Hajj Glossary: Commonly used Arabic terms for Hajj
|Adhan||The call to Prayer (salah), usually issued from the minaret of a mosque.|
|`Arafah or `Arafat||A desert location approximately 14.5 km (9 miles) east of Makkah where the pilgrim spends 9 Dhul-Hijjah as a rite of Hajj. The waqfah is performed at `Arafah.|
|Damm||Also known as kaffarah. The atonement required of a pilgrim for a willful violation of a prohibition or obligation while in the state of ihram.|
|Day of An-Nahr (Arabic: Yawm An-Nahr)||This day, 10 Dhul-Hijjah, is designated as the preferred day of sacrifice during Hajj.|
|Day of At-Tarwiyah (Arabic: Yawm At-Tarwiyah)||The start of the Hajj, on 8 Dhul-Hijjah. The pilgrim proceeds to Mina on this day.|
|Days of Tashreeq (Arabic: Ayyam At-Tashreeq)||These are 11, 12, and 13 Dhul-Hijjah. On these days, the pilgrim throws pebbles at the stone pillars, a ritual known as rami, in Mina. The name Tashreeq, related to the word for sunrise, comes from the practice in the past of drying the meat of the sacrifices in the sun on those days.|
|Dhul-Hijjah||The last month of the Islamic calendar.|
|`Eid Al-Adha||The Islamic public celebration of sacrifice performed on 10 Dhul-Hijjah. An animal such as a sheep or goat is sacrificed as a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim’s (peace and blessings be upon him) willingness to sacrifice his son Isma`il for Allah.|
|Hadi||Hadi is a sacrificial animal immolated in the name of Allah by the pilgrim. It is to be slaughtered in Al-Haram and distributed among the poor and the needy.|
|Hajj||One of the five pillars or central duties of Islam. It is a set of acts of worship to be performed in and around Makkah at least once in a lifetime by every Muslim satisfying certain conditions. There are three types of Hajj, ifrad, qiran and tamattu` (see individual entries below).|
|Al-Hajar Al-Aswad||The Black Stone built into the southeast corner of the Ka`bah at a height of approximately four feet. The stone does not belong to the geology of the region and is a part of the original construction of the Ka`bah by Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him). The Black Stone was personally installed in the wall of the Ka`bah by the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) himself during its reconstruction following its destruction by a flash flood. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also kissed it during his Farewell Hajj. Thus, touching and kissing Hajar Al-Aswad during `Umrah and Hajj is considered sunnah.|
|Halq||The complete shaving of the head by the male pilgrim on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah. This is the last thing he does before getting out of the state of ihram. See also taqseer. For female pilgrims, the requirements of halq and taqseer are satisfied if they trim their hair by approximately half an inch.|
|Al-Haram Ash-Shareef||The mosque around the Ka`bah in Makkah, also known as Al-Al-Masjid Al-Haram or just Al-Haram, as well as the mosque in Madinah. The latter, also known as Al-Masjid An-Nabawi (the Prophet’s Mosque), contains within its premises the grave of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).|
|Hateem||The area adjacent to the Ka`bah on its west side, enclosed by a low semi-circular wall. Tradition has it that Hajar (wife of Prophet Ibrahim [peace and blessings be upon him]) is buried in this enclosure. It is highly recommended that the pilgrim offer sunnah Prayer and supplications to Allah in this area. However, this is not a part of the official rites of Hajj.|
|Idtiba`||The mode of ihram used during Tawaf Al-Qudum. The male pilgrim drapes one end of the top part of his ihram over his left shoulder back-to-front. The other end goes across his back, under his right arm, across his front, and is finally draped over his left shoulder. Idtiba` is not observed in any other type of Tawaf. Also, when the pilgrim offers sunnah Prayer after Tawaf Al-Qudum or an obligatory Prayer during this Tawaf, he must cover both his shoulders. In other words, idtiba` is practiced only while actually performing Tawaf Al-Qudum. Female pilgrims wear no ihram, so that the question of idtiba` for them does not arise.|
