Hajj Guide

Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam and an obligatory duty for every Muslim if he/she is financially and physically capable of undertaking it. Every year millions of Muslims gather in Makkah between 8th and 12th Dhul Hijjah to fulfill their duty to Allah (SWT). Pilgrims go through physically-demanding activities (rituals) and seek forgiveness from Allah. Hajj boosts trust and love for the Creator Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (pbuh). It reminds a believer about his obligation to Him and to rely on His plan with complete mind, heart and soul.

The historical roots of Hajj go back to the times of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) when Allah ordered him to leave his wife Hajira (RA) and son Ismail (AS) in the deserts of Makkah. Hajira (RA) ran desperately between the mountains of Safa and Marwa in search of water for her son but she found nothing. On her return to her son, she found the baby scratching the ground and a water fountain sprang forth. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was later commanded by Allah (SWT) to build Kaabah here and invite people to pilgrimage.
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) performed Hajj with his companions in 630 CE when he travelled from Medina to Mecca for the annual pilgrimage.

Pre-requisites of Hajj

Hajj must be performed with purity of intention and full dedication. It is obligatory for every Muslim once in a lifetime, but there are certain set of conditions for a person before he/she undertakes this spiritual quest.

  • One must be an adult.
  • One must be sane.
  • One must have enough provisions for the journey i.e. food, accommodation and transport through Halal (legitimate) means.
  • One must have enough savings to support the cost of living of the family members left behind.
  • One must also set oneself free from every financial obligation and not carry any liability.
  • One must set out for Hajj with pure intentions solely for the sake of Allah.

Complete Hajj Guide


Facts about the Sacred Kaaba – Baitullah

The centre of Islamic world and the most important piece of architecture in Islam, Kaaba is the first place of worship constructed centuries ago by Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his son Prophet Ismael (AS). Over the ages, it has undergone several changes due to natural calamities and renovations. One of the biggest renovation happened during the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself. It is believed that this cube-shaped stone structure was built on the same foundation where Prophet Adam (AS) constructed a sanctuary to worship Allah the Almighty. Today, thousands of people circle the Kaabah while performing tawaf 24 hours a day and millions of Muslims across the globe face the direction of Kaaba while offering salah five times a day.

Here are a few facts about Kaaba that speaks about the history of Kaaba and the importance of Kaaba in Islam:

It has been reconstructed several times over the centuries. The structure of Kaaba we see today is not the same as Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his son Prophet Ismael (AS) constructed. It has gone through several changes because of natural disasters and renovations. The major renovation of Kaabah took place during the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) before he achieved the Prophethood. The Prophet (pbuh) averted a major bloodshed because of his quick thinking and wisdom when he provided the solution about how to place the stone by using a piece of cloth so that every tribe could participate. The Quraish also agreed to use money from the pure sources only to complete the construction. However, there was not enough untainted money in this wealthy trading city so they had to settle for the smaller version of Kaabah.

The last renovation took place in 1996 when many stones were replaced and its foundations were re-strengthened along with a new roof.

Kaaba used to have two doors and a window. It is one of the things to know about the Kaaba that its original structure had a door for entrance and another for exit. It also had a window situated to one side for a considerable amount of time. The Kaaba that we see today has only one door and no window.

It was not always black. We are so used to seeing Kaaba covered in its trademark black Kiswah with gold banding that we cannot imagine it in another color. Before the time of the Abbasids whose household color was black, Kaaba was covered in multiple colors including green, red and white.

The keys of Kaaba are in the hands of one family. At the time of the Prophet (pbuh), the keys of different aspects of the rites of Hajj were in the hands of different tribes of the Quraish who eventually lost control of their guardianship except one. After conquering Makkah, the Prophet (pbuh) was given the keys to the Kaaba but he returned them back to Osman ibn Talha of the Bani Shaiba family. This family has been the traditional key keepers of the Kaaba for centuries and the Prophet (pbuh) himself confirmed that role till the end of time when he said,

“Take it, O Bani Talha, eternally up to the Day of Resurrection, and it will not be taken from you unless by an unjust, oppressive tyrant.”

Kaaba used to be open to everyone. Until recently, everyone was allowed to enter and pray inside Kaaba when it was opened twice a week. But, due to the heavy influx in the number of pilgrims, Kaaba is now opened only twice a year for dignitaries.

People used to swim around it. The Makkah valley where Kaabah is situated tends to flood during heavy rain. It was not an uncommon occurrence and caused a lot of problems before the days of flood control system and sewage drainage. Muslims would perform tawaf around the half- submerged Kaaba by swimming around it.

The interior of the Kaaba contains plaques commemorating the rulers who renovated it. The upper walls of Kaabah are lined with marble and green cloth along with the plaques commemorating different rulers who renovated or repaired Kaaba.

There is another Kaaba in Paradise. This Kaaba was mentioned in the Quran and by the Prophet (pbuh) when he narrated about his journey of Isra’a -Wal-Miraj,

“Then I was shown Al-Bait-al-Ma’mur (i.e. Allah’s House). I asked Gabriel about it and he said, This is Al Bait-ul-Ma’mur where 70,000 angels perform prayers daily and when they leave they never return to it (but always a fresh batch comes into it daily).”

