Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, is a sacred duty that all Muslims must fulfil at least once in their lifetime, assuming they possess the financial and physical means. The Spiritual Hajj journey begins with pilgrims travelling to the revered cities of Makkah and Madina in Saudi Arabia to engage in specific rites prescribed by Islam. Occurring from the 8th to the 13th days of Dhul-Hijjah—the twelfth and final month of the Islamic lunar calendar—Hajj embodies a significant act of devotion.

Types of Hajj

Kaaba and Tawaf e Kaaba during the spiritual hajj journey

Before setting on the Spiritual Hajj Journey, knowing which kind of Hajj you want to do is important. There are three types of Hajj – Hajj al-Ifrad, Hajj al-Qiran, and Hajj al-Tamattu. Each type shows the different goals of the pilgrims. The simplest type of Hajj is Hajj al-Ifrad which involves doing just the Hajj rituals without adding Umrah activities.

On the other hand, Hajj al-Qiran includes both Umrah and Hajj together. The third kind is Hajj-al-Tamattu’. This type of Hajj is the simplest and most popular one that most pilgrims do. People usually choose it from various places around the world to perform their pilgrimage.

Hajj al Tamattu is a special kind of pilgrimage where people plan to do both Umrah and Hajj. It requires that men wear a specific holy outfit called “Ihram,” made of two unsewn pieces of cloth before they pass Miqat – an important marker for pilgrims.

Restriction while in Ihram during the revered hajj journey:

Once set out on the spiritual Hajj journey and dressed in Ihram the pilgrim will have to refrain from certain permitted activities like:

1-        Shaving/trimming the hair of any part of the body;

2-        Using perfume;

3-        Indulgence in sexual activities like sexual intercourse, touching one’s wife or anyone else with desire;

4-        Killing a living being, like animals and insects.

  5- Wearing sewn dress (men);

6-        Covering the whole face (women);

7-        Wearing of shoes, socks or stockings, covering the foot (men);

8-        Using a cap or any headgear (men);

9-        Dressing in clothes other than Ihram;

10- Quarrelling/aggression

Definition and Identification of various Miqats:

This term denotes the fundamental limits established by Islamic scholars based on Hadiths and commands of Islam. The following five Miqats surrounding Makkah and Madina serve as designated points for pilgrims undertaking the spiritual Hajj journey to Makkah or Madina from different directions: 

Dhu’l-Hulayfah:

This Miqat is at a distance of about 9 km from Madina and 450 km from Makkah. These boundaries have been determined for the pilgrims living in Madina or those who approach Makkah from the outskirts of Madina. The distance between Makkah and Madina is 342 km approximately.

Al-Juhfah:

Recognized as Rabigh and situated 182 kilometres northwest of Makkah, this site serves as the designated Miqat for pilgrims originating from North America, North Africa, Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon, Europe, Turkey, Syria, Egypt Algeria Sudan and a variety of other African nations commencing the spiritual Hajj journey to Saudi Arabia. 

Qarn al-Manazil:

This is a selected Miqat for the inhabitants of Najd. In anticipation of Saudi Arabia’s establishment, key nomadic tribes from Najd such as Dawasir, Mutayr, ‘Utaybah, Shammar (previously recognized as Tayy), Subay’, Suhool, Harb, and Qahtanites in southern Najd were prominent.

Dhat Irq:

This Miqat represents a pivotal station for pilgrims launching the spiritual hajj journey from Kufa. Nestled within the Aqia region, it demarcates the boundary between Najd and Tahama. Situated 92 kilometres northwest of Makkah, this Miqat serves those coming from Iraq and eastern regions such as Maslakh, Ghumra, and the mountainous expanse of Dhat ‘Irq, guiding them as they proceed towards fulfilling the spiritual Hajj journey.

Yalamlam:  

This Miqat is in a hilly area about 50 kilometres southeast of Makkah. It’s the chosen spot for people coming from Yemen and nearby places to start their pilgrimage. Also, many pilgrims who travel by sea from countries like China, Japan, India, and Pakistan use it as their starting point.

