Bismillah HirRahmaan NirRaheem

Assalamu alaikum Dear brothers and sisters in Islam. I’m Sha from India. Alhamdullilah I have done Hajj with help of Allah(SWT) in 2017. I thought its good to pen down the procedure to perform Hajj esp from Indian Hajj Committee. Insha Allah, I think this will be helpful to many people who will be performing Hajj in coming years. I will be taking most things from Indian travelers perspective but most of them are useful for any hajj pilgrim.

Table of Contents:

 

Importance of Hajj?

Difference between Hajj and Umrah?

Pre-requisites for Hajj?

When to Perform Hajj?

How to Apply for Hajj?

Which Package to Select?

How much does it cost?

Selection procedure?

Health condition?

vaccination?

Trainings?

Submission of Passport?

Payments?

Preparation for Hajj?

What to Pack?

Types of Hajj?

Trip details?

Day before the trip? (id cards)

Packing lugagge & submit them?

On day of trip?

Saudi Riyals?

flight journey?

Imp docs, passport  & ids

Saudi Simcards

Contacts?

Jiddah to Mecca in Bus

Mecca room details

Umrah

Transport to Masjid e haram

Masjid e haram details

First look of Kaaba

Tawaaf details

Saai details

relaxing before Hajj days

food and drinking habits

hospitals info

preparation for Hajj days

Mecca ziyarat

Starting to Mina

food during hajj days

Mina stay

Transport during hajj days

Arafah prayers

Muzdalifa stay

Jamarat

last 2 days

Hajj tawaf and saai

tips and tricks for Hajj days

After Hajj days

Mecca to Madina

Madina room stay

Masjid e Nabwi details

return flight

zamzam packs

life after Hajj

Videos

 

Importance of Hajj?

Hajj is one of most important pillars of Islam and it is one of greatest religious duties.

Holy Qur’an says in a short and meaningful sentence:

وَ لِلّه عَلَى النّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَیْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطاعَ اِلَیْهِ سَبیلاً.

It is on people for the sake of Allah to perform Hajj of his house, anyone who is able to undertake the journey to him. (2:196)

And it says below this verse:

وَ مَنْ کَفَرَ فَاِنَّ اللّهَ غَنِىٌّ عَنِ الْعالَمینَ

And anyone who disbelieves (and renounces Hajj, has impaired himself), Allah is not in need of any of his created ones in the worlds.”(3:97)

The sentence “It is on people for the sake of Allah …” adding the definition of “disbelieves” (infidelity) for people who renounce the obligatory Hajj. This clears shows it’s extraordinary importance in Islam.

It is interesting that in the interpretation of the holy verse:

وَ مَنْ کانَ فى هذِهِ اَعْمى فَهُوَفِى الاْخِرَةِ اَعْمى وَ اَضَلُّ سَبیلاً.

And anyone who had been blind (from seeing Allah) in this world, will be blind in hereafter and more deviant from the path”. (17:72)

It has been quoted from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that one of the meanings of the verse is that a person who postpones his obligatory Hajj continuously until his death arrives (he will be blind in hereafter).1

It has been mentioned in another Hadith: “Anyone who renounces his obligatory Hajj without any excuse will be re awoken as Jew or Christian”

We read in a Hadith from Imam Sadiq (a.s.): “Persons who perform Hajj and Umrah are guests of Allah. He will grant them their wishes and any prayer that they recite will be accepted. And if they pray for intercession about a person it will be accepted … and if they die in this way Allah will forgive all of their sins”.

Also, we read in another Hadith that:

اِنَّ الْحَجَّ المَبْرُورَ لا یَعْدِلُهُ شَىءٌ وَ لا جَزاءَلَهُ اِلاَّ الجَنَّة.

Nothing compares with the accepted Hajj and it has no reward other than heaven!”

وَ اَنَّ الْحاجَّ یَکُونُ کَیَوم وَلَدَتْهُ اُمُّه.

