This is one of the most important events in the Islamic Calendar. It is obligatory on every Muslim to perform Hajj at least once in their lifetime, if they have the means. Hajj is the largest gathering of Muslims from around the world. It is a unifying process showing the brotherhood of man within Islam and their worship of the one and only god- Allah (s.w.t) One purpose of the rites and ceremonies of Hajj is for the pilgrims to reject evil in every way possible, physically, mentally, verbally and spiritually. The soul of every Muslim yearns to visit Makkah, where the first house of worship was built; where Allah (s.w.t) ordered Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to settle his family and build the Kabah with his son Prophet Ismail (AS); where Muslims worldwide, turn to in prayers; where the last Messenger and Prophet of Allah (s.w.t) Muhammad.. peace be upon him was born and where, the pilgrims begin their quest for forgiveness. A quest that takes them on “The Journey of a lifetime”- The Hajj.

 

 

 

 

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Pilgrims wear Ihram and make intention at specified places on the way to Makkah. Pilgrims traveling by air from UK can wear Ihram before boarding the plane or about 15-20 minutes before landing in Jeddah but before they pass- by their “Miqat”. After making intention for Umrah the pilgrims proceed to Makkah and perform Tawaf (circuiting the Ka’bah seven times). The Tawaf is started at the “Black Stone by saying “Takbir” and ending the seventh circuit also at the Black Stone. During Tawaf the pilgrims praise Allah (s.w.t) and make supplications to Him in any words or language they please, completing each circuit with “Rabbana…”

It was a Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad.. peace and blessing of Allah be upon him to kiss the “Black Stone” during Tawaf . Not being able to do because of rush does not detract from the Tawaf. Struggling, pushing or injuring people to kiss it, is prohibited. When parallel to it, saying “Takbir” and raising the hand with the palm faced towards it, is sufficient. Praying two rak’ats after the Tawaf behind the “Maqam Ibrahim” is a Sunnah of the Prophet.. peace be upon him. However, it is permissible to pray anywhere within the Sacred Mosque. It is also a Sunnah of the Prophet.. peace be upon him to drink the blessed water of Zam Zam after Tawaf. The next part of Umrah for the pilgrims is to walk seven times to-and-fro from Safaa to Marwah. This is called Sa’i. The pilgrim descends from Al- Safaa and heads for Al-Marwah at normal pace until reaches the green marker. Pilgrim should walk briskly or run slowly until the next green marker. The pilgrim continues toward Al-Marwah at normal pace. At Al-Marwah, the pilgrim faces Qibla, raises hand and repeats what was read at Al-Safaa then walks towards Al-Safaa.
After completing Sa’i the pilgrims end their Umrah by shortening or shaving their hair. The state of Ihram and its “Obligations” are now lifted, with pilgrims resuming their normal life.