The Black Stone is broken. It was damaged in the middle ages by an extreme heretical Ismaili group from Bahrain called the Qarmatians who declared that the Hajj was an act of superstition. They killed thousands of hujjaj and dumped their bodies in the well of Zamzam. Qarmatians also took the Black Stone to the East of Arabia and then Kufa in Iraq but later forced to return it by the Abbasid Caliph. The stone was in pieces and the only way to keep it together was by encasing it in silver.

Kaabah was never meant to be cube-shaped. The original structure of Kaaba actually started out as rectangular-shaped and included the semi-circular area of Hijr-e-Ismael. It is one of the least-known facts about Kaabah.


Meeqats – Ihram Places for Hujjaj

Meeqats are prescribed places of Ihram on all the four sides of Makkah, as set for Muslims by Prophet Mohammed (pbuh). The 5 places of Meeqat for Umrah & Hajj are as follows:

  • 1. Al- Juhfah also known as “Rabegh” (For the people coming from Egypt, Syria, or west)
  • 2. Dhul-Hulaifah also known as Abyar Ali (For people coming from Madinah)
  • 3. Dhatul-Irq (For the people coming from Iraq)
  • 4. Qarn-Al-Manazel (For the people coming from Najd and Taif)
  • 5. Yalumlum (For the people coming from India, Pakistan and Yemen by sea)
Pilgrims by Air transport: From UK/Europe:

The Nearest Miqat to Makkah for muslims traveling from UK is Rabegh. However, Pilgrims traveling by air from UK need to wear Ihram before reaching the locations of Miqat, but they should make the intention (Niyyah) and call out “Talbiyah” only upon reaching the Meeqat following the announcement. (Saudi Airlines announce about Meeqat). If travelling by other airline, Meeqat zone comes approximately one hour before arrival at Jeddah Airport.
Note: It is not permissible for pilgrims to pass through these prescribed stations without donning Ihram, whether they arrive by Road, Air or Sea.

How To Assume Ihram

Ihram: It’s Rules and Regulation. How to assume the state of Ihram?

What is Ihram for men and women?

The meaning of Ihram is to declare a lawful thing as Haram (unlawful) on oneself. After pronouncing niyyah and talbiyah by a pilgrim, certain permissible things become prohibited such as like wearing stitched garments, use of perfume, and hair cut are some of the things which are not allowed in Ihraam. The combined state of niyyah and talbiyah is called Ihram.

Usually two white sheets of clothes are worn when a pilgrim enters the state of Ihram but the real Ihram is the intention and talbiyah. Women can enter ihram in their ordinary clothes. Women are required to perform all the rituals of Hajj like men. Similarly, there is not much difference in ihram for men and women except the different Ihram clothing for male and female. People are usually confused about when to assume Ihram. It is obligatory to assume ihram from the prescribed Meeqat which is Rabegh for pilgrims travelling from UK.

It is also a wrongful thinking that once you put on the ihram sheets, you cannot take them off. By taking them off or by changing them, a person does not relinquish Ihram. The pilgrim comes out of the state of Ihram in which he had entered with the intention of performing Hajj, only when he completes all the essential rites of Hajj and has his head shaved or hair cut short.

Ihram Procedure – How to wear Ihram

Preparation: Comb your hair, shape the beard, cut your hair and remove unwanted body hair

Purification: Do ghusl with the intention of Ihram or do wudu. There are two kinds of purification, the purification of the body and the purification of the soul i.e. the sincere repentance of your sins.

Ihram sheets: Men should wear a sheet of white cloth around the waist called ‘Izar’ and cover the upper body with the other white sheet called ‘Rida’. Clothing of Women during Ihram includes their ordinary clothes which can be worn as Ihram garments. Both should wear the flip-flops so that the middle bones of the upper part of the feet are not covered. However, women are allowed to wear shoes. Rules of Ihram for lady pilgrims also require them to not wear face veil and gloves. They may cover their face in other ways in the presence of non-mahram.

Nafl Salah:If not undesirable time, offer two raka’t of nafl salah with head covered before making intention for Hajj and talbiyah.

Intention & Talbiyah: After offering the Nafl Salah, uncover your head and while still sitting, make Niyyah for Hajj and Umrah if you are performing Hajj-ul-Tamattu.

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

Note: It is forbidden to perform Salah with covered head, after entering the state of Ihram. Therefore, after assuming Ihram, men should perform Salah with uncovered head.

After declaring intention, recite talbiyah three times loudly and as often as possible later. Women should recite it in a subdued voice.

  • “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!)

After talbiyah, recite Darud and supplicate to Allah (SWT).

Ihram Restrictions

When a person enters Ihram certain permissible things become Haram and pilgrims must follow these prohibitions in the state of ihram. Here is a list of things forbidden in Ihram:

  • Wearing stitched clothing (for men)
  • Wearing shoes that covers all top of the foot (for men)
  • Covering the head (for men)
  • Covering the face (for women)
  • Wearing ornaments
  • Applying mascara and kohl
  • Looking at the mirror
  • Using fragrance
  • Applying oils on the body
  • Cutting the nails
  • Going under the shade during travel (for men)
  • Removing hair from the body
  • Performing marriage
  • Looking at spouse with sexual desire
  • Touching
  • Kissing
  • Performing sexual intercourse
  • Masturbating
  • Killing insects
  • Extracting tooth and blood from the body
  • Telling lies
  • Disputing
  • Hunting desert animals
  • Carrying weapons

When Are the Restrictions on Ihram Lifted?

