The Hajj consists of a five-day excursion to Makkah and the nearby holy sites of Arafat, Mina, and Muzdalifah, performed by all physically and financially able Muslims. Once there, the pilgrims perform a series of rituals to unify with other believers, get rid of their sins, and pay tribute to God.
This year, Saudi Arabia will allow only around 1,000 pilgrims residing in the kingdom to do the Hajj 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Saudi Arabia ‘s city of Makkah has always been the spiritual hub of the Islamic faith: the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims bow down in the direction during prayers as the holy Kabah is located there. But the holiest city of Islam is much more important in the final months of the year when an estimated 2.5 million pilgrims make their once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to the site.
This pilgrimage, known as the Hajj, is one of the Five Pillars of Islam (the others are Allah’s profession as the only God and Muhammad as his prophet; Ramadan fasting; charitable giving and ritual prayer) followed by every Muslim.
Hajj 2020, With Scaled-Down Pilgrims, To Begin From Wednesday Amidst Strict Health Restrictions
The 2020 Hajj pilgrimage with only just 1,000 pilgrims due to the COVID-19 pandemic will begin on Wednesday for the first time in modern history. Up to 1,000 people residing in the kingdom will participate in the Holy ritual after what many saw as an opaque selection process that left a wave of applicants rejected. The foreigners are barred from this year’s Hajj, usually a huge global media event, as the government tightens access to the holy city of Mecca and puts in place strict health restrictions to prevent a virus outbreak during the five-day pilgrimage.
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Hajj 2020: Makkah Welcomes First Batch Of Pilgrims
Although handful as compared to previous years, the first batch of pilgrims has arrived Makkah for the annual Hajj 2020. According to the details, due to the novel COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event is limited to about 1,000 pilgrims, all from inside Saudi Arabia, about 700 of whom are expatriates. After completing their arrival procedures, the pilgrims were taken to their accommodation in Makkah, supervised by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.
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Hajj 2020: Saudi Government Decides To Broadcast Hajj Sermon In Urdu
The Saudi government has decided to translate the Hajj sermon in 10 different languages this year, including Urdu. According to the General Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque Sheikh Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Abdulaziz Al Sudais said that the Hajj Sermon will be broadcast in ten languages to spread the message of Islam to audiences all over the world.
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Hajj 2020: Arafat Day Sermon Will Be Translated Into 10 Languages
This year’s sermon will be given in 10 languages, namely English, Malay, Urdu, Persian, French, Chinese, Turkish, Russian, Hausa, and Bengali. It will be available on both the Arafat sermon application and on the Manarat Al-Haramain website as well.
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Hajj 2020: Steps of Performing Hajj Correctly
The origin of Hajj is rooted around 2000BC when ALLAH instructed Prophet Ibrahim to leave alone his wife Hazrat Hajra and son Hazrat Ismail in Makkah’s deserts. Where Hazrat Hajra ran desperately between the Safa and Marwa mountains looking for water for her son. She found nothing, and when she returned to Hazrat Ismail, she saw the baby scratching the ground with his feet, and a stream of water sprung under his foot called “Aab-e-ZamZam”.
- Preparation and Intention
- Enter the state of Ihram
- Tawaf x7
- Safa and Marwa
- Clip/Shave Hair (Umrah ends)
- Resting and Praying
- Enter the state of Ihram
- Arrive at Mina
- Day of Arafah
- Muzdalifah (under the night sky)
- Rami (stoning of the devil)
- Shave Head
- Tawaf al-Ifadha
- Rami (stoning of the devil)
- Spend the night at Mina
- Rami (stoning of the devil)
- Farewell Tawaf al-Wida
ALLAH later commanded the Prophet Ibrahim to build Kaab’ah at this place and invite people to pilgrimage there. From that day on, Hajj started with the number of rituals to be performed from the 8th Zil Hajj (the last Islamic month) to the 12th Zil Hajj according to the Islamic calendar.
Hajj 2020: Day Wise Details About Hajj
The Hajj means ‘pilgrimage’ to the holy city of Makkah in Arabic and must be performed yearly by every Muslim who is physically and financially sound, during the first ten days of the holy month of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
Hajj is considered one of Islam ‘s greatest deeds, Hajj teaches Muslims to practice kindness, to show modesty, to be at peace with oneself, and to be true to Allah.
Day Wise Details About Hajj:
- Day 1 – 8th Zil Hajj
8th Zil Hajj starts after 7th Zil Hajj ‘s Maghrib prayer. The Pilgrims will make their Hajj arrangements the same as Umrah. I.e. they will take a bath / Ghusal, set their intention, wear Ihram, and declare Talbiya.
Departure to Mina from Azizia.
