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Common mistakes to Avoid during Hajj

Below are the misconceptions and prohibitions during Hajj that one should be careful about in order to have a blissful Hajj experience:

Mistake 1: Changing the intention of Hajj

Making intention is the most important part of Hajj. The reward of a deed depends on the intention. One is allowed to change his/her intention about the type of Hajj he/she wants to perform before assuming Ihram. If one wants to change his/her intention afterwards, he/she can change from Tamattu to Qiran but not from Tamattu to Ifrad.

Mistake 2: Not changing the ihram clothes

Some people wrongly think that changing the white sheets of ihram will relinquish their ihram. One is allowed to change the ihram whenever he/she requires. The pilgrim comes out of ihram which he/she intended only after completing all the essential rites of Hajj and shaving or clipping of hair.

Mistake 3: Touching or wiping over the Kabah or any part of Masjid-ul-Haram

Some people try to touch and wipe over any part of Kabah and Maqam-e-Ibrahim thinking that there is barakah and khair in it. This is one of the most common misconceptions and mistakes during Hajj, and has no basis in hadith or sunnah. The Prophet (pbuh) did not touch any part of Kabah except the Black stone and Yemeni corner. Innovation in religion is one of the things forbidden in Hajj and therefore, it must be prohibited.

Mistake 4: Doing multiple Umrahs

Some people perform multiple Umrahs by going to Masjid Ta’neem or other Meeqat to assume ihram again and again. It is not from sunnah and one should not make the mistake of doing it. Instead of performing multiple umrahs one should try to perform as many tawaf as possible to gain greater rewards.

Mistake 5: Getting emotional at Jamarat

Jamarats are not the devil/s disguised as the stones. There is no devil present at the Jamarat. It is the stone indicating the spot where the devil (shaitan) tried to mislead Prophet Ibrahim (AS). It is recommended to glorify Allah by saying Allahu Akbar each time you throw a pebble at the stone pillar.

Mistake 6: Kissing Hajr-e-Aswad from Distance

Kissing the black stone is a beautiful sunnah and it is an honour to be able to do that. But majority of the people are not able to reach Hajr-e-Aswad because of the crowd. Therefore, many people try to kiss it from the distance. They stop in the middle of performing tawaf, face the black stone and put their hands up to kiss the black stone in air as if the stone is right in front of them.
Distance kissing is not from sunnah. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would kiss the black stone if he could easily do so or touch it with his hand and then kiss his hand. But, if it was too crowded, he would only point towards it with his hands and say “Allahu Akbar”.

Ibn Abbas said, “The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) performed Tawaf on his camel, and every time he came to the corner (where the Black Stone is) he would point to it and say Allāhu Akbar.” [Al-Bukhari]

Mistake 7: Thinking Dua is accepted at first glance of Kaabah

Most of the people have a wrong notion that the first time they witness the Kaabah, any du’a they make, will be answered. It is simply not true and has no evidence in Shariah. Any Hadith that we find in this matter is weak or fabricated.

Mistake 8: Shouting Du’a in Unison

Some people shout dua in unison while performing tawaf. They follow a leader or an imam who speak out different dua’s loudly and the people repeat after him in unison. This creates a lot of confusion and disturbs others engaged in their own duas. It is not correct.
The right thing to do before you go for Tawaf, is to make a list of Du’a that you want to make or the verses from Qur’an you want to recite. So you won’t have to follow anybody and you will be making Du’a from your own heart in your own language. Make your dua with humility and Khushoo’.

The Prophet (pbuh) 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, Sahih by Al-Albani]

Mistake 9: Designating specific Du’a for different rounds of Tawaf

Some pilgrims designate specific Du’as for each round and there are even books with specific Du’as written for every round. This is not from sunnah. Neither the Prophet (pbuh) nor the Sahabas recited any specific Du’a in any of the rounds of tawaf. The only Du’a that the Prophet (pbuh) specified during Tawaf was upon reaching between the Yemeni Corner and the Black Stone when he would say,
“Rabbana atina’ fid-dunya hasana 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.’’]

Mistake 10: Doing Tawaf on someone’s behalf

Many people make this mistake. They complete their tawaf and then perform an extra round for a friend, relative or a deceased person. It is not correct and has no basis in sunnah. Only Hajj and Umrah can be performed on behalf of someone but tawaf individually cannot be done on someone’s behalf.

Mistake 11: Thinking praying 40 raka’t prayers in Madinah is compulsory

Some people think praying 40 raka’t Naf’l is compulsory in Masjid-e-Nabawi and it is a part of Hajj. Neither the Naf’l prayers nor visiting Madinah is a part of Hajj. It is good that you spend as much time as you can in praying inside the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah but to think that it is necessary to do so, is not correct.

Note: It is recommended to consult and seek an opinion from scholars on doubtful Islamic matters.