Tag Archives: umrah

How to Perform Umrah

So dear readers, we are back again, now after reading the previous article, let us now continue on this journey to enlighten ourselves about Hajj In Sha Allah

Now if you haven’t read the previous article, I would strongly recommend you to do so, as the first step of Umrah (which we shall cover currently) is Ihram, explained in the previous article.

Umrah consists of ihraam, tawaf, saa’i and shaving the head or cutting the hair.

To understand the steps of Umrah, let us commence by first understanding the different types of Tawaf.

1. Tawaf

1. Types of circumambulation:

2. Conditions for the validity of Tawaf

Now most of the acts of worship have conditions, so let’s see what conditions of Tawaf are,

There are thirteen conditions for the validity of Tawaf (circumambulation) as follows:

3. Steps of performing Tawaf

It is preferred to do Ghusl when entering Makkah

When the pilgrim approaches Makkah, he should do ghusl before entering, if possible, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did ghusl when he entered Makkah. [Narrated by Muslim, 1259.]

1. When he enters al-Masjid al-Haraam he should do so with his right foot first, and say:

“Bismillaah wa’l-salaatu wa’l-salaam ‘ala Rasool-Allaah A’oodhu Billaah il-‘Azeem wa bi wajhih il-kareem wa bi sultaanih il-‘qadeem min al-Shaytaan il-rajeem Allaahumma aftah li abwaab rahmatika.

(In the name of Allaah, and blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allaah. I seek refuge with Allaah the Almighty and in His noble Countenance and His eternal power from the accursed Satan O Allaah open to me the gates of Your mercy.)

2. Then he should go to the Black Stone in order to start Tawaf.

3. He should touch the Stone with his right hand and kiss it; if he cannot kiss it then he should touch it with his right hand and kiss his hand. If he cannot touch it with his hand then he should face the Stone and point to it with his right hand and say “Allaahu Akbar”, but he should not kiss his hand.

There is great virtue for touching the Black stone.

 

It is better not to crowd around and cause annoyance to people or be annoyed by them, because of the hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to Umar: “O Umar, you are a strong man, do not crowd around the Stone and disturb the weak. If you find space, then touch it, otherwise just face it and say ‘Allaahu Akbar.’” [Narrated by Ahmad, 191; classed as qawiy by al-Albaani in Risaalat Manaasik al-Hajj wa’l-‘Umrah, p. 21.]

4. Then he should move towards the right, with the Ka’bah on his left.

5. When he reaches the Yemeni Corner (al-Rukn al-Yamaani, which is the third corner after the Black Stone) he should touch it with his right hand, without kissing his hand or saying “Allaahu Akbar”. If he cannot touch it then he should move on, and not crowd around it.

6. Between the Yemeni Corner and the Black Stone he should say:

اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

“Allahumma Rabbanaa aatina fi’l-dunya hasanah wa fi’l-aakhirah hasanah wa qinna ‘adhaab al-Naar

O Allah! Our Lord! Give us in this world that, which is good and in the Hereafter that, which is good and save us from the torment of the Fire.”

[Sahih Bukhari Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 47]

7. Every time he passes the Black Stone he should face it and say ‘Allaahu Akbar’, and in the rest of his Tawaf he should recite whatever he likes of dhikr, du’aa’ and Qur’an, because Tawaf around the Ka’bah has been established for the remembrance of Allaah.

In Tawaf men should do two things:

A – Uncovering the right shoulder (idtibaa’) from the beginning of tawaf until the end. This is done by placing the middle of the rida’ (upper garment) beneath the right armpit and the ends of the rida’ over the left shoulder. When the

pilgrim finishes tawaf, he should put his rida’ back as it was before tawaf, because the time for wearing it with one shoulder uncovered is only in tawaf.

B – Raml in the first three circuits only. Raml means walking quickly with short steps. In the last four circuits there is no raml, rather the pilgrim should walk normally.

8. When the pilgrim has completed seven circuits of tawaf, he should cover his right shoulder and then go to the Station of Ibraheem (Maqaam Ibraheem) and recite the:

وَاتَّخِذُوا مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى ۖ

“And take you (people) the Maqaam (place) of Ibraheem (Abraham) [or the stone on which Ibraheem (Abraham) stood while he was building the Ka‘bah] as a place of prayer (for some of your prayers, e.g. two Rak‘at after the Tawaf of the Ka‘bah at Makkah),” [al-Baqarah 2:125]

9. Then he should pray two rak’ahs behind the Station; in the first rak’ah after reciting al-Faatihah he should recite Soorat al-Kaafiroon; (109) and in the second, Soorat al-Ikhlaas; (112).

10. Then when he has finished this prayer he should go to the Black Stone and touch it if he can. It is prescribed at this point to touch it only; if he cannot do that then he should go away and not point to it.

