How to Perform Hajj?

Hajj is the 5th and last pillar of Islam. It is imposed at least once in a lifetime, on every adult Muslim man and woman, who can perform it, physically and financially. It can be performed only on the month of Dhul Hijjah, in contrast to the Umrah that can be taken at any point in the year. Our beloved Prophet ‘peace be upon him’ performed Hajj one time in his life, so it is not a yearly obligation like some people think.

From Allah’s mercy and generosity, the pilgrim has all his sins forgiven, according to the hadith of the prophet ‘peace be upon him':

قال رَسُولَ اللَّهِ (ﷺ): "مِنْ حَجَّ فَلَمْ يَرْفُثْ وَلَمْ يَفْسُقْ رَجَعَ كَيَوْمِ وَلَدَتْهُ أمه"  (مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيْهِ)
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Whoever performs Hajj and does not approach his wife for sexual relations nor commit sins (while performing Hajj), he will come out as sinless as a newborn child (who’s just delivered by his mother)”  (Al Bukhari and Muslim)
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The Pillars of Hajj are:  Ihram, Tawaf, Sa'i among Safa and Marwa, and staying in Arafah from Dhuhr to Maghrib, aside from other many duties and Sunnah acts that we will expand on later. However, the Pillars of Umrah are only: Ihram, Tawaf and Sa'i among Safa and Marwah. 

In this article, we explain to you how to perform the rites of Hajj:

*Note: Some points and their ordering may differ, according to the type of Hajj you are performing and the Mazhab you are following. 

1. Al Ihram 

After making the Niyya that this person will be performing hajj this year, Ihram takes place from the Miqaat (A place and a time where the Ihram should be performed), whether the pilgrim was in the car or airplane, he should get to the Miqaat destination to make Ihram. 

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This is when the pilgrims start reciting the Talbiya, and enter a certain spiritual phase, when they get prohibited from certain things such as: wearing perfume, cutting nails and intercourse among a married couple (only during the Ihram period). 

2. Tawaf Al Kudoum (Tawaf of arrival) 

When the pilgrim reaches Makkah, he enters the Sacred Mosque with the right foot, and begins 7 runs of circumambulation around the Kaaba, beginning with the Black Stone, saying “Bismillah, Allahu Akbar.” 

Once done with the Tawaf, the pilgrim prays 2 Rakaat next to Maqam Ibrahim.

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3. Al Sa’i among Safa and Marwah

On the way to the place of Sa’i, the pilgrims drink of Zamzam water, following the steps of the Prophet ‘peace be upon him.’ 

Once they ascend to Mount Safa from its gate, they recite the following Ayah:

إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ ۖ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا ۚ وَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ (158) 
“Indeed, Al Safa and Al Marwah are among the symbols of Allah. So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs 'umrah, there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good - then indeed, Allah is appreciative and knowing” (Surah Al Baqarah, Verse 158)
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Then, they reach Safa and Marwa to walk seven times among the two hills, following the steps of ‘Hajar’, the wife of Prophet Ibrahim; going back and forth with the intention of dedicating this act of obedience to Allah. On this path, men jog when they arrive at the green light for a short distance, however, women keep their pace on the same level. 

4. Overnight stay in Mina 

On the perfusion day (the day of Tarwiyah), the pilgrims go to the city of Mina and spend a certain period there.

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5. Standing in Arafah 

On the 9th day of Dhul Hijjah, the pilgrims reach the mountain of Arafah after the sunrise, to spend the day until the sunset. They shorten their Salah and pray Dhuhr and Asr together earlier (Qasr and Jam’ taqdim). 

The core of Hajj is Arafah, since the Prophet ‘peace be upon him’ said in the hadith:  

"الْحَجُّ عَرَفَةُ فَمَنْ أَدْرَكَ لَيْلَةَ عَرَفَةَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الْفَجْرِ مِنْ لَيْلَةِ جَمْعٍ فَقَدْ تَمَّ حَجُّهُ" (سنن النسائي)
The Messenger of Allah said, “Hajj is Arafah. Whoever catches up with the night of Arafah before dawn comes on the night of collection (Muzdalifah), then his Hajj is complete'" (Sunan An-Nasa'i)

The pilgrimages on the mountain of Arafah pass the time by remembering Allah, reading Quran and making Dua’a, and so shall do all Muslims who are not performing Hajj this year.  

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It is one of the best days of the year, and a major opportunity for all pilgrimages and all Muslims as well:

قال رَسُولَ اللَّهِ (ﷺ): " مَا مِنْ يَوْمٍ أَكْثَرَ مِنْ أَنْ يُعْتِقَ اللَّهُ فِيهِ عَبْدًا مِنَ النَّارِ مِنْ يَوْمِ عَرَفَةَ وَإِنَّهُ لَيَدْنُو ثُمَّ يُبَاهِي بِهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةَ فَيَقُولُ مَا أَرَادَ هَؤُلَاءِ " (رَوَاهُ مُسلم)
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “There is no day when Allah sets free more servants from hell than the day of Arafah. He draws near, then praises them to the angels saying, ‘What do these want?” (Muslim)

6. Spending Time in Muzdalifah 

    After the sunset of the day of Arafah, the pilgrims move towards Muzadalifah, and pray the Maghrib and Ishaa (jama’a ta’kheer). They gather pebbles to throw them in Mina, in one of the main rites of Hajj.

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    7. Throwing the stones on the day of Nahr

    On the first day of Eid Al Adha, the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah, the pilgrims go back after Fajr prayer to Mina to throw the stones they collected on the way from Muzdalifah. They throw pebbles at the three Jamaraats after Dhuhr on every day of Tashreeq.

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    8. Slaughtering for the sake of Allah (zabh al hadiyy) and Hair Shortening

    Pilgrims are obliged to slaughter a sheep or a cow once done with their hajj, yet all Muslims around the world are also invited to do this act as well, and distribute the bigger amount of meat to the poor, while also considering eating from it with their household.

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    After finishing the pillars of the Hajj, men shave their heads and women cut the length of a finger from the ends of their hair, which signifies the end of the phase of Ihram.

    9. Tawaf Al Ifada

    On the final day of Hajj, pilgrims return to Makkah to perform the final Tawaf around the Kaaba, called Tawaf al Ifada, with seven rounds.

    Depending on the type of Hajj they are performing, whether it was Qiran, Ifrad or tamatu’, the pilgrims will also perform Sa’i through the Safa and Marwa Hills, again for 7 rounds.

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    10. Tawaf al Wada’a (The Farewell)

    As a final act in the Hajj, many pilgrims perform the farewell circumambulation, as an act of Sunnah that does not require being in the phase of Ihram. Seven rounds around the Kaaba are performed to end the beautiful journey.

    We recommend that every person performing Hajj this year to follow up with the Leader they are accompanying during this journey, to guide them on all steps to follow and to answer their query if they ever make a shortage in any pillar or they face any problem while on the Hajj rituals, and not only rely on this article to perform the full Hajj. This was an introduction to the way of performing Hajj and is not enough as a full guide.  

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    🌻May Allah accept from all the worshippers during these blessed days.🌻

    We wish you a ‘Hajj Mabrour wa Sa’i Mashkour”
    & Adha Mubarak✨

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