Common, Oft-repeated Mistakes During Hajj and Umrah (so you can avoid them!)

Guest post by by Asma bint Shameem

The noble Sahabi, Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman said, “People used to ask the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) about good things, but I used to ask him about bad things because I was afraid that they might overtake me.”

What a beautiful example to follow! And thus, on a similar note, I have listed some of the extremely common mistakes that scores of people make, year after year, so that we can be weary of them and protect and prevent themselves from making them. This way our Hajj will be closest to the Sunnah, bi idhnillaah, and insha’Allah acceptable to Allah.

Mistake #1. Thinking that dua is accepted at first glance of the Ka’bah:

Many people have the wrong notion that the first time they look at the Ka’bah, any dua that they make will be answered. Not true! This has no evidence from the Sharee’ah. And any hadeeth that one may find regarding this matter is either extremely weak or fabricated. When asked about dua being accepted at the first sight of the Ka’bah, Shaykh Sa’d al-Humayd replied:

“This is not true; there has to be evidence for this to be true, because acts of worship should only be based on evidence. And that evidence must be saheeh in and of itself and it should be clear and unambiguous. And Allaah knows best.”

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Mistake #2. “Kissing” the black stone from far away and stopping in mid-tawaaf to do so:

Kissing the black stone is a beautiful Sunnah, and an honor indeed for the one who is able to do so. However, due to the immense crowds, a very large number of people are not able to reach it. So a large number of people try to “kiss” it from far away. When they are line with the black stone, they stop dead in their tracks in mid-tawaaf, stand facing the black stone, put up both hands on the side of their head and “kiss” the black stone in mid air, as if the black stone is right in front of them. Or they throw “flying kisses” at the black stone from far away, by kissing their hands and then “throwing” these kisses in the direction of the black stone. Besides being wrong, stopping the flow of tawaf causes disruption and unnecessary crowding in that area, and a LOT of inconvenience to fellow Haajis.

“Distance kissing” is not from the Sunnah of course. All the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) did while doing tawaaf, was to kiss the black stone if he easily could do so, or touch it with his hand and kiss his hand. BUT, when there was a crowd, all he did was  point to it from far away and say “Allaahu Akbar”.  That’s it.

It was narrated that Abu Tufayl (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) performing Tawaaf around the House, touching the corner [where the Stone is] with a crooked staff which he had with him, then kissing the staff. [Muslim, 1275]
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) performed Tawaaf on his camel, and every time he came to the corner [where the Stone is] he would point to it and say “Allaahu akbar.” [al-Bukhaari, 4987]

And that’s what we need to do. If you are far away from the black stone, all you do is to point to it with your right hand, say Allaah Akbar and move on. No facing the Ka’bah, no “distance kissing”, no stopping dead in your tracks. Keep moving and don’t disrupt the flow of the tawaaf.

“It should be noted that the tawaaf remains perfectly valid without kissing the Black Stone. If one does not or cannot kiss the Black Stone. it is sufficient simply to point to it, saying “Allahu Akbar” when one comes parallel to it, although one may be at a distance from it.” [Fataawa ibn Baaz]

Mistake #3. Shouting out duas in unison

Some people shout at the top of their voices, in unison, while making dua during tawaaf. They follow an imaam or a leader who says out different duas aloud, and then the followers all repeat after him in unison. This causes a lot of confusion and disturbs others engaged in their own duas,  making them lose focus and khushoo‘. And obviously, it is also not befitting that one should shout and raise his voice in a place so sacred as the Harram.

The right thing to do is to know, before you go for tawaaf, the duas that you will be making, the Qur’aan you will be reciting, etc. so that you don’t have to follow anybody. Rather you will be making your own dua, in your own language, from your own heart. This will give you better concentration and satisfaction. Plan your duas ahead of time, repeat them to yourself, with humility and khushoo‘. After all, you’re making dua to the One Who hears all and sees all. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) said:

Each one of you is conversing with his Lord, so do not disturb one another or raise your voices over one another when reading [or he said] when praying. [Abu Dawood, saheeh by al-Albaani]

Mistake #4. Designating specific duas for specific rounds:

There are some people who make specific duas for each round and there are even books that have specific duas written for each specific round, with dua #1 to be read for round #1 and so on. This is not something from the Sharee’ah. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) did not recite any specific dua in any of the rounds, and neither did his companions. If there was such a thing, then he would have told us about it, and he would have done so himself first.

