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> Brief Practical Tips for persons going for Haj [Electronic resources] >

Brief Practical Tips for persons going for Haj

This is not intended to be a comprehensive document giving all the fiqh rules.

Please check all fiqh issues & consult other books / Alims

1. Things to carry

  • Identifiable polythene bags for slippers
  • Extra pair of rubber slippers
  • Small Sajdagah , preferably with Kerbala soil and a tasbih
  • Small carryon bag for two (2) nights Arafat & Mina
  • Two (2) sets of Ehram Men
  • Belt for Men Ehram (stitched belts are permitted- avoid leather belts)
  • Small water bottle (1/2 liter)
  • Gloves
  • Hands free bag (with zipper) for Women - preferable something you can hang around your neck
  • Copies of Medina Ziarats & Arafat duas
  • Small torch / flashlight
  • Scissors
  • Nail cutter / clippers
  • Alarm clock (preferably small battery operated)
  • Small cloth sling bag for collecting 100 small stones
  • Sleeping Bag / Mat
  • 3 to 2 pin adapter for Mobile phone charger converter

2. Miscellaneous Suggestions

  • Always carry the address and phone number of the hotel / Kafila. You should also carry EMERGENCY contact name(s) & telephone number(s) and other identification information.
  • Plenty of Zam-Zam water is available in tumblers/containers at the Haram (Containers/Tumblers tops marked GREEN are not cold)

3. General Fiqh Related Suggestions

  • Salaat can be recited with the Jamaat (except Magrib prayer at the Haram which starts before the scheduled time)
  • Do not follow the rules of Jamat prayers even though you may be a part of one. That is,
    • Recite niyat of prayer in the same manner as praying alone.
    • Recite SURAH's in low tone (whisper). Do not keep silent as in Jamat prayers.
  • Full prayers only at the two (2) Harams at Medina / Mecca or in the old cities of Mecca/Medina
  • If you plan to stay in cities other than Medina or Mecca for less than ten (10) days, recite Qasr prayers
  • Niyat is intention in the mind & one need not actually recite the words. However, it's Mustahab to do so to be aware of our intentions

4. Prophets Mosque- Medina

  • There are three (3) graves one BEHIND the other if you stand facing graves with your BACK towards the QIBLA. The Prophet's (S.A.W.) is buried in the third grave. A cement wall encloses his grave.
  • It is not certain if Bibi Fatima Zehra (sa) is buried in the Mosque chamber or at Janatul-Baqi.
  • Haram closes at 10:30 PM. It is less crowded around 9:30 PM for Men.
  • In order to get prayer space in Jannat', men can go up to temporary clothe barrier separating the women's section one (1) hour before Zohar & take the place as soon as barrier opened.
  • Women have special timings, starting one (1) hour after Fajr salat for three (3) hours. Again, starting one (1) hour after Zohar Salaat for about two (2) hours.
  • Slippers can be carried into mosque in bag & placed in numbered boxes inside the mosque or you can keep them beside you.

When visiting the mosque, do not forget the polythene bag, sajdagah and tasbih.

In case you forget, pray were floor is not carpeted.

5. Janat-Ul-Baqi cemetery - Opposite Prophets mosque in Medina

The cemetery is open for men only two (2) hours after Fajr & Zohar Salaat

Women can go upstairs up to the boundary wall / grill only after the gates to Baqi are closed for men. These are between the hours of 9:00AM through 11:00AM & again at 1:30PM.

