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Hajj English Guide


As most of us know, the origin of the Hajj, the Fifth Pillar of Islam, dates back to the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and brings together Muslims of all races and tongues to don two simple white cloths in an impressive display of Islam's disregard for racial or national divisions. Each year millions of people make the pilgrimage, making it the largest temporary gathering on the globe. It is an act of recollection and worship, but also a symbolic act representing the spirit's return to its homeland-one of the central elements of the Muslim life. Hajj is an imperative duty (fard) for all Muslims physically and financially able to perform it.

In it are Signs Manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah,- those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures

Many people go to Hajj every year without even knowing the restrictions, duties, and virtues of many actions we perform in the Hajj season. It is extremely critical and important that the person who intends to perform Hajj should learn the basics of this act of worship including the obligatory actions and what makes Hajj null and what should be done in case there is a chance to compensate for mistakes. There are many people who perform Hajj and it will be accepted from them by Allah (swt), but there are others who do not just perform Hajj as a duty and leave, but they also seize this great opportunity to get a lot of reward from Allah (swt). And the best way to get reward is by following the best pilgrim and the best worshipper of Allah, Muhammad (S). Simply Hajj and Umrah invites you to navigate through the appropriate links in order to better prepare for the Journey of a Lifetime.
Hajj, being the fifth pillar of Islam, needs to be performed by every Muslim once in their lifetime so that they may preserve their religion. But why is Hajj such a big deal for Muslims to perform, and why is it referred to as the Journey of a Lifetime? In this section Simply Hajj and Umrah will look deeply into both the virtues and conditions of performing such an important pillar of Islam.
The Virtues
The virtues of Hajj are many and those who have performed Hajj are indeed aware of the spiritual contentment and uplifting experience such an act plants in the hearts of mankind; forever. The Prophet Muhammad (S) has spoken endlessly on the virtues of Hajj throughout his lifetime. We at Simply Hajj and Umrah have broken down a few of the mentioned virtues from the Prophet Muhammad (S) below along with the proper references from the Hadeeth.
  • The act of Hajj is amongst the best deeds one can perform when pleasing Allah (swt). This is known from the saying of the Prophet (S) when his companions asked him about the absolute best deed in the eyes of Allah. The Prophet replied "Belief in Allah and His Messenger." Then he was asked: "what else?" He said, "striving and struggling for the sake of Allah" Then he was asked: "what else?" He said, "a Hajj, which is free from vice - accepted and complete." [Agreed upon, Bukhari & Muslim]
  • The ones who perform Hajj, in its proper and complete form, has all their past sins forgiven from Allah and they return to their homes as a newborn comes into this world; sinless. The Prophet Muhammad (S) said "Whoever performs Hajj to this house - Ka'bah- and does not commit any obscenity and wrongdoing, he, or she, will come out as the day he, or she, was born - pure and free from sins." [Agreed upon, Bukhari & Muslim]
  • The reward for completing a Hajj and having it accepted is nothing less than Paradise itself. The Prophet Muhammad (S) said "An 'Umrah is a means of expiation of sins committed between it and the next and a Mabroor Hajj - complete and accepted - has no reward for it but Jannah." [Agreed upon, Bukhari & Muslim]
  • When performing Hajj, we are known as the guests of Allah (swt) and will be fully taken care of by Him (swt). The Prophet Muhammad (S) said "The people performing Hajj or 'Umrah are the guests of Allah. If they ask Him something He answers them and if they ask him forgiveness He forgives them." [Related by an-Nassaa'i, ibn Maajah, ibn Hibbaan and ibn Khuzaymah]
  • One who sets forth and leaves for Hajj is in the state of a pilgrim till he/she reaches back home, and therefore remains a guest of Allah (swt) throughout the entire journey until he/she returns home. The Prophet Muhammad (S) said "When you meet anyone who has performed Hajj, greet him, shake hands with him, and beseech him to pray for the forgiveness of your sins before he reaches his home, for he is in the state that decision of forgiveness has been taken for him (and it is confidently expected that his supplication will be accepted)." [Musnad Ahmed]
These are just some of the virtues mentioned about Hajj. Indeed the virtues of Hajj are priceless to any Muslim and it is therefore referred to as the Journey of a Lifetime.
Since Hajj is known to be such a noble and reward-filling duty on Muslims, it is absolutely critical that one learns the various conditions of Hajj and who is responsible for such an act of hard struggle and sacrifice. In this section Simply Hajj and Umrah will explore the conditions of performing Hajj in the blessed land of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

