Qingwen Wang 8P

One of the Five Pillars is a requirement for every Muslim to undertake a pilgrimage to Makkha

Thia should be done at least once in their lifetime if they are physicaly able and can afford to.

The pilgrims are called Hajjis, and they undertake a number of ritual activities over the five days, from the eighth to the twelfth of the Muslim month of Dhu al-HIjjah.

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Makkah, in a desert valley in western Saudi Arabia, is Islam’s holiest city, as it’s the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad and the faith itself.

The reason why it is so sacred is because it contains the Kaaba, the cloth-covered cubic structure that’s Islam’s most sacred shrine.

The kaaba

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The ka'bah has a long history, and there are many traditions associated with it. According to the Qur'an, the first Ka'bah was built by the first human being, Adam, (where's eve?) for the worship of Allah. It was rebuilt by Ibrahim and his son, isma'il. it is thought to be based on a house in heaven. Today there is a huge mosque around the Ka'bah- Masjid al-haram (Masjid means mosque).

For Muslims, the Ka'bah is sacred because it is the house of The God (Allah). For this reason, Makkah is such a holy city that non-Muslims are not allowed to enter.

One of the purposes of Hajj is to bring Muslims closer together 'so people tend to go in groups to share the experience with each other. During the hajj, men are required to wear ihram.

The Ihram cloth

Ihram consists of two simple pieces of white cloth to cover the top and bottom halves of the body. Women are simply required to dress modestly. Wearing a simple uniform stresses the oneness of the Ummah, and shows that everyone - regardless of ethnic background, wealth or nationality - is equal.

self control

While wearing ihram, Muslims must practice self-control. They should not shave,cut their nails,wear perfume, swear, quarrel, lie, have sexual relations, damage plants (can they only eat meat?), cover the head (for men) or the face and hands (for women),marry, wear shoes over the ankles or carry weapons. By dressing and living simply, without material comforts, the pilgrims feel closer to God.

There are 3 types of Hajj

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Ihram is, in Islam, a sacred state which a Muslim must enter in order to perform the major pilgrimage (Hajj) or the minor pilgrimage (Umrah).

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The Talbiyah is a Muslim prayer invoked by the pilgrims as a conviction that they intend to perform the Hajj only for the glory of Allah.

Tamattu' means performing 'Umrah during the Hajj season

The pilgrim should say,

"Labbayk-Allahumma labbayka bi'Umrah!" or "Labbayka 'Umratan!"
"O Allah! I answer Your call to perform `Umrah."
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The pilgrim can add some other du'aa such as: " O Allah! I intend to perform `Umrah, so make it easy for me, and accept it from me." I
It is also allowed for the pilgrim though intending initially to complete Hajj or 'Umrah to be forgiven if for some unexpected sickness or circumstances the journey could not be completed, he, or she, can end the state of Ihraam without having to sacrifice an animal or fast. Therefore the pilgrim can address Allah saying,

"Inna mahilli minal-Ardi haythu habastani"
" I will end up my state of Ihraam wherever I cannot proceed."


Qiran means to combine Hajj and 'Umrah.
The pilgrim should say,
"Labbayk-Allahumma labbayka bi-Hajjin wa-'Umrah!" or
"Labbayka Hajjan wa 'Umratan!"
"O Allah! I answer Your call to perform Hajj and 'Umrah!"
In this kind of Hajj, it is not allowed for the pilgrim to end the state of Ihraam.
The pilgrim is supposed to bring his sacrificial animal with him as the Prophet (S) did. This must be done because the rituals of Hajj and `Umrah were joined together.
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Ifraad means that the pilgrim declares his intention for Hajj only.

The pilgrim should say " Labbayk-Allahumma labbayka bi-Hajj!" or " Labbayka Hajjan"
"O Allah! I answer Your call to perform Hajj."
The pilgrim maintains his Ihraam up to the Day of Sacrifice. No animal sacrifice offering is required from him.
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Going round Al-Kaaba seven times in a defined manner ending with prayer is called Tawaf.

The first round of Tawaf starts at Hajrul Aswath in the corner near the golden door of Kaaba. The green light glows straight to it as an indicator.

Stand before the indicator line and do not cross it and the Tawaf is always done in the clockwise direction. So you have to stand with your right side facing Kaaba.

Remove the seamless cloth covering the right shoulder and bring it under your armpit to put over your left shoulder. That is the right shoulder should be opened only when you are in Ihram. This position is called Izhthifa.

Turn towards Hajrul Aswath and caress it with both your hands and kiss your hands without making sound. If you cannot touch it, then make sign from a distance as through you are touching it and then kiss your hands. This is called Isthilam.

Do Isthilam in every round when you cross Hajrul Aswath.

Start your first round. When you are crossing the area between the door of Kaaba and Makame Ibrahim, you have to jog instead of walking. This jogging only at that place and only for men is called Ramal. Ramal is to be done only for the first three rounds and not for the last four rounds. After completing the last round make Isthilam once again which will be the 8th time. Please note that Ramal is to be done only when doing Tawaf as a part of Umrah and no Ramal to be done when performing Nafil Tawaf or doing Tawaf separately.

If you can get near, you can kiss the fourth corner of Kaaba called Ruknul Yamani. But if you cannot get near you must not make any signal of kissing. It is not allowed and you simply have to pass. After completing all the seven rounds, cover your right shoulder and go near Makame Ibrahim and pray 2 rak-at salat to complete the Tawaf.

Then go to Zam Zam water outlet and drink as much water as you can and come back near the Hajrul Aswath and do Isthilam one more time if you are continuing for Sayee.

