Eibadat (Worshipping)

By

Syed Soharwardy

Al-Hamdulillah, praise and peace be upon His last Messenger Muhammad and on his Family, Companions and his Followers.

Five Pillars of Islam

According to a Hadith of Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) that the Islam is based upon five pillars. Anyone, who demolishes (does not practice) any of the pillar, in effect, he / she demolishes the entire way of Islamic life. Following is an explanation of these pillars of Islam.

1. Shahadah (Witnessing)

That there is no god but only one God, he is worshipped alone, he has no partners and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is his best Abd (worshiper) and Rasool (the Messenger). In Arabic language the equivalent word for God is ALLAH. Allah is not a person. He is the deity who is worshipped by his creation (MAKHLOOQ) and he is the creator of this entire universe and beyond what human is not able to see.

It is also important that a Muslim must believe in Allah with all his attributes, which are countless, but 99 are very famous according to a Hadith (sayings) of Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). For example, Allah is Everlasting, the Healer, the beneficent, the merciful, the Guide, the all-knowing, the Strongest, the Wise, the one who gives life, the one who gives death, the Creator etc.…

Similarly, a Muslim must believe that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last messenger of Allah. There is no prophet after Muhammad (peace be upon him). He is the leader of all the Prophets and all the Messengers of Allah. He is our model and we must love him more than any thing else in this world and follow his Sunnah (sayings, actions and behavior) in all segments of our lives. A Muslim must have love and respect for the wives, children, family and the companions of Muhammad (peace be upon him). According to Qur'an a Muslim accepts from the bottom of his heart what Muhammad (peace be upon him) gives them and stays away from what Muhammad (peace be upon him) has forbidden them.

2. Salat (Prayers)

There are five mandatory prayers (Salat) in Islam. The Allah's messenger said that who establishes and offers these five prayers he /she actually establishes the DEEN (Islamic way of life) and anyone who does not offer these five prayers on time he/she destroys the DEEN (Islamic way of life). These five prayers are mandatory made by Allah in Qur'an and the tradition of the messenger of Allah is clear proof of this. No one has the right to increase or decrease the number these mandatory prayers. In another Hadith Allah's messenger said that these five mandatory prayers distinguishes a believer from a non-believer. These five prayers are Identity of a Muslim and lets make sure we don't loose it.

What's in it for me?

These five prayers have many benefits. Some of them are as follows.

In short, a peaceful life with positive mind and full of joys becomes a reality. Only one condition, try to perform these five prayers on time consistently. Result is guaranteed. Allah says (LA TABDILAH LI KALIMATILLAH); Allah does not change his words. He keeps his promise. Allah said that if one performs the Salat (prayers) with sincerity and only to worship him (no show off) then the person will not get involve in FAHISHA AND MUNKAR- the above three bullet items. There are five types of Salat, Fardh (a minimum must), Waajib (a must), Sunnah Al Moakkidah (very strongly recommended), Sunnah Ghair Moakkidah (recommended) and Nafl (optional). We will discuss these five types of Salat later.

Stay out of trouble by maintaining your Salat (prayers) on time

The names and the timings of these prayers are;

Fajr Salat (Morning Prayer): Its time starts after dawn and ends before sunrise. Roughly, one and a half-hour before sunrise is the duration when we can pray Fajr Salat. Fajr Salat consists of two Raka'a of Sunnah Al Moakkidah and two Raka'a Fardh. Sunnah Salat should be performed before Fardh Salat.

Zohar Salat (Noon prayer): Its time starts after the noontime (NIS-FUNNAHAR). Roughly, about 30-45 minutes after the noon time. In other words, when the shadow of an item becomes equal to the size of the item, the time for Zohar Salat starts. The time for Zohar Salat ends when the time for the next Salat (Asr) starts. Zohar Salat consist of four Raka'a Sunnah Al Moakkidah before Fardh Salat. Then four Raka'a Fardh Salat. After Fardh Salat two Raka'a Sunnah Al Moakkidah. Then two Nafl which are optional.

Asr Salat (Afternoon prayer): Its time starts in the afternoon. In other words, when the shadow of an item becomes the twice the size of the item itself the time for Asr prayer starts. Asr prayer time ends before the sunset. Asr Salat consists of Four Sunnah Al Ghair Moakkidah and then four Raka'a Fardh.

Maghrib Salat (Evening prayer): Its time starts right after sunset. Maghrib prayer should not be delayed and as soon as sun sets one should start the prayer. Maghrib Salat consist of three Raka'a Fardh then two Raka'a Sunnah Al Moakkidah and then two Nafl (optional). The time of Maghrib Salat ends before the start of Isha Salat.

