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UMRA AND HAJJ
This chapter describes the rites of Umra and Hajj in detail. The following are pertinent to this discussion:
- Since the rites of Tawaf and Sai are central to both Umra and Hajj, they are described first.
- Because the rites of Umra are an integral part of Hajj, they are described next, followed by the remaining rites specific to Hajj only.
- The technical terms defined in Chapter 2 are liberally used in this chapter. This makes for a concise, easy-to-follow presentation and avoids repetition. Therefore, you must be thoroughly familiar with this vocabulary in order to understand the process of Umra and Hajj.
- The rites of Hajj to be performed in Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifah are described in a separate section, even though reference to them is made in earlier sections about the rites of Hajj. This is done for convenience and to avoid redundancy.
The devotional act of circumambulating (i.e. walking around) the Kabah while reciting prayers and supplications is called Tawaf. One complete circuit around the Kabah constitutes a shawt (pl. ashwaat), and seven ashwaat complete one Tawaf.
5.2.1 Types of Tawaf
As was briefly described in Chapter 2, there are five types of Tawaf you may perform:
- Tawaf ul Qudoom is the initial Tawaf you will perform upon arrival at the Masjid ul Haram in Mecca for the first time pursuant upon your niyyah of Umra or Hajj. This is the only Tawaf in which you are required to wear Ihram and practice Idtiba and Ramal. They are not required in any other type of Tawaf.
- Tawaf ul Ifadah (Tawaf uz Ziyarah) is the Tawaf you will perform on the 10th of Zul Hijjah after taking off the Ihram and changing into street clothes and before returning to Mina for Rummy. Ihram, Idtiba and Ramal are not required in this Tawaf. However, Sai is required of a Mutamatti, but is not required of a Qarin or a Mufrid.
- Tawaf ul Wuda (The Farewell Tawaf) is the Tawaf you will perform immediately before leaving Mecca for your next destination following the completion of Hajj. This is the last act you perform in Mecca. You are not supposed to linger there after this Tawaf. Ihram, Idtiba, Ramal and Sai are not required in Tawaf ul Wuda.
- Tawaf un Nafl is a devotional Tawaf you may perform any time, and as many times as, you wish. No Ihram is required for this Tawaf. Sai is also not required, although you may perform it if you so desire.
- Tawaf ul Umra is the Tawaf you perform as a part of the rites of Umra. It is identical to Tawaf ul Qudoom in its essentials except for the niyyah.
5.2.2 Details Of Tawaf
Tawaf of the Kabah is the heart and soul of the rites of Hajj. The mode and the details associated with Tawaf were prescribed by Rasool Allah (pbuh) himself. The intent in this section is to describe the Tawaf in some detail in order to clarify the procedure, and also to answer any questions that may arise during that process.
The essentials of Tawaf are as follows:
- Like any other act of worship, Tawaf also starts with the intention (niyyah) to perform this act for the sake of Allah only.
- Each circuit, or shawt, starts from Hajar ul Aswad with the pilgrim reciting "Bismillah, Allah-o-Akbar" and performing the Istilam of the sacred stone. In order for you to recognize the point of initiation of the Tawaf, the floor of the Masjid ul Haram has a strip of brown-black marble radiating from the Hajar ul Aswad out to the wall of the Masjid ul Haram. At night, there is a green light on the same wall to identify this location.
- Each shawt ends at Hajar ul Aswad with its Istilam. The pilgrim will begin a new shawt after reciting "Bismillah, Allah-o-Akbar" as before from this spot.
- Each shawt is performed in the counterclockwise direction with the Kabah always to your left.
- Ihram is worn only for Tawaf ul Qudoom and Tawaf ul Umra. Every day street clothes are worn for other types of Tawaf.
- Idtiba and Ramal are performed only in Tawaf ul Qudoom and are not required for other types of Tawaf.
- Women are not required to perform Ramal.
- Tawaf is to be completed with no interruptions. However, if "azan" (the call to prayers) is recited during the Tawaf, you should stop to join the prayers at wheresoever you may be at that point in time, and resume the Tawaf from there after the prayer is over. It is not necessary to restart the interrupted shawt afresh from Hajar ul Aswad.
