It is a stage in which man can develop himself spiritually.
It is a time when the pilgrim forgets his own hearth and home, his comforts and amenities of life, his dear wives and children, his hard-earned wealth, his friends, relatives and everything he possesses, therefore leading to the conclusion that Hajj is the best training ground for absolute and complete surrender to the divine command.
Hajj teaches us complete submission to divine will, because one without sufficiently understanding the inner meaning of going round the ka‘bah, kissing the black stone, running between safa and marwa and the throwing of stones at jamrat does these things in blind submission to divine order. Therefore, Allah becomes pleased with his servant saying: “Without seeking any reason or order, he obeyed me.”
Hajj is obligatory upon every understanding, mature Muslim who can afford to undertake the journey. (i.e. one who possesses wealth, which is excessive than one’s need, and enough to travel to Makkah Mukarramah and back. He must also leave behind enough source for his family to live on.)
General Procedure of Hajj
Starting from home, a pilgrim shall enter into Ihraam at least at Miqaat. When reaching Makkah, he shall make tawaaf seven times and saee between safa and marwa seven times. If the Ihraam ends there, he shall shave or cut the hair of his head. Then with a fresh Ihraam on the 8th or 9th Zil-Hijjah, he shall start for Arafat and reach there for waiting at noon. In the evening of the same day, he will return to Muzdalifah and spend the night there. In the early dawn of 10th Zil-Hijjah, he shall start for mina reaching there at noon and instantly proceed to throw stones at Jamrah Aqabah. Finishing there, he shall return to mina and after shaving shall offer animals for sacrifice. On the 11th and 12th of Zil-Hijjah, he will remain at mina throwing seven stones in the afternoon of each day in the jamrahs. Then he may remain at mina on the 13th or return to Makkah on the 12th evening. After returning, he shall proceed to make Tawaf and saee. When leaving, he shall make a final tawaf.
There are three ways to perform Hajj: –
Ifraad: To reach Makkah Mukarramah in the state of Ihraam with the intention of Hajj only.
- Qiraan: To combine the Haj with Umrah from the very beginning in such a way that when one puts on the Ihraam he should read ‘Labbaik’ for both, Hajj and Umrah, at the same time. A person with the intention of Qiran must stay in the state of Ihraam after performing Umrah until he fulfils all the essentials of Hajj.
- Tamattu‘: To combine Hajj and Umrah in such a manner that firstly one should put on the Ihraam for Umrah. After performing Umrah and having the head shaved or the hair trimmed one should take off his Ihraam. Thereafter, on the 8th of = one should put on the Ihraam for Hajj in Makkah Mukarramah and then perform the act of Hajj.
For a complete guide on the Performance of Hajj and Umrah- Talimul Haq (Part 14) click here.