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Blessing Hajj: A step-by-step information 2021
What Muslims do during the Hajj pilgrimage.
Hajj – a tradition started by Prophet Muhammad 1,377 years ago – draws pilgrims from around the world to Mecca annually. A Muslim should make the pilgrimage at least once in his or her lifetime, provided he or she is able physically and financially. It is expected that two to three million people will make the trip each year. A pilgrimage to Mecca takes place between the eighth and thirteenth days of the calendar month of Dhul-Hijjah, the 12th week of the Islamic calendar.
Kaaba is a stone structure covered with black silk that lies in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, and it is believed to have been built by Prophet Ibrahim.
In short, Hajj is not a simple event. The practice can take many forms, and there are several branches of Islamic thought. These are the steps involved in performing hajj.
ihram (the sacred state)
A pilgrim’s sacred state is ihram, which begins when they cross the outer borders of Mecca, called Miqat. The pilgrims enter ihram on the 8th Day of Dhul-Hijjah, which requires pilgrims to wear loose-fitting, unstitched clothing, as well following some rules-pilgrims are not supposed to show anger or engage in sexual activity on this day.
Unlike men, who are required to wear two unstitched pieces of clothing for Hajj, female pilgrims are not required to wear such a garment. Therefore, women are advised to wear loose clothes that do not attract attention, as is the usual dress code for Muslims.
The best attire to wear is light-colored clothing and no perfume, no cosmetics. Abayas and scarves of white color are commonly worn by women in order to blend in with their male companions. However, this is not required.
What is prohibited during Ihram?
Below is a list of things Muslim women are prohibited from doing when they are in Ihram, which is otherwise permissible. As soon as the Hajj/Umrah is completed and the Ihram annulled, most of them are once again legal.
- Wearing bright and tight-fitting clothing.
- Clipping nails and trimming body hair.
- Use of perfumes, scented oil, cosmetics (e.g., kohl, contact lens, etc.).
- Mirror-gazing in order to improve one’s appearance.
- The wearing of jewelry to adorn oneself.
- A covering the hand and face.
- Engaging in sexual relations with one’s husband.
- Engaging in marriage.
- Conflicts, arguing, or backbiting.
- It is prohibited to hunt or harm other living creatures in any way, not even insects (unless in self-defense).
- Taking out a tooth, or a bloodline.
Hajj pilgrims are led en masse by bus, car, or on foot from Mecca to the sprawling tent city of Mina, a journey of about 8 kilometers. They stay in Mina for the night and then leave the next morning at dawn. They spend most of their time in Mina praying and remembering Allah.
Spend a day at Arafat
During the Holy Day of Arafat, hajj pilgrims offer reverent prayers on Mount Mercy at Arafat, the location of the Prophet Muhammad’s last sermon, after their 14.4 km journey from Mina. According to experts, the day is one of Islam’s holiest days.
This is a day of fasting for many Muslims around the world.
Collect stones at Muzdalifah
The hajj pilgrims then make their way to Muzdalifah, a 9 km trip, where they spend the night under the stars. Here, many will also collect pebbles for tomorrow’s rites, departing again just after sunrise.
At the pillars, throw stones
Yawm-ul Hajj Al-Kabar is known as the biggest and longest day of the Hajj. The 10th of Dhul-Hijjah is Eid al-Adha, which is perhaps the largest celebration of the two Muslim holidays.
The hajj pilgrims begin their day in Muzdalifah and begin heading back to Mina just before dawn. At Mina, the first rami are performed, in which seven pebbles are thrown at a column known as Jamarat, the largest of three.
In historical tradition(hajj rituals), this is a symbolic act of stoning the devil. As evidence of Abraham’s faith, God ordered him to sacrifice his son. During Abraham’s time in Mina, the devil is believed to have appeared at this spot and tried to prevent him from following the command. In response, Abraham threw stones at him to scare him away.
Every year, millions of hajj pilgrims converge at Jamarat Bridge in order to re-enact the story.
In 2006, more than 350 people were killed when stampedes occurred at the bridge.
However, in recent years there have been no major incidents at the event.
Hajj Pilgrims must perform the sacrifice after casting their stones. To conclude the story, when Abraham went to sacrifice his son, he discovered that God had placed a ram there instead.
Hajj Pilgrims thus must slaughter sheep, goats, cows, or camels – or they can pay someone to do it for them.
During this time, Hajj pilgrims trim or shave their hair (men only) and remove their ihram clothes. Following this, many Muslims will visit Mecca to perform the tawaf and sa’ee, which involves walking between the hills of Safa and Mount Marwa seven times and circling the Kaaba seven times.
At the end of the day, they return to their campsite in Mina.
Note: Mount Marwah (Arabic: جبل مروة ) is where Hajra, Hazrat Ibrahim wife (عليها السلام) ran to from Mount Safa in searching for water for her son Ismail (عليه السلام).
A final days in Mina
The hajj pilgrims will again symbolically stone the devil, hurling seven stones at each of the three pillars. With the most difficult part accomplished, the hajj pilgrims will now spend the next two to three days in Mina.
Hajj Pilgrims who have completed their time in Mina return to Mecca to perform a “farewell” tawaf, the final circuit of the Kaaba.
People often travel to Medina as well before returning home, where the Prophet Muhammad and some of his closest companions are buried. Visiting Medina is not part of the hajj pilgrimage.
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