To ensure adherence to the basic requirements before initiating the spiritual Hajj journey, pilgrims are obliged to wear an Ihram before crossing Miqat – irrespective of their mode of travel, be it air, sea, or land. Should a pilgrim traverse the Miqat boundary without being in the Ihram, they are required to return to Miqat for compliance

Tawaf and Sa’i

In Arabic Tawaf means walking around the Holy Kaaba. To do one Tawaf, you must walk around it seven times, going counter-clockwise. The place where this special walk happens is called the “Mataat”.

The Sa’i ritual commemorates the endeavours of Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) spouse, Hajar’s diligent quest for water. She navigated between the hills of Safa and Marwa in to fetch water for her son, Prophet Ismail (AS). What she perceived was not water but merely a mirage in the desert. It was through divine intervention that the Zamzam spring emerged to rescue her child from dehydration and the resulting death.

The Zamzam Well

The Zamzam Well undergoes rigorous daily testing, which involves collecting three water samples. These are analyzed at the King Abdullah Zamzam Water Distribution Center in Makka, boasting state-of-the-art facilities. During Ramadan, to ensure its pristine quality, 100 water samples from the well are tested each day. The well of Zam-Zam is near Safa and Marwa but is not revealed to anyone due to security concerns.

According to Lab tests, the Zamzam is saturated with sodium, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, chloride, fluoride, nitrate and sulfate. It can be stored for years without getting contaminated like normal water.

When pilgrims get to Madina, they pay their respects at the Holy Shrine of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It doesn’t matter if they visit Madina before or after they do Hajj. If pilgrims go to Madina first, they are taken to Makkah the day before Hajj starts.

Definition of Umrah:

In Haj al Tamattu the pilgrims perform Umrah as soon as they arrive at Makkah. Compared to Hajj, Umrah is very simple and can be performed in around two or three hours. The following rituals are observed in Umrah:

a.         Intention: The intention of a pilgrim must be focused on performing Umrah and Hajj.

b. Enter state of Ihram

c.          Tawaf (7-circumambulation of Holy Kaaba constitute one Tawaf)

d.          Walking between Mount Safa and Mount Marwa for seven times is called Sa’i

e.          Shaving/trimming heads (men)

f.          Clipping a lock of hair (women)

g. Offer two Rakah Salat after Tawaf with faces Maqam e Ibrahim.

Now your Umrah is complete and you can go either to your hotel for rest or stay in the Haram. You can also put on plain clothes and wait for the Hajj to commence.

Enrich the spiritual Hajj journey by Sightseeing.

Pilgrims usually utilize the intervening period by visiting the following places in Makkah called Ziarat. These historical sites hold immense significance and provide pilgrims with spiritual enrichment during the spiritual Hajj journey. Following are the places worth visiting:

Al Zaher Place Museum or Makkah Museum:

Located merely a 15-minute drive from the revered Kaaba, this institution stands among the top five museums in Makkah. The facility, encompassing two floors, is home to seven galleries that exhibit an impressive collection of approximately 10,000 historical artefacts and artworks.

Among its notable displays are the ancient doors of the Holy Kaaba and the casings of Hajr-e-Aswad. To accommodate all visitors, dedicated sections for women and men have been established. Moreover, complimentary interpretation services in various languages are provided for both male and female guests. 

The museum is very large, covering 3435 square meters. It’s an important place that shows the culture and religion of Makkah, reflecting the deep lessons found in the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet. It used to be known as Al Zahir Palace and has a lot of different things to see. You can find important historical discoveries from Saudi Arabia there, along with exhibits that teach about history before Islam came into being.

Jabal al-Rahmah:

The Mount of Mercy, located in Arafat, where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) delivered his Farewell Sermon during his final pilgrimage.

Jannat al-Mu’alla:

This is an ancient cemetery in Makkah where many of the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) relatives, companions, and other prominent figures are buried.

Don’t Miss Historical Mosques during the spiritual Hajj Journey:

Masjid al-Jinn:

The Mosque of the Jinn is the place where a group of Jinn listened to the Quran recited by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). There are so many stories associated with this mosque.

Masjid Taneem (Masjid Aisha)

This is the mosque where pilgrims intending to perform Umrah outside the Hajj season enter into Ihram.

