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Hajj: A Guide for Intending Pilgrims
by Jamiatul Ulama - Kwazaulu-Natal, South Africa
Pilgrimage to the House (of Allah) is a duty men owe to Allah - upon those who can afford the journey. And whoever refuses to obey, then indeed Allah stands not in need of His creation. (Holy Qur'aan 3:97)
- The person who intends to perform hajj must do so with the express niyyah of attaining Allah's pleasure, and to fulfil one's fardh, and also to diligently carry out the commands of Allah and His Rasul sallallahu alayhi wasallam. The rewards for deeds depend greatly on the niyyah that is formed. Sincerity is extremely important.
- The ibadaah of hajj has the exclusive status of being fardh only once a lifetime, for those who can afford it. It is therefore important that the sincerity of intention must be given due regard. In other ibaadaat and devotions it is possible to gradually develop ikhlaas, whereas the time available for hajj is usually limited. The need for ikhlaas is vital because a Fardh Hajj can never be repeated. During your journey to hajj a concerted effort towards developing this all important sincerity must be made.
- It is important that hajj should be kept free of ulterior and worldly motives. Joining worldly objectives with religious aims is like adding water to milk. There are three types of adulteration which are possible in the performance of hajj:
* To ruin the hajj even before departing from home by having a desire to be called a haji, and using haraam or doubtful earnings for this ibadaah.
* To engage in improper acts while performing hajj e.g. to commit sins during the time that one is engaged in the performance of hajj, to have arguments, not to make tawbah (repentance).
* To complete the hajj and then to indulge in such deeds that defile the hajj, e.g. to neglect the fardh salaat, to indulge in sin etc.
- Perform the hajj with all its aadaab and requisites, for anything done in keeping with this is well accomplished.
- While in hajj do not do things to display to others. Do not announce your hajj to all and sundry. (To avoid riyaa which is to show off and act to gain fame). On returning from hajj do not emphasize the difficulties which may have been endured, instead turn your attention towards the eternal benefits and rewards you will receive. One must understand that the difficulties endured during this sacred journey are insignificant compared to the high position one will receive in jannah.
- Before beginning one's journey repent sincerely. Perform two rakaat nafl with the niyyah of tawbah. The effect of sincerely repenting and then proceeding for hajj will be, that one will be favoured by Allah Ta'ala and blessed with the strength to continually do good deeds.
- Develop a relationship with the pious person for guidance. This will assist you in making a true and sincere tawbah.
FULFILMENT OF DEBT
- If you have monetary debt or are responsible for any moral transgression, then fulfil your debt or have it waived, and have your moral violations forgiven. It is important that one settles all outstanding matters and transactions, and has his faults and shortcomings forgiven.
- All amaanaat (trusts) and anything borrowed must be returned. A detailed and final will must be made regarding all important matters.
- It is compulsory for a person who wishes to perform hajj to learn the necessary masaail well before the time of hajj. When a firm intention is made then first learn the necessary masaail, or acquire these from a reliable and recognized aalim (scholar).
- Depart with happiness from home. A hajj which is performed with a feeling of love and keenness is conducive to religious upliftment. Inconvenience during travel should not hamper this love and keenness.
- Perform two rakaat nafl before departing. Take care that this salaat is not performed during the makrooh times. Give some sadaqah to the poor before leaving home and also after commencing your journey.
- Ask your near and dear ones, neighbours and friends to overlook and forgive your shortcomings. Make a request for their du'aa. Make musafahah (shake hands) using both hands when leaving. Do not make musafahah with non-mahrams (those of the opposite sex whom you can marry).
- Be at your best behaviour amongst your companions. Assist them in their needs. The person who helps his companions on this journey will be regarded as a mujaahid (one who strives to uplift Islaam).
Salaat, Du'aa, Tawaaf and Tilaawat
- Take great care and be punctual in the performance of all salaat with jama'at whilst visiting the sacred places. Do not delay any salaat at all.
- After every salaat beseech from Allah Ta'ala that He grant you a mabroor hajj (one that is accepted and free from sin). A hajj which is full of Allah Ta'ala's blessings and favours.
