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A Guide to Hajj

Hajj is one of the greatest forms of worship, a pillar from the pillars of Islam,
and a unique opportunity to seek Allah’s forgiveness and to make a new start
in our lives. Such is the status of Hajj, that the Prophet (s) said, “The reward
for an accepted Hajj in nothing less than Paradise.” It is therefore imperative
that anyone contemplating performing this “Journey of a Lifetime” makes the
necessary effort to learn how to perform Hajj according to the Sunnah of the
Prophet (s) such that it is accepted by Allah.

The following briefly outlines the day by day rites of Hajj, and some other
important information:

8th of Dhul-Hijjah The Day of Tarwiyah

Pray all prayers, shortened but at normal times, in Mina. Make intention for
Hajj (labbayk allahumma hajjan), after this point you are in a state of Ihram
(until 10 Dhul-Hijjah).

Prohibited in Ihram: wear sown clothes or cover the head (for men), wear a
separate niqab or gloves (for women), apply perfume, cut or shave any hair,
trim nails, hunt game, get married, engage in any type of foreplay with
spouse, intercourse. Spiritually and physically prepare yourself for tomorrow,
the Day of Arafat.

9th of Dhul-Hijjah The Day of Arafat

•In the morning leave Mina for Arafat.
•In Arafat pray Dhuhr and Asr shortened and combined. Engage in du’a
until sunset. This is the main day of Hajj - make as much sincere du’a
as possible - and seek forgiveness.
•After sunset leave Arafat for Muzdalifah.
•Pray Maghrib & Isha shortened and combined at Muzdalifah.
•No special act needs to be done at Muzdalifah. Go to sleep.
•In the morning pray Fajr. Make du’a until the sky is bright.
•Leave Muzdalifah for Mina.

10th of Dhul Hijjah - The Day of Nahr

Perform these four acts, preferably in this order:
1. Pelt the Large Jamarah (Aqabah) with seven pebbles.
2. Sacrifice your offering.
3. Shave/cut your hair.
4. Perform tawaf al-ifadah (and Sa’i).
If performed in any other order, no penalty or sin is incurred. After throwing the
stones and shaving, a person leaves the minor state of ihram, and everything
is permitted for him (normal clothes, perfume, etc.) except intercourse.
All the prayers are to be shortened but performed at normal times

11th, 12th, (and 13th if desired) of Dhul Hijjah The Days of Tashriq

After Dhuhr: Pelt all three jamarahs in order, each one with 7 pebbles. Must
complete all three before sunset for those who are capable.

•Elderly/weak may pelt after sunset, or delegate another person to do
•A person who has been delegated must first throw his own stones on a
jamarah, then throw the other person’s stones, and then move on to
the next jamarah.

All prayers performed at their proper times, shortened.
If a person wishes to leave on the 12th, he must exit Mina before sunset, or
else he will be required to stay until the 13th.
Before leaving Makkah perform the Farewell Tawaf (must be the last act

The Essential Pillars (arkan) of Hajj

If any of these acts are not performed, intentionally or unintentionally, the Hajj
will not be valid:

•Being in the state of ihram.
•Being present at Arafat.
•The tawaf al-ifadah
•The sa’i

The Obligatory Acts (wajibat) of Hajj

If any of these acts are missed, they must be expiated for with a sacrifice
(sheep). If missed intentionally, a sin has been incurred and one must repent
as well as offer a sacrifice.
•Entering the state of ihram from the meeqat.
•Staying in Arafat until sunset.
•Remaining in Muzdalifah until midnight.
•Spending the nights of tashriq in Mina.
•Pelting the jamarahs, in proper order.
•Cutting/shaving the hair.
•The Farewell tawaf (except for woman in menses)

Expiations (Fidyahs)

•Cutting hair, trimming nails:
• If done unintentionally, no sin/expiation.
• If negligible amount for a reason (e.g., part of a broken nail is
removed, hair falls while bathing, etc.), no sin/ expiation.
• Otherwise: fast three days, or feed six people, or sacrifice a

•Applying perfume, wearing sown garments or covering head (men), wearing
niqab (women):
• If done unintentionally, remove immediately, and no
• Otherwise: fast three days, or feed six people, or sacrifice a

• If before leaving minor state , Hajj is nullified, a camel is given in
sacrifice, the present Hajj must be completed, and then made up
next year.
• If after leaving minor state but before performing the tawaf and
sa’i, Hajj is valid, but sheep is due.

In summary, for many Muslims, Hajj is a life-changing experience and they
meet people and make friends that will last with them forever.