Seven Rituals of Hajj – A Step-By-Step Guide for Pilgrims!
Hajj is among Islam's 5 essential pillars and it is mandatory for financially and physically capable Muslims to perform hajj at least once in their lifetime. So
Hajj, one of Islam's major pillars, is an annual spiritual pilgrimage that Muslims must perform at least once in their lifetimes to express their servitude and faith to Allah Almighty. Every year in the Islamic month of Dhul-Hijjah, the vast numbers of Muslims visit the Sacred Kabah to perform Hajj in accordance with the 1,377-years-old Sunnah of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Therefore, in order to perform Hajj, one must be physically, mentally, and financially capable. The condition of being financially and physically capable to do Hajj is known as "Istita'ah," and the Muslim who completes the pilgrimage successfully is known as "Hajji" or "Mustati." The Hajj rituals last in 5 or 6 days, officially starting on the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah and finishing on the 13th of the same month; Hajj is Islam's major annual religious and spiritual event. "To be a part of the journey" is a literal meaning of Hajj. The following are the seven rituals of Hajj:
Ritual 1 – Ihram & Intentions
Ritual 2 – Mina “City of tents”
Ritual 3 – Mina to Arafat, on the 9th Dhul-Hijjah
Ritual 4 – Muzdalifah
Ritual 5 – Rami – Stoning the devil
Ritual 6 – Nahr (Halq & Taqseer)
Ritual 7 – Farewell Tawaf
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1. Ihram & Intentions:
In the first ritual, making a true intention and having to wear Ihram are the two most important steps in preparing for Hajj. Muslim pilgrims are urged to put on the Ihram after making the Niyyat (intention). Ihram is the 2 unstitched white clothes for men and a loose-fitting Abaya for women to cover their entire body. Before entering Meeqat, the outer boundaries of Makkah – the pilgrims are advised to wear the Ihram. The 5 entry points or relevant Meeqat stations for pilgrims are Abyar Ali (Dhu’l Hulaifah), (As-Sail Al-Kabeer) Qarn-al Manzil, Al- Johan, Dhat’Irq, and Sa’adiyah (Yalamlam).
Pilgrims should also recite Talbiyah while refraining from all sinful activities once they have entered Ihram. The Talbiyah should be read aloud. Muslims who intend to undertake Hajj al-Tamattu after arriving in Makkah must combine the Umrah rituals with Hajj. Muslims do Tawaf by walking around the Sacred Kabah seven times in an anti-clockwise direction. Then they perform the Hajr-e-Aswad ritual and proceed to the next stage of Umrah, which runs between the Safa and Marwa hills. Pilgrims begin their journey to Mina after completing the Umrah.
2. Mina, Known as The "City of Tents":
Mina is a small town located 5 to 6 kilometers from Makkah. Pilgrims arriving in Mina's tent city are advised to stay there till the next day. While at Mina, pilgrims recite all 5 Salahs, beginning with Zuhr at noon and finishing with Fajr at dawn. Mina's land now consists of modern tents having all the necessary amenities. While in Mina, Muslims should pray both obligatory and non-obligatory prayers.
3. Mina to Arafat, On The 9th Dhul-Hijjah:
The pilgrims begin walking towards Arafat on the early morning of the 2nd day of Hajj, 9th Dhul-Hijjah, whilst reciting Talbiyah at the peak of their voices. When Muslim pilgrims arrive at Mount Arafat, they pray Zuhrain, which combines the Zuhr and Asr prayers with the Qasr prayer. From noon till sunset, people gather near the Jabal-E-Rahmah to do Wuquf, which is an act of standing before Allah Almighty.
Muzdalifah, a small town halfway between Mina and Mount of Arafat, is the pilgrims' next stop on their Hajj pilgrimage. When the pilgrims arrive on the grounds of Muzdalifah at sunset, they offer Maghribain – a combined Maghrib and Isha prayer. Muslims spend an entire night outside under the open sky collecting 49 pebbles of similar sizes for stoning the Devil. They then depart Muzdalifah on the morning of the 10th Dhul-Hijjah.
The pilgrims return to Makkah to perform Tawaf al-Ifadah and Sai. After that, Muslims go back to Mina to execute the Rami, Nahr, and Halq rituals.
5. Rami – Stoning The Devil:
Pilgrims arrive in Mina and execute the Rami ritual by stoning the Jamarat al-Aqabah. The stoning of Jamarat commemorates Prophet Ibrahim's (AS) refusal of the devil's attempt to persuade him not to obey Allah's (SWT) command. In response, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) threw small pebbles at the devil, causing him to flee. The 11th and 12th of Dhul-Hijjah are the days when Rami is performed.
Muslim pilgrims are urged to sacrifice an animal, such as a camel or lamb, after completing Rami on the 12th of Dhul-Hijjah. Pilgrims can do this by buying sacrifice coupons or vouchers that indicate that the sacrifice was done on their behalf. The sacrificial animal's meat should be given to the poor and needy people.
Halq & Taqseer - Shaving the head is known as Halq, whereas shortening or trimming the hair is known as Taqseer. It is necessary for men pilgrims to get their heads fully shaved or clipped after undertaking the devotional sacrifice. Rather than shaving their heads, women are advised to get a strand or lock of their hairs chopped. Halq and Taqseer indicate a Muslim's full devotion to Allah Almighty and detachment from materialistic world & its appearances.
7. Farewell Tawaf:
After the completion of all the rituals, pilgrims go back to Makkah to do the "Tawaf al-Ifadah," also called the "Farewell Tawaf," followed by Sai. Several pilgrims visit Madina before coming back home, even though the Hajj is officially over or completed.
Why Do Muslims Perform 7 Circumambulations Around the Kabah?
There is no specific reason why Muslims circumambulate 7 times around the Kabah. Muslims are made sure to worship 5 times a day and to make 7 rounds around the Sacred Kabah while performing Umrah or Hajj. Tawaf, on the other hand, reflects the idea that a Muslim's life should revolve solely around having to obey Allah's commands as well as following the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
Hajj is among Islam's 5 essential pillars and it is mandatory for financially and physically capable Muslims to perform hajj at least once in their lifetime. So, if you are physically, mentally, and financially willing to perform Hajj, then Muslims Holy Travel is the best way to go with. All you have to do is to book one of the top-notch All-Inclusive Hajj Packages 2022 and turn your dreams into a reality by being in Makkah and Madina.