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In the spirit of Ramadan

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O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint (Taqwa). (Quran 2:183)

Yes, Ramadan is starting in two days – the month that every Muslim looks forward to pray and embrace themselves in the arms of spirituality.

The word Ramadan has its roots in the Arabic word that means ‘parched thirst’ and ‘sun-baked ground’. The motif behind fasting is to realise & sympathise with those people who have very little or nothing to eat & drink every day. Those 4 weeks of fasting teaches to be more charitable and humble in our lives.

The verse from Quran makes it clear that fasting is the way of learning Taqwa. It is God-consciousness that helps a person to be fully aware of the presence of Allah in every second of his/her life.

Fasting also amplifies devotion and brings the person closer to Allah. It lets the person realise that everything that we have, is a blessing from Allah. Fasting also teaches us self-control and inculcates good manners, polite speech and thoughtful habits.

Fasting also stands as one of the major pillars of Islam.  It was noted when Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):

To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle;

to establish the prayers;

to pay Zakat (i.e. obligatory charity);

to perform Hajj (i.e. Pilgrimage to Makkah);

to observe fast during the month of Ramadan.” [Bukhari: (narrated by) Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar]

There is a holy zone that you enter when you start praying during the month of Ramadan. The dedication & loyalty towards fasting and praying proves that you are ready to surrender in front of Him and want to take hold of your life.

It is a month that millions of people experience change that they are able to inculcate even after this month. One needs to combine good deeds like prayer, fasting and charity during this holy month and Allah promises immense rewards. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, “Whoever establishes prayers during the nights of Ramadan faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Bukhari: Abu Hurayrah]

Every Muslims craves the state of God-consciousness, through fasting where no evil can tame or hinder in this holy process. The fasting actually acts a shield and the person becomes Allah’s true servant. Confirming that he said, “When My servants ask thee (Muhammad) concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way.” (2: 186)

Embrace this month with grace, humility and love. You will attain celestial experience. Ramadan Kareem.

Umrah and its Importance

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Umrah holds immense value and rewards in Islam. It is gracefully placed at a level of spiritual purity for any Muslim. However, Umrah isn’t an imperative obligation for Muslims; it is actually Sunnat-e-muwaqada for them. Umrah is a holy act that the Prophet Muhammad, did twice in his lifetime.

On many levels, Umrah resembles the Hajj. Because of this reason, before going to Hajj, a pilgrim needs a prior Umrah.  However, it can be performed anytime during the entire year.

According to Islamic traditions, there are innumerable rewards for the one who takes Umrah. These rewards are mentioned in the Quran and from the Traditions of the Holy Prophet PBUH. However, the rewards are for those who perform Umrah or Hajj correctly. The Prophet PBUH was asked about what are the good deeds; to which He said, the utmost struggle that is Jehad. However, Hazrat Abu Hurairah inquires about what is next? He PBUH replied: accepted Hajj & Umrah.

Further, the Prophet PBUH explained the importance of Umrah in Bukhari #1773 saying “The accepted Hajj & Umrah has no other rewards, except Paradise.” Umrah is known for taking away one’s sins. The Prophet PBUH narrated why Umrah is an apology for every sin, “Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed between it and the next, and hajj, which is accepted will receive no other reward than Paradise.” [Muslim].

However, when Ayesha, the mother of all the loyal Muslims questioned the Messenger, “Messenger of Allah is there Jihad for women?” to which the Prophet replied, Yes, there is jihad upon them, there is no fighting involved in it, Hajj and Umrah.” [Ibn Majah] #3013.

It is a fact that there are innumerable blessings of Umrah for all the Muslims. The entire journey helps to purify the soul and the spirit of every Muslim. This is the power of rewards of Umrah that inspires Muslims around the world to visit the House of Allah.

Perform Umrah with Al Khalid Tours as we offer the most luxurious, convenient and comfortable facilities to make your celestial experience even more meaningful.

How to connect young Muslims to community & spirituality this Ramadan?

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Inquisitive young Muslims tend to get distracted due to various new technologies. They are inclined to the newness of what this generation has to offer. Amidst getting connected online, today’s young Muslims are disconnected from community & spirituality.

It is our duty to inspire them and encourage them to participate in community services. Introduce them to spirituality to feel grounded and connected to Allah. So, that Allah can show them the correct way if and when they feel lost. And Ramadan is the best month to experience the true spirituality.