After Fajr prayers or after sunrise on the 8th Zil Hajj, the pilgrims will depart from Azizia to Mina while reciting,
Here the pilgrims will offer four remaining Prayers (Zuhr, Asar, Maghrib, and Isha) and stay in Mina overnight.
- Day 2 – 9th Zil Hajj
Departure for Arafat from Mina. In Mina, after prayers of Fajr, the pilgrims will continue to travel to the ground of Arafat. They’ll offer Zuhar and Asar.
Departure for Muzdalifa from Arafat. After praying Zuhar and Asar in Arafat, the pilgrims will travel towards Muzdalifa after sunset (a decline of Sunset), where they will pray Maghrib and Isha and stay overnight. The pilgrims will collect 49 very small-sized pebbles at different intervals of the night. for the next day.
- Day 3 – Eid-ul-Adha Day 1 – 10th Zil Hajj
The pilgrims will depart from Muzdalifa for Mina after Fajr Prayers on Eid’s first day. They are going to stone Jamarat ul Kubra at Mina, and perform Qurbani. After the Qurbani rite, male pilgrims will shave their heads and as part of the Hajj, the female will clip their hair.
The pilgrims now have the freedom to remove their Ihram and wear their ordinary clothes, and can perform Tawaf al Ifada. Two ( 2) Nawafil Rakat will be offered near Maqam e Ibrahim. After performing Sa’ey, i.e. 7 runs between Safwah and Marwah, they will drink Zamzam, and stay overnight in Mina.
- Day 4 – Eid-ul-Adha Day 2 – 11th Zil Hajj
On the second day of Eid, after Zuhr prayers, the pilgrims will proceed to Jamarat from Mina. They will stone all the three Jamarats (Jamarat e Sughra, Jamarat e Wusta and Jamarat e Qubra) in series by throwing 7 pebbles each, from small to high. Once this rite is done, pilgrims can return to Mina for a night stay.
- Day 5 – Eid-ul-Adha Day 3 – 12th Zil Hajj
After Zuhar Prayers, the last day of Eid will once again begin by proceeding toward Jamarats from Mina. Jamarat stoning will be completed on the 4th day, from small to big. Before Sunset, Pilgrims must depart for Makkah after stoning.
The pilgrims must perform Tawaf ul Wadda (Goodbye Tawaf) before departing from Makkah. All mandatory Hajj rituals are completed at this point. Pilgrims can return to Madina and go for ziarats.
This year the Hajj ritual would be open only to citizens of various nationalities living in Saudi Arabia due to coronavirus.
The government is still in the process of evaluating the total number of approved pilgrims, it could be around 1,000, maybe less, maybe a little more. Furthermore, no one aged 65 or over with chronic illness would be allowed to perform the Hajj.
This is the first time international visitors have been barred from performing Hajj in the nearly 90-year history of Saudi Arabia. The Hajj has been canceled throughout history due to war and past epidemics but not since the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was established in 1932.
Hajj 2020: Hajj and its spiritual benefits
The Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W) said,
” Hajj purifies the sins and pilgrim becomes sinless as a newborn child.” – Sahih Bukhari: 1521
After a pilgrim performs Hajj, the Almighty Allah rewards him in the world as well as in Paradise. There are uncountable benefits that Hajj can provide to the pilgrim’s soul. Here are five prominent spiritual effects of Hajj.
When one says “Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk” at the Miqat (station of entering ihram), he means he has answered to his Creator, so how can he insist on still sinning and not respond to the call of Allah to give it up.
Kissing the Black Stone teaches the visitor to follow the sunnah and not use his feeble argument to oppose Allah ‘s laws. He recognizes that behind the laws and rituals which Allah has provided for mankind there is wisdom and goodness, and he trains to submit himself completely to Allah.
As one drinks Zamzam ‘s water, he is reminded of the blessing that Allah has granted upon mankind in the form of this blessed water from which millions of people have drunk all the time but it has never dried up.
When one has finished performing all the Hajj rituals as commanded by Allah and in the manner that Allah loves, one may expect that Allah will forgive all the sins, as promised in the Hadith by the Prophet (SAW) “Whoever does Hajj for the sake of Allah and does not have sexual relations (with one’s wife), commit sin, or dispute unjustly (during the Hajj), will come back like the day his mother gave birth to him.”
As one returns to his wife and children and feels the joy of meeting them again, this reminds him of the greater joy of meeting them in Paradise. It also tells him that the greatest loss on the Day of Resurrection is to lose oneself and one’s kin, as Allah says “The losers are those who will lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. Verily, that will be a manifest loss!” – Verse (39:15)
Hajj 2020: The importance of Hajj
Hajj’s importance, Hajj plays an important role in the emergence of all kinds, colors, and nationalities of the Muslims. It improves the human quality of being equal; Arab equal to non-Arab, white equal to black and rich equal to poor.