Isha Salat (Night prayer): Its time starts when the darkness of night spreads. Roughly, Isha Salat time starts after one and a half-hour from the sunset time. The time of Isha Salat ends by the midnight. Isha Salat consists of four Raka'a of Sunnah AlGhair Moakkidah then four Raka'a of Fardh Salat. After Fardh two Raka'a Sunnah Al Moakkidah then two Nafl (optional). Then three Raka'a of WITR (Waajib) Salat and then two Nafl (optional).

Important Notes: The above number of Raka'a are mentioned based upon Hanafi Fiqqah (Jurisprudence). Some scholar do not consider all of the above Nafl (optional) Salat as a part of the Salat. According to them Nafl Salat can be performed at any time and in any numbers. Some of the scholars consider Sunnah Al Ghair Moakkidah as Nafl (optional) as well.

Regarding WITR Salat, there is a difference of opinion among scholars. The three Raka'a of WITR one Niyah(intention) is based upon HANAFI Fiqqah. According to other scholars Witr Salat can be one, three, five, seven and nine Raka'a. Make sure that the Raka'a of WITR are in odd numbers. According to some scholars the recitation of Du'a Qanoot in WITR Salat is waajib (must) and some other scholar say it is not waajib. Regardless it is waajib or not all scholars are agreed that it is very good to recite Du'a Qanoot in WITR Salat.

Other Salat (prayers):

Salat Al Janazah: This Salat is prayed upon a dead Muslim before his/her burial. This is Fardh Alal Kifayah Salat which means if some of the community members pray Salat Al Janazah it fulfils the community obligation but if non of the community members pray Salat Al Janazah on a dead Muslim before burial the entire community will be accounted for and the entire community will get the bad deeds (Saiyiah). Salat Al Janazah can be prayed at any time. It does not have Ruku'a and Sajdah.

Salat Al Taraweeh: These are the Sunnah Al Moakkidah Salat, which is performed after Isha prayer or at late night before Salat Al Tahajjud. This Salat is performed only during the month of Ramadan. According to various Hadiths of Messenger of Allah, the Messenger of Allah prayed this Salat in twenty Raka'a, in eight Raka'a and in thirteen Raka'a. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prayed this Salat in Ramadan alone and some time he did not pray at all and the reason he did not pray some time, he said, if I continue praying this Salat AlTaraweeh every night I am afraid that Allah may make these prayers obligatory for all the Muslims. Because of his blessed and merciful (RAHMA TUL LIL ALAMEEN) nature, the messenger of Allah did not wanted to get these prayers obligatory for us.

The second Caliph of Islam Hazrat Omar Ibn Al Khattab started praying this Salat Al Taraweeh in Congregation (Jama'ah) and later Muslim scholars saw a great opportunity and felt a great reward from Allah to complete the recitation of the Holy Qur'an in Salat Al Taraweeh during the month of Ramadan. Therefore, throughout the history of Islam, Muslims pray Salat Al Taraweeh in Ramadan and try to recite complete Qur'an (KHATAM AL QURA'AN).

As far the question of how many Raka'a should we pray in Taraweeh? Its up-to the individual or a community of a particular area to decide how many Raka'a they wants to pray. In HANAFI Fiqqah, twenty Raka'a are recommended while other scholars have recommended eight Raka'a. Regardless of the number of Raka'a, it is important that we pray with firm belief in Allah and with sense of accountability (EIMAN WA EHTISAB). May Allah forgive our sins.

Tahajjud: This is one of the most important optional (NAFL) prayer. Salat Al Tahajjud was Fardh on the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) but upon the Ummah it is only an optional prayer. This Salat is prayed late night before dawn in the morning. It can be prayed in any numbers depending upon person's ability and time. One can pray two, four, six, eight Raka'a etc. But it should be prayed in the form of two Raka'a. For example, after completing two Raka'a one should say salaam on both sides (adjourn the Salat) and for the next two Raka'a the person should start again and so on.

The time of Tahajjud is a very blessed time (early morning before dawn). Allah accepts all the supplications and prayers at this time. According to a Hadith of Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), Allah comes down on the first sky and looks towards the earth and says, is there anyone who ask me cure from diseases and I cure him. Is there anyone who ask me for forgiveness? and I forgive him etc.. If we can pray this Salat we should not miss the great opportunity.

Tahiyatul Masjid: This is a NAFL (optional) Salat. It is highly recommended. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to pray whenever he used to go in the Mosque (Masjid). This is like greeting the Mosque as soon as one enters into the Mosque. This is two Raka'a Salat and can be prayed anytime (except makrooh times) whenever we visit the Mosque.

