A Guide to Hajj – with Shaykh Google
Filed under: Dhikrullah Reminder — Abu Muslim | October 21, 2011
“And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka‘bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allaah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence)” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:97]
Hajj is one of the best acts of worship. It is one of the pillars of Islam and as the Prophet (salAllaahu alayhi wa salam) said: “From one ‘Umrah to another is expiation for what is between them and the accepted Hajj has no reward except Paradise.” [Bukhari]. The only way attain an accepted Hajj and to get the ultimate reward of Allaah’s pleasure and paradise is to perform the Hajj correctly. It is with this in mind that we have provided this small guide with visual aid with the help of shaykh Google in order for you to have an accepted Hajj and attain jannah inshaAllaah
(please note: we have not taken the rulings and rituals of Hajj from shaykh Google as we do not consider him to be trustworthy in his knowledge of Islaam. This Hajj guide is in accordance to the Sunnah but we have gained ijaazah to use the shaykh’s technology)
In order for your hajj to be accepted, it requires two conditions just like any other type of action:
- Sincerity (doing the action purely for the sake of Allaah)
- Sunnah (doing the action in accordance to the teachings of the Prophet [salAllaahu alayhi wa salam])
This guide will explain, through images taken from Google Earth and elsewhere, the sequence of the Hajj alongwith locations involved and their importance. This guide is from the Hajj only, for those doing Hajj Tamatuu (the majority of people) and Qiraan it is assumed you have already completed the Umrah. (click on the pictures to enlarge)
The Hajj rituals are spread over a few days starting on the 8th day of Dhul Hijjah and are performed at 4 places – Makkah, Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah, shown in this image from Google Earth.
When the day of al-Tarwiyah comes, which is the 8th day of Dhu’l-Hijjah, the one who is doing Tamattu’ should enter ihraam for Hajj in the morning from the place where he is in Makkah. It is mustahabb for him to do the same when entering ihraam for Hajj as he did when entering ihraam for ‘Umrah, namely doing ghusl, putting on perfume and praying. He should form the intention of entering ihraam for Hajj and recite the Talbiyah, and say, “Labbayk Allaahumma Hajjan (Here I am, O Allaah, for Hajj).”
The pilgrim should wear the two pieces of cloth for the male (normal outdoor hijaab for the female) as they did for the Umrah. This simple clothing symbolizes that before the Almighty all are equal and there is no difference between the rich and poor. While the pilgrims are in state of Ihram, they cannot shave, cut their nails, use deodorant or perfume. They may not swear or quarrel, kill any living thing or engage in sexual activity.
Allaah (subhanahi wa ta’ala) says: “So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihraam), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj” [al-Baqarah 2:197]
Day 1 of Hajj – Mina
On the first day of Hajj all the pilgrims assemble at Mina in a shallow cup like valley, about 8 kilometres (5 miles) from Makkah.
The pilgrim should go out to Mina and pray Zuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib, ‘Isha’ and Fajr there, shortening the prayers but not joining them, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to shorten his prayers in Mina but he did not join them. Shortening the prayers means making the four-rak’ah prayers two raka’ahs.
As per tradition the pilgrims stay at Mina in tent, hence Mina is a tent city, catering to a temporary population of about 3 million pilgrims. It is therefore seen in GE view as a large white area.
There is no activity on Day-1, the pilgrims spend their time offering prayers, making dua’aa, reading Quraan and general dhikr. The stoning of shaytaan also takes place here at Mina but will be explained later.
After spending first night at Mina, on the second day after performing the prayer at dawn, the pilgrims depart for the plains of Arafat.
Day – 2 – Arafat
Arafat (aka Plain of Arafat) is a desert located approximately 14.5 kilometres (9 miles) from Mina.
When the sun rises on the day of ‘Arafah, the pilgrim travels from Mina to ‘Arafah and stops in Namirah until the time of Zuhr (Namirah is a place just before ‘Arafah), if he can do so. If he cannot do it, it does not matter because staying in Namirah is Sunnah but it is not obligatory. When the sun passes its zenith (i.e., when the time for Zuhr prayer begins), he should pray Zuhr and ‘Asr, two rak’ahs each, and join them together at the time of Zuhr, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did, so as to leave a lot of time for standing and making du’aa’.
