Category Archives: Hajj


Do those non-Hujjaj get reward for their slaughtering like those Hujjaj? Please read below for more details

مسألة: من أرد أن يضحي حرم عليه أخذ شعره وظفره وبشرته اذا دخل عشرة ذي الحجة

Fiqh Issue: Whoever desires to make the Udhiyyah slaughtering, it is impermissible for him to cut any hair away from himself or clip any nails – on the fingers or toes – when there comes to him the slaughtering until he has completed it.

قال البهوتي في كشاف القناع : (ومن أراد التضحية) أي: ذبح الأضحية (فدخل العشر، حرم عليه وعلى من يضحي عنه أخذ شيء من شعره وظفره وبشرته إلى الذبح، ولو بواحدة لمن يضحي بأكثر) لحديث أم سلمة مرفوعا «إذا دخل العشر وأراد أحدكم أن يضحي، فلا يأخذ من شعره، ولا من أظفاره شيئا حتى يضحي» رواه مسلم وفي رواية له ” ولا من بشره .

Imam Al-Buhuti (d.1051), may Allah have mercy upon him, said in Kash-shaf ul-Qina`: “The expression (whoever so desires to make the Udhiyyah) refers to the slaughtering on the day of the Udhiyyah on 10 Dhul Hijjah. Then the expression (so when the 10th Dhul Hijjah arrives, it is impermissible for the one making the udhiyyah to take any hair away from his person or clip his finger and toe nails until the slaughtering has been done and it is fine for the one to slaughter for the group) this is based upon the hadith of Umm Salamah that is marfu` in which the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, ‘When the 10th of Dhul Hijjah arrives and one of you desires to make the Udhiyyah slaughterings, then he should not take any hair away from his person or cut any of his finger or toenails until he has done the slaughtering’.” As collected by Imam Muslim. And in another narration, he said, ‘Nor should he take away any hair from his body’.

قلت : فيه مسائل :

I would like to say that on this fiqh issue there are a number of points to consider:

الاولى : قوله من يضحي عنه اي : من أراد أن يضحي عن شخص أخر فهو داخل في عموم الخطاب .

Firstly, the statement about the one slaughtering means the one who is slaughtering for himself or another besides himself, thus he would fit into the rubric of the general statement.

الثانية : اذا لم يرد التضحية عند دخول العشرة ثم أراد التضحية أثناءها فليمسك عن ذلك كله .

Secondly, if the individual did not intend the slaughtering at the time of the entrance of the 10th Dhul Hijjah and then decided to at the time, then he needs to refrain from all the above listed things.  

الثالثة : قال البهوتي : وهذا إذا كان لغير ضرورة وإلا، فلا إثم كالمحرم وأولى .

Thirdly, Al-Buhuti remarked, “And this is when it is for other than a dire necessity. And if this is not the case, there is no issue. So there is no sin upon this one like in the case of the one in ihram and in the case of the one not in ihram and doing the slaughtering, it is even more the case”.

(لا يدخل في ذلك الطيب ولا المخيط ولا النساء)

So for the prohibition listed, using fragrance, stitched clothing and avoiding sexual intercourse and intimacy with women does not fall under the ruling.

قال في مطالب أولي النهى : عدم كراهة مسه الطيب والمخيط والنساء اتفاقا. قاله المنقح.

Imams Mustafa Ar-Ruhaibani (d.1243) and Hasan Ash-Shatti (d.1274), may Allah have mercy upon both of them, both said in Matalib Uwl in-Nuha: “Someone preparing for carrying out the Udhiyyah slaughtering is not forbidden and nor is it disliked for him to use fragrance, wear stitched clothing or have sexual intercourse and intimacy with women and this is agreed upon. And this stated by Imam `Ala’ ud-Din Al-Mardawi (d.885) in At-Tanqih”.

(حكم من أخذ من شعره وظفره وبشرته)

The Ruling on the one who removed some hair from his person or clipped some finger and toenails

قال في كشاف القناع : (فإن فعل) أي: أخذ شيئا من شعره أو ظفره أو بشرته (تاب) إلى الله تعالى لوجوب التوبة من كل ذنب

 Al-Buhuti said further, “(so if he did that) means if he took some hair or nails from his person (he is to make tawbah) to Allah, Exalted be He, as per the necessity of repentance from every sin”.

(لا فدية على المضحي اذا اخذ من شعره وظفره وبشرته)

There is no fidyah due from the one making Udhiyyah who happened to take some hair from his person or finger or toenails

قال في مطالب أولي النهى : فمن فعل شيئا من حلق شعر أو غيره مما ثبت تحريمه قبل أن يضحي، استغفر الله منه، ولا فدية عمدا فعله أو سهوا أو جهلا

It is further stated in Matalib Uwl in-Nuha: “So whoever did any of that, such as shaving the hair or other things that are established as being impermissible before the slaughtering, should make repentance to Allah but there is no fidyah due for the one who did so, whether this is on purpose, forgetfully or in ignorance”.

(متى يحل الاخذ من الشعر والظفر والبشرة)

So when is it permitted to take off hair, clip finger and toe nails?

قال في المنتهى : حرم عليه وعلى من يضحي عنه أخذ شيء من شعره وظفره وبشرته إلى الذبح .

Imam Taqi ud-Din Al-Futuhi (d.972), may Allah have mercy upon him, said in Al-Muntaha: “Whoever intended to slaughter the Udhiyyah for himself or on behalf of someone else is forbidden to take away any hair from himself, clip his finger or toenails until the slaughtering has been done”.

(من عنده أكثر من أضحية يحل له الأخذ بعد ذبح الاولى ولا يشترط ذبج الجميع)

Whoever possesses more than the Udhiyyah with him is permitted to take from it after the first slaughtering and is not conditioned to slaughter it all

قال في شرح المنتهى : قال (المنقح: ولو ضحى بواحدة لمن يضحي بأكثر) منها، فيحل له ذلك. لعموم حتى يضحي

Imam Al-Buhuti (d.1151), may Allah have mercy upon him, said in Sharh ul-Muntaha:

(حكم الأخذ من الشعر والظفر والبشرة بعد الذبح)

Ruling on removing hair, toenails after the slaughtering is complete

( ويستحب حلقه بعد الذبح ) قال أحمد على ما فعل ابن عمر تعظيما لذلك اليوم

“(And it is praiseworthy to shave the hair after the slaughtering) and Imam Ahmad said, ‘This is according to what was done by Ibn `Umar out of respect for the grandeur of that day’.”

ولأنه كان ممنوعا من ذلك قبل أن يضحي فاستحب له ذلك بعده كالمحرم .

And due to this, he is like the one in ihram in which he is forbidden from all of the above before he makes the Udhiyyah slaughtering and upon completion of that, it is praiseworthy for him to do all the above.

(الحكمة من منع الأخذ من الشعر والظفر والبشرة)

The wisdom and the prohibition of taking away any hair and toe and fingernails

قال في مطالب أولي النهى : فائدة: الحكمة في منع أخذ من يريد التضحية شيئا من شعره أو ظفره أو بشرته، لتشمل المغفرة والعتق من النار جميع أجزائه، فإنه يغفر له بأول قطرة من دمها، وتوجيهه بالتشبيه بالمحرمين فاسد، لعدم كراهة مسه الطيب والمخيط والنساء اتفاقا. قاله المنقح.

It is further mentioned in Matalib Uwl in-Nuha: “A beneficial point here is that the wisdom on the prohibition – meaning taking hair from the body or clipping the toe and fingernails – for the one intending the Udhiyyah is due to the nature of the general affair of forgiveness, manumission from the Fire in all of his body. So forgiveness is given to the slaughterer at the first drop of blood spilled. To make an exact comparison between the one making Udhiyyah and the one in ihram is not correct as it is not prohibited for the Udhiyyah maker to use fragrance, wear stitched clothes and have sexual intercourse with women as is agreed upon and uttered by Imam `Ala’ ud-Din Al-Mardawi in At-Tanqih”.

