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By: Aalimah Khadijah

Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, is an annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia that every Muslim is required to undertake at least once in their lifetime if they are physically and financially able. This sacred journey, performed during the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah, holds profound spiritual significance, and symbolizes the unity and equality of the Muslim Ummah.


Historical and Spiritual History

Hajj commemorates the trials and sacrifices of the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his family. We as Muslims, believe that Ibrahim (AS) was commanded by Allah to leave his wife, Hajar, and son, Ismail (AS), in the desert of Makkah. The rituals of Hajj, such as the Tawaf and the Sa'ee (walking between the hills of Safa and Marwa), re-enact Hajar's desperate search for water for her son. This act of devotion and trust in Allah is the embodiment of this sacred worship.


The Rituals of Hajj: A Day-by-Day Guide


1.DAY 1: 8th of Dhul Hijjah (Yawm At- Tarwaiyah): Pilgrims (Hujjaj) put on their Ihraam, make the intention of entering the state of Ihraam, reciting the Talbiyyah (Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk) and leave towards Mina after sunrise. In Mina, Hujjaj spend the day doing Ibaadah. Hujjaj will pray Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, Isha, and Fajr of the next day in Mina.


2. DAY 2: 9th of Dhul Hijjah (Yawm Al- Arafah): Hujjaj leave Mina for Arafah after sunrise. Hujjaj get to Arafah before Dhuhr time. Once in Arafah, Hujjaj would busy themselves in Ibaadah, attaining Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, and his pleasure. They will combine Dhuhr and Asr Salah at Asr time and pray it together. After Asr is the time of Wuqoof (standing in Arafah), which is a necessary time for Hujjaj. Without doing wuqoof in Arafah, one’s Hajj isn’t complete. Hujjaj will stay in Arafah until Maghrib and then depart to Muzdalifah. Once Hujjaj arrive in Muzdalifah, they will wait until Isha time starts to pray Maghrib and Isha together just as they had done in Arafah. Hujjaj will collect 70 pebbles (for stoning the pillars) and sleep under the open sky in Muzdalifah.


3. DAY 3: 10th of Dhul Hijjah (Yawm An- Nahr): Hujjaj will return to Mina to stone the the largest pillar (Rami al Jamarat). Upon completing Rami (stoning), Hujjaj will sacrifice an animal (or wait for the call that their animal has been sacrificed), and men will either shave their head or trim the hair while ladies will trim a small portion of the hair. Once the hair has been cut, the Hajji will now take off the Ihraam and go back to Makkah to perform Tawaf al Ifaadah (Tawaf and Sa’ee). The Hujjaj will then go back to Mina to stone the pillars over the next 3 days.


4. DAY 4 & 5:  11th – 12th of Dhul Hijjah: (Ayyam Al Tashreeq): Hujjaj will go to Mina or stay in Mina for Rami of the pillars. The Rami (stoning) will be a necessity for the 11th; however, the 12th is a Sunnah so if a Haaji didn’t go stone the pillars, their Hajj would still be completed. Once in Makkah, the Hujjaj will perform a farewell Tawaf (Tawaf al Wada’) to bid farewell before leaving the blessed city of Makkah. 


Personal and Spiritual Transformation


For many Muslims, Hajj is a life-changing experience that brings them closer to Allah and renews their faith. It offers an opportunity for reflection, repentance, and a deeper understanding of the Islamic principles of devotion, humility, and submission to the will of Allah.


Hajj is not just a physical journey but a profound spiritual experience that reaffirms a Muslim's faith and devotion to Allah. The rituals performed during Hajj are deeply symbolic, connecting Hujjaj with the history and essence of their faith.


In conclusion, Hajj is not just a physical journey but a profound spiritual undertaking that embodies the core values of Islam. It strengthens the bonds of the global Muslim community and reinforces the commitment to live a life of faith, compassion, and service to others.


May Allah allow us all to go for Hajj once in our lives, and for those who have already been May Allah take us again for Hajj and accept what we have already done. Aameen.

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