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 Guide to Hajj and `Umrah

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أحــمــد لــبــن AhmadLbn
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مُساهمةموضوع: Guide to Hajj and `Umrah   30/08/16, 11:36 pm



Guide to Hajj and `Umra
New Muslims
*******************
Table  of  Contents
I n t r o d u c t i o n
*******************
Meaning of Hajj

What’s in a Worship!
The Wisdom behind Hajj
Hajj: Matchless Blessings
The Journey
Virtue and Piety
The Impact of Hajj
Hajj: A Collective Worship
Historical Background of Hajj
`Umrah: Its Meaning and Purpose
The Difference between Hajj and `Umrah
How Is `Umrah Performed?
Get Prepared
How, Where, and When Do I Start Hajj?
Hajj Rites
Rituals & Rulings
Women In Hajj: Any Difference?
Can a Woman Go to Hajj without Mahram?
Tawaf: Meaning and Significance
How to Perform Tawaf, What to Say?
Sa`i: Going Between the Safa and Marwah
Standing at `Arafat
Throwing the Pebbles: Its Wisdom & Timing
When Should We Throw the Pebbles?

Animal Sacrifice in Islam

`Eid Al-Adha
Visiting the Prophet’s Mosque
Merits of the Prophet’s Mosque
Visiting Al-Baqi`
Lessons from Hajj
Pick up the Blessings, Be Thankful


I n t r o d u c t i o n
*******************
Every year millions of Muslims from around the world pour into Makkah on the lifetime spiritual journey of Hajj, where one meets Allah in the context of matchless diverse and multicultural meetings.

It is a great favor Allah (glory be to Him) has bestowed upon His Servants so that they can draw closer to Him and have their sins forgiven.

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) indicated: “He who performs Hajj without speaking or committing indecencies will return as free of sins as he was on the day when his mother gave birth to him.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim(.

This ebook will hopefully help you understand and get prepared, both spiritually and physically, for the enlightening journey of Hajj; its meaning, purpose, rituals and requirements.


Meaning of Hajj
Technically, Hajj means to make pilgrimage to Makkah and the surrounding area, performing certain rituals in that places. Just as other acts of worship, in Hajj the soul, mind and body all participate in worshipping Allah.

Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Islam is built upon five pillars: testifying that there is no true god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing prayer, paying the zakah, making the pilgrimage to the Sacred House (Hajj), and fasting the month of Ramadan.” (Al-Bukhari(

Thus, Hajj is a duty incumbent on every Muslim, male or female, provided that they have the financial and physical ability to perform it at least once in a lifetime.

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. (Aal `Imran 3:97(

Hajj is all about leaving the concerns and trappings of this world behind to get closer to Allah in a unique environment where one exercises the high principles, values and objectives Islam.


What’s in a Worship!
Pilgrimage is unlike any other journey. Here one’s thoughts are concentrated on Allah, and with intense devotion.

When one reaches the holy place, one finds the atmosphere filled with piety and godliness.

One visits places that bear testify to the glory of Islam, and all this leaves an indelible impression on one’s soul.

There are, as in other acts of worship, many benefits that Muslims can derive from this journey. Makkah is the center towards which Muslims must converge once a year, meet and discuss topics of common interest, and in
general create and refresh in themselves the faith that all Muslims are equal and deserve the love and sympathy of others, irrespective of their geographical or cultural origin. Thus, pilgrimage unites the Muslims of the world into one international fraternity.

The Wisdom behind Hajj
According to Imam Al-Ghazali Hajj is the act of worship of a lifetime, the seal of all that is commanded, the perfection of Islam and the completion of religion. Concerning it, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever dies without, having performed the Pilgrimage let him die, if he wish, either a Jew or a Christian.” (Al-Tirmidhi) It is quite obvious that Hajj has an exalted status without which religion is lacking in perfection. Thus, a person will never truly know his Lord except by renouncing worldly and sensual pleasures and by exercising restraint with respect to actions of body, speech and mind, as well as by devoting himself entirely to the worship of Allah.

