Haj pilgrims advised to take lectures to avoid mistakes

ABU DHABI — Pilgrims going to perform Haj can very well avoid some common mistakes, Ahmed Al Mousa, head of the Guiding Team of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Auqaf (GAIAA) said, while spelling them out.

By Ahmed Abdul Aziz (Our staff reporter)

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Published: Wed 5 Dec 2007, 8:57 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:07 AM

A total of 14,000 pilgrims will travel to holy city of Makkah from the UAE this Haj season to perform Haj — the fifth pillar of Islam. Nearly half of the pilgrims from the UAE are nationals. The GAIAA oversees preparations for the Haj season.

Talking to Khaleej Times about some of the common mistakes made by pilgrims in the previous years, Al Mousa said, “Firstly, I advise the pilgrims to attend the lectures being organised by the GAIAA. The lectures, which focus on the details of Haj rituals, are being organised in three languages - Arabic, English and Urdu,” said Al Mousa.

The first mistake, said Al Mousa, relates to the caravans of pilgrims reaching Arafat on time.

“They should reach there before the sunrise (Fajr time) of the ninth day of Zul Hijah. Hence, we advise the Haj agencies to ensure well-arranged schedules so that the pilgrims arrive at the Miqat on eighth of Zul Hijah – the place to put on the Ihram. Pilgrims should avoid the rush to arrive at the plains of Mount Arafat before Fajr time of the ninth day of Zul Hijah,” he said.

“Secondly, the pilgrims should have additional Ihrams to change and can take showers,” he said.

As for the Tawaf Al Qudom (circles of the Holy Kaaba completed in Makkah), the pilgrims should perform the first Tawaf when they arrive in Makkah on the eighth of Zul Hijah. They can enter the Haram mosque from any entrance. They should walk in the anti-clockwise direction to reach the Black Stone.

“If the pilgrims cannot touch the Black Stone, they can merely point to it by their right hand and say, ‘By the name of Allah’. The pilgrims should do that to avoid the rush,” said Al Mousa.

The first three circles should be completed while walking fast. However, if there is a heavy rush of pilgrims, they can walk in slow steps.

“Another common mistake some of pilgrims make is that they recite prayers while performing Tawaf with loud voice.”

For the Sa’i, pilgrims go between the two small hills called Safa and Marwa. However, they ought to know, especially women, that they should not stand on the top of the two small hills, Al Mousa said.

Also, women pilgrims shouldn’t run quickly between the green signposts during the Sa’i because it’s to be done by men only, he added.

As a part of Haj rituals, pilgrims go to the Zam Zam well to drink the holy water. “The pilgrims should avoid pushing each other. They just need to drink a small glass of Zam Zam water,” Al Mousa added.

Incidents have occurred at the Jamarat because of the pushing and jostling by the pilgrims while stoning of the devil (Ramy Al Jamrat), as one of the rituals of Haj.

“Old pilgrims can give the seven stones to anyone to perform this ritual even if this person is not a relative. Many people believe that the person should be a son or a daughter or a relative. It’s not right. Islam facilitates the matters for Muslims and does not make the rituals complex,” noted Al Mousa.

“Some of the pilgrims throw slippers or shoes at the Jamrat, but it’s against the Haj rituals,” Al Mousa pointed out.

Also, the pilgrims should not feast on the day of Arafat or the first day of Eid Al Adha on the 10th of Zul Hijah. Only men can shave off or get their hair trimmed.

Pilgrims do not have to crowd inside the Haram mosque for prayers. They can pray at any clean place. “Finally, we would like to send a message to all pilgrims to think before doing anything,” said Al Mousa.

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