(تحريم الأخذ من الشعر والظفر والبشرة من المفردات)

The Impermissiblity of taking hair from the person and clipping the toe and finger nails and this is from the special characteristics of the Hanbali madhhab

قال في النظم

In the poetic meter, the following was uttered:

في عشر ذي الحجة أخذ الظفر … على المضحي حرموا والشعر

In the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah, the time is there,

It is impermissible to take away from the nails – feet and hands – as well as the hair!


أبو الأمين آل جراح الحنبلي

٦/ ذي الحجة/١٤٤٠ هجرية

As was written by Abul-Amin Al Jarrah Al-Hanbali

6 Dhul Hijjah 1440


Figure 1A: The plain of `Arafah.

It is strongly recommended to fast 9 Dhul Hijjah, known as Yawm `Arafah. The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said of this day, “The fast on the Day of `Arafah in the sight of Allah is such that He expiates the sins that came before the year of sins that come after.” Collected by Imam Muslim in Al-Jami` us-Sahih.

The day immediately after is 10 Dhul Hijjah, also known as Yawm un-Nahr (eng. the Day of Sacrifice). This is the second of the two yearly Eids and it is called Eid ul-Adha (eng. the Eid of the Sacrifice) and lasts three days (the opposite of `Eid ul-Fitr which is only one day). This commemorates the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, to dedicate everything to Allah, even his very own life and that of his son, the Prophet Isma`il, peace be upon him.

This has been mentioned in Surat us-Saffat (37), ayat 83-119, Surat ul-Baqarah (2), ayat 127-141 and a passing reference in Surat ul-Kawthar (108), ayah 3. Let us try to obtain the reward for the fasting on 9 Dhul Hijjah and also make du`aa for those on Hajj recounting all the events of the Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, some 4,000 years ago.

We would like to leave you with a quote from Imam Musa Al-Qaddumi (d. 1336 AH), may Allah have mercy upon him, who said the following of the sacrifice done on 10 Dhul Hijjah in his Mukhtasar Dalil it-Talib, pp. 301-302:

The sacrifice of `Eid is an emphasised sunnah [1] and it is permissible to sacrifice a goat that is one year old. It is also valid to have the sheep sacrificed that is half a year old.
It is allowed to sacrifice the cow as well as the buffalo that is two years old. You may sacrifice the camel that is five years old. [2] The time for slaughtering is after the`Eid prayer up until the end of the second day of Tashriq. [3]

Ihram, `Umrah and Discussion Around it


Imams  Baha’ ud-Din Al-Maqdisi[1] Mansur ibn Yunus Al-Buhuti,[2] may Allah be pleased with them, said the following regarding the `Umrah,

“As far as the description of the `Umrah, then it is the following:

The worshipper should make intention and put on the ihram at the points of the miqat if he is passing by or if he is near and he is in his normal clothes. An example would be if he went to At-Tan`im[3] and then changed into the ihram there after making intention.

The proof of this is where the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, after putting on ihram and doing `umrah and hajj said, “Learn your laws of `umrah and hajj from me and take hold of this requirement.” Collected by Imam Muslim in Al-Jami` us-Sahih and classed as authentic.

It is not permissible to put on the ihram in Al-Masjid ul-Haram as this is doing the opposite of what the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, commanded us to do for `umrah. If he does this, he will have to give a sacrifice for the mistake.

So after putting on the ihram, he goes to Al-Masjid ul-Haram and makes seven circuits, with the Ka`bah on his left. This is a hadith collected by Imam Abu Dawud and classified as authentic.

The supplication for seeing the Ka`bah for the first time is:

اللهُمَّ أَنْتَ السَّلاَمُ وَ مِنْكَ السَّلاَمُ حَيِّنَا رَبَّنَا بِالسَّلاَمِ. اللهُمَّ زِدْ هَذَا الْبَيْتَ تَعْظِيماً وَ تَشْرِيفًا وَتَكْرِيماً وَمَهَابَةً وَبِرّاً. وَزِدْ مَنْ عَظَّمَهُ وَشَرَّفَهُ مِمَّنْ حَجَّهُ وَاعْتَمَرَهُ تَعْظِيماً وَتَشْرِيفاً وَ تَكْرِيماً وَ مَهَابَةً وَبِرّاً. اَلْحَمْدُ لِلهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ حَمْداً كَثِيراً كَمَا هُوَ أَهْلَهُ وَكَمَا يَنْبَغِي لِكَرِيمِ وَجْهِهِ وَ عَزَّ جَلاَلَهُ. اَلْحَمْدُ للهِ الَّذِي بَلَّغَنِي بَيْتَهُ وَ رَآنِي لِذَالِكَ أَهْلاً. اَلْحَمْدُ للهِ عَلَى كُلِّ حَالٍ. اَللهُمَّ إِنَّكَ دَعَوْتَ إِلَى حَجِّ بَيْتِكَ الْحَرَامِ. وَقَدْ جِئْتُكَ لِذَالِكَ. اَللَّهُمَّ تَقَبَّلْ مِنِّي وَ اعْفَ عَنِّي وَ أَصْلِحْ لِي شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ لاَ إِلَهُ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ.

This is mentioned by the students of the Companions, such as Sa`id ibn al-Musayyib, Ibn Juraij and others and collected by Imam Abu Bakr al-Athram, the student of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

After the seven circuits, he is to go to Safa and Marwah and make the seven journeys between them. After this, his `Umrah has been completed and he may either shave or cut his hair. This shaving or cutting of the hair must be done before he gets out of the ihram as it is a condition for the completion of the `Umrah.

`Umrah may be done any time, whether it is in the months or Hajj, the Day of Sacrifice or `Arafah. It is disliked to do `umrahs concurrently without any break between them and this is the Consensus of the first three generations as was quoted by Imam Burhan ud-Din Ibn Muflih.[4]

There are three integrals that have to be done in order for the `Umrah to be valid and if they are not done – whether intentionally or unintentionally – the `Umrah will be invalid. The three integrals are:

1) Ihram,

2) tawaf around the House,

3) making the journey of Safah and Marwah.

This is based upon the hadith of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, where he said, “Whoever is not required to bring any sacrifice, then let him make tawaf around the House, go between As-Safah and Al-Marwah, then let him cut his hair and come out of ihram.” Collected by Imams al-Bukhari and Muslim and classed as authentic.

Then there are actions that if intentionally omitted the `umrah would be invalid but if accidently omitted would not nullify the `umrah if compensated with a sacrifice. These actions are called wajibat and they are:

  1. Shaving or cutting short the hair,
  2. ihram at the miqat place with the intention,
  3. So whoever abandoned the ihram has not completed his hajj or his `umrah and in fact has never started.

This is just like the one who prayed without intention. Whoever left an integral besides the ihram or the intention, then his `umrah is not valid as he has left the integral or the intention. Whoever left a wajib has to have a sacrifice done for what was left in order to compensate the `umrah and have it counted as valid.” [5]

[1] d. 624 AH (AD 1227)

[2] d. 1051 AH (AD 1654)

[3] Trans. note: (at Masjid `A’ishah in Makkah, which is outside the boundaries of Makkah and is the closest area to act as a miqat)

[4] d. 885 AH (d. 1534)

[5] Please see Ar-Rawd ul-Murbi`, bi-Sharhi Zad il-Mustaqni, pp. 229-231.


