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A step by step Umrah:

Here, We offer the reader a concise guide on how to perform Hajj and Umrah, taking him by the hand step by step. What the reader has to do is to read and follow my instructions to the letter. If he needs to know more about the conditions Sunnahs and restrictions, he should refer back to my detailed explanation of them. The pilgrim who declares the intention of Hajj and Umrah must repent of his sins and ask Allahs Forgiveness before embarking on his journey to the Holy lands. He must bid farewell to his family, relatives and friends and supplicate to Allah for them. They also must supplicate to Allah for him. He should urge his family to hasten to good deeds. He should strive to return all trusts in his possession to their owners.

Once he sets out to the Holy lands, he and his companions should obey the Amir (chief) which they have elected. They should show full cooperation and compassion for one another. The pilgrim should put himself at the service of his companions. He should show selfless and humble devotion to his companions. He should ask Allahs Forgiveness for himself and for his companions. The pilgrims should preoccupy themselves with the remembrance of Allah, the Most High, the recitation of Quran, and imploring Allah to shower His blessing on Muhammad (P.B.U.H.). They should shield their hearts against holding grudges against others and shield their tongues against backbiting and slander. They should preoccupy themselves with worship and good deeds which benefit others and for which they will be rewarded. If the time of prayer begins while they are on the road, they should stop to pray Dhuhr in combination with Asr or delay Dhuhr and pray it in combination with Asr at the time of Asr prayer. The same rule applies to Maghrib and Isha prayers. They should combine and shorten the prayers e.g. they should pray two rakat instead of four rakat. They should exert their utmost to help the weak e.g. women, children and elderly. They should elect a woman to be in charge of a group of women, taking care of them and informing the Amir (chief) about their demands. They should stop for rest every four to six hours in a suitable place. They should prepare a place for men and another for women so that they may make themselves comfortable and take off their veils freely. It is of the utmost importance that they choose a convenient place for male and female pilgrims travelling together e.g. the Muhrims of women. The chief should not yield to the cruelty of some of the drivers who ignore the needs of their passengers and refuse to stop for rest, driving for long hours and torturing their passengers, particularly women and girls who usually shy away from expressing their need for rest or to use the toilet.

I have often heard the complaints of women who suffered the aftermath of nonstop journey. They often arrived to the Holy lands with feet too swollen walk. Some of the elderly men cannot control themselves and urinate on themselves as a result of extreme exhaustion. I feel ashamed to mention some of the ordeals that the travelling pilgrims often go through when they fall victim to cruel drivers and senseless personnel who only care about reaching their destination as quickly as possible. In the process they forget about mercy, compassion, religion and humanity. I feel ashamed to mention the aftermath of this senseless cruelty but, strangely enough, the cruel drivers and the senseless people in charge of these of this journey do not feel ashamed to admit that they actually happened. They should reflect on the Hadith, Allah is Merciful to those who are merciful to others. Travelling unravels the secrets of human nature. In it, everyone shows his true colors.

The pilgrim should keep in mind that he set out on the journey of pilgrimage in obedience for Allah, leaving behind comfort, luxury and pleasure. He should be certain that his reward will be in proportion to his endurance of the rites and restrictions of Hajj. He should show the utmost selflessness, self-denial, and human compassion. He should think about others and try to give up some of his needs for their sake. He should adapt himself to sleep anywhere and eat anything. He should be fully aware that he is about to change his entire lifestyle. He should be ready to sleep on the ground or hard cloth. He should expect to suffer stifling heat and chilling cold. He should expect a change in the time of his daily meals. He might eat earlier or later than he is in the habit of. He might find a cup of tea or coffee and he might not. He might find someone to help and serve him and he might not. He should expect the worse and should not upset others with his complaints, obscene language and grievances. I warn pilgrims against these slips because I have seen people who return home worse than they were before. Both their sins and enemies increased. Their only achievement was their success to breed animosity with others and force people to shun their company. In this respect the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said: The worst people in Allahs sight on the Day of Resurrection will be those whom the people leave undisturbed to be away from their evil deeds