To achieve this, the monks of previous creeds withdrew from their societies, seeking intimacy with Allah. They renounced the pleasures of this world for the sake of Allah and obliged upon themselves difficulties, in the hope of success in the Hereafter.


Allah praised them in His book and said:
Among these are men devoted to learning, and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant. (Al-Ma’idah 5:82)

So when people were (once again) drawn to their desires and ceased to devote themselves to the worship of Allah, Prophet Muhammad was sent to revive the path to the Hereafter and renew the way of the prophets and their conduct. Allah prescribed Hajj as a journey wherein people devote themselves to Him (Most High).

This journey also includes self-refinement and discipline. It was narrated that a man asked the permission of Allah’s Messenger to travel and he replied, “Verily, the travel of my community is to strive in the path of Allah”.

1- Hajj: A Kind of Jihad
The Prophet said, “`Umrah and Hajj are the jihad for the old, the young, the weak and women.” It was also narrated that the Prophet said, “Hajj is jihad and `Umrah is a voluntary act.”

A man once approached the Prophet and said: “I want to make jihad for the sake of Allah.” The Prophet replied, “Shall I guide you to a kind of jihad that will cause you no harm?” “Yes,” the man replied. The Prophet said, “Perform Hajj”.

Allah has bestowed His blessings upon this community by prescribing Hajj as a kind of monasticism. He has honored the Ka`bah by linking it to Himself, calling it the House of Allah, making it a destination for His worship, and awarding it reverence by consecrating the area around it. He, likewise, made `Arafat an overflowing stream pouring into His basin, the Sacred Precinct.

Allah confirmed the sanctity of this location by prohibiting hunting its animals and cutting down its trees. Hajj is  comparable to seeking court with a monarch; people come to it from every deep mountain pass and distant places, all disheveled and covered in dust, humbling themselves before the Lord of the Ka’bah seeking to declare their humility, servitude and loyalty to their Lord, all acknowledging His transcendence beyond place and location, accentuating their worship and perfecting their submissiveness.

For this reason, Allah prescribed certain actions, the meanings of which minds cannot fathom, such as the rites of stoning and traversing as-Safa and al-Marwa several times.

Such actions demonstrate the ultimate submission to the commands of Allah.

Other great wisdoms behind the legislation of Hajj and ‘umrah include:
2- Rectifying Hearts
The journey of Hajj and `Umrah instills in a pilgrim’s heart the meaning of seeking refuge in Allah and the pleasure of attaining Divine propinquity.

Allah says:
Therefore, flee to unto Allah. (Adh-Dhariyat 51:50)

Although the meaning is spiritual, it has physical manifestations: a pilgrim leaves behind his house, family, adornments, property, abandons desires, spends money, exerts great efforts and endures the hardships of travel and life away from home to visit the Sacred House of Allah of which Allah says:
Whoever enters it attains security. (Aal `Imran 3:97)

A pilgrim flees to the House of Allah aspiring salvation in this world and in the Hereafter from his sins and shortcom-ings. He seeks a chance to turn over a new leaf, hoping that Allah may admit him among those who have gained His Pleasure, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
Following that, God willing,




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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: Guide to Hajj and `Umrah   30/08/16, 11:58 pm


3- History and Civilization
Visiting the Sacred House of Allah asserts the bond between Muslims and their civilization, history and traversing the path of Allah’s Prophets and Messengers as stated in the Qur`anic verse: Those were the (Prophets) who received Allah’s guidance. Follow the guidance they received. (Al-An`am 6:90)

The honored Ka’bah is the first house established to guide people to monotheism and the worship of Allah: And again circumambulate the Ancient House. (Al-Hajj 22:29)

The Prophets were the ones whom Allah sent to guide people to His Worship and they traveled to the places that Allah made pure and sacred: And we covenanted with Abraham and Isma’il that they should sanctify My House for those who Compass it around, or use it as a retreat, or bow or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer). (Al-Baqarah 2:125)

Traveling to visit the Sacred House consolidates the ties between man and the Prophets, especially Prophet Muhammad, the seal of Prophets (peace be upon them all).

It was narrated that the Messenger of Allah passed by Al-Azraq valley and asked, “What valley is this?” They (the Companions) said, “This is Al-Azraq Valley”. He said, “It is as if I can see Moses descending the mountain pass and raising his voice in talbiyah (supplication).”