A Person who performs Hajj purifies himself from sins like the day that he was born”.

And this is the greatest gift, and the best honor and the highest reward.

Difference between Hajj and Umrah?

Umrah vs Hajj

Umrah and Hajj are two types of pilgrimages that Muslims undertake as a token of their faith.

Although both umrah and hajj are pilgrimages, there are many differences between the two. For instance, an umrah is considered as a small or minor pilgrimage while a hajj is a major pilgrimage among Muslims.

The natures of both pilgrimages are also different. An umrah is a recommended and non-compulsory pilgrimage, but a hajj is an obligatory one. There are also more requirements and qualifications for a pilgrim in conducting a hajj.

The weight or importance between the two pilgrimages is also distinct. The hajj carries more weight and importance in comparison to an umrah.

The Umrah is a pilgrimage that can be done any time of the year or in combination with a hajj. As a pilgrimage, it has two types: al-Umrat al mutradah (umrah without hajj) and Umrat-al tammatu (umrah with hajj). The first type can be performed by the individual while the second type can be performed collectively with the other pilgrims for the hajj.

The first type of umrah is performed anytime with the exclusion of the hajj months while the latter kind can be performed within the hajj months.

On the other hand, a hajj can be done at a specific time of the year. There are designated months for the hajj, namely: Shawwal, Dhul-Hijjah, and Dhul-Qadah.

Also, hajj is included in the five pillars of Islam, meaning it is considered as a religious duty by all the religion’s followers. The performance of hajj is very important. Muslim tradition requires that a Muslim at least do the hajj once in a lifetime. The hajj has three forms. The first form is the ifrad or the hajj itself. The second form is the tamattu or the complete but separate undertaking of both an umrah and a hajj. Lastly, the third form is qiran or the combination and alternate performance of an umrah and a hajj.

Despite their differences, both umrah and hajj have similarities. Both pilgrimages are marks of strong Muslim faith, fidelity, and piety. The two also promote a unified and one Muslim community in retelling and retracing the steps of the Muslim faith.

Another distinction is the length and the steps of the rituals. Both the umrah and the hajj require the ritual of purification known as ihram. After the ihram, a tawaf is performed. The tawaf involves circling the Ka’aba along with prayers. The tawaf ends with th drinking of water from the well of Zamzam. After this step, there are more steps in the hajj that include going to Mt. Arafat and Muzdalifah, performing the stoning of the devil and animal sacrifice. Another Tawaf, called Tawaf Az-Ziyara and Tawaf al-Wida are performed. The last tawaf is considered the final and closing ritual of the hajj. Meanwhile, the tawaf in umrah is succeeded by a Sacii and ends with the cutting of the pilgrim’s hair.

Summary:

1.Both umrah and hajj are Muslim pilgrimages. The main difference between the two is on the importance, observance, and practice between the two.
2.Umrah is also known as a small or minor pilgrimage. It is a recommended pilgrimage and not mandated or compulsory in nature. Meanwhile, hajj is a major pilgrimage and has a significant meaning. It is an obligatory practice among Muslims. Muslim tradition dictates that a Muslim should at least perform the hajj once in their lifetime.
3.Umrah has two types: al-Umrat al mutradah and Umrat-al tammatu. The first type refers to the Umrah without hajj and can be performed anytime except during the hajj months while the second type is a combination of an umrah and a hajj. On the other hand, hajj has three forms: ifrad (hajj only), tammatu (complete but separate performance of an umrah and a hajj), and lastly, qiran (sequential execution of an umrah and a hajj).
4.The hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam while an umrah is not.
5.Umrah can be a highly individualized ritual while a hajj can be done with other pilgrims.
6.The umrah and hajj have the same two first steps, but the hajj continues into more steps and rituals. Umrah only adds two more steps to complete the pilgrimage.

Pre-requisites for Hajj?