Visiting Madinah – 18/19 Dhul Hijjah

Figure 1A: The door to the burial chamber of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
Figure 1A: The door to the burial chamber of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

Waiting back at our room, we prepared for sleep and the Fajr that awaited us the following morning. We tried to process what we had seen during our night in front of the green dome of Al-Masjid un-Nabawi.

“That really was something. I’m not going to forget that anytime soon, brother,” Tanweer looked at me and smiled slightly. Brother Matloob looked at me and then added his portion.

“We were shown that tonight for a reason. The reason is the miracles of the prophets, peace be upon him and the wonders of the saints last even after their death. It also establishes that they are alive in their graves.”

I stepped over to his bed and picked up the water container that he had been drinking from and sniffed it. He and Tanweer laughed. “That’s the clearest I’ve heard you speak all night. Just thought you had some assistance.”

“No, Abu Ja`far. I do things like this for shock value. You never know when I am going to go and say something really profound.” I smiled and dived into the middle bed. Al-Hajj `Ismah was on the left of me, resting comfortably, as usual a book on Zuhd and Ihsan cracked open and resting on his chest while he breathed in and out.

His chest going up and down was the sign that he was still on this side of the Barzakh. I just looked and thought about matters. I carefully took the book, put it on his shelf and kissed him on the forehead. He had been through a lot and for the first time since I had seen him seemed to generally be at rest.

Fajr felt like it came the moment I closed my eyes. I was used to the Madinah weather now, fastening a winter izar, combat boots for shoes and a coloured jalabiyyah with black `imamah. We awoke to found that Al-Hajj `Ismah had already gone. He must have woke up, went to the masjid to be next to the Rawdah.

It was so nice how we left as a room and returned as a room. “Not much time left now. We’ll be headed back soon,” Matloob wistfully offered. He looked over and gave me a slight smile.

“And just think, all the women will be all over you again, chasing you for your physique. My advice is when we land at Heathrow, only sign a few autographs.” He laughed at the statement I had made and we grew silent on our journey to Al-Masjid un-Nabawi.

The Adhan in Madinah is so soft and gentle I often did not hear it. This time, arriving before the Adhan I was able to make it. I wondered if Al-Hudhaifi, Al-Qasim or who would be leading the prayer.

We lined up ten rows from the front and entered the prayer after the Iqamah had elapsed. It was Imam al-Hudhaifi reciting. I could tell due to his nasal recitation and the trouble he often had with reciting in between coughs.

Fortunately for him, there were others to help in this chorus of common cold. All other the masjid, I could hear the cadence of coughs from different people that were just as or maybe more under the weather than our prayer leader.

I knew I would not see our “pure” Muslim brothers who refused to pray behind any of the imams in Al-Masjid ul-Haram as they held the same asinine, childish and shameful attitude about the masjid in Madinah.

The prayer finished and after some personal individual supplications we made our walk back to the hotel. The air was cold but fresh and not biting. It was heavier than the English and American air and had no smog that I could make out.

A long time smog sniffer from the West Coast of the United States, I would rate cities by their smog. If they had none, they weren’t real “cities.” “There’s not even any proper pollution! Where’s my acid rain?!” I used to laugh at such statements as I made them.

Madinah, at least in the area that I was in, was relatively clean and I had not seen smog coming in, from aerial photos or from the hotel. No smog was good news. That was atleast my opinion on the matter.

At the hotel Wasal ar-Reem, we quickly found a free elevator. “The door’s closing. Go! Go!” I jumped in the way and blocked the door. This was not one of the ones that had a sensor and would open. Instead, you had to force the door and when the computer sensed resistance it would retract.

I was slightly smooshed but grateful for the opportunity of getting back to the room quickly. As the elevator ascended, I looked out as it stopped at the particular floor and looked out and gave salam to the people coming inside. Then I burst out laughing.

“What? What is it?” Matloob wanted to be part of the fun and was itching to find out the situation.

“Look at the labels for the floors. Count from the first floor and then count up to the next one that we reach.” He shrugged at me request and carried on.

“1st floor, 2nd floor, 3rd floor, 4th floor, 5th floor…” he began.

“6th floor, 7th floor, 8th floor…what?” He stopped and stared and then laughed when the error stared him in the face.

“9st floor?” We both laughed and were pleasantly surprised to greet the doors opening onto the “10st floor.” This carried on until we reached our floor, the 11st. Matloob and Tanweer by this time were both laughing.

“How did this happen? Did they not think before this was done? They’ve now built a whole hotel and look at the state of things.” Tanweer did not know what to think about the building.

“I don’t know…” I laughed again while reading the sign one more time on the walk up the hall. I felt a dull ache in my back tooth and thought that if I slept it would go away and not pose any more trouble to me.

I was sorely mistaken when I woke up in the late morning and the tooth pain was worse. Was it something I ate? Was it something I drank? What is the cause of this tooth pain? Then I remembered. While brushing my teeth in the morning in preparation for the Fajr prayer, the toothbrush had slipped and rammed my tooth. I had thought nothing of it at the time.

Now it was back with a vengeance and swollen as well. This pain is quite severe. Drink warm water with salt and see what happens. What is the situation now? There was supposed to be a trip today to a few historical landmarks but one hour before, it was throbbing.

Matloob looked at the swelling in my mouth and could see that it was quite severe for a little bump. I also had some problem swallowing. “Take this and see what happens. If you’re not in good shape after this, then we might have to consider the doctor.” I did not want that and felt bad about missing the tour of historical Madinah.

“Don’t worry, everything is going to be in Urdu. It will be a waste of your time,” Tanweer warned me in advance.

“Well, atleast you get to listen to it,” I sought to cheer him up.

“No…I don’t speak that stuff. I speak something else at home. I get as much out of hearing it as you do.” Matloob and Tanweer both shrugged and made their way, closing the door behind them and leaving me to recline on the bed after I took the medicine and drank the water. Twenty minutes later I was out of commission.

I woke up to a pounding on the door and the voice of Uwais. “Abu Ja`far, are you in there? If you’re dead, answer,” I heard him slightly laugh at his own joke. Sitting up in bed, I realised that the pain was gone! The swelling was gone!

I walked to the door and swung it open to see him standing, smiling at me in a friendly manner. “I heard you’re sick? Don’t worry about tonight if…”

“No, listen, I’m fine. I’m rarin’ to go! I’m good. Dr. Matloob gave me some snake oil and dragon bones and I’m as good as new!”

“Good, so you’ll be ready for after Maghrib,” he looked relieved and happy at the same time. “That’s right. I’m ready. Insha’allah, I’ll be there. Should I meet you at brother Mumtaz’s room?”

“Yeah, good idea.” And that was it. Uwais had disappeared around the corner and left me standing in the light of the doorway that flooded out into the darkness of the hallway. Now I had to prepare. I combined and shortened and then read the Shama’il and contemplated.

Once Maghrib rolled around I was right back at Mumtaz’s room and the situation regarding bai`ah and shaykhs had not been resolved. Uwais and Mumtaz, although both agreed on tariqah, were not agreed on protocol towards those who either rejected them altogether or did not accept their importance.

“Listen, people come to knowledge at different times. There was a time when I wasn’t ready and didn’t understand. We can’t take one approach because different people have different problems. ”

“But they should know,” Mumtaz insisted, fastening his green imamah and checking in the mirror that his starch white shalwar kameez were well creased and had no marks or stains on it. “This is something that is well known of Islam. There is no excuse for ignorance of it.”

“Help,” Uwais looked at me and smiled, genuinely grieved by the stalemate. “Look at the time, Maghrib right around the corner. Guess we’ll just have to forget about this whole thing and focus on prayer,” I whispered softly as if I was a deranged warden at Attica Prison.