Tahiyatul Wudhoo: This is a NAFL (optional) Salat. It is highly recommended. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to pray whenever he used to make ablution (WUDHOO). This is like greeting the Wudhoo. According to a Hadith of Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) that when one performs Wudhoo and washes different parts of the body, the smaller sins (SAGHAER) get wash away with the water and the person get not only bodily cleaned but also spiritually cleaned. This is two Raka'a Salat and can be prayed anytime (except makrooh times) whenever we make Wudhoo.

Salat Al Awwabeen: This is six Raka'a Salat in the form of sets of two. This Salat is performed between Maghrib and Isha.

Salat Al Tasbeeh: This is a four Raka'a Salat and can be prayed in the form of sets of twos or one set of four. This is a special Salat in which the person has to recite KALIMAH AL TAMJEED in addition to the normally recited Surah's and KALIMATs in the Salat. For example; in standing (QAYAM) after the recitation of any Surah, 15 times Kalimah Al Tamjeed then in Rukoo 15 times, when standing from Rukoo 15 times, in first Sajdah 10 times, when sitting from the first Sajdah (QA'DAH) 10 times, in the second Sajdah 10 times. Make sure that the total becomes 75 per Raka'a and 300 for the entire Salat. Repaet the same in all four Raka'a.

Salat Al Istisqah: This is also a special prayer. It is offered to invoke Allah's blessings in the form of rain. It is offered in an open field but people can also pray in Mosques to ask Allah for rain. It is offered in congregations (JAMA'AH). It is two Raka'a Salat. The only difference in this Salat is that when people in congregation standup from Rukoo, they raise their hands and make Du'a for rain.

Nafl Salat: A Muslim can pray as many NAFL as he / she can. The achieve the state of Ehsan , one has to pray as many NAFL as he/she can. To see the details of EHSAN please click on Tasawwuf on the Homepage.

 3. Zakat ( Poor's Due)

The payment of Zakat is obligatory and mandatory as it is one of the five pillars of Islam. Literal Meaning of Zakat is to grow (in goodness) or 'increase', 'purifying' or 'making pure'. Therefore, the act of giving Zakat means purifying one's wealth to gain Allah's blessing to make it grow in goodness. One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to Allah, He is the supreme authority and whatever we have in this world, life, earnings, capabilities to earn, property, wealth etc. are all owned by Allah and therefore, held by human beings in trust. The word Zakat means both 'purification' and 'growth'. Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like

the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth. Zakat not only purifies the property of the contributor but also purifies his heart from selfishness and greed. It also purifies the heart of the recipient from envy and jealousy, from hatred and uneasiness and it fosters instead good will and warm wishes for the contributors.

Giving money for charity is highly commendable, and there is no limit, but Zakat is different because it is obligatory and is given in a calculated amount.

"Take from their wealth a portion for charity, in order to clean them thereby, and sanctify them." (Al Qur'an)

Why Zakat?

Zakat represents the unbreakable bond between members of the community, whom Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him) described to be "like the organs of the body, if one suffers then all others rally in response." As Muslims pay the Zakat they have the genuine feeling that it is an investment and not a debit helping to establish economic balance and social justice in the society. In general terms, what remains over and above the meeting of needs and expenses, and is hoarded for the full span of one year, is liable to Zakat. Zakat is the major economic means for establishing social justice and leading the Muslim society to prosperity and security.

Zakat is the right of the poor in the wealth of the rich and is neither optional charity nor philanthropy.

Zakat has a deep humanitarian and social-political value; for example, it frees society from class welfare, from ill feelings and distrust and from corruption. Although Islam does not hinder private enterprise or condemn private possession, it does tolerate selfish and greedy capitalism. Islam adopts a moderate but positive and effective course between individual and society, between the citizen and the state, between capitalism and socialism, between materialism and spiritualism. . Giving the Zakat is considered an act of worship because it is a form of offering thanks to Allah for the means of material well-being one has acquired.

The Qur'an says that only those who pay Zakat are in the "brotherhood of faith". The Holy Qur'an also says that Zakat purifies assets and creates virtue ( Surah:9 103 ).

Zakat is distributed among 8 categories (ASNAF) of people (Surah Al-Tawba: 60), namely:

Fakir - One who has neither material possessions nor means of livelihood.

Miskin - One with insufficient means of livelihood to meet basic needs.

Amil - One who is appointed to collect Zakat.

Muallaf - One who reverts to Islam or potential candidate who may revert to Islam.

Riqab - One who wants to free himself from bondage or the shackles of slavery.