  • Four (4) graves closest to entrance are those of:
    • Imam Hassan's (as)
    • Imam Sajjad's (as)
    • Imam Mohammed Baqir's (as)
    • Imam Jaffer-e-Sadiq's (as)
  • Prophet's (SAW) uncle Abbas (as) & Fatima Bint-e-Asad (as) are buried in the same area
  • Ummul Banin (as) (Hazrat Abbas's mother) is buried on the left side near the boundary wall
  • Prophet's (SAW) son Ibrahim, daughters & wives are also buried here
  • Martyrs' of Uhud & Martyrs' of event of Hurra

6. Travel Medina Mecca

  • It takes approximately six (6) hours to reach Mecca by the bus
  • It is recommended that every person should take bath/shower (ghusl) & wears the Ehram at their hotel in Medina before boarding the bus to Mecca. However, niyat of Ehram can only be done at the Miqat.
  • Miqat is located 10 km from Medina.
  • Travel is usually at night to avoid Kaffarra. Some Marjas permit traveling in a closed bus at night.
  • The NIYAT must be made at Masjid Shajarah located in Miqat. Pilgrims must also recite TALBIYAH to become Muhrim. At this point certain things (approximately 25 things) become haram.
  • Kaffarra for traveling at night, if applicable, can be paid in the pilgrim's country of origin upon their return from HAJ.

7. MECCA

  • Haram has many doors/gates/entrances
  • All doors/gates/entrances are
    • Numbered
    • Named
    • Some are color coded
  • It is important to know & remember the direction of your hotel's location
  • It is possible to do wuzoo using little Zam Zam water available in the tanks at the Haram
  • Women may be required to wear chador to perform wuzoo
  • It is Mustahab to enter from Bab-us-Salaam located behind the Main Abdul Aziz gate in the middle of the Sae'e hall
  • Jannatul Maala is an important cemetery.
    • Located at 15-minute walking distance from the Marwa side gate.
    • The graves of Abutalib (as), Bibi Khadija (as), Abdulmutalib(as), Abd Manaf, Bibi Amina (as)(Mother of the Prophet (SAW)) are located in this cemetery.
  • Masjid-e-Jinn - This is a small mosque located at approximately 10 minute walking distance from the Abdul Aziz gate located on the left side
    • Some Marja's permit making the intention of Haj or Niyat of Ehram at this mosque
    • Part of the kingdom of Nabi Suleiman (as) is also located in this area.

8. Ehram

DONTS

Please avoid things that are generally prohibited during HAJJ, and in particular, the following at all times:

* Do not cover your head even while sleeping (men)

* Do not wear cap on your head (men)

* Do not wear slippers which covers the foot from the top (men)

* Do not wear any sewn clothes (men)

* Do not kill any insects/mosquitoes

* Do not look in the mirror

* Do not use perfumes / perfumed soap, tissue / flavored toothpaste

* Do not bite nails or fiddle with your hair

All male pilgrims must travel (especially during day) on the roof of the bus

The Ehram can be changed only if it becomes najis (not dirty)

9. Tawaf [idea of keeping Allah (swt) as the center]

  • The starting point of tawaf is from the black line / green light indicator located near Hajar-a-Aswad
  • There is no compulsory recitation while performing Tawaf.
  • It is important to remember number of rounds, that is, seven (7) to be performed.
  • It is wajib that the left shoulder ALWAYS points towards the Kaaba at all times (even at turns).
  • In case of large crowd, it is not necessary to do tawaf inside the Maqam-e-Ibrahim. However, the tawaf should not go beyond the last line of people.
  • Do not touch the wall of the Kaaba or Hijr-Ismail while performing tawaf.
  • Women may wear gloves so their hands do not touch namehram.

10. Sae'e [idea of struggle in the way of Allah (swt)]

This is walking from mount Safa to Marwa and back to Safa seven (7) rounds with chest facing the front (not sideways). Pilgrims can stop in between & wuzoo is not wajib during this proces. Any supplications can be recited while walking. Pilgrims need not touch the mountain stone etc., going up to a little climb with sufficient room to turn the wheel chairs.

11. Taqseer

Cutting of a little hair, clipping of nails is the act done by oneself with niyat in order to get out of ehram after Sae'e for Umra & after Qurbani *at* Mina for Hajj.

