How to perform Hajj?

Every Muslim aspires to visit Makkah and perform the Hajj at least once in their lifetime as it is their religious duty to do so. The experience is spiritually uplifting and emotionally liberating. At IBAC Travel, we understand this aspiration and wish to help Swiss Muslims experience it first hand. IBAC Travel ensures your Hajj is organised stress-free so you can focus on the spiritual aspect of it, instead of being weighed down by travel logistics.

While you focus on cleansing your mind, body and spirit, IBAC Travel ensures that your stay at Saudi Arabia is safe, secure and comfortable. This section concentrates on the rituals performed during Hajj.

Step 1

Enter Al Haram

Muslims from around the world congregate at Al Miqat at the same time to pray, repent and revel in Allah’s glory, together. Declare your intention to do Hajj by saying niyaa and repeat the talbiyah as you step inside Al Haram with your right foot first.(Insert verses) You may also pray in your own words. If you have not performed Umrah, do the Welcome Tawaf now or proceed directly to Mina.

Go To Mina

You must follow in the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) footsteps (peace and blessings be upon him), and go to the neighbouring town of Mina on the Day of Tarwiyah. Every year, the Government of Saudi Arabia puts up thousands of air-conditioned white tents at Mina so pilgrims may devote themselves to prayer, protected from the sun and heat. Mina is 5 kilometre from Makkah, it is the place where the ancient caravans gathered for watering before leaving for Mt. Arafat. There you must pray the Dhuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib, ‘Isha and the morning Fajr as the great Prophet (PBUH) did. Next you must pray four raka’as or shorten it to two raka’as.

Step 2

As the sun rises on the 9th and most important day of Dhul-Hijjah, all pilgrims must walk from Mina towards Mt. Arafat. Do not shove or push anyone in the crowd and try to maintain a dignified, peaceful manner towards your fellow pilgrims as this is a time of great solidarity for all Muslims. Once you arrive at Arafat, face the Qibla and pray the Dhuhr and Asr along with one Adhan and two Iqamah, just as the Prophet (PBUH) did. Praise Allah with upraised hands in your own words or recite from the Quran and ask for dua’a. You must spend the reminder of the day at Mount Arafat until sunset.

Step 3

After sunset on the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah, pilgrims must leave for Muzdalifah. Make the walk in peace, reciting the talbiyah on your way. Do not cause discomfort or injury to any of your fellow pilgrims. Once you reach Muzdalifah, you must pray a combined Maghrib and Isha but shorten the Isha to two Raka’as. Then spend the night sleeping on the ground, under the stars. Women, the elderly and the infirm may return to Mina after midnight instead of sleeping in the open. In the morning of the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah, you must pick up seven pebbles or jamarah to throw at the Jamarah Al-Aqabah. The pebbles can also be picked up at Mina.

Step 4

On the morning of the tenth day of Dhul Hijjah, you must leave Muzdalifah after fajr prayers and return to Mina. Leave Muzdalifah early in the day, with the Talbiyah on your lips and proceed for the “stoning of the devil” ritual or Ramy al-Jamarah. Once you arrive at the halfway point between Muzdalifah and Mina at the Muhassir Valley, pick up pace and hasten to Mina. Stop saying the talbiyah when you reach Jamarah Al Aqabah, the pillar towards Makkah, signified by a long wall with a catchment basin underneath. This is an age-old ritual that signifies defying the devil with all his temptations. Throw the seven pebbles at the pillar one by one, saying “Bismillah, Allahu Akbar”, each time. It is customary to offer prayers around mid-morning with upraised hands, facing the Qibla as the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) did (peace be upon him).

Step 5

After performing the Ramy al-Jamarah the pilgrim must offer an animal sacrifice or hadye to symbolise God’s mercy on Ibrahim and the Prophet’s (PBUH) devotion to God. You can purchase a coupon for a single sheep or cow and community butchers will conduct the sacrifice at the appointed place, according to tradition. You must eat part of your offering while the rest will be packed and donated among the needy around the world. If an animal sacrifice is not possible, you may fast for three days during the hajj and seven more days after returning home.

Step 6

Once you have performed the hadye you must do taqsir. It is recommended that men shave off their hair while women trim a few inches of it. Most of the conditions of ihram are lifted after taqsir. You may put on your daily clothes as the first tahallul and women may cover their head. However, refrain from sexual intercourse until the end the Hajj.

Note: Step 4. Stoning the devil; Step 5. Sacrifice and Step 6. Shortening of Hair, can be done in any order.

Step 7

Return to Makkah for the next essential ritual – tawaf. You must walk around the holy kaaba seven times. Start at Al-Hajar-El-Aswad or the Black Stone with the kaaba on your left-hand side while you move towards the right with short, swift steps (rammal). Begin each round by touching or kissing the kaaba if you are close enough to do so. If the mosque is crowded, you may raise your hand and point towards it instead. Pray in your own words or repeat the words “Bismillah, Wa-Allahu-Akbar” as you walk around. Touch the fourth corner or the “Yemeni Corner” of the kaaba each time you pass by. The tawaf is a prayer or salah and you may pray in your own words or say,

“In the name of Allah, may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah. O Allah, forgive me my sins and open to me the doors of Your mercy. I seek refuge in Allah the Almighty and in His Eminent Face and in His Eternal Dominion over the accursed Satan.”

Step 8

The 11th, 12th and 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah after the Day of Sacrifice are known as Ayyam Al Tashreeq After sa’ye, you must return to Mina for two or three nights and to throw jamarat again. Those who wish to leave Mina on the second day, must depart before sunset or spend another night at Mina and take part in the “stoning the devil” ritual again the next day. The Ramy al-Jamrah ritual starts in the afternoon of the 11th, 12th and 13th day of Dhul Hijjah. You must use the ramps to climb the multilevelled jamarah bridge and throw the stones from there. The bridge was built by the Hajj Committee as a crowd control measure and to prevent accidents.

You must throw seven pebbles at each pillar. With each pebble you throw, you must say the the words “Bismillah Wa Allahu Akbar”. Stone the pillars in the following order;

a. Stone the “First Jamrah” which is furthest from Makkah, then stop to face Al Qibla and make a supplication
b. Stone the “Middle Jamrah”, then stop to face Al Qibla and make another supplication
c. Stone the final “Jamrah Al-Aqabah” and proceed without making a supplication
Note: The elderly, the disabled and the sick may request someone to throw the pebbles on their behalf. If you are throwing stones on behalf of someone, throw your own pebbles first followed by the other person’s.

Step 9

After completing all the rituals of Hajj, you must circle the kaaba seven times to perform the Tawaf Al Wida or the Farewell Tawaf before you leave Makkah. This ritual is compulsory and only menstruating women and new mothers are excused.