Hajj - What is Hajj: A Pilgrimage To Mecca Offered By Muslims
Hajj is the will and desire to visit, but in the terminology of the Shariah, it means the will to visit the Holy Kaaba which was the first structure built by Hazrat Adam for the worship of Allah, during the month of Zilhajj. The Holy Quran says:
And remember, Abraham and Ismail raised the foundation of the House (with this prayer) “Our Lord, Accept (this service) from us…. Our Lord! Make of us Muslims, bowing to Thy (will) and of our progeny a people Muslim, bowing to They (Will); And show us our places for the celebration of (due) rites” (2:127-128)
It is compulsory only on whose who are sound of mind, adults and have the provisions to travel. People living in the non-Muslim areas (Dar-ul-Harb), must have knowledge that it is obligatory on them to render Hajj.
Hajj is the only pillar among all the pillars of Islam that requires both physical and financial sacrifices. The Quran says:
“Pilgrimage is a duty men owe to Allah, those who can afford the journey” (3:97)
Below, the method of Hajj is defined in a simplistic manner.
Date: 7th ZilHajj
Pilgrims change into Ihram before entering Makkah (Ihram is the dress code for both men and women. Men wear two white unstitched white sheets. One around their waist and the second on their shoulders. For women, modesty in dressing is desired and they should prevent exposing themselves. Their face, hands and feet can be left uncovered, and everything else should be covered in any colour.
As soon the pilgrims adorn their Ihram they recite Talbiah over and over again "Labbayk, Allahumma Labbayk. Labbayk. La shareeka laka. Labbayk. Innal-hamda wan-ni'mata laka wal-mulk. La shareeka lak." Meaning “Here I am O Lord, Here I am. In deed you have no partners, here I am. No doubt all praise and bounties are yours and so is the absolute Domain. You indeed have no partners, here I am”.
Then the pilgirms perform Tawaf-e-Qudoom: Tawaf is circumbulating around Kabba anticlockwise 7 times. (the first Tawaf performed while entering Kabba)
The Holy Quran says:
“Then let them complete the rites prescribed for them, perform their vows ,and (again) circumambulate the Ancient House” (22:29)
Sai is performed between Safa and Marva (Sai is walking briskly between the two mountains)
Quranic Ref: “Indeed Safa and Marva are among the emblems of Allah: it is, therefore , no sin for him, who performs Hajj or Umrah to the House of Allah, to run between the two hills; and Allah knows and appreciates him who does any good with a willing heart” (2:158)
Date : 8th Zilhajj
The pilgrims make their journey to Mina or the tent city where the pilgrims rest for the night.
The pilgrim travel to Arafat next morning (The assembly of Arafat is the most important part of the Hajj. Here the pilgrims listen to a Khutaba and combine Zohr and Asr together and pray.
Wuquf-e-Arafat (to stay at Afarat) From Arafat they move to spend a night at Muzdalifah and collect pebbles (47 almost) to stone the devil.
Date: 10th/11th/12th Zilhajj
Rami (the act of stoning devil) at the time of stoning the Talbiyah stops.
After Rami, Tawaf-e-Ziyarat is performed (Tawaf that must be performed between 10th to 12th Zilhajj.
After the stoning of the devil, the pilgrims offer sacrifice of an animal and return to Mina
With Tawaf-e-Wida (the last tawaf) the Hajj comes to an end. Without Tawaf-e-ziyarat, Hajj will be rendered as invalid since it is an obligatory rite.