Hajj & Umrah Planner
  • Hajj: Introduction

    Hajj is the fifth of the five pillars of Islam and should be undertaken once in a Muslim’s lifetime, providing health and means permit you to do so.

    Hajj was made obligatory in 9 AH, after the revelation of the following Ayah:

    فِيهِ آيَاتٌ بَيِّنَاتٌ مَقَامُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمَنْ دَخَلَهُ كَانَ آمِنًا وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ

    In it are clear signs [such as] the standing place of Abraham. And whoever enters it shall be safe. And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves – then indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds.
    [Surah Aal Imran, 3:97]

    The Definition of Hajj

    Thousands of pilgrims gather in Arafat during Hajj
    Thousands of pilgrims gather in Arafat

    Linguistically, the word “Hajj” is derived from the Arabic verb “Hajja”; meaning, “to exert effort,” or “to set out to a great place.”

    From a Shariah (Islamic Law) perspective, Hajj refers to visiting a certain place at a certain time and carrying out certain actions. The certain place here refers to the Kaaba within Masjid al-Haram and places in and around Makkah including Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifah.

    As for the time, Hajj can only be performed during specific months, namely Shawwal, Dhul Qadah and the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. As for certain actions, Hajj consists of many rites, including Tawaf, Sa’i, Rami al-Jamarat etc.

    Conditions of Hajj

    Although the duty of Hajj is Fardh once in a lifetime, there are a number of other conditions that need to be met in order to partake in the pilgrimage:

    Islam

    You must be Muslim and must know that performing Hajj is obligatory.

    Maturity

    You must have reached puberty i.e. you are Baligh. Children aren’t obligated to perform Hajj.

    Sanity

    You must be mentally sound and in full control of your mental faculties. Those who are mentally ill aren’t obligated to perform Hajj.

    Financially Able

    You must have sufficient expenses to cover travelling, accommodation and all other requirements during the course of your Hajj.

    You must also have sufficient expenses to support your dependents during your absence i.e. if you don’t have sufficient funds to cover the needs of your family, Hajj isn’t obligatory for you.

    Being debt-free isn’t a prerequisite, although arrangements for debts to be fulfilled should be made prior to going on Hajj.

    Physically Able

    You must be physically capable of travelling and performing the rites of Hajj and you must be free from any illnesses or diseases that would restrict you from doing so.

    If you’re not capable of performing Hajj due to being old, ill or incapacitated, you pay someone to perform Hajj on your behalf, providing you are financially capable of doing so.

    Freedom

    You must not be a slave.

    Transport

    You must have access to and can afford the appropriate means of transport to travel to and perform Hajj.

    In addition, travelling should be safe i.e. you shouldn’t be in any danger of being harmed during your trip.

    Women – the Necessity of a Mahram

    You must be accompanied by a Mahram if you’re a woman.

    Women – Free From Iddah period

    You must be free from your Iddah period if you’re a woman.

    The History of Hajj

    The origins of Hajj extend as far back as the second millennium BCE during the time of the Prophet Ibrahim عليه السلام. Ibrahim had two sons, Ishaq عليه السلام and Ismail عليه السلام, who became the forefather of the Arab tribes and Rasulullah ﷺ.

    Pilgrims performing Sa'i between Safa and Marwah
    Pilgrims performing Sa’i between Safa and Marwah

    After Ismail was born, Ibrahim was instructed by Allah to leave Ismail and his mother Hajar عليه السلام in the desert. After Ibrahim had left them there, their provisions soon ran out and Hajar, in desperate search for water, ran seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah. The rite of Sa’i that is performed by pilgrims during Hajj and Umrah is a re-enactment of the actions performed by Hajar during her search for water.

    After returning to her son, she found the that the Angel Jibril عليه السلام had miraculously brought forth a spring of water from the earth, which is now known as Zamzam, The well of Zamzam attracted tribes to settle in the area and the settlement flourished into what is today known as the city of Makkah.

    Later on, Ibrahim and Ismail were instructed by the Angel Jibril to construct a monument in dedication to Allah, known as the Kaaba near the site of the well. The Kaaba was to become a place of pilgrimage for the worship of the one true God, free of any idolatry and polytheism.

    A depiction of the Kaaba surrounded by idols before the advent of Islam
    A depiction of the Kaaba surrounded by idols before the advent of Islam

    Centuries down the line, the people of Makkah abandoned the worship of one God and denigrated into idolatry and polytheism, during a period known as the Jahiliyyah (the Age of Ignorance). During this time, the Kaaba was surrounded by 360 idols and statues depicting human and animal deities which were openly worshipped. The pre-Islamic Arab tribes would also perform Tawaf around the Kaaba, sometimes even naked.

    In 610 CE, Rasulullah ﷺ received his first revelation from Allah and he was divinely instructed to re-establish monotheism. Twenty years after the first revelation, in 630 CE, Rasulullah ﷺ had amassed enough religious and political authority to gain victory in Makkah, the city where he was born and where he suffered much persecution at the hands of its inhabitants. He destroyed the idols in and around the Kaaba and rededicated it to the worship of one God, as was its intended purpose.

