Islam is a monotheistic faith that believes in only one Creator – Allah! Islam stands firm on the five pillars (tenets/arkans) that are mandatory for all Muslims. An ardent Muslim, ought to follow these rules and act accordingly!
THE SHAHADA (Declaration of Faith)
SALAT (Offering Prayer Five Times)
ZAKAT (A specified share of your property to the needy)
SAUM (Fasting during the auspicious month of Ramadan)
HAJJ (Annual Pilgrimage to Makkah)
There are certain conditions to be fulfilled before he/she is eligible to achieve Hajj which is mandatory. It commands every adult follower who is financially stable and of sound mind, to perform it atleast once in his/her lifetime. He must not only bear all the expenses for Hajj but also make monetary arrangement for his family until he returns home.
A financially stable person, who denies himself these five institutions, is not a Muslim but a Kafir.
Pray to Allah (SWT), Glory be to Him, to guide you on your path during Hajj!
The Hajj plans are made through the Saudi Government approved Travel Agencies. They help acquiring your Hajj visa, transportation and accommodation in Saudi. Strict penalties are imposed on those who perform Hajj without proper permit from unregistered travel agents.
Air India, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Gulf Air, etc. are some of the Airlines that are pressed into the service of transporting Hajjis from main International Airports in India to Jeddah and back. Journey from Jeddah International Airport to Makkah, Mina, Arafat and other places of Ziarat is done by buses.
The preparation of Hajj must commence immediately after filling up the forms. Your baggage should be light, properly tagged with identification marks. Enquire about the weight of free baggage allowed by your flight; travel light as you would be carrying back home a number of items such as dates, Zam zam water, janamaaz, tasbeehs, etc. Follow the below points to help you get into the right direction:
Select a Travel Agent that offers his best services, scrutinize minutely about the services that he offers to the Hajjis; a responsible Agent can make your pilgrimage a comfortable fare!
*Ensure that you have a valid Passport.
*Indian expatriates in Dubai needs have their visas for Hajj stamped and depart for the pilgrimage from his/her homeland. He/she cannot obtain direct entry visa to Saudi Arabia from Dubai.
*Your Travel Agent will ask you to submit the required documents along with five to seven photos for visa and other paper works.
*Photocopies of your visa, passport along with other essential documents must be carried in your handbag as a precautionary measure.
Familiarize with all the essential aspects of Hajj!
*Memorize the prayers you will be reciting during all phases of Hajj.
*A woman must be accompanied by a Mehram or an immediate member with whom her marriage is proscribed according to the Shairiyat.
Be at the Airport terminal on time allotted by your Agent. Put on your Ihraam and abide the conditions that must be followed before and after you wear it. Be with the group and check if you have all the required documents on you.
Your flight will land at the Jedddah Hajj Terminal.From the terminal you board a bus for Makkah, start reciting Talbiyah as you are about to set on your quest to the Holy Pilgrimage. You will be taken to the Maktab (office) where you will be issued with an identity card and yellow wristband. Yellow bands, yellow boards and yellow pillars indicate a South Asians camp.
The bus journey from the Airport to Makkah takes nearly 2 hours, after which you are shown into your accommodation. You must perform Umraah immediately in the Ihraam after which you can get out of it. You will have to get into your Ihraam again on the 8th of Zill Hajj when you depart for Mina.
If you wish to perform Nafil Umrahs you will have to visit Meeqat at Masjid-e-Ayesha, get into your Ihraam, return to Haram Sharief and perform Umrah. Following this routine you can perform many Nafil Umrahs. (You can request your Agent to guide you to reasonable modes of transport that can take you to Meeqat). Enter through the gate known as Bab-as-Salaam reciting Talbiyah, with your gaze on the ground and look up only to get the full view of Kabaah.
How is Umrah Performed?
Tawaaf (seven circumambulations) and Sayee (seven saunters between Safaa and Marwah) are performed during Umrah.
Men must walk with their right shoulders uncovered during the first three rounds. For all seven circumambulation position yourself before Hajr Aswad, make your Niyat, recite the required prayers and complete your Tawaaf. Each circumambulation begins at Hajr-Aswad and with the same prayer/Niyat. After completion of your 7 Tawaafs offer two rakaat prayers and quench you thirst with Zam Zam.
After drinking Zam Zam, you have to walk 7 times between Safaa and Marwah. After Sayee men should have an haircut while women are suppose to have their tresses trimmed approximately one phalange of her finger.
Consult your religious Moallim about the rituals that ought to be performed!
Your Trip To Madinah
After 36 to 48 hours after landing in Makkah you will be on your way to Madinah by bus. Keep your identity card on person and request the assistance of the Pilgrim Reception Centre (PRC) in case you get estranged from your group. All pilgrims are accommodated within 750 meters from Haram Sharief. Offer Salaah in the area called Riyazul Jannah in Masjid-e-Nabvi. There are some restrictions for women on their visit at the Jannatul Baqui graveyard. Praying at Masjid-e-Quba is also said to hold great rewards.
How is Hajj performed
1.On the 8th of Zill Hajj
Hajjis put on their Ihraam after abiding the rules and are transported to Mina. After your Zuhar, Asar, Magrib and Isha salaat you stay overnight as it is the Sunnah Of the Prophet (SAW).
2.On the 9th of Zill Hajj (Yaum-e-Arfa)
After you offer your Fajr Salaat, you move to Arafat from Mina where you will offer Zuhar and Asar. This main ritual is performed in your Ihraam. After Magrib Adhaan, you move towards Mudzalifa where you camp and offer Magrib and Isha Salaah together.
Get prepared for the next day by picking up pebbles to stone only the big Jamarat (Satan) at Mina.
3.On the 10th of Zill Hajj
After the Fajr Salaah you move toward Mina to pelt the Ramy, the head Jamarat; offer Qurbani (goat, sheep or camel), have a haircut (Qasr) or clean shave your head (Halq) and then discard your Ihraam.
4.On the 11th and 12th of Zill Hajj
You have to pelt all the three Jamarats beginning from the small and gradually to the biggest. Usually pilgrims depart from Mina by Magrib, but many stay till 13th Zill Hajj to pelt the three Jamarats and depart from Mina.
May each and ever muslim gets an opportunity to visit the Holy Cities of Makkah and Madina; perform Hajj or Umraah and attain peace that we all pray for in our Salaah!