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  • 13 Best Vegetarian Food in Chennai and Where to Find them

    One of the best reasons to visit India and Chennai, in particular, is the amazing Halal food that's available all around. But if you were ever having trouble finding nearby Halal food in Chennai, you don't even have to worry because you will have a plethora of delicious vegetarian food options! Since the majority of Indians, especially in the south, are vegetarians, you won't have trouble finding Muslim-friendly food on your travels. But that doesn't mean that vegetarian food is the consolation prize when there's no other choice. In fact, Indian vegetarian food is some of the most delicious you'll find in the world. With the deep, rich curries of the North, to the crispy rice-flour dosas of the south, any meat-eater is bound to be satisfied and craving for more! Here's an ultimate vegetarian's guide to Chennai, India – we've got you all set! credit- giphy.com   South Indian Cuisine – Tamil Nadu Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu, so of course, when in the Tamil Nadu, eat as they do! Food from Tamil Nadu is known to be one of the healthiest in the world. Comprised of dishes made of rice and gram flours, as well as gravies that are full of not only vegetables but spices that are good for the body. And let's not forget the ghee; lots of delicious, fragrant ghee (clarified butter), that makes anything better! Here's where you can find mouthwatering South Indian vegetarian food in Chennai: 1.Saravana Bhavan Picture Credit - news.franchiseindia.com Saravana Bhavan is one of the most successful vegetarian chain restaurants not only in India but the world! Their success can be attributed to the authenticity of their food and the hard work of P. Rajagopal, their founder. Try their delicious South Indian fare, from crispy ghee dosas to soft idlys, kesari, pongal, and so much more. They are also known for their range of traditional Indian sweets or “mithai”. There are a total 27 Saravana Bhavan locations in Chennai, 33 total in India, and 47 branches overseas. Address (1 of 27): 102, Pondy Bazaar, Sir Thyagaraya Road, T. Nagar, Chennai.Phone: 044 28154662Website: www.saravanabhavan.com/restaurants.php   2. New Prakash Bhavan Picture Credit - justdial.com New Prakash Bhavan is not exactly “new”, they've been serving happy customers for a while now. Set in the bustling Flower Bazaar area of Georgetown, Chennai, one of the busiest wholesale and retail shopping areas in the city, Prakash Bhavan is one of the most popular family eateries here. You'll find it packed it to the brim with hungry shoppers any time you visit, from 6 am in the morning when they open until thy close at night. Prakash Bhavan is one of the best places to enjoy and wholesome South Indian meal, and their quality is outstanding! Address: 163, NSC Bose Rd, Sowcarpet, George Town, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600079.Phone: 044 2538 8748   3. Murugan Idli Shop Picture Credit - muruganidlishop.com Having started in the city of Madurai, way down south of Tamil Nadu, Murugan Idly Shop is a South Indian eatery that has grown its reach to over 17 locations in Chennai. Of course, they're known for their idlis, so don't miss out on them, but other popular dishes also include masala dosa, sweet pongal, filter coffee, and more. Try their famous 'Jigarthanda' for dessert, a sweet drink ailing from their hometown of Madurai. Address (1 of 17): 149/1, 6th Avenue, Opposite Vilankanni Church, Besant Nagar, Chennai.Phone: +91 9597086503Website: muruganidlishop.com/   South Indian Cuisine – The Rest The South of this massive country is actually made up of 5 states: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. Additionally, it also includes the union territories of Lakshadweep, Pondicherry, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Other than Tamil Nadu, most other cuisines are based mostly on meat and seafood-based dishes. Of course, they too have their vegetarian specialities, but non-vegetarian food being the focus of the cuisine means its hard to come by purely vegetarian restaurants serving them. Nevertheless, here are a few of them: 4. Dakshina Puram Picture Credit - dineout.co.in This is one of the few places specializing in Andhra (Keralan) cuisine that serves pure