Then after the prayer he should devote his time to making dhikr and du’aa’ and beseeching Allaah, and praying as he likes, raising his hands and facing the qiblah even if the mountain of ‘Arafah is behind him, because the Sunnah is to face the qiblah, not the mountain. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood by the mountain and said, “I am standing here, but all of ‘Arafah is the place of standing.”
Most of the Prophet’s du’aa’ in that great place of standing was: “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk, wa lahu’l-hamd, wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer (There is no god but Allaah alone, with no partner or associate; His is the Dominion, all praise is due to Him, and He is able to do all things).”
If the pilgrim gets tired and wants to have a break by talking to his companions about useful things or by reading from some useful books, especially things that have to do with the generosity and great bounty of Allaah, in order to increase his hopes on that day, this is good. Then he can go back to beseeching Allaah and praying to Him. He should strive to make the most of the end of the day by making du’aa’. The best of du’aa’ is du’aa’ made on the day of ‘Arafah. Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no day on which Allaah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of ‘Arafaah. He comes close and expresses His pride to the angels, saying, ‘What do these people want?’” (Muslim)
For the pilgrims it is the most important day – There is no Hajj without stay at Arafat. The Prophet (salAllaahu alayhi wa salam) said: “Hajj is Arafah.” (Abu Dawud) If this stay is missed, the whole Hajj is invalidated. The boundary within which the pilgrims must stay at Arafat, are well defined with multi-language markers placed all along the periphery. The boundary has been marked in the GE view given above.
The scene during this period is emotionally charged and leaves a lasting impression – A multitude of about three millions, praying together, hands upraised with tears in their eyes seeking His forgiveness.
As soon as the Sun sets, the pilgrims start leaving for Muzdalifah.
Night – 2 – Muzdalifah
Muzdalifah is an open area southeast of Mina on the route between Mina and Arafat, about 9 kilometres (6 miles) from Arafat.
When the sun sets, the pilgrim should go to Muzdalifah. When he reaches there, he should pray Maghrib and ‘Isha’ with one adhaan and two iqaamahs. If he fears that he will not reach Muzdalifah before midnight, he should pray on the way, because it is not permissible to delay ‘Isha’ prayer until after midnight.
He should stay overnight in Muzdalifah, then when dawn comes he should pray Fajr early, with the adhaan and iqaamah, and then head for al-Mash’ar al-Haraam (which is the site of the mosque in Muzdalifah) and proclaim the oneness and greatness of Allaah (by saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah and Allaahu akbar), and making du’aa’ as he likes, until it has become very light (i.e., when the light of day appears before the sun has actually risen). If it is not easy for him to go to al-Mash’ar al-Haraam, he should make du’aa’ where he is, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood there and all of Muzdalifah is the place of standing. When he is reciting dhikr and making du’aa’ he should face the qiblah and raise his hands.
Day – 3 – Mina
On 3rd day at Muzdalifah the pilgrims offer prayers at the dawn of the day and then just before sunrise start the return journey to the tent city. Since Mina is now only about 5 kilometres (3 miles) away many pilgrims prefer to walk instead of taking bus.
Here is GE image of bridge as it looks in last (January 2007) imagery update of GE.
Not much can be seen in this GE view because of ongoing constructional activity. It is however understood that now the entire 5 storey are ready for the current Hajj. Another 4 storey are also proposed to be added in few years time.
When it has become very light, before the sun rises, he should go to Mina and hasten through Wadi Mahsar (which is a valley between Muzdalifah and Mina). When he reaches Mina he should stone Jamarat al-‘Aqabah, which is the last one that is closest to Makkah, throwing seven pebbles one after another, each of which should be approximately the size of a fava bean, saying “Allaahu akbar” with each throw. (The Sunnah when stoning Jamarat al-‘Aqabah is to face the Jamarah with Makkah to one’s left and Mina to one one’s right). When he has finished this stoning, he should slaughter his sacrificial animal, then shave his head or cut his hair if he is male; women should cut the length of a fingertip from their hair. This is the first stage of exiting ihraam, in which it becomes permissible to do everything except have intercourse with one’s wife. Then the pilgrim should go back to Makkah and do tawaaf and saa’i for Hajj. Then comes the second stage of exiting ihraam, after which everything becomes permissible which was forbidden whilst in ihraam.