The pilgrim who is left undisturbed so that his companions will have peace of mind did not perform Hajj and Umrah as a sign of submission and obedience to Allah but as a sign of hypocrisy, showing off and pride. We ask Allahs Forgiveness and security from such fate. As soon as the pilgrim reaches the Miqat, he should clip his moustache, nails and hair short. He should perform Ghusl (complete ablution) or Wudu (ablution). He should wear Teab and put on the Ihram garb. Then, he should pray two rakat and declare the state of Ihram for Umrah, Hajj or both as we have explained in detail. Ihram is an integral part of Hajj, without which ones Hajj is invalid. One should declare the state of Ihram from the Miqat. The fact that he did not declare the state of Ihram at the Miqat does not invalidate Ihram. Talbyah is essential to Ihram. The pilgrim should raise his voice with Talbyah when he climbs up or down hill or when he passes by a group of pilgrims or a pilgrim. It is lawful to raise his voice with Talbyah if he sees a strange thing. He should say Talbyah at dawn and after every prayer.

The Muhrim should shun the disliked and forbidden things. When entering Mecca, it is preferred that a Muhrim performs Ghusl (complete ablution). It is also preferred that he enters from its high side. Then he should go to the Sacred Mosque and enter it from the gate called Bab As-Salam, while uttering supplications of entry into mosques. On seeing the Kabah, he should raise his hands and supplicate to Allah the prescribed supplications. Then he should proceed directly to the Black Stone, kiss it quietly or touch it with his hand and kiss the hand. If this is not possible, he may point toward it from a distance. He should stand near it and utter the prescribed supplications. After this he should begin his Tawaf (Circumambulation) around the Kabah with the intention of performing Umrah or the Arrival Circumambulation as we have explained in detail. It is preferred that he uncovers his right shoulder and jogs in the first three rounds. In the remaining rounds, he may walk at a normal pace. It is a Sunnah that he touches two Corners: the Yemeni Corner and the Black Stone. He should touch the Yemeni corner and kiss the Black stone in every round, if possible. After completing seven rounds, he should go to the station of Ibrahim in compliance with the Command of Allah: And take Ibrahims place of worship as your place of worship. There, he should pray two rakat of Tawaf. If the crowds prevented him from praying at the station of Ibrahim, he may pray anywhere inside or outside the mosque. Then he should go to the well of Zamzam and drink of its water as much as possible. After this he should approach As-Safa gate to begin his Sai in compliance with Allahs saying: Indeed Safa and Marwah are among the religious ceremonies of pilgrimage ordained by God.

He should climb the Safa, look towards Kabah, and then make the supplications, transmitted from the Prophet, to Allah. He should climb down and start walking toward Al-Marwah. On approaching one of the two green markers, the male pilgrim should jog to the second marker. After that he should resume his normal pace of walking until he climbs up the Marwah, direct his face to the Kabah and supplicate Allah. This will complete his first round. He should repeat the same steps for six other round, completing all seven rounds. The majority of scholars held that Sai is an essential condition, as such, if one did not perform it or performed only part of it, he should sacrifice in compensation. Finally, if a Muhrim is performing Umrah only or a Hajj Tamattu (Hajj and Umrah with a break in between) he should shave or clip his hair short after Sai. This would release him of all the restrictions of Ihram. If the Muhrim intends to perform Hajj Ifrad (Hajj only) or Hajj Qiran (Hajj and Umrah together without a break), he should not release himself from the restrictions of Ihram. He must continue in the state of Ihram until he performs the rites of Hajj on the day of Nahr (Sacrifice). On the 8th of Dhul Hijjah, the Mutamatti (who intends to perform Hajj and Umrah with a break in between) should once more resume his state of Ihram from his residence. Then he should proceed to Mina where it is to spend the night, if possible. It is a Sunnah to pray in Mina the Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha of the 8th day and the Fajr prayer of the 9th day (the day of Arafah). At dawn of the day of Arafah, it is preferred that the pilgrims head for Arafah. They should first combine Dhuhr and Asr at Namira Mosque and listen to the Khutbah. Then, they should proceed towards Arafah for Namira Mosque is not part of Arafah. If the pilgrim was held-up for any reason and missed the congregational prayer, he may combine both prayers anywhere else.

