The Hajj is the pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah in the city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia. It is one of the 5 Pillars of Islam.

“And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka’bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allaah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence).” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:97]

Hajj is obligatory on every muslim, male or female, who have the ability to go for Hajj, at least once in their lifetime. A woman must accompany by a male mahrem. If she does not have a male mahrem then she is not required to go.

The Hajj is the ultimate form of worship, as it involves the spirit of all the other rituals and demands of the believer great sacrifice. On this unique occasion, nearly two million Muslims from all over the globe meet one another in a given year. Regardless of the season, pilgrims wear special clothes (Ihram) – two, very simple, unsown white garments – which strips away all distinctions of wealth, status, class and culture; all stand together and equal before Allah (God).

Hajj has its own etiquette and conditions which the Muslims must observe, such as:

  1. It must be paid for with halal money.
  2. One should keep away from evil, sin and unjust disputes during Hajj.
  3. One should observe all the rituals according to the Sunnah.
  4. One should not show off by doing Hajj; it should be purely and sincerely for the sake of Allah.
  5. One should not follow it with acts of disobedience and sin.

The rites of Hajj

The rites of Hajj are observed over five days, beginning on the eighth day of Dhul-Hijjah (the last month of the Islamic year).

 Day 1 (8th Zul Hajj)

  • During the night before Fajr of 8th Zul Hajj, put on ihram, make your niyyah (intention) and recite talbiyah 3 times and pray to Allah Almighty.
  • After Fajr, leave Makkah for Mina. But people can go to Mina even before Fajr during the night.
  • Today in Mina, offer Zuhar, Asar, Maghrib and Isha prayers.
  • Stay overnight in Mina.

Day 2 (9th Zul Hajj)

  • After Fajr prayer in Mina, proceed to Arafat.
  • In Masjid-e-Namra, the imam leads Zuhar and Asar prayers, combined and shortened, at Zuhar time. At other places in Arafat, similarly combine these two salats or offer them at their proper times with jama’at.
  • Wuquf-e-Arafat or Standing until sunset.
  • At Maghrib time, without offering Maghrib prayer, leave for Muzdalifah.
  • Offer Maghrib and Isha prayers together in Muzdalifah at Isha time.
  • Stay overnight in Muzdalifah.

Day 3 (10th Zul Hajj)

  • In Muzdalifah, after Fajr prayer and Wuquf, proceed to Mina.
  • Throw 7 pebbles at Jamrat-ul-Aqabah.
  • Animal sacrifice
  • Shave your head or cut some hair from it.
  • Go to Makkah for Tawaf-e-Ziarat.
  • Stay overnight in Mina.

Day 4 (11th Zul Hajj)

  • At any time in the afternoon, throw 7 pebbles on each of the 3 pillars starting with the first pillar,then on the middle pillar, and lastly on the pillar of Aqabah.
  • If you could not do Tawaf-e-Ziarat yesterday, do it today.
  • Stay overnight in Mina.

Day 5 (12th Zul Hajj)

  • At any time in the afternoon, throw 7 pebbles on each of the 3 pillars in he same order as was done on 11 Zul Hajj.
  • If you could not do Tawaf-e-Ziarat earlier, it is essential to do it today before Maghrib.
  • You can leave Mina on 12 Zul Hajj before the sun sets. If the sun sets before you are able to depart, remain in Mina for the third night and throw pebbbles again the next day.
  • In Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah, all the prayers are shortened and offered at their proper times except noted above.
  • Whenever you finish Tawaf-e-Ziarat during the night, come back to Mina for stay.
  • There are 3 obligatory acts (Fard) without which Hajj is invalid:
    Ihram  2. Wuquf-e-Arafat   3. Tawaf-e-Ziarat
  • Before returning to your country after completing the rites of Hajj, perform the Farewell Tawaf (Tawaf al-Wida).

If the Muslim does Hajj correctly, in the manner prescribed and sincerely for the sake of Allah, it will be an expiation for his sins.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Whoever does Hajj for the sake of Allah, and does not have sexual relations or commit sins, will come back like the day his mother bore him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 15210)

The pilgrimage ends with a festival, called Eid Al-Adha, which is celebrated with prayers, the sacrifice of an animal, and the exchange of greetings and gifts in Muslim communities everywhere.

Those muslims who can afford sacrifice cattle (sheep, goat, cow or camel) as a reminder of Ibrahim’s (A.S) obedience to Allah all around the world.

Meat is supposed to be distributed among family, neighbors, relatives, friends and poor and needy ones.