Pilgrims performing the Hajj or ‘Umrah must do the following:
1- Pay charity in abundance and refrain from harming others.
2- Select righteous company such as those who are willing to do good. It was said, “Choose the companion before choosing the route.” Verily, God the Almighty is the greatest and best Companion. When the Prophet would go on a journey, he would make takbir [say ‘God is the Greatest’] thrice and then, after settling on the back of his mount say, “Exalted be God, the One Who has placed this [transport] at our service, and we ourselves would not have been capable of it, and to our Lord is our final destiny. O God! We ask you for righteousness and piety on this journey of ours, and we ask You for deeds which please You. O God! Facilitate our journey and let us cover its distance with speed. O God! You are the Companion on the journey and the Successor (in charge of my) family. O God! I take refuge in You from the hardships of travel, from change of heart and evil predicaments, and I take refuge in You from an ill fated outcome with wealth and family.”
After returning from a journey, he would say the same du’a` or supplication and add the following, “We have returned, repentant, worshiping and praising our Lord.”1 God the Almighty is a traveler’s Companion through dhikr, He protects the traveler who remembers Him in all his actions, words and thoughts. God the Almighty says,
Then remember Me; I will remember you. [Al-Baqarah, 152]
And God said: I am with you: if you (but) establish regular prayers, pay zakat, believe in my Messengers, honor and assist them, and loan to God a good loan, verily, I will wipe you out from your evils and admit you to gardens with rivers flowing beneath. [Al-Ma`ida, 12]
A pilgrim should seek the company of a righteous and honest scholar to benefit from the knowledge he inherited from the Prophet, or seek the company of a righteous person who will constantly remind him of God and exhort him to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, in conformity with the words of God Who says,
O you who believe! Fear God and be with those who are truthful. [At-Tauba, 119]
Add to my strength through him and make him share my task. [Ta-Ha, 31-32]
If possible, it is better for a pilgrim to be in the company of one of the scholars responsible for instructing pilgrims on their hajj to help him perform its actions, maintain commendable conduct and assist him in moments of weakness. Abu Huraira (may God be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said, “A man is on the (religion) of his friend, so beware as to whom you take as a friend.”2
3- Be kind to his companions as much as possible. He must even be kind to the animal he is riding and not burden it with heavy loads more than it can bear. The Prophet said, “God has ordained kindness upon everything.”3
4- Be truthful at all times. It is unlawful to tell a lie, even in jest.
5- Acquire lawful provisions to have his du’a` or supplication accepted. The hajj of a person, who pays for the journey with unlawfully gained money, is valid according to the apparent meaning of the ruling, though it is not accepted.
6- Most of his speech must include words which benefit him in this life and in the Hereafter; otherwise, it will not bring him any good.
7- Learn how to perform hajj.
8- Renounce whims and self indulgence.
9- Return what he owes others. A pilgrim must not travel for hajj or ‘umrah until he returns all his financial debts, as well as any other rights he owes others. He must return deposits and trusts to their owners.
10- Reconcile with those he has quarreled with and seek the forgiveness of those he has wronged either by insulting or slandering them.
11- Repent from sins and all that is reprehensible.
12- Settle his debts or commission another to settle them on his behalf if their due time has not yet arrived.
13- Write his will in the presence of a witness.
14- Take with him a book on the rites of hajj and ‘umrah and read it on the way.
15- Take enough provisions and money so as not to depend on others and to give the needy from them.
16- Offer two rak’ahs of prayer before leaving his house. After reciting Surat al-Fatiha, he is to recite Surat al-Kafirun in the first rak’ah and al-Ikhlas in the second. After concluding the prayer with salams (greetings), he is to recite Ayat al-Kursi (the verses of the throne) and Surat Quraysh.
17- Seek the contentment of his parents.
18- Bid his family, neighbors and friends farewell.
19- Give out something in charity before leaving.
20- Supplicate God in abundance for himself and for others.
21- Maintain purity at all times.
22- Avoid indulging in food and drink.
23- Endeavor to do good by all possible means, such as by helping fellow pilgrims if possible and by providing water to his companions when they need it. This is because the best kind of charity is fulfilling the needs of others.
24- Avoid miserliness and disputing with others when buying and selling.
25- Devote all his time to the rites and not occupy himself with buying and selling en route, even though this is permissible. God says,
It is no crime in you if you seek of the bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage). [Al-Baqarah, 198]
26- Avoid insulting or quarreling with others especially at crowded places and where water is supplied.
27- Be lenient in all matters.
28- Remember God at all times and places.
29- Utter the testimony of faith and invoke peace and blessings upon the Prophet in abundance at every place. He must perform as many prayers as God facilitates for him at the times during which it is not undesirable to pray.
30- Offer the five obligatory prayers at the beginning of their prescribed times and in congregation if possible. Neglecting to perform one of the obligatory prayers forfeits many benefits.
1 Recorded by Muslim (1342).
2 Recorded by Abu Dawud (4835) and at-Tirmidhi (2552).
3 Recorded by Muslim (5167).
(دار الإفتاء المصرية – eng.dar-alifta.org)