And that was it. After the Maghrib prayer, we took up our places at the dome and began the next portion of the Shama’il. Halfway through, one of the religious police approached.

Allah, save me from the daemons from men and jinn, I quietly prayed while every so often darting my eyes around to see how deep the religious police were as they approached. Atleast we received salam this time.

“What’s going on here?” He fixed his glasses and stared down at us expectantly. Just tell him the truth, I thought.

“I was asked to go through this book and so we have been doing a portion every night. We will be done at…”

“Where are you from?” He looked and raised his eyebrow.

“We came from England and…”

“No, you’re not from England. Where are you really from because you know Arabic.” He wanted an answer and upon the arrival of two military police I wondered if the atmosphere would get worse.

The group around me looked and I know I would have no time to translate to them but I also knew if I was answered a straight question I could not lie. Salafis were renowned for asking closed questions or incisive ones. This made it impossible to waffle in an answer.

“I was born in the US but my family is Egyptian. Aswan. You know Sa`id Masr.” He nodded and continued the conversation.

“Where did you study. You’re wearing this, so where did you study,” he pointed to my `imamah. I mentioned the places and he kept looking.

“What are you reading through?” He looked forward and took the book from my hands and scrutinised every page.

“Where is the stamp, brother?” He again scanned the pages.

“Stamp?” I had no idea.

“From the Ministry of Religion, showing that this book is correct for use. Where is it?”

I could do nothing but tell him I did not know. I really did not know. He asked me where I purchased it from and when I told him Makkah, he wanted to know exactly where but I did not want to get the brother in trouble.

He was the same Pakistani Hanbali brother who went into the attic of his store and brought down unexpunged copies of Imam Ahmad as-Sawi’s Hashiyah on the Jalalayn. I did not want him to get in trouble so I said that it was one of the shops on the way to Al-Masjid ul-Haram.

“I have a CD for you that corrects all the mistakes you might find in this book and helps with Tawhid. I will give it to you when I next see you. I have heard there are Tawhid issues out there.” He smiled reassuringly but I was weary. One of the military police smiled at me and I recognised him from Makkah.

It was Uday. Maliki and a really nice guy, Uday just did his job. He did not necessary agree with everything the religious police said but as a military man he was required to be on standby with them in case of issues of crowd control.

Nonetheless, he was a stately looking man and appeared to be in his forties but was in remarkable shape. He gave me a nod and with his cocked beret was off and away.

“You okay, brother?” Uwais looked at me. I was sweating slightly as I did not know if they would ask me about me theology, what I thought of the monarchy, Salafiyyah or what. I just knew that I had to be prepared and tell them the truth.

The ordeal left me tired and slightly nauseous. It was the same feeling I had felt when I saw some of the religious police roughing up a Ghanain woman in the corridor of Al-Masjid ul-Haram and calling her a sharmutah afriqiyyah, an African bitch and whore.

Let me just finish this text and not have any more problems. Please let me finish it. This was my only du`aa. I hoped that Allah would answer this request. Tomorrow would be a new day and I had another opportunity to see some of historical Madinah.

After praying `Isha’ at the masjid, I apologised to everyone for the ordeal at Al-Masjid un-Nabawi, but particularly brother Uwais’s sister as I felt that she had been the most startled by the turn of events.

Everyone was very gracious and calm but for me it was a reminder that Salafiyyah was indeed still a cult and had to be handled most carefully. Those in the English speaking countries that had never fully seen it in its’ unvarnished form were naïve about the wickedness of the cult.

I took a shower that night to wash off all the sweat I had accumulated during the Inquisition between Maghrib and `Isha and fell into a fitful sleep, awakened only once by brother Matloob who asked me, “Which is the better salad: what we had in Makkah or here?”

I rolled over and murmured, “They’re all delicious,” and passed back into the dead zone, awaiting a new day that would hopefully be without tribulation.

Ihram and Niqab

Figure 1A: An example of a ghita', a face veil used for women in ihram on `umrah or hajj before the state of hall.
Figure 1A: An example of a ghita’, a face veil used for women in ihram on `umrah or hajj before the state of hall.

The following was a wonderful question that a brother asked regarding his witnessing women wearing niqab while making tawaf around the Ka`bah – May Allah always ennoble it – and the ruling surrounding it.
Sent: Thursday, 9 August 2012, 1:40

Wa alaykum Assalaam wa Rahmatullah Akhee Al-Hajj Al-Kareem,

wa `Alaikum us-Salaamu wa Rahmatullah,

You mentioned them on Sunday, i.e. for tawaf and sa’ee, and especially seeing the Ka’ba for the first time. Then there are the women that are wearing the niqab.

As for the statement regarding women in the Haram sanctuary wearing niqab, people witnessing this are seeing the following,

1) Women wearing what appears to be a visor and then a veil that is attached to that which hangs over the face without touching it. This is called a ghita’. This is worn by women who are in ihram as they have been commanded not to wear burqa` or niqab in the hadith in Al-Bukhari’s collection but being commanded not to wear the former two and covering the face are two different things (and rulings as well).

If you read the Shafi`ii text by the woman that you mentioned under the ihram and such I am sure you will find rulings related to the ghita’ and the difference between an overhanging veil (which is permissible in Ihram) and an attached veil (which is not permissible in ihram).

This has been discussed and duly noted by Imams Baha’ ud-Din al-Maqdisi (cf. Al-`Uddah Sharh ul-`Umdah, pp. 234-239; Mansur ibn Yunus al-Buhuti (cf. Ar-Rawd ul-Murbi`, pp. 213-214) `Abdul Qadir at-Taghlabi (cf. Nail ul-Maarib bi-Sharhi Dalil it-Talib, pp. 132-133) and also `Abdul Ghani al-Lubadi (cf. Hashiyat ul-Lubadi, pp. 147-149).

2) Women actually wearing niqab and making tawaf around the Ka`bah. The reason for this is that these women are now out of their hajj or `umrah and are in a state of hall. In that case there is no harm for them to make tawaf in niqab outside of the `umrah.

This is something reported by Imam Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah (cf. al-Mughni wash-Sharh ul-Kabir, vol.3, mas’alah 2371) in a statement from our Mother, `A’ishah as-Siddiqah and others.

3) Women wearing a niqab while in a state of hall and doing ziyarah which would mean more than 2/3 of their hajj is done and they only have the remaining two days so the only thing they are forbidden from at that time is sexual intercourse with their spouses and all the other restrictions no longer apply.

Again this information has been reported by the aforementioned authorities so there should be no doubt in the matter.


brother in Islam,

al-Hajj Abu Ja`far al-Hanbali

A Hajj Journal-Visiting Madinah 14/15 Dhul Hijjah

Figure 1A: An example of a roadside in the Arabian Peninsula.
Figure 1A: An example of a roadside in the Arabian Peninsula.

The bus was now rumbling along and making great moves. Matloob, Tanweer and I began talking gently  as some others slept but every now and then we would look back at Al-Hajj `Ismah to see if he was feeling faint or weak.

He seemed quite serene but was still very adamant on dying in Madinah. Our driver was a noble looking man from Sham.

I watched one man from our group step forward and snake his hand around me with the Urdu nasheeds and ask the driver to insert them. Please, Allah. Not here.

Not this despicable droning, the Satanic rustling of voices that will break our tranquillity. Please, Allah. Not here. The driver looked back at me briefly while at a stop light with the nasheeds just pumping away.

I could feel his relief when they failed and the disk skipped and did not function. The devilment of the filth had stopped.

I went into my bag and presented a recitation of Shaikh Mahmud Khalil al-Husri, may Allah have mercy on him, before another cassette or CD could be mustered. He looked at the tape and then at me. “Al-Qur’an…al-Husri.”

