This is one chapter of the small booklet written by ‘The Agency of Islamic Enlightement in Hajj’ with the name “A Guide To Hajj, Umra, And Visiting the Prophet’s Mosque”. The guide is approved by the Permanent Committee of Islamic Research and Fatwa and Shaikh Muhammad Bin Saleh Al-Uthaimin (Hafizullah) and printed & distributed by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Da’awah and Guidance (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia).
First: Errors Related to Ihram
Some pilgrims cross the designated stations of ihram (miqat) on their route without being in ihram or entering into ihram there. They wait till they reach Jeddah or some other place that is after the miqat at which they enter into ihram. This is against the command of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) which stipulates that every pilgrim should enter into ihram at the station of ihram that lies on his route.
The one who crosses the miqat without going into ihram must go back to the miqat that lies on his route, and enter into ihram there. Otherwise he must make expiation by sacrificing a sheep in Makkah and feeding all its meat to the poor. This applies to all pilgrims, regarless of whether one passes the station of ihram by air, by sea, or by land.
If one’s route does not pass through one of the five designated stations of ihram, he should enter into ihram at a point that is nearest to the station of ihram on his route.
Second: Errors Related To Tawaf
1. Starting the twaf before the Black Stone, while it is obligatory to begin tawaf from the Black Stone.
2. Doing the twaf inside the Hijr, which means going round only a portion of the Ka’aba rather than the whole of it, since the Hijr is a part of the Ka’aba. The circuit of the tawaf that he does going through the Hijr is invalid.
3. Doing raml (taking quick short steps) during all the circuits, while raml is to be done only during the first three circuits of the tawaf al qudoom.
4. Struggling violently to kiss the Black Stone, and sometimes even hitting or abusing people. Such actis, which are injurious to Muslims, are not permissible. It is not permissible to abuse or hit his muslim brother without a just cause.
It should be noted that the tawaf remains perfectly valid without kissing the Black Stone. If one does not or cannot kiss the Black Stone, it is sufficient to simply point to it, saying: Allahu Akbar, when he comes parallel to it, even if he may be a a disctance from it.
5. Touching the Black Stone with the intention of seeking blessings (barakah) from it is an innovation (bid’ah) with no basis in the Shari’ah of Islam. The sunnah is to touch it or kiss it as an act of obedience to Allah, the Most High.
6. Touching the four corners of the Ka’aba or its walls, and wipiing the face with the hands. The Prophet (s.a.w.) did not touch any part of the Ka’aba except the Black Stone and the Yamani corner.
7. Saying specific formulas of supplications for each circuit. The Prophet (s.a.w.) did not specify any supplications except the saying of Allahu Akbar when he reached the Black Stone, and at the end of each circuit between the Yamani corner and the Black Stone he used to say:
“Rabbana atina fid dunya hasatan wa fil akhirati hasanatan wa qina adhaban nar”.
“Our Lord give us good in this world, and good in the Hereafter, and save us frm the torment of the Fire”.
8. Raising one’s voice above the voices of othersm which is done by some of the people doing tawaf or leading others to tawaf, as it causes confusion to the worshippers.
9. Struggling to pray at the station of Ibrahim. This is contrary to the sunnah, besides being injurious to other worshippers. It is sufficient to pray the two raka’ats of tawaf after completing one’s tawaf anywhere within the Sacred Mosque.
Third: Errors Related To Sa’y
1. When climbing upon the mounts of Safa and Marwah, some pilgrims face the Ka’aba pointing towards it with their hands while saying: Allahu Akbar as if they were saying the takbir for salah. The sunnah is to raise the hands in the way you do when making du’a.
2. Accelerating one’s pace throughout the entire distance between the two hills. The sunnah is to accelerate one’s pace only between the two green posts, and walk at a normal pace for the remainder of the way.
Fourth: Errors Related To Arafat
1. Some pilgrims camp outside the boundaries of Arafat, and remain there until the sun has set, then they depart for Muzdakufah without actually standing at Arafat. This is a serious error, which invalidates their Hajj since standing in Arafat is the essence of Hajj, and itis obligatory to be within the boundaries and not outside. If it is not easy to do that, they may enter before sunset and remain the re until sunset. It is also acceptable to stand in Arafat specifically during the night of sacrifice.
2. Departing from Arafat before the sun has set is not permissible, because the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) stayed at Arafat until the sun had set completely.
3. Struggling through crowds in order to climb Mount Arafat is not permissible, because it causes much harm and injury to others. The entire plan of Arafat is a place of standing, and neither climbing Mount Arafat, nor making salah on it is recommended.
4. Making supplications facing Mount Arafat is incorrect, because the sunnah is to face the qiblah while making supplication.
