(companions) You and your sharik(s) should be totally accountable for each other. You must know at all times exactly where your partner is. You are responsible for each others’ health and welfare as well. This relationship is crucial on the Hajj, where you will often go places in groups, in crowded places etc. Getting lost, wandering off etc., could create serious problems. Any problems should be reported directly to the leader, whomever it may be, or to someone who will relate the problem to the leader.
Guide’s assistant & aide-de-camp:
Liason Officer & second aide-de-camp:
Public Relations and translator:
Treasurers & Buyers:
If one is sick or unable to perform one’s duties, one should enlist a companion or assistant to take over.
Someone should contact a local health center or doctor to find out what is needed as far as inoculations for traveling to Saudi Arabia and any other places to be visited.
Figure your personal cycle. Not only would you not want to be menstruating during the Hajj, but you would: not want to miss the opportunity to enter any mosque. Your doctor can give you something to temporarily suppress your period. Failure to take care of this could void your Hajj!
Also handy to have are insect repellent, wash & dry packets, white umbrella, small flashlight, battery operated fans and tissues.
Be sure to bring any personal medication you may need. Also, the following items can be very useful:
Vitamins, salt pills, diarrhea medicine, ointment for cuts, bruises, sunstroke and sulfa eye drop.
Papers & Money, etc.
You should already now have a current passport.
You will need them to be ready ahead of time, so someone can apply for the Visas in a timely manner.
· Completed visa application
· 2 passport photos are required of the same size & age as in your passport.
· Green Card, or other visa (original)
· Copy of Marriage certificate (for couples)
· Mahram permission letter (from husband), the each group leader will provide a Mahram letter declaring the single women as being under his protection.
· Muslim Letter for people without Muslim names/nationality who do not have a previous Hajj or Umra visa stamp in their current passports.
· Tickets (we will send to the group leaders as soon as we have them.)
· Immunization booklets
· Your expense money (minimum $500) should be in cash. This sum should be sufficient for food and extra transportation, etc. Should you want to buy gifts, etc., more will be necessary.
Suggestions for clothing etc.
Note: Extra winter clothing for Turkey may be left in the hotel in Istanbul on the way.
· 1 white dress (for Ihram Period)
· 2 other dresses - darker or with patterns easier to keep clean. These must go to your ankle bone, and sleeves to the wrists. 100% cotton & loose are highly recommended.
· 1 long nightgown, also cotton; several pairs of light weight cotton socks
· loose cotton slip, if your robes are not opaque (remember the bright sunlight)
· 2 -3 of sets of cotton underwear
· Sandals with an open heel & toe, easy to take off & slip on. The soles should be padded & solid. Make sure they are very comfortable and well made, (like Birkenstock).
· 2 or 3 large white cotton prayer size scarves
· 2 or 3 smaller cotton scarves
· 1 light weight prayer mat
· 1 small duffel or hand bag (collapsible) for short trips,
· No perfume, scented soaps etc. This may offend people and cause trouble.
· A small travel twisted elastic clothesline may be useful.
· 2 robes. They are the most comfortable and can be bought in Mecca.
· white cotton shirt
· loose cotton white pants
· sandals, see note for women
· 2 -3 sets cotton underwear
· light weight cotton socks
· small shoulder bag for daily use
· money belt
· 1 hand towel
Each person may have only one tube type, or carry on size nylon bag! Sew a small American flag and write your name on the bag. No extra luggage except a carry-on is permitted as this will cause terrible delays for the whole group in airports, hotels, busses, etc.
Hajj is obligatory to everyone who is:
3. In good physical and mental health
4. Who has means
5. Has enough sustenance to keep his dependents during his absence
6. Who knows that Hajj is an obligation
A woman who intends to go to the Hajj should either have her husband, or a male companion with whom she cannot legally marry, accompany her. According to Imam Shafii, a woman may also have two or more dependable women companions in lieu of a male companion.
The fifth principle of Islam is, once in a lifetime, to perform a pilgrimage to the Kaaba in the city of Mecca. This is an enactment of the Day of Judgment. One removes all signs of identity and wraps oneself in a shroud; the king and the beggar are equalized. During this state, one pretends to be dead, selfless. We are forbidden to step on a blade of living green grass, to kill a biting flea, to pull a scab, or even to comb our hair.
Symbolic acts performed during this pilgrimage include circumambulation of the Kaaba; gathering in millions upon the plains of ‘Arafat; and the sacrifice of a ram in remembrance of the prophet Abraham’s sacrifice of his son. Ibn ‘Arabi says that the literal meaning of Hajj (Pilgrimage), in Arabic is the conscious intention to do something at a specific time.
