By Adil James, TMO
Imam Masmari explains the hajj, step by step, for audience members at Bloomfieldâ€™s Muslim Unity Center.
Bloomfield–September 28–Imam Masmari gave an excellent step by step explanation of hajj, explained in the simplest possible way to about 40 hujjaj who were planning to depart for the holy land this year.
About 50 people were present, and they looked slightly different from the crowd at the Unity Center–they seemed to be younger, and in better physical condition than the larger community at the Unity Center.
Imam Masmari began by saying that hujjaj should make the intention that they would reach a new level of Islam, bi idhnil Lah, as a result of their hajj.
â€œAlmost all of what I will say today is based on one hadith,â€ he explained.
â€œDonâ€™t debate on hajj,â€ he advised. â€œDonâ€™t ask–when you have questions, wait and ask a shaykh.â€
Most of people, he said, arrive in Medina. Some go to Jiddah.
When â€œyou arrive in the shining city of the Prophet (s), increase in salawat, walk in the steps he walked.â€ Masmari recounted how Imam Abu Hanifa would remove his shoes in the holy city of Medina due to his reverence and extreme respect for the Holiest Prophet (s).
Masmari said hujjaj have several days in Medina, 4 or 5 days–he said focus during this time on spiritual lectures, not fiqh.
When it is time to head towards Mecca, wear ihram in the hotel. Women wear normal clothes. Men canâ€™t wear boxers or an undershirt, two cloths only. In ihram you cannot trim your hair, no scent, no shampoo or soap is allowed.
You can wear a watch, and sandals, even cover the top of your foot, but you should not cover your ankles. Buy comfortable sandals here, he advised–you will walk a lot, just expose your ankles.
Then move towards meeqat. Usually you make your intention on the bus. There are three types of hajj–you make intention of hajj of tamattu–this kind of intention you make verbally according to the Hanafi school. People on the bus from Darus Salam will remind you; there will be a shaykh on the bus.
You pray 2 rakats sunnah, even in the bus or after you descend from the bus. After the niyyah, you make labbayk Allahumma Labbayk–you must begin immediately.
5 – 10 minutes â€œLabbaykâ€ then you begin your journey to Mecca. â€œDonâ€™t yell,â€ he said, â€œbut say it aloud.â€
â€œNothing is like hajj–in a few days Allah will forgive every sin that you did–take advantage of this opportunity.â€
You can shower in Mecca–but no soap and shampoo. It is permissible and sunnah to take a shower as you arrive in Mecca.
For groups entering Mecca, the moment you see Kaaba is a time of acceptance of duâ€™a. Donâ€™t pray two rakat, go straight to the Kaaba.
Al-Mutazam, begin your umra. Stand next to the stone, say Bismillah Allahu Akbar–for men itâ€™s different, they should expose their right shoulders (ittiba). Begin to jog–if you canâ€™t then at least jump up and down.
Prophet (s) said â€œfollow my steps in hajj.â€
As you approach the Yemeni corner (the corner facing Yemen) you can say Bismillah Allahu Akbar.
After the fourth tawaf, men stop jogging. In total make seven tawaf–when you reach the stone say Bismillah Allahu Akbar.
Then say â€œRabbana atina fid dunya hasanatan wa fil akhirati hasanatan wa qinna adhaban nar.â€ If you can touch the black stone do it but donâ€™t harm yourself or other people. Try to touch the doors also. Muslims, he said, must cry at those doors, the doors of Allah–ask forgiveness. It is sunnah to pray behind maqam Ibrahim, but if it is too difficult it is not required. In the two rakats pray S. Kafirun in the first rakat and Ikhlas in the second. Then drink zamzam–it is sunnah to drink a LOT, til you canâ€™t drink more.
Then walk towards Safa and Marwa–2 mountains that are in fact not there anymore but their places are marked. Say Bismillah Allahu Akbar–there are green lights, and a shaykh will tell you when to jog. Do this seven times. Finish Saâ€™ee in Marwa reading Qur`an. Now you have finished umra and you return to your hotel. At this point there will be barbers everywhere. Sisters usually cut each otherâ€™s hair.
You can cut your hair–for Allahâ€™s forgiveness. Prophet (s) prayed more for those who shave their hair.
Then you have 3 or 4 days to walk around–take off your ihram.
On the 8th day of Dhul Hijjah, before dhohr, begin to wear ihram. â€œTake a shower with soap–perfume on your body is okay,â€ but not on your ihram. Deodorant is okay before ihram, perfume is okay. The imam recommended those things.
From the hotel, from the door, â€œLabbayk.â€ Hajj. Go to Mina for dhohr, asr, maghrib, â€˜isha. You will be in tents for one whole day. Shorten prayers but donâ€™t combine.
Pray fajr then go to Arafat, a HUGE piece of land. The imam recommended staying where you are, citing his own difficulty on Arafat of moving from one place to another due to crowds.
9th day you must be on Arafat. On the mountain or on the plain. You will see clear signs as to where you must be. Pray dhohr and asr, shorten and combine them. there will be a khutba. â€œArafat is the best day of life.â€ Allah says He looks at His servants and forgives them.
You pray maghrib and isha not at Arafat–Muzdalifa. It is sunnah to relax and socialize on Muzdalifa, as on Arafat it was to worship.
Some people leave before fajr, some after (after is sunnah), go to Jumrah al aqaba–after stoning the pillars you can shower and wear regular clothes, but still no sex.
Then make tawaf ul ifada seven times, but not with your shoulder exposed. Regular clothes. If you break your wudu Masmari said to continue anyway. Then back to Mina.
This was an excellent lesson in how to perform hajj and umrah.