The restrictions on ihram are lifted after completing all the rites and rituals of Hajj. Only after performing Qasr i.e. the shaving of head or clipping of hair in Haram does a pilgrim come out of the state of ihram. After Qasr, all the restrictions regarding ihram are lifted except physical relations with the spouse, which is permissible only after performing tawafuz ziyarah. Therefore, pilgrims are allowed to wear stitched garments, use fragrance, cover head etc after the ritual of Qasr but they sexual intercourse with wife becomes permissible only after tawafuz ziyarah

Note: It is recommended to consult and seek an opinion from scholars on doubtful Islamic matters.

Forms Of Hajj

Different Forms/Methods of Performing Hajj. Which is the most recommended method?

There are three different types of Hajj namely:

  • 1. Hajj-ul-Ifrad
  • 2. Hajj-ul-Qiran
  • 3. Hajj-ul-Tamattu

What is Hajj-ul-Ifrad?

It is the simplest form of Hajj. A pilgrim enters into the state of Ihram with the intention of performing Hajj only before passing through the Meeqat (place for assuming ihram). The pilgrim does not combine Hajj with Umrah and makes sure not to perform umrah in the months of Hajj. The person performing Hajj-ul-Ifrad is called Mufrid.

What is Hajj-ul-Qiran?

During this kind of Hajj, a pilgrim who performs Hajj-ul-Qiran combines Hajj and Umrah. He assumes Ihram with the intention to accomplish both. The pilgrim who performs this kind of Hajj is called a Qarin.
Qarin wears Ihram first for Umrah and then for Hajj making his intentions for Hajj just before performing Tawaf for Hajj. The obligations on one performing Hajj-ul-Qiran are the same as the one performing Ifrad, except that the former must slaughter whereas the latter is not obligated to do so.

What is Hajj-ul-Tamattu?

In this type of Hajj, a pilgrim assumes Ihram for only Umrah during the months of Hajj. After reaching Makkah, he performs Tawaf and Saa’ee for Umrah. He then performs Qasr i.e. shaves or clips his hair. On the day of eighth of Dhul-Hijjah, he puts on his Ihram for Hajj and performs the rites and duties of Hajj. The person who performs this kind of Hajj is called a Mutamatti.
All the forms of Hajj are rewarded but the most recommended form of Hajj by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is Hajj-ul-Tamattu and he encouraged his followers to perform it. Even if a pilgrim forms niyyah to perform Qiran or Ifraad he is allowed to change it to perform Tamattu.

Hajj Procedure

How to perform Hajj? The Basic Hajj Procedure to be kept in mind by First-timers.

Day-wise step by step guide to Hajj performed during the designated 5 days of Dhul Hijjah.

First Day of Hajj (8th Dhul Hijjah)

Hajj starts after the maghrib prayers of 7th Dhul Hijjah. Pilgrims make same preparations for Hajj as they make for Umrah like taking Ghusl, declare intention, wear Ihram and recite Talbiyah. Complete all the Hajj preparations during the night hours.
Enter into the state of Ihram from Miqat or from the staying place at Mecca. After offering Fajr salah, proceed towards Mina while reciting talbiyah and pronouncing it on the way as often as possible.
After reaching Mina, offer Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha prayers. Spend the night in Mina doing zikr and ibadah.

Second Day of Hajj (9th Dhul Hijjah)

Offer Fajr prayer in Mina and set out for Arafat after saying Takbir and Talbiyah. Reach Arafat by zawal (declining of the sun) and spend this time of Waquf-e-Arafat repenting for your sins, seeking forgiveness of Allah, praying and supplicating. It is better to do Waquf while standing but sitting down is also allowed. Later, proceed to Arafat ground to offer combined prayers of Zuhr and Asr with Jama’at.

After the sunset in Arafat, proceed to Muzdalifah without offering Maghrib prayer and reciting Talbiyah on the way. Upon reaching 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 recite Takbir Tashriq and Talbiyah, and immediately after that offer Fard prayer of Isha with jama’at. Afterward, offer two raka’t Sunnah of Maghrib followed by two raka’t Sunnah of Isha and three raka’t of Witr prayer.
Spend this blessed night in Zikr and supplicating to Allah. Glorify Allah and recite Darud and read Quran. Pronounce talbiyah and make Dua.
Also collect stones for the next day of stoning at the Jamarat. Pick 49 pebbles of the size of a chick pea if Rami is to be performed for three days and 70 if for four days.