The Conditions

Just as was the case with the virtues of Hajj in the previous section, there are many sayings from the Prophet Muhammad (S) regarding the responsibility of performing Hajj as a compulsory act in order to gain the endless rewards of the journey. The following is a list of conditions of Hajj that we at Simply Hajj and Umrah have compiled in order to make the Muslim communities all over the world become aware of such knowledge.
  • The act of Hajj is amongst the best deeds one can perform when pleasing Allah (swt). This is known from the saying of the Prophet (S) when his companions asked him about the absolute best deed in the eyes of Allah. The Prophet replied "Belief in Allah and His Messenger." Then he was asked: "what else?" He said, "striving and struggling for the sake of Allah" Then he was asked: "what else?" He said, "a Hajj, which is free from vice - accepted and complete." [Agreed upon, Bukhari & Muslim]
  • Islam: Faith is the first requirement and without it the prescribed deeds are not valid or accepted as acts of worship. As we have seen previously, there is a strong relation between Hajj and its rituals with the religion of Ibraheem (A), which is the religion of Tawheed.
  • Sanity: Anyone who is not sane-minded - somebody who is proven to be mentally ill - is not held responsible for his, or her, actions. The Prophet (S) said, "There are three kinds of people who are not held responsible for their actions: The sleeping person until he wakes up, the child until he reaches the age of puberty, and the mentally ill until he becomes sane." [Related by the Five and ad-Daarimi]
  • Puberty: As understood from the above hadith.
  • Ability: It was explained by the Messenger of Allah (S) as the transportation and the provision during the journey. Today, Hajj is done through special arrangements and requirements. Anyone who can fulfill those requirements and can afford to pay for his journey without begging others or taking loans should go for Hajj.
  • Women's Hajj: Women are equal to men in terms of their religious duties and rights. They must perform Hajj if they have all the above conditions. However, a woman must go with her husband or another Mahram - the one that a woman can never marry due to close relationship such as a father, a brother, a son, a nephew, an uncle...etc., Ibn 'Abbas (r) related that he heard the Prophet (S) saying, "A man cannot be alone with a woman unless when she is in the company of a Mahram. A woman can travel only when she is accompanied by a Mahram." Hearing this, a man stood up and said, "O Messenger of Allah! My wife has gone for Hajj and I have enrolled myself in such and such expedition." The Prophet (S) said, "Go and perform Hajj with your wife." [Agreed upon].
  • Note: Imam Abu Haneefah (r) and other scholars have considered this as one of the elements of ability. However, Imam As-Shafi'i (r) as well as other scholars consider a good group of pious and trustworthy women can be an alternative, but only in the obligatory Hajj and 'Umrah not the supererogatory ones. There are a few hadiths which back this position such as the ones relating the Hajj of the wives of the Prophet (S) after the permission of 'Umar ibn al-Khattab (r).
  • Not to Delay: Delaying this pillar of Islam to old age even though the physical and financial abilities are okay to perform Hajj is considered a hated act in the eyes of Allah. It is a common misconception among many Muslims to think that Hajj is only for those who retire and have leisure time. Ibn 'Abbas (r), the great commentator of Qur'an, said, "Whoever had money in his life and did not go to Hajj or pay Zakaat on it, he, or she, will ask Allah to return to life when time for death comes." The Prophet (S) said, "Hasten going for Hajj - meaning performing the duty- for none of you knows what will happen in the future." [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, ibn Maajah, and al-Bayhaqi].
  • If one meets the above conditions then it is critical that he/she performs the journey of a lifetime.
We at Simply Hajj and Umrah realize that not all pilgrims know and understand the significance of Hajj. That is why we have summarized the true significance of such a journey in an easy-to-understand explanation in this section.

Significance

Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam. It is a visit to the Ka'ba, the house of Allah (SWT). The Ka'ba is a cube-like building that was built by Prophet Adam, the first man and Prophet on earth. During the battles that took place over time, the Ka'ba was damaged. Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail then rebuilt the Ka'ba and restored its dignity. The Ka'ba is the oldest House and was built for the purpose of worshipping Allah (SWT). Today it is known as the holiest place for Muslims and represents the direction that Muslims pray five times a day; from all around the world.

It is compulsory for every Muslim to make at least one journey in their lifetime to Makkah for Hajj if they can afford it. The teachings of Hajj are very significant to a Muslim's daily life. During Hajj, we learn to establish our prayers five times a day and stay clean and pure at all times. Prayer is mandatory during the period of Hajj as well as throughout one's life. Praying near the Ka'ba rewards a Muslim more then 100,000 times the reward of praying anywhere else in the world.