Masjid al-Khayf:

The Al-Khayf Mosque, situated at the core of Mina and nestled at the base of Al-Dhiba’a Mountain towards Mina’s southern boundary, serves as a pivotal site for pilgrims during the spiritual Hajj journey. It is in proximity to the smallest Jamara.

Many reliable stories tell us that Masjid Al Khayf is a special place where 70 prophets, like Prophet Musa and Prophet Muhammad, prayed together. This important history gives it the nickname “Mosque of the Prophets.” Also, this was where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gave a speech during his Hajj pilgrimage.

The strategy of Accommodating Pilgrims

When people go on a religious journey, they can’t just choose to visit Madina or Makkah at their own sweet will. The rules in Saudi Arabia are strict about when and where travellers can go. Those coming for the Hajj pilgrimage arrive early, so hotels in Makkah fill up fast. To prevent overcrowding, officials arrange for pilgrims to stay in both Makkah and Madina proportionately.

For a long time, the government of Saudi Arabia has made plans to make sure people visiting holy places are spread out between two cities, Madina and Makkah. They do this to avoid too many people being in one place at the same time. Before visitors come to Saudi Arabia for Hajj, which is a religious journey, they are told whether they will go to Makka or Madina first. This careful planning helps prevent any problems for those on their spiritual trip.

Engagement in Madina

Upon your arrival in Madina, it is imperative to first visit Riadhul Jannah and engage in prayers. Subsequently, proceed to pay respects at the shrine of the Prophet, extending Salam (Peace Be Upon Him). After paying homage to the holy shrine the pilgrim may go to the Janat al Baqi cemetery. This historical graveyard near the Holy Shrine serves as the final resting place for family members and companions of the Holy Prophet. This cemetery is open for men only twice a day.

 After this ritual, it becomes a daily routine of pilgrims to come to the Masjid e Nabavi (Prophet’s Mosque), the first Mosque for Muslims.  The pilgrims now wait for the 8th Dul Hajj the day of the commencement of Hajj.

On the 7th day of Dul Hijja, just before Hajj starts, people going on Hajj who are staying in Madina are carefully taken to where they will stay in Makkah. This helps them get ready by doing things like washing themselves, putting on special clothes called Ihram, and getting what they need to eat and use during their time at Hajj. You can also plan visits to Ziarats – places of historical significance.

 The Spiritual Hajj Journey Day-by-Day:

Day-1: 8th Dul al Hijja

Day 1: Commence the process of entering Ihram, a state characterized by heightened purity and dedication. This involves performing ablutions and donning the Ihram attire. Pronounce the Talbiyah audibly at the miqat station to signify your commitment to undertaking the pilgrimage. Pilgrims proceed to Mina, where they spend the nights of the 8th, 11th, and 12th Dhul Hijjah.

Day-2: 9th Dul al-Hijja

On the 9th of Dhu al-Hijja, participants depart Mina for Arafat, engaging in sacred recitations and invocations. Upon arrival at Arafat, they perform the Duhr and Aser prayers collectively—referred to as “Qasar prayers”—in proximity to Jabal al-Rahmah. The congregation remains there from midday until dusk.

It is essential to highlight that the stay at Arafat, known as Waquff-e-Afrafat, constitutes a fundamental ritual of Hajj for which there exists no substitute. This ritual is so significant that the concerned workers of the Hajj Authority transport the incapacitated or hospitalized pilgrims to Arafat in ambulances to ensure their brief presence in Arafat. Scholarly consensus affirms that those who fail to reach ‘Arafat’ before dawn on the Day of Sacrifice, even momentarily or in transit, have unfortunately not fulfilled the requirements of Hajj.

Following the descent of sunset, pilgrims commence their journey from Arafat to Muzdalifah. Here, they congregate to perform the Maghrib (sunset) and ‘Isha (night) prayers in unison before spending the night beneath the vast expanse of sky in Muzdalifah. It is during this time that they gather small stones, ranging between 50 to 70 in number, exclusive to Muzdalifah – essential for conducting the Rami ritual correctly.

