The pilgrimage to Makkah to perform the Hajj is one of the most awaited times in the lives of a muslim.
The Umrah is the beginning to understanding and creating a bond with Allah (swt).
A physical presence in the holy land is a prediction made in the holy Qur’an which states that upon mention of pilgrimage, people will attend in great numbers. This calculation is true as millions visit Makkah every single year.
As the rules of Umrah differ slightly to Hajj in Saudi Arabia, it still gives one an insight into how Hajj will be like and what is expected. It removes past sins and strengthens faith. It has less rituals to perform.
The main aspects of Umrah are being in ihram clothing usually white in colour. To go around the Kaaba the house of Allah, then walking quickly between the two mountains Safa and Marwah back and forth. Lastly to shave or clip hair.
This year only 1000 people will be allowed to perform hajj due to the current pandemic. The Hajj involves one to be in the correct attire the ihram, then to circle the Kaaba seven times then to go between the two mountains Safa Marwah again seven times then they depart to Mina a place 8 km away from Mecca and they then stay there till sunrise.
From here they move to Arafat where they pray and repent and then at sunset move to Muzdalifa where they perform Magrib and Esha prayer and also collect pebbles to throw in Ramy Al Jamarat which is about stoning the devil at the three walls and then as this is the third day of Hajj, hair is shaven off or clipped. Although Hajj will be difficult for many this year, next year inshallah we will not have any restrictions on travel. May Allah (swt) protect us all.
Animal sacrifice is carried out to celebrate Eid Al Adha.
Hajj is a lifetime obligation with exemptions for illness. Poverty etc
Umrah can be done at anytime of the year whereas Hajj has to be performed on specific dates.
Safa is a masculine hill and Marwah is feminine hill.
49 plus stones are needed to stone the walls.
A person who has performed Hajj is called a Hajji
By Maz Ali
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