Sacrificing a lamb or goat during Hajj teaches us to share and to give to the poor. It teaches us generosity, kindness, and the ability to share with others less fortunate. In Mina, when we throw pebbles at the three pillars representing shaitaan, we learn that we should be truthful and clean and live a life free of sins. We learn to try to reject and avoid the evil whispers of shaitaan and stand against him. Apart from kindness and generosity, Hajj teaches us that Allah (SWT) has blessed us greatly. The water from Zam Zam is a special gift from Allah (SWT) to Muslims till the Day of Judgement. It is that anyone who drinks the water of Zam Zam will be granted a cure from all the illnesses and diseases. Some of the scholars say that Zam Zam is whatever you make it to be, so for instance, if you drink Zam Zam water and supplicate to Allah (SWT) that He make it a source of healing from a sickness, it will indeed play that role, insha'Allah. Supplicating at Arafaat is also a blessing. All duas are answered and all wishes are made true.

This pilgrimage helps us learn the history of Islam and see how it has been held up over the past centuries. We should remember the work of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (S). We should learn the patience and the sacrifices made by our Prophet at this very time and place many centuries ago. The gathering of Muslims all around the world helps us to remember that we are all Muslims and worshippers of Allah (SWT) and that we are all brothers and sisters in Islam. We learn the different nations and we see that Muslims are not joined together on the basis of color or race. They are joined together on the basis of belief in Allah (SWT) and his messenger (S). The pilgrimage brings Muslims of all countries, colors, and races to one place -- the Ka'ba. This strengthens the spirit of unity, equality and brotherhood. These are the values on which Islam builds the human society and it will continue this way till the Day of Judgment insha'Allah.
1. Entering Ahram from the Miqat 2. Standing at Arafat untill sunset. 3. Staying overnight in Muzdalifah. 4. Staying overnight in Mina'a at Tashriq nights. 5. Stoning Jamarats. 6. Shaving or cutting the hair. 7. Tawf Al Weda.
The Pillars
  • Ihram - The first pillar of Hajj is the state of Ihram. Although, the word Ihram is often referred to as the two pieces of white cloth that men wear while doing Hajj and Umrah, it is more than that. Ihram is actually a state one is in while performing the rituals of Hajj and Umrah. The dress of Ihram just represents the state that one is in; two unstitched cloths for men, and regular loose clothing for women. However, it is important to note that the pilgrim is allowed to bathe and use the washroom as they require so the Ihram may be removed and put back on for such circumstances. The key element to the Ihram is to make the intention of Ihram, after taking a bath and praying two raka'h of prayers. Once the intention is made, and the necessary clothing are put on, one must adhere to the following rules:
    • Recite the Talbiyyah saying: "Labbayka-Allahummma labbayk, Labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk. Innal-Hamda wanni'mata laka wal-Mulk, laa shareeka lak!" "Here I am O Allah! Here I am! Here I am, there is no partner for you, here I am! Surely, all praise, blessings, and dominion are for You. There is no partner for you!" It is recommended to keep repeating the Talbiyah occasionally on the way to Makkah especially after prayers or when meeting other pilgrims or when ascending and descending...etc.
    • The pilgrim should avoid arguing, slandering, acting without humility and decency, and harming others with the hands and the tongue. Allah, the Almighty, says, "For Hajj are the months well-known. If any one undertakes that duty therein, let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj and whatever good you do, (be sure) Allah knows it." (2:198).
    • The pilgrim is also restricted from showing love and affection to his/her spouse while in Ihram, which could lead to intercourse. The unmarried pilgrim is restricted from getting married or asking for someone's hand in marriage while in Ihram.
    • It is undesirable to joke around in the state of Ihram, since the pilgrim should be reciting the Talbiyah and submit themselves to Allah (SWT).
    • Shaving or cutting hair from any part of the body, clipping the nails of the fingers or the toe, and wearing or even touching perfume are all forbidden acts while in Ihram.
    • Men are not allowed to cover their heads by anything except for an umbrella provided that it does not touch the head or wearing seamed and perfumed clothes, socks and shoes. Women may wear socks. Both, men and women are permitted to wear a watch, or glasses on their face.