Afterwards, a pilgrim should head towards As-Safa to perform saa’i (going between As-Safa and Al-Marwah).

2. Saa’i

For a pilgrim performing Hajj Tamatuu’- A pilgrim wears Ihram for Umrah only during the months of Hajj, which means when a pilgrim reaches Makkah, he/she makes Tawaf and Saa’i for Umrah.

For a pilgrim performing Hajj Qiraan or Ifraad he performs Tawaf for his arrival and Saa’i for Hajj When he reaches Makkah, It is permissible for him to postpone his Saa’i for Hajj until after his Tawaf for Hajj.

1. Conditions of the validity of Saa’i:

2. Steps of performing Saa’i

1. He should go out to the Mas’aa (place for saa’i) and when he comes near to al-Safa’ he should face the Ka’bah and recite (interpretation of the meaning):

إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ ۖ

“Verily, As-Safa and Al-Marwah (two mountains in Makkah) are of the Symbols of Allaah” [al-Baqarah 2:158]

2. And he should say:

“Abda’u bima bada’a Allaah bihi (We start with that with which Allaah started).”

3. Then he should climb al-Safa until he can see the Ka’bah, then he should face it and say thrice:

There is no true God but Allah, Allah is the Greatest

4. Then he should raise his hands and praise Allah, and make du’aa’ as he wishes. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to say:

“Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk, wa lahu’l-hamd, wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer. Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdah, anjaza wa’dah, wa nasara ‘abdah, wa hazamaa al-ahzaaba wahdah

(There is no god but Allah alone, with no partner or associate; His is the Dominion, all praise is due to Him, and He is able to do all things. There is no god but Allah alone; he fulfilled His promise, granted victory to His slave, and defeated the confederates alone). [” Narrated by Muslim, 1218.]

5. He should repeat that three times, and make du’aa’ in between. He should recite this dhikr then make du’aa’, then recite it again and make du’aa’, and recite it a third time, then come down to al-Marwah.

6. When he reaches the green marker he should run as quickly as he can without disturbing anyone, because it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did saa’i between al-Safa and al-Marwah, and he said,

“The river bed is not crossed except with vigor.”

[Narrated by Ibn Maajah and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah, 2419.]

The river bed [it was a dried river bed in the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)] is the area between the two green markers that stand there now.

7. When he reaches the second green marker, he should walk normally until he reaches al-Marwah.

8. He should climb up it and turn to face the qiblah, and raise his hands and say what he had said at al-Safa. However, he doesn’t repeat the ayat as it is said only at Safa in the first round.

9. Then he should come down from al-Marwah and head for al-Safa, walking in the place of walking and running in the place of running.

10. When he reaches al-Safa he should do what he did the first time, and the same when he goes back to al-Marwah, until he has completed seven circuits; going from al-Safa’ to al-Marwah is one circuit, and coming back from al-Marwah to al-Safa is another circuit.

11. During his saa’i he can say whatever he likes or dhikr and du’aa’, and recite Qur’an. There is no specific supplication for Saa’i, except for what has been reported about making Takbeer and Tahleel on the mounts of Safa and Marwah.

3 – Shaving the head or cutting the hair

· When he has completed seven circuits (of saa’i) he should shave his head if he is a man, or cut some of his hair. If he shaves his head he must shave his entire head, and if he cuts his hair he must cut from all over his head. Shaving is better than cutting because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made du’aa’ three times for those who shaved their heads and once for those who cut their hair. [Narrated by Muslim, 1303.]

· Women should cut the length of a fingertip from their hair.

However, those pilgrims who are performing Qiraan and Ifraad maintain their Ihram and do not shave or cut their hair after the Saa’I performed after Tawaf Al-Qudoom, he remains in Ihram till after he stones Jamrah Al-Aqaba on the Eid day

With these actions, the Umrah is complete.

Some rulings related to Circumambulation:

1. A person can pray the two Rak’ahs of circumambulation anywhere in the Sacred Mosque.

2. In occasions with a lot of rush, one can join in with the crowd, (the centripetal flow) and reach the corner of the black stone from where he should commence the Tawaf. Ensure that you don’t commence the Tawaf a step behind or after the Black stone

3. It is fine to circumambulate in the hallway and all the floors as long as you are inside the Sacred Mosque. However, the closer you are to the Ka’bah the better

4. The one who has trouble performing circumambulation due to illness, fatigue or the intensity of the crowds can circumambulate by being carried by someone or in a wheelchair. You cannot appoint someone to perform circumambulation on behalf of you.

5. If a woman prevents or stops menstruation by taking pills and is completely dry, then her circumambulation is valid after bathing.

6. When the Iqamah for prayer is heard the person should pray with the people, and then complete his circumambulation from where he stopped.

