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Practical tips for a fine Haj
Asma Bint Shameem
Haj is the
‘ultimate’ journey, the journey of a lifetime.
Yet I’ve seen so many people, brothers and
sisters, confused, angry, frustrated or just
simply ignorant during Haj. So here is a piece
of sincere advice for all of my brothers and
sisters going for Haj this year.
before you go
This is the most important point. They say
“Knowledge is Power,” and it is. I’ve seen
people confused, not knowing what to do, looking
left and right, bewildered during Haj. In the
end, they just follow what the rest of the crowd
is doing without knowing if what they are doing
is from the Shariah of Prophet Muhammad (peace
be upon him) or not. Indeed, I know people who
have gone and come back from Haj, and they
didn’t know what kind of Haj they performed, how
many days one was required to stay in Mina, and
so on. In fact, some didn’t know it takes seven
rounds around the Ka’ba to make one Tawaf!
Going to Haj without knowing the basics of how
to perform Haj and Umrah is like placing someone
who doesn’t know how to offer Salah in the
middle of a congregation. He may follow the
movements in Ruku’ and Sujood, but does he
really know how to pray? Does such a prayer even
So, study the rituals of Haj before you go.
Learn how to perform this magnificent journey in
a manner that is closest to the Sunnah. Because
the closer it is to the Sunnah, the more
acceptable it will be to Allah. Learn about the
common mistakes pilgrims do, so you can avoid
Go with a prepared
Every year at Haj, you see only two kinds of
people. The first kind will be sitting calm and
patient, even when they are stuck for five hours
in traffic, wisely utilizing the time making
Dhikr of Allah or reading the Qur’an. The other
kind will be grumbling and complaining,
fidgeting restlessly in his seat, cussing at the
bus driver and wasting his whole time fighting
with whoever is sitting next to him.
Why is that? Because the first kind of people
come with prepared hearts and the second type
don’t. Haj is not a mere physical journey, it is
a spiritual journey of the heart and soul. And
just as it is important to learn the rituals of
Haj, it is equally important to condition
yourself spiritually. Remember, Haj is an act of
worship, the fifth pillar of our Religion. So,
have Khushoo’ in it.
Trust Allah and have complete faith in Him. Be
sure that He will take care of you. Be kind to
others and have patience and forbearance.
Hardly any obligatory prayer in the Haram is not
followed by a funeral prayer. I’ve noticed
several brothers and sisters sitting there and
not participating in this great act of worship,
just because they don’t know how to. The Prophet
(peace be upon him) said,
“Whoever attends the Janazah until he offers the
prayer will have one Qirat (of reward), and
whoever attends until (the deceased) is buried
will have two Qirats.” It was said, “O Messenger
of Allah, what are the two Qirats?” He said,
“Like two great mountains,” meaning, of reward.
(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
When you look at the large number of people
there for Haj, don’t get overwhelmed or
disturbed. Instead, raise up your head high,
feel proud and thank Allah. After all, all those
people are none, but your own brothers and
sisters in Islam. This is the Ummah of your
beloved Prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him).
They belong to you and you belong to them. They
are a part of you, just as much as you are a
part of them. All of you are there for one and
one purpose only – to worship Allah, the One
God. So, love them, show mercy to them and make
Du’a for them.
Time is precious
Utilize your time to its maximum while in Makkah
and Madina. Do all your prayers in the mosque.
When you pray in the Grand Mosque in Makkah, the
reward is multiplied by 100,000 times.
When you get to Mina, busy yourself with making
Du’a, Dhikr, reading the Qur’an, etc. Your stay
here is only a few precious days. You can’t
waste it by talking, relaxing, and doing
nothing, as some people do.
And when you are in Arafah, know that that’s the
day you were waiting for. That’s what Haj is all
about. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“Haj is Arafah.”
Put in all you have got on the Day of Arafah.
Take advantage of every second. Do not waste
even a single moment. Make a Du’a list and do
lots and lots of Du’a. The Prophet (peace be
upon him) said: “The best
of Du’a is Du’a on the day of Arafah, and the
best thing that I and the Prophets before me
said is, ‘La
ilaha ill-Allah Wahdahu la Shareeka lah
(There is no god
worthy of worship but Allah alone with no
partner or associate).’”
authenticated by Al-Albani)
Not on vacation
Some people forget that they are going on Haj.
They expect Mina to be a five star hotel. So
they complain about food, weather, crowds, and
just about everything. Remember this is Haj, not
a vacation. Remember, not so long ago people
traveled for months through dangerous terrain
and rough weather to perform Haj. If we think
about that, then is there anything left to
Don’t just say it
When you recite the Talbiyah, don’t just say it
like a parrot without knowing what it means and
what it implies. Think about the greatness of
these words and the Magnificence of the One you
are saying these words to.
Obviously, everybody wants their Haj to be ‘Mabroor’
(accepted) because the Prophet (peace be upon
“There is no reward for
Haj Mabroor except Paradise.”
They asked, “What makes
Haj Mabroor, Messenger of Allah?” He replied,
“Providing food to people and spreading (the
greeting of) Salam (peace).”
Thus we see that being kind to people and
serving and helping them leads to a Haj Mabroor.
So go ahead and help that old lady with her
luggage and help someone else cross the street.
Move over to make room in the row for your
fellow Muslim so that he/she too can find a
place to pray. Distribute candy among children,
pass out glasses of Zamzam water, smile at
everyone, and say Salam to those you know and
those you don’t.
Keep you eyes and ears open for every
opportunity to do good and jump at any chance
you get to spread Khair – all for the sake of
Allah alone – and Insha Allah your Haj will be
one of Mabroor.
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