The Rulings of Hajj

The Rulings of Hajj
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The first thing to do on embarking for Hajj is to purify the intention for Allah The Almighty and to emulate the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) in all the rites of Hajj, for he said: “Take your Hajj rites from me.” [Muslim] The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) also said: “Whoever performs Hajj and does not engage in sexual relations nor acts sinfully, he will return (after Hajj free from all sins) like (he was) the day his mother gave birth to him.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] He also said: “Performing ‘Umrah after ‘Umrah will erase the sins committed between them and the well-performed Hajj has no reward but Paradise.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] A good Hajj is one that is done with sincerity, according to the Prophet’s guidance and in which one abstains from sins and harming other Muslims.

The pilgrim should be aware of the rituals of Hajj and its pillars. The pillars of Hajj are:

        *  Assuming Ihraam (sacral state) from the Meeqaat.

        *  Staying at ‘Arafah.

        *  Tawaaf Al-Ifaadhah (circumambulation of the Ka’bah on the tenth day of Thul-Hijjah).

        *  Sa’y (pacing) between As-Safa and Al-Marwah.

Obligatory actions in Hajj:

        *  Standing at ‘Arafah till sunset.

        *  Passing the night at Muzdalifah.

        *  Pelting the stones, shaving or cutting of the hair.

        *  Spending the nights at Mina.

        *  Sacrificing an animal if necessary (according to the type of Hajj one is performing).

        *  Doing the farewell Tawaaf (circumambulation).

On the day of slaughtering, the 10th of Thul-Hijjah, the pilgrim pelts the Jamrat Al-‘Aqabah with stones, slaughters, performs Tawaaf Al-Ifaadhah and runs between As-Safa and Al-Marwah. Once he throws the pebbles at Jamrat Al-‘Aqabah and slaughters or shaves, all the prohibitions stipulated by Ihraam are removed for him except for sexual intercourse. However, if he has performed Tawaaf Al-Ifaadhah in addition to the above three acts, everything becomes permissible for him again, including sexual relations.

It is recommended for the pilgrim to increase acts of worship and call out the Talbiyah (a prayer recited by pilgrims) till he starts throwing the stones at ‘Aqabah. He should endeavor to read the Quran and supplicate more, especially on the Day of ‘Arafah, for the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “The best supplication is that of (the day of) ‘Arafah, and the best word that I and all Prophets have said on the day of ‘Arafah is, ‘La Ilaaha Illallaah wahdahu Laa Shareeka lah lahul-mulk walahul Hamd, wa Huwa ‘ala kulli Shay’in Qadeer’ (None has the right to be worshipped but Allah Alone, Who has no partner. His is the dominion and His is the praise, and He is able to do all things).” [At-Tirmithi] The pilgrim should also guard his tongue and avoid backbiting, fights and arguments.

The pilgrim should also recite the prescribed Takbeer from right after the Fajr prayer on the Day of ‘Arafah till the afternoon of the 13th of Thul-Hijjah. The Takbeer is as follows, “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La Ilaaha Illallaah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillaahil-Hamd.” It is also recommended for pilgrims and others to perform many good deeds in the first ten days of Thul-Hijjah. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “There are no days in which good deeds are dearer to Allah than in these days (i.e., the first ten days of Thul-Hijjah).” The Companions  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them asked, “O Messenger of Allah! Not even Jihaad in the way of Allah?” He replied: “Not even Jihaad in the way of Allah, except for a man who goes out for Jihaad with his life and wealth and comes back with none of the two.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The first ten days of Thul-Hijjah are the best days in the sight of Allah The Almighty; He termed them “the well-known days” in His Book, according to Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him. It is recommended, therefore, to remember Allah The Almighty more in the mosques, streets, marketplaces and everywhere.

Those who are not on Hajj should fast on the day of ‘Arafah, which falls in these ten days. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was asked of the fasting of that day, so he said: “It erases the sins of the previous year and the present one.” [Muslim]

Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Hajj is (during) well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein (by entering the state of Ihraam), there is (to be for him) no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do – Allah knows it. And take provision, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding.} [Quran 2:197]

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