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Hajj: The Pilgrimage of Lifetime

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Many who have travelled from distant lands on this journey, will come back to their family and friends announcing with great joy and excitement that “it was indeed a journey of a lifetime!”

As the journey begins to the holyland of Makkah, a Muslim will make the intention of Hajj and ensuring they know which type of Hajj they intend on completing. There are in fact three types of Hajj:

  1. Hajj Tamattu’ – A pilgrim wears ihram for Umrah only during the months of Hajj, which means when they reach Makkah, they make Tawaf and Sa’i for Umrah. They then shave or clip their hair. On the day of Tarwiyah, which is the eighth of Dhul-Hijjah, they put on the Ihram again, but this time for Hajj only and carry out all of its requirements.
  1. Hajj Ifrad – A pilgrim wears ihram for Hajj only. When they reach Makkah, they perform tawaf for their arrival and sa’i for Hajj. They don’t shave or clip their hair as they don’t take off their ihram. Instead, they remain in the ihram till after they stone Jamrat Al-‘Aqabah on the Eid day. It is permissible to postpone their Sa’i for Hajj until after his Tawaf for Hajj.
  1. Hajj Qiran – A pilgrim wears the ihram for both Umrah and Hajj or wears the ihram first for Umrah, then makes intentions for Hajj  – before the tawaf for Hajj. The obligations on those performing Qiran are the same as those performing Ifrad, except that it is compulsory for those performing Qiran to sacrifice an animal while those performing Ifrad are not obligated to do so.

Once the pilgrim’s have made their intention, it’s time for the Hajj journey to begin:

  1. Intend for Hajj and enter the state of Ihram before the Miqaat.
  2. Perform Tawaf al-Qudoom.
  3. Sa’i between the Mounts of Safa and Marwa.
  4. On the 8th of Dhul HIjjah, go to Mina – the largest camp-site in the world.
  5. On the 9th of Dhul Hijjah, spend the day in Arafat.
  6. During the night of the 9th Dhul Hijjah, spend the night in Muzdalifah and collect pebbles for stoning the Jamarat.
  7. On the 10th of Dhul Hijjah return to Mina and pelt the first Jamaraat – Al Aqabah, sacrifice an animal and shave/trim the head (for men – and women can trim their hair). The Pilgrims can now take off their Ihram, perform Ghusl and wear fresh and normal clothing.
  8. The 10th of Dhul Hijjah is also Eid Ul Adha for Muslims around the world.
  9. Pilgrims can then perform Tawaf al-Ifadah in Makkah.
  10. Pelt all the Jamarat on the 11th and 12th of Dhul Hijjah.
  11. Finally perform the farewell Tawaf of the Ka’ba.

This is the journey in a nutshell! Spiritually purifying, physically tiring and relieved upon its completion! During the journey of Hajj, we hear Muslims of all races, from all countries around the world, calling out to Allah SWT:

لَبَّيْكَ ٱللَّٰهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ، لَبَّيْكَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ، إِنَّ ٱلْحَمْدَ وَٱلنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَٱلْمُلْكَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ

Labbayka-llāhumma labbayka, labbayka lā šarīka laka labbayka, ʾinna-l-ḥamda wa-n-niʿmata laka wa-l-mulka lā šarīka lak.

“Here I am, O Lord, here I am, you indeed have no partner, here I am. No Doubt, all praise, and bounties are yours, and so is the absolute Domain. You indeed have no partners, here I am.”

Once the Hajj is complete, pilgrims will either return to their home countries or visit Prophet Muhammad PBUH in Madinah. The feeling of completing the Hajj is of joy, and families and friends wait eagerly for the great return, with garlands of flowers and bouquets. All waiting to listen to the Hajj stories, receive gifts, eat delicious dates and sip on ZamZam water.

What a great blessing for you who have completed the Hajj and those who intend to perform the Hajj. Hajj Mabroor, to you!

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