In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam; Allah, the Exalted, ordained it in the ninth year after Hijrah (the Prophet’s migration from Makkah to Madinah), according to the preponderant opinion. Allah Almighty Says:

“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.” [Quran, 3:97]

Hajj is the mandatory religious obligation which is obligatory on every sane, matured, financially and physically stable Muslim once in a lifetime. Every year, from the month of Shawwal to Dhul-Hijjah Muslims from all around the world travel to Saudi Arabia in Makkah for offering Hajj (Pilgrimage). Hajj with pure intention and just for the sake of Allah Almighty will cleanse the person internally; his soul will be like a newborn with his body free from previously committed sins. There is an excessive amount of information associated with Hajj; most is critical to ensure that Hajj is performed not only in the best intentions but also in the correct manner. For performing this obligation in the correct manner with full devotion and respect we all should know about the facts related to Hajj (Pilgrimage). Hajj is one of the best deeds that draws the person closer to Allah, the Exalted. There are three types of Hajj:

1. Hajj At-Tamattu

2. Hajj al-Qiran

3. Hajj al-Ifrad.

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Here, I shall talk about Hajj at-Tamattu as it is the most recommended one, and also the one performed mostly by our people.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! In this type of Hajj, one is to perform Umrah during the Hajj months (i.e. Shawwal, Dhul-Qa’adah and the first nine nights of Dhul-Hijjah) and to perform the Hajj in the same year with a sacrifice slaughtered in Mina on the day of Eid-Al-Adha (The 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah) or during the days of at-Tashriq (i.e. the 11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah). The pilgrim may remove his Ihram garments and continue his normal activities between Umrah and Hajj. It is necessary to make the Tawaf and the Sa’ayi twice, the first time for Umrah and the second time for Hajj.

The different steps of the Hajj Journey are described below:

– Ihram

Ihram is the intention of the person willing to perform all rites of Umrah, Hajj or both when he arrives at the Miqat. Each direction coming into Makkah has its own Miqat. It is recommended that the one who intends to perform Hajj makes Ghusl (a shower with the intention to purify one’s self and to be ready for Hajj), perfumes his body, but not his garments, and puts on a two-piece garment with no headgear. The garments should be of seamless cloth. One piece to cover the upper part of the body, and the second to cover the lower part. For a woman the Ihram is the same except that she can wear any kind of wide garments, and should not use perfumes at all and her dress should cover the whole body decently, leaving the hands and the face uncovered. The pilgrim should say the intention according to the type of Hajj. For Hajj At-Tamattu one should say:

“Labbaikallahummah Umrah”, which means, “O Allah I answered your call to perform Umrah.”

It is recommended to repeat the well-known supplication of Hajj, called Talbiyyah, as frequently as possible from the time of Ihram till the time of the first stoning of Jamrat Al-Aqabah in Mina on the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah.

Men are recommended to utter the talbiyyah aloud while women are to say it quietly. This Talbiyyah is the following:

“Labbaikallahummah labbaik. Labbaika la sharika laka labbaik. Inna al-hamda wan-ni’mata laka wa al-mulk. La sharika lak.”

Meaning:

“Here I am at your service. O my Lord, Here I am. No partner you have. Here I am. Truly, the praise and the provisions are yours, and so is the dominion. No partner you have.”

– Tawaf

When a Muslim arrives in Makkah, he should make Tawaf around the Ka’abah, as a gesture of greeting Al-Masjid Al-Haram. This is done by circling the Ka’abah seven times in the counterclockwise direction, starting from the black stone with Takbir and ending each circle at the black stone with Takbir, keeping the Ka’abah to one’s left.

Then the pilgrim goes to Maqam Ibrahim (Ibrahim’s station), and performs two Raka’ah behind it, (close to it if possible), but away from the path of the people making Tawaf. In all cases one should be facing the Ka’abah when praying behind Maqam Ibrahim.

– Sa’ayi

The next rite is to make Sa’ayi between Safa and Marwah. The pilgrim starts Sa’ayi by ascending the Safa. While facing the direction of the Ka’abah he praises Allah, raises his hands and says Takbir “Allahu Akbar” three times, then makes supplication to Allah. Then the pilgrim descends from the Safa and heads towards the Marwah.

