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Evanna Rahman

June 3, 2024


The Hajj Rituals

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

The Hajj is the final pillar of Islam. It is what ties in all the acts of worship a Muslim does and ensures the totality of their faith. The pilgrimage to the Ka’bah is obligatory upon every Muslim who is physically and financially capable of doing it and serves as a testament to their devotion to Allah and unity in the Ummah.
The journey is taken by millions of Muslims every year to commemorate the actions of Ibrahim AS and his family. It consists of a series of rituals which bring out our deepest spiritual bonds with Allah and help us to regulate our souls in preparation for the Ahkirah.


‘Ihram’ literally means a person who has made things Haram for himself. To enter the state of Ihram is to enter a sanctity with Allah whereby you cannot do certain things that were Halal before Ihram out of sacrifice and devotion.
The clothing of Ihram — which is two simple, unstitched, white cloths that are draped around the body of men — is a symbol of purity and unity. All pilgrims come together in search of spiritual cleansing, wearing the same clothing, regardless of their status, race, or nationality. It signifies that they are all equal in front of Allah.


Upon arriving at the blessed city of Makkah, the pilgrims gather to circle around the Ka’bah seven times in a counterclockwise motion while reciting Dhikr and Du’a.
It should be noted that while the Ka’bah is a sacred and integral part of Islam, it is not worshipped by Muslims. It simply represents the Qiblah—the direction of Salah which is offered for Allah alone. Circling around it while uttering praises of Allah signifies that our lives revolve around the worship of Allah. Tawaf, along with all other rituals of Hajj, are done solely for the sake of Allah and as taught by our prophets.
As Umar RA had once said,
“Verily, I know you are only a stone with no power to harm or benefit me. Were it not that I saw the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, kiss you, I would not have kissed you.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, 1520]


The ritual of walking between the two mountains—Safa and Marwa—seven times is an ode to the sacrifice made by Hajar AS during her desperate search for help for her son, Ismail AS. Through her firm belief that Allah will guide her out of her hardship, Allah allowed the pure spring of Zamzam to flow at the feet of her baby.
As we commemorate her empowering story through this ritual, we are reminded of the strength and miracles of putting our utmost trust in Allah and having good thoughts of Him.


After performing Sa’i, pilgrims make their way to a temporary campground in Mina. Here, they stay for at least two nights to devote their time and attention to reading the Qur’an, reciting Dhikr, offering prayers and Nawafil prayers, making Du’a, seeking knowledge, and more acts of worship.
The stay at Mina serves as a reminder of our fleeting lives. Since the stay is so short, it mimics the transient nature of life. Filling this small amount of time with ‘Ibadah also teaches us to use whatever we have left of our lives in worship of Allah.
As the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
“Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveller.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, 6416]


The most important day during Hajj is the day of Arafat, which falls on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah. On this day, the pilgrims gather on the plains of Arafat to pray and supplicate from noon until sunset.
Allah highlights the importance of this day in Surah Ma’idah, verse 3:
“Today the disbelievers have given up all hope of undermining your faith. So do not fear them; fear Me! Today I have perfected your faith for you, completed My favor upon you, and chosen Islam as your way.”

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم has also said,

“No day is better to Allah than the day of Arafat. Allah descends to the lowest heaven, and He boasts to the inhabitants of the heavens about the inhabitants of the earth, saying: Look at My servants, appearing dishevelled and dusty. They came from every mountain pass hoping for My mercy. They do not see My punishment, yet they do not see that on no day are more saved from Hellfire than the day of Arafat.” [Sahih Ibn Hibban, 3853]


After the sunset of Arafat commences, the pilgrims move to the plains of Muzdalifa to spend the rest of their night. Between the vast open sky and the rocky pebbles of the ground, the pilgrims pray and sleep. Here, they are reminded of their ultimate destination—their graves.
They also collect pebbles here for their next ritual of Hajj, the stoning of the devil.

Rami Al-Jamarat

The pilgrims perform Rami Al-Jamarat, also known as the Stoning of the Devil, on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah. They take their collected pebbles from their stay at Muzdalifa and pelt them at the three pillars, as an homage to Ibrahim’s AS rejection of Shaytan’s continuous efforts to tempt him and deter him from his duty.
This ritual represents the rejection of evil and the constant struggle a Muslim must face of turning away from temptation in order to attain Jannah.

Eid Al-Adha

The 10th day of Dhul Hijjah is also the day of Eid Al-Adha, which is one of the two Eids celebrated by all Muslims. On this day, the pilgrims perform Qurbani, which is the sacrifice of an animal.
This commemorates Ibrahim’s AS greatest test—to sacrifice his own son in obedience to Allah—which he passed and Allah had replaced the place of his son with a ram. The meat collected from the Qurbani is then distributed among the community, including family, friends, and the poor and needy.

Tawaf Al-Ifadah and Tawaf Al-Wada

At this point of the Hajj rituals, the pilgrims have reached the conclusion. With both stoning and sacrifice rituals now complete, the pilgrims make their way back to the Ka’bah to perform Tawaf Al-Ifadah, which signifies their renewed state of purity.
Before concluding their Hajj entirely and leaving Makkah, they perform one last Tawaf, called Tawaf Al-Wada or the Farewell Tawaf, to bid a heartfelt goodbye to the virtuous and blessed city.
Hajj is more than a series of rituals; it is a transformative journey that fosters spiritual renewal and global Muslim unity. Pilgrims return with a deepened faith, a cleansed soul, and a sense of having fulfilled a profound religious duty.

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