Here are some ideas that you can use:

Be present at Taraweeh prayers

During Ramadan, if your child cannot or does not pray all of the Rakay of Taraweeh, still bring them with you to the Mosque. They will immerse themselves in the solidarity as they listen to the soft recitation of the Quran.

Even younger kids can take an advantage provided you explain to them about the decorum of the Mosque. You may even reward them afterwards if they behave well. They may not be able to understand Imam or Khateeb, simply praying with fellow Muslims help to strengthen the community spirit.

Be present for Juma prayers

Especially in the month of Ramadan, Juma prayers are considered to be a wonderful opportunity to see community interaction in actuality.

All you have to do is, to be sure about choosing a place that gives the Khutba in English as well as in Arabic.

Go to a different mosque every week

If you happen to live in a huge city where the Muslim community is large, then it is a good idea to visit a new mosque every week. You might not be comfortable to have a new mosque every week due to Ramadan fasting, but for your child, it is the time he/she can see the diversity of the Ummah and unity amongst fellow Muslims.

 Consider starting a “Wisdom of the Elders” series

The elders in our community have gained wisdom over the years. They have experienced some unusual things and they have learnt a lot of lessons that are surely entertaining and worth sharing. Organise a meet every week during Ramadan where the community elders share their fascinating story with the young Muslims and inspire them further and help them connect better.

The advantage of this activity is that the young Muslims will learn from the first-hand experience of the elders and those often neglected elders will feel like contributing more to the community.

Encourage to opt for skills that can help the community at large.

The community needs young Muslims’ help in its growth. It is their new skills that will support this progress. And it is a matter of hours or even days to learn a skill that will be beneficial for the community. The young Muslim can learn about First Aid, CPR or babysitting, project management, crisis management and much more.

Ramadan is the holy month where it is always a good idea to take up a new skill for the betterment of the community.

Attend in projects organised by Mosques and other Islamic organisations.

In Ramadan, if your local Mosque is organising a service project like collecting toys or food, feeding the underprivileged, etc.; register yourself and even take your child. Your child will surely experience the boost to serve the community. You can get in contact with various agencies that have special services planned for Ramadan.

Help them connect to the higher self. They will surely thank you some day!

 

Undesirables When You Are In Iĥraam

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Ihram is a sacred state entered by us as we decide to perform Hajj. One of the many necessary rituals after entering the state of Ihram is wearing the prescribed attire. For which, men and women accordingly defer. On attaining a state of complete spiritual purity known as Ihram, it expects the individual to be pure in mind and in body.

After you have entered the state of Ihraam there are number of things that are undesirable. Here are those things that you should avoid while in the state of Ihraam:

  1. To remove dirt or scum from the body.
  2. To wash hair or body with un-perfumed soap.
  3. To comb own hair.
  4. To scratch the head or body in a way that may cause hair or lice to fall.
  5. To wear or put on body any cloth which has been put in Loobaan and it still smells of it.
  6. To hide any part of face with cloth.
  7. To enter under the curtain of Ka`bah in such a way that either it touches the head or the face.
  8. To use darned or patched Iĥraam.
  9. To tie a Ta`weedh in arm even using unstitched cloth.
  10. To lie down in a way that face touches pillow.
  11. To put bandage without a valid reason.
  12. To eat anything in which odorous ingredients have been added and which are not cooked and still emits odours.
  13. To do make up.
  14. To join one end of the sheet covering lower part of the body with other end by a needle or a pin or tie a knot on it.
  15. To wear a Lunggi and tighten it with a belt or a waist band.

All the above acts are Makrooh/undesirable in the state of Iĥraam. Help someone who is not aware about these things and remember these when you are in the state of Ihraam.

MERITS OF THE HOLY SHRINE

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The Royal Court of the Holy Prophet Ŝallalaahu `Alaihi Wa Sallam is an esteemed place where seventy thousand Angels come in the morning, and another seventy thousand in the evening to pay their respects and Ŝalaatu Salaam every day. The person who gets this opportunity once is not allowed to visit it again. This is the place where the most distinguished creation of Allah the Exalted is lying at rest. The part of the land touching the body of Holy Prophet Ŝallalaahu `Alaihi Wa Sallam is considered to be more exceptional than the `Arsh. The leader of Angels Ĥazrat Jibraeel `Alaihis Salaam comes to this court with utmost respect & dignity. You have to honour this court to best of your abilities. You are not allowed to be slightly negligent at this sacred place, lest your deeds become vain while you do not even perceive it.