7. If a person has doubt concerning the number of rounds he has performed, he should base on certainty which is the lowest number. However, if he doubts after leaving the circumambulation or the Saa’i

there is no significance in it and he should continue on with whatever he was doing.

8. One should ensure that they circumambulate around the Ka’bah and that they shouldn’t enter into the Hijr whilst circumambulating, as it is considered to be a part of the Ka’bah.

9. If unable to touch the black stone, one is recommended to raise his RIGHT HAND and say Allahu Akbar. The person should not raise both his hands in this situation

10. Some people hug the Ka’bah, wipe their clothes on it, try to take pieces of it etc. These acts aren’t justified by the Sunnah in any way. On the contrary such acts may spoil their Hajj. One should keep in mind the hadith :

When Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him), approached the Black Stone he would say: “No doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither harm anyone nor benefit anyone. And had I not seen Allaah’s Messenger, (Peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) kissing you I would not have kissed you.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

11. There are no specific du‘aa’s for each circuit of tawaaf, with the exception of the dua mentioned above) said at Rukum Al- Yamani.

Hence one should beware of these booklets that many pilgrims carry, in which there is a specific du‘aa’ for each circuit. This is an innovation that was not narrated from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:

“Every innovation is a going astray.” [Narrated by Muslim.]

12. Revealing the right shoulder (Idhtibaa’) is done for the circumambulation. The shoulders should then be covered whilst praying and for Saa’i

Some rulings regarding Saa’i:

1. The verse (interpretation of the meaning): “Verily, As-Safa and Al-Marwah (two mountains in Makkah) are of the Symbols of Allaah” [Al-Baqarah 2:158] should be recited by the pilgrim who wants to perform saa’i when he approaches al-Safa at the beginning of saa’i only. It is not mustahabb to repeat it every time he approaches al-Safa and al-Marwah, as some people do.

2. The one performing Hajj At-Tamattu’ should not perform Saa’i of Hajj before ‘Arafah. As for the ones performing Ifraad and Qiraan, they can perform Saa’i after the circumambulation of arrival.

3. Ablution (purity) is not required to perform Saa’I, although we should always try to remain pure whilst performing such noble deeds

4. It is recommended for men to hurry between the two green signs.

5. It is obligatory to cross the distance between the two mounts during Saa’i, but it is not obligatory to climb the mountain. It suffices to reach the balcony on the second floor of the Mass’aa and its roof without going all the way around it.

6. There is no need to raise the hand and signal the Ka’bah from the Mounts of As-Safa and Al- Marwah. (This practice is restricted only during Tawaf wherein we signal to the black stone when we can’t touch it)

We ask Allah to help us to do righteous deeds, and to accept them from us, for He is Ever Near and responds to our prayers.

The Black Stone

As thousands, nay millions, of muslims flock to perform Hajj, they will form queues to touch the black stone and fight to kiss it. But what is the black stone? And what is its significance in Islam?

The black stone was sent down from paradise, as we learn from the hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas that The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Black Stone came down from Paradise.”

(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 877; al-Nasaa’i, 2935. The hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Tirmidhi)

“When the Black Stone came down from Paradise, it was whiter than milk, but the sins of the sons of Adam made it black.”

(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 877; Ahmad, 2792. Classed as saheeh by Ibn Khuzaymah, 4/219. Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar classed it as qawiy (strong) in Fath al-Baari, 3/462).

This hadith means that the sins of those who touched the stone, caused it to turn black.

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said: “Some heretics tried to criticize this hadeeth by saying: How come the sins of the mushrikeen turned it black and the worship of the people of Tawheed did not make it white? I answer by quoting what Ibn Qutaybah said: If Allah had willed, that would have happened. But Allah has caused it to be the case that black usually changes other colours and its not itself changed, which is the opposite to what happens with white.”

Al-Muhibb al-Tabari said: The fact that it is black is a lesson for those who have insight. If sins can have this effect on an inanimate rock, then the effect they have on the heart is greater. (Fath al-Baari, 3/463)

Subhanallah! Imagine if sins can have such an adverse effect on a rock, then what about our hearts?!

This reminds me of another hadith, in which the Messenger ﷺ mentions the effects of sins on the heart;

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “When the believer commits sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents and gives up that sin and seeks forgiveness, his heart will be polished. But if (the sin) increases, (the black spot) increases. That is the Ran that Allah mentions in His Book: “Nay! But on their hearts is the Ran (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn.” [83:14] (Ibn Majah, Hasan)

So, let us use these upcoming blessed days to clean and polish our hearts. Let us seek the forgiveness of Allah and utilise our time in His remembrance. May Allah purify our hearts.

Back to the subject of the black stone…

Did you know that the black stone will speak on the day of judgement and testify?

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said concerning the Stone: “By Allah, Allah will bring it forth on the Day of Resurrection, and it will have two eyes with which it will see and a tongue with which it will speak, and it will testify in favour of those who touched it in sincerity.”