5. Making heaps of earth or pebbles during the day of Arafat at particular places, by some people has no basis in the Shari’ah of Allah.
Fifth: Errors Related To Muzdalifah
Some pilgrims start collecting pebbles to throw at the stone pillars (the Jamarat) as soon as they arrive in Muzdalifah prior to even praying the Maghrib and ‘Isha prayers. This is not right. It is also not right to hold the belief that the pebbles must be collected at Muzdalifah.
The correct thing is that the pebbles can be collected anywhere within the boundaries of al Haram (the Sacred precincts of Makkah). It is know that the Prophet (s.a.w.) did not ask that the pebbles for throwing the Jamratul ‘Aqabah be picked for him from Muzdalifah, and on entering Mina. The rest of the pebbles were picked up for him from Mina too.
Some pilgrims wash the pebbles, but this is not prescribed in the Shari’ah.
Sixth: Errors Related To Throwing The Pebbles
1. Some pilgrims are under the impression that when they are throwing pebbles at the stone pillars, they are actually throwing the Satans (devils), hence they hurl them with rage and a shower of curses and abuses. No! The throwing of the pebbles was only prescribed for the remembrance of Allah the Most High.
2. Some people throw big stones, shoes or pieces of wood. This is an act of transgression in matters of religion which the Prophet (s.a.w.) prohibited, and doing that will not suffice for the throwing.
3. Jostling and fighting with others at the pillars while throwing the pebbles is not permissible. What is prescribed is to be gentle and to throw the pebbles without hurting anyone as much as possible.
4. Throwing all the pebbles at one time is an error. The scholars have said that this would be counted as only one throw. The Shari’ah prescribes that the throwing of the pebbles be done one pebble after another, saying: Allahu Akbar with each throw.
5. Delegating someone to throw the pebbles simply due to fear of the crowds or of hardship, while one is capable of doing it him or herself. Only the sick, or weak individuals are permitted to delegate someone to do the throwing for them.
Seventh: Errors Related To The Farewell Tawaf
1. On the day of their departure some pilgrims go to Makkah to perform their Farewell tawaf before throwing the pebbles at the Pillars, and then they return to Mino to throw the pebbles and depart from Mina for their respective countries. Thus their final rite becomes that of throwing the pebbles at the Pillars, and not of the tawaf round the Ka’aba. This is an error as the Prophet (s.a.w.) said: “No one should depart without his last visit being to the House (the Ka’aba)”.
Accordingly, the Farewell tawaf must be done after one has completed all the rites of Hajj (and before starting his journes home). After his tawaf one should not stay in Makkah except for the time it takes to prepare departure.
2. After finishing the Farewell tawaf some people walk backwards, facing the Ka’aba when going out of the Sacred Mosque, with the impression that this is a veneration of the Ka’aba. This act in an innovation (bid’ah) in the religion and has no basis.
3. After finishing the Farewell tawaf some pilgrims stop at the door of the Sacred Mosque to make supplications. This is also an innovation with no basis in the Shari’ah of Islam.
Eighth: Errors Related To The Visit To The Prophet’s Mosque
1. Rubbing one’s hands on the walls and the iron grills, or tying threads and other acts of this sort while visiting the grave of the Prophet (s.a.w.) intending to receive blessings (barakah) from that, all these are innovations (bid’ah). Blessings come from following what Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.) have prescribed, and not from following innovations.
2. Going to the caves of Mount Uhud, or to the caves of Hira or Thaur near Makkah, and hanging pieces of cloth, or making supplications there, which are not prescribed by Allah, and bearing unnecessary hardships are all innovations in the religion, and have no basis in the Shari’ah.
3. Likewise, visiting certain sites under the impression that these constitute relics of the Prophet (s.a.w.) for example the place where his camel knelt down (when he first arrived at Madinah), and the well of Uthman (r.a.a.), or the well of the ring and taking the soil of these places to obtain blessings are all innovations.
4. Calling upon the dead while visiting the graves at the Baqi’ cemetery, or the graves of the martyrs of Uhud, and throwing coins in order to seek the blessings of the place, or the people buried there is a grievous error. In fact it is shirk (ascribing partners to Allah, the Most High), as has been pointed out by scholars, and is also clear from the Book of Allah and the sunnah of His Messenger (s.a.w.). This is because all forms of worship are for Allah alone, and it is not permissible to associate other than Allah in any of them, like invoking another besides Allah, or offering sacrifices or giving vows; or any other form of ibadah except for Allah alone. Allah, the Most High says:
And He also says:
We ask Allah, the Most High to improve the condition of the Muslims, and to give them understanding of the religion, and to turn all of us away from errors and deviations. Indeed He is the Hearing, the Responding.