Hajj Process - Step by Step Guide

Hajj is a pilgrimage that Muslims from all around the world should perform once in their whole life. Hajj is performed for five days, from 8th to 12th Dhul-Hijjah. Before you start your journey of Hajj, you must learn the whole process. That's why UrduPoint is presenting you with a step-by-step guide on how to perform Hajj.

Millions of Muslims worldwide come to Makkah each year to perform Hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage that follows the Prophet Muhammad's actions. They follow his footsteps, see what he does, and do what he does. 

Hajj is performed between the 8th and 13th days of the 12th Islamic lunar calendar's month, Dhul-Hijjah. It is the fifth pillar of Islam. 

The Hajj origin dates back to about 2000 BC when ALLAH instructed Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) to leave his wife Hazrat Hajra and son Hazrat Ismail (A.S.) alone in the sands of Makkah. Hazrat Hajra searched for water for her son between the mountains of Safa and Marwa. When she returned to Hazrat Ismail, she saw that the baby is rubbing the earth with his feet, and a water fountain rose under his foot. ALLAH later ordered Prophet Ibrahim to build a Kaaba at this location and invite people to perform Ibadah there.

The Kaaba, a stone house at the heart of Mecca's Grand Mosque, was built by the Prophet Abraham (A.S.) in biblical times.

Hajj is regarded as one of Islam's most profound acts, encouraging Muslims to be sweet and humble with themselves and sincere to Allah. In Allah's (SWT) eyes, everyone is equal, whether rich or poor, regardless of ethnicity. It is more than a divine obligation.

The pilgrim must be Muslim, of sound mind, and complete the journey both mentally and economically. It took five days to complete the fantastic journey. Travel time and a day of spiritual planning are not included in the five-day pilgrimage.

Hajj is an annual spiritual activity performed by Muslims at least once in their lives to express their belief in and servitude to Allah. Annually, the Saudi government provides facilities and services to enable around 2 million pilgrims to conduct their comfort and peace rituals.

It's an inspiring time for everyone getting ready to travel, but it's also a profoundly spiritual, serious, and significant period of our lives. 

Pilgrims are tired at the end of their journeys, but they feel refreshed and closer to God. According to the Prophet (PBUH), those who perform Hajj would return sin-free, just as they were when they were born.

Kinds of Hajj

There are three main kinds of Hajj.

Hajj al-Ifrad

This kind of Hajj refers to fulfilling the rituals, and there is no need to sacrifice animals or do Qurbani. It involves only wearing Ihram for the Hajj and removing it only on the day of sacrifice. Mufrid is the name given to a pilgrim who performs this kind of Hajj. 

Hajj al-Tamatt'u

It is the most popular form of Hajj, and it is the one that Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) urged his companions to follow. People from other countries usually practice Hajj al-Tamatt'u in Saudi Arabia.

It applies to conducting Umrah ceremonies during the Hajj season and then completing the Hajj steps between the eighth and thirteenth days of Dhu al-Hijjah.

Muttamatti is the name for a pilgrim who performs this kind of Hajj. It requires the sacrifice of a sacrificial animal.

Hajj al-Qiran

In Qiran, one must stick to the Ihram restrictions. It refers to wearing Ihram for both Umrah and Hajj and not taking it off before the day of sacrifice in Mina. 

This type necessarily requires a sacrificial animal to complete the rituals. Qaarin is the name for a pilgrim who performs this kind of Hajj.

Kinds of Hajj

A step by step guide on how Muslims perform Hajj

It can be done in various ways, and there are many schools of Islamic thought with their own set of scholarly differences.

Before Arriving Makkah

Step 1: Making Intention (Niyah)

It's critical to make your Niyah in your heart before arriving in Makkah to start Hajj.

The process that Muslim men or women have to perform is explained here. These steps are crucial and are considered necessary before performing Hajj.

  1. Perform ablutions (Cleaning the body so that Muslims attain the physical purity of their bodies. This process involves some mandatory and other functions).
  2. Perform Ghusl.
  3. Apply perfume, trim the head & beard.
  4. Clipp of your finger & toenails
  5. Trimming of the mustache
  6. Shaving off body hairs (So that during Hajj, you are not allowed to do so).
  7. Wearing Ihram (two pieces of white sheets, namely Izar and Rida for men and for women simple light color clothes. Both men and women should wear sandals that should expose the middle bones of your midfoot).
  8. Perform two Rakats of Salah al-Ihram. The head must be covered in it.
  9. Pronounce Niyyah as Muslims approach the Miqat.
  10. Reciting Talbiyah. As you have now entered the sacred boundary of the Khana e Kabba after Miqat. 
  11. This recitation of Talbiyah must be continued until the commencement of Tawaf.
  12. Then onto the next stage of traveling to Mecca. It is considered the next step of performing Umrah.

When you arrive at Makkah's holiest Masjid al-Haram, you'll be able to start the most important spiritual journey of your life.

It is vital to follow each action following the Holy Prophet's Sunnah (P.B.U.H). In truth, following all processes in the Holy Prophet's (P.B.U.H) exact order is also needed.