One should increase the pace between the clearly marked green posts, but should walk at a normal pace before and after them. When the pilgrim reaches the Marwah, he should ascend it, praise Allah and do as he did at the Safa. This is considered one round and so is the other way from the Marwah to the Safa. A total of seven rounds are required to perform the sa’ayi.

– Shaving The Head Or Trimming The Hair

After Sa’ayi, the Muslim ends his Umrah rites by shaving his head or trimming his hair (women should cut a finger tip’s length from their hair). At this stage, the prohibitions pertaining to the state of Ihram are lifted and one can resume his normal life.

There are no required supplications for Tawaf or for Sa’ayi. It is up to the worshipper to praise Allah or to supplicate Him with any acceptable supplication or to recite verses of the Qur’an.

There are no many specific supplications that the Prophet used to recite during the rites.

A Pilgrim performing Hajj Al-Tamattu should intend Ihram, from the place where he is staying, on the eighth of Dhul-Hijjah, which is the Tarwiyyah Day, and it is better to leave for Mina in the morning. In Mina, the pilgrims pray Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha of the 8th day of Dhul-Hijjah and Fajr of the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah (Arafah Day). Zuhr, Asr and Isha are each shortened to two Raka’ah only, but are not combined.

The pilgrims remain in Mina until sunrise of the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah and then leave for Arafah.

– Departure To Arafah

On the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah, the Day of Arafah, the pilgrims stay in Arafah until sunset. It is preferable to pray Zuhr and Asr at Arafah, shortened and combined during the time of Zuhr to save the rest of the day for glorifying Allah and for supplication asking forgiveness. A pilgrim should make sure that he is within the boundaries of Arafah, not necessarily standing on the mountain of Arafah, he should also be sure that he has spent any part of the night – even a few minutes-within Arafah. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“I stood here on this rocky hill and all Arafah is a standing place.” [Muslim]

One should keep reciting Talbiyyah, glorifying Allah the Greatest and repeating supplication.

It is also reported that the Prophet used to say the following supplication:

“There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, the one without a partner. The dominion and the praise are His and He is powerful over everything.”

Anas Ibn Malik was once asked how he and his friends used to spend their time while walking from Mina to Arafath in the company of the Prophet. Anas said:

“Some of us used to cry out Talbiyyah, others used to glorify Allah the Greatest and the rest used to repeat supplications. Each one of us was free to worship Allah in the way he likes without prejudice or renunciation of his right.” [Al-Bukhari]

In the vast plain of Arafah, tears are shed, sins are washed and faults are redressed for those who ask Allah for forgiveness and offer sincere repentance for their wrong doings in the past. Happy is the person who receives the Mercy and Pleasure of Allah on that particular day.

Soon after sunset on the day of Arafah, the pilgrims leave for Muzdalifah quietly and reverently in compliance with the advice of the Prophet who said when he noticed people walking without calmness:

“O people! Be quiet, hastening is not a sign of righteousness.” [Al-Bukhari]

To follow the example of the Prophet keep reciting the Talbiyyah, glorifying Allah the Greatest and mentioning the name of Allah until the time of stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah, Al-Jamrat al-Kubrah (a stone pillar in Mina). In Muzdalifah, the pilgrim performs Maghrib and Isha prayers combined, shortening the Isha prayer to two Raka’ah. Pilgrims stay overnight in Muzdalifah to perform the Fajr prayer and wait until the brightness of the morning is widespread before they leave for Mina passing through the sacred Mash’ar Al-Haram valley. Women and weak individuals are allowed to proceed to Mina at any time after Midnight to avoid the crowd.

– Back To Mina

Stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah:

When the pilgrims arrive in Mina, they go to Jamrat Al-Aqabah where they stone it with seven pebbles glorifying Allah “Allahu Akbar” at each throw and calling on him to accept their Hajj.

The time of stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah is after sunrise. The Prophet threw the pebbles late in the morning and permitted the weak people to stone after leaving Muzdalifah after Midnight. The size of the pebbles should not be more than that of a pea as described by the Prophet (Peace be upon him) who warned against exaggeration. The pebbles can be picked up either in Muzdalifah or in Mina.