The only dua that he did specify during Tawaaf, was when he reached at the end of each circuit between the Yemeni Corner and the Black Stone, and he would say: “Rabbana atina’ fid-dunya hasanatan wa fil-akhirati hasana wa qina adhaban-nar. ” (Our Lord, give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter and save us from the punishment of the Fire.)

So the right thing to do in each round is to make sincere dua from your heart about whatever it is that you make dua to Allaah for, in whatever language you like, in whatever words that you feel comfortable in, until you come to the Yamani (third) corner where you can say the above dua prescribed in the Sunnah.

Think about it. If you’re reading something from a book, in a language that you don’t understand, would that have the same effect on you or the same impact on your dua as compared to something that you do understand? Imagine the power of the dua that comes from deep within your heart and its effect. You are the one who knows your problems…you are the one who is afflicted…you are the one beseeching your Lord and He’s the One who knows what you’re asking for.

And even if you did understand the duas, it would still be something not prescribed in the Sunnah.

Mistake #5. Doing Tawaaf on someone else’s behalf:

Many people make this mistake. They circumambulate the Ka’bah 7 times and then they donate the reward of this tawaaf  to their loved ones, their family members or their relatives who have passed away. Also, when people go for Hajj or Umrah, their relatives and friends specifically ask them to “do one tawaaf on their behalf”. This is not valid and there is no evidence for its permissibility.

You see, Tawaaf is a kind of prayer and you cannot pray on someone else’s behalf. Can you? Similarly, you cannot do just tawaaf by itself on someone else’s behalf either. However, if you were doing an entire Hajj or Umrah on someone’s behalf, then the tawaf would be automatically be on the other person’s behalf anyway. But to do tawaaf by itself, meaning 7 rounds around the Ka’bah and donating the reward to someone else is not correct.

Shaykh ibn Baaz said: Tawaaf around the Ka’bah cannot be done by proxy, so no one can do tawaaf on behalf of someone else, unless he is doing Hajj or ‘Umrah on his behalf, in which case he may do it on his behalf along with the rest of Hajj or ‘Umrah.  [Fataawa Ibn Baaz]

What the best thing to do is to do as many tawaaf as you can for your own self. Tawaaf is an Ibaadah that cannot be done anywhere else except Makkah and this is a golden opportunity.

Mistake #6. Going to Tan’eem again and again for multiple Umrahs:

Some people perform multiple Umrahs after finishing their own, going outside Makkah either to Masjid Aaisha (Tan’eem) or other meeqaat points, put on a new Ihraam and repeat Umrahs again and again. Some of them do an Umrah a day, some even more! This is also NOT from the Sunnah. And NOT the practice of the Sahaabah.

If it was good to do multiple Umrahs all in one trip, surely the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) would have done so himself and the Sahaabah would have done so too. But we see that although the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) stayed in Mecca for 19 days after the conquest of Mecca, yet he did NOT leave Mecca to do `Umrah, even though he could have easily done so.

Sheikh al-`Uthaymeen said: “Ibn Taymiyah mentions that the Salaf are agreed that making multiple `Umrahs is disliked. In any case, leaving Mecca and going to the boundary of the sacred precincts to make a second or third `Umrah is an unfounded practice that was unknown during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The only exception to this was the case where `A’ishah sought permission to make a single `Umrah after Hajj because of special circumstances. If it was generally recommended to leave Mecca to perform `Umrah in this way, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would have encouraged his Companions to do so.”

Actually, instead of making multiple Umrahs, the better thing to do and the worship that will earn more rewards, bi idhnillaah, is to perform as many tawaaf as you can for yourself. Like I said before, tawaaf is an Ibaadah that cannot be done anywhere else except Makkah and this is a golden opportunity.

Ibn Taymiyah said: “The Salaf agree that performing voluntary tawaaf is superior to going to al-Tan`îm or to the boundaries of the sacred precincts and making `Umrah. [Majmu` al-Fataawa]

Mistake #7. Thinking that the Jamaraat are Shayaateen:

When some people go to stone the Jamaraat, they think they are going to stone the devils. In fact, they think they are stoning Iblees himself! They even call this ritual, “stoning the SHAYTAAN.” That is NOT TRUE. The Jamaraat are NOT shayaateen and to call the Jamaraat “Shayateen” is also wrong.

