Across the globe, millions of Muslims prepare to embark on the sacred pilgrimage of Hajj. Hajj is a fundamental pillar of Islam, hence holding immense significance in the lives of all Muslim believers. Muslims who are physically fit and financially stable are required to perform Hajj at least once in their lifetime.
This holy journey for Muslims requires planning from before and the utmost preparation. Let’s take a look at the following tips and advice that can help turn your Hajj experience into a memorable and rewarding journey.
Before you start planning for Hajj, say Bismillah (In the name of Allah) and supplicate to Allah. This will allow you to ask Allah for the time, strength and ability to gather resources for the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage this year. It is only HE that can make anything possible in this universe.
2.Start inquiring about any legal documentation
In order to perform Hajj, a number of legal documents are required. This includes a Visa to travel to Saudi Arabia, valid passport, and any paperwork regarding residency in your country. Legal documentation requires time so it’s best to begin planning early. This can all be done by contacting the Saudi Embassy in your locality or simply by discussing the matter with any travel agent dealing in Luxury Hajj packages.
3.Read about how to perform Hajj
It’s essential to know about Hajj before embarking on this spiritual journey. Various guidebooks, pamphlets, online materials are available for Muslims to read and gain thorough knowledge on how to perform Hajj. This includes knowing about the different rituals, how and when they are performed, as well as things to avoid and things that are recommended for Hajj. Other than this, a handbook of various Duaas (supplications) that are to be read during Hajj should be kept safely to read when required.
4.Keep physically fit
Hajj is a physically demanding journey. Believers are required to walk long distances in heated conditions, as well as run up and down Safaa to Marwa. These are just few examples of the rituals required for Hajj. All Muslims should prepare for Hajj by starting to eat healthy and walk for a minimum of 30 mins each day. A medical checkup should also be performed.
5.Stay in touch with those who have performed Hajj
It’s always great to stay in contact and converse with family and friends who have been on Hajj. Sharing their experiences with you can give you an overview of the journey; rituals performed and added tips for a successful Hajj pilgrimage.
6.Make an important checklist for things to carry
The following items are great to have with you at all times:
•Money in your own currency as well as Saudi Riyals
•Extra pair of rubber slippers
•Small water bottle
•Scissors and nail clipper
•Address and contact number of the hotel/ Kafila you are residing in. Emergency contact names and numbers should also be with you at all times.
•Your identification card/ information
•Appropriate clothing for men(Ehram) and women
•Small cloth bag for collecting stones for the ritual of Hajj
Hajj is a beautiful passage that requires careful thought and planning from before. Muslim believers should gain as much knowledge and information about Hajj so they can make the best out of this divine journey.
By happy spirit
When the person intending Ihram has finished bathing and cleaning himself and has worn his Ihram garments, and (a male) has taken off any fitted garments, he then makes the intention to commence An-Nusk, either for Hajj or ‘Umrah. It is recommended to state clearly the sequence ofNusk the person intends to perform. For instance he says, when he wishes to perform at-Tamattu’, i.e. ‘Umrah, after which he becomes released (i.e. free and disengaged from the obligations of ihram) before starting Hajj: “Labbaykal-Laahumma ‘Umuratan mutamat-ti’an biha ilal Hajj: “O Allah, I have answered Your call and here I am to serve You through ‘Umrah, after which I will become released (from the obligations of ihram) until I start Hajj,” or “Labbaykal-Laahumma ‘Umura”: “O Allah, I have answered Your call and here I am to serve You through ‘Umrah.” Then at Hajj he says: “Labbaykal-Laahumma Hajjan”: “O Allah, I have answered Your call and I am ready to serve You through Hajj.” And the person who intends Hajj al-Ifrad (Hajj alone) says; “Labbaykal-Laahumma Hajjan”: “O Allah, I have answered Your call and here I am to serve You through Hajj”; while the person who intends to merge Hajj and ‘Umrah together (Qiraan) says: “Labbaykal-Laahumma Hajjan wa ‘Umurah”: “O Allah, I have answered Your call and here I am to serve You through Hajj and ‘Umrah.” This is according to the hadeeth by Anas t, who said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say: “O Allah, I answered Your call and here I am to serve You through Hajj and ‘Umrah.” [ Agreed upon.] However, if one does not pronounce anything, the intention he made in his mind is enough.
By happy spirit
Had-y is The animals driven to the Haram (at Makkah) for sacrifice, whether as a means of getting closer to Allah, or since it is obligatory as the haajj is performing either Hajj tamattu’ or Qiran, or for the reason of Ihsar (obstruction or prevention from completing Hajj or ‘Umrah or both of them when they are performed together.)