vegetarian food. Some of the most popular dishes include the vegetable biryani, neer dosa, appam, and drumstick soup. You can also try their special thali for an all-encompassing meal. Address: 14, Rajiv Gandhi Salai, Opposite TCS, Karapakkam, Chennai.Phone: 044 24500811   5. National Lodge Picture Credit - food.ndtv.com One of the best places to try authentic food from Andhra Pradesh in the city is at National Lodge. We said “authentic”, so get ready for the tears! Food from Andhra is known for its spiciness, and this place doesn't shy away from it. You can choose the unlimited meals for refills until your stomach’s about to burst or the thali meals. Address: 112, Govindappa Naickan Street, Sowcarpet, Chennai.Phone: 044 25369508   North Indian Cuisine If you're a die-hard meat lover, you'll find familiarity in the rich curries of North India based on ingredients like paneer, beans, and vegetables like potato and cauliflower which tend to be more “meaty”. These are accompanied by delicious bread like naan, chappati, kulcha, etc. These meals tend to be a lot heavier and more filling, which is something a non-vegetarian would be used to. Here's where you can find the best North Indian vegetarian restaurants in Chennai: 6. Rajdhani Thali Restaurant Picture Credit - www.hungryforever.com Set in the popular Phoenix MarketCity mall in Velachery, Chennai, Rajdhani Thali Restaurant is one of the best places to enjoy the classic thali-style meal from the North. A thali is a meal that includes a variety of curries and sides served along with rice, whole wheat roti, papad, and sweet. The uniqueness of this dish is that everything is served on one plate, which contains small bowls of each item. You don't even need a menu, just get seated and be served! This place specializes in the Rajasthani and Gujarati varieties of thali. Address: 1st Floor, Phoenix Market City, Velachery Main Road, Velachery, Chennai.Phone: 044 66650316   7. Delhi Highway Picture Credit - www.delhihighway.com Delhi Highway, as the name suggests, is one way to enjoy delicious food from the capital of India right in Chennai! It's a family-friendly restaurant that serves authentic North Indian fare in a friendly and classy setting. Don't miss out on their vegetarian kebabs, which are good enough to fool even a meat eater! They're soft kulchas and naans are also a popular accompaniment to any rich curry you choose. Address: Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai.Phone: 044 30205567   8. Pind Picture Credit - www.facebook.com/PINDRESTAURANTS There are quite a few fine dining North Indian vegetarian restaurants in Chennai, but only a few that do not serve alcohol as well. Pind brings a unique ambience of a Punjabi Dhaba-style eatery in Chennai. Their food is also made to set the theme, from the Punjabi thali to the number of tikkas, kebabs, flatbreads, and more. And don't forget to try their creative mocktails as well. Address: No.2 Sarathy Nagar, 1st Main Road , Opp to L.C.S apt. , Vijaynagar, Velachery, Chennai, India Phone: +91 44 3083 3958 International Cuisine You can find a lot of variety in cuisines and food from all around the world in Chennai. So, if you're feeling like venturing outside the range of Indian food, but still want to keep it vegetarian, you can try any one of the restaurants below. Here's where to go to try some delicious vegetarian food of international cuisines in Chennai: 9. Flower Drum Picture Credit - Dineout.co.in Flower Drum is one of the best locations in Chennai for some good quality Chinese cuisine. If you're looking for vegetarian buffets in Chennai, Flower Drum is one place you can try. Some of the other popular dishes include the momos, dumplings, manchow soup, Thai green curry, etc. Celebrating a special occasion with your loved one? Try their Wednesday night candlelight dinners for a romantic meal. Address(1 of 2): 2/1, 4th Floor, Near Adyar signal Junction, Above ICICI Bank, Adyar, Chennai.Phone: 044 49588833 10. Little Italy Picture Credit - littleitaly.in Little Italy is one of the most popular eateries in all of India for authentic Italian food. They are also purely vegetarian and do not serve alcohol, which is hard to come by in an Italian restaurant. Their menu consists of starters, soups, salads, pasta, and desserts that bring a little bit of Italy right to your table in the midst