Allah the Exalted does not tolerate even slightest disrespect in honour of His beloved Prophet Ŝallalaahu `Alaihi Wa Sallam. Keep in mind the honour and the status of the Prophet Ŝallalaahu `Alaihi Wa Sallam while lavishing admiration on him. The Learned know that the blessings that accrue from the court of Holy Prophet Ŝallalaahu `Alaihi Wa Sallam does not alienate one from his senses, on the contrary it gives him the consciousness which is not achievable from any other source. Keep in mind that to be obedient to the

Prophet Ŝallalaahu `Alaihi Wa Sallam without love towards him has no value. In the same way having love for him without obeying his orders is not acceptable at all. The Holy Quran says:

“Wa Lau Annahum Izh Zhalamoo Anfusahum Jaa’ooka Fastaghfirul

Laaha Wastaghfara Lahumur Rasoolu Lawajadul Laaha Tawwaabar

Raĥeema”

(And if they commit excess on themselves, they should come to you and beg forgiveness from Allah and the Prophet recommends for their pardon, they will definitely find Allah Most Forgiving and Merciful. Soorah 4: Aayat 64)

Ĥazrat `Abullah Bin`Umar Radiallaahu `Anhumaa narrated that the Prophet Ŝallalaahu `Alaihi Wa Sallam said “The person who comes solely for the Bahaar-e- Ĥajj 129 purpose of visiting my grave, has a right on me, that I should intercede for him on the Day of Judgment.” (Ţabraani)

Ĥazrat `Abullah Bin`Umar Radiallaahu `Anhumaa also narrated that the Prophet Ŝallalaahu `Alaihi Wa Sallam said “The person who visits my grave after performing Ĥajj, will be regarded as if he has seen me in my life.”

(Ţabraani, Daar Qutni)

Ĥazrat `Abullah Bin`Umar Radiallaahu `Anhumaa also narrated that the Prophet Ŝallalaahu `Alaihi Wa Sallam said “The person who does not visit my grave after performing Ĥajj, has done injustice to me.” (Kanzul-Aa`maal)

Ĥazrat `Abullah Bin`Abdullah Radiallaahu `Anhumaa narrated that the Prophet Ŝallalaahu `Alaihi Wa Sallam said “The person who comes to Masjid-e-Nabavi after performing Ĥajj, with intention to visit my grave, will get the reward of two accepted Ĥajj.” (Kanzul-Aa`maal)

Make your visit count and have the opportunity to visit Allah’s grave. Our teachers, who will accompany you, will never let you miss this important point in your Hajj. Visit our website and look at the budget friendly packages and make this year count!

Iĥraam of a Minor

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If you are going to perform Hajj with your minor child, then he is supposed to be in Ihraam too. And if you are unaware about the various necessities regarding a Minor’s Ihraam, then here are two important points for you. This will guide you to take proper steps with and for your minor.

For children who are not matured:

  1. If your child is not matured to wear Ihraam or perform rituals by himself/herself, then as a Walee (guardian), you have to dress your child accordingly.
  2. You have to make the Niyyat on behalf of your child and explain them all the prohibitions that one has to know while in Ihraam.
  3. You will have to perform every ritual of Hajj and Umrah on his/her behalf.
  4. You are not required to offer prayers which are Waajib after Tawaaf on behalf of your child.
  5. If your child is immature but still puts on Ihraam and completes the rituals all by himself/herself then his Hajj is not valid. In such a case, it is Waajib on you to perform the rituals on behalf of your child apart from those prayers which are Waajib after Tawaaf

 

For children who are matured:

  1. If your child is matured, then he has to put Ihraam and perform the rituals all by himself/herself.
  2. He/she should make Niyyat and observe all the prohibitions of the Ihraam.
  3. He/she is expected to perform all the rituals of Hajj & Umrah by himself/herself.
  4. If he/she fails to follow any prohibitions of the Ihraam or commits any mistake, no expitation entails.
  5. If his/her Hajj becomes Faasid, it is not to be repeated.

However, the Hajj performed by these children is counted as Nafl Ĥajj. After he/she attains puberty and if the Ĥajj becomes Fardh on this child he/she has to perform it on his/her own.

MEET THE HOLY KAABA CLOSELY

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The Holy KAABA is also called Baitullaah (House of Allah). This name represents its elevation and projection. It is the very first structure built on the planet to worship Allah. You can only imagine its virtue by the fact that even looking upon it is considered an `Ibadat’.

The Holy Kaaba is a cubic formation made out of pure black stones.