All we do when we stone these Jamaraat is an act of remembering Allaah, following the Messenger of Allaah(Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) as an act of worship. That’s it. No need to get emotional, no need to cuss at the Jamaraat, no need to push and shove.

Mistake #8. Touching or wiping over the Ka’bah, any part of Masjid al-Haraam or Masji an-Nabawi:

Some people try and touch any part of the Ka’bah or Maqaame Ibraaheem, thinking that there is blessing or barakah in it. Or they touch or wipe their hands on the different parts of Masjid al-Haraam or Masjid an-Nabawi, and then they wipe over themselves, thinking that this is something good or it will be source of blessing for them. But again, this is another act with no basis in the Sharee’ah of Islam. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam)  did not touch any part of Ka’bah except the Black Stone and the Yemeni Corner. If it was good, he would have done so. But he didn’t and so we don’t either.

Dear brother/sister, just think about it. Blessings come from following what Allah and His Messenger (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) have prescribed, and NOT from following innovations.

Mistake #9. Thinking that praying forty prayers in Madeenah is compulsory:

Some people think that you have to complete forty prayers in the Prophet’s Masjid and that this is necessary and part of Hajj. It’s not. This is based on a weak hadeeth. Neither is it necessary to complete forty prayers there nor is visiting Madeenah a part of Hajj. Obviously it is good if you can spend as much time as you can in Madeenah and pray as much as you can in Masjid an-Nabawi. But to think that one has to complete forty prayers there is not correct. You can pray one day or one hour  or one month or whatever is according to your hajj program. It does not have to be forty prayers.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz said: “With regard to the widespread idea that the visitor should stay for eight days so that he can offer forty prayers in the Mosque is wrong. Although it says in some ahaadeeth “Whoever offers forty prayers therein Allaah will decree that he is safe from the Fire and free from hypocrisy,” this hadeeth is da’eef according to the scholars and cannot be taken as proof or relied upon. There is no set limit for visiting the Prophet’s Mosque. If a person visits for an hour or two, or a day or two, or for more than that, there is nothing wrong with that.”  [Fataawa Ibn Baaz]

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19 responses to “Common, Oft-repeated Mistakes During Hajj and Umrah (so you can avoid them!)”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Muslim Matters and Al Mawaddah, Taarik. Taarik said: RT @MuslimMatters: Common, Oft-repeated Mistakes During Hajj and Umrah (so you can avoid them!): The noble Sahabi, Hudhayfah ibn al-Y… http://bit.ly/cGj6lu […]

  2. Avatar Mansoor says:

    Please visit http://www.hajtips.com for useful tips about tawaaf, saiee, Arafah, health, shopping, etc.

  3. Avatar Algebera says:

    Aslamu-alaikum:
    Speaking about the BLACK STONE, here is an Exciting way to kiss the black stone by Muhammad Alshareef. I thought the story was just out of this world. MashAllah.

    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=442839633530

    salam

  4. Avatar Me says:

    Assalaamu alaikum,

    Jazaki Allahu khairan for the much needed reminder. These are really common mistakes, may Allah guide the ummah.

    Another common mistake is when standing on the Safa and Marwah people will point to the Ka’bah and say Allahu Akbar. That is NOT the sunnah. The sunnah is to offer a lengthy supplication.

  5. Avatar Muslim says:

    I think people need to put up a sign of what school of thought or shaykh they are following so they can avoid confusing people.

    I am sure the brother or sister who wrote this article had the best of intentions. I am not questioning this at all.

    However, many of the above mentioned “mistakes” that they mention are actually taught by other teachers teaching other Fiqh. They should not be considered “mistakes” but “differences of opinions”. The article might have been better titled “The difference of opinion between the Schools of thoughts and my Shaykh’s opinion”. Or some type of title such as that.

    We have to learn how to use language that creates an atmosphere of brotherhood while learning how to disagree with each other. Now, scholars disagreeing with each other and being very frank and blunt with each other is a completely acceptable thing. They are not common people who are prone to being confused, and having their emotions affected and eventually being dissatisfied and discouraged during the search for truth. They are trained men and women who have sacrificed their lives for this religion who speak bluntly to each other in their writings.

