Hajj Pilgrimage-I

Performing Hajj is obligatory for those Muslims who can afford it. To put it plainly, performing Hajj is obligatory for those Muslims who have the money and the health to undertake the pilgrimage. ...

Performing Hajj is obligatory for those Muslims who can afford it. To put it plainly, performing Hajj is obligatory for those Muslims who have the money and the health to undertake the pilgrimage.
And, those who have the health and the means must perform it. Allah the most exalted shall not accept any excuse. "Those who have the health and the means and still refrain from performing Hajj for one reason or the other shall either die as Christians or Jews." (Al Bukhari).
A Haji must refrain from crude show of ostentation on his departure to the Holy places. The intention must be pure. The journey must be undertaken for invoking the blessings of Allah the most exalted.
On his arrival in the holy city of Makkah, a pilgrim has to perform Umra immediately. The Umra involves Ta'waf of the Kabbah, offering two rakaats near Muqam-e-Ibrahiem (AS), drinking Zam Zam, Sa'yee (walking between Safah and Marwah and shaving off hair from the head.
A pilgrim must preferably enter the Masjid-e-Haram from Babus Salam. It is a gate between Safa and Marwah and it was from here that the most revered Prophet (SAAW) entered the mosque. After entering mosque, a pilgrim must lower his gaze and walk slowly towards the Kabbah. He will reach a place where the bottom of the Kabbah could be seen. Here the pilgrim must look towards the Kabbah and pray. It is believed that Allah the most exalted grants every prayer after looking (first look) at the Kabbah. According to Ulema the pilgrim must pray in following words: "Oh Allah the most exalted grant me whatever I seek during my stay in the Haram."
Now the pilgrim must walk towards Sang-e-Aswad (a black stone fixed in a corner of the Kabba). It is from here that the pilgrim has to start his Ta'waaf. The pilgrim kisses the stone and starts moving in the direction of Muqam-e-Ibrahiem (RA) and completes one round around the Kabba. Every round ends at Sang-e-Aswad.
The pilgrim must, however, bear in mind that it is forbidden to push people in the Haram. For kissing the Sang-e-Aswad, a pilgrim should not push other pilgrims to make his way. If it is not possible to kiss the stone, the pilgrim must look towards it and kiss his fingers.
While taking rounds the pilgrim must seek pardon for his sins, he must pray for his family, friends and the Ummah. At other corner of the Kabbah is the Rukn-e-Yamani. If possible the pilgrim must touch it. If it is not possible no problem.
The pilgrim has to do Ramal (brisk walking) during the first three rounds around the Kabbah. And during this time he must not cover the right shoulder and arm with Ahraam. It must remain bare. However, after completing three rounds this restriction ends.
After completing Ta'waaf, a pilgrim has to offer two Rakaats near Muqam-e-Ibrahiem (AS). It is better if the pilgrim offers this salaat with Muqam-e-Ibrahiem in between him and Kabbah. However, if it is not possible (due to heavy rush) the pilgrim can offer this salaat anywhere in the Masjid-e-Haram.
Soon after, the pilgrim has to drink Zam Zam. No problem if the pilgrim washes his face and head with Zam Zam.
Then the pilgrim has to proceed towards Safah and commence S'ayee. He has to walk between Safah and Marwah and back and then repeat the exercise seven times. One walk between Safah and Marwah completes one round. The journey back to Safah completes the second and so on. Some pilgrims (due to confusion) walk between the two erstwhile hillocks fourteen times. The pilgrim must bear in mind that the seventh round ends at the Marwah. In between Safah and Marwah there are green fluorescent lights. Between these lights the pilgrim has to run. It was at these places that {Hazrat Hajrah (mother of Ismaiel (AS)} ran in search of water. At Safah and Marwah the pilgrim must look towards the Kabbah and pray. After completing the seventh round the pilgrim has to leave the mosque to get his hair cut. Just outside the gate near Marwah there are a number of barbershops. It is better to shave off the hair from the head instead of cutting a handful of hair. The most revered Prophet (SAW) has prayed for the person who gets his head shaved off after Umra. The women must cut about an inch of their hair. After shaving off the head the pilgrim completes the Umrah and gets free from the restrictions of the Ahraam.
–To be concluded

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