Requirements without which Hajj is not considered obligatory include:

  • Being Muslim 

All Islamic acts of worship and prayers are allied to Muslims only; so is performing the Hajj. Reason behind is that any worship to Allah done by non-believers is invalid. So, a non-believer is required to enter Islam at first. Once he become Muslim by accepting Allah the Almighty as one and only supreme authority and Muhammad (p.b.u.h) as his last Messenger then he is bound to perform duties in Islam. Now he can pray five times a day, give zakat and perform Hajj along with many other Islamic rituals.

  • Being An Adult

Hajj is compulsory once in a lifetime for every adult Muslim man and woman. Children are not obliged to do Hajj but if their parents take along with them, Hajj will be accepted. The best thing herein is that reward not only goes to the child but parents will also be rewarded besides their own Hajj.

  • Being of sound mind  

If an individual is affected by any physical or mental illness to such a great extent that he doesn’t recognize what he is doing or saying, Hajj is not obligatory for such an unsound minded person until he comes back to normal state.

The Prophet (PBUH) said: “The Pen has been lifted from three (i.e., three deeds are not recorded and hence person is not held accountable):

  1. an insane person until he comes to his senses
  2. a child awaiting puberty;
  3. One who is sleeping until he wakes up

[Narrated by Abu Dawood (4403), al-Nasaa’i (3432), al-Tirmidhi (1423) and Ibn Majaah (2041)]

  • Being free 

Hajj is not mandatory for a slave. For the reason that he may not have enough finances for conveyance, and residence etc. Moreover, he will be distracted by the duties towards his master.

  • Financially Capable

Any adult Muslim who is financially capable of performing Hajj, should do it with the soonest possibility. Conversely, if you are under debt or your financial capacity isn’t enough then you are not permissible to go for Hajj. This is because set amount of finances are required for traveling to mecca, residing there and back again.

  • Physically Capable

Being physically capable means you should have sound body so that he can bear all the hardships right from travelling to Mecca and all through carrying out the Hajj rituals.

  • Mahram

concerns women only and could be included under the condition of ability. Since the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade women from traveling for a distance requiring more than twenty-four hours unaccompanied by a male relative whom she can not marry (Mahram),women are not obliged to make Hajj unless they have a Mahram to accompany them. Thus, a woman without a Mahram is recommended not to try to make Hajj. However, if the woman has the means and the Mahram, she is obliged to do so. Ayshah(RA) asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O, Messenger of Allah, are women obliged to make Jihad (holy war)?” he replied, “They must make Jihad in which there is no fighting – Hajj and Umrah.”

When and length of Hajj?

In the Islamic calendar, Hajj begins every year on the 8th day of the Dhu al-Hijjah lunar month, and traditionally the length of lunar months is only confirmed after  moon sighting on the 29th day of the previous lunar month.

Starting from the 8th of Dhu al-Hijjah, the pilgrimage can be performed between five to six days.

If you travel through Indian haj committee then total trip is for 40 days. 30 days in Mecca and 9 days in Madina.

Best Time to Perform Hajj is THIS YEAR if you meet all the conditions. Youth is best part of life to perform Hajj. Many Muslims generally think and do hajj during the last stages of life but this is not true coz we never know how long we live and moreover old age doesn’t support to perform rituals of hajj perfectly as most of it is related to physical and mental strength.

How to Apply for Hajj?

Every year Saudi Arabia announces for application for Hajj for the coming year. Most countries have haj committees who will take care of these hajj applications. Many private travels also do the same. You have to keep track of committees or keep in touch with private travels or with your local Masjids.

In India, you can check the date to apply for hajj at http://hajcommittee.gov.in/   you can apply online or you can get and submit the hard copy to Hajj house in every state capital.  I applied online and made payment online, its simple and easy. Becareful while filling the details in the application form as those will be considered for visa and further process.

