Hajj at a Glance
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I put some information here that I took from the book of "Tell Me About Hajj" published by Goodword Books in 2002.
Arafat. Plain about 12 miles/19 kilometers east of Makkah. It is a major focal point for Hajj. On 9th Dhul Hijjah all pilgrims must present themselves here for the main rite called wuquf or “the standing.”
Jamarat (sing. jamrah). The three stone pillars in Mina where the pilgrims throw small pebbles, this being a rite of Hajj.
Kabah. The Kabah, whose name is derived from Arabic word which means a cube, is the shrine originally built by the Prophet Ibrahim in Makkah, towards which Muslims face while praying.
Makkah. Makkah al-Mukarramah or Makkah the Blessed, is the city which first inhabited by the family of the Prophet Ibrahim, who built the Kabah. The Prophet Muhammad was born here and today it is the center of Hajj and the focal point for Muslims all around the world, who turn towards it five times a day in prayer.
Mina. A small town about 3 miles/5 kilometers away from Makkah where during Hajj, the pilgrims stay in small tents. The rites of throwing pebbles at stone pillars called Jamarat and the sacrifice of animals are carried out here.
Safa and Marwa. Two small hills in Makkah near the Kabah (now enclosed within the Sacred Mosque) between which pilgrims go back and forth seven times to re-enact Hagar’s search for water for her baby, Ismail.
Zamzam. A well near the Kabah inside the Sacred Mosque, from which pilgrims ritually drink. The Zamzam spring appeared when Hagar and her baby, Ismail, were extremely thirsty in the desert.
A few days before Hajj:
- Put on the pilgrim's dress (ihram) at one of the appointed places called miqats.
- Enter the Sacred Mosque of Makkah and perform seven rounds (tawaf) of the Kabah.
- Walk briskly seven times between the Safa an Marwa hills (sa'y).
- Trim hair and remove ihram.
FIRST DAY: 8th Dhul Hijjah
- Put on ihram again and declare one's intention of performing Hajj.
- Perform tawaf of the Kabah and sa'y.
- Stay overnight in Mina.
SECOND DAY: 9th Dhul Hijjah
- Go to Arafat and say the zuhr and asr prayers together, combined and shortened.
- Stand at Arafat with devotion, till sunset, praying and asking Allah's forgiveness (wuquf).
- In the evening, move towards Muzdalifah and say the maghrib and isha prayers together.
- Rest there at night, and collect small pebbles for the stoning in Mina.
THIRD DAY: 10th Dhul Hijjah
· Go to Mina and throw small pebbles there at one of the Jamarat.
· Offer up a sacrifice and have the hair of the head clipped, trimmed, or shaved.
· Go to Makkah and perform tawaf.
· Go back and forth between Safa and Marwa, if sa’y has not been performed on 8th Dhul Hijjah.
· Return to Mina.
FOURTH DAY: 11th Dhul Hijjah
· Stay at Mina and throw pebbles at the Jamarat.
FIFTH DAY: 12th Dhul Hijjah
· Stay at Mina and throw pebbles at the Jamarat.
· Return the same dayto Makkah and perform tawaf.
· Drink the water of Zamzam.
· This ends the Hajj.
Those unable to leave Mina for Makkah on 12th Dhul Hijjah should stay at Mina for one more night. The next day, on 13th Dhul Hijjah, after pelting the stoning pillars with stones, they should leave for Makkah in the afternoon.
The calendar used is Islamic Calendar, Hijriyah. For this year, the date of 10th Dhul Hijjah falls on 8th December 2008. But, every year it will be different, because Hijriyah is a lunar calender (based on the moon revolution). On that day, Muslim all around the world celebrate it as a great festival. It’s called Id al-Adha, the feast of the sacrifice.
Asr. The afternoon prayer.
Dhul Hijjah. The twelfth month of the Islamic Calender during which Hajj is performed.
Hajj. Lit. “to set out for a place.” Pilgrimage to Makkah, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is compulsory for every Muslim, male and female, if he or she possesses enough wealth to undertake the journey and has good health.
Ihram. Lit. “prohibiting.” Pilgrim’s robe consisting of two seamless white sheets or towels. One of the pieces is wrapped around the midriff to cover the body from just above the navel down to the ankles. The other is draped around the shoulders to cover the upper body. (Women wear scarves covering their heads, along with their usual cloths.) Wearing this is a sign of readiness to enter the sacred land of Makkah in the chastened state of mind appropriate to Hajj. The pilgrim says two rakat prayers intended for Hajj or umrah at the time of putting on ihram.
Isha. The night prayer.
Maghrib. The evening prayer.
Miqat. Lit. “a stated time or place.” Places outside Makkah where the pilgrim puts on ihram, before entering Makkah for Hajj or umrah.
Sa’y. Lit. “running.” One of the Hajj rites of going to and fro between Safa and Marwa seven times.
Umrah. The lesser pilgrimage which consists only of the tawaf of the Kabah and the sa’y of Safa and Marwa. It can be performed at any timeduring the day or night, all the year round.
Wuquf. Lit. “standing.” Staying in the Arafat valley and especially praying there in the standing position on the second day of Hajj, 9th Dhul Hijjah.
Zuhr. The midday prayer.