    • It is not permissible to hunt, kill, or harm animals unless they are harmful insects such as lice, fleas, beetles and also ants if they stick to the body. It is better to throw them away, but if they represent a harm and disturbance they can be killed. Harmful and dangerous animals can only be killed if they become a threat to one's life such as snakes, scorpions, rats, desert crows and any dangerous wild animals or birds.
  • Tawwaf - The second pillar of Hajj is Tawwaf. Tawwaf is the action of circuiting and circumambulating seven times around the Ka'bah in an anti-clockwise direction. Allah Almighty says, "Then let them complete the rites prescribed for them, perform their vows, and (again) circumambulate the Ancient House." (22:29). In order to have the Tawwaf properly completed one must adhere to the following:
    • Make intention for Tawaaf as an act of obedience dedicated to Allah alone.
    • Cleanliness with Wudu as for prayer.
    • Covering 'Awrah - private parts - for both men and women. Anything, which is considered a 'Awrah cannot be displayed otherwise the Tawwaf becomes null.
    • Tawaaf should be inside al-Masjid al-Haraam.
    • The number of rounds should be exactly seven beginning from the Black Stone and ending at it. These rounds should be continued without interruption except in the case of an extreme necessity.
    • The following are some desirable sunnah acts while performing the Tawwaf:
    • Performing the first three rounds hastily, almost jogging for men who are capable of doing so, and if the circumstances permit it. Do not try this if there are way too many people around.
    • Uncover the right shoulder for men, and place the cloth underneath the armpit.
    • Kissing the Black Stone in the beginning of Tawwaf if possible. Otherwise, if it's impossible to touch it or because the pilgrim fears harming others by pushing them, it is better to raise the hands to make Istilaam - salutation - to the Black Stone starting Tawwaf by saying, "Bismillahi w-Allahu Akbar! Allahumma Imaanan bika wa-tasdeeqan bikitaabika wa-Wafaa'an bi'ahdika wat-Tibaa'an lisunnati Nabiyyika Muhammadin Salla Allahu 'alayhe was-Sallam" "In the Name of Allah, Allah is The Greatest! O Allah I have faith in You, I believe in Your Book, I am fulfilling the promise made to You, and following the Sunnah of Your Prophet (S)".
    • The pilgrim can make a lot of dhikr such as: "Subhaana Allah wal-Hamdu-lillah wa-Laa ilaaha ill-Allah w-Allahu Akbar walaa Hawla walaa Quwwata illaa billaahi!" "Glory be to Allah! All Praise is due to Allah! There is no god except Allah! Allah is the Greatest! There is no Power or strength except with Allah!" There are not specific du'aas for circumambulating. However, the best thing to say is the word of Allah; the pilgrim can recite without disturbing the others some chapters of the Qur'an he, or she, memorizes.
    • When the pilgrim passes by the Rokn al-Yamaani - the fourth corner of the Ka'abah right before the black stone corner - it is good that he, or she, touches it with the hand if possible in every round, and then recite the following dua until they reach back to the black stone: "Rabbanaa Aatinaa fid-Duniaah Hasanatan wafil-Aakhirati Hasanatan waqinaa 'adhaaban-Naar" "Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and protect us from the torment of the Fire!" (2:201).
    • Being in a state of serenity, concentration, and humbleness. The pilgrim should avoid harming others and should also refrain from talking to others unless it is necessary.
    • Making dua after finishing Tawaaf at the Multazam - the spot between the Black Stone and the Ka'bah's door. Praying 2 Rak'aas behind the Maqaam -station- of Ibraaheem (A), then drinking from Zamzam water in three sequences while having the intention to be cured with the blessing of Allah from any disease and facing Qiblah. The pilgrim can make the following du'aa: Allahumma inni as'aluka 'ilman naafi'an wa-rizqan waasi'an was-shifaa'a min kulli dhaa'in wa saqam!" "O Allah! I beseech You to bless me with a useful knowledge, a generous subsistence, and a cure from any ailment and disease!"
    • Finally going back to the Black Stone and salute it before leaving to Safa and Marwaa for Say'ee.
  • Say'ee - The third pillar of Hajj is the Say'ee which is the walking between mount safa and marwa. Although the history of such a noble act is very rich and enlightening to know, Simply Hajj and Umrah will only look at the required acts in this section. Further information should be studied under your leader/teacher.
    Describing the Hajj performed by the Prophet (S), Jabir (r) narrated, "Then, he - the Prophet (S) - got out from the door heading for As-Safaa, then, recited the above Qur'anic aayah: "Innas-Safaa wal-Marwata min Sha'aa'iril-Laah. Faman hajjal-Bayta awi'atamara falaa junaaha 'alayhi an yattawwafa bihimaa. Waman tattawwa'a khayran fa'inna Allaha Shaakirun 'Aleem."(2:158)
