Posts Categorized: Hunafaa Exclusive

5 things to look for in every Hajj operator

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As the days of Hajj draw closer, prospective pilgrims are contemplating about which Hajj company to travel with. Hajj stories are very diverse; some are terribly tragic whilst others are outright hilarious. Understand that your Hajj experience is very much dependent on the Hajj company you choose.
For a more informed and educated choice, we have put together five key things that a prospective pilgrim should look for in every Hajj company.
1. Recommendations. Endorsement and recommendations reflect whether or not the company did an excellent job, and if their customers were satisfied with the service they were provided. It also mirrors the company’s honesty and reliability in delivering what was promised.
Ask around to find out what is the best Hajj company for you. If friends or family had a good experience then most likely you can expect a similar experience.
2. Package details. Make sure you are aware of the package you are buying. Some things to look out for:

Direct flights. Shorter journeys mean less hassle.
Transport. Government provided transport is only mandatory when leaving the airport in Saudi Arabia. Beyond that, private transport is allowed.Government transport incurs greater delays than private transport and is usually very chaotic and unorganised. Don’t expect too much from government transport.Preferably, you want a package that offers private transport. This means that the coaches are for your group only. These coaches maintain a decent standard of comfort and punctuality, and are often air-conditioned.

Important: More often than not, delays due to traffic or road blockages are very common and unavoidable for both government and private transport during the Hajj season.
Hotels. Most people want a hotel in close proximity to both the mosques in Makkah and Madinah. Find out the rating of the hotel as well as its facilities—inside and outside—like a/c, shops and restaurants. Ask to see if any meals are included as part of the package.
Aziziyyah accommodation. Prior to the actual Hajj days, some packages include a short stay in apartments in a suburb of Makkah called Aziziyyah. It is a 10-15 minute drive to Al-Masjid Al-Haram.Most Hajj companies use this time to prepare their pilgrims for the imminent Hajj days. Ask the Hajj company how your time in Aziziyyah is going to be utilised.
Arrangements for the Hajj days. Most of the pilgrim’s time during these days is spent in Mina. For most UK packages, the Mina accommodation is situated in the European section, which is an hour long walk away from the Jamarat (stoning site). VIP packages are situated much closer to the Jamarat. Be sure to know exactly which camp you are in.Find out if meals are provided during these days. What kind of food is it? Are hot and cold drinks available 24 hours a day? You don’t want to stress about food for yourself and your family during these days. The food outlets in Mina are not many and the service is poor. Sometimes, a lot of pushing and shouting is necessary just to be heard. Getting food from these outlets is no easy task.

3. Experience. Ensure that the Hajj company has many years of experience. An experienced group will be better informed of the logistical difficulties in Hajj and how to remedy them based on previous years of experience.
4. Team. Well-trained tour guides are essential for any successful Hajj company. Ideally, the larger and more experienced the team is, the better your trip is going to be. Unfortunately, since 2013 the Saudi Government has limited the number of tour guides. The ratio of tour guides to pilgrims is 1:50.
Find out if the team members are fluent in English, Arabic or your native tongue. Are there qualified team members that can provide religious guidance? Do they have Saudi partners to ensure a good service? What service do they provide for the disabled? Formulate questions based on your needs as a pilgrim.
5. Development programme. Ensure that your Hajj company has a strong educational and development programme. This journey is a turning point in peoples’ lives. The reward for an accepted Hajj is nothing short of Paradise, and forgiveness for all sin. Thus, Ḥajj provides a ‘clean slate’ with which a Muslim can start over.
It is, therefore, imperative that anyone contemplating performing this Journey of a Lifetime makes the necessary effort to prepare for such an excursion.
Ask if the Hajj company will prep you before you fly out? If so, how? Do they have a development programme in place? Do they …

Al-Multazam – Why do people cling onto the Kabah?

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The multazam (place of clinging) is the area wherein a supplicant rests his chest, forearms including the palms and his face against it, making du’a to Allah. Therein he would praise and glorify Allah, taking refuge with Him, seeking His forgiveness and asking for his needs.
The multazam is the part of the Ka’bah that is between the Black Stone and the door of the Ka’bah according to the most popular opinion.
Some reports indicate that it is the back wall of the Ka’bah whilst other reports indicate that it is under the mizab (drain pipe located at the top of one of the walls of the Ka’bah).
Some scholars viewed that the multazam is every part of the Ka’bah. This view, though not adopted by many, appears to be very probable. This is because if all the narrations supporting the different views are authentic then it indicates that the actions of the sahabah (companions), may Allah be pleased with them, was not to specify a particular place, but it was according to what was easy for them or what was known among them. And Allah knows best.

It should be noted that the authenticity of those narrations tracing back to the Prophet salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, connecting the multzam to him, are debated over. However, we have authentic narrations attributing the multazam to the companions and the generations that followed them.
There is no specific du’a that should be said at the multazam. The scholars have stated that the Muslim may cling on to the multazam when he enters the Ka’bah, or when performing the Farewell Tawaf, or at any time he wishes.
If one observes the multazam then he should not cause difficulty for other people by offering a lengthy du’a. He is not to annoy or harm the Believers in an attempt to reach the wall.

Umrah in Ramadan is like Hajj?

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The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked a woman, “What kept you from performing Hajj with us?” She replied, “We only have two camels and the father of her son and her son had gone for Hajj on one camel, and he left us the other camel so that we could carry water on it”. He asked, “When Ramadan comes, go for ‘Umrah, for ‘Umrah in (that month) is equivalent (in reward) to Hajj.” Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
The scholars differed concerning the one who attains the virtue mentioned in the hadith. There are three opinions:
1 – That this hadith applies only to the woman who was addressed by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
2 – That this virtue is attained by the one who intends to do Hajj but is unable to do it, then he makes up for it by doing ‘Umrah in Ramadan. For by combining the intention to do Hajj with performance of ‘Umrah in Ramadan, he attains the reward of doing a complete Hajj with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
3 – The view of the scholars of the four schools of thought and others, that the virtue mentioned in this hadith is general in meaning and applies to everyone who does ‘umrah in the month of Ramadan. ‘Umrah at that time is equivalent to Hajj for all people, not just for a few people or in certain circumstances.
The most correct of these opinions – and Allah knows best – is the last one, and the virtue is general in meaning and is attained by all those who do ‘umrah in Ramadan.