The Prophet then passed by a mountain pass called Harsha and asked, “What mountain pass is this?” They (the Companions) said, “It is Harsha”.

He said, “It is as if I can see Yunus (Jonah), the son of Matta, riding a red camel and wearing a woolen cloak, the reins of his camel made from fibers of date-palm, passing through this valley and chanting the talbiyah.”

It was also narrated that the Prophet said, “There passed by the rock at Al-Rawha` seventy prophets, all barefooted and clad in woolen garments, heading for the Ancient House (the Ka’bah) and among them was Allah’s Prophet, Moses (peace be upon him).”

4- Brotherhood and Peace
The blessed journey of Hajj asserts the unity of Muslims, who assemble at the same time and place to worship one God and direct themselves towards one qiblah (direction of the Ka`bah).

For people from all corners of the globe, the Sacred House represents a greater homeland that affords them security; in Makkah, “the mother of all cities” as Allah called it, all barriers created by race, countries, languages, color and cultures are removed. There is no difference between rich and poor, all are equal in their need of Allah, the Almighty.

This scene of a civilized conference of different peoples is confirmed in the words of Allah Who says: Verily, this Ummah (community of Muslims) of yours is a single Ummah and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore worship Me (and no other). (Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:92)

At this place and during this time, peace is not restricted to humans but extends to animals, plants and inanimate objects. Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) narrated that the Prophet said: “Verily, Allah has made Makkah a sanctuary. (Fighting in it) was not made lawful for anyone before me nor will it be for anyone after me. It was made lawful to me for a few hours of a day. It is unlawful to cut its grass and trees, chase its game or pick up lost items in it except by those who publicly announce having found them.’ Al-`Abbas said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Except for al-idhkhir (a kind of grass) [for it is used] by our goldsmiths and for our graves.’ The Prophet replied, ‘Except for al-idhkhir.”

5- Administrating the Earth
The command, urging Muslims to go for Hajj and ‘umrah, includes an explicit call to seek lawful means of provision.

This is attained by working and participating in production, economic development and serving one’s community.

It is known that the journey of Hajj is expensive, and therefore, a Muslim needs to provide for himself during this time as well as for his dependents until he returns. Islamic law urges anyone who seeks success in the Hereafter and aspires to attain the great reward of Hajj and `Umrah, to seek lawful means of livelihood and administer his resources so as to benefit people. It also urges him to be sincere and perfect his work.

In this manner, a Muslim can save for the expenses of the journey of Hajj and `Umrah; his success in the world is thereby the means to his success in the Hereafter.

In addition, he benefits the poor and the impoverished through the meat of his sacrifice which he distributes at the end of Hajj.

Allah refers to this meaning in the following verse: That they may witness the benefits (provided) for them, and celebrate the name of Allah, through the days appointed, over the cattle which He has provided for them (for sacrifice): then eat thereof and feed the distressed ones in want. (Al-Hajj 22: 28)


6- Courage and Sacrifice
Allah says:
And proclaim the pilgrimage among people: they will come to you on foot and (mounted) on every kind of swift mount lean (on account of journeys) through deep and distant mountain highways. (Al-Hajj 22:27)

A Muslim who leaves his country and sets for the Sacred House is a resolute person who proves his readiness to sacrifice his life in response to the call of His Lord. In the past, the journey of Hajj was full of hardships and danger which were often fatal; in spite of this, Muslims never ceased to visit the Sacred House.

Their longing to travel to this blessed place and their eagerness to obey and worship their Lord were sufficient reasons to breed courage in their hearts and sacrifice their lives. Those who do not fear danger and are ready to

sacrifice themselves for a noble goal are able to make fateful decisions and establish great civilizations when the means are available.

7- Hajj is the Lifetime Act of Worship
Allah legislated different levels of social interaction in the various acts as worship.
Fasting is an individual act of worship, prayer a collective act of worship that is performed at the level of a person’s neighborhood, zakat involves an entire city or village, while Hajj is a global act of worship.

