How to perform Hajj? The basic Hajj procedure to be kept in mind by first-timers/the pilgrims

First day of Hajj
The first day of Hajj, Yaumut Tarwiyah, happens on 8th of Dhul Hijjah according to Islamic calendar. Starting from, pilgrims recall their rites of assuming Ihram after the bath. It is highly recommended to bath before entering the state of ihram while following the necessary conditions of Ihram. They don the ihram sheets and affirm their intention to perform pilgrimage. Pilgrims perform the Fajr prayer which is followed by the circumambulation around the sacred Kaaba and Sae between the hills of Safa and Marwa. Then, they gather around and make their way to Mina from Makkah. During their overnight stay in the tents at Mina, pilgrims offer all their prayers and recite as much as they can.

Second day of Hajj
Yaumul-Wuquf, also known as the day of standing, it starts on 9th Dhul Hijjah. Pilgrims move towards Arafat from Mina. They offer the timely prayer of Qasr (combining Zuhr and A’sar) at Arafat plains. As per the name indicates, this day requires meditation in the standing position in which pilgrims repent on their sins and seek mercy and forgiveness from Allah.  Various religious scholars give sermons close to the Jabal-al-Rahmah which is also known as the Mount of Mercy. After sunset, pilgrims move ahead towards point of Muzdalifah and offer their Maghrib and Isha prayer together. During their overnight stay at that point of open skies and plain grounds, pilgrim performs their religious duties and obligations with utmost zeal and fervour. People gather stones for the next day’s ritual of stoning the Jimar-e-Mina.

Third day of Hajj
On the third day of Hajj, Yaum-ul-Nahr, pilgrims return to Mina for pelting stones at Jumrah-e-Kabira. It is obligatory on every pilgrim to do the task by himself.  Hold the pebble with your thumb and forefinger, and throw stones after reciting takbeer. Make sure you don’t use any foul language during this activity and hit seven pebbles to Jumrah-e-Kabira. All the thrown pebbles will fall into cistem.  Those who are performing Hajj-e-Qiran and Hajj Tamattu are required to perform “Dum Shukar” I.e. to sacrifice an animal. However, in case of pilgrims who are undertaking Hajj-e-Ifraad , it is not a compulsion. After that, pilgrims shave or clip their heads. This will remove all the imposed restriction of Ihram.  Getting involved in to any physical activity of married couples is excluded from those of lifted restrictions. Pilgrims travel back to Makkah in order to perform the most important ritual which is Tawaf-e-Ziyarat. It is mandatory on all the pilgrims without any compensation or permission to elapse this ritual.  Then, repeat the Sa’e in your daily routine dress. Ihram is not a necessary condition for it. Moreover, it’s a Sunnah to move to Mina instead of staying in Makkah after Tawaf.

The Fourth Day of Hajj:
The fourth day of Hajj and following two days are known as Ayyamut Tashriq which is dedicated to perform Rami. 11th Dhul-Hijjah is meant for to pelting of stones at all three Jimar (devils) which is followed by supplications. In between the time in Rami, pilgrims usually spend time in supplications. The most appropriate time for Rami as per Sunnah is from noon to sunset.

The Fifth Day of Hajj:
On 12th Dhul-Hijjah, your stay at Mina continues and you remain the same routine as the previous day i.e. to throw pebbles at all three Jimar. Pilgrims return to Makkah and perform Tawaf-e-Kaaba.  After this, they are free from all the restriction of Ihram and finally, Hajj is accomplished.

Though pilgrims of Hajj are highly dedicated to Ibadah yet it is reminded over and over again to commit all your time in supplications and prayers. While you are fortunate enough to have been chosen for the greatest opportunity, take extra care to stick to the virtuous deeds and shun all the prohibitions in this regard. Take your time to perform all the rituals of Hajj in the directed methods.

It is always a better idea to do a complete research and guidance from reliable sources to do your best. Above all, never harm any person with your words or actions. May Allah grant you patience to endure trails of Hajj and make you earn much greater reward along with purification of your sins. Amen

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