In the next step of Hajj, the pilgrims are required to go to Makkah for Tawaf – circumambulation around Holy Kaaba seven times and Sai – walking to and fro seven times between Safa and Marwa.
Makkah and then back to Mina
Makkah is only 8 kilometres (5 miles) from Mina so many persons walk the distance and Saudi authorities have built tunnels and special roads for pedestrians.
The Sunnah is to put on perfume when one wants to go to Makkah to do tawaaf after stoning the jamarat and shaving one’s head, because ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “I used to apply perfume to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) before he entered ihraam and when he exited ihraam, before he circumambulated the House.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1539; Muslim, 1189.
The Holy Ka’bah
The Ka’bah is a large cubical building. It is the holiest place in Islam and is the direction (Qibla) Muslims, all around the world, face during prayers.
The Mosque which is built around the Ka’bah is known as al-Masjid al-Haram.
After completing the seven rounds of Ka’bah the pilgrims now take seven, to and fro trips between two hills (Safa and Marwah) near the Ka’bah. These hills about 450 metres apart, are now enclosed within the Holy Mosque’s complex. This back and forth travel is called Sai and is done in remembrance of the plight of Prophet Ibrahim’s wife Hajar, who frantically searched in the area for water for her infant son Isma’eel. While searching for water a spring had sprouted in the desert. This ancient spring, known as ZamZam, continues to flow today.
The to and fro circuit used to be in the open air, but is now an entirely enclosed air-conditioned double storey corridor within the Holy Mosque. It can be easily seen in the GE view.
After completing of these rituals in masjidul Haram, the pilgrims have to now return back to their tents in Mina
Day – 4 – Mina
After tawaaf and saa’i, he should go back to Mina and stay there for two night, the 11th and 12th of Dhu’l-Hijjah, and stone the three jamarats during those two days, when the sun has passed its zenith. It is better for him to go to the jamarats walking, but if he rides that is acceptable. He should stone the first jamarah, which is the one that is furthest away from Makkah and next to Masjid al-Kheef, with seven pebbles, one after another, and say “Allaahu akbar” after each throw. Then he should go forward a little and say a lengthy du’aa’, saying whatever he likes. If it is too difficult for him to stand for a long time and make du’aa’, he should say whatever is easy for him, even if it is only a little, so that he will have done the Sunnah.
Then he should stone the middle jamarah with seven pebbles, one after another, saying “Allaahu akbar” with every throw. Then he should move to his left and stand facing the qiblah, raising his hands, and offer a lengthy du’aa’ if he can. Otherwise he should stand for as long as he can. He should not omit to stand and make du’aa’ because it is Sunnah. Many people neglect that because of ignorance or because they take the matter lightly. The more the Sunnah is neglected the more important it becomes to do it and spread it among the people, lest it be abandoned and die out.
Then he should stone Jamarat al-‘Aqabah with seven pebbles, one after another, saying “Allaahu akbar” with each throw, then he should go away and not offer a du’aa’ after that.
When he has completed the stoning of the Jamaraat on the 12th day of Dhu’l-Hijjah, if he wants he may hasten and leave Mina, and if he wants he may delay his departure and stay there for another night, the night of the 13th, and stone the three Jamaraat after noon as he did before. It is better to delay, but it is not obligatory unless the sun has set on the 12th and he is still in Mina, in which case it is obligatory to stay until one has stoned the three Jamaraat after noon on the following day. But if the sun sets on the 12th and he is still in Mina but not by choice, such as if he had already started out and boarded his means of transportation, but got delayed because of crowded conditions and traffic jams etc., then he is not obliged to stay there, because the delay until sunset was not by his choice.
When the pilgrim wants to leave Makkah and go back to his country, he should not leave until he has performed the farewell tawaaf (tawaaf al-wadaa’), because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No one should leave until the last thing that he does is (tawaaf) around the House.” Narrated by Muslim, 1327). According to another version, he told the people that the last thing they should do was (tawaaf) around the house, but he made an exception for women who were menstruating. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1755; Muslim, 1328.
With this the Hajj ritual is completed and you’ll be on your way to jannah inshaAllaah. Here we come Allaah..