Gharmin - One who is in debt (money borrowed to meet basic, halal expenditure).

Fisabillillah - One who fights for the cause of Allah.

Ibnus Sabil - One who is stranded in journey.

Due to these categories of recipients Zakat can be spent on those who need help to pursue education or to improve their standard of living.

How Zakat is Calculated?

Zakat is a proportionately fixed contribution collected from the surplus wealth and earnings of a Muslim. Each Muslim calculates his or her own Zakat individually. Zakat is paid on the net balance after paying personal expenses, family expenses, due credits, taxes, etc. Every Muslim male or female that at the end of the year is in possession of the equivalent of 85 grams of gold or more in cash or articles of trade, must give Zakat at the rate of 2.5%. Taxes paid to government do not substitute for this religious duty. The contributor should not seek pride or fame but if disclosing his name and his contribution is likely to encourage others, it is acceptable to do so. Cash money in your bank and building society accounts, and the release value of bonds, securities and shares in any form are zakatable if they are purchased as an investment. There is no Zakat on family home, household furniture, carpets, car, normally used jewelry etc.

Other gains and profits have their respective formulae, such as proceeds from industry, agriculture and animal husbandry, real estate, etc. as thoroughly detailed in specialized references.

Muslims can also go above and beyond what they pay as Zakat, in which case the offering is a strictly voluntary charity (sadaqah). Sadaqah is given preferably in secret. Although this word can be translated as 'voluntary charity' it has a wider meaning. The Prophet said 'even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is charity'.

The Prophet said: 'Charity is a necessity for every Muslim'. He was asked: 'What if a person has nothing?' The Prophet replied: 'He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity. The Companions asked: 'What if he is not able to work?' The Prophet said: 'He should help poor and needy persons.' The Companions further asked 'What if he cannot do even that?' The Prophet said 'He should urge others to do good'. The Companions said 'What if he lacks that also?' The Prophet said 'He should check himself from doing evil. That is also charity.

4. Sowm (Fasting)

O' who believe, fasting is decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you; perchance you will guard yourselves. (Surah Al Baqarah).

The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Qur'an was sent down, a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion.(Surah Al Baqarah, 183)

Requirements and Conditions of the Duties Pertaining to Fasting Ramadan

Moon Sighting

The efforts for sighting of the crescent moon which defines the lunar months, is obligatory upon the Muslim community or a delegated organization of Muslim community. Once the new moon has been sighted (i.e. the month's beginning has been determined), its "arrival" should be proclaimed so that people may prepare to carryout the activities of that month on the right date and time. For example; in Dhulhajjah to perform Hajj and Eid, in Ramadan to start and end fasting etc. If determination of the new moon is impossible through sighting of the crescent, for whatever reason, the Muslim community or on their behalf the responsible organization (such as Ru'yat-e-Hilal Committee) of that particular geographical location can choose any one of the alternatives;

  1. The determination of the lunar month should be by sighting the moon--it being witnessed by a Muslim known to be truthful and trustworthy
  2. length of the preceding lunar month is to be considered thirty days, the thirty-first day being the beginning of the month of the next month.
  3. Find out whether the nearest Muslim community has sighted the moon. If yes, follow them.
  4. In a non-Muslim country if moon has been sighted in some of the cities and in some cities moon could not be sighted because of the bad whether, trust the Muslims of those cities who have sighted the moon and follow them. This type of decision should be made by local Muslim organizations not by individuals.
  5. If there is a dispute among Muslims living in a non-Muslim country regarding the sighting of the moon then they should follow the geographically located nearest Muslim country which shares the whole or portion of the night or day with that country. Again, this decision should be made by Muslim organizations of the country not by individuals.
  6. Some scholars have acceded, by the establishment of moon's "newness" by accurate and trustworthy calculation.

The important thing is that the Muslim community should be united and should celebrate the festival in togetherness at least in one geographical location. What is required in Ramadan and in Eid is wholehearted devotion to Allah.

Similarly, the sighting of the new moon or determination by calculation of Shawwal is to be witnessed by two truthful and trustworthy people as a precaution. Once a trustworthy witness announces that he has seen the new moon, or the new moon has accurately been determined by other means, the fast becomes obligatory upon those whose ears it reaches, even though an Islamic judge may not have announced the arrival of the new month.

Whenever the new moon has been verified, be it in another city or country that share the same beginning of the day, the fast becomes incumbent upon the two.

