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Hajj; the Pilgrimage to Mecca - General Rules

Adapted from the book : "A Code of Practice for Muslims in the West" in accordance with the edicts of Ayatullah Seestani

124. When a Muslim becomes capable, hajj becomes obligatory upon him. By “capability” we mean the following:

a. Availability of enough time to travel to the holy places and stay there for performing the obligatory rites.

b. Physical health and strength, observing to travel to the holy places, and staying there for the obligatory rituals.

c. The road through which one has to pass for performing the rituals be open and secure, in the sense that it does not place the life or property or honour of the pilgrim in undue danger.

d. Financial ability: One should be able to get whatever is necessary for the pilgrim in his journey; e.g., food, drink, clothes, including the means of transportation according to his status by which he can cover the distance for hajj.

e. The financial position of the person should be such that by travelling for hajj or by spending from his wealth for it, he would not be putting himself and his dependents in need and poverty.

125. HajjTamattu‘: This is a kind of pilgrimage that is obligatory upon those who live in other countries i.e. far away from Mecca. Hajj Tamattu‘ consists of two rituals: the first is known as‘umrah, and the second hajj.

126. In ‘umrah, five things are obligatory:’

    a. (a) Putting on the pilgrim’s dress (ihram) from one of the miqats. Mawaqit (plural of miqat) are locations [around the holy territory of Mecca] that shari‘a has specifically fixed for putting on the ihram.

    b. Circumambulating (tawaf) around the Ka‘ba seven times.

    c. The salat of tawaf.

    d. Sa‘i (i.e., brisk walking) between the hills of Safa and Marwa seven times.

    e. Taqsir: cutting off a little bit of your hair or cutting the nail.

127. The obligatory acts of hajj tamattu‘ are thirteen as follows:

a. Putting on the ihram from Mecca.

b. Staying in ‘Arafat on the 9th of Dhu ’l-Hijja.

c. Staying a part of the night (eve of 10th Dhu ’l-Hijja) until sunrise in Muzdalifa.

d. Stoning the smaller pillar in Mina on the day of ‘Eid (i.e., 10th of Dhu ’l-Hijja).

e. Sacrificing an animal in Mina on the day of ‘Eid or during the days of tashriq [i.e., 11th to 13th of Dhu ’l-Hijja].

f. Shaving one’s head or doing taqsir in Mina. By doing this, the pilgrim is free from the restrictions of ihram, except the use of perfume and sexual contact with women. Based on obligatory precaution, the restriction of hunting continues even after shaving or taqsir.

g. Tawaf of Ziyarat seven times after returning to Mecca.

h. Salat of Tawaf.

i. Sa‘i between Safa and Marwa seven times. With this, the restriction of using perfume is also lifted.

j. Tawaf of Nisa’ seven times.

k. Salat of Tawat of Nisa’. With this, sexual contact with women becomes permissible.

l. Staying during over night in Mina on the eve of 11th and 12th Dhu ’l-hijja. And also, under some circumstance, the eve of 13th Dhu ’l-hijja.

m. Stoning the three pillars in Mina on the 11th and the 12th of Dhu ’l-hijja. And also, under some circumstance, on the day of 13th Dhu ’l-hijja.