Third day of Hajj (10th Dhul Hijjah)

On this day of Eid, leave for Mina from Muzdalifah after Fajr prayers. Stone the largest Jamarat, Jamarat-ul-Kubra and perform Qurbani. Stop saying talbiyah the moment you throw the first stone. Now go back to your accommodation for Qurbani. Do it yourself or ask a reliable person to do it on your behalf. There are three days designated for qurbani. It is usually easy to do qurbani on 11 Dhul Hijjah.
Afterward, Qasr is performed i.e. male pilgrims will shave their heads and female will clip their hair as part of the Hajj ritual. Now, pilgrims are free to remove their ihram and wear ordinary clothes. All the restrictions regarding ihram are lifted after Qasr except the sexual relation between husband and wife, which is permissible after Tawaf-ul-Ifadah. It is sunnah to perform Qasr in Mina but you are allowed to do it anywhere in Haram. Ensure that Rami, qurbani and shaving or clipping of the hair are performed in the listed order otherwise a Dam is required as a penalty.
Now, move to Haram to perform Tawaf-al-Ifadah and offer 2 raka’t nafl near Maqam-e-Ibrahim. Also, drink zamzam after performing saa’ee, the seven circuits between the hills of Safa and Marwah and, spend the night at Mina.
Tawaful Ifadah or Tawafuz Ziyarah can be performed any time from 10 Dhul Hijjah to the sunset of 12 Dhul Hijjah. It is most convenient to perform on 11 Dhul Hijjah. The procedure is similar to that of Tawaf of Umrah and it is essential to perform it in the state of wudu. According to Sunnah, Tawafuz Ziyarah is to be performed after Rami, Qurbani and shaving or clipping of the hair, and every effort should be made to do that in the given sequence. However, Fard stands discharged even if Tawaf-e-Ziyarat is performed prior to all these practices.

Fourth Day of Hajj (11th Dhul Hijjah)

On second day of Eid, proceed to Jamarat from Mina after Zuhr prayers for the stoning of the devil. Stone all the three Jamarats (Jamarat-e-Sughra, Jamarat-e-Wusta and Jamarat-e-Qubra) in sequence from small to large by throwing 7 pebbles at each of these pillars. It is a bit easy to perform Rami just before sunset or at night. It is permissible to do Rami at night if there is a risk to life. After completion of this ritual, return to Mina for night stay. If you could not perform Tawafuz ziyarah yesterday you can also do it after the stoning. Later, go back to Mina for night stay.

Fifth & Final Day of Hajj (12th Dhul Hijjah)

Start the rituals for the final day of Hajj by proceeding to Jamarat from Mina after Zuhr for the stoning. The stoning of Jamarat will be completed from small to large. After stoning, leave for Makkah before Sunset. If you could not perform Tawafuz ziyarah earlier, it is essential to do it before maghrib on this day.
Before leaving Makkah and returning to your country, the pilgrims will also perform Tawaf-ul-Wada (Farewell Tawaf). It is obligatory to perform the farewell tawaf. At this stage all the obligatory rituals of Hajj are completed.

Mentioned above was the simple Hajj procedure about how to do Hajj after assuming Ihram from the Meeqat. May Allah accept your Hajj and reward you in this life and the Hereafter. Aameen!

Note: It is recommended to consult and seek an opinion from scholars on doubtful Islamic matters.

Obligatory Duties Of Hajj

Obligatory Duties of Hajj

The three obligatory rulings (Fard) or the pillars of Hajj are:

  • Entering Ihram from the Meeqat: It is obligatory to form the intention of Hajj and assume the state of Ihram from the Meeqat. Rabegh is the prescribed Meeqat location for pilgrims from UK. However, pilgrims traveling by air cross the Meeqat so it is essential for them to form the intention in the flight. Saudi airlines announce about Meeqat on the plane. If you are traveling by other flights, the Meeqat comes one hour before reaching the Jeddah airport.
  • Wuquf at Arafat: It is essential to stop at Arafat even for a moment from zawal (declining of sun) of 9th Dhul Hijjah to the dawn of 10th Dhul Hijjah. This is an indispensable part of Hajj and must be performed in the prescribed order at its proper time and place. In case of its omission, Hajj would not be accomplished properly.
  • Tawafuz Ziyarah: It can be performed any time from the morning of the 10th Dhul Hijjah to the dawn of 12th Dhul Hijjah after completing the ritual of Qasr (shaving or clipping of hair). Tawafuz Ziyarah, also called Tawaf-ul-Ifadah, is an obligatory ritual of Hajj and it is performed after leaving the state of Ihram and just before returning back to Mina to perform Rami al-Jamarat. If Tawafuz Ziyarah is delayed, sacrifice of an animal (Dam) becomes essential.

Important (Wajib) acts of worship during Hajj

  • Overnight Stay in Muzdalifah.
  • Overnight Stay in Mina at Tashriq nights.
  • Ramyul Jamar i.e. stone pelting at the Jamarats.
  • Qurbani or sacrifice of an animal is only due on a Qarin or Mutamatti.
  • Shaving or cutting of hair.
  • Tawaf-ul-Wada or Farewell tawaf.
Tawaf And Its Rules

Tawaf and its Rules

What is Tawaf? How to perform Tawaf e Hajj?

The Arabic meaning of Tawaf is going round and round. In the context of Hajj and Umrah, it means circumambulating around Baitullah (The House of Allah) seven times.
It is an obligatory act of Hajj and Umrah. There are seven types/kinds of Tawaf:

Tawaful Qudum: Tawaf performed upon entering Masjid-ul-Haram in the state of Ihram by those performing Hajj al-Qiran or Hajj al-Ifrad.

Tawafuz Ziyarah: Also known as Tawaf al-Ifadhah, it is the Tawaf that is performed between the dawn of 10th Dhul Hijjah to the sunset of 12th Dhul Hijjah, after leaving the state of Ihram and just before returning to Mina to perform Rami al-Jamarat. If it is delayed, Dam becomes Wajib.