    Then, he (S) said, "We begin with what Allah began." Then, he mounted as--Safaa until he faced the House and there he glorified Allah (i.e. raised his voice) saying "Allahu Akbar!" three times then" Laa ilaaha illa Allah wahdahu laa shareeka lah. Lahul-Mulku walahul- Hamdu wa huwa 'alaa kulli shay'in Qadeer. Laa ilaaha illa Allahu wahdahu, Sadaqa Wa'adahu, wa nasara 'abadahu wa hazamal-Ahzaaba wahdah!."
    "There is no god but Allah. He is One and has no partner, to Him is the dominion and all praise is due to Him. We are returning, repenting, worshipping, prostrating, and to Allah we are very grateful. Allah is true to His promise, He gave victory to His servant and defeated the confederates all by Himself."
    Habibah bint Abi Taghrah (r) heard the Prophet (S) saying to his companions,
    "Perform Say'ee for Allah Almighty has ordained it upon you." [Ahmad].
    • In order to have the Say'ee properly completed one must adhere to the following:
      • Being after Tawwaf not before and make proper intention for beginning the Say'ee
      • Continue doing the Say'ee without interruption except when it is extremely necessary.
      • Stand on as-Safaa and al-Marwa by going back and forth seven times- 4 stops at each hill - and make the above-mentioned du'aa facing Qiblah.
    • The following are some desirable sunnah acts while performing the Tawwaf:
      • Khabab, which is fast walking that is closer to running, between the two green signs on the sides of the way as Haajar (A) did and as it is recorded about the Prophet (S).
      • Making dhikr and du'aa or reading Qur'an.
      • To be clean and have Wudu is recommended but not compulsory as in Tawwaf
      • To walk unless the pilgrim is weak.
      • To lower the gaze and abstain from talking to others, harming others, and try to be humble and serene and to remember the Day of Judgement.
  • Arafah - The fourth pillar of Hajj is Arafah, which known as the Big Day of hajj and is on th 9th of dhul hijja. The Prohet (S) said: "Hajj is 'Arafah." [Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi]. The pilgrim must be at 'Arafaat on the ninth of dhil Hijjah after Dhuhr time. Anyone, who misses Arafaat day, his, or her, Hajj is void. All the scholars said in consensus that this pillar is the most important one. The Prophet said, "Hajj is only valid by attending `Arafah." [At-Tirmidhi, an-Nassaa'i, Abu Dawud, Malek and ad-Daarimi]. In order to have the Arafah properly completed one must adhere to the following:
    • Going to Arafaat on the 9th of dhul-Hijjah: After Sunrise on the 9th, the pilgrim can head for 'Arafaat through the road of Dabb making Talbiyah and dhikr. Once the pilgrim prays at Masjid Namirah Dhuhr and 'Asr combined and shortened with the Imam - if possible - he, or she, goes to the Mawqif where the standing is valid because Namirah mosque is not fully a part of 'Arafaat. Standing means to be present there and it does not mean that the pilgrim is not allowed to sit down and rest.
    • The presence in Arafaat on the 9th of dhul-Hijjah between Dhuhr and Maghrib is essential.
    • Sleeping in Muzdalifah after spending the day in 'Arafaat.
    • Throwing pebbles at Jamrat al-'Aqabah on the 10th day of dhil-Hijjah.
    • Shaving off the hair of the head or cutting some of it after the stoning at Jamrat al-'Aqabah. After this, the pilgrim ends his state of Ihraam and can wear regular clothes and put perfume and clip the nails…etc, but intimate intercourse is not allowed until the Ifaadah Tawaaf is performed.
    • Sleeping on the eve of the 11th, the eve of the 12th, and the eve of the 13th. If the pilgrim has to leave, the eves of the 11th and the 12th would be enough.
    • Throwing pebbles at the three Jamaraats after Dhuhr of every day of Tashreeq: 11-12-13.
  • Many Hajj groups recommend doing extra acts of worship during the day of Arafah, and the final days of Hajj, since indeed these are the most significant days in the entire journey.
When choosing a Hajj Group and which package to go on, you may notice that different packages have different Hajj methods, depending on the group and one's preference of performance. In this section, Simply Hajj and Umrah will explain the three ways one can perform Hajj so that people are more acquainted with the methods before choosing a package. More detail will be given by each Hajj group before the journey.
Three Different Methods
  • Tamattu` - means performing Umrah during the Hajj season before the hajj starts. Therefore, it is necessary to get into the state of Ihram twice; once for Umrah on their entrance to Makkah, and the other on the 8th day of Dhul-Hijjah known as the day of Tarwiyah. The pilgrim who performs Hajj Tamattu' should make intention for `Umrah when approaching the Miqat. The pilgrim should say,