It’s mandatory on pilgrims not to use stones collected from outside Muzdalifah for Rami. Also, you can’t reuse pebbles that were already used in a Rami unless they are cleaned very well first. If someone loses their stones, they can ask other people to get extra stones. That’s why pilgrims are advised to bring extra pebbles when going to do Rami at Jamarat.

 Day-3: 10th Dhul -Al Hijja:

The 10th of Dhul-Hijja is a hectic day with an array of solemn rituals for pilgrims. On this significant occasion, the faithful engage in several rites – executing Rami by stoning Satan at Jamarat, offering animal sacrifices, performing Tawaf al-Ifadha indulging in Sa’i, undergoing head shaving (for men), trimming a lock of hair (for women), and making their way back to Mina and then Muzdalifah.

On this date, pilgrims depart from Muzdalifah for Makkah when the sun rises. En route to Makkah, the pilgrims must traverse Jamarat where they engage in the Rami ritual – a symbolic act of stoning representations of evil. Following this ceremony, they continue their sacred voyage towards Makkah without interruption. It is noteworthy that there are provisions for those who are ill or frail, allowing a designated representative to perform the Rami on their behalf.

Sacrificing animals during the Ethereal Hajj voyage

After the Rami ritual, team leaders quickly get in touch with their partners at specific distant slaughterhouses to start the process of sacrificing animals. The people running the slaughterhouse carefully mark each animal with the pilgrim’s name for easy identification. Then, they head to Makkah to do Tawaf al-Ifadha, a mandatory part of their pilgrimage. To avoid too many pilgrims crowding together, it’s best to approach Kaaba and finish Tawaf and Sa’i as swiftly as possible.

Shaving Heads/cutting locks:

Following the completion of Tawaf and Sa’i, pilgrims shave or trim their hair (men) or cut a lock of hair ( women). Due to the limited number of barber shops in close vicinity to the Kaaba, pilgrims often encounter long waiting times. Consequently, it is on the safe side that the pilgrims should carry their own trimming devices and seek assistance from fellow pilgrims within their accommodation premises or do that themselves.

 Some mobile hairdressers can be found lurking in proximity to hotels, offering their services at a slightly high rate. Following the shaving process, pilgrims may go to their hotels, remove their Ihram, indulge in a shower, don their regular attire and proceed back to Mina to spend the next two or three days.

On the 11th of Dhul-Hijja, pilgrims proceed from Mina to Jamarat for the act of Rami, which symbolizes the rejection of evil. This ritual involves casting stones at three designated pillars sequentially. Initiating with Jamarah al-Ula (the smallest pillar), followed by Jamarah al-Wusta (the middle pillar), and concluding with Jamarah al-Aqaba (the largest pillar) and returning to Mina again for a night stay.

Day-5: 12th Dhul-Hijja. Leave Mina for Jamarat to perform Rami and return to Mina for a night stay.

Day 6: 13th Dhul-Hijja – Culmination of the sacred Hajj Journey

The duration for which pilgrims must remain in Mina after the day of sacrifice encompasses two days, specifically the 11th and 12th of Dhul-Hijjah. Regarding the 13th day of Dhu’l-Hijjah, pilgrims don’t need to stay in Mina or engage in Rami Jamarat on this day. Opting to spend this concluding day at Mina is Mustahabb (commendable) rather than obligatory.

If one remains within Mina’s limits at the commencement of Fajr Salah on the 13th, it becomes incumbent to undertake Rami on this day. Neglecting Rami incurs a penalty known as “Dum,” which necessitates a sacrifice. The pilgrim can fulfil this obligation by remitting funds to an authorized bank for the execution of the sacrificial act. Endorsed by the Saudi government, these financial institutions uphold credibility.

After the end of the Hajj pilgrims wait for the day of their return to their respective countries. A large number of pilgrims go to visit Ziarat during this intervening period. The pilgrims also indulge in shopping for gifts like perfumes, dates and so on. So far as Zamam is concerned it is provided at the Airport on payment – price of the container.

Levels of routes leading to Jamarat

Stoning the devil. Rami at jamarat during the spiritual hajj journey

Jamarat is a three-storied complex with three pillars that symbolize devils. The basement level is for official delegations and distinguished state guests, while the second level — known as the ground floor — accommodates pilgrims arriving through Al-Jowhara Street No. 56 and Souk Al-Arab Street No. 62. The first floor, or third level, serves pilgrims navigating pedestrian path No. 1, in addition to those accessing via street numbers 116, 204, and 206 and King Fahd Road No. 86.