Hajj completes and encompasses the essence of the five pillars of Islam. It includes a declaration of the Oneness of Allah which is the first statement of the testimony of faith (the Act of Worship of a); following the footsteps of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in performing the rites of Hajj and therefore, acknowledging his message - i.e. the second part of the Shahadah (Testimony of Faith); Tawaf; du`aa’ (supplication) which is the essence of prayer; giving out money and food in charity, which is the core of zakat; and self-control and refraining from immorality, transgression and dispute which represent the essence of fasting.

Thus, Hajj, which includes hardships and dangers undertaken to glorify Allah and declare His Oneness, is compared to jihad for the sake of Allah. It is indeed a great act of worship.

Owing to the tolerant nature of Islam, and its distinguishing characteristic of lifting hardship, Allah prescribed Hajj once in a life time for those who are capable of undertaking it.

Hajj represents the perfect example of worshipping Allah, submitting to His commands, exerting all efforts to obey Him and attaining divine propinquity by all possible means. For this reason, its reward is the pinnacle of all rewards as attested to in the words of the Prophet who said: “The reward for an accepted Hajj is nothing short of Paradise.”

Hajj: Matchless Blessings
What are the blessings of Hajj? One may describe them in great detail. But, in the Qur’an, where Allah instructs Ibrahim to invite people to come to Hajj.

Allah says:
So that they may witness things that are of benefit to them. (Al-Hajj 22:28)

Hence, the real blessings of Hajj can only be experienced by those who actually perform it.

Imam Abu Hanifah, as narrated, was unsure which act of worship was more excellent among the various ones laid down by Islam.

But once he had performed Hajj, he had no hesitation in declaring that Hajj was the most excellent of all.

Still, briefly, here’s some idea of such blessings.


The Journey
We usually think of journeys as of two kinds: those made for business and those made for pleasure. In both cases, it is to fulfill your worldly desires and benefit yourselves that you leave your homes, separate from families and spend money; all is done for your own sake. No question arises of sacrifice for any higher, sublime purpose.

But the journey of Hajj is quite different in nature. This is not meant for any personal end.

It is undertaken solely for Allah and the fulfillment of the duty prescribed by Allah.

Nobody can be prepared to undertake this journey until and unless he has love of Allah in his heart, as well as fear of Him, and is convinced that Allah wants him to do what he is doing. That you are willing to bear the privations arising from separation from your family, to incur great expenses on journey that will bring no material rewards, and to suffer any loss of business or job, all are signs of certain inner qualities: that you love and fear Allah more than anything, that you have a strong sense of duty to Him, that you are willing to respond to His summons and ready to sacrifice your material comforts in His Cause.
Following that, God willing,




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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: Guide to Hajj and `Umrah   31/08/16, 12:05 am

Virtue and Piety

You will find that your love of Allah heightens as you start preparing for your pilgrimage journey with the sole intention of pleasing Allah. With your heart longing to reach your goal, you become purer in thought and deed.

You repent for past sins, seek forgiveness from people whom you might have wronged, and try to render your due to others where necessary so as not to go to Allah’s court burdened with injustices that you may have done to your fellow beings. In general, the inclination to do good intensifies, and abhorrence of doing evil increases.

After leaving home, the closer you get to the House of Allah, the more intense becomes your desire to do good.

You become careful so that you harm nobody while you try to render whatever service or help you can to others.

You avoid abuse, indecency, dishonesty, squabbles, and bickering because you are proceeding on the path of Allah.

Thus, your entire journey constitutes an act of worship. How, then, can you do wrong? This journey, in contrast to every other, is a continuing course through which a Muslim attains a progressive purification of the self.

On this journey, then, you are pilgrims to Allah.

The Impact of Hajj
It is now easy to see that for two or three months, from the time of deciding and preparing for Hajj to the time of returning home, a tremendous impact is made on the hearts and minds of pilgrims. This process entails sacrifice of time, sacrifice of money, sacrifice of comfort, and sacrifice of many physical desires and pleasures- and all this simply for the sake of Allah, with no worldly or selfish motive.

Together with a life of sustained piety and virtuousness, the constant remembrance of Allah and the longing and love for Him in the