|Ifrad||The type of Hajj in which the pilgrim pronounces his intention to perform only Hajj (as opposed to Hajj and `Umrah) at the miqat while changing into ihram.|
|Ihram||(1) The distinctive garb of the male pilgrim worn during `Umrah or Hajj. It consists of two pieces of white, plain and unsewn cloth. The lower piece, called an izar, is wrapped around the midriff to cover the body from just above the navel to the ankles. The other piece, called aridaa‘, is draped around the shoulders to cover the upper body. For women, their ordinary and unpretentious clothes of daily wear constitute their ihram. (2) The state of consecration of a pilgrim. While in ihram, the pilgrim may not use perfume or scented soap, shampoo, or lotion; engage in sexual intercourse or any type of foreplay; clip the nails; pluck, cut, or shave the hair.|
|lhsar||Al-lhsar (as used in the Qur’an) means blocking the path to the House of Allah. Allah says, (And complete the Hajj or `Umrah in the service of Allah. But if you are prevented (from completing it) send an offering for sacrifice.) (Al-Baqarah 2:196)|
|Istilam||The act of kissing the Black Stone Al-Hajar Al-Aswad at the beginning and the end of every circuit of the Ka`bah during Tawaf. If it is not possible to kiss the Black Stone for any reason, the pilgrim may extend his hand to touch the Black Stone and then kiss his own hand. If even that is not possible, he may raise his hand towards the Black Stone and then kiss his own hand.|
|Izar||Lower cloth of the male pilgrim’s clothes.|
|Jamarat||The three stone pillars in Mina that symbolically represent the locations where the devil (Shaytan) tried to tempt Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) away from the path of Allah. The pilgrim stones these pillars on the 10th through the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah in commemoration of the rejection of the devil by Prophet Ibrahim and of his steadfastness to the cause of Allah. The Jamarat are located within a few hundred feet of one another in a line and are named as follows:|
|Al-Jamrah Al-Kubra||The last and biggest stone pillar in the line. This is also called Jamrat Al-`Aqabah.|
|Al-Jamrah Al-Ula||The first stone pillar in the line.|
|Al-Jamrah Al-Wusta||The second (middle) stone pillar in the line.|
|Ka`bah||A cubic structure originally built by Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) and his eldest son Isma`il. It is now housed within Al-Haram Ash-Shareef in Makkah. During Hajj and `Umrah, the essential rite of Tawaf is performed around the Ka`bah. Every day, millions of Muslims perform Prayers (salah) facing the direction of the Ka`bah.|
|Kaffarah||Another name for damm. The atonement required of a pilgrim for a willful violation of a prohibition or obligation while in the state of ihram.|
|Kiswah||The black cloth that drapes the Ka`bah. It is embroidered in gold thread with the Shahadah, praises of Allah, and verses of the Qur’an.|
|Mabrur||Accepted. A Hajj mabur is one that is accepted by Allah. It is one in which Allah is not disobeyed during or after. For this reason others have said that a Hajj mabrur is one that is accepted, and the sign of its acceptance is that a person will go back in a better state than when he came, and that he will discontinue the sins that were between him and Allah.|
|Marwah||A rocky hillock located approximately one hundred yards (91 meters) from the Ka`bah inside Al-Masjid Al-Haram. The pilgrim performs the devotional rite of Sa`i between the hillocks of Safa and Marwah.|
|Mahram||The husband or close male relative of a woman to whom marriage is expressly prohibited by the Shari`ah (e.g., father, grandfather, brother, uncle, nephew).|
|Maqam Ibrahim||The stepping stone used by Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) during the original construction of the Ka`bah. The stone carries the imprints of his feet and is housed in a glass enclosure on the north side of the Ka`bah.|
|Al-Masjid Al-Haram||The mosque around the Ka`bah, also known as Al-Haram or Al-Haram Ash-Shareef.|
|Mas`aa||The distance between Safa and Marwah. See also Sa`i.|