The allocation of the second floor caters exclusively to pilgrims originating from Aziziya, with dedicated shuttle services facilitating their journey to and fro. The third floor, also identified as the fifth level, is for those arriving from Shuaibeen, Muaisem, and Majral Kabsh. Furthermore, the fourth floor or sixth level accommodates pilgrims accessing Mina through the Mashaer Train and via King Abdul Aziz Road Bridge No. 38.

Disposal of used pebbles

Curiosity often arises regarding the fate of pebbles after the stoning ceremony at the Jamarat complex in Mina. The procedure for managing these stones initiates promptly as pilgrims conclude their rituals within this precinct. Ultimately, these pebbles accumulate in the basement of the Jamarat facility, reaching depths up to 15 meters.

Conveyor belts collect stones and start cleaning them by washing away dirt. After that, the people in charge put these clean stones into bags to keep them safe until after the mystical Hajj voyage season. Experts figure out how many stones are needed based on how many pilgrims they expect to come. Then, workers from the hajj department spread these stones over 300 specific places at Muzdalifah.

Transportation of Pilgrims during the Divine Hajj Expedition

Upon the completion of Hajj, pilgrims residing in Makkah since their arrival move to Madina via buses and trains for the esteemed ritual of venerating the shrine of the Holy Prophet and extending “Salam” (Peace be upon Him). Despite prevailing challenges, should fortune favour one’s journey back to Makkah before their departure home, it presents an auspicious opportunity to undertake another Umrah and perform the farewell Tawaf.

When pilgrims reach Saudi Arabia, they first stay in Makkah. Before they leave for Madina, they must go around the Kaaba one last time because there’s a chance they won’t come back to Makkah. To avoid too many people gathering in one place in Makkah, pilgrims usually go straight from Madina to Jeddah Airport without doing this final circle around the Kaaba. The road trip from Makkah to Medina is about 435 kilometres long. After reaching Medina, the visitors pay their respects at the Prophet Muhammad’s tomb with a greeting of peace. Alongside praying during their visit, visiting holy places is also a key part of their journey.

Use of Wheel Chair during the Blessed Hajj Journey

The Health Affairs Directorate’s social department in Makkah has given out about 819 wheelchairs this year, worth over $61,000. These include different types of wheelchairs, some self-powered that people can operate by themselves and others that need someone else to help. They are meant for use during Tawaf activities. A station for booking these wheelchairs has been set up within the premises of the Kaaba.

Before going on the hajj journey, which is a special trip for Muslims that lasts about 5 to 6 days and involves walking between 3 miles (about 5 km) and 9 miles (about 15 km) every day, it’s smart to start getting physically ready several weeks in advance. This preparation helps make sure that the long walks don’t harm their health.

For people who might find this walking hard, there are wheelchairs available in Makkah to help them move around during this important time. Also, if someone has a disability, they can get professional help with their wheelchair at key places like Haram and for trips to Mina and back. They pay these helpers for their important work.

Don’t miss visiting Ziarats during the spiritual Hajj journey

Notable religious sites such as Ghar-e-Hira, Ghar-e-Sor, and the historic battlegrounds of Ghazwa-e-Khandaq and Badr in Medina carry profound spiritual importance for Muslims. These locations are integral to the enriching experience of the Hajj pilgrimage.

Masjid al-Nabavi (The Prophet’s Mosque)

This site stands as a cornerstone of religious importance in Medina, encompassing the tomb of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It ranks as the second most revered mosque in Islam, following Masjid al-Haram in Makkah. The Prophet’s Mosque is one of the most visited sacred places for Muslims, who come here to perform prayers. Given the growing number of pilgrims, Masjid Nabavi has been extended which can accommodate one and half million worshipers at a time.

Prophet’s Mosque – A Rich Cultural Heritage

The Masjid an-Nabawi? It’s not just a mosque, it’s a living monument and cultural heritage of Muslims. Think about all the different Islamic societies that have left their mark there. It’s like they’ve given us this amazing gift of history and art, right in one place.