of Chennai. You can go for the buffet option, or choose any item from the a-la-carte menu. Try the minestrone soup to start off the meal, and the wood burn pizzas for mains. For dessert, you cannot beat the chocolate mousse or tirimasu! Address (1 of 4): E-50, 17th Cross Street, Lane Before Spencers Daily, Besant Nagar, Chennai.Phone: 044 30853624Website: littleitaly.in/ 11. Soul Garden Bistro Picture credit - www.facebook.com/soulgardenbistro While soul garden bistro does some delicious modern variations of classic Indian food, like BBQ Paneer and veg biryani, we've featured them here for their continental, Mexican, Italian, and Western food. They've got some creative burgers and sandwiches like the beetroot and feta burger or the Bombay chatpata sandwich that are sure to fascinate your taste buds. They've also got a variety of continental dishes from pasta and pizzas to salads, soups, and starters. Address: 14, Ananda Road, Alwarpet, Chennai.Phone: 044 30205505   12. The Wok Box Co. picture Credit - Zomato.com The Wok Box Co. is ideal if you're in the mood for some authentic Chinese and Thai food. Their menu offers you the choice to build your own dish, be it noodles, fried rice or curries. From picking the sauces to the (vegetarian) protein and vegetables, you're the boss! If you want something unique, try their mouthwateringly soft and delicious vegetarian bao buns. They don't have seating space, but you can get takeaway or have them deliver right to your home. Address: 2nd Floor, 5/391, OMR Main Road, Thuraipakkam, Chennai.Phone: 044 33011476   13. The Hommus Family Picture Credit - www.justdial.com If you're a hummus-lover, then you have to try out The Hommus Family for all things hummus-related. Their entire eatery is based on this delicious Mediterranean dip, so you know it's going to be good. You can get all kinds of bits and bobs to go with the delectable chickpea dip. They also don't have seating space but are available for takeaway and delivery. Address: 73/12, Halls Road, Orchards B1, Kilpauk, Chennai.Phone: +91 9791088988 Wondering how to find nearby Halal food in Chennai? Don’t forget to use the Halaltrip app to locate Halal food places on your mobile in Chennai so you won’t miss out on the best halal food  ...

  • Find Nearby Halal-Friendly Food in Dubai: Eat like a Local

    Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a Halal food paradise. This is due to most of the food imported into the UAE being Halal with the exception of certain non-Halal foods which can only be sold in a separately labelled area or licensed shop (such as pork and alcohol).  For the control of Halal products imported into the UAE, the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology has now introduced a special 'Emirati system' which includes Halal certification mark. Due to increasing governing body standards, restaurants in general, do maintain the Halal standards despite no formal Halal certification in place for restaurants. International food chains such as McDonalds and KFC ensure the use of Halal certified meats, and the preparation meets the Halal standards. Where to eat in Dubai when on a budget? Dubai may have five-star or seven-star hotels, and luxury dining but don’t be surprised to know that there are many hole-in-the-wall ethnic eateries and authentic local corner joints that remain favourite among local Emiratis, Muslim expatriates, and regular visitors. Dubai is home to people from many nationalities with a wide range of budgets. There are also plenty of vegetarian restaurants that are affordable and filling. Credit - giphy.com The following are the top 7 budget local eateries and Muslim friendly joints which are popular among Emiratis and various expatriates in Dubai:   1. Ravi Picture Credit - www.timeoutdubai.com Ravi is not just a local hero but also a global name among tourists visiting Dubai. They serve Pakistani dishes that steal the heart of many, from taxi drivers to professional expatriates. Do try the biryani, mixed grill, peshwari mutton, chicken kadai or chicken Mughlai. Make sure you don’t miss out on the freshly made naan bread. It is advised to come for breakfast to try their famous haleem (stew made of wheat) or nihari (meat stew). Ravi restaurant is a very simple restaurant serving food on the plastic table that is light on the wallet but is packed