Hajj - Best of actions
Below we have listed the actions as the Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) performed them or advised us to do. We have called them the "best actions".
There are various allowable deviations or options open to the pilgrim, depending on his or her condition and circumstances. If you are able to perform the Hajj by abiding as close as possible to these actions listed, then you should.
The best actions for Hajj are:
- Perform Hajj Tamattu.
- Prepare for Ihraam (cut nails, pubic hair, under arm hair, etc., if needed. Remember as per the sunnah, one should not exceed 40 days without trimming one’s nails and pubic hair).
- Perform ghusl.
- Men perfume themselves.
- Adopt Ihraam at the meqaat with the niyah for Umrah.
- Perform Umrah upon reaching Makkah.
- Cut your hair (out of Ihraam).
- 8th of Dhul-Hijja:
- Prepare for Ihraam (cut nails, pubic hair, under arm hair, etc., if needed);
- Perform ghusl;
- Men perfume themselves;
- Adopt Ihraam from where you are, with the niyah for Hajj;
- Proceed to Mina before Salatul-Dhuhr;
- Perform 5 salawaat in Mina (Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, Eshaa & Fajr);
- Shorten your salah (Dhuhr, Asr and Eshaa), but do not join them while in Mina.
- Always perform the two sunnah rak'at salah before Salatul-Fajr.
- Always perform Salatul-Witr.
- Enter Arafat after the sun has declined from its zenith (Zawaal) on the 9th of Dhul-Hijja.
- Listen to the Khutbah.
- Join the congregation to perform Salatul-Dhuhr and Salatul-Asr shortened (2 each) and joined at the time of Dhuhr (one adhaan and two iqaama't).
- Spend the time from Dhuhr until Maghrib in supplication.
- Leave Arafat for Muzdalifah immediately after sunset.
- Perform Salatul-Maghrib (3) and Salatul-Eshaa (2) joined upon arrival in Muzdalifah, or where you are if you have not reached Muzdalifah by midnight.
- Perform Salatul-Witr.
- Spend the night in rest and sleep.
- Perform two rak'at sunnah for Salatul-Fajr.
- Perform Salatul-Fajr.
- Proceed to Mina just before sunrise.
- Collect 7 pebbles in Muzdalifah or on the way to the jamrah.
- Stone the big jamrah (Aqaba) only (7 stones, casting one at a time).
- Perform the animal sacrifice yourself.
- Have your head shaved (men), starting from the right side.
- Women cut about one inch of hair from one place only.
- Proceed to Makkah.
- Perform Tawaaf-al-Ifadah.
- Perform Sa'ee for Hajj.
- Return to Mina to spend the night (10th).
- Spend the next 3 days and 2 nights in Mina (11th, 12th and 13th).
- Stone all three jamr'at after zawaal on all 3 days (collect 21 pebbles daily).
- Stone, starting at the small jamrah and finishing at the big jamrah.
- Turn to face Qiblah and make a long supplication after stoning the small and middle jamr'at (all 3 days).
- Leave for Makkah on the 13th after stoning the jamr'at (after zawaal).
- Perform Tawaaf-al-Wadaa as the last rite before going home.
Let us look at the following analogy:
One person enters the mosque before the adhaan and performs Tahiyatul-Masjid salah. After the adhaan he performs sunnah salah. He is with the Imam for Takbir-Tahrima. He is in the first row. Another person enters after the first rak'at. Another person enters during the last rak'at. Although all of them are regarded as having performed the required fardh salah, can we say that they all have the same reward? The same applies to Hajj. We certainly cannot expect the same reward if we choose to leave out many of the recommended actions, even though we would have fulfilled the duty of having performed Hajj.
One may wonder why so many people tend to deviate from the "best actions" even though the rules are so clear.
The way we look at is as follows:
If a very rich man were to offer you one million dollars, if you were to do, say 10 actions for him. However, the condition is that you must follow the rules exactly as stated, unless you have a valid reason not to. Say for example that one of the actions is that you must visit his office at 8.00am every day for 3 days. Now, I am sure that you will do exactly that, be at his office at 8:00am for the 3 days, even though a very close friend or you may read somewhere, or your spiritual leader may tell you that it is ok to go at 8:30am. Why? Because you are focused on the prize and you would do everything as requested in order to secure the prize. The prize is much too valuable!
The reason so many Muslims tend to deviate and take the easy way out during Hajj is that they are not focused on the prize. And what is that prize...?
... and there is no reward for an accepted Hajj except Paradise!
So our fellow Muslims, focus on the prize and let that help you guide your decision making with regards to the rites of Hajj.