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Hajj And Umrah

HAJJ AND UMRAH

"Oh, Allah! Please give every Muslim a chance to visit your beautiful house"


Hajj (major pilgrimage) and Umrah (minor pilgrimage) are spiritual journeys undertaken by Muslims and are meant to acknowledge the Almighty Allah and purge oneself of the impurities within. Followers of Islam go for the pilgrimage to Makkah to perform rites and to Madinah due to its association with Prophet Muhammed (P.B.U.H.) two of the holiest cities for Muslims located in the Hejaz region in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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INTRODUCTION TO HAJJ AND UMRAH.

Meaning of Hajj
Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Makkah that Muslims are expected to make at least once in their lifetime (unless they are prevented from doing so by ill health or financial hardship) as it is the fifth pillar of Islam. The word Hajj is an Arabic word, meaning ‘to intend a journey’. The act of Hajj includes visiting the Kaabah during the month of Dhul Hijjah and doing all the mandatory rites for Hajj.
Meaning of Umrah
Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year. In Arabic, Umrah means ‘to visit a populated place.’ Umrah can be performed together along with Hajj and on other days as well.
The Differences between Hajj and Umrah
1. Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam, and it is mandatory for everyone who is physically and financially able to perform it once in a lifetime. Umrah is not a pillar of Islam and it is only recommended and not obligatory.

 

2. Hajj must be performed in the prescribed time period, namely the months of Hajj, and even more specifically, the major rites are done in the first two weeks of Dhul Hijjah. Umrah, however, can be done any time of the year.

 

3. Umrah involves only the rites of Tawaf and Sa’i with Ihram; whereas Hajj involves staying in Mina, performing the rite of Wuquf at Arafat, staying in Muzdalifa, and pelting the stone pillars, as well as sacrifice in some cases. Umrah, however, does not involve any of these.

Type of Hajj
 ·         Hajj Ifrad: means isolated Hajj and this means that a person just performs Hajj but does not perform Umrah. The person who performs Hajj Ifrad is known as Mufrid. This is for the people who are living inside the boundaries of Masjid al Haram. The person will wear Ihram with the intention of performing Hajj only. This person cannot perform Umrah, if he performs Umrah then he is no longer performing Hajj Ifrad.

 

·         Hajj Qiran is also known as accompanied Hajj. It is for the people who do not live near Masjid al Haram. The person who performs this type of Hajj should wear Ihram with the intention of Umrah and Hajj, and both have to be performed in the same Ihram. One wears Ihram and then leave Ihram after Hajj and Umrah is completed. The person cannot leave Ihram until both Hajj and Umrah are completed.

 

Hajj Tamattu: When you perform Hajj together with Umrah it becomes Hajj Tamattu. It is also known as Mutamatti meaning enjoyable Hajj. People who come from abroad to perform Hajj usually do Hajj Tamattu because it includes Umrah as well. To be noted that Umrah has to be done before Hajj days. One has to perform Hajj Tamattu in two different Ihrams, one for Umrah and one for Hajj.
Basic Hajj Guide

1.       Ihram

·         Take a bath (Ghusl) which showcases an act of washing away all impurities with the intention for Ihram.

·         Change into Ihram sheets – Men should change into the two fabrics known as Ridaa and Izaar, whereas women can wear any form of clothing which covers the body and head.

·         Perform the obligatory prayers or offer two rakaat of Sunnah prayer.

·         Face the direction of the Qibla and officially enter Ihram – You must enter Ihram before you leave for the Meeqat in Makkah.

·         At the Meeqat, make the Niyyah (intention) to perform the Hajj.

·         Recite the Talbiyah and it is advised to keep reciting it from the moment Ihram is entered until the performance of the

 

2.       Tawaaf

·         Upon arriving at the Kaabah, stop reciting the Talbiyyah and you must be in Wudu (ablution).

·         Touch the Black Stone (Hajr e Aswad) and start the Tawaaf. Ideally, touch it with your right hand and then kiss it. If, however, you are unable to kiss it directly, you can touch it with your hand then kiss your hand. If  you are not able to touch the stone with your hand, face your hand in the direction of the stone and say “Allahu Akbar”.

