Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage which millions of Muslims around the world performed by gathering in Mecca (the Islamic holy city). Taking part in the pilgrimage at least once In a lifetime is a religious obligation on every Muslim man and woman. Hajj is a five-day activity having a number of rituals to perform in Mecca.
Before the Hajj journey starts, arrangements must be started timely to avoid the problems, one could face during his/her sacred journey. Few things are there to be sure, get your Visa and tickets on time, arrange the hotel in Mecca, and finish with your shopping before your departure.
Along with that, don’t miss to acquire the right knowledge about how the rituals of Hajj be performed. This is a lifetime spiritual journey and needed to be performed fulfilling all of its protocols.
How Muslims perform the rituals of the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca
There are different ways to perform Hajj, depends on the number of the religious school of thoughts or sects teachings. Considering them all right, the most common things are very simple to understand which have a less scholarly disagreement. Here is a step by step activity guide.
Hajj Day – I
- Wearing Ihram
The very first thing to do before entering Miqaat (The holy entry point for Hajj, Umrah) is to wear Ihram. It is an un-sown, plain white two-piece garment for men and same loose fit cloth for women and some more to cover her full body. People wear it even from the airport of their land because the flight has to be landed in Jeddah. Taking bath before going into Ihram is mandatory with proper Niyyah (The prayer of intention).
- Setting out for nearby Mina
Mina, a neighborhood of Mecca is on different distances by the places of Miqaats. But if you one landed in Jeddah and travelled to your settlement in Mecca, he/she will have to go for Mina for the first day. The pilgrims set out for the city of tents, Mina. Spending the day in Mina, the Pilgrims keep busy with the prayers and remembering God. On the next dawn, the pilgrims move forward to Arafat for the performance of the further rituals.
(Remember, A person will not be going back to the hotel at the end of the day to take rest, there will be special arrangements for the tents to live and perform the rituals all the five days)
Hajj Day – II
- Perform the rituals at Arafat
A day of Arafat is much important day in the Islamic calendar having a lot of blessings on prayers. Muslims use to fast on this very day all over the world. The mount of Arafa is significant because of Prophet Muhammad (P.b.u.h)’s farewell sermon. Pilgrims spend there a day praying and performing rituals specific to the place and day. It makes almost 14 km from Mina to get Arafat. Pilgrims have to make it sure that the service providers are on time and providing the good facilities. If you opted for the scammers, you might face great trouble in Saudi Arabia. You have to analyze and then decide to opt for the agency providing you Hajj services.
- Collect pebbles at Muzdalifah
Its time to move again, this time to Muzdalifah. It’s a 9km trip and you will move after the sunset towards Muzdalifah. During Hajj it is Wajib (Mandatory) to perform the two prayers, Maghrib and Isha together in Muzdalifah at the time of Isha. Pilgrims will stay here to accomplish with the rituals of Hajj in Muzdalifah by praying and collecting the pebbles for the next day activity. The pilgrims will leave Muzdalifah before the Dawn.
Hajj Day – III
- The Youm-ul Hajj al-Akbar (The big Hajj day)
The very important day in the whole Hajj pilgrimage. The 10th of Zilhaj is the day of Eid, a day celebrated by the Muslims around the world. A pilgrim starts his/her day in Muzdalifah and then travels back to Mina before the sun rises properly. There the first Rami will be performed by the pilgrims. The activity of throwing stones to the Jamarat columns is called Rami. Pilgrims have to throw seven pebbles on the columns Jamarat.
Throwing the stones is a symbol to hurt Satan. It is said that at the same place, the devil appeared and tried to stop Abraham (R.A) to follow God’s command. He R.A) responded to throw the pebble at the same place, millions of Muslims now observe the Sunnah of Abraham (R.A) and stone at the same place which they collect from Muzdalifah or anywhere they wanted to. After this activity, pilgrims must perform the very important ritual of all, the sacrifice. Pilgrims, can slaughter the animal of their choice and also on the directions of slaughtering agencies. After the slaughter, you are allowed to remove your Ihram after shaving your head. Many in the pilgrims will then move to Mecca to perform Tawaf, Roaming around the Kaaba seven times. The thing remains is to visit Safa and Marwa to accomplish with the rituals of Hajj. Then they will set out for Mina for further activities.
- Final days in Mina, return to Ka’ba
Being in Mina, the pilgrims will spend their days to complete the remaining prayers along with stoning on Jamaraat each day. Finishing their time in Mina, the pilgrims will finally return to Mecca to perform the final Tawaaf of the Holy Kabaa. Tawaf is to circulating the Kaaba’s building seven times. It is the farewell ritual of Hajj after which you can say to be accomplished with your Hajj successfully.