    But putting up an article such as this, on an internet blog website dedicated to the GENERAL discussion of Islamic topics and news, for the general muslim and non muslim population shouldn’t have such an attachment to a specific school of thought where they can put up an article and say “mistakes” that probably the majority of Sunni Scholars around the world would accept as permissible, encouraged and/or from sound traditions.

    #’s 1, 2, 5, 6, 8 are either encouraged or permissible in probably most of the schools of thoughts, and definitely the Hanafi School of thought from my knowledge. Most of the Muslims around the world are not committing mistakes when they perform them, they are following their scholars instructions.

    #9 to me seems useless. Yes, one should be told that it is not compulsory to read 40 prayers in the Masjid of the Prophet, Sall Allahu Alayhi Wasalam, if they are INSISTENT upon believing it is. But why was this a common mistake put up in this article and NOT the several other common mistakes people make during their Hajj rites. To me, #9 represents a common ignorance that has plagued our Ummah where we like to “correct” our brothers and sisters in areas where it DOESN”T matter. If I die and believe I had to pray 40 prayers in Masjid Nabwi, I don’t think I will be punished for it if I am a common Muslim. And MOST people that I have ever met in my life actually KNOW it is not compulsory, however, they stress this very much and so what, let them. At least they are stressing something that is good and will make them pray more and follow a Hadeeth.

    Again, I am not questioning the author on their intentions, however I question the wisdom or purpose of this article on a MuslimMatters website and I question the choice of the word “mistake”. Brothers and sisters in the west do not live in a region of the world where only one Fiqh is practiced, where saying the word “mistake” might have been acceptable and not cause confusion. We live in cities in the west where we have people who follow different schools of thoughts, and also some people who have new ways of following the religion and some people who don’t even know what they are talking about. To avoid more confusion, I believe we should label things as “differences of opinion”.

    • Avatar Macai says:

      Agreed.

      Also, as far as making specific duas goes, yes I do admit that there are no specific duas prescribed for each round but that does not mean that the duas in such books are not from the Sunnah or that it is wrong to make such duas. Most of the duas I’ve seen in such books do come from hadith collections which – although they are not specifically for tawaf or for any certain round – have simply been distributed amongst the circuits for the ease of the person so that the person can make all these blessed duas of the Messenger SAW within Tawaf.

      No doubt duas made from your heart are most powerful, but the duas that the Prophet SAW made are the most powerful, deep, all-encompassing prayers. He knew more than us what we are in need of and what we should be praying for and in which manner we should ask from our Lord. Why should we deprive ourselves of these duas?

    • Avatar Abu Ibrameem says:

      JazakAllah khair for your comment brother (I am assuming you are a brother?)

      With regards to your comment that all these practices are well known in other ‘schools’ is implying that the ‘mistakes’ mentioned here are actually well known practices.

      Your comments highlight a wider issue we have, when it comes to the discussion of ‘school of thought’.

      So, aside from ‘mistakes’ and ‘practices’ advocated by other schools, lets talk about things which EVERY Muslim agrees upon.

      1. We all want to do Hajj (and other acts of worship) in the way that Rasul-Allah did. That is the essence of worship, to conform to his methodology of worship.

      2. The purpose of a school of thought is tool to help us do this. When studying a school of thought properly, it should actually allow the Muslim to understand and appreciate the differences of opinion within our Ummah, as opposed to causing harm and disunity.

      Finally, to make blanket statements that ”This is the Hanafi viewpoint’ is not acceptable. I actually know many Hanafis who would agree with the mistakes mentioned in this article too. Also, when you say that this is the ‘Hanafi’ stance, do you mean that it was Imam Abu Hanifa’s stance, or his students who came much later than he did?

    • Avatar Muhammad IrfanUllah says:

      Dear sir, I 100% agree with this article, even if you don’t. Islam is a very easy religion to learn & so the umrah is. Unnecessary inventions/rituals make it difficult & difficult day by day causing trouble/confusion for the others. If Muhammad (peace be upon him) didn’t do some thing, who are the others creating new rituals by themselves. This are creating BIDATs & this article is truely representing sunnah. Shame on those who create rituals in Islam & make it compulsory to do for others.

