The season of Haj is about to begin and the Hajis (devotees on pilgrimage to Mecca) are ready to leave for Saudi Arabia to perform Haj, an annual pilgrimage performed by Muslims, which is mandatory for adult Muslims with affordable means to perform at least once in a lifetime.
There are many books in different languages that explain the importance and the procedure of this annual pilgrimage. But, there is also one book written in English Haj – The Spirit Behind It by the city-based senior journalist, JS Iftekhar.
The author explains all the important subjects of this pilgrimage and gives a clear picture on how to perform Haj. The idea of the book is to enable a grasp of the basic purpose behind the whole concept of Haj.
The book is divided into chapters that give a detailed explanation of various rituals and their importance during the pilgrimage. Apart from rituals, it also guides a Haji on maintaining good health in the chapter ‘Haj and Health’. There are other chapters on ‘Life after Haj’, things prospective Hajis should learn, the blessed cities, things prohibited in Ihram, supplications to be recited during Haj and Umrah, Dua after assuming Ihram, Dua during Tawaf, Dua on Ziyarat Qubur at Jannat-Al-Baqi.
The author has also added three new chapters in the second edition of this book, which was initially published in August 2017. One stresses on the importance of offering worship with an awakened heart, maintaining health during rigorous schedule of Haj and what a Haji is permitted to do during the state of Ihram and acts that nullify it.
While recounting the rituals of Haj, the author strove to incorporate essential geographical aspects of holy mosque besides making enough provision for Arabic terminology for daily use by the pilgrims while in Saudi Arabia.
The faithful reproduction of the text of the final sermon by Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) provides apt spiritual context about the import and essence of Islam.
Title: HAJ – The spirit behind it
Author: JS Iftekhar