The first rite of hajj for all pilgrim is entering in ihram – the sacred state for all pilgrims . – when crossing the borders of city of Mecca, called miqat.
On the 8th day of Dul Hajj, all pilgrims enter ihram, which means wearing simple clothing, two unstitched white for men and loose fitting garments for women and she covers her head with white head-ties as well.
While in Ihram dress, the pilgrim is not allowed to use scents or performes. He must do away with evil talks. Even talk about love affairs or about marriage contracts is prohibited for a pilgrim while in the Ihram dress. The pilgrim is not to take part in hunting expeditions. He or she must keep off quarrelling with anybody. He or she must not fight with anybody. He or she must not provoke any one or allow himself or herself to be provoked.
In the Ihram dress, all pilgrims, male and female, young and old, rich and poor, white and black, appear equally alike. The distinctions of rank, colour or race is totally forgotten and they all follow certain rules.
When starting the duties of Hajji, the pilgrim has to take his bath, perform ablution, and offer a special optional prayer of two rak’ats omly, after this, he raises up his voice reciting the following words:
“Labbayka ‘Allahumma Labbayka
Labbayka la sharika laka labbayka
Innal hamda wa ‘nni’mata laka wa’l muklka
La sharika laka.
Here I am is thy presence. O Allah Here I am.
Here I am bearing witness that there is no partner or associate with thee. Here I am in thy presence. All praise, grace and kingdom are yours. You are alone without partners.
Those are the words of Talbiyyat which is to be recited by all the pilgrims as many times as they can, raising up their voives from the beginning of the rites of Hajji till the end of it.
3. THE TAWAF
Another important duty for the pilgrims is the Tawaf. It means the act of going around the Ka’bat several times by the Tawaf together.
The Tawaf starts from the black-stone which is fixed to one corner of the sacred Mosque. The black-stone is called Hajar al Aswad in Arabic.
The black-stone may be kissed if there is not too much rush. While going round the sacred. Temple of Ka’bah, the pilgrims raise up their voices glorifing and magnifying the praise of Allah (GOD). After the completion of the Tawaf, the pilgrims raise up their hands prayerfull supplicating to God of all creation.
The Tawaf is so important that aged people, small children and even the weak and those physically defected pilgrims are seen carried on shoulders. The sick people may also be carried on wheel-chairs round the Ka’bah to perform the Tawaf.
While going round the Ka’bah the pilgrims impress it upon their minds, raising up their voices, saying that all their acts of worship and devotion are for God and God alone. They are not worshipping the Ka’bah, since the Ka’bah is no more than a sysmbol of unity for all Muslims of the world.
After the Tawaf, the pilgrim offers a two rak’at optional prayer standing on Maqam-Ibrahim. After that, he raises up his hands in thanksgiving and prayer. the Maqam-Ibrahim is the place where Abraham (AS) the apostle of God and progenitor of the Arabs stood when he completed the building up the sacred House (Ka’bah), thousands of years ago.
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5. SA’Y: The pilgrim moves to Safa and Marwa, two small hills very near the Ka’bah. They walks hastenly and quickly between the two hills seven times, starting from Safa and ending at Marwa in company of other pilgrims. At the end of each walk, the pilgrims raises up their hands glorifying and magnifying the name of God, and thanking Allah for His blessing on us all.
On the 8th day of Dhul Hajj, all pilgrims move to Muna on their way to Arafat. They all halt at Muna where they the night. On the 9th of Dhul Hajj they all asemble on Mount Arafat. They will remain on the plain of Arafat from very early in the morning till the end of the day.
They will perform both Zuhri and Asri prayers together. Afetr that the Imam will deliver a sermon from Jabalur Rahmat, which will be read and translated to everybody on the plain of Arafat. Afeter that all the pilgrim raise up the rememrance of Allah.
Many pilgrim go to Medina, before going home, the second most sacred city in Islam, Medina is one of the important city in Islam, is the place where the prophet Muhammad (SAW) was buried along with his closest companions. A visit to the city of Medina, however, is not part of the pilgrimage.