1. When departing from home, the only intention in the heart should be the search for Allah’s pleasure. All other evil intentions; as for example; to show people or to wish to be called Haji, or the intention of having an enjoyable tour; should be completely removed from the mind. (See discussion in chapter one; hadith one.)
2. Seek for yourself one or more reliable, religiously inclined and practicing Muslims to be your companions. They should be people who take an interest In Islam and religious work: who will be in a position to assist you on the journey. When you happen to forget any important thing, they will be in a position to remind you and invite you toward righteousness. When you become lazy or negligent they will encourage you. When cowardice may take hold of you may be troubled and worried, their words will cause you to keep calm and have patience, and when they are learned they will be able to assist you from the treasure of their knowledge.
Some Ulama have stated that at times it is more advisable to travel in the company of strangers than with relatives. The reason being that difference in temperament among relative; it often causes quarrels and arguments etc; is particularly detrimental to the important ties of blood and that of the in-laws; unlike the ties of mere friendship only. However if one’s friendship with a relative is such that an occasion of dispute will not arise then there is no harm in travelling with him?
3. Acquire halaal and pure money with which to perform Haj. Should one perform Haj with money from haraam sources; whether it be from bribery or from some other haraam means; then the fardh Haj will be considered to have been performed, but such a Haj can never be a maqbool Haj. (See chapter one)
The Ulama have stated that should a person have doubt about his money; it would be better for him to perform his Haj with money borrowed from someone. Afterwards he may settle his debt with the money in his possession.
4. Before proceeding for Haj, do sincerely repent for all sins. Where one had unjustly acquired anything from someone else; that thing should be returned. Where any form of injustice had been committed; pardon should be sought from the unjustly treated one. One should seek forgiveness from all those brothers and sisters with whom we normally have dealings. If you have debts, repay and settle all debts or alternatively make arrangements for your debts to be paid. If certain things are left in your trust, return those items to the owners or make arrangements for them to be looked after in your absence. Make suitable arrangements for the maintenance of all those for whose maintenance you are responsible (wife, children and all dependants) until the time you return to them.
The Ulama have written that when a person has done an injustice to somebody or when certain rights of somebody are due on him, then that person is like a creditor, who when demanding his rights from his debtor, prods him on by telling him; ‘Where are you going to?’ Are you going to the court of the king while there are rights of others due on you? Do you not fear that he will reject you and send you back empty-handed? If you have any wish of being accepted by him then fulfil the rights due on you or have them pardoned, otherwise you will suffer the fate of one whose journey begins with difficulty, and which ends with rejection and nothing achieved.
5. Take with you halaal earnings which shall be sufficient to last and maintain you for the full journey to the Holy Places, your residing there and your journey back. In fact you should take the precaution of having something more than the normal needs, so that you may be in a position to assist needy ones on the way and to serve those who may be in need of it. Those who take with them less than their normal needs often become a burden to the others, because they often have to resort to begging. Allah has commanded; ‘And take a provision with you for the journey, but the best of provision is right conduct.’
6. Before commencing the journey, perform two rak’aats, in which Surah Kaafiroon is recommended to be recited in the first rak’ah and Surah Ikhlaas to be recited in the second rak’ah. It is better to perform two rak’ats at home before leaving as well as two rak’ats in the masjid nearest to your home.
7. Give something in charity before your departure, and also after the departure, because sadaqah removes calamities from you. Rasulullah Sal’am is reported to have said: ‘Charity cools the anger of Allah and saves one from a bad death.’ In another hadith it is said: ‘The person who clothes another shall be in the care of Allah as long as those clothes remain on the clothed one.’ (Mishkaat)
8. At the departure read those duaas which have been reported in the Ahaadith especially for this occasion of Haj. These masnoon duaas are so many that if I quote them all here this book will increase three folds. With Allah’s help it is my intention to complete a special booklet on all thee duaas, however it should not be very difficult to obtain one such booklet containing some of these duaas.
9. Before departing one should meet all his/her friends and relatives. Bid them farewell and ask them to pray for you. Rasulullah Sal’am said: ‘When a person from among you proceeds on a journey, he should greet his brothers because their prayers together with his own prayers becomes the cause of increased blessings on him.’ It is sunnat at the time of farewell to say: ‘I entrust your religion, your faithfulness and your last deeds (before your death), the most important deeds of your lifetime to Allah’.
10. There are also numerous prayers to be recited when you leave the door of the house. According to a Hadith in Ithaaf Rasulullah Sal’am said: ‘When a person leaves his home and says: “I commence my journey in the name of Allah, having put my reliance in Allah. No power is there in man to do well or to save himself from the punishment of evil deeds and sin except with Allah, the High and Mighty’. Then he is told in answer to that duaa: “You shall indeed find the road to your destination and you shall be protected throughout the journey, in addition, shaytaan stays away from him”.
