1 . This is a journey that was taken by Prophets and Messengers before you. Those who take the path of the Prophets magnify the tawheed of Allaah and His House. There are those, however, who come to perform Hajj and their hearts are attached to other than Allah. They invoke the dead and the righteous, whether present or absent. This is the opposite of tawheed, it is shirk no matter what they call it because it is setting up rivals besides Allaah. So, free your intention from any kind of devotion to other than Allah. Repent and come with a sincere heart submitting to Allaah remembering what Ibraaheem and his son Isma’eel said when they were raising the foundations of Allaah’s House, the Ka’bah:
Oh our Rabb! Accept from us and make us submit to You in Islaam and show us our manaasik [all the rites of Hajj] and accept our repentance. [Al-Baqarah 128]
2. You are set to depart and you may or may not return to your home. Make this journey to Allaah’s House as Allaah wants it. Think of the next journey that is surely coming, the one that leads to the meeting of Allaah, Most High. This raises questions like: What did I prepare for that Day? Am I following Allaah’s Commands? Am I a follower of the sunnah of Muhammad sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam? Do I really know Allaah? Am I a believer that Allaah is above the seven heavens over His ‘arsh as He has stated in His Book and as His Messengers have asserted? Am I a believer that believes Allaah has a true Face that suits His Majesty as He has affirmed in the Qur’aan and as has been affirmed by His Prophet Muhammad sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam? Am I believer in all of Allaah’s Names, Attributes and Actions which He has affirmed in His Book and by His Messengers? Or do I just take and accept by my doubt, rejecting, or distorting (through figurative interpretation of His Attributes) the meanings of Allaah’s Attributes and Actions? And invoke not any other ilaah [god] along with Allaah, la ilaaha ilaa huwa [none has the right to be worshipped but He], Everything will perish save His Face. His is the Decision, and to Him [all] shall be returned. [Al-Qasas 88]
3. Know, may Allaah’s Mercy be upon you, that when you reach the meeqaat there is another meeqaat that is still to come. It is the meeqat (appointed meeting) on the Day of Resurrection:
Say [O Muhammad]: [Yes] verily, those of old, and those of later times. All will surely be gathered together for an appointed Meeting of a known Day. [Al-Waaqi’ah 49 – 50]
4. When you start saying the talbiyah remember the Command of Allaah to Prophet Ibraaheem:
And proclaim to mankind the Hajj. They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from deep and distant [wide] mountain highways [to perform Hajj]. [Al-Hajj 27]
The talbiyah you make is in response to Prophet Ibraaheem’s proclamation to visit Allaah’s house of worship. Allaah is Most Great.
5. Upon entering Makkah remember that you are in the Secure Sanctuary:
Have We not established for them a secure sanctuary [Makkah], to which are brought fruits of all kinds, a provision from Ourselves, but most of them know not.[ Al-Qasas 57]
Let one commit himself to repentance, having a good opinion of Allaah, hoping that Allaah will grant him security from His Punishment.
6. You will enter one of the gates of al-Masjid al-Haraam. Then there you are before the magnificent House of Allaah, Most High, the Ka’bah. Now you see what you hoped to see for a long time. Thank Allaah for making this possible and hope that He, the Mighty and Majestic, will grant you the greatest reward of seeing His Majestic Face on the Day of Resurrection. This thankfulness is not just in saying “alhamdu-lillaah,” but also by obeying Allaah while on Hajj and for the rest of your life.
7. You start your tawaaf (circling the Kabah) knowing that it is a great time for magnifying Allaah the Exalted. Remember Him by His Names, Attributes, and Actions. Also while in tawaaf try to reflect upon the time when Prophet was prevented from doing the same thing you are doing today. Then think about what he did in clearing out the site from the symbols signifying worship to other than Allah! All idols were demolished. Busy yourself with du’aa. Ask Allaah, the Most Great, to make you hold to the correct belief and Path of the salaf and make you die on it. Ask Allaah to save you from all forms of shirk and bid’ah.