|Miqat||An imaginary boundary around Makkah. A prospective pilgrim cannot cross this boundary without first changing into ihram. This boundary is anchored by different townships and localities in different directions (Dhul-Hulayfah in the north, Yalamlam in the southeast, Dhatu `Irq in the northeast, Juhfah in the northwest, Qarn Al-Manazil in the east). The pilgrim changes into ihram at or before the miqat and pronounces his intention to perform `Umrah or Hajj. For people permanently living inside the miqat, their place of residence is their miqat.|
|Mina||A desert location approximately three miles (4.8 km) east of Makkah where several rites of Hajj are performed.|
|Mutawwif||A knowledgeable professional who can guide the pilgrim during Hajj.|
|Muhrim||A pilgrim in the state of ihram.|
|Multazam||The part of the Ka`bah between its door and the Black Stone. This is an especially sacred part of the Ka`bah. It is recommended that, if possible, the pilgrim touch the Ka`bah at Multazam and offer supplications to Allah. However, this is not a part of the official rites of Hajj.|
|Mutamatti `||One who is performing or has performed tamattu` Hajj (see below).|
|Mutawwif||A knowledgeable professional who can guide the pilgrim during Hajj. Also called a mu`allim.|
|Muzdalifah||A desert location approximately midway between Mina and `Arafah. The pilgrim spends the night of the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah there.|
|Namirah||A mosque in `Arafah.|
|Niyyah||Intention. All acts of worship are preceded by an appropriate niyyah.|
|Qarin||One who is performing or has performed qiran Hajj (see below).|
|Qasr||The mode of shortened Prayers usually offered when on a journey.|
|Qiblah||The direction (towards the Ka`bah) that Muslims face when performing ritual Prayers (salah).|
|Qiran||The type of Hajj in which the pilgrim pronounces his intention to perform both `Umrah and Hajj and Hajj together with the same ihram at the miqat.|
|Ramal||The ritual in which male pilgrims are required to walk briskly with their chests thrust forward and with their shoulders rolling slightly during the first three circuits of Tawaf Al-Qudum. Women are not required to perform ramal.|
|Ridaa’||The upper piece of ihram.|
|Rami||The act of symbolically stoning the devil (Shaytan) in Mina on 10 through 13 Dhul-Hijjah. This commemorates the tradition that Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) was tempted three times by the devil but rejected all three of the devil’s attempts by stoning him and driving him away. These three locations are symbolized by three stone pillars (Jamarat) in Mina.|
|Safa||A small hillock approximately half a mile (0.8 km) from the Ka`bah, inside Al-Masjid Al-Haram. The pilgrim performs the ritual of Sa`i (walking) between Safa and Marwah.|
|Sa`i||The ritual of walking seven times back and forth between the rocky hillocks of Safa and Marwah. This act retraces the footsteps of Hajar (wife of Prophet Ibrahim [peace and blessings be upon him]) during her desperate search for water to quench the thirst of her infant son Isma`il after they were left in the desert by Prophet Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) in response to a divine vision.|
|Salah||Ritual Prayers. The obligatory Prayers are performed five times a day.|
|Shawt||One complete circumambulation, or circuit, of the Ka`bah. Each circuit starts and ends at the Black Stone. Seven circuits constitute one Tawaf.|
|Talbiyah||A recital of the following words by the pilgrim during `Umrah and Hajj:Labbayka, Allahumma, labbayk. Labbayka. La shareeka laka. Labbayk. Inna-l-hamda, wa-n-ni`mata, laka-l mulk. La shareeka lak.
Translation: Here I am at Your service, O Lord, here I am. Here I am at Your service. You have no partners. Yours alone is all praise and all bounty, and Yours alone is sovereignty. You have no partners.
The Talbiyah is a prayer as well as an assertion of the pilgrim’s conviction that he intends to perform Hajj only for the glory of Allah. The pilgrim starts the recital upon changing into the ihram and continues to recite it frequently throughout Hajj. Male pilgrims recite the Talbiyah loudly whereas female pilgrims are required to recite it in a low voice.