When God addressed the prophet Abraham
Sanctify My house for those who compass it round or use it for a place of retreat or bow or prostrate themselves [in prayer],
He related that house on this planet to Himself. And when He said
The first house appointed for humanity was that at Bakka,
(Al-i ‘Imran, 96)
He established it as the first house of worship and assigned it as a symbol of His Throne upon earth. He asked humankind to proceed around it, likening this act to that of the angels who circumambulate His Throne. But the circling of the Kaaba by people whose words are the sincere confirmation of what is in their hearts, who have cleansed their hearts from the temptations of life on this earth, is a worthier worship than the devotion of the angels circumambulating God’s Throne in Heaven.
God built His temple upon three columns, though today it appears to us in the shape of a cube. These three columns are symbolic of the three remembrances of the heart. The one on the corner where the Black Stone is placed represents the divine inspirations. The column in the direction of Yemen represents the angelic characteristics. The third column represents the carnal prompting of human passions. These three supporting columns are guardians; they forbid evil suggestions from entering the house of the Lord. Supported by these three columns, the four sides of the house of God manifest love—although the fourth side of the cube, which faces Iraq, represents the possibility of evil in human beings.
The heart of the believer is the real Kaaba. It also has the four sides of divine inspirations, angelic attributes, material influences, and diabolic temptations. But the ones who know their Lord have three sides to their hearts. The seductions of evil are absent.
As the daily prayer starts with the declaration “God is greater,” so the Pilgrimage begins with the declaration of presence: Labbayk Allahumma labbayk. Labbayk la sharika laka labbayk. Innal hamdu wa ni`mata laka wal mulk. La sharika lak. “0 Lord, I am present! I am here now in obedience, ready to receive Your orders! There is none other than You, all praise is due to You, all belongs to You, You have no partners.” When the prophet Abraham was ordered to build the Kaaba, God told him to cry out these words—and in the spiritual realm, the Lord made the souls of all believers hear them. In remembrance, the pilgrims recite this cry.
Male pilgrims wear two pieces of white cloth—one wrapped around the waist, reaching to under the knees, and one to be thrown over the shoulder to cover the torso. Female pilgrims, also dressed in white, may not cover their face. This practice erases all differences of rank and social status, and is a symbol of the shroud.
The white Pilgrimage cloth is not sewn—it is as if not fashioned by human hands. It belongs to God, hiding what is reprehensible or lacking in a human being, protecting from everything that God forbids and from the temptations of the flesh. Like Adam, we carry our sins with us upon the Pilgrimage. But if he had not erred, he would not have descended to our world, where he is honored with being the Deputy of God.
The Black Stone embedded in one corner of the Kaaba is like the prophet Adam. It also left the Garden pristine and white. It turned black when it entered the earth’s atmosphere. Yet the believers kiss it during the Pilgrimage.
At the end of the Pilgrimage, in a place called Mina, each day for three days the pilgrims throw seven stones at the Devil. Humanity knows its Lord through His three aspects: His actions, His attributes, and His existence. The three days represent these three manifestations. The seven stones represent the seven greater sins: pride in one’s spiritual state; common arrogance; hypocrisy; envy; anger and negativity; love of property; love of position. Thus the first day one casts these sins out of one’s actions, and the second day, out of one’s character. On the third day, with the awe of the mystery of God’s essence, one casts them from one’s being. Finally cleansed, in the place called Mina, which means “Hope” and “Goal,” one finishes the Pilgrimage and returns to the world. And then we try to do what is right, and to be what we are meant to be.
The four conditions for the realization of Hajj are:
1. Islam, which is the condition for the Hajj as well as the condition for the realization of the Hajj.
2. The sacred place: Mount Arafat and the Ka’aba.
3. The sacred time: dependent on the sacred place. The wait in Arafat starts at sunset on the eve of the `Id until the sunrise of the first day of the `Id. Circumambulation of the Ka’aba is from the morning of the first day of the `Id until the end of one’s life. (Except the first ten days of the months of Shawwal, Dhil Qida and Dhil Hijja.) Actually, for the one who is making the Hajj, for practical reasons, the circumambulation is done during the first three days of the `Id.
4. Ihram: The outward condition of Ihram is total ablution cutting of the fingernails, shaving and. clipping mustaches, shaving under one’s arms and one’s Private parts, and to cover oneself with two pieces of unsewn white cloth; one covering the area from the waist to the shins and the other to throw over the shoulders. One cannot cover ones head or feet during the period of Hajj.