11. Finally when the journey begins, choose among the co-travelers the most righteous, most intelligent, experienced, humble and cool-headed person and appoint him as the Ameer. If he is from the clan of Quraish so much the better. Rasulullah Sal’am said; ‘Whenever three people proceed on a journey, one of them should be appointed as the Ameer (leader) of the group. (Mishkaat)
This was the general practice of Rasulullah Sal’am whenever he sent out an expedition, he appointed one of them as Ameer. And it is important that when one becomes appointed to that position, he should carry out his responsibility conscientiously. He should take note of the needs and discomforts of his companions; he should arrange for the safety of their baggage; he should see to their comfort and rest etc. (Kindly refer to the Hadith of Shaikh Abul Qais appearing in the chapter of the aadaab of Madina later in this book).
12. It is better and strongly recommended that the journey should commence as early as possible on a Thursday morning. In the hadith we learn that Rasulullah Sal’am used to like starting a journey on Thursday. (Mishkaat)
In another hadith we read that whenever Rasulullah Sal’am used to send off an army or an expedition he used to do so in the early hours of the day. Sakhar was a big merchant. Because of this practice of Rasulullah Sal’am he too used to send his goods out in the early hours of the day, and gain great deals of profit.
13. Read those duaas that the prescribed in the Hadith for boarding or alighting any conveyance. Similarly, when stopping at any place, recite the appropriate prayers for the occasion. If it is in anyway possible, then continue the journey for a portion of the night and for the early part of the day, while resting during the day. Rasulullah Sal’am used to say: ‘Prefer to travel by night for the earth becomes folded up under you at night so that the distance is more quickly covered”. This is indeed true and I have experienced it on many occasions. However, it only applies to those areas where one can still travel by camel, where the road is safe, and cannot be strictly applied to a journey by rail or plane, which is fixed by specific times.
14. When arriving at any place on the way it is best not to move around alone until such time that you are sure that it is quite safe. Most times we are unaware of the conditions prevailing in an area with which we are unacquainted. When stopping anywhere some members of the group should alternatively be appointed to look after the baggage and even at night someone should be appointed to protect the lives and interest of the party. In the event of any danger, theft, attack or attempts at these they will be able to sound the alarm. It was the general habit of Rasulullah Sal’am to appoint those who were responsible for guarding over the company by night.
My late father always used to tell us how his father, my grand father used to express his great thanks and appreciation to Allah for the fact that no portion of a night ever passed when there was no one busy worshipping Allah in the house. This to him was a great source of utmost pleasure. It used to take place in this manner: My late father used to be very fond of studying religious books by night. So great was his love for this that time used to go by while he had no conception thereof? He used to pass half the night n this manner, while my grandfather used to sleep. When the old man used to get up for Tahajjud prayers he used to send my father, Yahya to bed while he remained busy in prayers. For about one third of the night he used to remain like that. Before he again went to rest, he used to wake my Uncle Maulana Muhammad Saheb who then continued in Ibaadat until the break of dawn. What a fine system! It is indeed a pity that we have not been able to inherit the same good fortune.
15. When during the journey you happen to pas a high lying area or ascent a hill or mountain it is strongly recommended that you recite Allah Akbar thrice and when you descend into a low lying area or a valley you should recite Subhanallah thrice.
16. It is a very commendable act for any person if he travels the whole journey on foot. He should, however, be careful that it does not cause undue hardship nor commit inadvisable (Makrooh) acts. If however he travels on horseback or by camel it is advisable that for some part of the journey, without undue hardship, he walks on foot. This refers especially to the journey from Mecca to Arafaat. For every stride he takes he earns the reward of seven hundred good deeds, according to the measure of righteous deeds within the haram. Within the Holy Haram every good deed is equal to 100,000 good deeds.
It has been the habit of the saintly ones to travel by camel until the time of Asr prayers. From then until Maghrib salaat they went on foot. Thereafter they again used to ride. This is not a very long period and at this time it is normally neither hot nor dark. The ulamaa have said that it is much more virtuous to travel on foot from Mecca to Arafaat and onto Mina. Those who are used to walking and have the necessary strength and health should not discard walking this portion of the Haj journey. When one travels by horse, camel or motor, it often happens that one is prevented from performing certain mustahab deeds. When one walks he is able to perform all those deeds.
17. Do take car that you do not overburden your animal. The God-fearing ones even refrain from sleeping on its back as that normally caused a dead weight. According to the ulama, one shall be called on the day of Qiyaamah to account for his treatment to his animals and how one rode them. It is reported that one of the companions, hazrat Abu Dardaa R.A. addressed his camel thus before he passed away; Please do not fight with me on the day of Qiyaamat, I never caused you to perform such duties, that were beyond your power’ (Ithaaf). Rasulullah Sal’am used to have a habit of going into some orchard or among trees when he answered the call of nature. Once he went for a similar reason into an orchard. A she-camel saw him and cried (as if to draw his attention). He then asked; ‘Who is the owner of this camel?’ A young man from among the Ansars replied that he was. Rasulullah Sal’am then said; ‘this she-camel has laid a complaint against you. She informs me that you over-burden her with work and feed her too little.’ (Abu Dawood)