THE HAJJ: Preparation, Recommendations and Advice
Do Not Waste Time
As the Hajj is based on certain rites, it is very easy to become laxed as long as the rites are performed one is free to just hang around and treat this great journey just like a holiday.
One must Always remember that this is an Opportunity of a Life time and must use the time wisely.
This is the Only Place in the world where certain Virtues can be performed so one must grab the opportunity.
Imam Ghazali says in his Ihya Ulum Ud din
The Prophet (S) said Prayer in this masjid of mine is superior to a thousand prayers elsewhere, except for Masjid al-Haram, and prayer in Masjid al-Haram is superior to one hundred thousand prayers elsewhere." [Ahmad and ibn Majah]
Ibn Taymiyah said that visitation to Prophet’s mosque consists of offering two Rakaat tahiyyatul Masjid, salutation to Prophet Muhammad [SallAllahu Alayhi Wasallam] and then to Abu Bakr [RadhiAllahu anhu] and then to Umar [RadhiAllahu anhu], and making a supplication for the Muslims. (Fataawa ibn Taymiyah vol.26 pg.136)
If we look at the lives of our Pious predecessors we find that they had set themselves certain daily 'awrad' i.e voluntary Ibadaat in addition to the Fardh, Wajib and Sunnah that one needs to devote to daily. It would be extremely useful to either increase these or at least set some for this spiritual Journey.
Here are some Examples :-
Day of Arafah
Do not Forget that this is the main Pillar of Hajj : Do not abuse your time whilst standing here on this very day
One must remain remembering Allah reciting talbiyyah, making du'aa as he wishes - hoping from Allah that He will make him one of those whom He boasts of (those whom He frees from Fire) to the Angels as occurs in the Ahaadeeth :
"There is no day on which Allah frees more of His slaves from Fire than the Day of 'Arafah, and He verily draws near then boasts of them before the angles, saying 'What do they seek?' "
and in another Ahaadeeth :
"Verily Allah boasts of the people of 'Arafah before the people of heaven (the angels), saying : 'Look to my servants who have come to Me dishevelled and dusty.'" and he remains in that state until the sun sets.
This is a great day to increase the voluntary Ibadat that you have set yourself
Finally Keep in Mind
1. Maintain cleanliness in your clothes, your tent, the place where you stay, and in your food and drink. This is because keeping clean will aid in preserving your health and in repelling sicknesses.
2. Beware of dropping filth or spoiled food in the roads that people use, for it will cause those performing Hajj to be bothered, and it will cause diseases to spread. So one must remove harmful objects from the road and put them in their proper place (i.e. dustbins).
3. Bear the harm that comes from your neighbours with patience, and do not (let that cause you to) harm any of your brothers. Instead, repel their harm in a manner that is better, such as by using kind words.
4. Avoid sexual relations (in the State of Ihram), committing sins, arguing and debating with falsehood, so that your Hajj can be accepted. Listen to the words of Allah: “So whoever intends to perform Hajj therein (in the months of Hajj), then he must NOT have sexual relations, nor commit sin, nor debate unjustly during Hajj.”[Surah Al-Baqarah: 197] And the Prophet (saws) said: “Whoever goes to Hajj and he does not have sexual relations in it nor does he commit sin, he returns back (from Hajj) like the day when his mother gave birth to him (i.e. free from sins).” [Reported by Al-Bukhi and Muslim]
5. Be lenient in your buying and selling, and show good manners. And do not deal with anyone in a manner that he is not pleased with.
6. Beware of smoking, displaying bad manners and insulting others, for reviling a Muslim is sinfulness and fighting against him is disbelief.
7. Do not waste your time in the market places – buying and selling – or in gossiping with the “he said/she said” talk.
8. Be gentle with those around you when performing Tawaaf, kissing the Stone, the Sa’ee, and when throwing the stones (Ramee) and so on. This is from the gentleness that is required, for Allah’s Messenger (saws) said: “Whoever is deprived of gentleness, he is deprived of all kinds of good.” [Reported in Saheeh Muslim]
9. Do not raise your voice out loud when making du’aa (supplication) during Tawaaf, because it disturbs the others making Tawaaf.
10. Do not push and shove people, especially when kissing the Black Stone. If it is too crowded and there is too much shoving, it is enough for you to just point in its direction. And when casting the stones (Ramee), it is not permissible for you to use large stones, because this has been forbidden in the religious texts and because it will cause harm to those standing (in front of you). Also, do not throw your shoes (instead of rocks) – as some ignorant people do – for this is a reprehensible act! Avoid touching the glass surrounding the Prophet’s grave, and avoid touching the walls of the Ka’abah. Rather what is to be touched and kissed from it is (only) the Black Stone. The Yemeni Corner is also touched.
Women should specially careful: Imam An-Nawawee said, “Our Ulumaa' have said that it is not desirable for a woman to kiss the black stone, nor to touch it, except at those times when the Tawaf area is light or empty, like during the night or at other times. This is because in her crowding the men it would bring hardship upon herself and hardship upon the men.”
11. You must shave your head or cut your hair very short when in the state of Hill (out of Ihraam), Allah (SWA) says : “…with (the hair on) their heads shaven or cut short…” Allah’s Messenger (saws) said: “Trim the moustaches and leave the beards to grow – Do the opposite of the Majoos.” [Reported by Muslim]
And Ibn Hajar - rahimahullaah - said, “As for women, the Sunnah is that they should only trim their hair. There is Ijmaa' on this.”
12. Beware of supplicating and calling out to other than Allah, such as calling to deceased people or others not present. This is from the types of Shirk that Allah has forbidden in His saying: “And do not call besides Allah that which can neither bring you benefit nor cause you harm. If you do that, then you will be from the wrong-doers.”What is meant by “wrong-doers” in this ayah are the polytheists (those who commit shirk). If a Muslim commits Shirk, his good deeds become nullified and his Hajj is lost, as Allah says: “And if you commit Shirk, We will surely cancel out your good deeds and you will indeed be from the losers.”[Surah Az-Zumar: 65]
13. Beware of Riyaa, which is doing a deed for the sake of being seen or heard. An example of this when someone goes to Hajj so that it can be said of him “Hajji so and so.” The title Hajji (or Al-Hajj in Arabic) was not a term that was known to the righteous predecessors (Salaf as-Saalih), so we cannot hear from any of them that he said about his brother “Hajji so and so.” Rather, this is from the innovations of those in recent times. So have sincerity in your Hajj and say as Allah’s Messenger (saws) said: “O Allah, (this is) a Hajj with no riyaa or sam’ah in it.” 
14. Be very careful not to walk directly in front of anyone praying in the Haraam mosque, not to speak of other mosques and praying places
Remembrance is easy for the servant-whether he lies in bed or journeys, in health or in illness, in comfort and luxury, in his daily work, standing, sitting or lying down, on his way or at home. No [other] act can be performed so often and in so many situations. In fact, it is so easy that he could sleep in his bed and still be ahead of the one who stands [in worship] but is heedless. The sleeper rises having traversed a great distance, all the while stretched out on his bed; whereas the one standing heedlessly rises seated on his mount. 'And that is the grace of God which He gives to whomever He pleases.' [57:21]
Finally Make Firm Intention to be a changed Person after this Special Journey.
Imam Al-Ghazali in his Book Ayyuha’l-Walad, quotes a Hadith Whoever passes forty without his virtue overpowering his vice, let him get ready for hellfire!’ and he said This advice contains enough for people of knowledge.
Please Remember the Plight of the Muslim Ummah in your Prayers and Please do not forget this humble slave in your special Du'a.
Abu Usamah (MD/Editor, Kitaabun)
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