Hajj and ‘Umrah: Step by Step Reference Guide
Once in a lifetime, Hajj and `Umrah are decreed for those who can afford it (3:97). Hajj must be observed during the four Sacred Months – Zul-Hijjah, Muharram, Safar, & Rabi` I (12th, 1st, 2nd, 3rd months of the Islamic calendar) (2:197; 9:2, 36). The first part of the pilgrimage is called `Umrah. `Umrah can be performed by itself any time during the year. However, performing `Umrah by itself is not a substitute for Hajj.
The Steps for Performing Hajj and `Umrah are listed below:
- Start with a bath or shower (Ghusl).
- Make intention for pilgrimage (Neeyah).
- Enter state of Sanctity (Ihraam) – Seamless sheets of material for men, modest dress for women.
2. Rites: ‘Umrah part of the Hajj (Mecca)
- Make counter-clockwise circumvolution around Ka’bah 7 times (Tawaf) while glorifying and praising God. The commonly used words for this are given below.
- Walk between the knolls of Safa and Marwah 7 times with occasional trotting. ‘Umrah portion completed.
- If only ‘Umrah is being performed, cut or shorten hair and remove Irhaam garments. The ‘Umrah is now complete.
3. Rites: Second part of the Hajj (‘Arafat, Muzdalifah, Mina, Mecca)
- Proceed to ‘Arafat for a day of worship, meditation, and glorification of God from dawn to sunset.
- After sunset go to Muzdalifah for the night and commemorate God for guiding you. Observe the night prayer there (Isha), and collect 21 pebbles to carry to Mina.
- Go to Mina for at least 2 days. – On the first morning offer animal sacrifice. Mention God’s name upon them, eat therefrom and feed the poor – While glorifying God, throw 7 pebbles (symbolic stoning) at each of the 3 stations representing Satan (Jamraat).
- Return to Mecca for farewell circumvolution around Ka’bah 7 times (Tawaf) while glorifying and praising God.
- Cut or shorten hair and remove Irhaam garments.
Hajj is completed.
Commonly used Formula for Glorifying & Praising God during Tawaaf
“Labbayka Allaahumma Labbayk. Labbayka Laa Shareeka Laka Labbayk. “
(My God, I have responded to You. I have responded to You, and I proclaim that there is no other god besides You; I have responded to You)
“Innal Hamda, Wan Ne’mata. Lakawal Mulk. La Shareeka Lak”
(For You alone is All The Praise and All The Bounty, and for You alone is The Sovereignty. You have no partners.)
The above formula is known as Talbiyah in Arabic. You can Listen to the Talbiyah being recited.