Intention

It is imperative during Ramadan to make the intention to fast every night before the dawn of the following day, otherwise the fast is void. However, it is not the case with voluntary fasts. When it is unclear whether or not the following day is the first day of Ramadan one should make the intention to fast in case it is. The possibility of a trustworthy witness being mistaken should not affect the intention of the person who plans to fast the following day. If a woman anticipates the end of her menstruation during which fasting is prohibited before dawn, she should also make the intention to fast, the following day.

Conditions of the Daily Fast

It is obligatory upon every Muslim after reaching the age of puberty to fast each day of Ramadan and not miss any fasting day intentionally. It is obligatory to make up any days for which fasting was missed unintentionally during Ramadan by fasting at a later date whether or not they had a valid excuse among which are menstruation, pregnancy, nursing a baby, illness, travel and so on. Fast days missed intentionally must be expiated by fasting for two consecutive months.

Eating or drinking invalidates the fast as does smoking, injections, enemas etc. Rinsing the mouth with water does not invalidate the fast, however, one must take care not to swallow or inhale as one's fast will become void. Care must be exercised concerning eating just before the fast is due to begin. One must also be careful not to anticipate the arrival of evening and thereby break the fast early. Married couples are forbidden to have intercourse whilst they are fasting. However, it is permissible after the fast has been broken in the evening. In the event that one experiences a "wet" dream whilst sleeping and then wake up the following morning in this condition of impurity his fast is not broken.

Deliberate seminal emission either through sexual contact or through no sexual contact invalidates the fast. The fast will not be broken by a kiss unless seminal fluid is discharged, therefore, it is discouraged. Induced vomiting invalidates the fast. However, if one cannot help it, the fast remains valid. Phlegm or mucus does not void the fast unless it is "collected" in the mouth and then swallowed.

In the event that one's fasting becomes void, one should continue the practice of those fasting - i.e. abstinence of food and drink etc. However, if sexual intercourse occurs during the fast of Ramadan, its expiation will be to fast for two consecutive months. If those who indulged in intercourse are unable to fast the two consecutive months then each should feed sixty poor people as an expiation. In the case of a women whose menstruation finishes during the day, there is no obligation upon her to practice the fast for the rest of that day.

Pregnancy & Nursing

If a woman is pregnant or breast feeding and cannot fast on that account, fearing harm to her own health or that of her child, it is obligatory for her to fast the days that are missed later on, and according to some scholar to atone for missing the fast by feeding the poor with the equivalent of a bushel of wheat for each lost day.

Sick and Elderly

In the case of elderly or ill people who are unable to fast, their expiation is also the feeding of the poor with the equivalent of a bushel of wheat for each day lost.

Travel

The traveler is not obliged to fast provided travel began before the time for the dawn prayer, the travel entailing the distance considered a condition for shortening the prayers. Missed fasts of the traveler must be made up after the end of Ramadan, but need not be expiated. In the event that a person has already started fasting, he should not break the fast when he embarks upon a journey, nor yet when he returns from a journey. There is no obligation upon a non-fasting traveler to resume the fast upon reaching their destination before the end of the fasting day, however it is preferable for the traveler to fast the entire day unless it incurs more than the usual hardship of fasting. A person is considered a traveler when he/she is planning to travel more than 57 miles. Now a days the travelling of 57 miles is daily business for some people. Therefore, if one feels comfortable to fast even he /she travels 57 miles they can continue to fast.

Menstruation and Lochia

If a woman is menstruating or is bleeding due to childbirth (lochia), fasting is not valid until the menstruation ceases. Days missed by her can be made up anytime after the end of Ramadan during the year before the next Ramadan commences.

 Hajj (Pilgrimage)

Performing Hajj is a wonderful experience. The places we visit during Hajj and the rituals we perform are deeply connected with the human history. There is no parallel in history that actions performed by certain persons are imitated by countless people throughout the history in exactly the same way as they were originally performed by the persons at that time. Moreover, when we are performing that particular action we associate ourselves with that personality whose actions we are imitating and we know that Allah has ordered us to do this ritual or action and it is only for Allah.

As we go around the Ka'bah which is called Tawaaf, we know that the Prophet and his companions and other prophets had walked in the same space. When we walk and run between the hills of Safa and Marwah, we know these are the same hills where Hagar (peace be upon her) ran in search of water for infant Ishmael (peace be upon him). As we drink water from Zamzam, we know it is the same well that sprang up in the middle of the desert so Hagar and Ishmael could drink from it. As we gather pebbles at field of Muzdalfah to throw at the pillars symbolizing the places where Satan tempted Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), we realize that some of the very pebbles may have been touched by the Prophet Muhammad and his companions. At these places, we are in the grip of history. We can see it, hear it, feel it, touch it and drink from it.

