Pilgrims of Kashmir Valley abide by certain traditions before leaving for Hajj. They are invited to parties by their relatives, friends and neighbours and thus waste their precious time which they could otherwise devote for worship more and more to seek atonement of their blunders which they might have committed in their lives. We need to understand the real spirit of Hajj and we should realize the fact that we are presenting ourselves before Allah and Prophet (SAW). In Arab Hajj means making determination to achieve something superior and certainly, it signifies that pilgrims desire to achieve something which is above like the blue from this world. Before leaving for Hajj, one must make sure that he has sought the permission of his parents, debtors, relatives, neighbours and friends. One needs to settle down all disputes, issues with those who are aggrieved with him or her so as to leave as a remorseful pilgrim.
The Ka'ba is the House of Allah which is full of blessings and where people find clear signs. It is the place of Abraham (AS) and is complete in peace. Near Ka'ba there is a place called the Multazim, a six feet place between the Hajra-e-Aswad and the doorstep of the Ka'aba, a place where Prophets would pray with tears in their eyes and Allah accepted their prayers and accepts at present also if we are heartfelt. The Hijra Aswad has its origin from the Heavens about which our beloved Prophet says in one Hadith, "When Hijra Aswad was brought from the Heavens to this world, it was whiter than milk. But the sins of the people made it black. (Trimidhi, V – 1, Nesani V- 2).
The Panch Ayam (Five Days) during Hajj are crucial and significant for a pilgrim who comes to Makkah after traveling thousands of miles. On the 8th of Dil- Hajj, the first day of Hajj, the pilgrims start traveling to Mina where Hazrat Abraham (AS) had offered supreme sacrifice of his son Hazrat Ismael (AS) to please Allah. They offer Zuhar, Asr, Mughrib, and Isha and stay at Mina for the night. On 9th of Dil- Hajj, the pilgrims after offering Fajr move towards Arafat and offer Zuhar and Asr there. Here in Arafat in the mosque of Namrah, the Imam addresses the pilgrims and gives a sermon on the philosophy of Islam and comments on the present phenomenon of the Muslim world. At Mughrib time without offering Namaz, the pilgrims move towards Muzdilfa, where they offer Mughrib and Isha Namaz and stay there for night. On the third day, the 10th of Dil-Hajj, after offering Fajar Namaz, the pilgrims move towards Mina and on this day the Hajjis have a lot of toil to do. They stone the Satan, offer sacrifice, shave off their heads and even do Tawaf of the Ka'aba but have to stay at Mina for the night. On the fourth day, the 11th of Dil- Hajj after offering Fajar, the pilgrims Stone the Satan and even can do Tawaf if they have not done so far. On the 12th of Dil- Hajj after the Sunrise, the pilgrims stone three Satans chronologically. In case the Tawaf has not been performed, it can be completed before Mughrib Namaz. Any pilgrim intending to halt at Mina on 13th of Dil-Hajj can stone the Satan. After completing all the obligations of Hajj, the pilgrims return to Mecca where they perform Tawaf Wida of the Ka'aba.
The Hajj signifies Taqwa (Moral and Spiritual elevation). It educates us that we must throw away all grievances and malice against all before leaving for Hajj. It gives us a choice to forget about the past blunders and re-start our lives with piety, grace and at the same time work for the fraternity and unity of the Muslim Ummah.
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