- After the Tawaf, you will offer two rakahs of salat us sunnah, preferably with the Maqam-o-Ibrahim between you and the Kabah. If that is not possible, prayer offered anywhere in the Masjid ul Haram is acceptable.
- Sai may be required after Tawaf depending on the niyyah pronounced by you at the beginning. However it is not essential for Sai to follow the Tawaf immediately. Tawaf can be performed in the morning with the Sai following in the afternoon or evening.
- You will be reciting prayers and supplications during Tawaf. However, there are no specific prayers to be recited during Tawaf. You may pray in any way and in any language you prefer, but the prayers most often recited by pilgrims are given in Chapter 6. You will find them very moving and meaningful and may want to use them.
- There are special provisions to be observed by a female pilgrim who is in a state of "ceremonial impurity" (menstruation or post-natal bleeding). Should she enter this state before Meeqat, she will pronounce her intention to perform Hajj, and enter in the state of Ihram as usual. She will then proceed to perform all rites of Umra and Hajj, including those at Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah, except:
- She will refrain from offering all prayers (salats).
- She will perform neither Tawaf nor Sai.
- She will not perform Tawaf ul Ifadah.
After she gets out of her state, she will perform Tawaf, Sai, and Tawaf ul Ifadah to complete her Hajj.
The devotional act of walking seven times between the knolls of Safa and Marwah which are located some distance from the Kabah inside Masjid ul Haram, is called Sai.
According to tradition, Prophet Ibrahim left his wife, Hajar, and infant son, Ismail, in the desert close to where Kabah is located today in response to a divine revelation. Unfortunately, his wife and son were with few provisions. After her meager supply of water was exhausted and her son started crying with thirst, Hajar began looking for water in the desert. In her desperation, she repeatedly ran between the hillocks of Safa and Marwah, climbing them to get a better view of the landscape and, perhaps, also to see if there was a desert traveler in sight. Upon her return to her son after one of her runs, she discovered that a spring had miraculously sprouted near the infant. This spring, called Zam-Zam is located to the east of Kabah inside Masjid ul Haram today. It still runs as strong today as it has for thousands of years. In a land where water is scarce, the sweet elixir of Zam-Zam runs abundantly in eloquent testimony to the power and mercy of Almighty Allah. Millions of people have drunk from it since that amazing day, and continue to do so today with no end in sight to this miracle of God.
You will retrace the steps of Hajar in Sai, in commemoration of her search for water and Allah's mercy in answering her prayers with the miracle of Zam-Zam, and also to assert your own commitment to walk in the path of Allah.
5.3.2 Details Of Sai
The details of Sai are as follows:
- You will start your Sai at Safa where you will face the Kabah, raise your hands in supplication to Allah, recite "Bismillah, Allah-o-Akbar" three times and start walking towards Marwah, all the time reciting prayers and supplications of your choice.
- Starting about midway between Safa and Marwah, you will walk faster, or jog, for the length marked by green lights overhead. These lights define the length covered by Hajar running to get to higher ground faster. Your arrival at Marwah completes one leg of the Sai.
- Upon arriving at Marwah, you will repeat the supplications offered at Safa (i.e. face the Kabah and repeat "Bismillah, Allah-o-Akbar" three times), turn around and retrace your walk back to Safa. This will complete the second leg of the Sai.
- You will repeat steps 1 to 3 until you complete the seventh leg which will end at Marwah. The Sai is now complete.
- If azan is recited for prayer during the Sai, you will stop wheresoever you may be at that point in time, and resume the Sai from that spot after the prayer. It is not necessary to restart the Sai, or the leg affected by the pause, afresh from its starting point.
- Women are not required to run between the green lights in deference to the modesty expected of them in Islam.
Umra (sometimes referred to as The Lesser Pilgrimage) consists of the performance of a set of devotional rites in the Masjid ul Haram in Mecca. These rites also form an integral part of Hajj, and were prescribed by Allah and Rasool Allah (pbuh). Umra may be performed at any time of the year and as many times as you may wish.
The following are the essential elements of Umra:
- Changing into Ihram at Meeqat, followed by the pronouncement of the intention (niyyah) to perform Umra and frequent recital of the Talbiyah thereafter.
- Tawaf ul Umra of the Kabah followed by two rakah salat us sunnah and partaking of the waters of Zam-Zam.