with flavours. Location: Shop # 245, Al Dhiyafa Rd, Opp. Emirates Co-operative Society, Al Satwa, Dubai Contact: +971 4 331 5353 Website: www.facebook.com/RAVIRESTAURANT.aeClick here for more information about Ravi Restaurant   2.Metro Falcon Metro Falcon is a cafeteria corner that serves a wide variety of Indian, Chinese, Arabic and Continental food to suit your taste buds. You can never go wrong with the biryani dishes, machboos, kadai special ranges, mixed grills (sherry fish and lamb chop), burgers, shawarma, manchurian dishes, chicken 65, or chicken hydrabadi. Wash it down well with any of their tall fresh juices or try their version of Malaysian tea. There are also plenty of choices of salads on the menu for vegetarians. Location: Ahmad Ramzan Jumaa Mosque Building, Behind Shangri-La, Al Satwa, Dubai Contact: + 971 4 343 2020 Website: www.facebook.com/METROFALCONClick here for more information about Metro Falcon   3.Noodle Bowl Picture Credit - www.iliveinafryingpan.com Noodle Bowl is the best place to eat Cantonese cuisine and dishes from Malaysia. This haunt is a real jewel in a Dubai where Chinese food is often a hit and miss. Regular visitors usually stick to their favourites from the extensive menu but the real delights are the selection of Malaysian dishes on the menu. Try the nasi lemak (coconut rice), Assam Laksa, salted fish fried rice, lo mee, Hainan chicken rice, wonton noodle soup, or beef rendang. They also serve special noodles on the menu such as a mixed Hofen and rice noodles in sauce. Wash it all down well with a glass of sweet tofu drink. Location: Dine Centre, Al Diyafah Street, Al Satwa, Dubai Contact: +971 4 345 3381 Click here for more information about Noodle Bowl   4.Café Betawi Picture Credit - www.instagram.com/betawicafedxb/ This small and simple establishment in Karama serves authentic Indonesian cuisine. While the menu may not be extensive, they serve East Java delicacies such as rendang, gado-gado, nasi padang and ayam penyet at a reasonable price. If you are taking the Dubai Metro, stop by at their express outlet (Betawi Express) by the Emirates Towers Metro Station, South Exit 2.  Cafe Betawi is a must visit to fix one’s Indonesian food craving. Location: Shop No.20,21, Mabrook Building, 4 B St., Opp. Park Regis Hotel, Al Karama, Dubai Contact: +971 56 759 8118 Website: www.facebook.com/betawifanclubClick here for more information about Café Betawi   5.Eat And Drink Picture Credit - www.veggiebuzz.com Eat and Drink is a convenient takeout place for a quick bite of Arabic, Indian and Chinese food. Available at many locations around Dubai, they are well-known among locals for shawarma, pita, and hummus dip, to their Lebanese grill feast. Their slogan of 'quality food at affordable prices' will not disappoint you. You can dine in or simply order from your car and they will bring the food to you while you wait inside the car. Location: Various Website: eatanddrinkgroup.comClick here for more information about Eat And Drink   6.Karachi Darbar Picture Credit - www.masala.comA popular Pakistani restaurant chain, Karachi Darbar is one of the oldest restaurant chains in the United Arab Emirates. They are committed to a high quality of food and best hygiene standards. Try the chicken tikka biryani or Karachi tikka kadai. Chinese and other Indian dishes are also on the menu. The restaurant has a lively atmosphere and you will leave the restaurant wanting more of the delicious food. The restaurant is best for all-day dining. Location: Various Website: www.karachidarbargroup.comClick here for more information about Karachi Darbar   7.Saravana Bhavan Picture Credit - www.veggiebuzz.comSaravanan Bhavan is a quality Indian vegetarian restaurant that is a part of a worldwide chain originating from Chennai. For breakfast try their poori, iddiyappam, dosa, idli or aapam. They could be serving the best masala dosa in town or if you like string hopper, they serve a coconut and lemon version that is worth a try. For lunch, it’s all about the delicious thali set that is easy on your wallet. Location: Various Website: www.saravanabhavan.comClick here for more information about Saravana Bhavan Wondering how to find nearby Halal food in Dubai? Don’t forget to use the Halaltrip app to locate Halal food places on your mobile in Dubai so you won’t miss out on the best halal food...