He smiled and slid the tape in straight away. I was so happy I could not contain it and smiled out the window.

The driver gave a murmured masha’allah and continued the drive. We were well into Maghrib and the redness of the shafaq was disappearing.

Once that redness was gone I was going to combine Maghrib and `Isha. The driver, who I suppose I can just call Shukri for the sake of familiarity, wheeled the bus with such ease I was amazed.

The grey goose was huge and reminded me of buses I would see on the West Coast taking people either to the county jail, 48 hours or juvenile hall.

At first we had plenty of space in the road; but as we carried on with our 12 hour journey and came off the freeway onto city streets, it was crowded. The bus stood, engine running, unmoving for some two hours. Shukri turned off the engine to conserve gasoline.

I could still hear Imam al-Husri reciting and the calmness in his voice was soothing. While we had time, I tried to get off the bus to pray my Maghrib and `Isha combined. However I could not. I was merely getting into position next to one of the bus tires when Shukri called out and the engine roared.

I had to wait. Fine. I will get back on. I will do it later. “Sorry, Akhi. The traffic just clears up and then it starts moving again.” I liked Shukri. His manners and behaviour were noble and he had a good character. One older brother next to me asked me to translate to the driver that the air conditioning should be on.

“No, no. Tell him it’s cold.” The whole journey I had dealt with people that had not even tried to use Arabic. It was always the same culprits. I was not going to do it any longer. “What’s going on?” The driver looked back at me.

“You tell them. You need to learn Arabic. I’m not going to carry you any more. You should have learned a long time ago. If you want to have him do something, you tell him.”

I excused myself from Shukri and moved to the back near Matloob and Tanweer so as to be closer than them. Let them flounder around, I thought. They don’t even try to use Arabic. They don’t even make an effort.

I thought back to the terminal in Jeddah when some Muslims, exasperated that English was not the universal language (and perhaps that some people knew it but did not want to speak it in their own country-which actually has its’ own language) said, “English…do you speak English?”

I was tired of this laziness. Rolling my body towards the window I snuggled up and tried to sleep off some of my tiredness. “Brother Abu Ja`far. Wake up.” I looked over bleary eyed at the meaty hands of Matloob gesturing and nudging me. “Are we in Madinah.” I looked out the window and looked for the dome and did not see it.

“No, but we need to have some food and drink. We’ve been travelling for some time. We’ve reached a rest stop. Do you need the toilet?” I shook my head in the negative and made friends with the window again.

I heard Shukri asking me, “Akhi, do you want coffee.” I again shook my head in the negative. “No thank you. It’s makruh.” He laughed. “Tea?” I shook my head again. “No, I am fine. That too is disliked. I’m not thirsty.” “Hanbaliyyan,” he said humorously and disembarked from the bus.

Some Shamis and Egyptians often used the expression to refer to someone that they thought was puritanical or strict. They meant it tongue in cheek so I never took any offence. I drifted off again.

We came to the next rest stop. Now I was thirsty and needed to freshen up. Coming off the bus, I saw a Bedouin encampment not far from the Arab restaurant and then there was a tiny masjid. Yes, I’ll pray here. I prayed Maghrib and `Isha together. It felt so good to discharge my duty with Allah.

I spied brother Uwais coming my way and smiling. We exchanged greetings and then looked around. “This place is amazing isn’t it. Even the freeway has remembrance of Allah.” My eyes felt misty at his mentioning this point.

All along the freeway, every 100-300 feet were signs reading: Subhanallah. Another 300 feet: Al-Hamdu lillah. Another 300 feet: La ilaha illallah. Another 300: Allahu Akbar. And on and on.

There were supplications for ascending and descending. I was exultant. I grew up seeing signs with gang graffiti, bullet holes or blood spatters. What a difference the faith makes.

I wondered about the emigration of my tribe and how I would have grown up if we had just stayed in Central America or Cuba. Would I have grown up the same way and suffered the same horrible trauma I did on the West Coast?

Allah only knows the answer to that question. Uwais treated me to a fruit drink in the restaurant and one of the men approached us. “Yemeni?” He looked at us and pointed at Uwais as well. I grinned.

Uwais gets mistaken for just about everything but his racial origin. I find it humorous. Yemeni is my favourite. His tall languid frame does give the appearance of Yemeni. I told the man that he was not and explained about his origins, which brought a laugh.

Not just content with a drink, Uwais also bought what appeared to be a whole baby chicken. He got out the door with it before a swarm a people from our group clawed and gnawed at the carcass of the beast. One would have thought he was watching an episode of Wild, Wild World of Animals.

“Are your sister and mother fine?” He nodded to me. “I think they just want to get to a room and rest. They must be really tired. You know, with all the bumps and cracks in the road on the journey.”

“Yallah!” Shukri shouted after taking a final sip from his tea and revving the engine of the bus and giving the air shocks a hearty thrust. Uwais and I exchanged greetings and separated into our groups, I made my way to but 45, no 1 and he headed to 45, no 2.

From what our group leader was telling me, our stay in Madinah would be at the Wasal ar-Reem hotel. I had never seen it so I trusted his judgement and prepared for an interesting sleep.

When I heard the driving saying that we were lost in Arabic, I merely thought that he meant the ride was long, but no…we were actually lost. Bus no 1 had pulled ahead in the move on the freeway ahead of us and then disappeared into the distance. We had no way to communicate.

Shukri knew the way but he did not know where in Madinah we were to stay and which quarter. I got our group leader on the phone and handed it to Shukri. The bus revving under his foot on the gas peddle, Shukri nodded, smiled grimaced and upon completion of the call handed the phone back to me.

He now knew but still had to arrive into the city and wait for Muhammad Ishaq. When we heard that brother Muhammad Ishaq would be waiting to guide us, Matloob, Tanweer and I all immediately fell into laughter.

It was the same Muhammad Ishaq who speaking Arabic, Urdu, Bengali or English sounded the exact same. He was such a wonderful brother but he just made us laugh by how quickly he would speak and gesture his hands as if always in a panic.

Muhammad Ishaq knew that we found it funny and would often give a greater performance for our added benefit and alleviation from tiredness or boredom. How we would greet him in Madinah. Meanwhile the Deobandi/Berelwi issues started up in the bus while we were in the back.

I was happy I had never grown up in that situation. “It’s really sad. They have ruined Islam in the subcontinent. This is all they do.” Tanweer looked out the window as the freeway lights shimmered off his face, giving him a wistful expression.

“Which one?” Matloob looked over. “All of them. They make my stomach turn.” Tanweer’s statement made me laugh for some reason. Here was a Muslim brother who was a doctor, Pakistani born in the UK of the Jat caste but sickened by all the other foolishness.

He was part of a growing breed of people who were sickened by the Deobandi/Berelwi groups, both of whom had worked together to single-handedly disgrace the Hanafi madhhab in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan.

This contributed to the ruination of anyone in UK every learning Hanafi fiqh in the UK or other Asian dominated areas as this was always brought up and then people would be shunned.

These throwbacks to British colonialism had done more to undermine Islam and stimulate the growth of Ahmadiyyah, Ahl ul-Hadith and Salafiyyah than Christian missionaries, brother Matloob had told me over dinner one night in Makkah.

The only way I reckoned this thing could be resolved would be through some violent takeover and then have a method of religion forced upon them that would eradicate all other ways and means.

We sat calmly on the bus in silence for hours, shuffling and bumping down a long, straight road to Madinah.

I could tell that the Saudi government (if they had indeed ordered or played a part in the laying of the asphalt on the road) had taken generously from the Americans.

The roads were wide and spacious with the familiar West Coast shaped signs that were just translated into Arabic. Even the freeway signs and the angular shape of the words were taken from the Interstate-5 and other US structures.

