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What if my Tawaf or Sa’i is interrupted?


If a person is performing tawaf (circling the Ka’bah) or sa’i (running between Safa and Marwah), and he comes across a need (e.g., he is thirsty and wants to drink something, or loses someone from his family members and stops to look for him, or becomes tired and wants to take some rest), and if the break was short, then he may continue his tawaf from where he left off.
The issue of taking a rest in tawaf and sa’i is based on the condition that tawaf and sa’i should be completed continuously. However, in sa’i, continuity is not a requirement according to the stronger scholarly opinion. So, if a person is performing sa’i, and he breaks after some of the rounds, and then comes back to complete them, this would be considered permissible. However, regarding continuity of tawaf, the scholars have two opinions:
1. That continuity is wajib (obligatory), and that a long discontinuity without due justification nullifies the tawaf.
2. That continuity is a sunnah, and the tawaf is not nullified even though the break was long. Having said that, it is better to err on the side of caution and therefore act according to the first opinion.

Explanation of the Talbiyah – A Pilgrim’s Journey (Part 4)

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لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ ، لَبَّيْكَ لا شَرِيكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنَّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ لا شَرِيكَ لَكَ
Just as the takbir (Allahu Akbar) is repeated throughout salah, so too is the talbiyah repeated throughout Hajj. It signifies a transfer from one state to another or one rite to the next just like the takbir in salah is an indication of change from one of its pillars to another.
Labbayk Allahumma labbayk
This part of the talbiyah is commonly translated as ‘O Allah, here I am. Here I am.’ As is normally the case, much of the meanings and connotations are lost in translation.
The word ‘labbayk’ has many uses or meanings. They include:

Response. Labbayk is said to someone who calls or invites you. It is incorrect, linguistically, to respond using this word to someone who did not call you.Therefore, the pilgrim says the talbiyah responding/answering the call of Allah, “And proclaim to the people the Hajj (pilgrimage); they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass.” [22:27]
Love. Labbayk is only said to someone whom you love or admire. Therefore, the pilgrim responds to the call lovingly and with excitement as opposed to burden and dislike.
The word labbayk connotes meanings of nearness, sincerity, perseverance and humility. All of these meanings stem from different Arabic constructions based on the same root letters. This means the pilgrim exhibits these meanings when saying the talbiyah and throughout the Hajj.
The word labbayk is constructed in the dual form. This implies a reiteration or repetition of what has preceded with regards to its meanings. It is like saying, “O Allah! I answer your call, and again I answer it…” In this case, the dual form connotes love upon love, closeness upon closeness, sincerity upon sincerity… etc.

Innal-hamda wan-n’imata laka wal-mulk
This part of the talbiyah is commonly translated as ‘Verily all praise and bounties are Yours, and all the kingdom.’

Hamd means praise. But what does it mean to praise someone? A person praises someone when he recognises good qualities in that person for which he should be praised. Accordingly, hamd is affirmed for Allah in the same light. The pilgrim praises Allah, particularly for honouring and being kind to him by calling and inviting him to His House, and facilitating that, despite the pilgrim’s shortcomings―only so that Allah may forgive him.Additionally, the Arabic word hamd is not completely equivalent to the English word praise. Hamd connotes love and truthfulness among other qualities. Therefore, if someone is praised for qualities he does not possess, or a slave praises his master without admiration or believing in that praise, it is not hamd. This is like a commoner praising a tyrant king in the hope of ridding himself of his tyranny. There is no love or admiration, just empty words and insincere flattery.
N’imah means bounty. In this case, it is the recognition that all favours and bounties are from Allah. It evokes a sense of gratitude.
Mulk means dominion. It is an affirmation that to Allah alone belongs the kingdom, and no true sovereignty belongs to anyone other than Him. It is the recognition that all languages, shapes, colours…, all times (eternal and temporal) and all places, etc. belong to Him alone. Mulk does not only incorporate land but it includes everything other than Allah ‒ the entire creation in all its forms and qualities. He is Sovereign over it all. There is no will except that He is over it sovereign. There is no means except that He is over it sovereign ‒ it is all from His mulk. Fire is a means by which something is burnt but Allah is sovereign over it, and that is why the fire which Ibrahim was thrown into became a means of coolness and not heat, it became a means of refuge and not pain. His rule is over all beings and characteristics.

The words ḥamd, n’imah and mulk are preceded by the Arabic definite article ‘al’ which denotes every kind of praise, bounty and dominion.
In this part of the talbiyah, the pilgrim is simultaneously affirming dominion, bounty and praise for Allah. Combining words and phrases is another manner of praising Allah and differs from saying them independently/singly (e.g. subhanAllah is a single praise whereas subhanAllahi wa bihamdihi is a compounded or combined praise).
This phase …

Types of Tawaf


There are six types of tawaf (circling) around the Ka’bah:
1 – Tawaf Al-Qudum (circling of arrival) for Hajj. This is done by the pilgrim who has entered ihram for Hajj. The scholars differed on whether or not it is obligatory.
2 – Tawaf Al-Ifadah during Hajj, which is also called tawaf al-ziyaarah (circling of visiting). It takes place after the standing in Arafah, on the day of al-Adha, or after it. It is one of the essential parts of the Hajj.
3 – Tawaf Al-Umrah. It is one of the essential parts of Umrah.
4 – Tawaf Al-Wada’ (the farewell tawaf), which is done after completing the actions of Hajj and when one has decided to leave Makkah. It is obligatory, according to one of two scholarly opinions, for all pilgrims except women who are menstruating or in post-natal bleeding. The one who fails to do it must sacrifice an animal of the type that is valid as an udhiyah.
5 – Tawaf in fulfilment of a vow made by one who vowed to do it. It is obligatory because fulfilling vows is obligatory.
6 – Voluntary tawaf
Each one of these tawafs must include seven circuits, after which the person offers two units behind Maqam Ibrahim, if possible; if he cannot do that then he may offer the prayer in any other part of the mosque.