  • Top 5 Muslim-Friendly Cities to Visit in Karnataka

    Golden sandy beaches, glorious valleys and mountains and the breathtaking countryside that perfectly demonstrates the cultural and historical value of India awaits you as you explore the southern state of India, Karnataka. As this region is packed with the perfect elements to create an amazing holiday opportunity for those who travel India you should definitely consider this as one of your next vacation destinations. But of course, we understand your needs to plan out the most Muslim-friendly stay in India. That is why we have put together a list of the top Muslim-friendly cities in India you can travel to as you explore the wonders and glories of Karnataka. Read on to discover where you can find nearby Halal restaurants in Karnataka, mosques and prayer places in Karnataka and we have even included a shopping guide to Karnataka which will most certainly come in handy during your travels.   Bangalore First on our list of the best holiday destinations for Muslim families in India is the capital city of Karnataka – Bangalore. The city is home to the Bengaluru International Airport which is one of the two main airports in the region that cover most international flights. So, this makes it a great region to start your holiday in India. Bangalore is a region which boasts of the modern-day luxuries but also has perfectly preserved the various historic treasures that give the region its cultural value. There are quite a number of attractions and things to do and the weather is fine almost all throughout the year making this one of the best places to enjoy some lovely family fun you all can enjoy together. Some of the famous attractions you should include in your tour itinerary include the Ulsoor Lake, Lumbini Park, HAL Aerospace Museum, Bannerghatta National Park, Tipu’s Palace and the Bangalore Palace.   Since there is a significant Muslim community in the region you will be able to find a halal restaurant in Bangalore without much difficulty. The Aquarium Restaurant, Imperial Restaurant, Banana Leaf and Empire Restaurant are a few good quality restaurants you can drop by to enjoy Halal Indian cuisine. A significant number of mosques and prayer places in Karnataka are also located in Bangalore including the Jamia Masjid, Jumma Masjid, Hajee Sir Ismail Sait Masjid and Masjid-E-Khadria. We also recommend this city as part of the shopping guide to Karnataka because you will find quite a number of shopping malls like The Forum, UB City, Phoenix Market City and Mantri Square along with street shopping areas like Commercial Street, Brigade Road, MG Road and Vittal Mallya Road that are places known to attract crowds for their bargain prices and great deals.   Mysore The second largest city of Karnataka, Mysore is another top location you can visit to enjoy the best Muslim friendly holiday. Often dubbed the ‘City of Palaces’ Mysore is one of the most majestic regions decorated with a number of palaces and royal buildings, that display the finest historic architectural styles of India. As one of the cleanest and well-planned cities of the region, Mysore is a perfect location to explore the outdoors and gives you ample amounts of opportunities to capture amazing photos with scenically beautiful backdrops. Among the many places waiting to be discovered you should definitely try to include attractions like Sivasamudram Falls, Mysore Zoo, Mysore Palace, Brindavan Gardens, and Chamundi Hills which are perfect stops for an unforgettable adventure. This is another city which has quite a number of mosques and prayer places in Karnataka. Some of the most prominent mosques every Muslim traveller should make a note of include the Azam Baitul Maal Masjid-e-Azam, Masjide Rahmania, Masjid-e-Nimrah, Masjid-E-Kausar and Masjid E Firdous. You will also find several Muslim hotels in Mysore located closer to these locations.   Hampi Located on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, Hampi has gained world recognition as it is the home of one of the famed UNESCO World Heritage sites – the ruins of the Vijayanagara Kingdom. You will truly be amazed by the amazing stony landscapes that are on display. In addition to the vast array of stone ruins, you can also look forward to feast your eyes on other historic wonders like the Monkey Temple, Queen’s Bath, Riverside Ruins and Vijaya Vittala Temple. This best way to get around this historic location is by walking or by bicycle so that you can take time to witness the unique wonders that lie before you. There are also a number of government-approved guided tours you can arrange to get a guided tour to learn more about the history behind these wonders. As Hampi is considered to be a religious centre most eateries do not serve alcohol but you should check for Halal food or stick to their delicious Indian vegetarian meal options in case of any uncertainty.   