Umrah After Arriving Makkah

When you arrive in Makkah, you will perform Umrah, which includes Tawaf and Sa'i. Umrah provides Muslims with a chance to renew their religion, accept forgiveness, and pray for their needs.

Step 2: Tawaf

Tawaf is one of the essential pilgrimage rituals, and it entails walking in anti-clockwise circles around the Kaaba. A Tawaf is made up of seven circuits, each of which begins and ends at the black stone.

You can make voluntary prayers in addition to your Tawaf to thank Allah (SWT) for your safe arrival and to continue this unique spiritual journey.

Step 3: Sa'i

When you have done Tawaf, you will do Sa'i, which involves walking and running between Safa and Marwa's two hills. You'll start the Sa'i on Safa and walk towards Marwa until you see the green sign. When you've completed seven laps between Safa and Marwa, your Sa'i is finished.

Men will have their hair trimmed or shaved after Sa'i, while women will have their hair clipped to the end of their fingertip. Your Umrah is now complete, now you are allowed to leave Ihram before the 8th of Dhul Hijjah.

A step by step guide on how Muslims perform Hajj

1st Day of Hajj

Tarwiyah Day (8th Dhul Hijjah)

After the Maghrib prayer of 7th Dhul-Hijjah, the date 8 Dhul-Hijjah begins. In those late-night hours, try to complete all Hajj preparations. Pilgrims wear the Ihram and declare their Niyah to perform the pilgrimage.

Men cover their heads and offer two Rakahs of Nafal for Ihram in the Haram Sharif. Men are no longer allowed to cover their heads during Ihram after this stage.

Step 4: Miqat

When reaching the outer boundary of Mecca, known as Miqat, the first ritual of Hajj is entering Ihram, a pilgrim's holy state. Before they can enter Makkah, they must pass through five Mawaqeet.

Allah Almighty declared that anybody wishing to perform Hajj or Umrah at His glorified House should enter the state of Ihram from particular locations where he is not allowed to pass without Ihram.

Before leaving for Makkah, they shower, put on their Ihram, which means wearing simple clothes – two unstitched cloths for men or loose-fitting clothing for women and make the niyyah perform the Hajj.

They begin to make Talbiah:

لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ، لَبَّيْكَ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ لاَشَرِيْكَ لَكَ

"Here I am, O Allah, here I am, here I am. You have no partner; here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours and all sovereignty. You have no partner."

Step 5: Proceed to Mina

The pilgrims then set out in large groups from Mecca to the vast tent-city of Mina, either on foot or by bus or vehicle. It's an 8-kilometer walk. They will stay in Mina for the whole day. There are no significant rituals performed on the first night, so pilgrims pass their time praying.

You have to set the tent when you arrive in Mina. You will pray dhuhr, asr, maghrib, isha, and Fajr here, reducing your four unit prayers to 2 parts each, as prescribed by the Quran.

Spend the night praying to Allah (SWT), reading the Qur'an, and getting ready for the next day. It's a rare night for spiritual remembrance and commitment.

2nd Day of Hajj

Day of Arafah (9th Dhul Hijjah):

The second day starts on 9th Dhul-Hijjah.

Step 6: Arafah

The Day of Arafat is one of the most important days in the Islamic calendar, not only for Hajj. The final sermon of Prophet Muhammad was delivered on Mount Mercy in Arafat. Pilgrims spend the day hereafter traveling 14.4 kilometers from Mina.

Pilgrims spend this time saying Talbiyah, saying Darud Sharif, and reciting all of the Dua's in Arabic and their native language. It is preferable to perform Waquf while standing, but sitting is also appropriate.

Pilgrims move to nearby Mount Arafat on the second day of Hajj. Pilgrims offer Dhuhr and Asr and remain there until the sun sets, and praying for His grace and mercy.

The imam of Masjid-e-Namrah leads mixed and simplified Zuhr and Asr prayers at Zuhr time with one adhan but different iqamahs. Most Muslims around the world prefer to fast on this day.

After sunset, pilgrims travel 9 kilometers north of Arafat to Muzdalifah, where they spend the night.

Step 7: Muzdalifah

You'll leave Arafah after sunset and go to Muzdalifah, the open plain area between Mina and Arafat. When you arrive in Muzdalifah, offer your Salah of maghrib and Isha one after the other, minimizing the Isha salah to two Rakat. Many people can start gathering pebbles here for tomorrow's rituals, then leave just before sunrise.

It is a very blessed night to praise Allah, recite Darud Sharif, read the Quran, say Talbiyah, and humbly supplicate. You should either pray or rest for the night. The Prophet (SAW) slept until just before Fajr instead of participating in night worship as he usually did.

You should also pick pebbles when in Muzdalifah to do Rami [the devil's stoning] for the next three days. The stones can be roughly the same size.

You need to pick up 21 pebbles but as a precautionary measure, bring the total to 70. You will miss the target or see any pebbles fall from your hand as you go through the process of throwing the stones at the Jamarat. Pebbles can be found almost anywhere in Mina. When the sun is about to rise, start your journey Mina.

