A Brief Guide to Hajj: Questions and Answers

What are the different types of Hajj?[phpzonsidebar title=”Books on Hajj” keywords=”Hajj” num=”5″ country=”US” searchindex=”Books” trackingid=”mustbeautycom-20″ sort=”none” id=”2″]

There are three forms of Hajj: Hajj Ifraad, Hajj Qiran and Hajj Tamattu. Here is a brief description of each.

Hajj Ifraad
The pilgrim enters the state of ihram and makes an intention of Hajj by saying “Laabayka bihajj”. He then proceeds and performs Hajj with no Umrah before. It is also not obligatory to sacrifice an animal. The pilgrim can perform Umrah after the Hajj, if he so wishes. He takes off Ihram only when the Hajj is complete.

Hajj Qiran
In this kind of Hajj the pilgrim enters Ihram with the intention of doing Hajj and Umrah together. The piligrim says “Labbayka bi hajjin wa umrah” He performs umrah and remains in the state of Ihram till the day of sacrifice.

Hajj Tamattu
The pilgrim enters the state of ihram at meeqat with the intention of Umrah only by saying “Laabyaka bi umrah”. Once the he performs Umrah, he removes Ihram. On the 8th of Dhulhijaa he again enters the state of ihram with the intention of doing Hajj by saying Laabayka bi hajj. He remains in the state of Ihram untill the day of sacrifice.

What is Meeqat?
Meeqat is a place where the pilgrim enters into the state of ihram and makes the intention of Hajj or Umrah or both depending upon his case. People coming from different countries have different Meeqat and one must make sure to know where one’s meeqat starts. Normally, the travel agents of the pilgrim should be able to specify the Meeqat. One must not pass the meeqat without entering into the state of ihram, otherwise one has either to go back to the specified station or if going is not possible then a ransom is due in the form of a sheep to sacrifice.

What happens if one passes meeqat without Ihraam?
If anyone passes meeqat without Ihram, one has to go back to the meeqat he passed through and enter into the state of Ihraam from there. However, if it is not possible to go back to one place of meeqat, then one has to sacrifice a sheep and then enter the state of ihram from that point.

What is Ihram?
Ihram is a sacred state in which a pilgrim (male or female) enters to perform Hajj or Umrah or both. Ihram refers to both the dress code and the restrictions applied when in such a state. One must enter Ihram at meeqat or before meeqat.

What is the Dress Code of Ihram for men?
For men Ihram is two pieces of unstitched plain white cloth. One piece is used to cover the upper part and the other is used to cover the lower part of the body. The upper part is above the navel up to the shoulders. The lower part is down to above the ankles.
No underwear, shirts, turbans, hat, cap, trousers etc are allowed. Belts can be used for the purpose of keeping money and necessary documents.

What are the Sunnah acts for Ihram?

  • It is sunnah to take bath before ihram. (Thirmid)
  • It is sunnah to apply perfume to one’s body before the Ihram on. (Please note it is applied to the body and only before the ihram is worn) (Muslim)
  • It is better to enter into Ihraam after obligatory prayer. (Muslim)
  • It is ok to wear ihram before Meeqat, but it is better to do so at meeqat.

What is the Dress Code of Ihram for Women?
For women any Islamic dress which covers the body except the face and hands is Ihram. Niqaab or veil is not allowed during Ihram. However, in case of the presence of non-mahram men, women can just lover the head cover over their faces.

What are the restrictions during Ihram?
Once a pilgrim enters into the state of Ihram, there are several restrictions which must be observed as long as he or she is wearing Ihram. These restrictions include:

  • No fighting or quarrel is allowed.
  • No plucking of hair.
  • No cutting of nails.
  • No killing or hunting of animals except fish.
  • No marriage, or proposal or marriage or helping others to do so.
  • No use of perfumes or scented soaps, hand washes, fragranced wipes etc.
  • No stitched clothes.
  • Not to cover the head

What things are allowed during Ihraam?

