The procedure of Hajj
Hajj is one of the most important kinds of worship binding on all adult Muslims. Every Muslim has to perform hajj at least once in a life time. Those who decide to go for pilgrimage to Makkah to perform Hajj spend a lot of money and resources. They leave behind their business, jobs, education and family to please Allah. It is therefore important to understand the procedure of Hajj and to follow the prescribed manners so that Hajj is acceptable.
The procedure of Hajj and Umrah is not very different; rather Umrah is a part of Hajj. There are three types of Hajj and whatever type he chooses to offer, he has to follow the procedure accordingly. The pilgrims must read all relevant information regarding this before leaving for Hajj to avoid any misunderstandings and confusions afterwards.
Every Muslim has to perform hajj at least once in a life time
If he intends to perform Tamattu type, he will enter the state of Ihram from the point of Miqat. He goes for tawaf or visitation of the Holy Kaaba. Then he performs Saa’ee, that is running between the hills of Safa and Marwa. After that he terminates the state of Ihram and resumes his routine. Umrah can be performed whenever in the year or in the months of Hajj, before eighth Dhulhajj. On 8th of Dhulhajj, he will enter the state of Ihram again and join the proceedings of Hajj like other pilgrims. He spends the night in Mina while joining them in Arafat, and stays in Muzdailfah stoning the devil, offering sacrifice on 10th of Dhulhajj and terminating the state of Ihram.
If a person residing in Makkah or within the radius of Miqat and Makkah intends to perform hajj, it is Ifraad. He only has to perform the obligatory duties of the hajj including standing in Arafat, staying in Mina and Muzdalfa overnight, casting the stones and then offering sacrifice if he wants to. Later he shaves his head, and offers last tawaaf.
If a pilgrim has decided to perform Qiraan type of Hajj, he enters the state of Ihram from Miqat. He goes for tawaaf and Saa’ee and then still remains in the state of Ihram. Staying in their Ihram they perform the remaining obligations and rites of the Hajj. They finish it off with final tawaaf and leave for their hometowns.
The pilgrims must keep on reciting the Talbiah during Hajj as instructed to them. Standing in Arafat is obligatory and if someone misses this obligation, his Hajj becomes void. If he departs from Arafat before sunset, this is a violation and the pilgrim must offer a sheep as a compensation of this violation.
There are hajj instructors in all Muslim countries and in Saudi Arabia. They communicate all information about the procedure of Hajj and its details to the pilgrims before hajj proceedings start. It is the best time for the pilgrims to have their queries answered. They should ask everything that makes them uneasy instead of making mistakes during hajj and missing some obligatory part/s of it.