Islamic Links: Educational : Hajj-Umrah


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The Kaaba

And now verily We shall make you turn (in prayer) toward a Qibla which is dear to you. So turn your face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship (the Kaaba of Makkah).” (Al Baqarah 2:144)


The Quran commands the Muslims to face the sacred precincts in Makkah during prayer which is a fundamental tenet in slam. The legend of this purely Islamic development of a sacred stone structure dates back to the fall of Hadhrat Adam (alayhis salaam) from Paradise onto earth at Makkah. It has been reported by Al-tabari that Hadhrat Jibraeel (alayhis salaam) flapped his wings to uncover a foundation laid in the seventh fold of the earth. Angels paved this foundation with stones and Hazrat Adam went round this structure following the example of the Angels. Therefore it stands to reason that Allah Ta’ala contemplated and designated the Ka’aba before the creation of the earth. It is said that the Kaaba is a prototype of Baitul Mamoor, a house in the seventh Heaven situated immediately over the Kaaba.

The Kaaba with respect to the inhabited parts of the world is like the centre of a circle with respect to the circle itself. All regions face the Kaaba, surrounding it as a circle surrounds its centre; and each region faces a particular part of the Kaaba. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) adopted the Kaaba as a physical focus in prayer as well for other acts of worship such as burial of the dead, recitation of the Qur’an, announcing the call of prayer, the ritual slaughter of animals, etc. Thus, Muslims have been spiritually and physically oriented towards the Kaaba and the holy city of Makkah in their daily lives.

Circumbulation of The Kaaba

‘Tawaf’ or cicumbulation (the ritual encircling of the Kaaba) starts from the Hajar Aswad – the Black Stone. The circumambulator, if possible, may kiss the stone or may direct his hand towards it saying, “In the name of Allah, Allah is great.” He must circle the Kaaba seven times with the Kaaba to his left (in anti-clockwise direction).

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The Best Days in the World


The Blessed Days of Dhul Hijjah

In what follows, we will highlight some of the Sunnah regarding these days, hoping by this to provide an incentive to make the best out of them and gain Allaah’s reward, in shaa’ Allaah.

The First Ten Days of Dhul-Hijjah

“The best days in the world are the Ten days.” [Ibn Hibbaan, al-Bazzaar, authenticated in Saheeh Jaami’ us-Sagheer #1133]

“There are no days during which good deeds are more beloved by Allaah than these (ten) days.” [al-Bukhaaree, at-Tirmidhee and others] The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was then asked: “Not even Jihaad in Allaah’s way?” He replied: “Not even Jihaad in Allaah’s way; except for a person who went out (for Jihaad) with his self and wealth and came back with none (i.e. lost all for Allaah).” [at-Tirmidhee, authenticated in al-Albaanee’s Irwaa’ ul-Ghaleel, #953]

All good deeds can be done during these days and the early generations of Muslims used to exert themselves excessively in worshipping Allaah. In particular, fasting and dhikr (mentioning and remembering Allaah) are to be done in plenty on these days.

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Sites of Hajj and Umra

1. Well of Zamzam: water of which is blessed and pure. Allah poured it out as mercy for Hajer and her infant Ismael, and later as blessing to the Islamic Nation. The water never dries and cures all types of diseases except death. This well had dried for a long time, until the grandfather of our Prophet, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, saw a vision in a dream. He went and excavated the well, and ever since, the well has been pouring and it is under Allah’s grace. It is kept pure, when the place floods and the well is filled with sand and stones, it overflows out everything until it becomes pure again.

2. Al Baqi’: cemetery of Al Madina’s people, may Allah be pleased with them all, which include the graves of Ibrahim and Ruqaiya, children of the Prophet, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, Fatima Bint Asad, mother of Ali Bin Abi Taleb. It also includes the graves of Othman Bin Affan, Abi Saeed Al khudary, Sa’ad Bin Mua’d, Abdul Rahman Bin Awf, Othman Bin Madhoun, Malek bin Anas, and the graves of the Prophet’s wives, daughters and member of his family, may Allah be pleased with them all.

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Common mistakes in Hajj

  prepared by Muhammad Alshareef

In Aqeedah (the Muslim’s Belief)

– Many Pilgrims when they travel to Madinah they pray to the graves. They make Dua’ to Rasul Allah (Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam). This could not only ruin their Hajj, it could nullify their Islam.
– Do not rub graves for Barakah.
– Do not make Du’a to anyone except Allah ta’aala.
– When going to Madinah, your initial intention should be to visit Masjid An-Nabawee, the Prophet’s Masjid.