12. Arafat [Maharefa of Allah (swt)]

  • Normally the Kafila will leave the hotel for Arafat on the night of 8th Zilhaj. It is highly recommended that pilgrims rest as possible prior to leaving for Arafat. The Ehram has to be worn before getting on the bus & Niyat / Talbiya must be completed near the haram being "old Mecca." (Possibly near Masjid Jinn).
  • Carry only small bag with maximum of 300 Saudi Riyals
  • One (1) extra Ehram / slippers and sleeping mat/bag
  • Perform amal of night of Aarafat if possible (Pilgrims must recite Dua-e-Arafat taught by Imam Hussein (as) during the day)
  • It is wajib to be in Arafat from Zohar to Magrib
  • The toilets in Arafat could be facing the Qibla & care is to be taken when they are used
  • Preferably go to the toilet one (1) hour prior to departure at sunset
  • Due to heavy traffic after magrib getting to the bus may be difficult
  • Perform Magrib / Isha prayers at Arafat if you leave after 8 pm, however, it is preferable to pray in Muzdalifah

13. Muzdalifah [also known as Mashr-shuhr of Allah-consciousness]

This is an important night & morning for prayer

  • It is wajib for men to be in this plain between Fajr & sunrise. One should have this niyat at that time & recite Namaz-e-shab
  • Quran describes this stop (wuqoof) & directs us to do Zikr, the best form of this is Tasbih-e-Zehra
  • Typically, due to heavy traffic, the pilgrims reaches this plain at midnight
  • It is better to stop as near as Mina as possible / practical
  • Collect approx 75 stones/pebbles (size of thumb nail) here & wash them if possible. Don't go too far from Kafila as you can get lost
  • Ladies (even without any compulsion) can proceed to Mina with a brief stop in the night itself. The brief stop can be used to collect pebbles & recite Tasbih.
  • Men leave for Mina immediately AFTER sunrise. Leave all belongings in the bus, except the bag of pebbles
  • One can also walk to Mina from Muzdalifah (It takes approximately 90 minutes on foot)

14. Rami (Stoning) Jamarat (cleaning of Nafs)

  • It is much easier for women need to complete the first Rami in the night of 10th. Preferably soon after they reach the Mina tents after a brief stopover at Muzdalifah
  • Men can perform this ritual on 10th Zilhaj Idd day. Most Muslims are required to do the Rami ONLY on the Big Satan pillar BEFORE Zohar so there is considerable difficulty in this. It is preferable to wait in the tent up to zohar as our Fiqh permits this & then go.
  • Due to the crowds of pilgrims, it is advisable to tie the Ehram securely, leave valuables / slippers with a designated person in a pre-determined location.
  • Pilgrims have to be 100% certain that all the 7 stones have hit the pillar. In order to accomplish this, it is necessary to get as close to the pillar before throwing the pebbles. As a precaution (ehtiyat) throw a few extra pebbles.
  • Majority of pilgrims perform the stoning ritual on the 11th Zilhaj & 12th Zilhaj AFTER Zohar. As you can imagine it gets very crowded and unsafe. Fortunately, our Fiqh permits performing this ritual during the day (not night) before Zohar. A good time to perform this ritual is around 9:00AM for both women & men on both these dates.
  • It is important to stone ALL the 3 pillars / Jamarat in the right sequence starting with small, medium, and big. For your convenience, there are signs identifying the different pillars / Jamarat.
  • The Jamarat are under a bridge & need to be stoned from below & NOT from top of the bridge
  • They can be stoned from any direction look for less crowded areas (except big satan back side for Ayatollah Seestani's Muqallids')
  • Prior to leaving Mina, please leave the extra stones / pebbles behind

15. Qurbani [giving away worldly possession in the way of Allah (swt)]

  • This ritual cannot be performed by the pilgrims and must be performed after performing "RAMI". You must have confidence on Kafila who is responsible. Pilgrims need to make sure that all the necessities such as payments are arranged in advance with the designated person who is physically present at the slaughterhouse.
  • Since the slaughter house is outside Mina, pilgrims need to make sure that the provide the necessary personal information, that is their name, etc., if this ritual is performed on their behalf or name of person on whose behalf this ritual is performed. There is no need to physically segregate quarbani meat in parts as per various current fatwas
  • After the pilgrim is informed of the completion of this ritual, they can proceed with HALAQ (shaving of head) or Taqseer can be done.
  • HOWEVER use of perfume (soap, toothpaste, tissue) is strictly prohibited until after Tawaf of Hajj

16. Halaq

There is great sawab in doing this though not wajib at times. This is performed in Mina after Qurbani (during the day?).