8. While in sa’yi (walking between As-Safa and Al-Marwah), contemplate on Haajar, the mother of Ismaa’eel, when she asked her husband Ibraaheem ‘alayhi salaam, “Did Allaah order you to do this (leaving her and her baby Ismaa’eel in Makkah)? He said: “Yes.” Her great response was: “Then He (Allaah) will not neglect us!” Think about this great dependence upon Allaah when you are in the sa’yi walking the same path which Haajar took in search for water and for the means of life around the mounts of Safa and Marwah. Think about her endurance, perseverance and trust in Allaah. The sa’yi exemplifies the strong belief that we are in need for the One Who Sustains and Provides, Allaah, the Exalted. Think about Ibraaheem’s invocation on his way homeward to Palestine:
O our Rabb! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley with no cultivation, by Your Sacred House [the ka’bah at Makkah]; in order, O our Rabb, that they may offer prayers perfectly, so fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and [O Allaah] provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks. [Ibraaheem 14:37]
Men and fruits came to Makkah from many places. Ibraaheem (‘alayhi salaam) returned to visit and later to share with his son Ismaa’eel the noble task of raising the foundations of the Ka’bah.
9. The standing on ‘Arafaat is the Hajj. The crowds should remind you of the Day of Resurrection. Humble yourself to Allaah, manifest your ‘uboodiyyah to Him Alone through du’aa, sincere intention and strong determination to free yourself from the sins of the past and to build up a commitment to rush for doing what is good. Think of becoming a better person when you return. Rid yourself of false pride and showing off because it may ruin what you may gain on this day.
10. You gathered the pebbles and you are about to embark on stoning the jamaraat. This is an act of obedience and remembrance of Allaah, Most Magnificent. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: When you cast the small pebbles (i.e. at the jamaraat), it will be a light for you on the Day of Resurrection. [Reported by At-Bazzaar in his Zawaa’id (p.113) on the authority of Ibn Abbaas. This hadeeth is reported by Shaykh Al-Albaani (rahimahullah) in Al-Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth as-Sheehah. V. 6 hadeeth 2515.]
11. When performing the sacrifice remember the saying of Allaah:
It is neither their meat not their blood that reaches Allaah, but it is your devotion that reaches Him. [Hajj 23]
12. When you have completed you Hajj, do not think that the remembrance of Allaah has ended. Listen to what Allaah says:
So when you have accomplished your manaasik (i.e. the rites of Hajj) remember Allaah as you remember your forefathers or with far more remembrance. [Al-Baqarah 200]
Special Note: If you go to Madeenah then the objective of your visit should be according to the sunnah and not bid’ah. Your intention is to set on a journey to visit the Prophet’s mosque and not his grave. When you reach te mosque and your pray upon entering then you may go to the grave and say, “As-salaamu ‘alayka ayyuhan-nabiyy.” The position of the scholars regarding visiting the gravesites by women can be summarized as follows:
a) disliked but not unlawful
b) Allowable, if done infrequently. If a woman is known as being unable to behave herself within the limits of sharee’ah at the gravesite, then she should be prevented from visiting the graves
d) A grave sin
Many scholars state that women visiting the Prophet’s mosque may pronounce the salaam upon the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) away from the gravesite since it is confirmed by many ahaadeeth that the salaam is related to the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) wherever the person may be. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is in a state of barzakh ( as state of existence that begins with death and lasts until the Day of Resurrection,) the nature of which is only known to Allah, Most High. [Ahs-Sharhul Mumti’ V5. pp. 475 -478]
The same salaam is also mentioned when you pass by Abu Bakr and ‘Umar without innovations like:
a) Visiting the grave of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) before praying in the mosque.
b) Making du’aa facing the grave
c) Seeking nearness to Allaah by means of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). This is a prohibited form of tawassul. (method of communicating or geting close to Allah)
d) Seeking intercession from the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).
e) Placing the hands upon the grills around the room containing the Prophet’s grave to seek blessings, etc.”‘ (Refer to Sh. Al-Albaaani’s book Manaasik al-Hajj wal ‘Umrah for more details
Remember the Prophet’s (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) sayings:
“Do not make my grave an ‘eed (place of celebration)… ” [Abu Dawood, Ahmed]
“May Allaah’s curse be on the Jews and the Christian for taking the graves of their Prophets as places of worship” [Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim, Abu Dawood, At-Tirmidhee, An-Nasaa’ee, Ibn Maajah]
“Those before you took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship. Do not take graves as places of worship for verily I forbid you to do so.” [Muslim]
13. The journey is not meant to gain any material reward. It is a selfless sacrifice solely for Allaah, Most Majestic. It demands true love and fear of Him. It should be performed with full consciousness of one’s heart, with full humility and submission to Allaah. It should not be thought of as a tourist-type excursion or be performed as mere physical rites. It develops sincerity, piety, humility, self-control, sacrifice, and true knowledge of the meaning of submission and obedience to Allaah, Most High. It helps the pilgrim to be a better person who is devoted to Allaah in every aspect of his life.