3rd Day of Hajj

First day of Eid (10th Dhul Hijjah):

You will leave Muzdalifah after performing Fajr salah and go to Mina. Do remember to recite the Talbiyah. The day is known as Yawm-ul-Hajj, or the Day of Sacrifice, falls on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah.

Step 8: The Rami

Pilgrims return to Mina before sunrise to participate in a ritual that represents stoning the devil. It is the longest and most risky day of the Hajj for all pilgrims when millions of people throw pebbles at the pillars.

Rami is an activity of throwing pebbles at the Jamarat. Thousands of pilgrims gather on the Jamarat Bridge, that has the three devil-like pillars, to re-enact the event.

Rami's ritual was a representation of Ibrahim's (AS) acts when he was ordered to kill his son, Ismail (AS), in response to Allah's direction (SWT). The devil tried to stop Him, but He threw some pebbles on the devil.

Pilgrims throw seven consecutive small stones at the Jamrat Al-Aqabah, a rare stone monument.

When you arrive in Jamarat, go to Jamarat al-Aqaba, the giant pillar, and throw the first seven pebbles there. Every time you throw the pebbles, say Takbir اللهُ أَكْبَرُ ( Allah is The Greatest).

Step 9: Animal Sacrifice (Qurbani)

On the 10th, 11th, or 12th day, Pilgrims sacrifice animals at any time. Pilgrims must either slaughter a sheep, cow, goats, or camel themselves or pay for it to be performed in their honor.

This rite reflects Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son before being replaced by a lamb, and it represents the believers' devotion to God.

It is appropriate to give an animal sacrifice to God after the stoning ceremony. Each pilgrim used to do this independently, but nowadays, it is much more popular for pilgrims to buy a sacrifice voucher.

Many will then go to Mecca to conduct Tawaf and Sa'ee, which involves seven times circling the Kaaba and running between Safa and Marwa's hills.

Step 10: Halq

Pilgrims trim or shave their hair (men only) and remove their Ihram clothing at this stage. It is better to cut one's hair like the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) did. Women trim her hair to a fingertip's length.

Step 11: Tawaf-e-Ziarat

As part of your Hajj rites, you can now go to Makkah to conduct Tawaf al-ifadha and Sa'i.

The Tawaf al-ifada and Sa'i are needed. Both must be done after the Rami, sacrifice, and head trimming, according to the Sunnah. Its practice is identical to that of Tawaf of Umrah.

It can be done at any time of day or night, from the 10th of Zil Hijjah until the 12th of Zil Hijjah sunset.

4th Day of Hajj

Second day of Eid (11th Dhul Hijjah):

You'll have your 21 pebbles ready on the 11th of Dhul Hijjah afternoon.

Step 12: Rami of Jamrarat

If anyone wants to leave Mina, they have to throw the pebbles on the 12th day and go before sunset. If the sun sets before he leaves, he will now have to stay in Mina for the third night.

Believers return to Mina for three nights and start throwing stones on each of the three Jamarat. Rami usually is accessible in the evenings or before nighttime.

Pilgrims will now spend the next two to three days in Mina, completing their pilgrimage's most challenging part.

Step 13: Supplicate, Zikr and Ibadah

With your raised hand and facing Qibla, praise Allah and recite Duas in Arabic or supplicate in your own words. You will ask Allah whatever you want as long as you do not commit any sins.

5th Day of Hajj

Third day of Eid (12th Dhul Hijjah):

The Hajj completes on the 12 Dhul Hijjah, the final day of the Hajj.

Step 14: Rami of Jamrat

On days 5th day, pilgrims throw seven stones on pillars once more after Zawal. Start with Jamarah al-Ula, then Jamarah al-Wusta, and then Jamarah al-Aqaba. You have to stone each one with seven pebbles in a row.

The pilgrims then spend the next two to three days in Mina praying and remembering Allah.

Step 15: Final chance for Tawaf-e-Ziarat

You have the choice of moving to Makkah before sunset after today's Rami. If you were unable to do Tawaf-e-Ziarah earlier, you have to do so today before Maghrib.

Pilgrims must perform the Tawaf and Sa'e rites at the Kaaba and surrounding hills. The rites are conducted similarly during the Umrah, although it is highly advised that these rites are performed only after the stoning, sacrifice, and hair-cutting rituals.

Step 16: Tawaf al-Wida

The farewell Tawaf is the last rite we do before leaving Makkah. It is wajib and must be done before leaving the Haram's borders. In Islam, it is not permissible to skip this Tawaf unless there is a reasonable cause.

You will complete seven Tawaf laps with this Tawaf. After that, offer two Rakats of salah and drink water (zam zam). After this Tawaf, there is no Sa'i or head-shaving or trimming.

Conclusion

Before returning home, many pilgrims visit Medina, Islam's second holiest city, where the Prophet Muhammad and his closest companions are buried. Visiting Medina, on the other hand, is not included in the pilgrimage.

Adult Muslims who have the financial resources must perform Hajj at least once in their lives to demonstrate their faith and devotion to Allah Almighty. Muslims must learn how to follow the Hajj rituals step by step.

UrduPoint presented you a complete and easy step-by-step guide to perform Hajj so that you learn it before you go on this religious journey. We hope our guide will help you a lot in performing Hajj.