(Tirmidhi, 961; Ibn Maajah, 2944, hasan by al-Tirmidhi, and as qawiy by al-Haafiz ibn Hajar in Fath al-Baari, 3/462)

So how should muslims performing hajj or umrah deal with the black stone?

It was narrated from Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) that when the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to Makkah, he came to the Black Stone and touched it, then he walked to the right of it and ran three times and walked four times [around the Ka’bah].  (Muslim)

Hence touching the black stone is to be done before performing tawaf.

It is also encouraged to kiss for the Prophet was seen doing so.

It was narrated that ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) came to the Black Stone and kissed it, then he said: “I know that you are only a stone which can neither bring benefit nor cause harm. Were it not that I had seen the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) kiss you, I would not have kissed you.”  (Bukhari and Muslim)

However, one should know that it is merely a stone, and has no ability or power in of itself. It cannot cause harm nor bring benefit. Many a times, people become extreme in kissing it, they rub their faces into it, rub their clothes, and if they could, would probably try and take a piece home with them! We should beware of exaggerating, and know that benefit and harm are in Hands of Allah.

Nonetheless, touching the stone is a means of expiation,

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “Touching them both [the Black Stone and al-Rukn al-Yamani] is an expiation for sins.”

(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 959. This hadeeth was classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi and as saheeh by al-Haakim (1/664). Al-Dhahabi agreed with him).

If one is unable to reach it due to the crowds or some other reason, then he should touch it with something else and kiss that object. And if he is unable to do that then he should point towards it and say Allahu-Akbar, as these were all reported from the Prophet.

When one goes to kiss it or touch one should maintain Islamic etiquettes, and should not cause annoyance to others. Pushing, shoving are all too common in Hajj crowds, and we should aim to change this, and be better than that. Islam teaches us good manners, and we should uphold these mannerisms when we are the holiest site, performing such honourable rituals, otherwise we only incur sin upon ourselves. Pushing and shoving in crowds are often the reason for unnecessary injury, and at times even death or stampedes. Many a times women also get caught up in the crowds, hence we should be aware, and maintain cautiousness even in these difficult trying circumstances.

Myths Regarding the Ka’bah

The ka’bah: the holiest muslim site on earth. Muslims revere it, and face it as a direction for prayer. It is a symbol of unity, unity of muslims, and unity of all previous prophets. Muslims would travel great distances to reach it, to see its magnificent sight, to touch its beautiful kiswa, kiss it and more.

However, there are many myths that surround the Ka’bah that has gained root amongst non-muslims, and ignorant muslims, and those who perhaps have never seen it.

Let’s begin with the first myth: Muslims worship the Ka’bah. This is far from the truth. Muslims worship one God, Allah. The Ka’bah is merely a direction faced in prayer, to unite muslims. Muslims do not bow or prostrate to the Ka’bah at all, they only bow and prostrate to Allah. Hence muslims can pray in any place in the world.

Muslims touch the ka’bah to imitate the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. Some touch it out of awe and fascination at this great building that witnessed many great events in Islamic History. It witnessed, the Prophet Abraham, and Ishma’el and Muhammad peace be upon them. It is not mandated to kiss it, or cling on it, or wipe one’s face or clothes against it, rather these extreme practices have been done by some who are ignorant, or overly passionate.

Another huge misconception, is that the Ka’bah houses the idol Shiva Lingham which muslims worship. The inside of the Ka’bah is bare, there is nothing inside it. Every year the doors are opened to clean it and to welcome prestigious guests. This is often broadcasted on live television, and it is clear for all to see, that there is nothing inside the Ka’bah. Furthermore, muslims do not build or carve statues of any shape or form, as this is against the basic principle of worshiping Allah who is beyond human imagination.

Next up, no bird flies over the Ka’bah. Some believe that the ka’bah is so holy that no bird is able to fly over it, as though there is a radar system in place, preventing the birds. This is not true. Birds fly over the Ka’bah constantly, they perch on its edge, and do what birds do.

Others believe the Ka’bah hovers over the ground. It is not resting, nor rooted in the earth, but floating. It’s very easy to dispel this myth, simply look at the many images of the ka’bah that are available, look at video footage, and if you get a chance to go, have a peep. The Ka’bah is like any other building with a foundation on the ground.

Others hold the belief that the rain water that falls off the ka’bah is holy and has benefit. It is blessed, and so they collect it in a container, and bathe and drink it. I would strongly advise against this, firstly because there is nothing reported from the Prophet nor the salaf on the matter. And secondly, as mentioned previously, birds do what birds do, including leaving droppings. Hence the water that falls off the top of the Ka’bah is contaminated with bird droppings, as well as sand, and dust.

What myths have you heard?