Direction of the Tawaf around the Kaaba

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In Hajj Tamattu Sa'i must be offered for Umbra but for hajj Ifrad and Qiran it can be delayed

The one performing Hajj Tamattu shaves his head or cuts his hair. By this the Umrah is done.

Artwork showing locations and rites of Hajj

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On the eighth of the Muslim month of 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.


After the morning prayer on the 8th of Dhu al-Hijjah, the pilgrims proceed to Mina where they spend the whole day and offer noon, afternoon, evening, and night prayers. The next morning after morning prayer, they leave Mina to go to Arafat.

Tents at Mina

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Second day: 9th Dhu al-Hijjah

The 9th Dhul-Hijjah is known as Day of Arafah, and this day is called the Day of Hajj

Pilgrims wearing ihram on the plains of Arafat on the day of Hajj

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On 9th Dhu al-Hijjah before noon, pilgrims arrive at Arafat, a barren and plain land some 20 kilometres east of Mecca. This is where they stand in contemplative vigil (meaning to stay awake to pray and think of deep things): they repent on and atone(to do something that shows you are sorry) for their past sins, and seek the mercy of God.

They also listen to sermon (a talk) from the Islamic scholars who deliver it from near Jabal al-Rahmah (The Mount of Mercy) from where Muhammad is said to have delivered his last sermon. Lasting from noon through sunset, this is known as 'standing before God' (wuquf), one of the most significant rites of Hajj.

At Masjid al-Namirah (somewhere in the plains of Arafat), pilgrims offer noon and afternoon prayers together at noon time.

A pilgrim's Hajj is considered invalid if they do not spend the afternoon on Arafat.


Pilgrims must leave Arafat for Muzdalifah after sunset without praying maghrib (evening) prayer at Arafat. Muzdalifah is an area between Arafat and Mina.

Upon reaching there, pilgrims perform Maghrib and Isha prayer jointly, spend the night praying and sleeping on the ground with open sky, and gather pebbles for the next day's ritual of the stoning of the Devil(Shaitan).

A scenery of Muzdalifa

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Third day: 10th Dhu al-Hijjah

After returning from Muzdalifah, the Pilgrims spend the night at Mina.

Ramy al-Jamarat (Stoning of the Devil)

Back at Mina, the pilgrims perform symbolic stoning of the devilJamrat al-Aqabah from sunrise to sunset,by throwing seven stones (only 7? why stones?) at only the largest of the three pillars, known as Jamrat al-Aqabah from sunrise to sunset.

The remaining two pillars (jamarah) are not stoned on this day.These pillars are said to represent Satan. Pilgrims climb ramps to the multi-levelled Jamaraat Bridge, from which they can throw their pebbles at the jamarat. Because of safety reasons, in 2004 the pillars were replaced by long walls, with catch basins below to collect the pebbles.

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Animal sacrifice

After the casting of stones, animals are slaughtered to commemorate the story of Abraham and Ishmael.

Traditionally the pilgrims slaughtered the animal themselves, or oversaw the slaughtering.

Today many pilgrims buy a sacrifice voucher in Mecca before the greater Hajj begins, which allows an animal to be slaughtered in the name of God (Allah) on the 10th, without the pilgrim being physically present.

Modern abattoirs complete the processing of the meat, which is then sent as charity to poor people around the world. At the same time as the sacrifices occur at Mecca, Muslims worldwide perform similar sacrifices, in a three-day global festival called Eid al-Adha.

Hair removal

After sacrificing an animal, another important rite of Hajj is shaving head or trimming hair (known as Halak). All male pilgrims shave their head or trim their hair on the day of Eid al Adha and women pilgrims cut the tips of their hair. (why Hair?)

Tawaf Al-Ifaadah

On the same or the following day, the pilgrims re-visit the Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca for another tawaf, known as Tawaf al-Ifadah, an essential part of Hajj. It symbolises being in a hurry to respond to God and show love for Him, an obligatory part of the Hajj. The night of the 10th is spent back at Mina.

Fourth day: 11th Dhu al-Hijjah

Starting from noon to sunset on the 11 Dhu al-Hijjah (and again the following day), the pilgrims again throw seven pebbles at each of the three pillars in Mina. This is commonly known as the "Stoning of the Devil".

Fifth day: 12th Dhu al-Hijjah

On 12 Dhu al-Hijjah, the same process of stoning of the pillars as of 11 Dhu al-Hijjah takes place. Pilgrims may leave Mina for Mecca before sunset on the 12th.

Last day at Mina: 13th Dhu al-Hijjah

If unable to leave on the 12th before sunset or opt to stay at free will, they must perform the stoning ritual again on the 13th before returning to Mecca.

Tawaf al-Wadaa

Finally, before leaving Mecca, pilgrims perform a farewell tawaf called the Tawaf al-Wadaa. 'Wadaa' means 'to bid farewell'. The pilgrims circle the Kaaba seven times counter-clockwise, and if they can, attempt to touch or kiss the Kaaba.

Journey to Medina

Though not a part of Hajj, pilgrims may choose to travel to the city of Medina and the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet), which contains Muhammad's tomb. The Quba Mosque and Masjid al-Qiblatayn are also usually visited.


I admire how the religion supports the poor and the idea that everyone is equal. However, there are just way too many rituals! I spent so long researching and it is not fun. Also, I found the Stoning of the Devil a little bit disturbing because I don't know what the devil did to deserve having stones thrown at him or maybe he is called "the Devil" and is supposed to be evil. I pity him/her/other.