    • Avatar Naved Zia says:

      The Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wassallam said, “Take your Hajj rites from me.” [Muslim]. And Alhumdolillah we have enough authentic material to learn the rites of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wassallam. The difference of school of thoughts that you have mentioned is unfortunately more about things that have been inserted into the Deen over the years due to the whispers of the shayateen.

      May Allaah guide the ummah and help us follow the Quran and the authentic Sunnah, as per the understanding of the best 3 generations.

  6. Avatar broAhmed says:

    One of our local shaykhs mentioned that some people get really into stoning the jamaraat, to the point some hajis would take off their slippers and start beating the pillars. LOL!

  7. Avatar HadithCheck says:

    May Allah reward you for your efforts!

    HadithCheck

  8. Avatar abu Rumay-s.a. says:

    Hadith Check:

    I checked out your blog and I didn’t see sources for your classification of “sahih” or “fabricated”? Can you please introduce yourself on your blog and your background and what are your sources?

    thanks…

  9. Avatar Kamran says:

    Very useful information ..thanks

  10. Avatar Muslim says:

    Wasalaam Abu Ibraheem,

    Yes, I am a brother.

    I actually didn’t mean to open up a discussion on schools of thoughts, etc.

    My purpose was to say we should be careful as common Muslims to label things “mistakes” that other Muslims do. Especially when a big huge chunk of them do it. I am not saying we should accept everything, but when we know qualified scholars are giving them the permission to do it, we shouldn’t say they are mistakes on a general Muslim news discussion blog.

    I don’t mean to say you can’t actually believe they are mistakes, the author of this article obviously does and I am pretty sure they really thought about it a lot before they came to that conclusion, which is why I would NEVER question their sincerity. However, I think things like this should be left alone to only be mentioned in books of Fiqh written by scholars so that a serious student or practicer of Islam, in their sincere pursuit to please Allah and gain more Islamic knowledge, can clearly read differences of opinions on their own and make up their own mind and be confident in their acts of worship.

    In regards to “Hanafi School of Thought” I meant Hanafi Fiqh as interpreted by most of the scholars of the Indian subcontinent. Even within Aqidah sectarian divisions, the overwhelming majority of scholars in the Indian subcontinent follow the Hanafi School of thought, and from my limited understanding, the above mentioned points I indicated earlier are all permissible according to those scholars.

    Again, my point is not to get into a debate about schools of thoughts. Just to address the authors use of language and also to suggest that this article might confuse readers instead of help them because it is on a blog such as MuslimMatters which to me is a general Muslim news blog with general advice.

    JazakAllah for your comments. I would encourage the author to write an article about the differences of opinions between all the major schools of thoughts on the Hajj rites so that when people go to Hajj, and can’t wait to tell someone they are wrong about something they are doing, they will stop themselves and realize that there is room for differences of opinions and ways of doing something in Islam.

  11. […] here to read the rest: Common, Oft-repeated Mistakes During Hajj and Umrah (so you can … This entry was posted in Hajj & Ummrah and tagged case, generally-recommended, ishah-sought, […]

  12. Avatar Dawn Travels says:

    Very useful information. Dawn Travel also provides a lot of cheap packages and during Travel guides a lot.

  13. May Allah bless you for efforts you have made to bring these mistakes to light. I really like your article specially the references you have provided. Thanks brother.

  14. Avatar Abu-rayaan says:

    Jazakallah’khier brother i think advice like this needs to be published on websites such as this one because it becomes easily accessible for the common folk.

    As for brining up the topic of differences of opinion, i honestly don’t think these mistakes have been reported as acceptable in any of the major schools of thoughts including Imam Abu Hanifa (may allah increase his rank in jannah). Yes you will get some imams who claim to follow imam abu hanifa for example who will encourage these mistakes out of ignorance but they will never be able to link this advice back to imam Abu Hanifa (‏may allah increase his rank in jannah), simply because he never approved of these mistakes and they certainly wont be able to provide evidence from the Quran and the Authentic Sunnah.

    If anyone thinks any of these mistakes are encouraged then please provide some authentic evidence please? May allah guide us all to that which is most correct and to that which pleases him.

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