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20 May 2024
Hajj Step by Step: A Practical Guide for Performing Hajj in Mecca

What is Hajj?

Hajj is considered one of the greatest religious rituals in Islam and is one of the five pillars of Islam that every physically, financially, and logistically capable Muslim is obligated to perform. Hajj is an opportunity for Muslims to connect with Allah, renew their commitment and repentance, attain happiness, and draw closer to Allah. It is also a chance for Muslims from all around the world to meet and exchange religious and social experiences.

Hajj requires prior preparations and obtaining a Hajj visa, and it may involve financial costs that depend on the country to which the Muslim belongs. The pilgrim must also be in good health and capable of enduring the physical demands and hardships that may be encountered during Hajj. If you are planning to perform Hajj, adhering to the guidelines and having knowledge of its rituals is essential. In this article, we will provide you with a practical, step-by-step guide to performing Hajj.

What are the requirements for Hajj?

The requirements for Hajj are subject to the guidelines and regulations set by the religious and governmental authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is the official host of Hajj. Here are some general requirements for performing Hajj:

  • Islam: The pilgrim must be a Muslim and have faith in Islam.

  • Puberty: The pilgrim must have reached the age of puberty, which is usually considered to be 15 years and above.

  • Sound mind: The pilgrim must be of sound mind and capable of understanding and assuming the religious responsibility of performing Hajj.

  • Physical health: The pilgrim must be in good health and capable of enduring the physical conditions of Hajj, including walking long distances and dealing with crowds and temperature changes.

  • Financial capability: The pilgrim must have the financial means to cover the costs of travel, accommodation, and sustenance during the Hajj period.

  • Logistical capability: The pilgrim must be able to access Mecca and the sacred sites for Hajj.

  • Hijab: Female pilgrims must wear the appropriate religious hijab according to Islamic teachings, which involves covering the hair and body except for the face and hands.

  • Health and safety regulations: Pilgrims must adhere to the health and safety rules set by the relevant authorities to ensure their own safety and the safety of others.

It is important to note that these are general requirements, and specific guidelines may vary based on the country of origin and the Hajj regulations set by the Saudi authorities.

What are the pillars of Hajj?

The pillars of Hajj are the essential acts that pilgrims must perform during the journey. The pillars of Hajj consist of the following:

  • Ihram: It involves the intention and spiritual preparation for performing Hajj. Pilgrims enter the state of Ihram by wearing the prescribed garments and performing specific rituals, such as Talbiyah (recitation of specific supplications), trimming or cutting hair for men, and wearing the white Hajj garments for both men and women.

  • Standing at Arafat: It is performed on the ninth day of the month of Dhul-Hijjah. Pilgrims gather at the plain of Arafat and stand there from after the noon prayer until sunset. This standing is considered one of the most important pillars of Hajj.

  • Proceeding to Muzdalifah: After standing at Arafat, pilgrims proceed to Muzdalifah at the end of the day and spend the night there.

  • Stoning the Jamarat: It involves pelting the three pillars in Mina with small stones, symbolizing the actions of the Prophet Abraham. The major pillar (Jamrat al-Aqaba) is stoned first, followed by the middle pillar (Jamrat al-Wusta), and then the smallest pillar (Jamrat al-Sughra). This is done on the days of Tashreeq (11th, 12th, and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah).

  • Sacrifice (Hadi): It involves the ritual slaughter of an animal designated for sacrifice during Hajj. The animal can be a gift from the pilgrim or purchased from the surrounding areas.

  • Tawaf: It involves circumambulating the Kaaba seven times in a counterclockwise direction. This is considered part of both Hajj and Umrah.

  • Sa'i: It involves walking between the hills of Safa and Marwa seven times. This is also considered part of both Hajj and Umrah. The Sa'i begins at Safa and ends at Marwa, commemorating Hajar's search for water for her son Ismail between these two hills.

These are the main pillars of Hajj, and the pilgrim must perform all of them in the specified order. The pilgrim should be physically and mentally capable of performing these acts and understanding their details.

Hajj Permit

To obtain a Hajj permit, you need to submit an application to the Hajj mission or the authorized body in your country. This requires providing necessary documents such as a passport, vaccination certificate, and a specific application form. It is advisable to consult the relevant authority to know the exact dates and procedures by reviewing the available guidelines and information.

After obtaining the Hajj permit, it is important to comply with the instructions provided by the Hajj authority and proceed to the designated gathering point for departure to Hajj. There may be training programs or awareness meetings organized by the relevant authority to prepare you for Hajj.

In conclusion, performing Hajj requires physical and spiritual efforts. You should be physically and mentally prepared for the challenges and hardships that may arise during Hajj. It is also important to adhere to the legal, safety, and health regulations in place. Hajj is a unique spiritual experience, and you should follow the rituals and religious guidance to ensure the proper performance of Hajj.


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