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Hajj and Umrah Perform
Hajj Perform

Labayk Allahuma Labayk Labayk. La shareeka laka Labayk. Innal hamda wannimata laka wal mulk. La shareeka Lak (Here I am at your service, oh Lord, here I am - here I am. No partner do you have. Here I am. Truly, the praise and the favor are yours, and the dominion. No partner do you have.)

These are the words chanted by some two million people from across the world on one single spot on Earth to every year for 14 centuries, Muslim pilgrims gather in Mecca to perform rituals based on those conducted by the Prophet Muhammad during his last visit to the city.
Performing these rituals, known as the Hajj, is the fifth pillar of Islam and the most significant manifestation of Islamic faith and unity. Undertaking the Hajj at least once is a duty for Muslims who are physically and financially able to make the journey to Mecca. The emphasis on financial ability is meant to ensure that a Muslim takes care of his family first. The requirement that a Muslim be healthy and physically capable of undertaking the pilgrimage is intended to exempt those who cannot endure the rigors of extended travel.

The pilgrimage is the religious high point of a Muslim's life and an event that every Muslim dreams of undertaking. Umrah, the lesser pilgrimage, can be undertaken at any time of the year; Hajj, however, is performed during a five-day period from the ninth through the thirteenth of Dhu Al-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Muslim lunar calendar.

In the past, and as late as the early decades of this century, few people were able to "make their way" to Mecca for the pilgrimage. This was because of the hardships encountered, the length of time the journey took and the expense associated with it. Pilgrims coming from the far corners of the Islamic world sometimes dedicated a year or more to the journey, and many perished during it due in part to the lack of facilities on the routes to Mecca and also in the city itself.

The Rites of Pilgrimage
After sunrise on the ninth of the Islamic month of Dhu Al-Hajjah, this vast crowd of nearly two million begins to walk some eight miles to the Plain of Arafat, passing Muzdalifah on the way. Many perform the noon and afternoon prayers at the Nimerah Mosque, a tradition set by the Prophet.
Approaching Arafat by midmorning, the pilgrim is amazed to find the vast plain covered by what appears to be a thick fog, even though the temperature hovers around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This optical illusion is created by thousands of sprinklers placed atop 30-foot poles and spaced some 50 feet apart, which spread a fine mist of water to provide coolness. Millions of containers of chilled water are distributed from refrigerated trucks located along the pilgrim route.
Pilgrims are required to spend the day in the plain, performing what is called the Standing at Arafat. Here they also visit the Mount of Mercy and ask for God's forgiveness for any sins committed and for blessings. Facilities have also been set up here to feed the pilgrims and meet any requirement they may have.

After the sun has set this river of humanity retraces its steps back toward Mecca, but stops at Muzdalifah until the brightness of day appears on the eastern horizon. Here the pilgrims collect seven pebbles and carry them to Mina. As they arrive in the valley, they trek along a two-level pedestrian walkway some 100-yards wide toward the three stone pillars called the Jamarat, which are meant to represent Satan. The pilgrims are required to cast the pebbles they have collected at the Stone Pillar of Aqabah while praising God, in a symbolic rejection of Satan. As the pilgrims approach along the walkway, they join those already at the pillar and, after hurling their pebbles circle toward the exit ramp in the direction of Mecca. Signs in various major languages direct the crowds along the route.
The pilgrims then walk some four miles along pedestrian walkways to reach Mecca, where they perform the tawaf, circling the Ka'abah in the Holy Mosque seven times counter clockwise. They then perform sa'ay, the running between Safa and Marwa in an enclosed, air-conditioned structure. Male pilgrims are then required to shave their heads, although cutting a lock of hair is acceptable for both men and women. At this point the pilgrims sacrifice an animal, donating its meat to the needy. Each year, over 600,000 animals are sacrificed, in modern abattoirs that complete the processing of the meat over the three days of the Eid. Distribution of this sacrificial meat goes to those in need in some 30 countries.

The rites of the pilgrimage are now completed. Pilgrims come out of Ihram and wear their normal clothes, but remain at Mina for the Eid Al-Adha, the festival that signals the culmination of the Hajj. Over the next two days, they stone the three pillars in the Jamarat, before performing the Tawaf Al-Wida', the Farewell Circumambulation of the Ka'abah before their departure from the city.
While not required as part of the Hajj, most pilgrims visit the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah during their visit to the Kingdom.