Then one performs two raq`ats of salah and makes one’s niyat (intention)
Nawaytul Hajja wa ahrumtu billahi ta`ala.
Allahumma yasirhu li wa takabaltu minni.
I intend to perform the hajj for Allah’s sake and enter Ihram.
My Lord, make it possible for me and accept it from me.
Women do not change their clothes nor uncover their heads or their feet but do the rest. The women who get their period during their Ihram continue their Ihram, except that they cannot make the circumambulation of the Ka’aba. If a woman gets her period after the wait in Arafat and the following circumambulation of the Kaaba, they do not have to make the parting circumambulation and may leave the holy grounds as her Hajj is complete.
After entering Ihram, which should be done at certain geographic points before entering Mecca (We will be entering Ihram at the hotel in Istanbul the day of our departure for Mecca.), one should presume oneself dead and follow these prescriptions:
1. One cannot get married or have sexual intercourse nor may one play, kiss or talk lightly with one’s wife.
2. One cannot wear anything except one’s Ihram. If bitter cold, one may throw something over one’s shoulders.
3. One cannot cover one’s heads or face. Women may cover their heads, but not their faces.
4. One cannot kill any of God’s creations, including stepping on green grass.
5. To shave, to cut one’s hair or fingernails, to peel a scab are all forbidden. To wash giving attention not to kill any living thing on you is permissible.
6. You may profit from the shade of a building, tent, tree or umbrella, as long as none of these touch your head.
7. As soon as one enters Ihram, one starts pronouncing out loud the Talbiya. Women repeat the same prayer in a lower voice:
Labbayk Allahumma labbayk. Labbayk la sharika laka labbayk.
Innal hamdu wa ni`mata laka wal mulk.
La sharika lak.
I am present, my Lord, I am present. I am present. There is none like you. I am present.
All praise to you and all good is from you, all kingdoms are yours.
There is no equal to you.
This prayer must be repeated as often as one can as a reminder, especially when you enter or exit, when you climb or descend, when you meet somebody or leave, etc.
When one enters Mecca and finds the place to leave one’s belongings, immediately one goes to make the first circumambulation which is called Tawaf Qudum. It is a paying of respect to the sacred place, which is not an obligation but is Sunnah (voluntary). Starating from the corner where there is the Black Stone (called the place of Hazeti Ibrahim), taking the Ka’aba on your left side, one goes around the Ka’aba seven times, the first three circumambulations done at a fast pace, finishing where you started. Each time you pass the Black Stone you must salute it by making a tekbir, raising one’s hands to one’s head. After the Tawaf, one makes two raq`ats of namaz and drinks Zamzam water. Afterwards you walk (make the Sa`y) between Safa and Marwa .
The Sa`y starts from Safa and after going between the two Points seven times it ends at Marwa. There is a certain distance marked by two green columns. At that distance one should run without disturbing anybody. It is customary but not obligatory to have a little of one’s hair clipped after the Sa`y.
On the eighth day of
Dhul Hijja, after sunrise, one leaves Mecca for Minna One may spend the night in Minna or return back to Mecca. The ninth day of Dhul Hijja, after sunrise, one goes to Arafat stopping at Minna. On that day, which is the eve of `Id, at noon prayer time one makes the noon and afternoon prayer together. After sunset one leaves Arafat for Muzdalifa. At Muzdalifa one performs the sunset and the night prayer together. One spends the night at Muzdalifa and collects the stones to throw at the devil in Minna. The morning of the `Id one comes to Minna to stone the devil, after which one may come to Mecca and make the obligatory circumambulation and the Sa`y, get out of Ihram and put on one’s regular clothes. Then the second and third and fourth day of the `Id one may go back to Minna and stone the devil. At the end of this, one makes a final circumambulation, a farewell to the Ka’aba. One should be careful not to look at the Kaaba after this because if you see it again, you must make another circumambulation.
“...the pilgrimage to the Holy House is an obligation which man owes to Allah, for the man who has the ability to find his way to it...” The Holy Qur’an, Surah Ali Imran: 96
Know that “the form” of any ibada, of any kind of devotion, is a means to find Truth. If Truth is not found by it, “form” has no meaning or purpose by itself.
“A man came to take leave from Hz. Shibli (ks). Hz. Shibli(k.s.) asked:
Where are you going?
To the Hajj.
Take with you two big bags; fill them with Mercy there and bring them to us, so that we will have a share of it, to share with our friends and to offer our guests...
The man took his leave and left to go to Hajj. When he returned, he came to visit Hz. Shibli(k.s.), who asked:
Did you go to the Pilgrimage?
What did you do first?
