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Friday, June 27, 2008

TRYING TO UNDERSTAND HAJJ & ITS RITUALS:

This is an evolving article. More content will be added in the weeks ahead. Please add your experience in red letter . Thank you

 

TRYING TO UNDERSTAND HAJJ & ITS RITUALS:

Begin your Hajj preparation at least six months before departure so that you will be adequately prepared, spiritually, physically and logistically;

A. Some useful informations (Advisory) for hajj:

1. Medicines: Take medical prescription alongwith you. Most pilgrims will suffer from one or more of the following: sore throat, coughing, frequent sneezing, runny nose and fever. Bring enough supplies of over the counter medication. This will reduce the need to make frequent trips to the pharmacy and also your out of pocket expenses.

2. Take multivitamins daily as you may not be eating a balanced diet there. You may want to consider a diet of water, dates and fruits as this will reduce the need to go to the toilet frequently. This diet may also help to keep you more alert and not make you feel 'sleepy'. You will thus have more time to worship.

3. The Hajj pilgrimage involves a lot of walking. If you don't go for daily walks at home, begin it well before your journey to The Holy Land. This will reduce the likelihood of getting muscle pulls and cramps. The tawaf, sa'ee, and the frequent daily walks to The Mosque will help to improve your health. Do not stop this habit of walking when you return home. You must to be in the best of health to concentrate fully on your worship wherever you are.

4. You are never more than a foot from another pilgrim when you are in Mecca during the peak period of the pilgrimage. Cover your nose and mouth with a mask when you leave your hotel/apartment to reduce the likelihood of infection. You can get a good quality washable mask at the pharmacies there.

5. If you wear glasses, bring along an extra pair, preferably one with a plastic frame. The likelihood of your glasses falling down and being stepped on by sudden movements of the crowd are high. As an additional cover, bring along your glass prescriptions as well. There are optical shops near The Mosque. It is common for those wearing glasses to remove it and place it in front before starting their prayer. Never do this in both mosques. The likelihood of your glasses being stepped on by others is 99%.



6. Flatulence (passing of wind) is an important cause of the loss of wudu. In the crowd packed Holy Mosques, this can be a big problem. Avoid or reduce the intake of food that contribute to this problem. If this is a serious problem for you, consult your doctor. Both herbal and other medications [antacid antiflatulent] are now available to reduce the occurrence of flatulence.

7. It is very important that the pilgrim wears his identification tag at all times he/she is out of his place of accommodation

B. Location map of Kaba in the brain

If I am standing facing the door of the Kaba, On my left its Hazre Aswad , than on my right its Hateem and on my back its makame ibraheem and further behind its zam zam.

C. PRIMARY AIM OF HAJJ :

To remain at all times focused on the primary aim of his Hajj: to plead to The Almighty to forgive his sins and to bless him with The Straight Path for the remainder of his life. it is the starting point of one's commitment to cast away one's bad ways and to begin afresh a new Allah-centred life.

Sa'ee makes one aware that the Allah-centred life must be filled with "effort" (meaning of sa'ee). It is effort anchored in complete submission to Allah The Merciful that will bring the right results, just as it did for a mother who ran several times from one end of the valley to another in search of water in the harsh desert environment

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RITUALS DURING HAJJ :

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TAWAF :

 

 

Tawaf for Haj: one of the Pillars of Haj and must be performed by all pilgrims.

Tawaaf begins and ends at Hajr-al-Aswad (The Black Stone)

Wudhu is required for tawaf

Tawaf proceeds in an anti-clockwise direction. Walk anti-clockwise from your position to reach the starting line of the tawaf.

There is no special dua except between the Yamani and the Black Stone corners (Rabbana Athina ... ).

During the peak Haj period, DO NOT attempt to kiss The Black Stone.

The majority of those who attend the maghrib prayer in Masjid Al-Haram remain there for the isha prayer. Given the packed environment, you'll be wasting a lot of time in leaving the mosque after maghrib and trying to reenter before isha. It is better to remain inside and engage in other types of worship. There is ample time to do tawaf between the two prayer sessions


Farewell tawaf: last act to be performed before leaving Mecca. About the only acts performed after this tawaf are buying some snacks for your onward journey and easing yourselves. Other types of shopping or taking a nap are not done. Therefore, perform this tawaf one to two hours before your departure.

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SA EE :

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1. Sa'ee consists of 7 rounds of walking between As-Safa and Al-Marwah. One round is completed when you begin from As-Safa and end at Al-Marwah. The return from Al-Marwah to Al-Safa completes the second round and so on. A few allegedly make the mistake of counting the beginning and ending at As-Safa as the completion of one round. Thus they end up walking 14 rounds which is not required.

2. The total distance you would have walked performing sa'ee is approximately 3.15 km (the distance from As-Safa to Al-Marwah is approximately 450 m.)

3. If you are tired after performing the tawaf, you don't have to proceed to perform the sa'ee immediately. You can rest and perform the sa'ee later.

When the pilgrim leaves the Ka'bah in the direction of Arafah to begin his Hajj, he is moving away from The House to meet The Lord of The House. Arafat is outside the boundary of The Holy Land (Haram),

 


ARAFAT:

1. Submission to Allah s.w.t. in Arafat does not have a prescribed outward act. You have to be there from noon of the 9th of Dhul-Hijja to sunset, that's all!

2. Some pilgrims miss out from reaping the full benefit of wuquf (standing/staying) in Arafat during those prescribed hours (approximately 5 1/2 hours).

Most pilgrims pray, recite The Holy Qur'an, zikr, and dua in Arafat during those hours

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After Arafat, the next Hajj rite is at Mudzalifah.

 

 

MINA :

"Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." Keep this principle in mind when you leave for Mina from Arafat

Hajj Complete at Mina.

 

MEDINA:

 

Nearly all pilgrims visit Medina either before or after the completion of the Hajj

It is not required to stay 8 days and complete 40 prayers in the Prophet's Mosque. Those who insist on this as a requirement base it on a weak hadith. It has no support in The Qur'an or any authentic Sunnah.

 

 

 

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