- Performance of Sai.
- Halq or Taqseer, followed by changing into street clothes.
This will complete your Umra. See also the Flow Diagram For Umra at the back of this handbook.
Hajj consists of the performance of a set of devotional rites in and around Mecca (i.e., in Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifah) in a prescribed order. The rites of Umra form an integral part of Hajj. They have already been described above.
5.5.2 Types Of Hajj
There are three different types of Hajj a pilgrim may perform. All of them involve the performance of essentially the same rites and acts of worship. The difference consists basically in the niyyah pronounced by the pilgrim at Meeqat. The specifics of the Hajj then follow directly from this niyyah. The three types of Hajj are described below:
5.5.2(I) Hajj ul Ifrad
In Hajj ul Ifrad, you will pronounce the intention of performing only Hajj at Meeqat. The rites that follow from this niyyah are given below in order:
- Tawaf ul Qudoom, followed by two rakah of salat us sunnah, partaking of the waters of Zam-Zam, and the Sai in that order.
- After step (a) above, you will not take off your Ihram,and will continue to observe all of its obligations and prohibitions.
- You will then complete the rites of Hajj on the 8th through the 10th of Zul Hijjah in Mina, Arafat,and Muzdalifah. See Section 5.6. These rites will culminate in Rummy of Jamrat ul Kubra in Mina on the 10th of Zul Hijjah.
- A sacrifice is not obligatory for Hajj ul Ifrad. It is, however, recommended (i.e., mustahab) that you do offer a sacrifice.
- Halq or Taqseer will follow. You may then shave, shower, and change into street clothes. You are no longer bound by the prohibitions of the Hajj, except that you may not engage in conjugal relations with your spouse until you have performed Tawaf ul Ifadah.
- Tawaf ul Ifadah will follow in Mecca as soon after step (e) as possible. The sunnah prayers and the Sai associated with Tawaf ul Qudoom, are not required after Tawaf ul Ifadah. The Sai performed after Tawaf ul Qudoom will suffice since you are performing only Hajj. You may, however, perform Sai once again if you so desire. You will return to Mina after the above rites.
- You will stay in Mina until at least the 12th of Zul Hijjah as Rummy on the 13th is optional. Rummy of Jamrat ul Oola, Jamrat ul Wusta, and Jamrat ul Kubra, in that order, will follow on the 11th, 12th, and 13th of Zul Hijjah.
- You will perform Tawaf ul Wuda just before departing from Mecca on your way to your next destination. Again, the two rakah of salat us sunnah and the Sai are not required after Tawaf ul Wuda. The sunnah of Rasool Allah (pbuh) directs that you leave Haram ash Shareef and Mecca as soon after Tawaf ul Wuda as possible and do not linger in town.
You have completed Hajj ul Ifrad and are, now, a Mufrid.
5.5.2(II) Hajj ul Qiran
For Hajj ul Qiran, you will pronounce your niyyah of performing both Hajj and Umra simultaneously with the same Ihram. Thereafter, the rites to be performed are as below in order:
- Tawaf ul Qudoom followed by two rakah of salat us sunnah, partaking of the waters of Zam-Zam, and the Sai. These rites will qualify as your Umra.
- You will not take off your Ihram after step (a) and will continue to observe all of its obligations.
- You will then fulfill the rites of Hajj on the 8th through the 10th of Zul Hijjah in Mina as detailed under Hajj ul Ifrad.
- A sacrifice is required for Hajj ul Qiran. In the days of Rasool Allah (pbuh), people who brought their sacrificial animals to Mecca with them were instructed to perform Hajj ul Qiran. Those, who did not bring their animals, were instructed to perform Hajj ut Tamattu. Sacrificial animals are available in Mina these days. Your agent will help you arrange for one.
- Halq or Taqseer, Tawaf ul Ifadah, Rummy on the 11th through the 13th of Zul Hijjah and Tawaf ul Wuda will follow, exactly as in Hajj ul Ifrad.
You have completed Hajj ul Qiran and are, now, a Qarin.
5.5.2(III) Hajj ut Tamattu
For Hajj ut Tamattu, you will pronounce your niyyah of performing Umra only at Meeqat. A second niyyah for Hajj will follow later as described below. Thereafter, the rites of Hajj will be as follows in order:
- Tawaf ul Qudoom followed by two rakah of salat us sunnah, partaking of the waters of Zam-Zam, and Sai.