Riaduah Jannah – (The Garden of Paradise):

This revered area in the Prophet’s Mosque is considered by many to be akin to one of the gardens of Paradise. Positioned between the Prophet’s pulpit (mimbar) and his chamber, it holds significant spiritual value. It is a widely held belief among Muslims that prayers offered in this vicinity are endowed with special blessings.

Uhud Mount

The Battle of Uhud, a pivotal event in Islamic history, unfolded near Madina and is famous for its profound historical significance. Muslims believe that a visit to Mount Uhud encompasses spiritual value, particularly in commemorating the sacrifices made by early Muslims. The burial site of the Prophet’s companions martyred at the Uhud battle, lies within the expanse of the Uhud field.

Jannat Al-Baqi’ Cemetery:

Al-Baqi’ Cemetery in Medina holds significant importance within the Islamic tradition, serving as the final resting place for numerous companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), members of his family, and distinguished figures from early Islamic history. The act of visiting Al-Baqi’s cemetery provides an opportunity for contemplation and prayers on behalf of those who have passed away.

Masjid al-Qiblatain (Mosque of the Two Qiblas):

This mosque holds a pivotal place in history, signifying the moment when the Qibla (direction) was divinely redirected from Jerusalem to Makkah during Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace Be Upon Him) era. It stands as a landmark of profound historical importance.

 Vadi-Al Jinn (Valley Of Jinns):

Owing to its optical illusion, vehicles left out of gear in the valley of Jinn appear to be rolling uphill against gravity. Some orthodox believe that this valley is the abode of jinns and supernatural beings.

Abstain from prohibited sites during the spiritual Hajj journey

There are certain places in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, particularly within the esteemed cities of Makkah and Medina, which no one can visit. These restrictions are primarily due to religious and cultural considerations, in addition to security measures.

Haramain: The central area of the Grand Mosque (Masjid al-Haram) in Makkah, where the Kaaba is located, is off-limits to non-Muslims and pilgrims who are not performing specific rituals.

In the heart of Medina, the sacred precincts of Al-Masjid an-Nabavi stand as a testament to Islamic heritage. Within these revered boundaries lies the resting place of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Only those who follow Islam can exclusively visit this hallowed place.

Prohibitions for non-Muslims to visit Makkah and Madina

Under Islamic regulations, non-Muslims cannot enter the sacred sites of Makkah and Madina. Any breach of these guidelines may lead to severe punishment.

Jannat al-Mu’alla:

This is a significant cemetery in Makkah and is the burial place of several notable figures, including relatives and companions of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). However, it is generally not accessible to pilgrims for visitation. Anyhow, during the Hajj season, the pilgrims may like to visit this cemetery twice a day.

Jabal al-Noor and Hira Cave:

There is a restriction on accessing the cave Hira itself due to its spiritual significance and the terrain’s challenges. The pilgrims, however, may trek to Jabal al-Noor, the mountain where the Cave of Hira exists.

Jabal al-Rahmah:

The Mountain of Mercy is a significant site during the spiritual Hajj journey, where the Prophet Muhammad delivered his farewell sermon. While pilgrims visit the plain of Arafat during Hajj, they cannot access the top of the Mountain of Mercy.

In Makkah and Medina, numerous sites of significant historical value in the Islamic tradition are selectively accessible to the public. The authorities have imposed these restrictions as a measure taken either for preservation purposes or due to security considerations.

These prohibitions are in place to maintain the sanctity of these holy sites and ensure the safety and security of pilgrims and visitors. Pilgrims need to respect these restrictions and follow local regulations when voyaging to Makkah and Medina.

Al-Shabeka Graveyard – The practice of female infanticide:

A visit to Al-Shabeka Graveyard - during the spiritual hajj journey

The Al-Shabeka Graveyard lies southwest of Masjid al-Haram, close to the new King Abdullah extension. Before the advent of Islam, some of the pagan Arabs used to practice the jahiliyyah customs of burying their daughters alive, believing them to be a sign of disgrace. The parents often frowned at the news of the birth of a girl. They consider the daughter a liability, to raise and then give them away in marriage. 