Tawaful Wada: Also known as Tawafus Sadr, Tawaf el Wida (Farewell) is the farewell tawaf performed at the end of the Hajj.

Tawaful Umrah: This is mandatory for Umrah.

Tawaful Nadhr: It is mandatory when a person has made a vow to Allah to do it.

Tawaful Tahiyya: : It is not mandatory for a person but recommended to perform when he enters into Masjid-ul-Haram. If any other tawaf is performed, it becomes its substitute.

Tawafun Nafl: Can be performed any time. If you want to know how to perform nafl tawaf, it is similar to other tawaf. Pilgrims just have to form the intention (niyyah) of performing nafl tawaf.

Rules of Tawaf

There is a set of rules or guidelines for doing tawaf which needs to be followed. It is necessary to complete these rituals correctly and follow the rules or a Dam becomes wajib. The main rules of tawaf are as follows:

  • It is essential to be in the state of wudu for the entire tawaf.
  • Niyyah is an essential condition for tawaf. There is no tawaf without niyyah.
  • Tawaf should begin from Hajar-al-Aswad (the black stone) and should finish at Hajar-al-Aswad moving in the direction of Hatim (anti-clock wise) keeping Hajar-al-Aswad to the left.
  • It is obligatory to include Hijr (Hatim) Ismael into Tawaf, which means to perform Tawaf of Hijr Ismael from outside.
  • Pilgrims must circumambulate seven complete rounds around the House of Allah – the Kaabatullah, and anything less is not enough.
  • If the time of obligatory or supererogatory “Vitr” prayer comes during obligatory Tawaf, a pilgrim can leave Tawaf, perform the prayer and then return and continue the rest of Tawaf.
  • Performing Istilam i.e. to kiss the Hajr-e-Aswad. If you are unable to kiss the Black stone because of the crowd, touch it with the hand and then kiss your hand as was done by the Prophet (pbuh). If you cannot reach the stone then point your hands towards the stone and say “Allahu Akbar”

Note: It is recommended to consult and seek an opinion from scholars on doubtful Islamic matters.

Dua's & Azkaar For Hajj

Are there special supplications for Tawaf, Saa’ee and other rites?

There are no special Dua & Supplications during Hajj, A person should recite any dua he/she remembers and wishes. But one should try to perform the rituals of Hajj and Umrah as closely to how the Prophet (pbuh) performed. Here are some of the most recommended basic Hajj duas and supplications that one should recite while on their journey to Hajj and Umrah:

Dua for entering Haram

Dua to recite at the first glance of Kaabah

Dua to recite when you approach Hajr-e-Aswad, the black stone:

Recite this Dua after facing the Black Stone:

Before starting your Tawaf form your intention as follows:

Supplicate between Yemeni corner and Hajr-e-Aswad:

Dua to recite at Maqam-e-Ibrahim after completing Tawaf:

Dua to recite while drinking Zamzam:

Dua at Mount Safa and Mount Marwah: Before you start Saa’ee at Safa recite the following verse:

Form intention for Saa’ee at Safa-Marwa by reciting the following Dua:

After climbing Mount Safa, face Kaabah and recite the following verse:

There is no specific dua for Saa’ee so recite any Dua from heart between the hills of Safa and Marwah

Dua to recite when leaving Masjid-ul-Haram:


Common mistakes to Avoid during Hajj

Common mistakes to Avoid during Hajj

Below are the misconceptions and prohibitions during Hajj that one should be careful about in order to have a blissful Hajj experience:

Mistake 1: Changing the intention of Hajj

Making intention is the most important part of Hajj. The reward of a deed depends on the intention. One is allowed to change his/her intention about the type of Hajj he/she wants to perform before assuming Ihram. If one wants to change his/her intention afterwards, he/she can change from Tamattu to Qiran but not from Tamattu to Ifrad.

Mistake 2: Not changing the ihram clothes

Some people wrongly think that changing the white sheets of ihram will relinquish their ihram. One is allowed to change the ihram whenever he/she requires. The pilgrim comes out of ihram which he/she intended only after completing all the essential rites of Hajj and shaving or clipping of hair.

Mistake 3: Touching or wiping over the Kabah or any part of Masjid-ul-Haram

Some people try to touch and wipe over any part of Kabah and Maqam-e-Ibrahim thinking that there is barakah and khair in it. This is one of the most common misconceptions and mistakes during Hajj, and has no basis in hadith or sunnah. The Prophet (pbuh) did not touch any part of Kabah except the Black stone and Yemeni corner. Innovation in religion is one of the things forbidden in Hajj and therefore, it must be prohibited.

Mistake 4: Doing multiple Umrahs

Some people perform multiple Umrahs by going to Masjid Ta’neem or other Meeqat to assume ihram again and again. It is not from sunnah and one should not make the mistake of doing it. Instead of performing multiple umrahs one should try to perform as many tawaf as possible to gain greater rewards.

Mistake 5: Getting emotional at Jamarat

Jamarats are not the devil/s disguised as the stones. There is no devil present at the Jamarat. It is the stone indicating the spot where the devil (shaitan) tried to mislead Prophet Ibrahim (AS). It is recommended to glorify Allah by saying Allahu Akbar each time you throw a pebble at the stone pillar.