·         Make rounds around the Kaabah with the Kaabah being on your left. Men must keep the right shoulder uncovered during the Tawaaf, which is known as Idtibaa. This is done by placing the Ridaa beneath the right armpit and taking it up on the left shoulder. Men must also practice ‘Raml’ in the first three rounds of Tawaaf, which is essentially walking fast while taking small steps and walk normally during the other four rounds.

·         Upon finishing the seven rounds of Tawaaf, go to the station of Ibrahim (Maqaam e Ibraheem) and recite:

وَاتَّخِذُوْا مِنْ مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيْمَ مُصَلًّى

       (And take you (people) the Maqaam (place) of Ibraheem as a place of Prayer. [Quran; 2:125])

·         Perform two rakaat of prayer behind Maqaam e Ibraheem. If that is difficult, you can offer the prayers in any spot of the mosque.

·         Upon offering the prayer, head back to the Black Stone and touch it if possible.

 

3.       Sa’i

·         Head for the place of Sa’i and when you near the hill of Safa, the following should be recited:

 

إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِنْ شَعَآئِرِ اللَّهِ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَنْ يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا وَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ خَيْراً فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيْم

 

(Verily, As‐Safaa and Al‐Marwah are from the symbols of Allah. So it is not a sin on him who performs Hajj or ‘Umrah of the house (ka ‘bah) to perform the going (tawaaf) between them. And whoever does good voluntarily, then verily, Allah is the All‐Recognizer, All‐Knower. [Quran; 2:158])

 

·         Ascend upon Mount Safaa, face the Qiblah, raise your hands and recite 3 times:

اللّهُ أكبر، اللّهُ أكبر، اللّهُ أكبر

 

(Allaah is the Greatest, Allaah is the Greatest, Allaah is the Greatest.)

 

لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَه، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَ لَهُ الْحَمْدُ يُحْيِي وَ يُمِيْتُ وَ هُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيْر؛ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَه، أَنْجَزَ وَعْدَهُ وَ نَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ وَ هَزَمَ الأَحْزَابَ وَ حْدَه

 

(There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, Alone. He has no partner, To Him belongs the kingdom, & all praise belongs to Him, & He has power above all things, There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, He fulfilled His promise, Granted victory to His servant, And alone He defeated the allied army.)

 

·         Descend down to Marwah and the men are to run between the green lights. The distance is marked by two green markers – the men should run till the second marker and then walk up normally to the hill of Marwah and climb up.

·         Face the Qibla and recite what you have said at Safa.

·         Descend again and head towards Safa. Upon reaching Safa,  repeat what you did the first time and repeat the same when you go back to Marwah for seven circuits (One circuit is from Safa to Marwah).

 

4.       Shaving the head/cutting of hair

·         Upon the completion of the seven circuits, 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.


HISTORY OF HAJJ
Hajj and its rites were first ordained by Allah in the time of the Prophet lbrahim. As a test of faith, Allah had commanded Prophet Ibrahim, to leave his wife, Hajar and his son, Ismail in a desert located between the two hills of Safa and Marwah in Makkah with only basic provisions.

 

After Prophet Ibrahim had left them both there, their provisions soon ran out and Hajar, ran back and forth from hill to hill, seven times searching for water for her parched child. The rite of Sa’i, which is performed by pilgrims during Hajj and Umrah, is a re-enactment of the actions performed by Hajar during her search for water.

 

A miracle occurred where a spring of water from the earth, which is now known as the Zamzam well, sprang from the ground and saved both of them. Prophet Ibrahim eventually came back and retrieved his family from the desert.

 

Years later, Prophet Ibrahim and his son, Ismail were instructed to construct a monument in dedication to Allah near the site of the Zamzam well. This monument, the Kaabah, was to become a place of pilgrimage for the worship of the one true God. After they built the Kaabah, Allah commanded Prophet Ibrahim to proclaim a pilgrimage to the site — in other words, the Hajj — to all mankind so that they can come together in one place to show their devotion.