– Slaughtering Of Sacrifice

After stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah, the pilgrim goes to slaughter his sacrifice either personally or through the appointment of somebody else to do it on his behalf. A pilgrim should slaughter either a sheep, or share a cow or a camel with six others.

– Shaving The Head Or Trimming The Hair

The final rite on the tenth day after offering one’s sacrifice is to shave his head or to cut some of the hair. Shaving the head is, however preferable for it was reported that the Prophet prayed three times for those who shaved their heads, when he said:

“May Allah’s Mercy be upon those who shaved their heads.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

For women, the length of hair to be cut is that of a fingertip. The stoning of Jamrat Al-Aqabah and the shaving of head or the trimming of hair symbolises the end of the first phase of the state of Ihram and the lifting of its restrictions except for sexual intercourse with one’s spouse. Stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah, slaughtering the sacrifice and shaving the head or cutting part of the hair are preferred to be in this order, as it is the order that the Prophet did them. However, if they are done in any order, there is no harm in that.

– Tawaf Al-Ifadah

Tawaf Al-Ifada is a fundamental rite of Hajj. The pilgrim makes Tawaf Al-Ifadah by visiting Al-Masjid Al-Haram and circling the Ka’abah seven times and praying two Raka’ah behind Maqam Ibrahim if possible and without causing any harm to Muslims. Then the pilgrim should make Sa’ayi between the Safa and the Marwa. After Tawaf Al-Ifadah the state of Ihram is completely ended and all restrictions are lifted including sexual intercourse with one’s spouse. Tawaf Al-Ifadah can be delayed until the days spent in Mina are over.

The pilgrim should return to Mina and spend there the days of Tashriq (i.e. the 11th 12th and 13th days of Dhul-Hijjah).

During each day, and after Zuhr prayer until the midnight, the pilgrim stones the three stone pillars called “Jamrat”: The smaller, the medium and Jamrat Al-Aqabah, glorifying Allah “Allahu Akbar “with each throw of the seven pebbles stoned at each pillar.

These pebbles are picked up in Mina. A pilgrim may leave Mina to Makkah on the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah or on the 12th if he wishes, there is no blame on him if he chooses the latter, but he has to leave before sunset if not he must stay in Mina till he throws the pebbles the next day (13th).

– Farewell Tawaf

Farewell Tawaf is the final rite of Hajj. It is to make another Tawaf around the Ka’abah. Ibn Abbas said:

“The people were ordered to perform the Tawaf around the Ka’abah as the last thing before leaving Makkah, except the menstruating women who were excused.” [Bukhari]

* The Story Of Prophet Ibrahim (AS)

Dear Servants of Allah! In the religion of Islam, Allah Almighty sent many Prophets in this world for the guidance of mankind, almost twenty-five are mentioned in the Noble Quran. One of them is Prophet Ibrahim (AS), a very important Prophet in the religion of Islam. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) is greatly associated with Hajj because the origin of Hajj is as old as the Ka’abah, which was built by Ibrahim (AS) and his son Isma’il (AS). Every act of Hajj reminds Muslims about the noble family of Ibrahim (AS). Every act of Hajj refers back to the righteous actions and struggle of either Ibrahim (AS), his wife Hajarah or his son Isma’il (AS).

Prophet Ibrahim (AS) lived in a time, long before the time of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). When He was young boy He used to watch people who worship idols and considering them their gods. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was very clever and intelligent. He (AS) always used to ask questions about things that happen around him. Ibrahim (AS) could not believe that anyone could consider these idols, made of stone to be their gods and worship them. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was confused and one day he (AS) told his father he didn’t think people should worship objects they had made themselves. His father was angry and told him not to say anything about the gods again.