  1. Rukn-e-Aswad: Is the starting point of Ţawaaf, it derives its name from the Ĥajar-e-Aswad (Black Stone) fixed at this corner. It is in the South East direction.
  2. Rukn-e-`Iraaqee: The corner facing Iraq. It is East North corner.
  3. Rukn-e-Shaamee: The corner facing Syria. It is North West corner.
  4. Rukn-e-Yamaanee: The corner facing Yemen. It is West South corner.
  5. Ĥajar-e-Aswad: The black stone of Paradise fixed in the south-eastern corner of the Holy Kaaba. It is said that it is a Sapphire of Paradise. It is fixed into a silver lining. The Ţawaaf begins from here.
  6. Multazam: It is the part that lies amid the corner of the Black Stone and the door of the Holy Kaaba. It is the place to which Muslims cling to in humbleness and supplicate to Allah the Almighty. It is said that supplications are replied at this place.
  7. Baab-e-Ka`bah: The golden door of the Holy Kaaba which is slightly elevated from the ground and lies on the side between Rukn-e-Aswad and Rukn-e-`Iraaqee.
  8. Ĥateem: It is the bent section to the north of the Holy Kaaba on the side of the waterspout. It is a marbled area with a wall in the form of a semi-circle with an eastern and a western opening. It is the part of Kaaba, to enter in to Ĥateem is just entering in Kaaba .
  9. Meezaab-e-Raĥmat: The golden waterspout of the Holy Kaaba fixed in the roof over it, to drain the water from its roof in to Ĥateem.
  10. Mustajaar: It lies between the Rukn-e-Yemaanee and the Rukn-e-Shaamee, just opposite side of Multazam. It is also a place where supplications are answered by Allah.
  11. Mustajaab: The wall of Kaaba between Rukn-e-Yemaanee and the Rukn-e-Aswad is called Mustajaab. At this place seventy thousand Angels are deputed to say Aamin to the supplications of pilgrims. Mustajaab means the place where the supplications are definitely accepted.
  12. Maqaam-e-Ibrahim: It is a golden dome just opposite Baab-e-Kaaba; it contains a stone from Paradise on which Prophet Ibrahim `Alaihis Salaam stood while constructing Ka`bah. His footprints are still visible on the stone.
  13. Zam-Zam: It is a Scared Well situated to the South of Maqaam-e-Ibrahim, it sprung when Prophet Isma`eel `Alaihis Salaam desperately rubbed his feet on the ground due to thirst. It is Sunnah to drink its water after completion of Ţawaaf.

It’s time you meet Kaaba in person. It’s time you perform Umrah in the month of Ramadan. Find our packages here.

 

What is the procedure for entering the Iĥraam?

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If you are taking the holy journey of Hajj for the first time, then this will give you the correct procedure to enter Ihraam.

It is considered that before putting on the Ihraam, one should use Miswaak and have bath; it is sunnah. But if that is not possible then Wudhoo will suffice. Hazrat Zaid Bin Thaabit narrated that, Holy Prophet (SAWS) had taken bath before entering the Ihraam. This applies to children and women in state of offering Salaat too.

It is compulsory to remove hair from the pubic area, armpits and cut nails before taking the bath. Men should also consider trimming their hair before Ihraam. Men’s Ihraam has two pieces of cloth. It should be white and new. One cloth is for the lower portion of the body (covering waist to above ankles) and other to cover the upper part of the body. Besides these two clothes, no other garments should be worn.  The footwear needs to be in such a way that the centre bones of the upper part of the feet should be left uncovered.

Women on other side should put on their normal clothes, with their heads been covered fully. It becomes Waajib to cover their faces if they fear Fitnah. This entire thing should be done in a perfect manner that the covering doesn’t touch the face.

Men cannot wear socks or hand gloves, however women are free to do so. It is Sunnah for men to use perfume on their body and on the Ihraam cloth before putting it on. But one should be careful, they should be no trace or colour of perfume on the clothes. It is against the Sunnah to make Idhţibaa` at this stage. After one has put the Ihraam, reached the airport & completed all the formalities, if it is not a Makrooh time, then one should offer two  Rak`aat Sunnat-e-Iĥraam.

During Salaat, men are supposed to cover their heads with Ihraam sheets. It is Mustaĥab to recite Soorh Kaafiroon in first Rak`at and Soorh Ikhlaaŝ in second Rak`at. After the Ŝalaat men should uncover their heads.

Note: A woman who is not in the state to perform Ŝalaat, need not offer it. She should perform Ghusl, put on her normal clothes, which will serve as her Iĥraam.

