What is Hajj & Umrah Series in my blog?
I have been living in Saudi Arabia as Pakistani expat for several years and Alhamdulillah (Praise to Allah), I have visited Masjid al Haram (Haram Mosque in Makkah) and Masjid e Nabawai (Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah) several times during my stay. Based on my experience, I am planning to start a series of posts containing some tips and pieces of advice about practical difficulties usually faced by pilgrims visiting these sacred places for the first time. Even if you are not a first timer, there could be some useful info for you. Right now, I have no plans to state in detail the method of performing Umrah or how to perform Hajj as these can be found in many Islamic books. I will only narrate my experience about some problems which I faced during my visits and how to mitigate them. I guess, you won’t find such pieces of advice in most of Hajj or Umrah guide books.
What are Hajj and Umrah?
Hajj is an obligatory Islamic ritual which Muslims perform each year. Hajj days are specific (5 days, 6th day is conditional) and it commences once in a year. As an estimate, 2.5~3 million Muslims from all over the world come to Makkah (Saudi Arabia), staying for few weeks, to perform hajj. This cycle repeats every year yet millions of Muslims visit Saudi Arabia throughout the year for Umrah (non-obligatory Islamic ritual) which can be done at any time. Umrah can be performed in few hours (say in 2.5~3 hours but there is no time limit).
Hajj sequence includes entering in state of Ihram (wearing clothing for hajj, making intention and refrain from certain activities which are allowed in routine); staying in Mina, staying in Arafat, staying in Muzdalifah, Rami Al Jamarat (stoning Jamarat), Sacrificing an animal, Shaving head or trimming hair, Tawaf (circumambulating around Kaaba), Praying two rakaat Salat, Sai’ay (walking between two hills namely Safa & Marwa near Kaaba), Staying in Mina for two days and keep stoning Jamarat (third day stay at Mina is optional).
Umrah sequence includes entering in state of Ihram, Tawaf (circumambulating around Kaaba), Praying two rakaat Salat, Sai’ay (walking between two hills namely Safa & Marwa near Kaaba) and Shaving head or trimming hair.
May Allah accept Hajj and Umrah of all Muslims.