Here Is How One Prepares For Hajj Rites

We all know about hajj as Muslims because it’s a pillar of Islam and also we have relatives who have been there. They often come home with lots of tales about what went on. However, till we go there ourselves, most people really have no idea how the rites are performed despite knowing some of the rites by name.

This article, a summary of a hajj guide, would brief you with the necessary rites to complete your hajj. It is however advisable not to rely solely on one’s knowledge but ask Ulamas (clergy) who have been to hajj before for clarifications and details. Refer to etiquettes of hajj to prepare you for the following hajj rites.

Before assuming ihram
Trim nails, armpit hair, pubic hair and wash entire body. Men put on ihram garment and can use perfume on their body after bathing but not on the garments. Women should only use faint unnoticeable scent. After that, one makes the intention and enters a state of ihram.

NB; this intention can only be made at the meeqat (points of assuming ihram) hence if you took your bath somewhere outside the meeqat, wait till you get to the meeqat before making the niya.
Violation of entering ihram before reaching the meeqat requires slaughter of sheep to be distributed among the poor.

Prohibitions during ihram
Note the following prohibitions to avoid spoiling your hajj:

  • Removing hair/nails however forgetfulness is excused.
  • Using perfume on clothes or body
  • Hunting or pointing game for others to hunt within haram boundaries in or out of ihram
  • Cutting or uprooting trees or plants not planted by man whether in ihram or not
  • Picking dropped items unless to assist in finding the owner, also whether or not in ihram
  • Marrying, proposing or arranging marriage (for yourself or another person)
  • Intercourse and anything that stimulates desire
  • Wearing niqab or burqa and gloves but a woman can cover her face with part of her veil
  • Covering  head (for men) with turban or cloth
  • Wearing of shoes is not allowed, only sandals or slippers aré allowed

What is permissible?

  • Wearing watch, eye glasses, ring, earphones, belt, sandals
  • Shading with umbrella or car
  • Bandage wounds
  • Change garments, cleaning and washing them
  • Washing head and body

Involves taking niya at meeqat (some distance from Maccah). A pilgrim cannot pass beyond the meeqat without ihram. At the meeqat, one performs ghusl, wears 2 white garments, one around the waist and one over the shoulder (for men) and any other clothes but covering the awrah for women but should not be decorative.

After that, one makes the intention for hajj by saying “labbayk…(Talbiyah)”

NB; Ihram garments can be worn from home and on reaching the meeqat, the talbiyah is recited. Men recite loudly while women do so silently.

Watch out for part two for what happens after ihram.


Photo credit: Bilal Randeree

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