Yes, yes, believe your eyes it is two posts in two days. As I mentioned in my last post I was not planning on writing a post on the spiritual or ‘religious’ aspect of Hajj because I didn’t want to teach anything wrong (or get into fiqh issues). Sadly, many people messaged me about having no direction when it comes to what to actually do at Hajj. So, Bismillah, I am compiling information from reputable Shaikhs that follow the Qu’ran and authentic Sunnah. Here’s my step by step Hajj guide with a billion or so tips of course!
I’ve referred to Muhammad Al-Shareef’s Hajj Coach site several times – I found it very practical and useful. What I noticed is that many of the links no longer work! Actually today the site seems to be down. Insha’Allah it will be fixed ASAP.
Here’s Video 9 of the Hajj Coach series.
Allhumdullillah he has created a fantastic Hajj and Umrah guide. Print it out and glue the sheets together. Insha’Allah it will be all you need.
He suggests that you read it over minimum twelve times and memorize the steps so that while you’re at Hajj you will calmly know what to do.
Believe it or not Hajj is quite simple. It’s the fact that millions of people are trying to do the samething for the first time that complicates things.If you make a mistake, depending on the gravity of it you either feed a few poor people, slaughter an animal or make istighfar. Refer to your Shaikh if you feel like you might have made a mistake and what you should do about it.
Here’s a simple infographic outlining the steps of Hajj.
Since ‘what to do X day’ is covered in detail in the PDF, I will only be elaborating on some days.
What to do in Mina?
Read your duas. Add more to your dua list. Arafat is coming up- this is a crucial part of your life. Get ready.
One of the most startling parts of Mina is the poverty you will witness. If you step outside of your tent and head towards Jammarat, you will find SO many poor people. These people will be sleeping under trucks and next to piles of garbage trying to take shelter from the brutal sun while trying not to get run over by the massive crowds.
The worst part is that they have little babies with them 🙁 .
The tricky part is that you are told to carry very little with you from your Hajj building to Mina, so obviously you won’t be able to carry donations. If your Hajj building isn’t too far of a walk, perhaps then you could make a trip to bring things for the needy. It’s a good idea to pack extra cash for charity.
Charity at Hajj
One of the biggest eye openers or saddest facts I dealt with while at Hajj was how naive I was about what fellow Muslims were capable of. I had a very romantic notion of Hajj- one wherein everyone goes there to come back better people, as if it was going to be some sort of spiritual utopia. The sad truth is that as devoted as we are to our faith and love of Allah, some people are just as devoted to stealing from us. You will encounter criminals, perverts and some pretty nasty people. My father warned me not to be idealistic and assume that I was only surrounded by fellow worshippers. He told me that just as we save up money to buy a ticket for Hajj, some people buy a ticket to come steal from you. 🙁
Some will explicitly take your possessions, others will swindle your money by playing on your emotions.
I remember one time when we were sitting in our bus ready to start Hajj, leaving Madinah for Mecca, a dishevelled man climbed aboard our bus while the driver was away. He was teary eyed and full of sorrow as he showed us an official letter about his brother wrongfully being held by Saudi police until he collected enough money to pay off his blood money. Immediately the women on our bus started to hand over whatever cash and jewellery they possibly could. Moments later the bus driver returned and yanked this man off the bus yelling and screaming at him. Our hearts broke even more. It was such a pitiful sight.
Apparently the man was a known con artist.
We were a bus load of educated adults and most of us were manipulated by this man.
According to the Shuyukh not only had we given money to a criminal, but we had given away the charity that was owed to legitimate poor from our rizq!
What are we supposed to do? How could we judge who was genuine and who wasn’t?
Answer: give charity to those who don’t ask.
Trust me you will see so many people in need and they won’t ask you for anything. Some will hang around the food courts hoping to eat your leftovers, others will go through the garbage when you’re not looking.
My husband noticed one of our Shuyukh always travelled with smaller bills and would give money to every single worker he encountered on his way in and out of the haaram. They are the men in the turquoise/green uniforms.They really don’t get paid that much so they are good candidates for charity.