The horizon became lighter the closer we came to Madinah. There was a gust of wind and a light rain that pelted the bus on our turn into Madinah’s fair streets. Palm trees abounded and the people walking on the street gave us no more than a second look.

We came to a stop and looked around. The driver called me and said that he needed a call made to our group leader to come get us.

We were indeed lost and were waiting for our other bus to link up with us. It took two hours before Muhammad Ishaq materialised. Brothers began to come off the bus and prepare for Fajr.

The driver came next to me. “Let’s pray, akhi. Don’t worry. I’m Shafi`ii…and Ash`ari.” He had known by reservations and hatred for the one cult whose name I had not spoken as of yet.

We placed a scrape of cardboard on the dusty Madinan streets and prayed with him leading. His tajwid was very well patterned and he prayed with all the manners of the Sunnah. After Fajr we were guided by Muhammad Ishaq to the hotel and told to choose our rooms.

I went out and gathered our things with a haggard looking Matloob and Tanweer. I staggered about for the first five minutes but was no longer dazed as we worked with effort to pull our luggage from the roof and organise it in front of the hotel door.

We moved inside of the hotel and the group leader stood smiling, assigning us our rooms. We made our way to the room, no 220 and opened the door. The air conditioning was already on and the television blazing. Al-Hajj `Ismah had dug his heels into the place.

“Brothers, you know I was waiting for you to come. Shall we get some rest?” We merely nodded and unpacked our things and switched into our sleeping jalabiyyat. Like lightning I was in the bed and after the du`aa for sleep entered the dead zone.

A Hajj Journal-12/13 Dhul Hijjah

Figure 1A: Tawaf ul-Wada`

I was up and out of bed early again and praising Allah for another opportunity to be alive again in this Sacred Land. I knew that my time was limited and if I lived to leave it the sadness would be great.

I often used to roam around at night and marvel at the calm that there was among believers. Among seven million people that I did not know, I had not an issue or problem with them and we prayed together.

In the United States on the west coast, I had watched people get murdered for wearing the wrong colour in the wrong neighbourhood and the cars would whiz by, lights off and in neutral with the shooters suited up.

The comparison could not be avoided. Seven million Muslims together, minimal issues with crime. Seven million unbelievers together: 700 dead every year in LA County alone. I’ll let the reader do the math.

Once again, it was down to myself, `Irfan, Saghir, Mumtaz, Khan Sahib and some other slaves of Allah that we were blessed to enjoy their company. We set out at 11am in order to try to make it to Masjid al-Khaif and pray Zuhr and then do the stoning one last time before departure.

The crowds were so massive the guards told us, “There is no way we’re going to let you go! The masjid will probably be doubly full as normal. No way!” So we had been rebuffed. It looks like Imam al-Buhuti’s ruling would be carried out.

Up the escalators we went at the site of the Jamarat all seven flights (there was some creaking but you have to do tawakkul as there is nothing else you can do).

Once we had reached the top floor and did our stonings, my jalabiyyah was ripped for the second time but I saw this as nothing but barakah for all the effort and trouble. So it got ripped, I thought. Better that gets ripped than a bleeding forehead or crushed skull.

Some people were praying Zuhr on the side but brother `Irfan and I thought better considering all the stones flecking from here and there that laser guided mini-missiles. “No buses here…Let’s walk and get the barakah.”

So it began. Along with millions of other people, honking, grinning, waving and asking for us to pray for them we walked the long strip to Al-Masjid ul-Haram.

Every time we made a turn we felt it as the crowd pulled in close and I watched brother `Irfan’s eyes almost pop out of his head and his glasses nearly come off. I must admit that I hid behind him and let him take most of the punishment from the crowd.

“Boy, I’m sure glad I have a shield in this sacred land,” I grinned at him. “I know what you’re doing,” he turned back and looked at me. We passed by one of the masjids on the way but the crowds were too great and the cliff too formidable so we walked on.

After passing one of the cliffs, we met some Nigerian sisters selling Shandi and other soft drinks at a bargain price of 10 riyals each. “Are you kidding! Give us five!” We bought them and drank them with relish and then continued our walk.

We had to make it through the Makkah tunnel and then we would be only yards from Al-Masjid ul-Haram. The fans used to keep oxygen through the tunnel hissed at us and thundered along the way.

Buses, ’77 Chevrolet Caprices lowered due to numerous occupants, Volvos, Jeeps, Winnebagos and all other manner of vehicle was in the tunnel with us. We stayed on either the left or the right and the centre was for all the vehicles.

`Irfan was busy taking snaps of the people and the festive atmosphere. We came out of the tunnel and an Afghani man at about 5’2’’ passed my way with a sparkling white `imamah and nice jalabiyyah. “Anta min?” “Masr.” I knew he was interested in what race I was and not that I came in on British Airways.

He mentioned that he was from Herat in Afghanistan. We had a few words in common but that was enough. I mentioned Imam Abu Isma`il al-Ansari and his face lit up quickly. “Sawa.’ Sawa.’ ” He kept telling me they were the same, the exact same. I think he means the city, I wondered.

“Madhhab. Sawa’.” Subhanallah, I thought. We had a Herati Hanbali here in the flesh. So they had reached that far. History books had told us that they had reached Jalalabad and some other provinces but that the madhhab still had a foothold there was interesting.

We traded a few more pleasantries and he was delighted when I confirmed my rite was the same as his own. He was turning in the other direction to go with his group and squeezed my hand affectionately before giving salam and disappearing into the crowd.

Another tunnel and we were yards from Al-Masjid ul-Haram. It was 2:45pm and we had made good time. The brothers were headed to the masjid to pray and then back to the hotel. I headed to the hotel and would combine and shorten and then crash out for a while.

I lay back on the bed and thought about my next obligation. It was now compulsory for me to do Tawaf ul-Wada`. If I lived to complete this the Hajj was finished for me in terms of all the rites being complete.

At 3:47am I did the final tawaf and looked at the people. As normal, Makkah was thunderously bright but the light was soft. I realised then that I did not have a right to be here, but Allah had given me the privilege.

As the clock hit 5:20am I had finished Tawaf al-Wada`. I stood gazing at the Noble House, 4,000 years of history facing me head on. Tomorrow we would be headed out to Madinah. This would be the last time I would gaze at the entire Sanctuary.

I respectfully backed away from her and continued to, only stopping to go up the steps and then continue on. I was able to hold myself from blubbering like a child but it was hard. I thought of how many people that I loved had not made it.

I remember brothers who fell on battlefields in Bosnia, Chechnya, Afghanistan and asked that Allah bless them. I thought particularly of Abul Hasan, the black-bearded brother who acted as an older brother to me after I had lost my own flesh and blood brother.

The story of his bravery from other brothers was legendary. A proud Maliki and unapologetic Ash`ari, his philosophical arguments made me laugh at times.

“Before looking at any matter, we always have to remember Shar`,” he would begin thoughtfully, stroking his beard and then taking a swig of goat milk. He had told me that I should make Hajj one day. If his statement had been du`aa, then I feel that Allah answered it.

My last night in Makkah I spent up talking to the other believers, laughing with Uwais at his numerous predicaments and napping in between discussions with the other Muslims. Makkah was every bit and more holy than I had envisaged. I wanted to leave as soon as possible. This was not as I did not like the city.

Rather, I had thus far not done anything egregious and so now that my rites were complete I did not want to be given a spare moment to do or say something stupid. Let me leave before I offend the holiness of the sanctuary, I pleaded in my heart. Now I would have to wait for that time to come.

A Hajj Journal-12 Dhul Hijjah

Figure 1A: Jamarat and the crowds.