Ayatollah Khoie recommends that taqseer & Halaq can be done simultaneously to get full sawab (This is to avoid the penalty due to blood oozing due to cuts while shaving).

Ayatollah Seestani recommends completing Halaq at Mina to get sawab w/o taqseer.

17. Mina [Muna Love of Allah] wuqoof / stay

  • It is wajib to stay half the night in Mina [calculation of half night is important]
    • According to Ayatollah Khoie it is half the time between sunset and sunrise
    • According to Ayatollah Seestani it is half the time between sunset and Fajr
  • If a pilgrim does not spend the night at Mina, they have the to spend the night in "ibadat" (including wajibat of tawaf, Sae'e, etc.) Pilgrims cannot sleep at night.
  • If possible, visit Masjid Khif. This is an important mosque to visit / pray.
  • On 10th Zilhaj, pilgrims can go to their hotel in Mecca BUT start well in time to reach Mina before sunset to compensate for heavy traffic
  • It is convenient to go for wajibat of Tawaf & Sae'e etc., on the 11th Zilhaj after 12.30AM after completing woqoof for night. Tawaf, Salat, Sae'e, Tawaf-un-Nisa & Salat all can be complete by Fajr. Upon completion of the necessary rituals, pilgrims can go to the hotel. (It is recommended to do Tawaf / Sae'e at late night since it is very crowded during the day)
  • On 12th Zilhaj after Rami / stoning of the 3 Jamarat pilgrims CANNOT leave Mina until after Zohar Azan. It is recommended to move to the outskirts of Mina prior to Zohar. This makes exiting from Mina much easier
  • In case pilgrim(s) cannot leave Mina before sunset then they have to stay overnight in Mina, complete Rami of 3 Jamarat again & then leave the next day.
  • All roads are extremely congested after Asr on 12th Zilhaj & it is advisable not to travel by taxi / car at all on this day. It is strongly recommended to wait until 13th Zilhaj for traveling.

18. Getting back

  • Passport collection from Moalliim is a complicated issue but handled by group head
  • Pilgrim(s) are urged to reach the Haj terminal at the airport four (4) hours prior to departure of their flights. Luggage is collected at a different place on the left side of the terminal which can have long queues / lines.
  • Zam Zam will need to be repacked in polythene at airport
  • Pilgrim(s) can get some refund of the draft amount paid for transportation from United agencies counter. This is in case you still have left over coupons with you.

19. Spirituality

  • Please DO NOT let the crowd and associated behavior bother you during pilgrimage
  • Recite whatever duas you like while doing Tawaf & Sae'e
  • While drinking Zam Zam think of always seeking Rizq Halal
  • While taking ghusl think of your own ghusl Mayyit
  • While taking off normal clothes think of discarding disobedience & accepting complete obedience and discarding material attachment (e.g. family, business etc)
  • While wearing ehram remember death & the kafan
  • While walking between Safa & Marwa remember that you are between FEAR & HOPE
  • While doing Tawaf remember our Imam & see that all momins are safe from your deeds
  • While stoning Jamarat try to think of the rejecting adverse qualities in you
  • While at Arafat think of the day of judgment & that your book of deed
  • Let the Hajj be for HIS sake only & pray for Ikhlas - its acceptance

Thought provoking conversation between our fourth Holy Imam Zainul-Abidin (AS) and Shibli.

(A must for those planning to go for Hajj).

When the 4th Imam (AS) returned from Hajj, Shibli came to meet him.

They engaged in the following conversation:

Imam: Did you go for Hajj O shibli?

Shibli: Yes O son of the Messenger of Allah

Imam: Did you stop at the miqaat and put away the sewn clothes and perform the sacred bath?

Shibli: Yes

Imam: When you stopped at miqaat did you make the intention that you are taking off the clothes of disobedience and putting on the clothes of obedience?