What should I do while I’m at Arafat/ Arafah?
Don’t waste a second.
As soon as you get to Arafah use the washrooms.
Find a place to sit for the next few hours. This part is tricky because it’s going to be HOT so you will want to be near the Air Conditioner BUT you’ll want to be alone or have your own private area for when you stand before Allah and cry your eyes out (be sure to bring a box of tissues with you). Eat some snacks (protein bars etc) and take a nap.If you can’t sleep, at least lie down and rest.
I don’t want to tell you not to eat and have you get sick so I’ll just give an example of how I spent Arafah.
I didn’t waste time eating. I ate after sunset. Many of the women were very sweet and kept urging me to eat but I had already decided that I wasn’t going to- I had way too much to beg Allah for. I recommend eating trail mix or almonds and raisins (hopefully no one in your group has a nut allergy) and SIPPING on water throughout the day. It’ll minimize your need to use the washroom while keeping you energized.
Pull out your dua list, make all those duas and more. Beg Allah to forgive you for the sins you committed knowingly and unknowingly. Please make special dua for our Ronghiya/Burmese, Syrian and Palestinian brothers and sisters. It’s a shame that they are helpless and destitute while they belong to a huge family. May Allah SWT alleviate their suffering,
Ya Wadud (The Most Loving), I know You love us exponentially more than a mother loves her child. Ya Wadud please don’t let the blood of Your beloved creation spill anymore. Ya Wadud please increase our love for our suffering brothers and sisters so that we truly love them like our siblings and can’t rest until their suffering is gone. Ya Qadir (The Able) help us help them in the best way.
Ya Alim (The Knower), Ya’ Khabbir (The All- Aware) you know of every single hardship they have faced. You are As Sami (The All Hearing) , Al Basit (The All seeing), nothing escapes your knowledge. Ya Salam (The Bestower of peace), please grant this Ummah peace, serenity and tranquility.
Ya Rahim (The Merciful), you are the Most Merciful, please shower them with Your never ending Mercy. Ya Rahim please have Mercy on their weakness.
Ya Mani (The Preventer of Harm), Ya Muhaymin (The Protector) please shield them and protect them from harm.
Ya Muntaqim (The Avenger) please grant them power and victory over their oppressors.
Ya Muqtadir (The Powerful) please bring an end to their suffering. Nothing is difficult for You, You say Be and it is. Ya Aziz (The Mighty), show the oppressors Your strength and shake them to the core. Ya Aziz, show the oppressed Your strength and comfort them with Your promise of justice. Ya Adil (The Most Just) please show us examples of Your justice in this world as well.
Ya Jalil (The Majestic), Ya Azam (The Incomparably Great), Ya Majid (The Glorified), we need your help and you need us not. Ya Malik-ul-Mulk (Owner of the Kingdom), we beseech you with every name you have revealed and every name you have withheld. Please, we beg you, have mercy on the Ummah of your Beloved Rasool Sallallahu Allayhi wassalam.
Ya Wahhab (The Bestower), please comfort every single one of them and repay them for every ounce of suffering with the absolute best in this life and the absolute best in the Hereafter.
Ya’ Rauf (The Most Kind), You hate to let your slaves hands return empty once they’ve been lifted in asking from You. Ya Rahim, Ya Jalil, our hands are raised. We are begging You on this most blessed day. We are Your guests. Ya Wadud, You invited us to Your home, do not let us return empty handed. Ya Malik-ul Mulk we beg You, have mercy on our brothers and sisters that are suffering. Ya Sami hear our cries. Ya Salaam grant this Ummah peace. Ya Salaam grant this Ummah peace.
The Prophet سلم و عليه صل said: “The best of du’aa’ is du’aa’ on the day of ‘Arafah, and the best that I and the Prophets before me said is:
إله إ وحده شريك له ، له الملك وله الحمد وھو على كل شيء قدير
‘Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu la 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, to Him be praise, and He has power over all things).” (al-Tirmidhi–hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb)
I found a pretty good article from the Al-Maghreb website on the day of Arafah. Be sure to check it out.