|Tamattu`||The type of Hajj in which the pilgrim pronounces his intention to perform only `Umrah at themiqat when changing into ihram. The pilgrim performs `Umrah and then goes out of ihram until the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah. On that day, the pilgrim makes a second intention and a second change into ihram for the performance of the remaining rites of Hajj.|
|Taqseer||Shortening or clipping of the whole head of hair by the male pilgrim following the completion of Hajj. This may be performed in lieu of halq (shaving). However, snipping off a few hairs here and there is not acceptable. The sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) supports only taqseer and halq.|
|Tawaf||The seven-circuit circumambulation of the Ka`bah while reciting prayers. It constitutes an integral part of `Umrah and Hajj. There are five different types of Tawaf (see below).|
|Tawaf Al-Ifadah||The Tawaf performed by the pilgrim on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah as the last formal rite of Hajj in Makkah after changing into street clothes. Also called Tawaf Az-Ziyarah.|
|Tawaf An-Nafl||A devotional Tawaf that may be performed any time.|
|Tawaf Al-Qudum||The initial Tawaf performed by the pilgrim upon entering Al- Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah pursuant upon his intention for Hajj.|
|Tawaf Al-`Umrah||The Tawaf performed as a rite of `Umrah.|
|Tawaf Al-Wada `||The Farewell Tawaf performed by the pilgrim just before leaving Makkah for his next destination.|
|`Umrah||A set of religious and devotional rites performed in Makkah. `Umrah, or lesser Hajj, can be performed at any time of the year and, unlike Hajj, does not involve the rites at Mina, Muzdalifah, and `Arafah.|
|waqfah||The ritual of standing before Allah at the Mount of Mercy in `Arafah. It is a central rite of Hajj.|
|Wudu’||The ablution that is performed prior to ritual Prayer.|
|Ziyarah||A visit to the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, usually before or after hajj or `Umrah. It is not a part of the Hajj or `Umrah rites, but many pilgrims include this visit in their journey.|
|Zamzam||The spring of water that sprang forth miraculously under the feet of the infant Isma`il (peace and blessings be upon him) during his mother’s frantic search for water between Safa and Marwah. Zamzam is now enclosed in a marble chamber in the Ka`bah.|
7 Tips for Preparing to go for Hajj
Any Muslim who can afford it and is in good health must perform Hajj. it’s an obligation not an option.
This once-in-a-lifetime experience for most Muslims requires the utmost preparation and planning beforehand.
Below are some tips to help you start preparing today.
1. Ask Allah
Say Bismillah (In the Name of Allah) and make Dua (supplication) to Allah to help you find the resources and time to perform Hajj this coming year. Only He can make it happen.
2. Discuss vacation time
If you work or have other obligations, you must ensure you get the three weeks to one month off needed to perform Hajj. Check the exact dates of Hajj in the coming year, find out exactly what days you need off (once again, you can talk to your travel agent) and talk to your employer or anyone else who needs to be informed about your plans to give you time off.
3. Start saving up and shopping around
Hajj is an investment. You need to shop around to find a travel agent who can give you the best deal. This is where your meetings with others who have performed Hajj can help.
Look for a Hajj package through a travel agent who offers a wide selection of “packages” for Hajj and who can help you with other details relating to Hajj (i.e. immigration, leading a group through the Hajj, etc.).
4. Start asking about the legal requirements
You need a number of legal documents to perform Hajj.
You will need a visa to go to Saudi Arabia. Find out how long before you have to apply for this, what documents to prepare for it, etc. Make sure your passport has not expired. Be sure to get it, or any other paperwork relating to your residency in your country to be complete before you leave.
Start today by calling your local Saudi Arabian embassy to ask about the requirements and preparing the necessary paperwork. Or you can also ask your travel agent (some who offer Hajj packages also help arrange immigration matters for those customers taking their Hajj package).
5. Read about how to do it
There are a number of guidebooks on how to perform Hajj.
Know the different rituals of Hajj, how and when they are performed, as well as the things to avoid and things that are recommended to do during Hajj.
6. Keep yourself physically fit
Hajj is one pillar of Islam that is physically demanding. Having to walk in the heat, running from Safa to Marwa, these are just some of the rituals someone performing Hajj will have to do.
Start watching what you eat and walking 30 minutes a day or getting involved in any other kind of Islamically permissible activity you enjoy to keep you physically ready for when you go to Hajj, if Allah wills it. Also, get a medical checkup.
7. Make an appointment with those who have made Hajj
Make a formal appointment by phone or in person with someone who has performed Hajj. If you are planning to meet them in person, ask them to bring their Ihram and other things they used during Hajj.
Use this meeting to get tips and practical advice from them which you won’t find in most guidebooks.
Our goal is to ensure your pilgrimage is one of prayers, remembrance and contemplation.