Benefits of Hajj:
- Hajj expires sins
- The reward for Hajj is Jannah
- Hajj brings the reward of jihad to women
- Hajj is the soul purifier
- Hajj builds character
Benefits of Hajj from the Quran “But the ones who believe and do righteous deeds – We will admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. [It is] the promise of Allah, [which is] truth, and who is more truthful than Allah in statement.” (Qur’an 4:122)
While being a mandatory religious practice, Hajj is seen as a spiritual reward that gives Muslims the opportunity for self-renewal. Hajj provides a feeling of patience and fear of the day of Judgement.
Essential Dua for Hajj You Need To Know
The Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W) said,
“Hajj purifies the sins and pilgrim becomes sinless as a newborn child.” – Sahih Bukhari: 1521
As Islam does not discriminate against women, the reward for women is as equal to observe Jihad for Allah. The Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W) said,
“For women, Hajj equals (in reward) observing Jihad for the sake of Allah.” – Sahih Bukhari: 1520
After the Hajj is performed, the pilgrims can return to Madinah and can go for ziarats.
“I am at Your service, O Allah, I am at Your service. You have no partner. I am at Your service. Praise and blessing belong to You, and the Kingdom. You have no partner.”
“Here I am, O Lord, here I am, you indeed have no partner, here I am. No Doubt, all praise, and bounties are yours, and so is the absolute Domain. You indeed have no partners, here I am”
Hajj 1441 with ‘limited’ pilgrims to take place on July 29 amid COVID-19
The government of Saudi Arabia on Monday announced that Hajj 1441 will take place on July 29 with only 1,000 pilgrims as the country suffered a huge loss due to Coronavirus pandemic. Some 2.5 million people from all over the world usually participate in the ritual of Hajj  that takes place over several days in the holy city of Makkah.
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Zilhaj moon not sighted in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries
The moon of Zilhaj could not be sighted in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. According to details, the first Dhul-Hijjah will start on July 22, Wednesday. The Hajj rituals will start from July 28, as per the details. The day of Arafa will be on July 30 while Eid-ul-Adha will be celebrated on July 31st.
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Hajj 2020: KSA expresses readiness to welcome pilgrims from July 24
Saudi Arabia Health Ministry while expressing readiness for Hajj 2020 season, said that the arrival of pilgrims will be started from July 24th. According to the details, Saudi Arabia Health Ministry said that due to coronavirus, all pilgrims must be quarantined for 7 days before coming to Mecca. Pilgrims will be provided with medical check-ups, seasonal fever, and influenza vaccination, and other medical facilities.
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Hajj 2020: KSA issues health protocols for COVID-19 prevention
The government of Saudi Arabia has announced health protocols for the prevention of (COVID 19) disease for Hajj season 1441 H. The protocols, issued by Saudi Center for Disease Prevention and Control SaudiCDC, covered general controls for service providers, residential buildings, food places, buses, Men’s barbershops, Arafa and Muzdalifah and Makkah’s Grand Mosque.
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Hajj 2020: Government decides to refund successful applicants
The Ministry of Religious Affairs has decided to refund the successful applicants for Hajj 2020. An important meeting on Hajj 2020 was held under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri. The meeting decided to return the money to the successful applicants of Hajj 2020. The Ministry will refund the money to the successful applicants in the lottery under the government Hajj scheme.
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Hajj 2020: Only 10,000 pilgrims will be allowed to perform Hajj this year
Saudi Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said that Saudi Arabia will enforce several strict health measures and protocols for the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage in an effort to prevent the deadly coronavirus from spreading. Addressing a joint virtual press conference with Minister for Hajj and Umrah Dr. Muhammad Saleh, the Minister of Hajj expected that number of domestic pilgrims performing the pilgrimage this year will not be more than 10,000.
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Muslims to Skip Hajj this year
Indonesian Government has canceled the departure of pilgrims for Hajj 2020 due to health concerns amid Coronavirus. Religious affairs minister explained this decision was made after much consideration, especially regarding health concerns. Fachrul Razi said the government has taken this policy after considering the safety of pilgrims amid the novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
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Saudi Arabia reconsidering Hajj arrangements amid Coronavirus
Saudi Arabia has asked Pakistani Government to defer Hajj agreements of this year until further notifies as they are reconsidering the arrangements, BOL news reported today. As per details, a letter has been received by the Religious Ministry in Pakistan from Saudi Government which states that they are reconsidering Hajj 2020 arrangements amid coronavirus.
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