Brother Tanweer woke me up gently so that we could begin our day at about 10am. I made wudu’, waited for Zuhr, combined and shortened and then set out for the jamarat after Zuhr. We left at 2pm.

A the jamarat, we completed all of what Allah asked us to do as best we could. My favourite jalabiyyah was ripped in the process of leaving the jamarat area and someone stepped on it by accident.

Although shorter than myself, I used brother `Irfan as a shield while we ran forward to get out of the firing line of the stones. We arrived back at the camp for 4:45pm. Fortunately we did not get lost and the trip back was ideal.

The people of hajj are the most humble on the planet and also the most patient. Between 4-7 million registered and unregistered people were present and they flowed easily. A Muslim brother handed me a cup of water which I was grateful for and I thanked him a great deal.

People in the United States fight in line at McDonalds so how on Earth could someone put the finger at the believers of Muslim Orthodoxy? Time at the camp flew by and I waited eagerly for Maghrib prayer.

Masjid Hujjaj il-Birr bi Mina, better known as Masjid Kuwait, was my destination with our amir, Mumtaz, and some of the other Slaves of Allah.

The prayer of Maghrib was decent but right after we had to hear about the takfir of the Ummah, how most of us don’t have a valid Hajj, and how intercession is not viable.

I just wanted to go and the sign on the wall claiming it as impermissible to offer Jumu`ah prayer at the Masajid Masha`ir as the people are not resident. They have stopped people who might validly want to make Jumu`ah.

We quickly went back to the camp and that was the end of it. Annoyed at the takfir and time wasting we were subjected to with Salafiyyah, reading a qualified text by a qualified scholar took the sour taste from my mouth left by the divinely cursed and wretched Salafi movement.

All the believers slept fitfully at the camp. I woke up at 3am unaided and took a shower. We were about to pray fajr when Al-Hajj `Ismah had a heart attack. The walking he should not have done the night before had caught up with him.

Pandemonium ensued as everyone was talking at once over the collapsed body of the senior most of our camp. One brother did CPR while I and a Moroccan brother did translation work to the emergency services of the situation.

Al-Hajj `Ismah was taken to the camp clinic, which had more confusion, with one of the doctors telling Dr. Tanweer, another believer with us and a doctor, “I’m going to kill you.” No you’re not, I thought while I blocked the way. We broke up the situation and calm was restored.

When the ambulance arrived, they were still too slow. Brother Khubaib and his cousin commandeered the keys from the driver and assistant (and left them standing there looking puzzled) and took the ailing al-Hajj `Ismah themselves to the hospital at the end of the camp. This was called al-Wada Hospital.

Fajr went on after that but it was very worrying what the fate of our senior member would be at the hospital. The rest of the day passed without incident and I prepared to get ready to go later as the following day we had to be gone before Maghrib or you would have to do the other day at Mina.

My decision was to do the stoning before Zuhr. “But is that valid in all the fiqh, brother,” a worried brother in our group asked. “I don’t know but it’s valid in mine. If Imam Al-Buhuti says that’s the end of the discussion.”

And so it was the case. The plan was for the next morning we would arise and head to the jamarat and then make our way back to Makkah. There we would complete the final rite of Hajj: The Farewell Tawaf.

If this was done, then all the rites of Hajj had been completed. Whether Allah accepted it was something else.

A Hajj Journal-11 Dhul Hijjah

file-13-Tent city of Mina
Figure 1A: Mina, the tent city acts as accommodation for all the pilgrims.

We were now back at the hotel and we needed money to go and get our heads shaved but also for something to drink. “I’ve got this one,” I insisted.

So out we headed and I bought a fruit smoothie, in fact two for myself although the brother only wanted one. Tanweer and I saw prices for head shaving had escalated by some 400% but we had been warned.

The situation was unbelievable. We finally found some good, professional brothers that we witnessed change their blades after every shave. The hair was then taken away and incinerated. Yes, these guys knew what they were doing.

I had to get this round as the last round Tanweer had chipped in for everyone. He told the man very clearly, “You are not to touch my beard. Do not touch it. It’s long and strong and I don’t want it removing. Do you understand?”

He asked me to say it in Arabic for further emphasis. I have repeated it and gone through the details. The man understood and agreed not to touch the beard. Our heads were shaved with precision and they felt soft and delicious in the cool night. “Now that’s a haircut,” brother Tanweer patted my back as we left from the place and I paid our bill.

It had only been 15 riyals each and it was nice. We next found ourselves back at the hotel and we each took our shower and went into hall and we were back in our non-ihram clothes.

Tanweer waited for his brother and everyone else and we set out and did Tawaf uz-Ziyarah and then the Sa’ii or heading to Safa and Marwah. Before we had arrived, three people were killed in Tawaf.

From 9:40-11:40pm we were in the compound and it was not as crowded as people had told us it was going to be; you just had to go with the crowd and move with the flow of the people.

We then left the Masjid and waited at the hotel until 1am. The Imam had told us to wait and we would have to head back to Mina for two more days and to do the stonings one more time at the jamarat.

Here we had a group of some sixty people that were trying to wave down buses in traffic that would take us back to Mina. Cabs and taxis were far too expensive and some were so well booked they had the ‘Unavailable’ sign up in the window of their depots.

Finally a bus pulled over and brother Muhammad Ishaq that I had introduced to the reader in the beginning negotiated a price. It was 20 riyals each and added up from the sixty five people from us it came to £1300.00.

This was an old blue bird bus from Sacramento, California so it was indeed safe. The seating was for women and old people and the men were to stand. Brothers Matloob and Tanweer went on the roof as the bus proved too crowded inside.

The roof on top and the railing was a little bit too shaky, but Matloob and Tanweer seemed confident. Muhammad Ishaq sat next to the driver and dictated him around the streets to try to reach Mina and its’ tents.

We had so many people, the driver was concerned about being pulled over by the police, which happened thirty minutes into the journey. We were released after a long discussion and pleading and begging from Muhammad Ishaq and the driver.

The police and border guards released us and we were up the road with twists, turns and bumps. The back of the bus leapt in the air when we hit a pot hole and came down with a bang.

Everyone held on tight and some of the women cried. After things calmed down, I looked out of the back window from my standing position and wondered if Matloob and Tanweer had been thrown from the bus.

I fast forwarded to their janazah and explaining to a tearful Asian woman, “You see, there was this big bump…then they fell off. He finished most of the hajj, so he was hajji and he was martyr as well. You have been blessed that you have two sons as martyrs.”

I did not find my own explanation worthwhile so how would I convince this poor lady that she was now two sons short. “There’s always adoption,” I would drop in as a nice consolation.

Finally we were dropped at a place about 30 minutes from the camp. Based on this there was a huge argument between Muhammad Ishaq and the driver. All of us stepped down and began the walk. A loud explosion then rocked the back of the bus that we had exited from and the driver had a look of worry.

Muhammad Ishaq had said to him, “Allah deal with you!” So it had come to pass. The back door was blown off and the windshield of the driver in back of the bus was nearly blown out.

I was relieved on the walk to see that Matloob and Tanweer were still alive and had survived the bumps in the road. They described the ride as bumpy and difficult to handle. “Well, let’s get home.” No one knew how to find the camp and Muhammad Ishaq, the advisor to our Imam, was now the brunt of all the blame.

He promptly resigned as amir and turned the reins of power over to another brother, who had been lost two previous times but nonetheless was happy to go ahead. I marched ahead and found one elder brother, al-Hajj `Ismah.

Coughing a great deal, elderly and out walking at about 2am, he had no business out at this time. “He’s had a heart bypass as well,” Matloob said, his troublesome groin complaining to him and hampering his walking power.