Source: www.saudiembassy.net
Umrah Perform

In this article the procedure to wear Ihram and to perform the rites of Umrah are presented in a simplified way. Also included is the procedure to visit the Holy Prophet (pbuh)'s Tomb and his Mosque.

IHRAM
The literal meaning of Ihram is to make haraam (forbidden). When a haji pronounces the Niyyah (intention) of Hajj and Umrah and utters Talbiyah, certain halaal (permissible) things become haraam for him. This combined action (Niyyah and Talbiyah) is called Ihram. The two sheets that a haji wears are figuratively known as Ihram but the real Ihram is Niyyah & Talbiyah. If someone wears these two sheets and does not declare his intention and utter Talbiyah, he does not become a Muhrim. That is why, before Niyyah and Talbiyah, he can cover his head during two rakahs of Nafl, an act which is not allowed in the real state of Ihram.

PROCEDURE
Preparations for Ihram. Comb your hair, shape the beard, trim your mustache, cut your nails, and remove unwanted body hair.
Purification. Take a bath with the intention of Ihram otherwise do wudu. Here it is noted that there are two ways of purification:

  • Purification of the body, shower or wudu.
  • Internal purification, sincere repentance on your sins. Say something like this: "O Allah, I sincerely repent on my sins and seek your forgiveness."
  • Ihram Sheets. Men should wear a sheet of white cloth around the waist and cover the upper body with the other sheet. Women's ordinary clothes are their Ihram. Both should wear the flip-flops (hawai chappal) so that the middle bones of the upper part of the feet are not covered.
  • Nafl Salah. If it is not makruh (undesirable) time, offer two rakahs of nafl for Ihram by covering your heads.
  • Advice. If going to Jeddah by an airplane, it is convenient to get into the status of Ihram inside the plane. Here is what you do. Do everything at home or at the airport except Niyyah (intention) and Talbiyah. Have your shower, pray two rakahs of nafl but you are still not in the status of ihram because you haven't done the main thing yet, i.e., intention and Talbiyah which is done at or before the boundary line called Miqat.
  • Go to the airplane and sit down with the white sheets on. In a Hajj flight when you are close to Miqat, the pilot will announce that this is the border line to make your intention and to say Talbiyah. Those who did not change their clothes before should do so now although it is not convenient inside the plane. Please note that:
    1. It is a good idea to ask at the time of boarding if the arrival of Miqat will be announced by the pilot. If not, make your intention and say Talbiyah on your own approximately one hour before you reach Jeddah.
    2. If you are flying with a group, follow the instructions of the group leader.
    3. Intention and Talbiyah. Now uncover your head and declare your intention. It is assumed that you are performing Hajj al-Tammat'u in which Umrah is performed first as described later in the "Kinds of Hajj".
      "O Allah! I intend to perform Umrah. Please make it easy for me and accept it from me. Amen."
    4. Immediately after that utter the words of Talbiyah three times and as often afterwards as possible. If you don't remember it, you can say its translation in English or in any other language but Talbiah or its translation is pronounced in a loud voice by men and in a subdued voice by women.
      "TALBIYAH"
      Labbayk, Allahumma Labbayk.
      Labbayk.
      La shareeka laka.
      Labbayk.
      Innal-hamda wan-n'imata laka wal-mulk.
      La shareeka lak.

      ( Here we come, O Allah, here we come ! Here we come. No partner have You. Here we come! Praise indeed, and blessings, are Yours the Kingdom too! No partner have You! ).
    5. Du'a. After this recite Darud Sharif and supplicate to Allah Almighty any du'a in Arabic or in your own language.
    6. Prohibitions of Ihram. After intention and Talbiyah, you are in the status of Ihram and from this time on you should not do acts that are forbidden in Ihram , for example, here are some of the things a muhrim must not do:
      Cover head (men), cover face (women)
      Cover the middle bone of the upper part of the feet (Both men and women)
      Shave / cut hair
      Cut nails
      Wear perfume
      Wear stitched clothing (men) / (Women can wear their ordinay clothes)
      Hunting / killing or sex
    7. Journey towards Mecca. When this sacred journey towards Mecca al-Mukarrama starts, recite Talbiyah frequently on the way. Then enter the city very humbly and with great fondness still reciting Talbiyah.
    8. After arranging for your residence, proceed to the Haram Sharif to perform Umrah.