  • It is allowed to wash head, rub it and take bath. (Muslim)
  • It is allowed to use eye drops or other medicines for treatment provided it is not perfumed. (Muslim)
  • It is allowed to take out blood or bandage any part of the body for the purpose of treatment only. (Muslim)
  •  It is allowed to use soap or oil which does not contain perfume. (Ahmed)
  • It is allowed to use umbrella, roof or tent. (Muslim) It is allowed to hunt, eat and buy or sell sea food. (non-sea hunting not allowed)
  • It is allowed to kill dangerous animals.

What is Talbiyya?

It is sunnah to recite the following. Men should recite it loudly while women should keep their voices low only audible to them.

Talbiya in Arabic

“I am present, O Allah, I am present, there is no partner unto You. I am present. Definitely praise and glory is yours (for You). The Kingdom is also Yours. There is no partner for You”.

One should start reciting talbiya as soon as one enters into the state of Ihram. In Umrah,  stop reciting Talbiya once one is going to start the tawaaf. During Hajj, the talbiya is recited till before the time on 10th Dhul Hijja when one is ready to stone the Jamaraat.

What is the step by step way of doing Hajj?

Most pilgrims coming from foreign lands do Hajj Tamattu as it is the easiest. I have described it step by step briefly. Please note these are only the main points. For more detailed information refer to the reference books or see a scholar at your local masjid.

  • Enter into the state of Ihram at Meeqat. Start reciting Talbiyaa.
  • Once you reach Makkah, perform Tawaaf.
  • Pray two rakat at or near Maqame Ibrahim.
  • Drink Zamzam.
  • Complete Saee between Saffa and Marwah.
  • Cut your hair short.
  • You can now release yourself from the state of Ihram

Day 1 of Hajj

  • On the 8th day of Dhul Hijja Enter into the state of Ihram and make the intention of Hajj by saying “Allahumma Labbayka biHajja”
  • Try to reach Mina before Zuhur.
  • Read the prayers shortened at Mina except Fajr and Maghrib.

Day 2 of Hajj

  • On the 9th of Dhul Hijja, go to Arafat after sunrise.
  • Pray Zuhur and Asr combined and shortened with one azaan and two iqammah.
  • Do as much duaa as possible in Araafat.
  • Leave Arafaat for Muzdalifah after sunset without praying Magrib.
  • Pray Maghrib and Ishaa at Muzdalifah. Isha is shortened.
  • Spend the night under open sky in Muzdalifah.

Day 3 of Hajj

  • Pray Fajr at Muzdalifah and leave for Mina a little before Sunrise. This is the 10th of Dhul Hijja.
  • At Mina stone the large Jamarah.
  • Sacrifice an animal.
  • Men cut hair short or shave it. Women cut only a fingertip length of hair.
  • You can now release from the state of Ihram and its restrictions except sexual intercourse.
  • Go to Makkah and do Tawaaf. This is called Tawaaf Al-ifaadah.
  • Pray two rakats. (The restrictions of sexual intercourse is now lifted).
  • Drink Zamzam.
  • Perform Saee between Saffah and Marwah
  • Return to Mina

Day 4 of Hajj

  • On 11th of Dhul Hijja stone all the three Jamarahs with seven pebbles each.
  • Spend the night at Mina.

Day 5 of Hajj

  • On the 12 of Dhul Hijja stone all the Jamrahs again with seven pebbles each.
  • After this one can leave Mina or stay for another day i.e. 13th of Dhul Hijja.

What type of shoes are required during Hajj.

In case of non-ihram days, it is ok to wear normal shoes. However, if in ihram, the shoes must meet certain criteria. There is a difference of opinion among the scholars regarding this. According to Hanafi scholars, the front bone must be visible. In this case flip flops should be worn to comply with the ruling. According to Shaffee, Hanbali and Maliki schools, the ankle bones must be visible. In this case normal sandals should do the job.

