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Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca), is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. This year, Hajj is expected to fall between 20th to 25th September; subject to the sighting of the moon, as per the Islamic lunar calendar.
Hajj is truly a journey of a lifetime for those who are privileged enough to be able to embark upon it. Not only a journey of physical presence, which touches you both spiritually and emotionally but an incredibly purifying experience like no other.
If you are one of the many blessed individuals preparing for their spiritual journey to Hajj this year, ensure you mentally prepare yourself before your pilgrimage.
It is imperative that you educate yourself beforehand on why you are performing Hajj and the history and significance behind it.
There are also countless benefits and virtues of performing Hajj, of which only a few are listed below:
Completion of one of the Five obligatory Pillars of Islam, which classifies you as a Muslim
It is also said that should you pass away naturally while performing the rites of Hajj, you will die the death of a newborn baby and will be pure and completely cleansed of your sins.
So, before embarking on your journey to Hajj, it is important that you mentally prepare yourself for the journey ahead. For example, attaining or increasing taqwa (faith in Allah SWT) prior to your journey, is of utmost importance, as is cleansing your mind and soul of any impurities. Purifying the way you speak and think, to humble yourself and refrain from bad thoughts and language is also of importance. Increase your consciousness and fear of Allah SWT and aim to educate yourself on the history of Hajj, why we perform it and the reason why it is one of the obligatory Five Pillars of Islam.
Learn which dua’s you will need to recite during Hajj and what it involves. Practice your salaah (prayers) and ghusl (ablution and purity). Practice daily recitation of the Qur’an and increase your faith in Allah SWT. Learn about ihram and what it constitutes and do not forget to state your niyyah (intention) to perform Hajj, remember, Allah SWT also considers us by our intentions.
It is also recommended to remember those who are in need of help and support during this Holy time. Increase generosity with an open heart and think of those who do not have the privilege to embark upon this beautiful journey.
Be conscious of your etiquette and manners. Remember to pack all the relevant items you need and ensure you write your Islamic will prior to your departure. It is also important to try and pay off any debts before embarking upon Hajj, too. Ask for forgiveness from those whom you know, in case you may have hurt someone intentionally or unintentionally.
Hajj is followed by Eid-ul-Adha, which is also known as the Eid of Qurbani (sacrifice and donation), which is an obligation upon every Muslim during this time.
Once again, Muslim Aid are pledging for Qurbani donations this year. Donate your Qurbani through Muslim Aid and ensure it is distributed to those who are in dire need of your help. May Allah SWT accept your generosity, Ameen.