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Everything About Hajj

Hajj is all concerned with doing ten rituals over a period of six days in four places. Those four places involved in Hajj are Mecca, Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah. Mina is located east of Makkah about 5 km away from it. To the east of Mina is located Muzdalifah closely. Arafat is located approximately 14 kilometers away from Mina.

The days of Hajj starts on the 8th day of the Arabic month Zil Hajj or Dhul Hajj and ends on the 13th. There are three Farazs of Hajj which are must be done and if not Hajj will not be acceptable and there are three Vajibs which are also must be done and if not done should be compensated with Dham. Dham is done by sacrificing a sheep or goat.

Farads of Hajj

1. Ihram
2. Staying in Arafat
3. Tawaf Ziyara

Wajibs of Hajj

1. Staying at Muzdalifah on the day of Arafat
2. Stoning of Satan
3. Sacrificing a sheep or goat or Qurbani
4. Shaving or clipping hair
5. Doing Sayi
6. Performing Tawaf Vidha at the end

10 Rituals to be Performed during Hajj

1. The pilgrim performing Hajj e Tamattu wears Ihram from the place where he is staying. Those doing Hajj e Ifrad and Hajj e Qarin are already in Ihram from their Miqat. The pilgrim wearing Ihram for Umrah should wear it from Miqat but when he wears it for Hajj he may wear it from his room or home. On the 8th he takes bath, wears Ihram and goes to Mina after sunrise. Sometimes he might be taken there on 7th night also and there is no harm in that. The prayers Luhar, Asar, Mahrib and Isha and the Fazr of 9th day should be prayed at Mina and this is a Sunnah. There are temporary tents at Mina for the pilgrim to stay.

2. The 9th of Zil Hajj month is called the day of Arafat or the day of Hajj because Hajj is not completed if a pilgrim does not stay at Arafat. So on 9th after sunrise, the pilgrim leaves for Arafat. Arafat is a big ground and the famous Jabal e Rahma is situated here and it is better to stay closer to it. There will be some temporary tents for the facility of the pilgrims. The pilgrim should stay at Arafat on 9th till sunset. This is the important part of Hajj.

The important deed of Arafat is prayer. This is the place where the Duas are accepted and so Haji is insisted to ask all the Duas of his life here. It is said that after this day, all his former sins are washed away and he turns out to be a baby fresh from the womb. So he must make use of this day and ask for forgiveness and make the most of the time.

3. After sunset, the pilgrim must leave Arafat and go to Muzdalifah approximately 8 or 9 km away from it. He must not leave before sunset. However he should leave even before praying Mahrib. Mahrib should be prayed only at Muzdalifah along with Isha. When going to Muzdalifah care must be taken that the Haji has entered the boundary of Muzdalifah because many people stay before Muzdalifah’s entrance itself by mistake. If not stayed in Muzdalifah, Dham has to be given.

4. The Haji may sleep for a while at Muzdalifah and on 10th morning he should pray Fazr there and then after a while before sunrise he must start towards Mina. Before he starts moving he must pick stones for stoning of Satan. He must pick 70 to 80 small stones as carrying few extra stones is advisable. It was on that day he has to do some important deeds including the stoning of Satan. The time for stoning of Satan starts from sunrise and lasts till the next day Fazr. However it is the best practice to do it before noon.

On this day that is 10th of the month, stoning should be done only for Big Satan or Jamarat Ul Kufra or Jamarat Ul Ukba. Stand such as your right side facing Mina and the left side facing Makkah. There are sign boards to indicate the direction. Throw seven stones one by one saying, ‘Bismillahi Allahu Akbar’. After stoning the Haji may return to his tent at Mina.

5. Then Qurbani has to be given. Sheep or goat is preferred and for camel or buffalo or ox seven people may join together and sacrifice one on their behalf. The time of Qurbani starts on the 10th morning of the month and ends on the 12th day at sunset. Offering Qurbani is a must for those performing Hajj e Tamattu and Hajj e Qarin and is desirable for those doing Hajj e Ifrad. Clipping or shaving hair should be done only after giving Qurbani.

There are slaughter houses near Mina for this purpose. There are also some banks and private institutions doing this service for Hajis. Care should be taken that they are genuine people before paying any money. It is better to give Qurbani directly cutting the throat of the animal with own hands.

If offering camel it should be 5 years old and the ox should be 2 years old. If goat is offered it should be one year old and for sheep it should be 6 months old. Otherwise Qurbani will not be accepted. The meat of the animal may be consumed or not depending upon the necessity.

6. After Qurbani, shaving of hair on head should be done. For ladies it is cutting one inch of hair at the end. Self shaving of hair is allowed. Stoning, Qurbani and hair removal should be done in order or Dham should be given. After removing the hair, Ihram dress could be removed and after taking bath, normal dresses could be worn. Now everything becomes normal except doing intercourse. Intercourse is allowed only after performing Tawaf Ziyara which is also a part of Hajj. Hair removal should be done before 12th sunset.

7. After getting out of Ihram and wearing good dresses, the Hajis go to Masjid Al Haram for performing Tawaf Ziyara. This includes Tawaf and Sayi. The Ramal is to be done for first three rounds but there is no Izhthifa as there is no Ihram. After performing Tawaf and praying 2 rak-at salat, the pilgrim drinks Zam Zam water to his heart’s content.

8. The Hajis then perform Sayi also as a part of Hajj. This is to be done immediately after doing Tawaf and postponing unnecessarily is not desirable.

9. The Tawaf Ziyara could be done on 10th, 11th or 12th before sunset. However, the pilgrim should not stay in Makkah and should return to his tent at Mina for his night stay. On 11th, 12th and 13th stoning of Satan should be continued. On these days, the time of stoning starts at noon and ends on the next day Fazr though it is the best option to complete it before evening of the day. On these three days, stoning is to be done for all the three Satans unlike on the first day that is on 10th when stoning is done only for the first Satan. So, 7 stones should be thrown on the first Satan named Jamaratul Ukba, second Satan named Jamaratul Ustha and third Satan named Jamaratul Oola. If stones are missed it should be stoned again. That is why it is essential to carry some extra stones. Stoning on 13th is option but a best practice. Aged people who cannot walk to Jamarat may give their stones to their wards for throwing on their behalf.

10. The last ritual of Hajj is Tawaf Vidha or the last Tawaf. This is to be done on the last day of leaving Makkah. However if the time of departure is uncertain this could be done a bit earlier also. Ladies having menstruation are exempted from this Tawaf and if they are expecting menstruation and if possible they could do it earlier also. It is better to come out of Masjid Al Haram through Babul Vidha gate for the last time. If staying on Makkah after doing Tawaf Vidha, Tawaf could be done again and there is no harm in that.

Here ends all the rituals of Hajj and the pilgrims become Hajis.

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