- Halq or Taqseer will follow. You will now shave, shower, and change into street clothes. This will complete your Umra. All restrictions of the Ihram are now temporarily lifted from you. You will wait for the 8th of Zul Hijjah to start the rites of Hajj.
- On the 8th Zul Hijjah, you will pronounce a new niyyah to perform Hajj at your place of residence. There is no need for you to go to Meeqat for this. You will change into Ihram in the prescribed manner and will proceed to Mina soon after the Fajr prayers.
- You will stay in Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifah to perform the prescribed rites as detailed in Hajj ul Ifrad.
- A sacrifice is required for Hajj ut Tamattu.
- Halq or Taqseer, Tawaf ul Ifadah with the sunnah prayers, partaking of the waters of Zam-Zam, and a second Sai will follow. This Sai is required simply because your first Sai was performed for Umra.
- Rummy on the 11th through the 13th of Zul Hijjah and Tawaf ul Wuda will complete the rites of Hajj.
You have completed Hajj ut Tamattu and are, now, a Mutamatti.
5.6 Mina, Arafat, And Muzdalifah (8th-13th of Zul Hijjah)
The rites to be performed at Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifah are an integral part of Hajj. Since they are performed in all three types of Hajj in an identical manner and since they require a somewhat lengthy description, they are presented in a separate section here. This keeps the treatment of Hajj short, concise, and free of repetitions.
You will be staying at Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifah in the following sequence:
- Mina: From after Fajr on 8th of Zul Hijjah to after Fajr on 9th of Zul Hijjah.
- Arafat: From after Fajr on 9th of Zul Hijjah to slightly after sunset on the same day.
- Muzdalifah: From after sunset on 9th of Zul Hijjah to after Fajr on 10th of Zul Hijjah.
- Mina and Mecca: (10th-13th of Zul Hijjah)
- Arrive in Mina on 10th of Zul Hijjah, preferably before midday, for the Rummy of Jamrat ul Kubra followed by the sacrifice and Halq or Taqseer.
- Go to Mecca for Tawaf ul Ifadah on 10th of Zul Hijjah.
- Come back to Mina the same day to stay for Rummy of the three Jamraat on 11th-13th of Zul Hijjah.
The details are as below:
5.6.1 Mina (8th of Zul Hijjah)
This day is called Yaum ut Tarwiyah. You will depart for Mina from Mecca in the morning after Fajr. One of the following two conditions applies to you:
- If you are performing Hajj ul Ifrad or Hajj ul Qiran, you are already in a state of Ihram since you did not take off your Ihram after performing Umra.
- If you are performing Hajj ut Tamattu, you took off your Ihram after Umra. Therefore, you will now shower and pronounce a new niyyah for Hajj after changing into Ihram afresh at your place of residence. Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to perform Sai after putting on the Ihram for Hajj. You will offer the Fajr prayers in Mecca before leaving for Mina:
- Proceed to Mina after sunrise so as to arrive there before midday. Recite the Talbiyah often and with devotion and fervor during your journey.
- After you settle down in your tents, you will offer Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha prayers in the "qasr" mode by shortening them as if you are in the course of a journey. This applies to every one regardless of whether he is a resident of Mecca or is an outsider. While in your tent, spend as much time as you can in prayers, and supplications to Allah.
- After spending the night in Mina, you will offer the Fajr prayers there in the morning. Thus, you will have offered a total of five obligatory prayers at Mina before departing for Arafat after sunrise on the morning of the 9th of Zul Hijjah.
- You may collect some or all of the seventy pebbles required later for Rummy in Mina during your stay there. Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary that you collect all of them at Muzdalifah.
5.6.2 Arafat, and Muzdalifa (9th of Zul Hijjah)
You will have arrived at Arafat before midday. This is the Day of Arafat! Your Hajj will not be complete without Qayam ul Arafat (see below) in accordance with the sunnah of Rasool Allah (pbuh). You should spend as much time in prayers and remembrance of Allah as possible. You may never see this day again in your life. Make the most of it:
After settling down in your tent, you will offer the Zuhr and Asr prayers in the qasr mode. You will also combine them, i.e. offer them at the same time with one azan and two separate takbeer, one each for Zuhr and Asr. Only two rakahs each will be offered both in Zuhr and Asr prayers. No nafl, or any other prayers, will be performed either before or after these obligatory prayers.
