If you are one of the chosen ones who get to perform Hajj this year, remember to avoid making these Mistakes in Hajj so that you have a fulfilling spiritual experience.
Hajj is the fifth and final pillar of Islam. It is an incumbent religious obligation for all Muslims with physical ability, sound minds, and financial prospects. Hajj takes place in the last month-Dhul Hijjah, of the Islamic calendar and begins on the 7th of Dhul Hijjah and ends on the 12th, lasting for 5 days.
Without a doubt, Hajj is one of the most important and sacred journeys that Muslims take to present themselves in the house of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى). The importance of Hajj can be understood by the verse,
“In it are clear signs and the standing-place of Abraham. Whoever enters it should be safe. Pilgrimage to this House is an obligation by Allah upon whoever is able among the people.1 And whoever disbelieves, then surely Allah is not in need of ˹any of His˺ creation.” (Qur’an 3:97).
Although Hajj only last for 5 days, there are a lot of pre-hajj preparations that one has to make to ensure that they do not make mistakes during Hajj.
Being in the state of Ihram signifies entering a phase of peace and purity. Ihram is a sacred garment worn by individuals performing Hajj, symbolizing the equality of all before Allah. It serves as a reminder that regardless of worldly distinctions, every pilgrim is united in their devotion and submission to Allah. (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى).
Ihram is supposed to be white and is a plain cloth that is to be wrapped loosely around the body, leaving one shoulder uncovered for men and should cover the body for women. It is prohibited for men to cover their heads with a turban.
For women, the clothing requirements include wearing a scarf to cover the head. women are not allowed to wear clothing that covers their faces or hands. They may wear an abaya that covers their entire body. Use of fragrances or perfumes and makeup are not allowed while wearing Ihram.
Maintaining personal hygiene is important for your safety as well of other pilgrims. Smoking, cutting nails, shaving hair, and being involved in sexual activities is strictly prohibited.
Before you embark on this spiritual journey, get your vaccinations as Saudi rules and regulations require. All international pilgrims must be vaccinated against influenza as per the Saudi Ministry of Health requirements.
Rituals of Hajj
The first and foremost ritual of Hajj is in the state of Ihram at Miqat. The pilgrim’s journey to Mina from Makkah, praying and reciting for a day.
The second day of Hajj is the day of Arafat which holds great significance for Muslims worldwide. It was on this day and at Jabal e Rehmat at Arafat that the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) gave his last sermon.
Once the sunsets at Arafat, the pilgrims turn towards Muzdalifah, where they stay the night under the sky and collect pebbles for the next right to perform Rami-also known as stoning the devil.
The pilgrims depart at sunrise and head back to Mina. The 3rd day of Hajj is known as yawm-ul Hajj al-Akbar. Once the pilgrims have reached Mina, they perform the first Rami by throwing seven stones at the largest pillars known as Jamarat. After performing this ritual, the pilgrims perform the sacrifice. With the sacrifice, the practice of Abraham is completed.
Followed by the sacrifice, the pilgrims shave their heads and remove the Ihram. This practice Is known as Halq and Taqsir for women cutting their hair. This is the final ritual of Hajj, after which the pilgrims move towards Makkah to perform the final Tawaf and Sa’ai.
Tawaf is circling the Holy Ka’abah seven times. Sa’ai is the practice of running or walking between the mountains of Safa and Marwa seven times, most pilgrims go back to Mina as well.
They perform the stoning of the devil, and once they are done, they move back to Makkah to perform the farewell tawaf.
Don’ts of Hajj
Hajj is a journey of spiritual cleansing. Therefore, it is important to make the most of your journey by avoiding practices that take away the real meaning of this spiritual cleanliness.
Do not backbite people. Do not run or push people while performing tawaf or Sa’i. do not indulge in shopping or eating while being there for Hajj as it is an opportunity for you to dedicate your time to ibadah and remembrance of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى).
Do not roam around mindlessly and spend time on your phone. This takes away from your focus on ibadah and contradicts your journey’s true purpose. Do not transgress or harm anyone around you, whether an animal, plant, or human.
Common mistakes of Hajj
When performing each ritual, there are multiple things that one must abide by to make sure that one can avoid mistakes in Hajj as much as possible. Each ritual has its own do’s and don’ts. In Ihram, one has to focus on speech and action. Make sure not to use any foul language nor indulge in any activity that corrupts the sanctity of this state.
When performing the tawaf, do not stop in between to touch Hajr-e-Aswad as it also causes disruption in the tawaf for others. In case you can’t touch it, you may raise your hands towards it and recite “Bismillahi Allahu Akbar wa lillahi al hamd.”
Most people kiss the Yemeni corner but it should only be touched and not kissed. Do not be hasty in your ibadat, and do not take off your ihram before getting your hair trimmed or shaved. When performing rami, stoning should be done before or until sunset and not after. You do not have to wash the stones when performing rami.
Remember that Sa’I is not to be performed in the final tawaf. When performing Sa’i, you are not climbing the mountains of Safa and Marwah.
Fidya for Mistakes
Humans can only try to do our best in all our actions. However, if you make any mistake, you are required to give Fidya to compensate for the shortcomings of the practice. Fidya is obligatory if there has been a violation of ihram when you have missed performing an obligatory ritual and have transgressed by cutting a tree or hunting down an animal.
Conclusion for Avoid Common Mistakes in Hajj: The Dos and Don’ts of Hajj for Men and Women
Being able to perform hajj is a true blessing and fortune in its existence. Performing to the best of your consideration and avoiding mistakes in Hajj, is an act you should strive for. If you have not found the opportunity to embark on this journey of a lifetime, do not be disheartened. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) bless us with the opportunity of presenting ourselves in his house and accept our efforts and prayers. Ameen.