    Jabal al-Rahma is the site where Rasullulah delivered his farewell sermon
    Jabal al-Rahmah is the site where Rasulullah ﷺ delivered his farewell sermon

    In 623 CE (10 AH), shortly before his demise, Rasulullah ﷺ personally led his one and only Hajj (he had performed three Umrahs prior to this) accompanied by about 124,000 Sahaba. He gave his farewell sermon at Jabal Arafat, where he emphasised the equality and unity of the Muslim Ummah (community), a symbol of the egalitarian nature of the Hajj pilgrimage. The Hajj, as performed by Rasulullah ﷺ continues to this day.

    Types of Hajj

    There are three types of Hajj a pilgrim may perform, which vary in their requirements, although they all essentially involve performing the same rites and acts of worship.

    Hajj al-Tamattu

    • Hajj al-Tamattu is the easiest and most common type of Hajj and is performed by the vast majority of pilgrims.
    • This type of Hajj consists of two separate intentions. A Niyyah for Umrah is made before the Miqat is crossed whilst the Niyyah for Hajj is made in Makkah after the Umrah has been completed.
    • A pilgrim who performs Hajj al-Tamattu is called a Mutamatti.
    • Those who live in Makkah cannot perform this type of Hajj.

    Method

    • Enter into the state of Ihram at the Miqat with the intention of performing Umrah.
    • This Umrah must be completed during the period of Hajj of the same year, prior to beginning the actual Hajj itself.
    • Proceed to Makkah where you will begin the rites of Umrah.
    • Upon reaching Makkah, perform Tawaf al-Umrah.
    • Perform two Rakats of Salah at Maqam Ibrahim (if possible) and partake in the drinking of Zamzam water.
    • Proceed to Safa in order to perform Sa’i. This is separate from the Sa’i performed during Hajj.
    • Perform Halq or Taqsir. Men are recommended to have their hair trimmed rather than shaved as they will have their heads shaved at a later stage during Hajj. Women must have their hair trimmed.
    • Your Umrah is now complete and the restrictions of Ihram have now been lifted. You can shower and wear your everyday clothes. You will wait for the 8th of Dhul Hijjah to the start the rites of Hajj.

    Read our detailed Umrah guide.

    • On the 8th of Dhul Hijjah, you will make a new intention for Hajj at your place of residence.
    • You will once again enter into a state of Ihram in the prescribed manner. There is no need to go to any particular Miqat to enter Ihram.
    • You will go to Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah where you will perform all the rites and actions of Hajj.
    • An animal sacrifice is required for Hajj al-Tamattu. Sacrificial animals are available in Mina and should be able to be arranged through your agent.

    Read our detailed Hajj guide.

    Hajj al-Ifrad

    • Hajj al-Ifrad involves making one Niyyah for the sole purpose of performing Hajj without Umrah.
    • A pilgrim who performs Hajj al-Ifrad is called a Mufrid.
    • This method of performing Hajj is ideally for those living in Makkah and within the Miqat boundaries.

    Method

    • Enter into the state of Ihram at the Miqat with the intention of performing Hajj.
    • Upon reaching Makkah, perform Tawaf al-Qudum.
    • Perform two Rakats of Salah at Maqam Ibrahim (if possible) and partake in the drinking of Zamzam water.
    • After TawafSa’i can be performed immediately or it can be delayed until after the performance of Tawaf al-Ziyarah. Delaying the Sa’i is recommended.
    • You must not perform Halq or Taqsir. You should remain in a state of Ihram between Umrah and Hajj and only relinquish it on Yawm al-Nahr.

    Read our detailed Umrah guide.

    Read our detailed Hajj guide.

    Hajj al-Qiran

    • Hajj al-Qiran involves combining Umrah and Hajj, with only one Niyyah and Ihram for both.
    • A pilgrim who performs Hajj al-Qiran is called a Qarin.
    • Those who live in Makkah cannot perform this type of Hajj.

    Method

    • Enter into the state of Ihram at the Miqat with the intention of performing both Hajj and Umrah.
    • Proceed to Makkah where you will begin the rites of Umrah.
    • Upon reaching Makkah, perform Tawaf al-Qudum.
    • Perform two Rakats of Salah at Maqam Ibrahim (if possible) and partake in the drinking of Zamzam water.
    • After TawafSa’i can be performed immediately or it can be delayed until after the performance of Tawaf al-Ziyarah. Delaying the Sa’i is recommended.
    • The performance of these rites will qualify as your Umrah.
    • You must not perform Halq or Taqsir. You should remain in a state of Ihram between Umrah and Hajj and only relinquish it on Yawm al-Nahr.

    Read our detailed Umrah guide.