Between two to three million, young and old, men and women, rich and poor, black, brown and white, Asian, American and African, Arab and non-Arab, converge every year in Makkah during Zul-Hijjah the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar to perform the Hajj (pilgrimage). The Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam. It should be performed once in a lifetime and it is mandatory on Muslims who have the financial means to travel to Makkah. The rites of the Hajj begin from the Ka'bah, the House of Allah.

In Qur'an Allah says, Behold! We gave the site to Abraham of the (Sacred) House: "Associate not any thing (in worship) with me; and sanctify My House for those who compass it round or stand up or bow or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer).

"And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways; "That they may witness the benefits (provided) for them and celebrate the name of Allah through the Days appointed over the cattle which He has provided for them (for sacrifice): then eat ye thereof and feed the distressed ones in want. "Then let them complete the rites prescribed for them perform their vows and (again) circumambulate the Ancient House."

Since donning Abraham the two seamless white sheets of cloth that every male pilgrim must wear instead of the regular clothing (women wear regular clothing), we have been saying Talbiah (Chanting) repeatedly:

Here I am O Allah, at Thy Command. Here I am, at Thy Command. There is no partner unto Thee. Here I am, at Thy Command. Verily Thine is the praise, the blessings and the sovereignty of the universe. There is no partner unto Thee.

The rituals / actions for Hajj or Umrah may start from his residence but in Shari'a it starts from MIQAAT. Miqaat is a place where we put on Ihraam and declare the intention of Umrah or Hajj. No pilgrim should pass this place without Ihraam if he or she has the intention to perform Umrah or Hajj. There are four Miqaats surrounding Makkah for the pilgrims coming from various directions.

To begin Tawaaf, we must go to the Hajr-e-Aswad (Black Stone) located at the eastern corner. While the Ka'bah has been reconstructed several times, the Black Stone is physically the same stone that prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) placed it with his own hands. It is the only surviving stone left from the original structure of the Ka'bah. To touch and kiss the stone is to travel back in time and follow in the footsteps of all those pious and noble greets in history that have touched it. It is not easy to do that, though.

It seems there are always too many people ahead who are trying to do the same. The closest we came to it was about ten feet and there we raised our hands in salutation and to say that 'God is great.' We recite supplications recommended by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during each circuit. After completing the Tawaaf (seven circumambulations) and praying near the Station of Abraham (MAQAM-E-IBRAHIM), we drink Zamzam water before making the rounds between Safa and Marwah.

Zamzam is another living miracle. In a land where there are no rivers, this is the only aquifer that has been going on continuously for the last four thousand and five hundred years. This well has served several million pilgrims every year in the last three decades alone. The pilgrims on their return journey carry Zamzam water as a gift for their family and friends.

Next we go to Mina and after completing five prayers (Zohr through Fajr) there, we move on to the plains of Arafat where we see multitudes of pilgrims from every corner of the globe, speaking all kinds of languages. If one is looking for an embodiment of universal human quality and brotherhood in the service of the one God, that is it. It is here that the Prophet Muhammad, Allah's blessings and peace be upon him, proclaimed the equality of mankind, justice and freedom for all in an eloquent Human Rights manifesto during his farewell Hajj:

'All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab. A white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a white person, except by piety and good deeds.'

He emphasized women's rights and demanded that husbands treat their wives with respect, kindness and gentleness and that abusing and chastising a wife is immoral. He declared economic exploitation (usury) that makes rich richer and the poor poorer as Haraam (forbidden). [The Last Sermon of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)].

We pray in Arafat until dusk and then leave for Makkah via Muzdalfah and Mina. It is in Mina where Satan tempted Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) and he threw pebbles at Satan to keep him at bay. In the memory of that incident, we also throw pebbles at the symbolic Satan reminding ourselves the Satan within us exploiting our weaknesses and tempting us with riches, pleasures, and non-productive activities.

The most difficult time comes when leaving the House of Allah. One is never completely satisfied with the time spent here. There is always a desire for visiting it again and to enjoy the peace and tranquility of this holy place of the Prophets. We make the farewell Tawaaf and pray that we come back here soon. Ameen.

Some brief words of advice from a Sufi of Islam.

  1. Always regard those moments of life, which you are blessed with as valuable, and not to be wasted. One cannot predict whether one would be graced with another good fortune and opportunity or not ? Never waste one’s time in vane , meaningless chatting
  2. During ones presence in the Masjid Al Haram and Masjid Al Nabawi, a persons conduct and behavior must be respectful , graceful and exemplary. Neither indulge in uncalled for nonsensical humor, joking and mocking, nor be occupied in staring the decor and finery of those places
  3. Great care and due consideration must be exercised in the required reverence, ethics and etiquette of both those holy places. Any improper conduct is extremely harmful and disastrous. One should neither criticize the things nor the inhabitants of both sacred places. After all those dwellers are humans also. Everyone on earth is prone to err and would make mistakes. In such circumstances instead of taking note of others shortcomings one must in particular focus and monitor ones own failings.