Udupi If you are looking to enjoy the best beach holiday in Karnataka then a trip to Udupi is the best pick for you. Udupi is home to some of the most beautiful beaches like Kapu Beach and Malpe Beach, that is also not so crowded making it one of the best holiday destinations for Muslim families in India. If you are looking for more inland adventures you can explore the mountain ranges of Udupi that are perfect for hiking and trekking. Other famous attractions that will keep you engaged during your stay include St Mary's Island home to some spectacular volcanic rock formations, Manipal End-point Park which overlooks that Suwarna river and the Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary. For prayer facilities, you could access the many mosques located in the city including the newly built Jamia Masjid – the district’s largest mosque.   Gokarna The little town of Gokarna is one of the popular tourist destinations in the region. The town is one of the most laid-back places due to the less commercialized atmosphere making it a perfect place to spend a relaxing vacation. Aside from recharging on some of the most serene beaches, you can also enjoy a variety of adventure sports like banana boat riding, snorkelling and parasailing. Visiting such a coastal town also allows you to taste some fresh and yummy seafood dishes prepared according to spicy Indian recipes.   Find Halal Food and Restaurants Near You Find Mosques (Masjids), Prayer Places Near You Halal-Friendly Travel and Holiday Packages   ...

  • The Story Behind Hajj - The Holy Pilgrimage

      What is Hajj? Picture Credit - www.markedbyteachers.com   With a gathering of more than 2 million Muslims in most years, Hajj is the pilgrimage to the holy city of Makkah (Mecca), the ultimate congregation of Muslims. Completing hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, a journey that is required by every Muslim who is financially and physically capable to abide. Pilgrims wear simple white garment known as the Ihram, which is intended to strip away distinction of wealth and status. The white garments are symbolic of human equality and unity before God since all the pilgrims are dressed similarly. Worshipers from all faiths travel to marvel at the site.   The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) (PBUH) led a group of Muslims there in the first official Hajj, destroying the idols placed there by polytheistic worshipers (belief in many gods) and re-dedicating the site in the name of Allah (SWT). The path that Prophet Mohammed (SAW) (PBUH) and his followers traveled is retraced as part of the Hajj rituals.   The rituals performed during Hajj Picture Credit - www.wardheernews.com   During the Hajj, pilgrims perform the initial Tawaf, which vast swells of worshippers seeking forgiveness circle the Kaaba (the black cube, spiritually considered by Muslims to be the center of the world, and literally located in the center of the Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca), counterclockwise, seven times. Completion of all of the mandated rituals is believed to guarantee the pilgrim a place in heaven as well as the title of Hajji (literally, one who has performed the Hajj). The tawaf is meant to awaken each Muslim's consciousness that God is the center of their reality and the source of all meaning in life, and that each person's higher self-identity derives from being part of the community of Muslim believers, known as the ummah.   Pilgrims also perform the Sa'ee, which is hurrying seven times between the small hills named Safa and Marwah, re-enacting the Biblical and Quranic story of Ibrahim's (Alai) wife, Hajar's desperate search for water and food for her son Isma'il (Alai).   Next, the two million pilgrims travel a few miles to the plain of Mina and camp there. From Mina, pilgrims travel the following morning to the plain of Arafat where they spend the entire day in earnest supplication and devotion. That evening, the pilgrims move and camp at Muzdalifa, which is a site between Mina and Arafat. Muslims stay overnight and offer various prayers there.   