KNOW MEEQAAT

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What is Meeqaat? The points or stations from where people crosses their way to Holy Makkah either to perform Umrah or Hajj or any other purpose, inclusive of other businesses is required to assume the state of Ihraam.

This is applicable to even those people who live within the limits of Haram, i:e, if they go out of the Meeqaat, they cannot re-enter the boundary without Ihraam. It is compulsory or Waajib to wear Ihraam before entering Meeqaat. The Prophet has stated these places at all the popular routes to Makkah.

The person who is walking, flying towards Makkah should enter the state of Ihram at or before Meeqaat, if somehow he is not passing through one of them, then a point in his route that corresponds to the nearest Meeqaat. The person has the liberty to enter in Ihraam before leaving the house or before boarding the aircraft.

One must enquire about Meeqaat, if there is no one available to guide him, he must decide himself. If a person crosses Meeqaat without Ihraam, he has to offer Dam in Haram or go back to Meeqaat and re-enter after wearing Ihraam.

However, if someone is not going towards Makkah but some other place within Meeqaat he is not required to wear Ihraam. If he thereafter enters Makkah, he can go without Iĥraam.

Following are five different Meeqaat:

  1. Dhul-Ĥulaifah: Dhul-Ĥulaifah is the Meeqaat for those who lives in Madinah and for those who approach Makkah from that particular direction. This is commonly known as Abyaar-e-`Ali. The Prophet had worn Iĥraam from here while going to perform `Umrah.
  2. Juĥfah: This is the Meeqaat for the people who come from the direction of Syria. However, the Juĥfah has lost its identity and people assume the state of Iĥraam from Raabigh instead, which is near to Juĥfah.
  3. Qarnul-Manaazil: This is the Meeqaat for the people of Najd or for those coming from that direction. This is near Ţaaif.
  4. Dhaat-e-`Irq: This is the Meeqaat for the people of Iran, Iraq and all those coming from that direction.
  5. Yalamlam: This is the Meeqaat for the people of Yemen and all those coming from that direction. It is also the Meeqaat for many of the pilgrims from China, Japan, India, and Pakistan and anyone who comes from that direction.

It is a priority to don the Ĥajj Iĥraam before entering the Meeqaat. It is not permissible to enter without Ihraam. Those people living within the Ĥaram limit can wear Iĥraam from any place within the Ĥaram, preferably from the Masjid-e-Ĥaraam. However, if they are going to perform `Umrah, the Iĥraam for the same should be worn somewhere outside the Ĥaram limit; preferably from the Masjid-e-`Aayishah. The area outside the Ĥaram limits is called Ĥil.

Fulfill These Conditions to Attain Hajj

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CONDITIONS OF ACCOMPLISHMENT

Secure Routes – If due to various circumstances, the route turns out to be unsafe and dangerous then you are not obliged to start Hajj.

Maĥram is compulsory for Women: According to Islamic Law, a male member of the family should accompany the woman if she decides to perform Hajj as the journey is more than three days and more than 92 Kms. The condition is irrespective of age.

Women shouldn’t be in `Iddat: If a woman is her waiting period after death of her husband or divorce, she is not suppose to start Hajj.

Free from all restrains: A person who is under any kind of restrain by the ruler or is imprisoned for his crime, then he may postpone his Hajj.

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FARAAIDH OF ĤAJJ

 There are some special obligatory acts that one needs to take up for Hajj. Every act needs to be fulfilled for the Hajj to be successful. If you are going for Hajj for the first time, then please read through the following obligatory acts in Ĥajj:

  1. Iĥraam: You cannot perform Hajj in your daily clothes; you are obliged to wear the distinctive garb as prescribed. It is the vital condition of Ĥajj.
  2. Wuqoof-e-`Arfah: To remain present in `Arafaat at least for some time between Zawaal of 9th of Dhul-Ĥijjah and dawn of 10th of Dhul-Ĥijjah. It is a Rukn of Ĥajj.
  3. Major part of Ţawaaf-e-Ziyaarat: That is four or more rounds of Ţawaaf-e- Ziyaarat. It is also one Rukn of Ĥajj.
  4. Niyyat: It is important to have a firm intention in the mind to go for Hajj. If the intention is swayed away by doubts then it is not acceptable.
  5. Sequence: It is obligatory to follow prescribed sequence. First is to enter in the Iĥraam, then to do Wuqoof followed by Ţawaaf-e-Ziyaarat.
  6. Time: Each act must be performed on the prescribed timings.
  7. Place: Each act must be performed on the prescribed places.

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