Mistake 6: Kissing Hajr-e-Aswad from Distance

Kissing the black stone is a beautiful sunnah and it is an honour to be able to do that. But majority of the people are not able to reach Hajr-e-Aswad because of the crowd. Therefore, many people try to kiss it from the distance. They stop in the middle of performing tawaf, face the black stone and put their hands up to kiss the black stone in air as if the stone is right in front of them.
Distance kissing is not from sunnah. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would kiss the black stone if he could easily do so or touch it with his hand and then kiss his hand. But, if it was too crowded, he would only point towards it with his hands and say “Allahu Akbar”.

Ibn Abbas said, “The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) performed Tawaf on his camel, and every time he came to the corner (where the Black Stone is) he would point to it and say Allāhu Akbar.” [Al-Bukhari]

Mistake 7: Thinking Dua is accepted at first glance of Kaabah

Most of the people have a wrong notion that the first time they witness the Kaabah, any du’a they make, will be answered. It is simply not true and has no evidence in Shariah. Any Hadith that we find in this matter is weak or fabricated.

Mistake 8: Shouting Du’a in Unison

Some people shout dua in unison while performing tawaf. They follow a leader or an imam who speak out different dua’s loudly and the people repeat after him in unison. This creates a lot of confusion and disturbs others engaged in their own duas. It is not correct.
The right thing to do before you go for Tawaf, is to make a list of Du’a that you want to make or the verses from Qur’an you want to recite. So you won’t have to follow anybody and you will be making Du’a from your own heart in your own language. Make your dua with humility and Khushoo’.

The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Each one of you is conversing with his Lord, so do not disturb one another or raise your voices over one another when reading (or he said) when praying.” [Abu Dawood, Sahih by Al-Albani]

Mistake 9: Designating specific Du’a for different rounds of Tawaf

Some pilgrims designate specific Du’as for each round and there are even books with specific Du’as written for every round. This is not from sunnah. Neither the Prophet (pbuh) nor the Sahabas recited any specific Du’a in any of the rounds of tawaf. The only Du’a that the Prophet (pbuh) specified during Tawaf was upon reaching between the Yemeni Corner and the Black Stone when he would say,
“Rabbana atina’ fid-dunya hasana wa fil-akhirati hasana wa qina adhaban-nar”[“Our Lord, give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter and save us from the punishment of the Fire.’’]

Mistake 10: Doing Tawaf on someone’s behalf

Many people make this mistake. They complete their tawaf and then perform an extra round for a friend, relative or a deceased person. It is not correct and has no basis in sunnah. Only Hajj and Umrah can be performed on behalf of someone but tawaf individually cannot be done on someone’s behalf.

Mistake 11: Thinking praying 40 raka’t prayers in Madinah is compulsory

Some people think praying 40 raka’t Naf’l is compulsory in Masjid-e-Nabawi and it is a part of Hajj. Neither the Naf’l prayers nor visiting Madinah is a part of Hajj. It is good that you spend as much time as you can in praying inside the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah but to think that it is necessary to do so, is not correct.

Note: It is recommended to consult and seek an opinion from scholars on doubtful Islamic matters.

Useful Tips

Important Tips for Your Hajj Journey

Here are the top tips for Hajj travel and to stay healthy during the Hajj pilgrimage:

  • The extreme weather conditions, the tremendous crowd of pilgrims, and the physical demands of Hajj tend to make people short tempered. Try to be patient, understanding and compassionate always. You can avoid unnecessary arguments and awkward situations by maintaining a positive attitude and remaining focused on your mission of Hajj.
  • Do not get involved in unnecessary religious discussions with your fellow pilgrims. You may see slight variations in religious practices during Hajj rituals amongst different people. Someone may even point out the “wrongness” of your ways. Be patient and walk away from a difficult situation.
  • Be optimistic and keep good companionship during Hajj. You will meet different kinds of people in your group; the over-excited, complainers, chit-chatters etc. keep to yourself if you feel distracted and don’t want the negativity to affect you. There might be things that you don’t like but try to keep it to your heart and share constructive criticism with the organizer.
  • Most important Hajj advice is to be punctual. Take great care to perform Salah on time and with Jama’t.
  • Don’t be put-off by hot weather. There are air-conditioned sections in Haram on the first and second floor (enter through King Fahad entrance and stay on the left). Pray there during the hottest part of the day.
  • Try to create balance in everything including acts of worship. Know your physical limits and stay within them. It is too easy to get caught up in the emotion of the moment and exceed your boundaries. It is extremely frustrating to get sick in a foreign country and even harder during Hajj as it defeats the purpose of your visit.
  • The beggars will pose a real problem especially if you are not used to seeing them. People who have been to middle-east before would be able to differentiate between the real ones and those who are there for business. They will be ruthless in the pursuit of you and won’t hesitate to disturb you while you are deep in prayers or having an emotional moment. Do not be swayed by their stories of losing passport, tickets or loved ones etc. Instead of giving money, offer to buy them food, ticket or whatever it is they are asking for.
  • Try to meet as many Muslims as possible. The diversity of culture and nationalities one experiences during Hajj is mind-blowing. You will meet Russians, Chinese, Europeans and African Muslims. Feel the common bond that unites everyone.
  • One of the top tips to stay healthy during the Hajj pilgrimage is to wash all fruits including dates with clean water before eating. Stick to those fruits which need to be peeled. Avoid pre-cut fruits or salads or food handled in unhygienic conditions.
  • Another quick and essential tip for Hajj is to always use the restrooms before leaving your hotel or apartment. There are no washrooms inside Masjid-ul-Haram or Masjid-e-Nabawi. The washrooms are located outside the mosques and very crowded. Use a nearby hotel or restaurant if you have to go to a restroom. Make wudu with zamzam water or at the water stations and avoid spilling too much water.
  • Don’t compare your group with other groups and avoid getting caught up in what the other people ate or where they stayed. Always remember that Hajj is a test and everyone’s test will be different. Savor your experiences and stay positive.
  • You can prepare yourself but nothing completely prepares you for the reality of the experience. There will be moments of great awe and complete frustration. Be patient always!
  • A Hajji is fortunate to be present at the various sacred places where duas are likely to be accepted. So make the most of it. Pray to Allah (SWT) and ask for your needs of this world and the Hereafter. Value every moment there since your stay is a short one.
  • Of course, everyone wants his/her Hajj to be Mabroor (acceptable) because the reward for Hajj Mabroor is Jannah.
  • A person asked the Prophet (pbuh), “What makes Hajj Mabroor, Messenger of Allah?” He (pbuh) said, “Providing food to people and spreading (the greeting of) salaam.” (Fath al-Bari, 4/446).
  • In another Hadith which is related by Abu Hurairah (radiallaahu `anhu), that Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said:
  • “From one Umrah to another (i.e. the two Umras) become an atonement for the sins committed during the period intervening between them and the reward on Hajj Mabroor (i.e. pure and untainted Hajj) is paradise itself and nothing less.” [Bukhari & Muslim]
  • So being kind, generous and considerate with people and serving them is the key to having your Hajj accepted. Keep your eyes and ears open for every opportunity to do good deeds. Jump at any chance you get to spread khair and do everything for the sake of pleasing Allah. In sha Allah your Hajj will be Mabroor.
  • Follow a burial procession to Jannat-ul-Baqi and attend the Janaaza prayer.

Those were some of the must know Hajj tips that will come handy during your Hajj journey. May Allah shower His blessings upon the Ummah, accept our intention to perform this obligatory act of worship and guide us to the true path. Aameen!


Useful Topics

Conditions of Hajj being obligatory upon an individual

Here are some of the conditions of Hajj being obligatory on a person and who can perform Hajj:

  • Hajj is obligatory on every sane and physically-capable adult Muslim once in a lifetime.
  • Hajj is obligatory upon an indebted person who can pay off the debt and can perform Hajj. One cannot perform Hajj with borrowed money.
  • It is permissible for minors to perform Hajj but it would not be counted as their obligatory Hajj.
  • Any person who could afford to go for Hajj but dies without performing it, the heirs of that person can perform it on his/her behalf from the inheritance.
  • It is not valid to authorize someone to perform Hajj on behalf of a healthy person. However, if a person is unable to perform Hajj due to old age or an illness but can afford to pay for it, he/she should pay someone to perform the obligatory Hajj on his behalf. (Read: Hajj e Badal)

Maqam-e-Ibrahim and its Historical Significance

After completion of seven circuits of Kaabah and Istilam, a pilgrim should move towards Maqam-e-Ibrahim to offer two raka’t salah for tawaf. It is recommended to recite Surat-ul-Kafirun after Al-Fatihah in the first Rak’at and Suratul Ikhlas in the second. But it is also permissible to recite any other Surahs instead. After offering Salah, make supplications to Allah (SWT).

Facts about Maqam-e-Ibrahim

History and importance of Muqam-e-Ibrahim relates back to the construction of the Holy Kaaba during the times of the Prophet Ibrahim (AS). It is the large black stone on which Ibrahim (AS) stood while he was building the upper walls of the Kaaba. The stone became soft and his feet left impressions when he stood on it. The foot impressions in the rock can still be seen today. The Prophet (pbuh) said:

“The stone is the station of Ibrahim. Allah made it soft and made it a mercy. Ibrahim would stand on it and Ismail would hand the stones up to him.”

Ibrahim (AS) constructed the Kaabah using rocks from five mountains: Hira, Thubayr, Labnaan, Toor and Jabalul Khayr. Toor Seenaa is actually situated in the eastern desert of Egypt. When Ibrahim (AS) completed the construction of the Kaaba he was commanded by Allah (swt):

وَأَذِّن فِي النَّاسِ بِالْحَجِّ يَأْتُوكَ رِجَالًا وَعَلَىٰ كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ يَأْتِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ

“And proclaim to mankind the Hajj (pilgrimage).
They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Hajj).” [Al-Hajj 22:27]

At the time of Ibrahim (AS), the Maqam was attached to the Kaaba. Umar (RA) moved it to the place where it is currently present because it used to get too crowded for tawaf or prayers. It should be noted that the significance of the Maqam-e- Ibrahim lies in the fact that it is a place for performing Salah and not for touching or kissing.

Why Hajj is considered as the journey of a lifetime?