Pre-Hajj To-Do Tips – A Pilgrim’s Journey (Part 3)

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The pilgrimage is no easy task; the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam described it as the jihad of women. That means the entire Hajj experience (before and during it) will be a testing time.
In order to alleviate some of its difficulties, we have listed a number of to-do items ranging from travel precautions to drawing a will. We make mention of food, transport, essential Hajj gear and a whole lot more. Practically preparing for Hajj facilitates a better Hajj experience.
1. Photocopy all official documents. Make extra copies of your passport, leaving a copy behind and taking one with you.
2. Write a will. It will focus your heart on the Hereafter. Some go and never return.
1. Gain familiarity with Hajj. Familiarize yourself with the Hajj itinerary and rituals.
2. Re-learn the basics of Islam. Those travelling for Hajj should ensure that they know how to perform wudu, salah, and also the Funeral Prayer.
3. Read the history. Learn about personalities and events surrounding the Hajj rites.
4. Accompany the People of Knowledge. They can correctly explain the rites. Find a group that organizes daily reminders and provides guidelines on how to perform the Hajj rites.
5. Learn relevant supplications (du’as). There are prescribed supplications at particular points in the pilgrimage.
6. Make du’a from the heart. Do not simply read them from a book.
7. Plan ahead the conversation you will be having with Allah! Be prepared to speak to Him, asking Him to your heart’s content.
8. Pray for people. This includes those that are working during the Hajj for your safety: police, doctors, cleaners and tour guides. Make du’a for the Ummah.
What to Wear
1. Wear good footwear. Ensure they are comfortable and durable.
2. Keep in mind that you may want to put your slippers in a bag when you go to Al-Masjid Al-Haram. The floor of the Haram is granite and may be hard on sensitive feet. Take something that has some padding to ease the hardness of the floor.
What to Carry
3. Stay light. Keep your baggage to the essentials. If necessary, you can buy over there what you can buy here.
4. Keep a prayer mat with you while in Makkah. It can be very uncomfortable praying on the hard floor.
5. Take sunglasses.
6. Take Vaseline. Stop your upper thighs from getting a rash caused by excessive rubbing due to lengthy and plentiful walking.
7. Have some basic medicines on hand for cuts and bruises. Include multi-vitamins just in case.
8. Women pilgrims, please bring a pair of scissors so that it is easy and quick to cut a snippet of your hair at the end of Hajj.
Washroom-Related Gear
9. Take (perfume-free) liquid soap rather than a bar. The bar is difficult to re-package once wet.
10. Take a small bag containing all your toiletries. It especially helps in Mina.
1. Be fit. There will be occasions where transport is not available for long stretches at a time. Get into the habit of walking a few months before you leave.
2. Drink lots of water.
3. Pack healthy snacks because you will likely end up waiting several hours at the airport.
4. Do not waste food. Eat what will keep your back straight and do not over-indulge.
1. Sympathize with fellow pilgrims.
2. Put their rights before yours. You will not be asked about what the next person did to you, but what you did to/for the next person.
3. Have money available to give to the poor.
4. Try to greet Muslims from other countries; Hajj is the largest meeting of the Ummah.
5. When it is time to collect stones at Muzdalifah, try to collect a few extra. You may come across people who require them. The elderly may require assistance in collecting stones.
In-Masjid Al-Haram
1. Many people start forming rows for salah outside the masjid – go further and try to get inside as there will usually be space. Some people like to pray outside because it is easier to get back.
2. Get to the jumu’ah prayer early. Around 10.30am.
3. There are Zamzam reserves everywhere; no need to fight for Zamzam straight after tawaf. Look around for others.
In Mina, ‘Arafah, and Muzdalifah
4. Avoid the rush and save your time by scheduling bathroom trips.
5. When you reach Mina and settle down, take a …

Thinking about Hajj? – A Pilgrim’s Journey (Part 2)

PJ 1

Just because Hajj is many months away that doesn’t mean that a prospective pilgrim should put off any preparations he has [for it] until closer to the time.
Many people begin preparing spiritually, mentally and physically for Hajj a few weeks before flying out. However, a few weeks is barely enough to make the most out of the Hajj experience.
Allah said about the Hajj, “And take provisions, and indeed, the best provision is taqwa (ethical caution).” [2:197]
Allah did not simply command us to do Hajj; He also directed us to plan and make the necessary preparations.
1. Mark key dates. Take note of  the dates when Hajj is forecasted to take place, the duration of the Hajj tour, pre-Hajj seminars, vaccination dates, etc. This way, preparations are properly scheduled.
2. Start saving. Find out the average cost of a good Hajj package and calculate how much of your income should be put aside each month. You may have cut down on expenses. Be careful to not dip into savings.
3. Learn about Hajj. Reading “how” to do Hajj is important, but if you want to feel excited about it then read about its virtues and stories: the story of Ibrahim and his family, the Kabah, the farewell Hajj.
4. Gather supplies and exercise. Make a list if things you will require. That way you won’t forget anything.
There is a lot of walking involved in Hajj. Some people recommend walking regularly prior to leaving for Hajj to build endurance and stamina.
5. Inform family/friends. Informing family and friends from the onset that you are planning to go on Hajj is somewhat like a public pledge. It forces the prospective pilgrim to not give up on his plans. Moreover, this way, the family will understand that any big purchases may have to be postponed.
6. Choose the right Hajj company. We’ve written a separate post on 5 things you should look for in every Hajj operator. Read the article here.