Some EXTREMELY common, oft-repeated mistakes during Hajj and Umrah
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 wary of them and protect and prevent ourselves from making them. This way our Hajj will be closest to the Sunnah, bi idhnillaah, and insha Allaah acceptable to Allaah.
Mistake # 1. Thinking that dua is accepted when they first look at the Ka'bah:
Many people have this wrong notion that the first time they look at the Ka'bah, any dua that they make will be answered for sure. This is not true as this has no evidence from the Sharee'ah. And any 'hadeeth' that you 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 repied: "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." (Shaykh Sa'd al-Humayd)
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. In fact, it is quite impossible. So a large number of people try to "kiss' it from far away. When they come parallel to 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. Also, their stopping dead in their tracks like this and standing still, in the middle of the tawaaf, causes disruption of the flow of the tawaaf, unnecessary crowding in that area, and a LOT of inconvenience to their fellow Haajis.
All this is not from the Sunnah. 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 all.
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 'flying kisses', 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 on top of their voices all in a group while making dua during tawaaf. They follow an imaam or a leader who makes the different duas and they all repeat after him, shouting all together in a group. This causes a lot of confusion and disturbs others in their own duas, and makes them lose focus and not have proper khushoo'. And obviously, it is also not befitting that one should shout and raise his voice in a place so sacred as the Haram.
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 so that there will be no confusions etc. and say them to yourself quietly, 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 something that's NOT 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 he would have told us about it and he would have done so himself.
The only dua that he did specify during Tawaaf, was when he reached at the end of each circuit between the Yamani 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.)
The above the dua is the only dua that is specified. So the 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 and then say the above Sunnah dua.
Think about it. If you're reading something fro 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're the one who knows your problems.....you're the one who is afflicted....you're the one beseeching your Lord and He's the One who knows what you're asking for.
And just think.....Subhaan Allaah.....this is the Ka'bah. This is Allaah's House and now is the time for you to make sincere dua and have it accepted. Are you going to waste this opportunity in reading something from a book that you don't even understand? Or say something that does not come form your heart?
And even if you did understand the duas, yet it would still be wrong. Because the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) didn't tell us to make any specific duas. And if we were to specify a specific dua for every specific round, then it comes under adding to our deen.
And the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever introduces into our matter (our religion) that which is not a part of it, will have it rejected." (Bukhari, Muslim)
This indicates that whoever follows his desire and "invents" or "adds" to the religion of Allah what is not a part of the religion, or what is not in conformity to the ways of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam), then this innovation is rejected and is NOT ACCEPTED by Allaah.
Mistake # 5. Doing Tawaaf on someone else's behalf:
Many people making 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 they were doing an entire Hajj or Umrah on their behalf, then and only then is it valid as part of that Umrah or Hajj. 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 all. 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 Maqaam 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)