 One must abstain from all sins. Since many (men and) women gather at these places , specific care must be taken to avoid seeing other male or female (BUD NAZARY). BUD NAZARY for men is to look with lust and ogle at NON MAHRAM females and for females it is vice versa. In addition one is required particularly to lower the gaze where females gather for tawaaf in Makkah and Salaat-o-Salaam in Madinah.

Following tables summarize the action items / rituals of Hajj and Umrah and their significance. There are three types of Hajj. IFRAD HAJJ, QIRAAN HAJJ and TAMATTO' HAJJ. IFRAD is that Hajj in which pilgrim only performs Hajj and no Umrah. QIRAAN is that Hajj in which pilgrim performs Umrah and Hajj together such a way that he / she performs the Umrah first and keeps the Ihraam and then starts the Hajj. TAMATTU' Hajj is that Hajj in which the pilgrim performs the Umrah and takes off Ihraam resumes normal life and on 8th Dhulhajjah puts on Ihraam and starts Hajj.
 

 

 TABLES FOR UMRAH AND HAJJ 

KEYS TO ARABIC TERMS 

TERM

RULING

Rukn

If not done , Hajj is invalid ; repeat Hajj the following year

Sha-r’t

If not done Hajj is invalid; repeat Hajj the following year

Waajib

If not done Dumm is binding

Sunnah

If not done- guilty of neglecting the Sunnah

UMRAH

TABLE OF ACTION

RULING

PLACE

Ihraam of Umrah

Sha-r’t

Before Miqaat 

Tawaaf with Rami (*)

Rukn

Makkah (Haram)

Sa-ee

Waajib

Makkah (Haram)

Shaving/cutting hair of the head

Waajib

Makkah

 IFRAAD HAJJ 
 
 

Table of Action

Ruling

Place

Ihraam

Sha-r’t

Before Miqaat

Tawaaf Al Qudoom

Sunnah

Makkah

Wuqoof at Arafah

Rukn

Arafaat 9th 

Wuqoof at Muzdalifah

Waajib

Waajib 10th

Rami of Aqabah (big shaytaan)

Waajib

Mina 10th

Qurbani

Optional

Mina 10th

Shaving of head

Waajib

Mina 10th

Tawaaf Al Ziyaarah

Rukn

Makkah 10th & 11th

Sa-ee 

Waajib 

Makkah 10th –11th

Ramiul Jimaar (all 3 shaytaans)

Waajib

Mina 11th-12th

Tawaaf Al Wida

Waajib

Makkah before departure for home

TAMATTU HAJ

Table of Action

Ruling

Place

Ihraam of Umrah

Sha-r’t

Before Miqaat

Tawaaf of Umrah with Rami (*)

Rukn

Makkah

Sa-ee of Umrah

Waajib

Makkah

Shaving of Head or cutting hair

Waajib

Makkah

Put on Ihraam on 8th ZulHijjah

Sha-r’t

Makkah 8th

Wuqoof at Arafah

Rukn

Arafat 9th

Wuqoof at Muzdalifah

Waajib

Makkah

Rami of Aqabah (big shaytaan)

Waajib

Mina 10th

Qurbani

Waajib

Mina 10th

Shaving of head

Waajib

Mina 10th

Tawaaf Al Ziyaarah

Rukn

Makkah 10th 11th

Sa-ee

Waajib

Makkah 10th 11th

Ramiul Jimaar(all 3 shaytaans)

Waajib

Mina 11th 12th

Tawaaf Al Wida'

Waajib

Makkah before departure for home

QIRAAN HAJJ

Table of Action

Ruling

Place

Ihraam of Hajj and Umrah

Sha-r’t

Before Miqaat

Tawaaf of Umrah with Rami (*)

Rukn

Makkah

Sa-ee of Umrah

Waajib

Makkah

Tawaaf Al Qudoom with Rami (*)

Sunnah

Makkah

Sa-ee

Waajib

Makkah

Wuqoof at Arafah

Rukn

Arafaat 9th

Wuqoof at Muzdalifah

Waajib

Muzdalifah 10th

Rami of Aqabah (big shaytaan)

