahtazzu lahu ‘arshuka; wa asaluka bi ismikal ladhi tahtazzu lahu ‘arshuka; wa as’aluka bi ismikal ladhi tahtazzu lahu aqdamu mala’ikatika; wa asaluka bi ismikal ladhi da‘aka bihi Musa min janibit tūril ayman, fastajabta lahu walqayta ‘alayhi muhabbatan minka; wa as’aluka bi ismikal ladhi ghafarta bihi li Muhammadin la taqaddama min dhanbihi wa ma ta’akkhara wa atmamta ‘alayhi ni‘matuka – an tarzuqani khayrad dinya wal akhirah.”
Dua for the second turn:
“Allahumma inni ilayka faqirun wa inni kha’ifun mustajirun, fa la tughayyir jismi wa la tubaddil ismi; Sa’iluka faqiruka miskinuka bi babika; fa tasaddaq ‘alayha bil jannah; Allahumma, al-baytu baytuk, wal haramu haramuk, wal ‘abdu ‘abduk, wa hadha maqamul ‘a’idhu bikal mustajiru bika minan nar, fa a‘tiqni wa walidayya wa ahlii wa wuldi, ikhwaniyal mu’minin minan nar, ya jawadu ya karim.”
Dua for the third turn:
“Allahumma adkhilniyil jannah wa ajirni minan nar bi rahmatika, wa ‘afiniy minas suqmi wa awsi‘ ‘alayya minar rizqil halal, wadra’ ‘anni sharra fasaqatil jinni wal insi, wa sharra fasaqatil ‘arab wal ‘ajam; Ya dhal manni wat tawli; ya dhal jūdi wal karam; inna ‘amali dha‘ifun fa dha‘ifhu li; wa taqabbilhu minni; innaka antas sami‘ul ‘alim.”
Dua for the fourth turn:
“Ya Allahu, ya waliyyal ‘afiyah wa khaliqal ‘afiyah wa raziqal ‘afiyah wal mun‘imu bil ‘afiyah wal mutafaddilu bil ‘afiyah ‘alayya wa ‘ala jami‘i khalqika, ya Rahmanad dinya wal akhirah wa Rahimahuma, salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa Al-I Muhammad war-zuqnal ‘afiyah wa tamamal ‘afiyah wa shural ‘afiyah fid dinya wal akhirah. Ya arhamar rahimin.”
Dua for the fifth turn:
“Allahumma atina fid dunya hasanatan wa fil akhirati hasanatan wa qina ‘adhaban nar.”
Dua for the sixth turn:
“Allahummal baytu baytuka, wal ‘abdu ‘abduka, wa hadha maqamul ‘a’idhi bika minan nar. Allahumma min qablikar rūhu wal faraju wal ‘afiyah. Allahumma inna ‘amali dha‘ifun, fa dha‘ifhu li; waghfir li mat-tala‘ta ‘alayhi minni wa khafiya ‘ala khalqika; astajiru billahi minan nar.”
Dua for the seventh turn:
“Allahumma ‘indi afwajan min dhunūb wa afwajan min khataya; wa ‘indaka afwajun min rahmatin wa afwajun min maghfirati; ya manis-tajaba li-abghadhi khalqihi idh qala andhirni ila yawmi yub‘athūna, istajib li. Allahumma qanni‘ni bima razaq-tani, wa barik li fima ataytani.”
Sa’i tends to be the ritualistic walking that occurs between the two mountains that are of Safa and Marwa.
It is Sunnah for pilgrims to recite
“Inna s-safa wa l-marwata min sha’a’iri llah(i)”. It means that indeed, Safa and Marwa are from the signs of Allah. After this, pilgrims would have to recite the following Dua – “Abda’u bima bad’allahu bihi”. This Dua says, I begin with that which Allah has begun with.
The supplications are needed to be recited once prior to Saee. They should not be at the start of each lap. It is thought that Dua is accepted much during Saee.
One of the five pillars of Islam is performing pilgrimage i.e Hajj. All able-bodied Muslimas are required to perform Hajj once in their lifetime as it is seen as a way to wipe clean all their past sins and deepen their faith.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca and it is considered one of the two holiest cities for Muslims. It is where the Kaaba is located. One must visit Mecca to perform a pilgrimage as it is a city of immense spiritual significance.
Medina is one of the two holiest cities for Muslims. It is where Muslims from all around the world travel to perform the pilgrimage. The Masjid e Nadwi is an important site for Muslims to visit as it is the first mosque that the Prophet Muhammad constructed and is also where he is buried.
The Kaaba was built by Prophet Ibrahim and Islmail as a place of monotheistic worship. Muslims from all around the world visit the Kaaba to perform pilgrimage, which is one of the 5 pillars of Islam. The Kaaba was once filled with statues and became a center of polytheistic worship by local tribes but that changed after the conquest of Mecca. When Muslims pray they face the direction of the Kaaba.
When performing pilgrimage, the visit to Mina, a valley located 5 km from Mecca is visited. At Mina, Muslims are required to throw 49 stones over three days at the three pillars of Jamarat. This is a representation of Prophet Ibrahim stoning the devil and rejecting his temptation.
Mount Arafat is located about 20 km from the city of Mecca and you must visit this site when performing the Pilgrimage. Muslims are instructed to visit Mount Arafat at dawn while trekking and remain there until nightfall. This has spiritual significance as is known to bring you salvation and spiritual renewal.
The night at Muzdalifah is a part of the pilgrimage that Muslims perform. After gathering at Mount Arafat, pilgrims are required to spend a night at Muzdalifah. By staying under the open night sky, Muslims are asked to seek repentance and contemplate equality.