The three of us decided to flag down a bus that was going near the camp and safely found one. The driver took our money and brought us all on board. I kept checking, along with Matloob, on the face of Al-Hajj `Ismah, which seemed dour and ashen.

At long lost we were back at the camp at 3:50am. Other believers were looking askance at us as to how we had taken this long. We left the lights on and decided to stay up for Fajr and then sleep like there was no tomorrow coming.

I descended into the abyss twenty minutes after Fajr and stayed like that. It was time to sleep and I had not a care in the world. I would have to be up later in the day to go and do the stoning at the jamarat and I hoped before drifting off to live to do so.

A Hajj Journal-10 Dhul Hijjah

Figure 1A; Al-Muzdalifah at night and everyone asleep.

A Muslim brother from Morocco made the beautiful Adhan of the Sunnah at Fajr that awakened us. The believers were enthusiastic after he roused them from their sleep. The rest at Muzdalifah had been without incident.

I heard a few people complaining before I dozed off into the dead zone, but they were either the usual suspects or not worth worrying about as they had forgot what the Hajj was about in the first place.

Wonderful, I thought. The brother had made the first Adhan and not the second. I stood up among a sea of people that were still by an large sleeping.

Now was the time to snatch a place in line before the second Adhan and the lines started. I used the bathroom straight away and then headed to the wudu’ stalls.

Another point worth sharing is the following: wake up early at Muzdalifah. Wake up as early as you can and use the toilet and then use the water for wudu’ sparingly. Remember others as while there the water became scarce. Some brothers didn’t care and abused it anyway.

The toilet facilities are the same Victorian style toilets and some Muslims are not very hygienic so those Muslims that are must be on guard. Lift you entire Ihram when you use the toilet and do not sit but rather squat over the hole in the floor.

Wudu’ complete and Ihram a little bit dusty, I was still fine. Now I was ready for the prayer. There had been a little bit of permafrost but it was burnt off by first light. The second Adhan came and people were dashing around and not knowing what to do or how to do it.

A small cadre of believers gathered and prayed behind an Algerian imam who read the Warsh recital of the Qur’an beautifully. The prayer completed and after dhikr he came over and shook hands and offered light pleasantries.

Once the people had completed Fajr, now the next hurdle began. People were to stand in their perspective groups and await the bus to their camps back at Mina. Ours was a 45 bus. The only problem is as mentioned before, that number is for the Turkish, US, UK, Canada and some Mexican nationals.

Therefore all the groups wanted to be first on the bus, first in the front seat, first to put on the air conditioning, first to have their prayer beads out, first back to the camp, first at everything. Few people wanted to wait. Our Imam was a bit vexed but kept his cool.

One or two fist fights broke out between brothers that were in the 45 group and brothers that were rallying the people to the buses.

Rich kids dealing with poverty, I could only think while speaking with a brother about the situation and the estimated time of arrival.

“So anyway, I started to do my wird at `Arafah and I went on and on without a hitch. The guards didn’t do anything, akhi,” Uwais grinned while recounting the whole story.

“You got away with that? But they came for us after 20 minutes! I thought you got lost on the way back,” I chuckled while discussing the matter with him.

We kept talking away until more people became restless in the camp. Uwais had smartly wriggled his way into one of the other bus lines and waved at us through the window. The only problem was it was going to get 54 instead of 45.

Mina is a big place and I hope he knows the way back, I prayed for him. After more than 10 buses with 45 emblazoned across the front passed, we were able to flag down one and get aboard.

Brothers Tanweer and Muhammad Ameen ambled up alongside me. “Subhanallah, I didn’t think I’d share the bus with you brothers again!” Muhammad Ameen grinned and answered, “Didn’t think or you didn’t want to?!” We both laughed.

Although still a bit drowsy, we prepared ourselves to get to the jamarat by after Zuhr and do the stoning. I prayed by combining and shortening and moved out with the whole group doing the talbiyyah. Everyone was there and I do mean everyone.

Turks, Arabs (Bedu and Hadari), Russian, Chechen, Bosnian and even the occasional whatchamacallit were all in attendance. It was something. So was the heat. The journey there was good and we required about seven escalators to get on top of the buildings to the pillars to do the stoning.

People were doing the stoning but sometimes heating others in the process. Al-Hajj Muhammad Ameen came and showed us how to do it and what was the safest way. We followed his advice and came out unscathed.

Our only casualty was brother Mumtaz who was hit by a pebble that had ricocheted. “It’s ‘cause your head is so big, Mufti Sahib. It’s all the wisdom!” Mumtaz and all of us laughed while his head was medicated.

We were lost on the way back as the original way there had been sealed off due to overcrowding and security concerns. The group was squeezed, smooshed, jammed and pulled every which way. Tanweer at one point decided to take his chances on finding the way back and so did Matloob.

Now we were back at Mina, tent no 45 and the wait was on. Each group of slaves of Allah at Mina was waiting for news back from their perspective Imam regarding whether their sacrifices had been done.

A note to the believers: Do not worry about the logistics of the sacrifice unless you are asked. The charge of the housing, buses, food and sacrifice and such is inclusive of the charges unless you are told otherwise or you want to take cabs. This would be your expense and headache.

I saw brother Khubaib across the room and we exchanged greetings and hugged. “How are you brother?” He nodded and offered me some cashews. A fitting treat in this weather. He also had some bread. I remembered that he was still my bread brother.

I had kept the same diet along with brothers Matloob, Tanweer and it looked like Khubaib was doing the same thing. I read some ayat from the Qur’an and then looked at some minor masa’il by Imam Ibn Qa’id and felt at home.

Khubaib came back to the tent at 2:45 pm and announced, “I’ve seen some brothers have received news back about their sacrifices. They have started shaving their heads.” I remarked to him that this was great and I could not wait into we had our news.

“Brother, their heads are bleeding. No, no. Let me say that again. Their gushing, akhi!”  Just as Khubaib had mentioned, three heads were bleeding, freshly shaved in the corridor area. I wondered what I could do.

“Should we catch the bus back to Makkah?” Tanweer’s eyebrows were raised in his typical Dr. Spock reflective pose. Uwais and Matloob felt the same way and wanted to go. Then another brought felt the same way.

“It’s a good idea but…” I was about to ask when but was interrupted by the Imam coming in and announcing that our sacrifices had been done and now it was fine to shave our heads. It was 3pm.

“…Now is the time then, gentlemen,” I poised myself. We gathered up a few things to take back. If you have a back at Mina, you can leave it there without the valuables and just leave a fresh change of clothes. The rest can go back with you.

We headed out of the camp. We looked all over for buses and found one with a driver and quickly filling up. It was at Kubri `Abdul `Aziz bridge. He said it would be 40 riyal each so we agreed and jumped aboard.

I paid mine but one brother was short. “Forget it,” I said, patting him on the back and I put some towards him as well.

He counted up all the wealth and checked that there was nothing wrong and at first there was some confusion. I explained and then another brother did that this was for the whole group and then we set out.

We had caught the bus at 5pm and we were 50 yards from Al-Masjid ul-Haram when we stepped off. Traffic was crazy and we did not want any part of the wait to get there on time for Maghrib prayer. Brother Matloob again had problems with his grown and waved us to carry on and he would be fine.

Tanweer and I continued the march over to the Masjid and could see her noble and blessed minarets greeting us.

“We’re not far now,” we picked up speed as his words gave us hope. We made wudu’ and waded in with the sea of people and prayed with our Ihrams.

The respect that we received while in Ihram was greater than we thought it would be and people moved out of deference. “Do you think the same thing would happen if we wore these in the UK,” Tanweer offered, half grinning.

Sham, Iraq, Egypt: the Authoritiesٍ