Hajj Customs

Ihram:
Ihram, known as a holy state which a Muslim pilgrim has to get into in order to carry out Hajj. Muqat, the pilgrimage boundary, has to be crossed after a Hajj pilgrim step into the state of Ihram. As like many other Muslim occasions, here also the attires and state of minds of Muslims are the keys. Men dress up in clean and simple white clothes where as women clothe themselves in long robes covering the whole body. Only hands and face are exposed. Sexual activity, smoking, shaving, swearing, and cutting nails are strictly prohibited. Any kind of scented liquids should not be applied on the clothes. Concentration on God is the most important part in this state. Muslim pilgrims forget studies, Business and personal affairs while they are into the state of Ihram.

Talbiyah:
Talbiyah, the Muslim Prayer, is an earnest and sincere appeal to the Allah by the pilgrims. It is believed that Hajj pilgrims are determined to perform the Hajj only for the magnificence and glory of the almighty. The prayer, Talibiyah, is invoked over and over again during Hajj to decontaminate and shed the worldly concerns and worries. The Talbiyah connotes a rejoinder to the summons of Allah, the almighty.

Haram Sharief:
Haram Sharief or the Al-Masjid al-Ḥarām is the largest and prime mosque of the globe. The mosque surrounds Kabba which Muslim pilgrims turn towards while praying to Allah. The city of Mecca where the sacred pilgrimage spot, the Sharief, is located, itself is a sought after destination for the Muslim pilgrims. The mammoth mosque, covering, 356, 800 square meters, has a huge inner and outer spaces for the pilgrims. Large batch of Muslim pilgrims come and assemble in the mosque from all over the world. Due to the stateliness and spirituality of the mosque, it is aptly named as the Grand Mosque.

Tawaaf:
Pilgrims walk around the Qaaba (Kabba) while reciting prayers and this pious act of Muslim devotees is called Tawaaf. If a pilgrim ambles around the mosque once then it is said that a shawt and seven ashwaat are completed. Once a pilgrim completes one shawt and seven ashwaat, he is said to have completed Tawaaf. Five types of Tawaafs are there which can be performed during Hajj.

Kaaba:
Kaaba is a coveted religious building of Mecca. Kaaba is encircled with a grand mosque, Al-Masjid-al-Haram. Every Muslim turns their faces towards the Kaaba while they pray to the God. Every Muslim tries to watch the divine Kabba once in his or her lifetime. More than 6 million Muslim pilgrims congregate in front of the mosque on the same day during Hajj to circumambulate the divine Kaaba. According to the Islam every Hajj pilgrim has to walk mandatorily around the Kaaba seven times during Hajj.

Stoning (Rami) of the Jamarat (Satan):
More than two millions pilgrims every year assemble in Mecca mosque in the twelfth lunar Arabic month to feel the divinity and shed the impurities. The holy activities of Hajj start on the ninth day and terminate on the twelfth day. According to ritual, pilgrims throw small stones of 1 cm diameter (imaginary) at specific targets. Even though the dimensions of the targets are not published but it is assumed that the length of the target is 3 meters and the square base is nearly 1 meter. The targets are named as Small Jamrah or Jamarat, medium Jamrah and large Jamrah. The small and medium Jamrahs are kept at a distance of 135 meters where as the distance between the medium and large Jamrahs is 225 meters. On the tenth day of the specific month devotees try to hit the largest one where as on the next two days pilgrims target the three Jamrahs sequentially. They start throwing the stone towards the smallest one and end with the largest Jamrah.

Tawaf-e-Ziyarah and Sayee at Makkah:
Safa and Marwah are two adjoining hills in the close proximity of the grand mosque of Mecca. Pilgrims Sa’i or run between Safa and Marwah before Tawaf.

Tawaf-e-Ziyarah is performed on the 10th day of the twelfth month. Most of the pilgrims do it after performing Ihram in Mina. By the time pilgrims conclude Ihram they are free from offering sacrifices and are already head shaven. However, performing Tawaf-e-Ziyarah after Ihram is not obligatory. But Ihram is a condition for the Sa’i of Hajj and Sa’i of Umrah. Pilgrims who have not completed sayee or Sa’i, can complete it on the 10th day.

Kiswa (Kaaba's Pardah):
Kaaba, the house of Allah (God), looks beautiful as it is fully covered with a black cloth called Kiswa which has a total area of 658 square meters. The special cloth of Kaaba is dedicatedly designed and changed every year. The manufacturing factory of Kiswa is located in Mecca. A hefty amount of US $ 17 Million (approximately) is spent every year to produce Kiswa. The black colored attire of Kaaba is made up of 670 kg of expensive Silver. 129 kg of pure gold and 50 kg of Silver are used to write Quran verses on the cloth.

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