Shibli: No

Imam: And when you had taken off your sewn clothes did you make the intention that you had taken off hypocrisy and entering dubious acts?

Shibli: No

Imam: And when you took the bath did you have the intention that you are washing yourself from all sins and errors?

Shibli: No

Imam You did not stop at Miqaat, nor did you take off sewn clothes nor didyou perform the sacred bath

Imam: Did you cleanse yourself and put on Ihram and fulfil your covenant of Hajj?

Shibli: Yes

Imam: When you did this did you have the intention that you are cleaning yourself with the nurah of the sincere repentance to Almighty Allah the most high?

Shibli:No

Imam When you put on the ihram did you have the intention that you are forbidding yourself everything that Almighty Allah has forbidden?

Shibli: No.

Imam: When you fulfilled the covenant of Hajj did you have the intention that you have nullified all other covenants with other than Allah?

Shibli: No

Imam: You did not cleanse yourself nor did you put on the ihram nor did you fulfil the covenant of hajj

Imam: Did you enter the miqaat and pray the two rakats of the ihram and did you chant Talbiyah

Shibli: Yes

Imam: When you entered the miqaat, did you make the intention of entering as a visitor?

Shibli: No

Imam: When you prayed the two rakaats did you make the intention that you are trying to get closer to Allah SWT with the best of acts from the prayers and the biggest of good deeds from the acts of worship?

Shibli: No

Imam: When you chanted the Talbiyah did you have the intention that you were talking to almighty Allah with all obedience and keeping quiet from all disobedience?

Shibli: No

Imam: You did not enter miqaat nor did you pray nor did you chant the Talbiyah

Imam: Did you enter the Haram and did you see the Kaaba and did you pray there?

Shibli: Yes

Imam: When you entered the Haram did you have the intention that you were prohibiting on yourself all backbiting of all the Muslims from the Nations of Islam?

Shibli: No

Imam: And when you reached Makka did you make the intention with your heart that you had come to Almighty Allah SWT?

Shibli: No

Imam: You have neither entered Haram nor seen the Kaaba nor prayed.

Shibli: No

Imam: Did you go round the house and did you touch the Rukn and did you make Saee?

Shibli: yes

Imam: And when you did the Saee did you have the intention that you were running towards Almighty

Allah and did Allah the knower of all secrets know this?

Shibli: No

Imam: You did not go round the house nor did you touch rukn nor did you make Saee.

Imam: Did you taouch the Hajar e Aswad and did you stand at the Maqame Ibrahim and did you pray two rakats on it?

Shibli:Yes

Here the Imam gave a scream as if he was about to leave this world saying Ah! Ah! Whoever touches the black stone it is as if he has shaken hands with Almighty Allah SWT. So Look O poor chap that you do not destroy the reward of something whose sacredness has been made very great and you do not spoil

your Handshake by disobedience and by grasping evil like the sinners.

Then Imam asked: Did you have the intention when you were standing on Maqame Ibrahim that you were are standing on every obedience and that you have put behind you all disobedience?

Shibli: No

Imam: When you prayed two rakaats there didyou make the intention that you are praying the prayers of Ibrahim and that you are humiliating Shaitan with your prayers?

Shibli: No

Imam: You did not stand on Maqame Ibrahim nor did you pray two rakats on it.

Imam: Did you look over the well of Zamzam and did you drink from its water?

Shibli: Yes.

Imam: Did you have the intention when you were looking over the well that you looking at obedience to Almighty Allah and closing your eyes from all disobedience?

Shibli: No.

Imam: You did not look over it nor did you drink from it's water.

Imam: Did you run between Safa and Marwa and did you walk between it repeatedly?

Shibli:Yes.

Imam: Did you have the intention that you were between hope and fear?

Shibli: No

Imam: You did not run between Safa and Marwa. Imam:Did you go out to Mina?

Shibli: Yes.

Imam: Did you have the intention that every muslim was safe from your tongue, your heart and your and?

Shibli: No. You did not go out to Mina.

