7 Steps of Hajj?

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The Hajj is started from the intention of Hajj which is called Niyat. It begins from the 8th of Zilhaj. The Muslims wear Ihram in order to start the Hajj and make their intention before entering the Masjid Al Haram.

Below are the destination options and relevant Miqats for pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj:

• Dhu’l Hulaifah (Abbyar Ali) is for pilgrims coming to Saudi Arabia from or through Madina first to perform Hajj al-Tamatt’u

• Al-Juhfah (near Rabigh) is for pilgrims coming from or through Syria, Morocco, or Egypt.

• Qarn-al manazil (As-Sail Al-Kabeer) is for pilgrims coming from or through Najd or Taif.

• Yalamlam (Sa’adiyah) is for pilgrims coming from or through India, Pakistan or Yemen.

• Dhat `Irq is for pilgrims coming from or through Iraq.

Next, they will perform Umraah after reaching to the Masjid Al Haram. After this, the Muslims will perform the seven important rituals of Hajj which are obligatory for performing a pilgrimage.

I. Reassure Ihram and make the intention to perform Hajj:

Pilgrims should again make an intention of Hajj after performing the Umrah and resume with Ihram.

II. Travel to Mina:

After observing the Fajar prayers, all pilgrims must head to Mina where they stay an entire day carrying out all the rituals of Hajj and prayers or Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha– as stated in the Quran.

III. Travel to Mount of Arafat to perform Wafuq:

During the second day of Hajj, 9th day of Dhu-al-Hijjah, pilgrims travel to Arafat from Mina reciting Tasbeeh of Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Upon reaching Mount Arafat, pilgrims observe Duhr and Asr combined with Qasar prayers near the Jabal al-Rahmah from noon to sunset. This act is known as Waquf.

IV. Offer Prayers in Muzadalifah

After sunset, pilgrims head to Muzadalifah to observe the Asr and Maghrib prayers and rest till night until Fajr prayers in preparation for the next day’s ritual of stoning the devil. Pilgrims pick up 49 pebbles of similar size for Rami (throwing stones). On the 10th day Dhu al-Hijjah, pilgrims leave for Mecca before sunset to do Tawaf al-Ifadah and Sa’iy and get back to Mina to perform Rami, Nahr and Halq.

V. Perform Rami in Mina

On the 11th and 12th days of Hajj, pilgrims must complete the stoning of the Devil or Rami. Before Sunrise, pilgrims head back to Mina and participate in a ritual known as ‘Stoning the devil’. Seven pebbles (of similar sizes) are thrown at a stone structure known as Jamrat al-Aqabah. This is an act carried out at noon each day. All pilgrims are required to leave for Mecca before sunset on the 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah.

VI. Animal Sacrifice – Nahr

The culmination of the stoning ceremony calls for animal sacrifice. For this pilgrims can purchase sacrifice voucher or a coupon, which states that a sacrifice has been made in their name. the sacrificial animal is either a lamb or a camel. The animal is butchered and its meat is packed and shipped to other Middle Eastern countries or is fed to the poor.

VII. Halq (shaving the head) or Taqsir (clipping or shortening of the hair for men and women)

Men should get their head completely shaved, or get their hair clipped. While women are forbidden to shave their heads and only allowed to have a lock or strand of their hair clipped. The act of cutting the hair symbolizes one’s detachment from physical appearances and complete subjection to Allah.

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