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See Also: Guide to how to perform Umrah
Today modern transport means that each year 2-3 million men and women travel to Makkah for Hajj each year. In these pages we explain the stages of this journey....
The days of Hajj
Hajj Rites - in brief
Day1: 8 th Dhul Hijja
O n the first day of the Hajj, pilgrims sweep out of Makkah towards Mina , (a small uninhabited village east of Makkah). Pilgrims generally spend their time meditating and praying, as the Prophet (PBUH) did on his pilgrimage.
Day2: 9 th Dhul Hijja
During the second day, the 9th of Zul-Hijjah, pilgrims leave Mina for the plain field of ’Arafat for the wuquf , "the standing," the central rite of the Hajj. Some pilgrims gather at the Mount of Mercy (Jabal Al-Rahmah), where the Prophet (PBUH) delivered his unforgettable Farewell Sermon.
After the sunset on 9 th Dhul Hijja
Just after sunset, the mass of pilgrims proceeds to Muzdalifah , an open plain field about halfway between ’Arafat and Mina. There they first perform Maghrib & Isha prayers and then collect at least 49/70 of chickpea-sized pebbles to use when stoning Satan on the following days.
Day3: (Eid Day) Beginning of the day; 10 th Dhul Hijja
After performing Fajar in Muzdalifah and before daybreak on this day, pilgrims move in masse from Muzdalifah to Mina . There they cast at white pillars the pebbles they have previously collected from Muzdalifah. According to some traditions, this practice is associated with Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH). As pilgrims throw seven pebbles at each of these pillars, they remember the story of Satan’s attempt to persuade Ibrahim (PBUH) to disregard God’s command to sacrifice his son.
Mid day of 3: (Eid Day) Beginning of the day; 10 th Dhul Hijja
Following the casting of the pebbles, pilgrims are expected to sacrifice a goat, sheep (the group will do it for you),
After the Qurbani:
Men either shave their heads or clip their hair, and women cut off a symbolic lock, to mark their partial deconsecration. This is done as a symbol of humility. You are now allowed to take off your Ihram and put on everyday clothes. On this day Muslims around the world share the happiness the pilgrims feel and join them by performing identical, individual sacrifices in a worldwide celebration of ’Id al-Adha, " the Festival of Sacrifice ."
Day4: (11 th Dhul Hijja) either perform tawaf e Ziyarah & Sa’ey or spend the day in Mina
pilgrims may visit Makkah to perform another essential rite of the Hajj: the tawaf (this could be done on day 10, 11 or 12 of Dhul Hijja) . After completing the tawaf, pilgrims pray, preferably behind the Station of Ibrahim (if possible), the site where Ibrahim (PBUH) stood while he built the Ka’bah. Thereafter, pilgrims may also try to drink Zamzam water (if possible).
Another, and sometimes final, rite is the sa’y, or "the running." This is a reenactment of a memorable episode in the life of Hagar (PBUH), who was taken into what the Qur’an calls the "uncultivable valley" of Makkah, with her infant son Ishmael, to settle there.
The sa’y commemorates Hagar’s (PBUH) frantic search for water to quench Ishmael’s (PBUH) thirst. She ran back and forth seven times between two rocky hillocks, al-Safa and al-Marwah, until she found the sacred water known as Zamzam . This water, which sprang forth miraculously under Ishmael’s tiny feet, is now enclosed in a marble chamber the Ka’bah.
Day5&6: (12 th Dhul Hijja) either perform tawaf e Ziyarah & Sa’ey or spend the day in Mina
Pilgrims may spend the dayin Mina, where they stay up to the 12th or 13th day of Zul-Hijjah. There they throw their remaining pebbles at each Satan in the manner either practiced or approved by the Prophet (PBUH).