- A haji is fortunate in being present at the various sacred places where du'aa are assured acceptance. Therefore repeatedly ask Allah Ta'ala for your needs of this world and the Hereafter. Your du'aa must be appropriate and made with respect and humbleness. Do not ask for meaningless and unrighteous things.
- There are three persons whose du'aa are assured acceptance; the oppressed, the traveller and the father's du'aa for his son (meaning children).
- The qadhaa (fulfilment in arrears) of ibaadaat which are owing to Allah Ta'ala should be correctly fulfilled or compensated.
- The reward for one salaat in the Masjidul Haraam (Makkah) is 100,000 fold (with jama'at 2,700,000). The reward for salaat in the Masjidun Nabawie (Madinah) is 50,000 fold. Each good deed done in Makkah is equivalent in reward to 100,000 good deeds done elsewhere.
- Whenever entering either of the two masjids or any other masjid, form a niyyah for nafl i'tikaaf.
- Your stay in the Masjidul Haraam and Masjidun Nabawie must be with utmost dignity and honour.
- Perform as many tawaaf, umrah and nafl salaat as you can and make du'aa that the thawaab (reward) of this be presented to Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam.
- Complete the Holy Qur'aan at least once in each of the two Holy Masjids, i.e. Makkah and Madinah.
- Perform nafl salaat with the niyyah of expressing one's gratitude to Allah Ta'ala.
- During your stay in Makkah abundantly increase your recital of the Kalimah Tayyibah: Laa ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasulullah, and istighfar: 'Astaghfirullah.
- If you desire, give an excellent gift to your near dear ones, friends who are living, and especially those who have passed away. The gift of the rewards of tawaaf and umrah will please their souls very much. There will be no reduction from your own reward for these acts.
- Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam has said that the water of Zamzam will have the desired effect of whatever intention is made at the time of drinking Zamzam. Zamzam should be drunk with the intention of quenching the thirst of the day of Qiyaamah (resurrection). It should also be taken with the intention of shifaa (cure) from spiritual and physical ailments. It is commendable to drink Zamzam with the niyyah of being granted the tawfeeq of conforming to the sunnah of our beloved Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam.
- It is stated in hadeeth:
* Whoever comes with the sole intention of visiting my grave, my intercession will become incumbent for that person.
* Whoever visits my grave after my death is like the one who has visited me during my lifetime.
- Recite durood (salutations) in abundance on Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam, on beginning your journey to and from Madinah Munawwarah, and during your stay there.
- To hurt or cause inconvenience to any Muslim and especially the people of Madinah Munawwarah is a great sin.
- Choose an able pious companion who will assist you in times of need, and it is better if this companion is a reliable recognized aalim (scholar).
- Regard the time in hajj as a blessing. One never knows when one may be favoured with this good fortune again.
- Since your stay there is a short one, you should value every moment there. Do not waste your time roaming in the bazaars and do not indulge in meaningless things and idle talk.
- Do not allow your attention to drift towards the decoration and splendour of the buildings, nor indulge in humour and ridicule.
- One must be extremely cautious with regard to the etiquette of these sacred places. Any disrespect in this regard will be a cause for retribution.
- Do not criticize the conditions and people there. After all, the local residents are human and are prone to faults just as we are. When noticing the shortcomings of others, special attention must immediately be drawn to one's own faults and weak points.
- One must make a concentrated effort to avoid sin, especially casting passionate glances at female who are present at hajj. One must keep one's gaze lowered when women gather for tawaaf and salaat-u-salaam.
- Hadhrat 'Umar radhiyallahu anhu said, "For me to commit a sin in Makkah is worse than committing seventy sins outside Makkah". Just as the rewards of good deeds are multiplied in Makkah, so too is the retribution of misconduct multiplied.
- One must show consideration and take care that one does not trouble or inconvenience those who are present for hajj and ziyaarah.
- One must not deceive or trick others in buying or selling. To swindle or cheat the residents of Makkah or Madinah would result in one's own destruction. One must be extremely cautious in this regard. Transactions must be carried out with honesty.