In Ihraam

* Do not pass the Meeqat without being in the state of Ihraam. If you are landing in Jeddah and going to Makkah to perform Umrah directly, you must be in a state of Ihraam before you land, as the plane shall enter the Meeqat. Jeddah is inside the Meeqat.
* If you are landing in Jeddah, you need your Ihraam towels with you on the airplane in your carry-on bag.
* Women may wear anything Islamically permissible for Ihraam.
* Do not take pictures of yourself in Ihraam. You came to worship Allah and taking pictures for showing others later may contradict your sincerity of doing this for the sake of Allah.
* Women in their menses must be in a state of Ihraam when they pass the Meeqat. They should shower and do talbiyah like everyone else.

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In the Name of Allah, the Loving, the Love-Giving

The ultimate destination
You’re the luckiest person in the world. Allah has invited you personally to His House.
What is Hajj? Hajj in the Arabic language means aim, destination or purpose (qasd).
The reason is clear: Hajj is the ultimate journey of loving submission (‘ubudiyah) and
conscious surrender (riq) to Allah. Its ultimate destination is your encounter with the
House of Allah (Bayt al-Allah) – the Ka‘bah – with both your physical body and, more
importantly, your heart (qalb).
Ibn al-Jawzi (rahimah al-Allah) relates a story of an old, blind woman who was
journeying to Hajj years ago with a caravan. Throughout the journey, she keeps asking:
“Are we at the house of my Lord?” Time and again, she is told, “No, mother, we are not
there yet.” As the caravan nears Makkah, she is informed that they are almost there.
Finally, they enter Masjid al-Haram. She is led to the Ka’bah. Touching the Ka’bah,
she cries, “Baytu rabbi? The House of my Lord?” Weeping, she clings to the cloth of the
Ka’bah – and dies.
The woman realized with her heart (qalb) the true significance of visiting the House of
her Lord.
Allah has invited you to His House, which He has called the Bayt al-‘Atiq – the ancient,
liberated and liberating house. Your journey is one of freedom and liberation. For as
your body leaves its material house to journey to Allah’s House, your heart is meant to
disengage from the lower self (nafs), the shaytan, and the world (dunya) and journey to

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The Pilgrimage Rituals and Their Purpose

The Pilgrimage Rituals and Their Purpose
By Dr. Muhammad Kamal Al-Shareef

As Dhul-Hijjah, the last month of the lunar year, approaches, millions of believers throughout the world experience a strong sense of longing to visit the Kaaba and offer the pilgrimage. They dream of beholding the place where the first house ever dedicated for pure worship was built, to walk around it, pray close to it, and walk between the two hills of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, where Hagar, Ishmael’s mother, walked when she searched for water for her thirsty young child. They feel a strong drive which wants to take them to Arafat, Muzdalifah and Mina; to take up pebbles and commemorate Abraham’s action as he stoned the devil who tried to dissuade him from obeying God’s orders.

A question persists in our minds: What is the wisdom behind imposing this duty which involves much endurance of hardship and requires a substantial amount of money to fulfill?
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Zakah and Hajj


The third obligation is zakah.  Every Muslim whose financial condition is above a certain specified minimum must pay annually 2.5 percent of his or her cash balance to a deserving fellow being.  This is the minimum.  The more you pay, the greater the reward that God shall bestow on you.

The money that we pay as zakah is not something God needs or receives.  He is above any want and need.  He, in His benign mercy, promises us rewards manifold if we help our brethren.  But there is one basic condition for being thus rewarded.  And it is this: that when we pay in the name of God, we shall not expect nor demand any worldly gains from the beneficiaries nor aim at making our names as philanthropists.

Zakah is as basic to Islam as other forms of worship: salah (prayers) and saum (fasting).  The fundamental importance of zakah lies in the fact that it fosters in us the qualities of sacrifice and rids us of selfishness and plutolatry.  Islam accepts within its fold only those who are ready to give away in God’s way from their hard earned wealth willingly and without any temporal or personal gain.  It has nothing to do with misers.  A true Muslim will, when the call comes, sacrifice all his belongings in the way of God, for zakah has already trained him for such sacrifice.

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