Types of Had-y
1- Had-y for Tamattu’ and al-Qiran
It is compulsory for the pilgrim observing Tamattu’ or Qiran Hajj to offer a Had-y, and this is either a sheep, one-seventh of a camel, or one-seventh of a cow. If he cannot afford it, then he fasts for ten days: three in Hajj and seven when he returns home. This obligation is in fact for those that are non-residents of Makkah. If he is a resident then neither a Had-y nor fasting is compulsory on him. Allah said: ”… and whosoever performs the ‘Umrah in the month of Hajj, before performing the Hajj, he must slaughter a Had-y such as he can afford, but if he cannot afford it, he should fast three days during the Hajj and seven days after his return, making ten days in all. This is for him whose family is not present at the Haram Masjid (i.e. non-resident of Makkah)” (al-Baqarah: 196).
2- Had-yut-Tatawwu’: Voluntary Hady
This is offered by the pilgrim on Hajju-Ifrad (Hajj alone) or ‘Umrah voluntarily; or what is offered by a pilgrim on Hajjut-Tamattu’ and Hajjul-Qiran in addition to the obligatory one; or that which one who is not performing the pilgrimage sends to Makkah as an offering to be slaughtered as a means of getting closer to Allah. The Prophet ﷺ sacrificed a hundred badana (camels for sacrifice.) [ Source: Al-Bukhari.]
Voluntary Had-y and that of Tamattu’ and al-Qiran: It is permissible for its owner to eat from it; rather it is recommended to eat of the voluntary Had-y as was practiced by the Prophet ﷺ, as he ﷺ ordered a piece from every camel (which he had slaughtered) to be cooked, and he drank from its broth.” [ Source: At-Tirmidhi.]
3- Had-yul-Ihsaar (Had-y due to Hindrance)
Al-Ihsar is an obstruction or prevention from completing Hajj or ‘Umrah, or both of them when they are performed together. Whosoever assumes Ihram for Hajj or ‘Umrah and was prevented by an enemy from entering the House (Ka’bah), or was afflicted by a condition that made him unable to enter the House, he must slaughter the offering in the place he was hindered, and then become disengaged from his Ihram. Allah says: “But if you are prevented (from completing them), sacrifice a Had-y animal.” (al-Baqarah: 196).
A Had-y of hindrance is a sheep, one-seventh of a camel or one-seventh of a cow.
By happy spirit
1-Severe punishment for whoever intends evil in the sacred precincts, whether he performs it or not.
Allah, the Most High, said: “And whoever inclines to Ilhad (evil actions) therein or to do wrong, we shall cause him to taste a painful torment.” (Al-Hajj: 25).
The word Ilhad in the verse above refers to every act of disobedience towards Allah. On the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas t, the Prophet ﷺ said: “The most disliked person in the sight of Allah are three” and he mentioned among them “A Mulhid (evildoer) in the sacred precincts.” [ Source: Bukhari.]
2-Prohibition of killing or blood-spilling therein.
Allah the Most High said: “And when we made the House (the Ka’bah at Makkah) a place of resort for mankind and place for safety.” (al-Baqarah: 125).
Whosoever enters Makkah will find safety therein; that is why the Prophet ﷺ said: “It is not permissible for any of you to carry a weapon while in Makkah” [ Source: Muslim.]
The Prophet ﷺ also said: “It was Allah who made Makkah a sacred precinct, and not the people; it is not permissible for whoever believes in Allah and the day of resurrection to spill blood in it and to fell[ Ya’did : to fell.] a tree in it.” [ Source : Bukhari.]
3-Prohibition of the disbelievers and polytheists from entering the sacred precinct (Haram).
Allah, the Most High, said: “O you who believe! Verily, the polytheists are impure. So let them not come near al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) after this year.” (At-Taubah:28).
And the Prophet had already ordered, while in Mina, for an announcement to be made that: “After this year, no polytheist should come for pilgrimage nor should anybody perform circumambulation of the Ka’bah naked.” [ Source : Bukhari.]
4-Prohibition of hunting, cutting of trees and picking up lost objects while in the sacred precinct.
On the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas t, the Prophet ﷺ said: “Allah made Makkah a sacred precinct, for it was never permitted for anyone before me and neither is it going to be permitted for anyone after me. It has only been permitted for me for an hour of a day. None of its green plants are to be cut[ Yukhtala khalaha: to cut its viable plant.], nor its trees be felled[ Ya’did: to fell], nor its game be startled and no lost object[ Al-Laqtah: a lost object which is found, but whose owner is unknown.] is to be picked up by someone, except who wishes to notify the public (of the lost and found object).” [ Source: Bukhari]