Hajj, or the major pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia which takes place once a year, is literally the journey of a lifetime for Muslims. It is one of the five pillars of Islam to perform Hajj at least once in a lifetime if it is physically and financially possible.
In the forenoon of the eighth day of Dhul-Hijja, a pilgrim purifies himself once again by bathing as he did before Umrah in the place in which he is staying, if convenient. He puts on his Ihram and says: " Here I am for Hajj. Here I am, oh Allah, here I am. Here I am. You have no partner. Here I am. Surely all praise, grace and dominion is yours, and you have no partners."
If he fears that something will prevent him from completing his Hajj he should make a condition when he makes his intentions, saying: "If I am prevented by any obstacle my place is wherever I am held up." If he has no such fear, he doesn't make this condition.
A pilgrim goes to Mina and there prays Dhuhr, Asr, Magrib, Isha and Fajr, shortening his four unit prayers so as to make them two units each, without combining them.
When the sun rises, he goes to Arafah and there prays Dhuhr and Asr combined at the time of Dhuhr, making each one two units. He remains in Namira Mosque until sunset if possible. He remembers Allah and makes as many supplications as possible while facing the Qibla.
The Prophet - may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him - prayed thus: "There is no Deity but Allah alone. He has no partner. All dominion and praise are His and He is powerful over all things.”
If he grows weary it is permissible for him to engage in beneficial conversation with his companions or reading what he can find of beneficial books, especially those concerning Allah's grace and abundant gifts. This will strengthen his hope in Allah. He should then return to his supplications and be sure to spend the end of the day deep in supplication because the best of supplication is the supplication of the day of Arafah.
At sunset he goes from Arafah to Muzdalifah and there prays Magrib, Isha, and Fajr. If he is tired or has little water, it is permissible for him to combine Magrib and Isha. If he fears that he will not reach Muzdalifah until after midnight, he should pray before he reaches it as it is not permissible to delay prayer until after midnight. He remains there, in Muzdalifah, making supplications and remembering Allah till just before sunrise.
If he is weak and cannot handle the crowd during Ar-Ramy, it is permissible for him to go to Mina at the end of the night to stone the Jamrah before the arrival of the crowd. Near sunrise, a pilgrim goes from Muzdalifah to Mina. Upon reaching it he does the following:
He throws seven consecutive pebbles at Jamrah Al-Aqaba which is the closest monument to Makkah, saying “Greatest is he, Allah” as he throws each pebble. He slaughters the sacrificial animal, eats some of it, and gives some to the poor. Slaughter is obligatory on the Mutamati and Qiran. He shaves or clips his hair; shaving is preferable. A woman clips her hair the length of a finger-tip.
These three should be done in the above order if convenient, but there is no restriction if one precedes another. With that, one is allowed to come out of Ihram. He can wear other clothing and do everything that was lawful before Ihram except engaging in marital relations. He goes to Makkah to perform Tawaf Al-lfadha and Sa'yi, also for Hajj. It is Sunnah to put perfume on before going to Makkah.
With the completion of this Tawaf and Sa'yi, a pilgrim is allowed to do everything that was lawful before Ihram, including engaging in marital relations. After performing Tawaf and Sa'yi, he returns to Mina to spend the nights of the eleventh and twelfth days there.
He stones the three Jamrah in the afternoon of both the eleventh and twelfth days. He starts with the first Jamrah, which is furthest from Makkah, then the middle one, and lastly Jamrah Al-Aqaba. Each one should be stoned with seven consecutive pebbles accompanied by Takbeer. He stops after the first and middle Jamrah to make supplications facing the Qibla. It is not permissible to stone before noon on these two days. It is best to walk to the Jamrah, but riding is permissible.
If he is in a hurry after stoning on the twelfth day, he leaves Mina before sunset. But if he wishes to prolong his stay, which is best, he spends the night of the thirteenth in Mina and stones that afternoon in the same manner as on the twelfth day.
When he is ready to return to his country, he makes Tawaf Al-Wadaa, which is seven circuits around the Ka'bah. Menstruating women and women experiencing postnatal discharge are not obligated to perform Tawaf Al -Wadaa.
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