Then, the pilgrims return to Mina and throw seven pebbles at the three stone pillars that represent the devil. This symbolizes Ibrahim's throwing stones at Satan when he tried to dissuade Ibrahim from sacrificing his son. Then the pilgrims sacrifice a sheep, re-enacting the story of Ibrahim, who, in place of his son, sacrificed a sheep that God had provided as a substitute. The meat from the slaughtered sheep is distributed for consumption to family, friends, and poor and needy people in the community. After the sacrifice, the pilgrims return to Mecca to end the formal rites of Hajj by performing a final Tawaf and Sa'ee.   Why do we perform Hajj?   Picture Credit - www.projects.thestar.com   The Hajj is designed to develop consciousness of God and a sense of spiritual upliftment. It is also believed to be an opportunity to seek forgiveness of sins throughout life. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) (PBUH) had said that a person who performs Hajj properly "will return as a newly born baby [free of all sins]." The pilgrimage also enables Muslims from all around the world, of different colors, languages, races, and ethnicities, to come together in a spirit of universal brotherhood and sisterhood to worship the One God together.   Consequences of not performing Hajj Picture Credit - www.thetravelphotographer.blogspot.com   Not performing Hajj by deeming it insignificant or not giving it importance is considered as the Thirty-eighth greatest sin. Since Hajj is also an obligatory article of faith, a person who refuses to acknowledge it as an obligatory duty is a Kafir [he who does not believe in Allah (SWT)] and the one who does not fulfill this duty, due to laziness, carelessness or excessive involvement in worldly affairs has committed a great sin. Hajj is from those obligatory duties that must be performed immediately if it is possible to do so. Delaying it when you have the opportunity and means of performing it, is considered as Haram.   The Almighty Allah (SWT) has made Hajj incumbent on those who are capable. That is, if they do not perform Hajj in the year of capability, the omitted Hajj will become incumbent on them every year until the end of their lives. A person who delays Hajj intentionally till such a time that he dies will be raised by Allah (SWT) on the day of Qiyama as a Kafir.   What lead to the obligation of Hajj? (a brief history of Hajj) Picture Credit - www.seerahtours.com   The city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia has always been the spiritual centre of Islamic faith: the millions of Muslims in the world genuflect in its direction during prayers. The story of the history of Hajj begins with the story of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (Alai) (PBUH). Ibrahim (Alai) is a figure, loved and revered by Muslims, Jews and Christians alike as a righteous person who lived about four thousand years ago. His story is written in the Qur'an and also the Holy Bible.   Ibrahim is considered as a patriarch of monotheism, which is "belief in one God". He left his native City of Ur in Mesopotamia and eventually settle in Egypt with his family. Later, he escorted one of his wives, Hajar and their infant son Isma'il, to a desolated valley in Arabia and left them there, trusting in God to take care of them. Hajar, concerned about feeding her young baby, ran back and forth between the hills of Safa and Marwa looking for water. According to the Qur'an, in response to Hajar's prayers, the angel Jibril (Gabriel) (Alai) (PBUH), touched down to earth and created a spring of fresh water for the baby, known as the Well of Zamzam. Hajar climbed nearby hills searching for food and looking for caravans on the horizon.   Eventually, some passing traders stopped in the valley and asked Hajar's permission to water their camels. In time, the traders decided to settle in the little valley, and eventually, the settlement grew into the city of Mecca. Ibrahim returned from time to time to visit, and when Isma'il was about thirteen years old, following the orders of God, he and Isma'il constructed the Kaabah, as a place dedicated to the worship of the One God. Eventually, Mecca became an important trading post by the time of Prophet Muhammad, twenty- five hundred years later.   Though only a fraction of Muslims is capable of making the pilgrimage, the huge crowds of worshipers that descend upon Mecca every year continually test the site's ability to accommodate their number. Overcrowding and occasional stampedes have led to the deaths by trampling of thousands of worshippers over the years, but the tenacity of the pilgrims have shown that there is little that will keep them away from the spiritual experience.   ...