If you miss the chance to apply via government committee you can also apply via the private travels. Do check the reviews esp from people who traveled via those travels last year.

Which Package to Select?

There are different packages in both government and private travels. depending on your budget and the number of pilgrims you can choose the package.

As per Indian Hajj Committee there are 2 categories of packages. these packages differ in location, facilities. they are:

  1. Aziziya
  2. Green

Aziziya is budget option. This is a area name in Mecca which is 30 mins away from Masjid Al-Haram. You will get Indian government buses for the transport to Masjid Al-Haram. You get cooking facility at the hotels in Aziziya area. They provide you common gas stove for cooking.

Green is lil luxurious when compared to Aziziya in terms of location, hotel and facilities during hajj days. Main advantage is hotels allocated in this package are at walkable distance to Majid Al-Haram. If you plan to stay more time in Haram then this is package for you. But you don’t get the cooking facility in these hotels. You have buy food outside, you can’t cook.

Accommodation in Mina during Haj days also differ based on your package. Green gets better spacious accommodation when compared to Aziziya.

Even in Madina Green package pilgrims get good hotel very near to Majid e Nabawi. in Madina, neither Green nor Aziziya package hotels allow to cook. You have to eat outside in Madina. However you can find many Desi hotels around.

If you or your co pilgrims are fond of local/country food then its better to take Aziziya.

You can get Indian vegetables and all kinds of Indian ingredients in Desi stores.

Aziziya pros:

Budget + Cooking facility

Aziziya Cons:

Hotels alloccated will be far from Masjid Al-Har and Masjid-e-Nabawi.

Accommodation in Mina is very congested.

Green Pros:

Good hotels

very near to Masjid Al-Har and Masjid-e-Nabawi.

Green Cons:

No cooking facility

You have to select which package you need while applying for hajj.

Private travels has many options. Main benefit in private travels is they provide the desi food with most package and give good hotels near to Majid Al-Haram and Masjid Al-Nabawi. Also accommodation in Mina during hajj days will be good compared to government. Also there will be guide for all activities. It all depends on which private travels you choose.

Benefits of travelling with government hajj committee is that you get lots of guidance, training, companions, help and the price is much cheaper compared to Private travels.

How much does it cost?

Aziziya costed Rs. 210000 during Hajj 2017

Green costed around Rs. 260000+ during Hajj 2017
Prices increase every year.

Selection procedure?

As there will be more number of people who wants to travel via Indian hajj committee. So there is a computer based electronic Qurrah (draw) for selection of applicants. After all the application procedure is done, draw will be takena and will be announced in the website. Selected applicants will get the SMS alerts. There will also be waiting list. After the payments and dropouts, many waiting list applicants also get the chance.

Health condition?

You have to take care of health from the day you got selected for Hajj.

vaccination?

Trainings?

Submission of Passport?

Payments?

Preparation for Hajj?

What to Pack?

Types of Hajj?

Trip details?

Day before the trip? (id cards)

Packing lugagge & submit them?

On day of trip?

Saudi Riyals?

flight journey?

Imp docs, passport  & ids

Saudi Simcards

Contacts?

Jiddah to Mecca in Bus

Mecca room details

Umrah

Transport to Masjid e haram

Masjid e haram details

First look of Kaaba

Tawaaf details

Saai details

relaxing before Hajj days

food and drinking habits

hospitals info

preparation for Hajj days

Mecca ziyarat

Starting to Mina

food during hajj days

Mina stay

Transport during hajj days

Arafah prayers

Muzdalifa stay

Jamarat

last 2 days

Hajj tawaf and saai

tips and tricks for Hajj days

After Hajj days

Mecca to Madina

Madina room stay

Masjid e Nabwi details

return flight

zamzam packs

life after Hajj

Videos

 

 

I tried my best to give full details. However, these may change year by year. If there are any errors or updates please let me know. You can contact me reagarding this anytime at sk.shahansha@gmail.com

 

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