The historical record reveals that a large number of young girls were buried at the Al-Shabeka Graveyard in Makka in the pre-Islamic era. Contrary to this practice, individuals of higher social standing refrained from such acts due to the elevated status women held within their ranks, surpassing even that of men in the middle and lower echelons of society. This phenomenon predominantly affected those from middle to lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Over time, as a consequence of the diminishing female population, societal norms evolved leading to only the firstborn daughters burying alive.

Occurrence of periods during the spiritual Hajj journey:

The females undergoing menstruation can engage in all Hajj rituals except Tawaf, which they may perform upon achieving menstrual purity. Furthermore, women in a state of major ritual impurity, such as those having engaged in sexual activities, should not remain within or traverse through mosque premises. To elucidate further, both women and men experiencing seminal discharge are ineligible to partake in Tāwāf.

Should a woman on her menstrual cycle cross the miqat intending to don Hajj attire, upon arriving in Makkah? Such a person can perform all prescribed rituals of Hajj except Tawaf and Sa’i between al-Safa and al-Marwa. She should postpone the tawaf and perform the same after attaining ritual purity. If menstruation commences post-Tawaf, it is permissible to proceed with Sa’i between al-Safa and al-Marwa during menstruation.

Occurrence of periods during the spiritual Hajj journey?

Premenopausal women, seeking to cease menstruation should use oral contraceptive pills under the guidance of a healthcare provider. It is advisable for female pilgrims to also carry with them essential medications and napkins and gadgets, for menstrual suppression for this purpose.

Mensuration (Istihazah) during the Spiritual Hajj journey

Some people misconstrue the “Irregular menstruation” as “Istahazah.” However, this term may lead to misunderstandings since Istihazah does not pertain to menstruation. Within Islamic terminology, Istihazah refers to any blood discharge from women that is not attributable to menstruation, rupture, postnatal bleeding, or internal injury. Mustahazah is the individual experiencing Istihazah.

The signs: Istihazah usually has the following four signs:

It is cool, yellow in colour, thin in substance, and discharged without pressure or a burning sensation. All these signs are opposite the signs of menstruation.

What a woman should do during Istihazah while on the spiritual Hajj journey?

Women experiencing Istihazah can maintain their prayer practices, with the condition that they adhere to specific prescribed actions. If a woman endures moderate Istihazah she must replace her sanitary product, perform ablution (wudu’) for each Prayer, and undertake a ritual purification bath (ghusl) before the Fajr (dawn) prayer.w

Should moderate bleeding commence post-Fajr prayer, it becomes mandatory for the affected individual to complete a ghusl (bath) before the Dhuhr (noon) prayer. In instances where bleeding begins after Dhuhr and Aser (afternoon) prayers, undertaking a ghusl before Maghrib (evening) prayer is obligatory.

Similarly, if medium bleeding initiates post-Dhuhr but pre-Aser or following Maghrib yet preceding Isha’ (night), completing a ghusl before Aser or Isha’ respectively is necessary. In cases where one notices istihazah mutawassitah before Fajr without performing ghusl, she should conduct ghusl before Dhuhr and subsequently redo her Fajr Salah after said purification.

Transportation of Ill Pilgrims During Revered Hajj Journey:

 The Saudi Red Crescent Authority stands as the primary body designated with providing Emergency Medical Services and ambulance transport throughout Saudi Arabia in service of Hajj attendees. The principal emergency contact numbers within Saudi Arabia are 911 and 999. These facilitate immediate access to police services alongside fire and medical assistance countrywide.

Action upon the death of a pilgrim during the spiritual Hajj journey:  

In events where a pilgrim passes away in Makkah or Madinah amidst or after Hajj rituals, the Saudi government has to pay all the expenses. These include funeral processes including transportation of remains for cause determination; ceremonial cleansing and so on. The relevant authority in Saudi also manages the dead bodies of the citizens at the government’s expense.

If an incident takes place place outside the hospital premises it is mandatory to report the same to law enforcement authorities. They will then conduct an examination. Subsequently, the release of the deceased can only proceed with authorization from Saudi officials. It is important to note that under no circumstances the dead body of a pilgrim can be transported back to their hometown.