It is preferred that the pilgrim stands by the rocks of Arafah or as close as possible. Standing at Arafah is an integral part of Hajj. The pilgrims standing at Arafah should implore Allah, the Most High, in full submission, humility and obedience. They should implore Allah to accept their deep repentance and regret for the sins they committed. They should preoccupy themselves with the remembrance of Allah, Talbyah and implore Allah to shower His blessing on the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) until nightfall. After nightfall, the pilgrim must leave for Muzdalifah and offer Maghrib and Isha prayers. He should combine them and delay the Maghrib until the time of Isha prayer begins then pray them in combination.

He should spend the night at Muzdalifah. At dawn, he should stand by Al-Mashar Al Haram (the Sacred Monument), glorify and remember Allah and supplicate Him until it is broad daylight. Thereafter he should go to pick up the pebbles and return to Mina. There he is to throw Jamrah Al Aqabah then slaughter his sacrificial animals, shave or clip his hair short, wear his normal clothes and perform Ghusl (complete ablution). Only then, he is released from all the restrictions of the state of Ihram except for sexual intercourse with his spouse. He must then return to Mecca and perform Tawaf Ifada which is an essential rite of Hajj. After that, he is released from the last restriction and he may have sexual intercourse with his wife. For a pilgrim who is performing Qiran and Ifrad, this second Sai is not essential for he already performed Sai after Tawaf Al Qudum (arrival Circumambulation).

For a pilgrim who is performing Hajj Tamattu, he must perform Sai after the Tawaf Ifada because his first Sai was part of Umrah. Sai is a must for the pilgrim who is performing Hajj Qiran or Ifrad and did not perform the arrival Circumambulation. After Tawaf the pilgrim should return to Mina, and spend the nights of the days of At Tashriq. There is disagreement among the scholars as to whether this overnight stay at Mina is essential or a Sunnah. At Mina, the pilgrim should preoccupy himself with the glorification and remembrance of Allah, The Most High. He should utter the prescribed Takbir because he is in the feast days. He should persist in Takbir particularly after the prescribed prayers. After midday of the first day of At-Tashriq, the pilgrim must throw pebbles at the three Jamarat, he will throw seven pebbles at each Jamrah, starting with the small, then middle then large Jamrah. Sequence is an essential condition that should be observed. It is a Sunnah that after throwing the pebbles, the pilgrim supplicates Allah for the good of life and the Hereafter. He is to do the same thing at the middle Jamrah but at the last Jamrah, he should leave without stopping for supplications. It is preferred that the pilgrim finishes throwing pebbles at the three Jamarat well before sunset. Throwing pebbles is allowed until dawn.

A group of scholars say that it is allowed until the last days of At-Tashriq. On the second day, he should repeat the same rites. At this point if the pilgrim is in a hurry, he may leave Mina before sunset. But if he does not leave until sunset, he is obligated to spend the night at Mina. He is to throw pebbles on the third day. After throwing the pebbles, he should proceed to Mecca where he is free to buy whatever he wants. If he makes up his mind to go home, he must perform the farewell Tawaf which is an essential rite of Hajj. Women experiencing menstruation and post-birth bleeding are excused from Tawaf Al Wada. The pilgrim should utter Takbir (Allah is the Great) with each throw. The pilgrim should say Takbir until the noon of the third days of At-Tashriq. Going home, the pilgrim must be the epitome of the pious, virtuous, compassionate, cooperative and selfless worshipper, as much as he can.

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