I took a ritual total ablution, put on my pilgrim’s garb, made two raqats of salat, started reciting the talbiyya, and made my intention and decision to do the pilgrimage.
With your intention and decision to do the Hajj, were you able to cancel all decisions you had taken which were contrary to this decision, since the day you were born?
Then you have not made your intention to do the Hajj.
Then you say you took off your ordinary clothes and put on your pilgrim’s garb. Have you taken out from your being all you have done in your ordinary life?
Then you have neither taken off your clothes neither have you put on your pilgrim’s garb.
When you washed yourself and took your ablution, did you cleanse yourself of all your ills and defects?
Then you have not taken your ritual ablution.
When you recited the talbiyya and said ‘i am present, my Lord, i am here, at Your orders, i am here heedful, there is none like You, all grace is to You, all blessing is from You, all belongs to You, there is no partner with You’, did you receive an answer, a call from Allah?
Then you have not recited the talbiyya.
Did you enter the Harem, the sacred grounds?
When you entered the Harem, did you vow to leave behind all that is haram and unlawful?
Then you have not entered the Harem. Did you visit Mecca?
When you visited Mecca, did you feel as if you received a different state from Allah?
Then you have not been in Mecca.
Did you enter the Sacred Mosque?
Did you feel closer to Allah in the Sacred Mosque?
Then you have not entered the Sacred Mosque. Did you see the Qaaba?
In seeing the Qaaba, did you achieve the goal for which you came?
Then you have not seen the Qaaba.
Did you circumambulate the Qaaba thrice in fast paces and four times slowly?
In running thrice around the Qaaba, did you run away from everything that you were with and in walking four times around did you reach salvation and security and thankfulness?
Then you have not left your old self, nor your worldly load; neither have you come closer to your Lord. You have not made your tawwaf.
Did you touch or salute the hajar’u aswad (the Black Stone)?
Pity on you! It is said the one who touches the Black Stone touches the Truth. The one who touches the Truth is in the securest peace. Did you feel this security?
Then you have not touched the hajar’u aswad. Did you make two raqats of salat afterwards?
In doing so, did you stand in front of your Lord and show Him your intention?
Then you have not made your salat. Did you stand on the hill of Safa?
What did you do there?
I recited the takbir. I declared the Greatness of Allah.
As you stood there, did your soul find purity (saf)? Bid your heart find joy (safa)? As you said ‘Allahu Akbar’, did the world and the worldly become smaller?
Then you have neither stood on the top of Safa nor did you declare Allah’s greatness.
As you ran between Safa and Marwa, did you run from His Jelal to His Jemal?
Then you did not walk seven times between Safa and Marwa. Did you stand on the top of the hill of Marwa?
As you stood there, did you feel peace and tranquility descend upon you?
Then you have not been there either.
Did you go to Mina from Mecca?
Did you receive your wish?
Then you have not been to Mina.
Have you entered the Masjid-i Hayf?
When you entered the Masjid—i Hayf, was the fear of Allah refreshed in your heart?
Then you did not enter the Masjid—i Hayf. Did you go up to the mountain of Arafat?
Did you come to know how and why you were created, and where you are going to go? Did you come to know who is your Lord, that Lord who you deny? Has Allah shown you a sign that you were one of the chosen?
Then you have not been to Arafat. Have you been to Mash’ar?
Did you remember Allah at Mash’ar in such a way that you forgot everything else? Did you come to understand there how one is addressed and how one’s prayers are answered?
Then you have not been to Mash’ar. Did you sacrifice an animal?
Did you sacrifice your desires and your will for Allah’s sake?
You have not sacrificed anything. Did you stone the devil at Mina?
Did you throw away your ignorance? Did you receive wisdom in its place?
You have not thrown stones at the devil.
Did you visit the Qaaba, the Sacred House, after you descended from Arafat?
What gifts have you received from the Master of that house? For the Prophet (saws) says: ‘The pilgrims are Allah’s visitors; it is right that the Host show honor and give presents to the guests...’
I have not received any gifts.
Then you have not done your visitation.
Did you satiate yourself drinking the Zamzam water?
Did the taste of Zamzam make you promise not to taste anything unlawful, ever?
Then you have not drunk the Zamzam water.
Did you make the circumambulation of farewell at the Qaaba?
Did you leave all of your ego and all your being behind?
Then you have not made your farewell, nor have you made your Hajj. If you wish, you must return and make your Hajj again. If you do, do it the way I told you.
This story is taken from Hz. Sulami’s (ks) Haqaiq’u-t-tafsir. Allah knows best.
al fakir tosun al-Jerrahi