    "Labbayk-Allahumma labbayka bi'Umrah!" or "Labbayka 'Umratan!" "O Allah! I answer Your call to perform `Umrah."

    The pilgrim can add some other dua such as: " O Allah! I intend to perform `Umrah, so make it easy for me, and accept it from me." It is also allowed for the pilgrim, though intending initially to complete Hajj or 'Umrah, to put a condition whereby if for some unexpected sickness or circumstances the journey could not be completed, he, or she, can end the state of Ihraam without having to sacrifice an animal or fast. Therefore, the pilgrim can address Allah saying,

    "Inna mahilli minal-Ardi haythu habastani" "I will end up my state of Ihraam wherever I cannot proceed."

    After this, the pilgrim proceeds with Talbiyah as shown in the previous section. Once the pilgrim reaches Makkah, he heads for al-Masjid al-Haraam and starts his Tawwaf. After Tawwaf, the pilgrim prays two Rak'aas at Maqaamu Ibraahim - without disturbing those who circumambulate- drinks Zamzam water then proceeds with the Say'ee. With this the state of Ihraam and 'Umrah are ended. On the day of Tarwiyah, the pilgrim enters another time in the state of Ihraam saying,

    "Labbayk-Allahumma labbayka bi-Hajj!" or "Labbayka Hajjan" "O Allah! I answer Your call to perform Hajj."

    The pilgrim can add, "O Allah! I intend to perform Hajj, so make it easy for me, and accept it from me. I intend to perform Hajj and I am entering in the state of Ihram only for Your sake, O Allah!" Then the Talbiyah is repeated throughout the rituals of Hajj in Mina, Arafah, and Muzdalifah. On the 10th of dhul-Hijjah, a sacrifice should be offered to Allah as mentioned in Qur'an after stoning at al-Jamaraat. After the sacrifice is done, the pilgrim can shave or cut the hair. The pilgrim then proceeds back to Mekkah and performs the Tawwaf of Ifaadah. Once the Tawaaf of Ifaadah is completed, the pilgrim should perform Say'ee for Hajj. However, if a person starts with the Tawaaf of Ifaadah, then Say'ee, then shaves, and then stones at al-Jamaraat, it is also accepted. Hajj Tamattu' is the most recommended for people and it was more encouraged by the Prophet (S). Therefore, it is known as the best way to perform Hajj and is indeed the most common amongst the Hajj groups.
  • Qiran - means to combine Hajj and Umrah. This means that the pilgrim should declare the intention to perform both Hajj and `Umrah together, and say:

    "Labbayk-Allahumma labbayka bi-Hajjin wa-'Umrah!" or "Labbayka Hajjan wa 'Umratan!" "O Allah! I answer Your call to perform Hajj and 'Umrah!"

    In this kind of Hajj, it is not allowed for the pilgrim to end the state of Ihraam after Say'ee. The pilgrim will not have to perform the Tawwaf of Ifaadah and Say'ee on the 10th of dhul Hijjah because it is already performed for both Hajj and `Umrah. The pilgrim is supposed to bring his sacrificial animal with him as the Prophet (S) did. This must be done because the rituals of Hajj and `Umrah were joined together. Some groups will have Hajj Qiran as an option for the pilgrims to perform.
  • Ifraad - means that the pilgrim declares his intention for Hajj only, and says:

    " Labbayk-Allahumma labbayka bi-Hajj!" or " Labbayka Hajjan" "O Allah! I answer Your call to perform Hajj." The pilgrim maintains his Ihraam up to the Day of Sacrifice. No animal sacrifice offering is required from him. Many Hajj groups have Hajj Ifraad available as the express package since it is the quickest of the three.
  • For more information on the three methods of performing Hajj, please consult the group leaders for your Hajj group insha'Allah.
One of the most memorable moments in the journey of Hajj is, undoubtedly, the visit to the city of our Noble Prophet (S). Such a blessed visit to Medinah makes one appreciate the life of the Prophet (S) and all of the historical sites that are left for the believers to visit and ponder upon. In this section, Simply Hajj and Umrah will illustrate the most crucial things one needs to know when visiting Medinah. It is our hope that you maximize your time in such a blessed land by reaping the benefits from the information below.