You will thereafter stay in Arafat until sunset. Spend your time in reading The Quran, Talbiyah, and offering supplications to Allah.
Qayam ul Arafat : In the late afternoon just before sunset, stand in the open outside your tent facing the Qiblah and raise your hands in supplication to Allah. Rasool Allah (pbuh) spent this time in submitting himself in humility and total devotion to Allah, raising his hands in prayers until after sunset. There are no prescribed prayers for Qayam ul Arafat. During these sacred moments, you are alone with Allah. Pray as you want to and ask that your sins and lifelong shortcomings be forgiven. You may pray in any language and in any manner you desire.
You will not offer Maghrib at Arafat. You will do so at Muzdalifah later tonight.
After sunset, you will depart for Muzdalifah. Keep reciting the Talbiyah and other prayers as you proceed towards Muzdalifah.
You will stay under the sky at Muzdalifah. No tents or other residential facilities will be available. Arrangements for toilet and wudu are, however, available. They are, understandably, very crowded all the time. Give yourself plenty of time for your needs and be patient with fellow pilgrims.
You will also collect seventy pebbles at Muzdalifah for Rummy if you have not collected them at Mina already. Stay close to your bus and memorize its location with respect to a prominent and permanent landmark,such as a light pole or a wudu facility. Light poles and buildings are usually marked with identification numbers. It is very easy to get lost and equally difficult to get back "home"!
You will offer Maghrib and Isha prayers combining them in the qasr mode. Thus, after the azan, three rakahs of Maghrib will be offered following the usual "iqamah". Another iqamah (but no azan) will be called and then two rakahs of Isha will be offered.
Walk to the foot of the nearby hills, and collect seventy pea-size pebbles for Rummy. It is a good idea to collect an additional ten stones to make up for accidental losses. Do not collect the pebbles lying around the bathroom facilities.
You will spend the night at Muzdalifah and offer Fajr there. You will then leave for Mina before sunrise on the morning of the 10th of Zul Hijjah.
5.6.3 Mina (10th of Zul Hijjah)
The rites to be performed on this day are as follows:
You will perform Rummy of Jamrat ul Kubra only. Preferably before midday, you will stone the pillar symbolizing the devil seven times as you recite "Bismillah, Allah-o-Akbar" with each pebble. Rummy for the elderly, the sick and women may be performed by others delegated for this responsibility.
A sacrifice is now required for Hajj ul Qiran and Hajj ut Tamattu, and is recommended for Hajj ul Ifrad.
You may now shave, shower, and change into street clothes. You are no longer bound by the obligations of Ihram except that you may not have conjugal relations with your spouse until after Tawaf ul Ifadah.
You will now proceed to Masjid ul Haram in Mecca for Tawaf ul Ifadah.
You will return to Mina after Tawaf ul Ifadah and stay there until the 12th or the 13th of Zul Hijjah for Rummy.
5.6.4 Mina (11th-13th of Zul Hijjah)
You will perform Rummy of Jamrat ul Oola, Jamrat ul Wusta and Jamrat ul Kubra, in that order, after midday on all three days. Rummy on the 13th of Zul Hijjah is optional. You may return to Mecca after Rummy on the 12th of Zul Hijjah to perform Tawaf ul Wuda.
5.7 Tawaf ul Wuda
This is the Farewell Tawaf you will perform just before leaving Mecca for your next destination. Spend as much time as you can in Haram ash Shareef in Tawaf un Nafl, prayers and supplications in the days preceding Tawaf ul Wuda. Make the most of this golden opportunity Allah has provided you. You may never see these times again.
There is no Ihram, Ramal, or Sai required in Tawaf ul Wuda. You will offer two rakah salat us sunnah after Tawaf, offer any supplications you desire, and leave Mecca as soon as you can.
Alhamdulillah, you have now completed your Hajj. May Allah accept your Hajj, and may you be a better person for your efforts in His path.
See also the Flow Diagram For Hajj at the back of this handbook.
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