Waajib

Mina 10th

Qurbani

Waajib

Mina 10th

Shaving of head

Waajib

Mina 10th

Tawaaf Al Ziyaarah

Rukn

Makkah 10th 11th

Ramiul Jimaar (all 3 shaytaans)

Waajib

Mina 11th 12th

Tawaaf Al Wida

Waajib

Makkah before departure for home

 

 

 

 

 

ZIYARAH AL MADINAH TUL MUNAWWARAH  

After performing Umrah or Hajj, it is highly recommended that pilgrims should go and visit Masjid Al Nabawi and perform Salat there and say Salat-o-wasslaam upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The Messenger of Allah has said in a Hadiths that one who visits my grave makes my SHAFA'AT (intercession) Waajib (compulsory) upon him/her. The Messenger of Allah said in another Hadiths that anyone who visited my grave after my death it is same as if he / she saw me during my life. In another Hadith the Messenger of Allah says that the area between my grave and my minber in Masjid Al Nabawi is one of the gardens of heaven (Riyadh Al Jannah).  

While we are in Madinah, we should try our best that we should pray all the Salat especially mandatory (FARDH) Salat in Masjid Al Nabawi. After this we should say Salat-o-wassalaam on the Messenger of Allah as much as we can. It is the best thing. It is not necessary that every time when one wants to say salaam, he /she has to be in front of the Rodha Tur Rasool (JAALI MUBARAK). Because the space is very limited and we should give other people chance to visit the RODHA SHARIF.  

Some of the Manors (AADAAB) of ZIYARAH. 

  1. Put on clean dress and put perfume on it ( make sure it is non-alcoholic)
  2. Have best manners. DO NOT CREATE ANY INCONVINIENCE FOR THE PEOPLE in and out side the Masjid. Pushing and shouting at the people may destroy all the efforts. 
  3. Keep your voice low especially inside the Masjid. 
  4. Give Sadaqah before going to the Masjid (any amount according to your discretion).
  5. You may enter from any door in the Masjid. Some of the scholars recommend Baab Jibra’il – right foot first- Perform Niyyah of I’tikaaf
  6. Proceed straight ahead to Riyad Al Jannah and perform two Raka'a Tahiyatul Masjid. If there is no space you may pray anywhere in the Masjid. 
  7. Go humbly towards Rodha Al Sharif. Stand facing the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and say salaam and try to connect yourself with the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
  8. Thereafter make Du'a
  9. Du'a – ask Allah for forgiveness , then ask for Shafa’ah that Rasoolullh (SAW) intercede for you on the day of Qiyaamah as follows :
  10. O Allah , Your Word is the Truth , and You did say : " O Muhammad when they having been unjust to their ownselves, come to you and seek Allah’s forgiveness, and the Rasool (SAW) begs forgiveness for them, then surely they will find Allah Oft Forgiving, Merciful". And now have I come to you O Rasool (SAW) seeking forgiveness for my sins , seeking your intercession on my behalf in the presence of Allah (SWT); and I ask You O Allah to grant me these , and to grant me forgiveness in a similar manner as You had granted to them who came to the Rasool (SAW) in his lifetime " 

    Also recite the Du'a for Haajat (requirements) as follows : 

    "O Allah , I beseech Thee and I turn to Thee through Thy Nabi (SAW) The Prophet of Mercy , Mohammed (SAW), O Mohammed (SAW) , through Thee do I turn to my Lord for my great need that it may be fulfilled . O Allah , do Thou accept the intercession of Mohammed (SAW) on my behalf" 

  11. Move towards right and say salaam on the first Caliph of Islam Hazrat Abu Bakr Al Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with him), the best among all Muslims after the Prophet (peace be upon him).
  12. Move further right and say salaam on the second Caliph of Islam Hazrat Umar Farooq (May Allah be pleased with him).
  13. Return to the Riyadh Al Jannah or any place in the Masjid and make Du'a for yourself, for your parents, family, friends and all Muslims
  14. During the visits to the Masjid try to perform Nafl at the Musallah of Rasool Allah (peace be upon him) near the pillar of Abu Lubabh , and make Du'a. Also known as pillar of Tawbah. Rasool-ullah (SAW) performed I’tikaaf with the poor near here.
  15. Remember you are in the companionship of the Prophet, be very careful and do not indulge yourself in worldly affairs. Have respect for the people and for the Masjid. Read Qur'an, there are many historic sites within the Masjid and within Madinah, visit them and thank Allah that you are part of such a wonderful history.

PLEASE REFER TO YOUR LOCAL IMAM MASJID OR ISLAMIC BOOKS ON THE ABOVE TOPICS FOR FURTHER DETAILS.