Near the end of the day of Arafah your group leaders might make a collective dua which will be quite long so try to have your personal duas out of the way by then.
Do you know the correct way to make dua?
In my Ramadan Game Plan I went through a detailed step-by-step on how to make dua that is more likely to be accepted Insha’Allah. It has a PDF that you can print out and keep with you.
Yasir Qadhi wrote an awesome book called ‘Dua The Weapon of the Believer’. Fun fact: one of my cousins going for Hajj this year actually gifted this book to me a few years ago 🙂
It’s very comprehensive and informative. Since dua is such an integral part of Hajj, it’s important that we learn to make dua correctly and in a manner in which it is most likely to be accepted.
I would suggest buying it and reading it while at Mina if you have time.
Try your best to use the Attributes of Allah (99 Names of Allah) when asking for duas. For example Ar Razzaq for increase in Rizq (provisions).
Do not Believe Shaytaan
The SECOND you leave Arafah and head towards Muzdallifah, Shaytaan will approach you and start whispering. He’ll make you question yourself, did you have wudhu? You can’t really be forgiven can you? All those years of sinning and after today you’re forgiven? Your duas won’t come true because they were laced with pride and showing off. You lost your patience so many times, you know your Hajj isn’t complete or accepted.
Our Shuyukh told us to think about it this way, who do you believe, Shaytaan or Allah (SWT)?
Allah promised you that you are now sin free. End of story.
What to do at Muzdallifah?
Muzdalifah is not a time for extra worship because the Prophet PBUH didn’t do it. It’s a time for rest and sleep. Believe it or not you end up knocking out right there on the hard floor next to random people. It’s quite refreshing.
You will read your delayed Maghreb and Isha combined.
You will read Fajr before leaving Muzdallifah.
What to do at Jamarah?
You always hear about someone or the other being hurt at Jamarah, either by way of a flying slipper or stampede. Allhumdullillah the infrastructure is so much better that hardly anyone gets hurt .
Shaytaan is not literally in those rocks/walls of rocks. Whipping every object in your possession at it will not make you a better person. Just do as the Prophet PBUH did:
Every time the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) threw a pebble at any of the three jamarat, he would say: “Allah is the greatest.” …on completion of the first jamarah, he advanced a little, stood facing the qiblah, raised his hands and supplicated. He also did this after the second jamarah but not the third – See more at: http://duas.com/dua/377/dua-at-the-jamarat#sthash.PrzIDJtx.dpuf
- When you are collecting the stones/ pebbles to throw for the Rami (the stoning), make sure they’re not too light- those are harder to make contact with your target. The stones should be approximately the size of ones fingernail.
- Collect the stones at Muzdallifah
- Collect 49 stones minimum (and a few extra in case you miss hitting the Jamarah)
I always think twice before writing about the ‘negative’ parts of Hajj, such as the swindlers and the stinkies but I end up including the information in my posts because I believe you are better off knowing. It will help you prepare for these situations and act as a buffer from the shock of experiencing it without warning. I don’t need to delve into the beauty and awe of this most amazing journey, Subhan Allah that will take care of itself! Allhumdullilah there was much I was warned about before going for Hajj; initially it rained on my spiritual parade but when I actually got there I was in ‘la la land’ and all those warnings made me careful but didn’t take away from it’s wonder. I am so so so excited for you guys! I pray that these tips help. Let me know if you have anymore questions either in the comments or privately. The final post I have planned is My Hajj in pictures…stay tuned!
For the rest of the Billion Hajj Tips and Trick series:
Part One http://chaiwithsahar.com/a-billion-or-so-hajj-tips-and-tricks/
Part Two http://chaiwithsahar.com/a-billion-or-so-hajj-tips-and-tricks-2/
Part Three http://chaiwithsahar.com/hajj-tips-shaikhs-shopping-and-shifaa/
Part Four http://chaiwithsahar.com/hajj-tips-part-four-two-types-of-people-at-hajj/
Part Five http://chaiwithsahar.com/hajj-tips-step-by-step-hajj-guide/