 

Centuries down the line, the people of Makkah abandoned the worship of one God and denigrated into idolatry and polytheism, during a period known as the Jahiliyyah (the Age of Ignorance). During this time, the Kaabah was surrounded by 360 idols and statues depicting human and animal deities which were openly worshipped.

 

The Time of Prophet Muhammad

 

In 610 CE, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ received his first revelations from Allah during which he was divinely instructed to re-establish monotheism. Twenty years after the first revelation, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had amassed enough religious and political authority to gain victory in Makkah, the city where he was born and where he suffered much persecution at the hands of its inhabitants. He destroyed the idols in and around the Kaabah and rededicated it to the worship of one God.

 

Jabal al-Rahmah is the site where Prophet Muhammad ﷺdelivered his farewell sermon. In 623 CE (10 AH), shortly before his demise, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ personally led his one and only Hajj, known as Hajj al-Wida, accompanied by thousands of companions. He gave his farewell sermon at Jabal Arafat, where he emphasised the equality and unity of the Muslim Ummah, a symbol of the egalitarian nature of the Hajj pilgrimage. The Hajj, as performed by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ on that occasion, continues to this day.

 

Throughout Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ time, Muslims faced restrictions to access the holy site of Makkah and thus, were denied their rights to practice the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages. Makkah was occupied by Arabs who were indulged in worshipping of idols and were not ready to accept the truth and brightness of Islam. Due to trouble that were caused by the non- believers, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and Muslims fled from Makkah and made Madina their second home where they were welcomed wholeheartedly.

 

The Treaty of Hudaibiyyah

 

During this time, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ knew the strong desire of Muslims to visit Makkah and perform Umrah. In 628 CE, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ made the decision to finally go to Makkah so they could perform the pilgrimage. He and his followers were stopped at Hudaibiya and were refused entry by the Quraysh (a local tribe). Even after Prophet Muhammad ﷺ explained that they only wished to perform the pilgrimage, the Quraysh did not allow them to pass through.

 

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ refused to use force to enter Makkah so, diplomatic negotiations were pursued. An agreement was drawn up and signed in regards to visit Makkah and it is known as the  “Treaty of Hudaybiyyah”. The agreement was signed for 10 years as a peace maintaining agreement between the parties. Muslims were not allowed to perform the Umrah that year but were asked to come back the following year for the purpose.

 

The First Umrah

 

The first Umrah was the first pilgrimage that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and the Muslims made after the migration to Madina. It took place on the morning of the fourth day of in 629 CE (7 AH), after the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah in 628 CE and the first Umrah lasted for three days.

 

 

The Succession of Makkah

 

In 630 CE, Muslims had become a formidable force and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ decided to attack Makkah along with the suggestions of companions and of course by the will of Allah.

 

On arrival of Muslims at Makkah, the leaders of Quraysh realised that they were not able to fight against the Muslims so they chose to surrender. They were terrified about the impending conquest of theirs. However, Prophet Muhammad was a merciful person and in accordance to his personality he claimed forgiveness for all of the ones who had no longer wish to fight against Muslims and forgave even the most ardent foes.

 

This victory of Muslims is known as “Succession of Makkah” and even for today is an exemplary case to wind up a conflict without any bloodshed.

IMPORTANT OF HAJJ

BREAKING NEWS

 NAHCON confirms Saudi ban on Nigerian pilgrims, others.

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has confirmed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has cancelled Hajj for Nigerian and other international pilgrims for the 2021 season.


Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NAHCON, Alhaji Zikrullah Hassan, made this known in a statement issued by Mrs Fatima Usara, Head, Public Affairs, of the commission, on Saturday in Abuja.


Hassan said NAHCON respected the decision of Saudi Arabia in this regard no matter how painful that decision might be to the commission and intending pilgrims worldwide.


The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has received news of the cancellation of Hajj for international pilgrims for the 2021 season.


We have accepted that it is Allah’s divine design that multitudes will again this year not perform the Hajj.


” The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is only playing out a script ordained by our Maker long before creation of the universe.


Our prayer is that we collectively turn to Him in repentance so that He admits us for Hajj in the coming years,” Hassan said.