Visiting the City of the Prophet (S)

Medinah, which lies 447 kilometers north of the Holy City of Makkah, is the city of the Prophet (S). This is the place in which the Holy Quran was compiled and the Prophet's (S) companions administered the affairs of the Muslim Ummah. The following is a list of things to consider and implement before and after your arrival to Medinah.
  • When you start traveling to Medinah, Make your intention as such: "O Allah! I am starting my journey to visit the holy tomb of Prophet Muhammad (S). Please accept it from me". Also during this journey, recite Darud Sharif frequently, which is asking Allah to give peace and blessings on the Prophet (S).
  • When the city of Medinah is in sight, show your extreme fondness and excitement and humbly enter the city while reciting Darud Sharif.
  • After putting your luggage at your hotel or place of residence, take a bath or perform ablution (wudu), put on new and nice looking clothes, apply perfume, and proceed towards the Prophet's Mosque while repeating Darud Sharif.
  • Try to enter the mosque through gate Al-Jibril or gate As-Salaam as these are the gates which lead to the grave of the Prophet (S). However, if this is not possible, enter through any other door.
  • Place your right foot first in the entrance, praise Allah (such as say Allahu Akbar, Subhan Allah, Alhamdu Lillah, etc.), recite Darud Sharif and say: " Allah humma aftah li abwabe rahamte ka" "Oh Allah open for me the doors of your mercy."
  • Upon entrance into the Masjid, offer two raka's of nafl tahiyyat Al-Masjid (greeting of the Masjid) anywhere in the mosque. If one is able to do this in the Riyadh Al-Jannah area, (the area in the Masjid which is known to rise into Jannah, this is also where the Prophet (S) used to lead the Salah) then this is preferred. However, this place is normally packed of people at all times, especially in the Hajj season. Don't let that stop you from praying two raka's there at least once on your visit, but also don't exhaust yourself trying to always pray there, for this could involve harming other to do so.
  • Visit the grave of the Prophet (S) and that of Abu Bakr and Omar. In front of the sacred tomb of The Holy Prophet (S), there are three sections of brass screens and all three have holes in them. If you stand in front of the middle section between the pillars, you'll see a big round hole on your left. This is in front of the face of the Holy Prophet (S). Adjacent to it is a door that stays closed. Right after it on the right side is a round hole which is in front of the face of Abu Bakr As-Siddique. On the right of it, there is another round hole which is in front of the face of Umar Bin Khattab. Standing in front of it and facing it, say in a respectful and low voice:" Assalamu alaika, ayyuhan-nabiyya wa rahmatul-lahi wa barakatuhu" (Peace be on you, O Prophet, and the mercy and blessings of Allah.) After this say: "Assalatu was-salamu alaika ya Rasul-Allah", "Assalatu was-salamu alaika ya Nabi-yallah", "Assalatu was-salamu alaika ya Habib-Allah". Then supplicate to Allah for good things in this life and the life after death. Then move a little to the right and stand before the grave of Abu Bakr. Greet him and supplicate to Allah to bestow His mercy and forgiveness on him. Then move a little to the right and stand before the grave of Umar. Greet him and supplicate to Allah to bestow His mercy and forgiveness on him.
  • When you have to leave Medinah, offer your Salam again to the Prophet (S), cry at this separation, supplicate to Allah and leave with the earnest desire to come back.

Historical Places of Medinah

The following are some of many historical places in Medinah which a pilgrim would like to visit. Out of these, a visit to Masjid Quba is highly recommended as holds very high status, next to the Holy Prophet's Mosque.
  • Al-Baqee
    The graveyard of Medinah, where a large number of Sahabah (companions) including Usman, Abbas, Imam Hassan, and wives and daughters of the Holy Prophet are buried. This graveyard is close to the tomb of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), right after the courtyard of Masjid Al-Nabawi.
  • Masjid Quba
    This is the first mosque in the history of Islam whose foundation stone was laid down by Prophet Muhammad (S) himself on his migration to Medinah. To offer 2 raka's of nafl in it is equal to one Umrah. After visiting the Prophet's Mosque and his tomb every pilgrim should try his/her best to visit it and pray in this mosque as well. A visit to Masjid Quba is highly recommended since the Prophet (SWS) used to visit it quite frequently to pray 2 raka's.
  • Masjid Qiblatain
    In this mosque, Allah directed Prophet Muhammad (S), who was in the middle of a Salah along with his companions, to turn his face from Islam's first Qibla (Bait-ul-Muqqadis) to Ka'aba in Masjid Al-Haram. That is why this mosque is known as a mosque with two Qiblas.
  • Masjid Jumuah
    This mosque was built at a place where the Prophet (S) offered his first Jumuah prayer in Medinah.
  • Masjid Ghamama
    This mosque is not far from Masjid Al-Nabawi. The Prophet (S) used to offer his Eid prayers here. Once the Prophet led Istasqa prayer (prayer for rain) in it and suddenly the clouds appeared and it started raining, hence the name Ghamama (clouds).
  • Masjid Abu Bakr, Masjid Umar Farooq and Masjid Ali
    These three mosques that are near Masjid Ghamama.
  • Badr
    The plain of Badr is south west of Medinah where the first battle between 313 Muslims and 1000 Quraish of Makkah took place in 624 A.D. The Muslims had seventy camels and two horses whereas the Quraish had a cavalry of 200 Horses and 700 camels. They were superior in weapons too, but Muslims were victorious because they were strong in morale and strategy due to the leadership of the Holy Prophet (S).
  • Jabal Al-Uhad
    About four miles on the north of Medinah, famous battle of Uhad was fought at 3 A.H. Hazrat Hamza, the Holy Prophet's uncle, and other companions are buried here.
There are also many other historical sites in the blessed city of Medinah. Each pilgrim is recommended to visit as many sites as possible in Medinah, and it is therefore encouraged to ask group leaders which sites are planned to be visited in the journey.
Hajj in known to be one of the most exhilarating experiences in a person's life, which leaves a trail of reflections to be pondered upon. Although the reflections of Hajj are more of a personal feeling one feels within himself, we at Simply Hajj and Umrah feel that it is our duty to share some of those reflections and also things to keep in mind while on the journey. In this final section, you will have the opportunity to read about certain facts about the journey of Hajj along with some very important ahadith which encourages positive reflection about the journey. Please note that Allah (SWT) opens the heart of those who seek true guidance and repentance on this blessed journey. So we should all seek to come out of Hajj with a tremendous benefit and deep reflections in order to make a positive change in our lives, insha'Allah.

