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Hajj is Arafah

“Sister don’t forget to make duaa for me too” I heard as I stood facing the qiblah making duaa. I looked down to my right and found a sister lying on her back relaxing and taking a rest as the most important day of Hajj passed her by.

The most important day of Hajj is the day of Arafah (the 9th day of thul hijjah) as the Prophet PBUH said “Hajj is Arafah”. Pilgrims are to go to Arafat and spend the day from Thuhr until Maghrib in supplication and remembrance of Allah SWT.

Alhamdulillah I was able to perform hajj during the 2006-2007 hajj year. Upon my arrival to the site where my group and I would be staying during these blessed hours, I found myself confused. Where was the mountain of Arafah? I quickly learned we were far from the mountain and would not be seeing it but that we were standing in the boundaries of Arafah and would be gaining the same reward as those standing on the mountain itself. The best advice I received before embarking on my hajj journey especially when it comes to the time spent in Arafah was:

  • Be prepared both mentally and physically
  • Do not waste time – time is precious as the number of hours are limited
  • Face the Qiblah while making supplications and remembering Allah-not the mountain
  • It is not necessary to be on the mountain of Arafah (it is best to stick with your own group)
  • Eat lightly to not tire yourself
  • Be prepared for heat
  • Anticipate long commute times and finally
  • BE PATIENT

I made dua’a for that sister, myself and the entire Muslim Ummah that Allah SWT would grant us the wisdom to realize our blessings and strength to reap the benefits of this great day. Aameeen.

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  • Freezing in Muzdalifa

    If there was one moment that stood out from Hajj, it was the night I spent freezing in the valley of Muzdalifa. We obviously weren’t prepared, but my family and I didn’t know what to expect. We were told to only bring a few blankets. Our bus reached Muzdalifa and I looked out the window to see hundreds of people lying on the bare floor. It took our bus several minutes to weave through the valley and reach our campsite, and once we got off, I was shocked. This is where we would be spending the night? All I saw was dirt with some grass on it!

    My family started walking through the sleeping pilgrims to reach the bottom of a large hill. We laid our blankets and I pulled a rock closer to me as a pillow. I looked around for miles and all I could see were pilgrims. Some had sleeping bags, normal blankets, and pillows (which I envied), but others only had themselves and huddled together. I knew sleeping under the stars was going to take on a whole different meaning. There was absolutely nothing between me and the sky.

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  • What Was Hajj Like Back in 1953 ?

    Have you ever wondered how people made hajj in the past? What did the ka’abah look like? What was Mina and Al-Jamarat like? How difficult was it back in 1953 to make Hajj and Umrah?

    These pictures shed some light on your curiosity and may even help you appreciate your hajj experience more.

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  • Days before my Hajj journey in 1996, I was warned about the dangers of the Stone Throwing, Rami Al-Jaamarat ritual. Told that it would be the most arduous and life-threatening experience of the rituals performed, I really hadn’t the faintest clue of what to expect. I was advised to pay off all of my debts and say goodbye to everyone, asking forgiveness from anyone whom I might have wronged in life. In a strange way it was a subtle reminder of death, of the possibility that I was giving my final goodbyes. I was on my way to be cleansed, or so I hoped that Allah the Almighty would accept my attempt. I was blessed to have an opportunity to make the pilgrimage and was pleased with an amazing trip! The House of Allah was an amazing Beauty. The cubic structure was much more massive than I expected and the pilgrims circumambulated around it while the structure stood absolutely still. It was a contrast that gave me a feeling of its greatness. Following instructions and going through the rites of circumambulation tawaf and sa’i were refreshing and though the area was densely populated, I felt a sort of ease and spiritual comfort getting through them.

    Jamarat at Mina - Hajj 2006

    Recently, the system for pebble throwing has become very organized, however, during the time I visited Makkah for Hajj, it was very dangerous. Many who entered the stone throwing area were never to return home. Over time, the pebble-throwing rite had gained the worst reputation. Out of fear, people hastily entered and attempted to complete the throwing of the stones, fearing for their lives. It was very cluttered and many visitors to the Holy area were not aware of how to keep themselves safe as well as others.

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  • Very Very Nice Pictures From Hajj Year 1427 / 2006-2007

    Check out these very beautiful picture that were taken during the Hajj 2006/2007. Mashallah!

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    I hope you have enjoyed these picture.
    I want to send a special thanks to the brother and his wife that took these amazing pictures, and for sharing with the rest of us.

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  • Did you see the BIG FLOOD in Mina in 2005?

    I came a cross this footage on YouTube, and I wanted to share it with everyone. The big flood in Mina, in 2005, was caused by the excessive rain, and the fact that Mina is a valley surrounded by mountains. This was a great trial for those who made Hajj that year. Some people even lost their lives. We ask Allah to forgive their sins and to bless them with the highest level of Jannah.

    Download Title: Hajj 2005 Flooding

    I invite anyone who made Hajj that year to share some of their thoughts/experiance about the flood on this blog, by replying to this post.

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  • Visiting Mina

    Mina is a desert valley located 5-6 km east of Makkah. It stands between Makkah and the hill of Arafat. Mina provides temporary accommodations to all the pilgrims, where they stay in tents. The valley also has the Jamarat bridge where the stoning ritual takes place. Make sure you check out the satellite/map view of Mina, by clicking on the “Map View” button below.

    The Tents at Mina

    The first time you need to spend in Mina is on the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah, until the sunrise of 9th day (Day of Arafat). The second time you need to spend in Mina is on the 10th, 11th, and 12th of Dhul-Hijjah. If you plan not to stay for the third day (12th of Dhul-Hijjah) you must leave Mina before Maghrib on the 11th day.

    Things to remember while your there:

    1. Mina is the place of Takbeer. So take advantage of every minute.
    2. Try to get as much knowledge as possible. There are scholars everywhere you go. So do your best to seek them out.
    3. Shorten your 4 rakat prayers to 2 rakat, but do not combine prayers together.

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  • Rest and Relaxation at Muzdalifa

    Muzdalifa is one of the obligatory duties of Hajj. On the 9th day of Dhul Hijja, the pilgrim will leave Arafat to reach the valley of Muzdalifa. It is recommended to leave Arafah quietly and in a dignified manner. The distance between the two areas is about 8-9 kilometers. At Muzdalifa, the pilgrim spends the night in the open valley and the following Fajr, the 10th of Dhul Hijja, will leave for Mina to perform stoning ceremony.

    The Prophet at Muzdalifa

    It was reported by Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him, “When the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, reached Muzdalifa, he offered both Maghrib and ‘Isha’ prayers, then he lay down to sleep. He slept until dawn, then he got up and offered Fajr prayer, and mounted his she-camel, Al-Qaswa. When he reached Al-Ma’shar Al-Haram he stopped there until there was light all around, then before sunrise, he left the place” (Muslim, 2803). When you reach Al-Ma’shar Al Haram, make dua until the brightness of daylight is widespread before the actual sun rises.

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