Before you leave for the pilgrimage:
There are many things/conditions a Muslim must fulfil in order to go to Hajj.
- The Muslim must be old and mature enough to understand why they are going and the intentions they are going with; which is to repent and ask Allah for forgiveness.
- The Muslim must have enough money to bear the expenses of travelling to the city and all accommodation. Also they must leave a sufficient amount of money left behind to take care of the family left behind.
- All debts and financial payments must be fulfilled before the journey has started.
- The money used for the expenses of Hajj must be halal (earned by legal and fair means).
- As a Muslim you must ask for forgiveness from anyone you know as you may intentionally or unintentionally hurt them in any way. This is something that the Prophet (saw) instructed.
- The intentions must be clear and pure, also you should know why you are going and what for.
The Ihram is what Muslims wear when they go for Hajj. The Ihram is two pieces of clean white cloth which is plainly worn.
The Ihram is very symbolic as the Amin reason it is worn is because it is showing the equality and purity of all the Muslims in the eyes of Allah. It doesn't make a difference whether you are poor or rich everyone looks the same.
The Ihram is worn after the cleansing and shaving for men.
The Ihram also symbolises the way everyone will be presented to Allah on the Day of Judgement as it is similar to what Muslims are buried in their graves.
Why is the Kabah so important?
The Kabah is the holiest place for the Muslims in the world as it is regarded as Allah's house. Muslims bow down in the direction of the Kabah when they pray their five daily prayers.
At the time of pre-Islamic Arabia the Kabah was used as the house of idols and was worshipped. The Kabah was built by the Prophet Ibraheem.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) removed the idols from the Kabah and now during Hajj the Muslims do tawaf around the Kabah seven times while reciting,
Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik, La Shareek Laka, Labbaik. Innal Hamdah, Wan Nematah, Laka wal Mulk, La Shareek Laka Labbaik.
Here I am at Thy service O Lord, here I am. Here I am at Thy service and Thou hast no partners. Thine alone is All Praise and All Bounty, and Thine alone is The Sovereignty. Thou hast no partners, here I am.
The Key Stages of Hajj
The Muslim starts the Hajj by getting in the state of Ihram. They then run from The two hills Safa and Marwah to and fro seven times. The Prophet Ibraheem's wife Hajar ran from these two hills to find water for her baby Ismail, Allah graced her with Zamzam water which shot out from the Earth.
The pilgrims then go to the nearby town called Mina where they camp. After the Fajr prayer the pilgrims then travel to Arafat where they repent for their sims at the mountain of mercy, Mount Rahma.
Next the pilgrims travel to Muzdalifah where they collect pebbles to use the following day. Then they travel back to Mina where they throw pebbles at the Jamarat, as they throw the pebbles they chant "Allah is Great" and "In the name of Allah."
The pilgrims then sacrifice animals and Eid-Ul-Adha is celebrated. Pilgrims then leave Makah for Medina where they stone the Jamarat again. They then return to Makah where they do the tawaf around the Kabah which is a farewell moment.
This is a very emotional time for pilgrims as they don't know whether they will be given the honour to return again.
By Sara Razzaq