Facts About the Hajj Journey

  • Hajj is an act of Worship - not tourism or promenade - which requires a physical and spiritual preparation.
  • It is a station of renewing faith with hopes of our sins being wiped out by forgiveness and the love and trust of Allah (SWT) increases. The pilgrim gets purified and comes out of his sins like a newborn baby.
  • It is a school of training for Taqwah - consciousness of one's duties towards Allah -, good character and discipline like in the pillars of Islam.
  • It is a manifestation of brotherhood, equality and Unity. The Muslims are like different branches but from one tree. In Hajj, we learn how to develop the Spirit of Unity.
  • It is an annual Muslim convention attended by Muslims from different horizons, colours, races, and tongues. They exchange ideas and news and celebrate their unity in faith and diversity in culture. They meet in their center-point Makkah (Qiblah). Muslims always have to have a center-point and should be constantly focused on their noble goals.
The following Ahadith from Sahih Al-Bukhari, shed some light on a few of the aspects associated with the month of Thul Hijjah and Hajj:

The Prophet (S), said: "Whoever performs Hajj, only for the sake of Allah (SWT) and does not have sexual relations with his wife (during Hajj), and does not do evil or commit sins, then he will return (after Hajj free from all sins) as if he were born anew." (The reward for Hajj is a new start with a clean slate.)

Abdullah bin Umar narrated that the Talbiya of Allah's Messenger (S) was: Labbaik Allahuma labbaik, labbaik la sharika laka labbaik, in-nal-hamda wan-ni'mata laka, wal-mulka la sharika laka. (This means, I respond to Your Call, O ALLAH, I respond to Your Call and I am obedient to Your Orders, You have no partner, I respond to Your Call, All the praises, thanks and blessings are for You, All the sovereignty is for You, And You have no partners with you.)

Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri narrated that the Prophet (S) said: "The people will continue performing the Hajj and 'Umra to the Kaba even after the coming out of Ya-juj and Ma-juj (Gog and Magog)." (This is a message that Hajj will be performed until the end of life on Earth. What a call our beloved Prophet and Ibrahim (S) made; the call which is heard around the globe and until the end of life on Earth!)

Umm Al-Fadl narrated that the people doubted whether the Prophet (S) was observing the Saum (fast) on the day of 'Arafat, so I sent something for him to drink and he drank it. (This shows one should not fast on the day of 'Arafa if they are performing Hajj. However, if one is not performing Hajj, they are encouraged to fast, as indicated in another Hadith.)

Ibn 'Abbas narrated that the Prophet (S) said: "No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Thu Hijjah)." Then some companions of the Prophet (S) asked, 'Not even Jihad?' He replied, "Not even Jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah's sake, i.e. with his life and property) and does not return with any of those things (i.e., is martyred)." (This shows the blessings placed in these days of Hajj. Let us make every effort to take advantage of the blessings. Ameen).

These are just some of the ahadith in reference to the immense blessings and reflections of Hajj. Simply Hajj and Umrah wishes you a great Hajj, and prays that your Hajj is accepted from you and made easy on you. Ameen.