What is sacrifice?

Sacrifice is the slaughter of animal during Hajj. This can be done on any day of Ayaam-e-Tashriq, preferably on the 10th of Dhul Hijja after stoning the Jamaraat.There is no sacrifice of animal in Hajj-e-Ifraad.

What is stoning of Jamarat?

Stoning of Jamaraat is stoning all the three Jamarahs on 10th, 11th and 12th Dhul Hijja. On the 10th only the biggest Jamraah is stoned while on the 11th and 12th all the three are stoned.

What is Tawaaf?

Tawaaf is the circumambulation or going around the Kaabah in counter clock wise direction for seven times. Tawaaf is done during Hajj and  Umrah or on its own. There are many virtues of Tawaaf and one should try  to do as many optional tawaafs as one can do. During Hajj Tamattau, there are three required tawaafs:

  1. First one when you reach Makkah ( called Tawaaf-e-umrah)
  2. Second one on 10th of Dhul Hijja (called Tawaaf-e-ifaadha or Tawaaf-e-ziyarat or Tawaaf-e-Hajj)
  3. Third on leaving Makkah (called Tawaaf-e-al-widaa)

What is Saee?

Saee is to go between Saffa and Marwah seven times after you do tawaaf. If you are doing Hajj or Umrah, you must do Saee. When you start at Saffah and and reach Marwah, it is one round and then from Marwah to Saffah is the second round. Your last round should end at Marwah.

  1. First Round: Start at Saffah and end at Marwah
  2. Second Round: Start at Marwah and end at Saffah
  3. Third Round: Start at Saffah and end at Marwah
  4. Fourth Round: Start at Marwah and end at Saffah
  5. Fith Round: Start at Saffah and end at Marwah
  6. Sixth Round: Start at Marwah and end at Saffah
  7. Seventh Round: Start at Saffah and end at Marwah

Shall I walk or run between Saffah and Marwah?

You should walk between the two mounts except for men when they reach the green lights, they should run.

Is Wudu compulsory for Saee?

It is recommended.

What is the ruling for menstruating women in the state of Ihram?

If a women passes meeqat and is in the state of Ihram, she should do all the actions of Hajj except Tawaaf and Saai which she can do later.

What should a menstruating woman do if she is still in periods and her mahram has to leave Makkah?

If a women is in her periods and her mahram has to leave shall depend on the place of her living. If she lives in a place where from it is not difficult to come back, she should go back with her mehram and come back when she is pure. But if her mahram has come from a foreign land and it is not possible, then she should do her tawaaf and saai as it becomes a necessity. However, she should not do the farewell tawaaf as the Prophet (peace be upon him) exempted menstruating women from farewell tawaaf.

Can a menstruating women enter Masjid alharam?

A menstruating women cannot enter any Masjid including al-Haram.

Works Cited

  1. Al-Fawzaan, Saalih,  A summary of Islamic Jurisprudence (Volume 2), PDF
  2. Al-Mundhiri, A.Z.A.,The Translation of the Meanings of Summarized Sahih Muslim Arabic-English, First Edition, Darussalam, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2008.
  3. Bukhari, Muhammad Ibn Isma’il. Sahih Bukhari.Lahore: S.G. Ali, 1962. Print.
  4. Keelani, M.Iqbal, Hajj aur Umrah ke Masail, Hadeeth Publications, Lahore.
  5. Malik, Adnan & Hashmi, Tariq, Hajj and Umrah Made Easy, Al-Hidaayah Publishing , Birmingham UK, 2010.
  6. Nadvi, M.M.Ahmed, Hajj and Umrah According to Sunnah, Abul Qasim Publishing, Saudi Arabia, 1995.
  7. http://islamqa.info/en/ref/40608/menstruating%20women%20hajj
  8. http://islamqa.info/en/ref/14217/menstruating%20women%20hajj



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