Guide For First Time Pilgrims Part 1
Before entering the sacred state of IHRAM, which is necessary before beginning your UMRAH, it is mandatory to do the following:
- Remove unwanted hair, clip nails, trim moustache etc
- Make Ghusl (if possible) or make Wudhu
- Wear Ihram prior to arriving at the Meeqat
- Pray 2 raka'at (optional)
After doing all of the above, you should make an intention for performing Umrah by reciting the following words:
“Allah humma inni ureedul amrata fa yas-sir haa lee wa taqabbal haa minni "
“O Allah, I intend to perform Umrah; make it easy for me and accept from me"
For entering the state of Ihram, recite the Talbiyah:-
“Labbayka Allaahumma labbayk, labbayka laa shareeyka laka labbayk, innal-hamda wan-ni'mata laka wal-mulk, laa shareeyka lak "
“Here I am, O Allaah, here I am. Here I am, you have no partner, here I am.”
“Verily all praise and blessings, and all sovereignty are Yours. You have no partner."
Then you will proceed to Makkah and head to al-Masjid al-Haram, while continuously repeating the Talbiyah.
Being in Debt while performing Hajj and Umrah
There are doubts in the minds of people wanting to perform the Hajj and Umrah, about whether or not one should perform the pilgrimage while being in debt. For answering this question, it is important to understand that there are two types of debts.
What are Scheduled Debts?
Scheduled debts are those type of debts that are required to be paid back over a fixed period of time in installments. These debts typically include a house, car or appliance mortgage, and those debts that are to be repaid in one installment on a fixed date. Settling scheduled debts before performing Hajj or Umrah is not mandatory and you can perform both pilgrimages even if you are repaying, or have to repay scheduled debts.
What are Non-scheduled Debts
Non-scheduled debts are those type of debts where there is no defined repayment schedule. These debts typically include loans taken from family members, friends and professional individual lenders.
Before embarking for Hajj or Umrah, it is mandatory that you either settle the entire non-scheduled debt or take permission from the person you have taken the loan. Only after your lender has given you permission to perform Hajj or Umrah, you should proceed towards performing the pilgrimage.
Allah accepts only what is pure
You should ensure that you pay for the sacred pilgrimage only from “halal” income or that income which is lawful in the eyes of Islam. You must understand that Allah is pure and will accept only what is pure. It is mandatory that you perform Hajj or Umrah by spending money that has been earned only through “halal” means.
Prophet Muhammad mentioned the case of a man who, having journeyed far, is dishevelled and dusty, and who spreads out his hands to the sky saying “O Lord! O Lord!” while his food is haram (unlawful), his drink is haram, his clothing is haram,
and he has been nourished with haram, so how can [his supplication] be answered?"
Taking belongings for Umrah & Hajj
When the faithful are about to embark on the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimage, the first thing that comes to their mind concerns the number of items they should take along with them on the pilgrimage.
While there is no doubt that paying special attention to packing for the pilgrimage is important, you should also note that Allah Himself says in the Qur’an: “And take provision for the journey”. This means that along with physical preparation, mental and spiritual preparation is also important.
Seek forgiveness before your pilgrimage
When there are some days left for your departure to the holy land for perform the sacred pilgrimage, you should meet your relatives and friends and seek their forgiveness.
If you have difference with someone or are not on talking terms with them, you should meet them and resolve your differences, rather than performing the pilgrimage while keeping the grudge in your heart and mind.
Keep in mind that the purpose of making this journey is to seek acceptance of our deeds and our shortcomings from Allah.
It is important tat you are kind and compassionate towards your family, relatives and friends, ask them for forgiveness for any of your wrongdoings and also forgive them for any of their wrongdoings.
Preparing your body is important
Be prepared for exertion and tiredness during your pilgrimage, as it will surely take a physical toll on your body. During the entire pilgrimage, you will walk much more than you have walked earlier.
To give you an example, the distance of the walking ritual between Safa and Marwa for commemorating the painful journey undertaken by Lady Hajar to find water for her son, is more than 3 km.
We suggest you prepare for this ritual by walking briskly daily for at least 5 miles in one session. This will ensure that when you have to walk during Hajj and Umrah, your body will not feel too tired, and you will be able to comfortably perform the rituals.
Preparing the mind
For truly appreciating all the sacred rituals of Hajj and Umrah, it is important to keep two things in mind, Dhikr (remembrance) and Taslim (complete submission to Allah).
During the entire pilgrimage, you should keep Allah in our mind and keep reminding yourself of the objective of your holy journey. You should do this by regularly repeating the Talbiyah “Here I come to Allah to perform Umrah or Hajj.”
Without wondering about the purpose of each ritual of Hajj and Umrah, you should completely and unconditionally surrender to the will of Allah, taking inspiration of the saying of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ “Take from me your rituals”. You should fully believe in the fact that all of Islam’s rituals come from Allah and his Messenger and are filled with meaning. All we have to do is simply surrender to the will and order of Allah, and humbly do what He has ordained for us.
your intention will be the catalyst of your transformation
your determination will decide the beginning of your spiritual journey
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