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Hajj Rites Step by Step
Preparing for the Hajj
1 Be sure you are ready to perform the Hajj
2 Decide which type of Hajj you will undertake
- Tamattu'. This is the most common form of pilgrimage and the one recommended by the Prophet Muhammad himself (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Tamattu' involves the pilgrim performing the rites of the minor pilgrimage ritual known as Umrah, then performing the rites of the Hajj.
- Qiran. In this option, the pilgrim performs the rites of both the Umrah and Hajj in one continuous act with no "break" in the middle. Pilgrims performing Qiran are called Qaarin.
- Ifraad. Finally, this form of pilgrimage involves performing only the rites of the Hajj - not of the Umrah as well. This form of pilgrimage is also notable for being the only one that does not require animal sacrifice. Pilgrims performing Ifraad are called Mufrid.
3 Plan your trip to Saudi Arabia.
- The Hajj occurs from the 8th to the 12th of Dhul-Hijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic calendar. Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, the date of the Hajj changes from year to year on the Western Gregorian calendar. Note that, according to the Saudi government, the last day that pilgrims are allowed to arrive at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah for the Hajj is the 4th of Dhul-Hijjah.
4 Prepare to be immersed in religion.
- All people - women and men - who are attending the Hajj should prepare to be exceedingly modest for the duration of their stay in Saudi Arabia. Clothing must be modest and unadorned - for much of the pilgrimage, special religious garb is required for men.
Performing the Rites of Umrah
1 Assume Ihram
- Men: Shave, comb your hair, trim or shape your facial hair, cut your nails, and remove unwanted body hair.
- Women: As with men, you should shave and groom yourself, bathe, avoid applying scents, etc. You should also avoid applying makeup or other cosmetics. However, besides the requisite sandals, women don't have special clothes for Ihram - their ordinary clothes should be used, provided that they are clean and modest.
2 Declare your intention and say the Talbiyah.
- Labbayk Allaah humma labbayk, labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk. Innal hamda wan-ni’mata laka wal-mulk, laa shareeka lak. "Here I am O Allah, (in response to Your call), here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise, grace and sovereignty belong to You. You have no partner."
- If she or he has not already entered into the state of Ihram, the pilgrim must do so at the Miqat before crossing.
- Note - it is tradition to enter these holy entryways and most other holy buildings with the right foot first.
3 Proceed towards the Ka'bah - the most sacred location in Islam.
4 Perform the Tawaf.
- Next, begin to move to the right. Draw close to the Black Stone (the Eastern cornerstone of the Ka'bah) and, if possible, kiss it. If can't get close enough to kiss it, you may touch it with your hand. If you can't get close enough to touch or kiss it, lift your hands to your ears, palms facing towards the Black Stone, and recite this short prayer: Bismillahi Allahu akbar wa lilah hil-hamd. Don't shove or fight for a chance to touch the Black Stone.
- Begin to circle the Ka'bah. Walk counter-clockwise so that the Ka'bah stays at your left. Circle the Ka'bah seven times, praying as you do so. There are no designated prayers for the Tawaf, so you may use ones from your daily life or simply pray from your heart. You may also point at the Black Stone each time you walk by it.
- When you've completed seven circles, you are finished. Men can now cover their right shoulder.
5 Perform Sa'ey.
- When you reach the top of Safa, recite another Niyyah, saying: Allah huma inee ureeduss sa' ya baynas safaa wal marwata sab 'ata ashwaatin lilaahi ta'aala fa yasir hoo lee wata qabal hu minee. (O Allah! I intend to perform seven rounds of Sa’ey between Safa and Marwah to please You. Make it easy for me and accept it from me) Then, add: Inn-as-Safa wal-Marwa-ta min Sha’aa’irillah (Indeed Safa and Marwah are among the Signs of Allah). Finally, face the Ka'bah and recite "Allahu Akbar" three times. Add any additional prayers you may wish, then proceed towards Marwah.
- As you move towards Marwah, recite: Subhan-Allah, wal-hamdu-lillah, wa la ilaha ill-Allah, wallahu Akbar, wa la haula wa la quwwata illa-billa, or, if you can't remember this, use the shortened form, Subhanallah, Alhamdu Lillah, Allahu Akbar. You may add any prayers you wish. At the top of Marwah, repeat the glorification of God while facing the Ka'bah, then walk down from the hill again.
- When you've walked back and forth seven times, you are finished.
6 Have your hair shaved or clipped.
After completing the Sa'ey, men should have their hair either completely shaved or cut short - both are permissible, though shaving is preferred. However, a man may not want to have his head shaved completely during the Umrah if he plans to complete the Hajj rites in the next few days, which also include shaving. Women should not have their heads shaved but instead may cut a lock of hair or have their hair trimmed several inches.
- After the ritual hair-cutting, Umrah is complete and the restrictions of Ihram are lifted. You can return to your normal activities, wear your normal clothes, etc. However, if, like many pilgrims, you will proceed to complete the Hajj in the next few days, know that you will need to re-enter Ihram to do so.
Hajj package 2021: Performing the Rites of Hajj
1 Re-assume Ihram and declare your intention to perform Hajj.
- The rites of the Hajj last five days are that from the 8th to the 12th of Dhul-Hijjah, you must maintain in Ihram for about three days, abstaining from the activities that are forbidden to you until this period is over.
2 Head to Mina.
- Note that, in Mina, men and women stay in separate tents, which are located adjacent to each other. Though husbands and wives may interact, men cannot enter women's tents.
3 Head to Arafat and perform Waquf.
- No specific prayers are assigned for the Waquf, so simply pray to Allah sincerely from your heart. Many pilgrims like to also spend time reflecting on the course of their life, their future, and their place in the world.
4 Pray in Muzdalifah.
After sundown, pilgrims head to a place called Muzdalifah between Mina and Arafat. Here, they offer an evening prayer to God (Maghrib) and spend the night sleeping on the ground beneath the open sky.
- In the morning, gather pebbles, as you will use these for the Ramy "stoning" ceremony later in the day.
5 Perform Ramy in Mina.
- This ceremony can be extremely crowded, tense, and emotional. Trampling deaths, though rare, have occurred. Because of this, the elderly, sick, and injured are discouraged from participating. Instead, they may perform this later in the evening or have a friend or confidant perform the ritual in their place.
6 Offer a sacrifice.
- Animal sacrifice can be done at any point on the 10th, 11th, or 12th day of Dhul-Hijjah. If Ramy has to be postponed for any reason, wait until after Ramy to make your sacrifice.
7 Get your hair cut or shaved.
8 Perform the Tawaf and Sa'ey.
- After completing the Tawaf and Sa'ey, you are released from your state of Ihram and may resume the activities that were previously prohibited.
- At the end of your third day, return to Mina and spend the night there in prayer.
9 Repeat Ramy after sundown on the fourth and fifth days.
- First, throw pebbles at the Jamrat Oolah, then praise Allah and supplicate with your hands raised (there are no assigned prayers, so you may use your own.) Repeat this for the Jamrat Wustah. Finally, throw your pebbles at the Jamrat al Aqabah, but after, you don't need to pray - you can return home.
- Repeat this ritual after sundown on the fifth day.
10 Perform the Farewell Tawaf.
- After making the Hajj, many pilgrims opt to travel to Medina, the second holiest city in Islam. Here, they can visit such holy sites as The Prophet's Mosque. No Ihram is necessary to visit Medina.