Its that part of the year when Muslims around the world try their level best to make it to performing the Holy Haj, while only the blessed ones get the chance to actually go and perform Hajj. It is a religious Muslim/ Islamic annual pilgrimage to Makkah. Hajj is said to be performed at-least once in a life time and is performed in the Islamic month of Zill Hajj. Hajj is a Five day religious series of activites that start from 8th of Zill Hajj and end at the 12th.
People from all over the world every year visit the Holly Kaba and perform Tawaf. during the days of Hajj the Holy Kaba is filled with Muslims who came crossing border to get the blessings of Hajj. The air during these days is beyond explanation and people who experience the holly Hajj always mention about the peace of mind they had and the level of spirituality they felt.
During the days of Hajj, Saudi Government gets strict about the issuance of Visa as only fixed number of people are allowed for performing Hajj. The Capacity has been increased a lot due to the infrastructural developments in the Holy places but still it is impossible to accommodate every one who wishes to come.
Performance of Hajj
Hajj is performed by several set of activities that are performed in a fixed sequence. Every one is trained before Hajj to perform these activities when they actually go there. People take Hajj classes where they learn Duas and the Steps to perform Hajj. The Atmosphere and positive vibes created during Hajj days are experiences in the whole world. A quick view to the Holy rituals performed during Hajj are given as following
The first step is to wear Ihram along with Niyat to perform Hajj. Ihram is a white cloth worn by the pilgrims, its is identical for every one which depicts that in Allah’s Home there is no difference among the rich and poor. Everyone is dressed same and look like one Ummah and are in clean clothes not having any impurity, ready to go to their Lord.
Tawaf and sa’ay
After wearing Ihram pilgrims perform seven Tawafs around the Holy Kaba, during Tawaf pilgrims touch the Holy Stone Hijra-e- Aswad, if touching or kissing is not possible they just point towards Hijra-e-Aswad. After Tawaf 2 Rakat Prayers are offered at Mukam e ibrahimi. After performing 2 Rakkats the pilgrims are provided with Zam Zam water.
After Tawaf Sa’ay is performed which is running between Safa and Marwa for seven times. On the 8th Dhu al-Hijjah, the pilgrims are reminded of their duties. They again don the ihram garments and confirm their intention to make the pilgrimage. The prohibitions of ihram start now.
The first day is spent in Mina after Fajar Prayers the pilgrims head towards Mina and offer their prayers and leave for Arafat.
Arafat is a plane ground where Muslims perform supplications and repent and make prayers. Listen to Khutba from Islamic Scholars at the place Where Muhammad PBUH delivered his last Khutba. The pilgrims perform Zohar and Asar Prayers at At Masjid al-Namirah And leave for Muzdalifah after sunset, without Praying Magrib Prayers.
Here the Pilgrims offer Magrib and Isha Prayers combined, it is a place between Arafat and Mina, here Muslims spend the night praying and collecting Pebbles for stoning of the devil next day.
Next day pilgrims are back at Mina and there they perform the Stoning of the devil at a pillar known as Ramy al-Jamarat, the pillar is said to represent devil and is stoned with seven stones.
After the stoning the oilgrims perform animal sacrifice in the memory of sacrifice by Abrahim (RA). This is the Day of Eid Ul Azha
After Animal Sacrifice male Pligrims shave their heads where as Female pligrims trim their hair, this is the day of Eid Ul Azha.
On the same day or next day pilgrims visit Masjid Al Haram for Tawaaf, it is an obligatory part of Hajj and the pilgrims return to Mina to spend the night there.
Devil Stoning Again
This time when coming back in Mina pilgrims throw seven stones at each of the three pillars, the same stoning is repeated the next day as well. It is said to leave Mina on the next day before sunset. If someone is unable to leave then they have to again perform stoning of the devil and leave for Makkah.
Before leaving for Makkah a final Tawaf is performed seven times, which is said to be the closure of the Hajj ceremony. Starting from Tawaf and Saying farewell at Tawaf-e-Kaba is the beauty.
This year also many of the blessed ones will intend to perform Hajj but only the few blessed ones will get the chance. Muslims who wish to perform Hajj try every Year to get the chance. No matter what Kaba is never empty, it is always filled with believers thats the beauty of Islam . People forget all the differences and unite in the name of Almighty Allah.
Note: If something was missed it was not intentional, May Allah forgive the known and unknown mistakes . Amin