Imam: Did you stay a short time at arafa and did you climb Jabal AlRahma and did you recognize

the wadi of Namira and did to supplicate to Almighty Allah near Al-Mil and Al-Jamaraat?

Shibli: Yes

Imam: Did you conceive by your stay in Arafa the gnosis (Irfan) of Almighty Allah SWT and the knowledge of good things and acts; and did you conceive that your book of deeds was in the hands of Allah and that Allah had full knowledge of your secrets and what is in your heart?

Shibli: No.

Imam: And when you climbed the Jabal AL rahma did you have the intention that Almighty Allah may have mercy on all believing men and all believing women and that He will help all Muslim men and women?

Shibli: No.

Imam: Did you have the intention at wadi Namira that you would not enjoin good until you practice it yourself and you would not forbid evil until you leave it yourself?

Shibli: No

Imam: and when ou stopped at alam and Al-amirat did you have the intention that they were witnessing all your acts of worship and that they were guarding you together with guardian angels by the order of Almighty Allah?

Shibli No

Imam: then you did not stay at Arafat nor did you go up the Mountain of Mercy nor did you recognize the wadi of Namirah nor did you supplicate to Almighty Allah Imam: Did you pass between the two columns pray two rakah before crossing, go to Muzdalifah pick up pebbles and cross the Mash'arul Haram?

Shibli: Yes

Imam: When you prayed the two Rakats, did you have the intention that you were praying the

prayer of thanksgiving within the ten nights which removes every hardship and facilitates every ease?

Shibli: No.

Imam: At the time of passing between the two columns without deviating to the right or the left did you have the intention that you would never deviate from the true religion to the right or the left neither with your heart, tongue nor with your limbs?

Shibli: No.

Imam: When you walked through Muzdalifah and picked up the pebbles did you have the intention

that you have plucked all acts of disobedience and ignorance and that you had affirmed knowledge and action?

Shibli: No.

Imam: Then when you walked in the Mash'aril Haram did you have the intention that you had embossed your heart with the identification of those who have taqwaand fear of Almighty Allah the Most High?

Shibli:No.

Imam: Then you did not pass between the two columns nor did you pray the two rakah,nor walked into Muzdalifah, nor picked up the pebbles nor walked in the Mash'arul Haram.

Imam: Did you arrive at Mina, throw stones at the Jamarah and did you shave your head and slaughter the sacrifice and did you pray in Masjid al-Kheef and did you. return to Makka and perform the Tawaf of Ifadha (return) to Makka?

Shibli: Yes

Imam: When you reached Mina and pelted the jamaraat did you have the intention that you have attained your goal and your Lord has fulfilled all your needs?

Shibli: No.

Imam: And when you pelted the Jamaraat did you have the intention that you had pelted your enemy Iblees and by completing this precious Hajj you had disobeyed him?

Shibli: No.

Imam: And when you shaved your head did you have the intention that you had cleansed yourself from all filth and from all the injustice of the children of Adam and that you had purified yourself from sin just like a new born baby.

Shibli: No.

Imam: And when you slaughtered your hadiya did you have the intention that you are cutting the artery of greed by holding fast to the reality of piety and that you are following the tradition of Ibrahim A.S. when he was prepared to slighter his son, the fruit of his heart, through which he established the sunna of gaining nearness to Almighty Allah for those who came after him?

Shibli: No.

Imam: And when you returned to Makka and did the tawaaf of Ifadha did you have the intention that you had come back with the Mercy of Almighty Allah to His obedience and that you had clasped His love that you had performed your duty to Him and had gained nearness to him?

Shibli: No.

Imam: Then you did not reach Mina nor did you pelt the jamaraat nor did you shave your head nor did you slaughter the hadiya nor did you pray in the Masjid Al-Kheef nor did you return to Makka and perform the tawaaf of Ifadha. Go back because you have not performed Hajj!!

Having heard all this Shibli started to cry because of what he had missed in his Hajj and he continued to learn the secrets of Hajj until he could perform the Hajj through knowledge and understanding.