    • You will go to Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah where you will perform all the rites and actions of Hajj.
    • An animal sacrifice is required for Hajj al-Qiran. Sacrificial animals are available in Mina and should be able to be arranged through your agent.

    Read our detailed Hajj guide.

    Hajj: a Short Overview

    The rites of Hajj take place over a period of five days and five nights from the 8th to the 12th of Dhul Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. Some pilgrims choose to remain in Mina for an extra day on the 13th, extending their Hajj to six days. The rites performed during Hajj are the same as those performed by Rasulullah ﷺ during his final Hajj in 10 AH (623 CE).

    Mina is known as the Tent City
    Mina is known as the Tent City

    The Hajj begins on the 8th of Dhul Hijjah, known as Yawm al-Tarwiyah (the Day of Drinking), during which pilgrims adopt the Ihram and make their intention for Hajj. They then make their way to Mina, a location about five miles away from Makkah, where they perform their daily prayers and stay overnight in a tent.

    The next day, on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah, known as Yawm al-Arafat (the Day of Arafat), the pilgrims travel to Arafat after Fajr Salah. Here they combine Dhuhr and Asr prayers and spend time supplicating during Wuquf, the most solemn rite of the Hajj. After sunset, they travel to Muzdalifah where they combine Maghrib and Isha prayers and spend the night in the open sky.

    Pilgrims pelt the Jamarat
    Pilgrims pelt the Jamarat

    On the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, known as Yawm al-Nahr (the Day of Slaughtering), pilgrims return to Mina after performing Fajr Salah in Muzdalifah, where they throw seven pebbles at Jamarah al-Aqaba (the big pillar), perform an animal sacrifice (Hady) and have their hair cut (Halq or Taqsir). They are then released from the state of Ihram. Pilgrims may go to Makkah to perform Tawaf al-Ziyarah and the Sa’i of Hajj, before returning to Mina.

    From the 11th-13th of Dhul Hijjah, known as Ayyam al-Tashreeq (the Day of Drying Meat), pilgrims spend time in Mina where they throw seven pebbles at all three Jamarat on both days. If the animal sacrifice or the haircut wasn’t performed on the 10th, they may be carried out up until sunset on the 12th of Dhul Hijjah. The pilgrims then return to Makkah to perform Tawaf al-Wida (the farewell Tawaf) as the final rite, before going home or departing to Madinah.

    Preparation for Hajj

    For the vast majority of people, Hajj is a once in a lifetime experience and as such, the importance of sufficient planning and preparation can’t be emphasised enough. A great deal of time, finance, mental, spiritual and physical preparation is required in order for the pilgrimage to be a meaningful and special one. Travel agents need to be consulted, advice needs to be sought out, documents need to be prepared, vaccinations need to be administered and shopping needs to be done.

    Preparations should begin as early as possible, perhaps four to five months prior to your date of departure. Making your preparations early will not only give you peace of mind but will also provide you with leeway if you do encounter any problems during your planning.

    We have prepared a number of articles to assist you with your planning and preparation. We have tried to be as comprehensive as possible, although please bear in mind individual needs vary from person to person so you may need to add to the list according to your situation:

    The Jurisprudence of Hajj

    The following two pillars of Hajj must be performed otherwise your Hajj will be considered invalid:

    Shuroot (Prerequisites)
    To make intention for Ihram.

    The basic Wajibaat of Hajj are below although there are more Wajibaat related to each action. These are discussed in more detail in the relevant article for each rite. If a Wajib element is omitted intentionally or inadvertently, a penalty will be due.

    Wajibaat (Necessary Actions)
    To wear the Ihram from the Miqat.
    To uncover the head and face for a male and to uncover the face for a female.
    To abstain from stitched garments that take the shape of the body.
    To perform Wuquf at Muzdalifah after Fajr on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah.
    To pelt the Jamarat from the 10th to the 12th of Dhul Hijjah.
    To shave (Halq) or trim (Taqsir) the hair on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah.
    To slaughter an animal (for the one who is performing Hajj al-Qiran or Hajj al-Tamattu).
    To perform Tawaf al-Wida (the Farewell Tawaf).
    To perform Sa’i between Safa and Marwah.

    There are many Sunnan actions that can be performed during Hajj. These are discussed in more detail in the relevant article for each rite. If a Sunnah is omitted intentionally, no penalty is due although performing it is certainly virtuous. Following are some Sunnan that can be performed during Hajj:

    Sunnan (Virtuous Actions)
    To have a bath (Ghusl) before entering into Ihram.
    To wear two new cloths known as the Izar (waist-wrapper) and a Rida (cloak) as part of the Ihram.
    To perform two Rakats of Nafl prayer after coming into Ihram.
    To audibly pronounce the Talbiyah many times.
    To perform Tawaf al-Qudum if doing Hajj al-Ifrad or Hajj al-Qiran.

    Add comment

    Donate

    Make a donation

    If you have benefited from this website in any way or want to contribute towards the development of the project, please consider making a donation.

    Send this to friend