Prophet Ibrahim (AS) decided to show the people they were wrong, so he (AS) made a plan. One night Prophet Ibrahim (AS) sneaked into the place where all the statues were kept. He (AS) chopped off the heads of all statues with an Axe but left the biggest one and hung the Axe around the neck of the big idol and then went away. Next morning when people returned they were shocked, “What happened to our Idols?” they thought about it. They discussed it for a while and concluded that Ibrahim (AS) would know because he (AS) was known to speaking out against their idols. When they asked Ibrahim (AS) whether he did this act of breaking of their idols. He (AS) told them that it was the biggest ‘god’ statue to have done it as he held the Axe on his shoulder. Despite that the people realized that the idols were not able to speak, their foolishness led them to decide to burn Prophet Ibrahim (AS).

The foolish people chained Prophet Ibrahim (AS), dug a deep hole, filled it with firewood and lit an intense fire and decided to throw him in the fire. Before throwing Prophet Ibrahim (AS) in, Angel Jibril came close to his head and asked him whether he (AS) wished for something, then Prophet Ibrahim (AS) said that he only wanted Allah (SWT) to be pleased with him. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was thrown into the fire, at that moment Allah (SWT) ordered the fire to be cool for him. The fire obeyed and Prophet Ibrahim (AS) came out unharmed. Still, the foolish people denied Allah’s (SWT) miracle.

After this incident, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) moved away and got married to his wife named Sarah. They lived happily for a long time. However, there was some heartache in Ibrahim (AS) and Sarah’s life. They had been happily married for so long and Allah had not granted them any children. Sarah knew that Ibrahim (AS) was eager for a child but she was getting old and may not be able to give him a child. She suggested to Prophet Ibrahim (AS) that he should marry Hajarah, their slave girl, and maybe Allah would bless them with a child through her. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) accepted the advice of his beloved wife Sarah and married Hajarah. It wasn’t long before Ibrahim (AS) and Hajarah were blessed with a baby boy whom they named Isma’il.

After sometime, Sarah became jealous of Hajarah and Isma’il (AS). She told Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to take the child and mother to a land far away from them. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) then decided to take them to a place in Hijaz (Arabian Peninsula), which was then a dry, mountainous and barren land. Here Prophet Ibrahim (AS) left Hajarah and Isma’il (AS) under the shade of a lofty tree, near the hills of Safa and Marwa. This place had very little vegetation and had no water. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) left some food with Hajarah and a pouch of water. After some time both the food and water ran short and Isma’il (AS) began to cry. Hajarah was scared and she started to ran between the hills of Safa and Marwa looking for food or water but could not find anything. She ran between the two hillocks seven times. After the hectic search, she returned and found a spring had appeared where Ismail (AS) was kicking the sand with his feet. This spring, called Zamzam, producing clean water and Hajarah and Isma’il (AS) drank from it.

After many years, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) returned to Makkah to see his son a grown man. He learned that Hajarah had passed away in his absence. Allah wanted to test Ibrahim’s submission again in a dream; the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was instructed to sacrifice his son Isma’il (AS) to Allah. Ibrahim (AS) told his son Isma’il (AS) about the dream, and both agreed to submit to the will of Allah (SWT). Isma’il (AS) lay prostrate with his forehead touching the ground, while his father laid a sharp knife upon his neck. At that moment, Allah Almighty called down:

“O Ibrahim! You have done my bidding and now you will be rewarded!”

A large ram appeared as an alternative sacrifice, and instead of killing his son, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) slaughtered the sheep to the glory of Allah Almighty.

After that Allah (SWT) ordered Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to build a house for the worship of Almighty Allah. He (AS) then went to his son, Isma’il (AS) for some help. They both set the foundation of the Ka’abah using a rock that came from Heaven. Today, this rock is found in the core of the Ka’abah, known as the black stone. They started to build it and when the walls became high, Isma’il (AS) brought a stone for his father who stood over it. This stone was called the Maqama Ibrahim. The Ka’abah was finished and everyone worshipped there. The Ka’abah is known as the house of Allah. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) then asked the tribes to make the pilgrimage to this house of Allah the noble Ka’abah.

Every year, millions of Muslims from all over the world travel to Makkah to circle the Ka’abah that Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and Isma’il (AS) built and run between the two hills of Safa and Marwa, just like Hajarah did. We also observe the obedience of the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) by sacrificing an animal on their behalf and distribute the meat among the poor people.

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our Noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Dhul-Qa’adah 27, 1439 AH (August 10, 2018), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.