Incidents during the holly journey of Hajj

Tent City of Mina in Saudi Arabia

Throughout history, numerous tragic incidents have occurred, including a crush inside a pedestrian tunnel, stampedes in Jamarat, an exploding gas cylinder leading to a fire in the tent city of Mina during Hajj pilgrimage seasons, road accidents, and outbreaks of viral and contagious diseases.

Notably, in 2015, adverse weather conditions led to the collapse of a crane within the external courtyard of Haram in Makkah. This unfortunate event not only caused structural damage to the Haram but also resulted in the loss of lives among pilgrims from diverse Muslim communities.

 In response to these events, authorities have implemented stringent measures prohibiting the use of stoves or gas cylinders across all locations including Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah. This restriction, however, does not apply to hotels, restaurants and other food points.

What to do if a pilgrim gets lost during the holy Hajj tour

In the vicinities of Makkah and Madina, Pilgrim Assistance Booths strategically exist to facilitate pilgrims’ navigation towards accommodations and tents. They must carry their identification card and bracelet at all times for verification purposes.

In the dynamic urban environments of Makkah and Medina, instances where individuals lose contact with their companions are common. It is wise to ensure continuous closeness with your group members at all times. A strategic approach involves setting a pre-agreed meeting point or heading back to one’s lodging is advisable.

Carrying a card that lists the hotel’s address and phone number is essential for every individual. Additionally, the Saudi Arabian government has introduced an innovative smart Identity Card system initiative. This development has received widespread acclaim from pilgrims around the world. It augments both safety and efficiency during their pilgrimage.

 There are some useful apps which could help locate your location. Those who know how to use a smartphone must install this app. However, these apps reportedly did not work properly in Makkah, and relying on this medium can sometimes put you in hot water. A smart mobile phone may, however, prove helpful in tracking location on a map. Introducing a better app could revolutionize Hajj and Umrah and relieve a lot of stress.

Bucket list during The Spiritual Hajj Journey:

 i.          Tit-bits like dry or fresh fruits, water bottles or juices

ii.         A prayer sheet

iii. Anti-biotics and painkillers/prescribed medicine

iv.        Rosary containing seven beads.

v.        Bandage and medicated sticker

vi.        Small scissors

vii.       Nail cutter

viii.      Soap

ix.        Towel

x.         Prescribed Medicines with prescription

FAQs about the Spiritual Hajj Journey and Rituals:

What are the 8 rituals to observe in the Ethereal Hajj journey

The eight rituals include entering Ihram, Tawaf around Kaaba and Sa’i between Safa and Marwa. Moreover, staying in Arafat, Muzdalifah is the core ritual of Hajj. Furthermore, Rami, Sacrificing an animal Trimming/shaving the head (men) and cutting a lock of hair (women) are also mandatory.

How many days do the Hajj journey and rituals last?

The celestial Hajj journey spans five to six days – the 8th to 13th day of Dhu al-Hijjaha.

What are the 3 types of Hajj?

The three types of hajj are i. Hajj al-Ifrad (Hajj alone), ii. al-Qiran (Hajj and Umrah together), and iii. al-Tamatt’u (Umrah followed by Hajj).

What happens on day 7 of the Hajj?

On this day of their hajj journey, pilgrims throw stones at the largest Jamarat pillar symbolizing the stoning devil.

By Munir Jan

With over two decades of writing experience, I am a seasoned male blogger who delves into deep insights and shares vast knowledge through engaging content. My journey has seen me enriching my blog with valuable perspectives, and establishing myself as a credible authority in my field. Presently, I contribute to my website (mjadil.com), where I have published several blogs, with numerous similar contents on various topics soon to follow. Focusing primarily on Local and International Tourism for the time being, I hold a Master's degree in English Literature. This background empowers me to craft articles, content, and blogs across multiple topics. My tenure includes teaching English Literature at Oxford College in Pakistan and participating in seminars and workshops sponsored by international donors. My blogs have garnered wide appreciation from optimistic readers worldwide. Eager to collaborate with renowned clients, I aim to share my extensive experience and acumen as a passionate freelancer.

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