The Basics: Tawaf and Sa’ay

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In a previous blog, we talked you through Ihram, the first stage of your Hajj. There are many stages you will pass through during the course of your Hajj, and the second is the tawaf and sa’ay. In this blog, we will talk you through everything you need to know about this stage, ensuring that you feel completely prepared for your upcoming pilgrimage. Tawaf Tawaf involves walking seven times around the Kaaba, the most sacred location in Islam, in an anti-clockwise direction. Upon your arrival at Masjid al-Haram, you will perform a welcome tawaf, which is also involved in Umrah. Pilgrims will walk a path around the Kaaba which includes Hateem, which is the name of an area north of the Kaaba. When beginning the circuit around the Kaaba, pilgrims are to kiss or touch the Black Stone (Hajar Al-Aswad). However, if this is not possible then pilgrims may point …Continue reading →

The Modern Day Hajj

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The first Hajj was completed in the year 62 by the Prophet Muhammad, and a lot has changed since then! Not so long ago, Hajj was something that Muslims would spend years saving for, only embarking on the pilgrimage in later life when their children were independent and their finances secure. However, in recent years many more Muslims find themselves able to perform the pilgrimage earlier in life, with the influence of the modern world threatening to penetrate the spirit of Hajj. Increasing Numbers One of the greatest changes from the ancient Hajj to that of the modern day is the sheer number of people who make the pilgrimage every year. In 2014, over 2 million pilgrims embarked on the journey to Mecca, compared to the small number of followers that travelled with Muhammad on the first Hajj. Due to the huge numbers, the Saudi government have had to enforce …Continue reading →

The Basics: Ihram

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During your Hajj, there are many stages through which you will pass. The first of these stages is Ihram which is the sacred state every Muslim must enter before they are able to perform the rituals required to complete Hajj. We will take a look at some of the basics of Ihram so you are well prepared to complete the holy pilgrimage. Clothing One of the key elements of Ihram is the clothing which is worn by both men and women. Stitched clothes are forbidden, so men must wear two white seamless clothes, leaving some areas of the body uncovered. Women are not to wear the Burqa or Niqab as they must not cover their faces during Hajj. Instead, they wear a dress that covers their bodies, leaving the hands and face uncovered. Behaviour During Ihram, a Muslim is expected to put aside all thoughts of day-to-day life, and focus …Continue reading →

A New Generation: Young Hajji’s

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In the past, Hajj was something that people would have to save for, for many years. It would seem that now things are starting to change, with many more young pilgrims embarking on their journey to Mecca. Many young Muslims find that they are unsure if they should make the Hajj now as a young person, or wait until they are older, wiser, and possibly a ‘better Muslim’. It is often believed that to make the Hajj, and for it to be accepted, you must be the ‘perfect’ Muslim. However, more and more young Muslims will complete the pilgrimage, as it is an obligatory act of Islam. If you are able to make the journey to Mecca, it should not be delayed until later in life. The BBC looked at some stories of Young Hajji’s in their article, ‘Young at Hajj’ including 17 year old Lubaaba Amatullah who made the …Continue reading →

Top Tips for a Successful Hajj – Gear

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We’ve covered a lot of information relating to your Hajj in the last few months, but there are still a number of important facets of this journey that we’ve yet to offer much advice on. Having spoken a fair bit about clothing in one form or another, it’s now time to discuss your gear in a more general sense, as this can make a big difference to your overall experience. Here are some words of advice… Purchase a Digital Luggage Scale When you are on Hajj, you are going to be moving a lot of luggage through customs and the like, and few things are more detrimental to your state of mind than suddenly discovering that you may have too many belongings. Over-weight luggage is a legitimate concern, and if you buy extra belongings on Hajj then you can find yourself worrying that your luggage weight will be unsuitable. With …Continue reading →

Tips for a Successful Hajj – Clothing

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When you are on your Hajj, one of the most important ‘practical’ considerations that needs to be remembered is in relation to the clothing that you take with you. In some of our past articles, we’ve touched upon some clothing tips, but in this latest post we’ll focus upon some of the advice that we didn’t have time to go over previously. Read on to find out more… Carry a Damp Towel At times, the Hajj can be very gruelling, and although you need to be prepared for this, you certainly don’t want to let it become a distraction for you. Keep a small damp towel under your cap whenever you can, as this way you can conveniently refresh yourself whenever you have need. Practise Wearing Ihram Clothes We’ve already advised you about the necessity to bring at least two pairs of Ihram clothes with you on Hajj, as many …Continue reading →

Tips for a Successful Hajj – Relieving Stress

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We’ve already given you a number of tips relating to various habits that you can foster to promote a successful Hajj experience, and following these tips should give you considerably less stress than you may have had otherwise. However, there are a few points which we could also state that relate to stress relief in a more specific sense. When you’re on Hajj, you need your mind to be as composed as possible, otherwise distractions and frustrations will naturally reduce the benefits of this important undertaking. With that in mind, here are a few practical tips to remove potential sources of stress: Dealing with the Crowds The single biggest source of stress that many people encounter on Hajj is the sheer volume of people. Simply put, navigating the thronging crowds can be a cause of consternation for some. In this case, the best advice we can offer is a change …Continue reading →

A History of the Hajj

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The Hajj. It’s one of the five pillars of Islam, a literal journey – Hajj, after all, means ‘to set out for a place’ – performed by all Muslims who are physically and financially able to show their devotion. But where did this pilgrimage to Mecca come from, how long have Muslims been travelling there? Here, we’ll take a long at the long and glorious history of the Hajj.   Alongside Shahadah, Salat, Zakat and Sawm, the Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam – the pillars, of course, are the five obligations that Muslims must carry out in order to live a good and holy life. The Hajj is perhaps one of the most stunning annual religious events to take place on Earth. An estimated two million Muslims trek east every year to stand shoulder to shoulder with all other Muslims, regardless of ethnicity or social class. As such, …Continue reading →

Tips for a Successful Hajj – Packing

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In our last blog, we related a number of useful tips about how to cultivate a healthy body and mind before you prepare to set out on your Hajj or Umrah. However, as you will doubtless know there is a lot more to ensuring a successful Hajj than that. To have the best possible and most beneficial experience on your Hajj, a number of different plans will have to come together, and some of these issues are fairly mundane to consider. Despite this, the mundane concerns of your Hajj are still important. Nothing will dilute the positive experience of your Hajj like being distracted by trivial issues, so inglorious things like packing must be treated with a great deal of care. With that in mind, here are a few packing tips to bear in mind. Ihram Clothes Many men expect that a single set of Ihram clothes will be able …Continue reading →

Tips for a Successful Hajj – Your Health and Fitness

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Carrying out the Hajj is a duty that every adult Muslim must perform at least once during their lifetime, providing that they are physically and financially able to do so. This a relatively well-known fact, and means that the pilgrim in question must be spiritually and physically prepared for their undertaking, as well as being able to support any family that they may be leaving behind. However, sometimes prospective pilgrims place more emphasis on the spiritual preparation needed for the Hajj than they do upon the physical, yet there is a great need to take the physical side of the Hajj extremely seriously. Not only does a Muslim have a duty to be strong in both a spiritual and a physical sense, but the Hajj is a true test of endurance, and all too often this is sidelined. The Hajj requires a pilgrim to walk for miles upon miles within …Continue reading →

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