As Muslims, we believe that the basis of our existence in this world is to worship our creator Allah (SWT) to whom we shall return. We strive to strengthen our relationship with Him by following His commandments and connecting to Him with deep love and spirituality. Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam that constitute the most demanding but rewarding form of worship performed in the sacred city of Makkah. Every Muslim is obligated to perform Hajj once in a lifetime if a person is physically and financially capable of performing it. The primary objective of Hajj is to strengthen ones devotion to Allah and learn the lesson of humbleness and equality, and that is the reason why do pilgrims wear Ihram. Millions of Muslims discard their usual attire and assume Ihram irrespective of ranks, status, race, caste or creed, to stand before Allah to worship Him and seek His blessings. Transcending the boundaries of national identity and cultural heritage, it brings together people promoting brotherhood and equality.

Hajj is truly a journey of a lifetime which a pilgrim is lucky enough to experience and learn from. Here are some of the reasons about why to perform Hajj and why it is an experience of a lifetime:

  • Hajj is the largest congregation of Muslims where pilgrims get an opportunity to interact with Muslims from other nationalities and races.
  • It is the largest peace conference that promotes peace & harmony among Muslims and common welfare.
  • It focuses on the core lesson of Islam which is brotherhood and equality among all Muslims in all aspects. Pilgrims during Hajj wear the simple piece of cloth and follow the same rules and perform similar acts and supplications at the same time without any distinction.
  • Hajj affirms the commitment and devotion of Muslims towards Allah. Pilgrims set aside their materialistic interests for the sake of Allah and submit themselves in His service.
  • Pilgrims follow the example of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his spirit to sacrifice everything for the sake of Allah.
  • Hajj is also the reminder of the Day of Judgment when everyone will be standing equally before Allah to be judged only on the basis of their good or bad deeds.

Zamzam and its Significance

It is recommended to drink ZamZam water and pour it over head and body after offering Salah at the station of Ibrahim (AS). ZamZam water is available at both Masjid-ul-Haram and Masjid-e-Nabawi. While there is a pumping station at the ZamZam well in Haram, ZamZam is transported to Medina by water tankers. One of the extraordinary facts about ZamZam water is that the ZamZam well has provided continuous water supply for more than 4000 years which is a miracle in itself.

The history of ZamZam well goes back to the times of Prophet Ibrahim (AS). On Allah’s command, Ibrahim (AS) took his wife Hajira (RA) and son Ismail (AS) to Makkah, and left them there with only few dates and water. Once the provision ran out, Hajira (RA) and the child became thirsty. Hajira climbed up the Mount Safa to look for water and help. After seeing nothing she crossed the valley and climbed the Mount Marwa to do the same. When she found nothing here either, she started running between these hills in her anxiety. After she had done the circuits seven times, she heard a sound and returned to her child. She saw that an angel had stuck his wing on the ground and water was gushing forth from the spot, the same ZamZam spring that we see now. The name of the well came from the phrase ‘zomezome’ meaning stop flowing, a command repeated by Hajira (AS) while trying to contain the water.

Jabir (RA) reported that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “The Zam Zam water serves the purpose for which it is drunk”. Therefore, one should say, “I drink it with the intention that I may not get thirsty on the Day of Reckoning”.

ZamZam water is extremely pure and holds countless virtues which is one of the reasons why ZamZam is the best water on earth.

Abbas (RA) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “The difference between us and the Munafiqin (hypocrites) is that they do not drink to their fill”.

Therefore, whoever gets a chance to go on Hajj or Umrah should drink this holy water to their fill as long as one stays in the Holy City of Makkah. While drinking it he should pray profusely, and should also make the following Du’a:

Allahhumma inni as’aluka ilm-an na’fi-an wa rizqan wa’si-an wa shifa’am min kulli da’in

(O Allah! I request You earnestly to grant me useful knowledge, sustenance and provisions in abundance, good deeds, and cure from every disease).

Saa’ee between Safa and Marwa Hills

Saa’ee literally means to strive, work and act. Sa’i (sayee) between Safa and Marwah is one of the obligatory acts of Hajj. A pilgrim must perform tawaf before performing Saa’ee. There is no Saa’ee without tawaf or before it. Saa’ee begins from Safa and ends at Marwa. It should be completed in seven rounds, nothing more and nothing less. When a person reaches the point marked with green pillars while performing Saa’ee, he should start running with medium pace and then again resume the usual pace. This is called Ramal. Women are not required to do Ramal. They should walk with their usual pace.

After Saa’ee and before the ritual shaving, it is recommended to offer two raka’t nafl Salah in Masjid-ul-Haram. Later, pilgrims (men) are required to shave their head while women have to cut their hair up to the length of a fingertip. Ritual shaving should be done in the precinct of the Haram.

While performing Saa’ee we remember the history of Safa and Marwa, and follow the actions of Hajira (RA) who climbed and ran between the hills of Safa and Marwa in search of water for her thirsty child Ismail (AS), which is also the reason why men run between Safa and Marwah hills. The miracle of ZamZam was gifted to her for her self-reliance and a firm faith on Allah. She had tawakkul but she did not sit around waiting for something to happen. She checked first Safa and then Marwa for sustenance, and kept on running between the hills hoping that somehow the provision from Allah (SWT) would come.

According to Hadith, the Prophet (pbuh) said “None of you will enter Jannah by your deeds.” It is only by Allah’s mercy that we enter Jannah. So put in your efforts, do your deeds and trust Allah to give you rewards in this life and the Hereafter.