He noted that one of the lessons from the 2020 and 2021 cancellations of Hajj for foreign pilgrims’ was in the “Prophet’s Hadith (teachings) urging Muslims to perform Hajj while they could before they are prevented from doing so.


Again, it impresses on us that it is only Allah that selects those who will be His guests for hajj. May we not be deprived of Allah’s mercy.


” May we be among those who will be chosen to perform Allah’s worship in future, ” the NAHCON boss said.


Hassan commended the resilience of Nigerian intending pilgrims and the support they have shown during the ” long and tortuous wait.”


The chairman said he was particularly impressed and humbled by the level of support and respect evidenced by their adherence to each instruction given by the commission.


” An example is the total compliance in receiving COVID-19 jab with the hope of performing the 2021 Hajj.


” Equally, the commission appreciates cooperation of States’ Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards in its decision-making processes.


” As in the previous year, those pilgrims who request for refund of their hajj fares deposits will be granted such without unnecessary delay.


” However, as for those who would still wish to roll-over their funds, the commission strongly urges them to wait for further advice and decisions by the board,” he said.


The chairman assured stakeholders of NAHCON’s open door policy and cooperation, adding that consultations would be held with all hajj managers on the way forward in the nearest future.


” This will be communicated to them in due course,” he said.

12 June 2021
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Saudi Arabia confirms Hajj to be held this year.

Saudi Arabia announces that Hajj will be held this year but with a very limited number of pilgrims and in compliance with precautionary measures including a ban on older pilgrims and additional health checks.

Saudi Arabia announces that Haj will be held this year but with a very limited number of pilgrims and in compliance with precautionary measures including a ban on older pilgrims and additional health checks.

Only Saudis and expatriate residents from various nationalities are allowed to perform the Haj rituals this year, as a precautionary measure to avoid crowds and stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Saudi authorities said the decision is in line with the keenness of Kingdom’s leadership to ensure the public safety amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.

The pilgrimage, which is scheduled for late July this year, is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, with more than 2.5 million pilgrims visit the holiest sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina for the week-long Hajj, a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.

Saudi Arabia asked Muslims in March to put their Haj plans on hold and suspended Umrah until further notice.

10 May 2020
5:00 PM

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29 Aug 2020

 Saudi Arabia to see just 10,000 Hajj pilgrims this year.

Saudi residents over 65 will not be allowed to participate in the pilgrimage

Despite strong expectations that Saudi Arabia will cancel the Hajj season this year, the pilgrimage to Mecca will go ahead - but with a limited number of pilgrims not exceeding 10,000 at the most.

Saudi authorities said the decision is in line with the keenness of kingdom’s leadership to ensure the public safety amid the outbreak of the coronavirus.

People from outside the kingdom will not be allowed to perform Hajj this year, while Umrah will remain suspended. Saudi Arabia residents who are above 65 years will also not be allowed to do Hajj this year.

 

According to the Hajj Minister Mohammad Benten, this year’s season will see a “small and very limited” numbers of pilgrims to ensure social distancing and crowd control amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Saudi Arabia usually attracts millions of Muslims from all over the world, which makes the Hajj an important source of income for the kingdom.

 

“We have exceptional plans for this Hajj season. We are cooperating with the Ministry of Health to define the precautions and protocols to be followed. To organize a safe pilgrimage, implementation plans have been developed through the Supreme Hajj Committee,” Benten said.

The minister made it clear that no pilgrims from outside the kingdom will be able to perform Hajj this year.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Health Tawfig Al Rabiah affirmed that medical crews will accompany pilgrims while performing their rituals. A hospital will be dedicated in anticipation of any emergency in addition to a health center in Arafat’s compound.

“The kingdom has put in place a health plan and strict measures for pilgrims this year. Tests will be done for all pilgrims to ensure that they are not infected with the coronavirus,” Al Rabiah said, adding that pilgrims will have to isolate themselves after Hajj.

Muslims around the world hoping for a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Mecca to perform the Hajj will have to wait until next year, after Saudi Arabia drastically curtailed the pilgrimage due to the pandemic.

29 April 2020