  • Useful Duas To Keep On Hand For Hajj

    Hajj is one of the most important pillars of Islam and is compulsory for anyone who has the means to do so. So if you're one of the blessed people who are about to perform Hajj, thank Allah.   Learning important duas is an integral part of your Hajj preparation before you leave. Here are some of the useful duas to keep on hand for a productive Hajj and pilgrimage to Mecca. You can find the Hajj duas in English translation as well.   Travel Duas   Picture Credit - www.themuslimvibe.com   These are the travel duas that anyone must recite when leaving/returning the house for a journey, however long or short. These are the most important duas for safe traveling and seeking protection against any harm that might occur during it. Similarly, it also applies for when going on pilgrimage to Mecca for Hajj/Umrah and returning home afterward as well. The following are a list of travel duas in Arabic and their English translation.   Dua When Leaving Home   Picture Credit - www.flickr.com بِسْمِ اللهِ ، تَوَكَّلْتُ عَلَى اللهِ وَلاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاّ بِاللهِ   “In the name of Allah, I place my trust in Allah, and there is neither might nor power except with Allah.”   الَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ أَنْ أَضِلَّ، أّوْ أُضَلَّ، أَوْ أَزِلَّ، أَوْ أُزَلَّ، أَوْ أَظْلِمَ، أَوْ أُظْلَمَ، أَوْ أَجْهَلَ، أَوْ يُجْهَلَ عَلَيَّ   “O Allah, I seek refuge with You from leading others astray.”   Dua When Returning Home Picture Credit - www.chicagomonitor.com بِسْـمِ اللهِ وَلَجْنـاَ، وَبِسْـمِ اللهِ خَـرَجْنـَا، وَعَلـَى رَبِّنـَا تَوَكَّلْـنَا   “In the name of Allah we enter and in the name of Allah we leave, and upon our Lord we place our trust.”   Dua for When Traveling On Plane/Car/Ship, Or Any Other Vehicle Picture Credit - www.aboutislam.net   بِسْمِ اللهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ سُبْحَانَ الَّذِيْ سَخَّرَ لَناَ هَذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لَهُ مُقرِنِيْنَ وإِنَّا إِلَى رَبِّناَ لمُنْقَلِبُوْنَ ، الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ، الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ، الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ، اللهُ أَكْبَرُ ، اللهُ أَكْبَرُ ، اللهُ أَكْبَرُ ، سُبْحَانكَ الَّلُهمَّ إِنِّيْ ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِيْ فَاغْفِرْلِيْ فَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنوْبَ إِلاَّ أَنتَ.   “In the name of Allah and all praise is for Allah. How perfect He is, the One Who has placed this (Transport) at our service and we ourselves would not have been capable of that, and to our Lord if our final destiny. All praise is for Allah, All praise if for Allah, All praise if for Allah. Allah is the greatest. How perfect You are, O Allah, verily I have wronged my soul, so forgive me, for surely none can forgive sins except You.”   Dua for Entering the Mosque   Picture Credit - www.prayerinislam.com   This is the dua to be read when you enter the Masjid-Al-Haram. Enter with your right foot and recite:   أَعُوذُ بِاللهِ الْعَظِيمِ وَبِوَجْهِهِ الْكَرِيمِ وَسُلْطَانِهِ الْقَدِيمِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِا ,للَّهُمَّ افْتَحْ لِي أَبْوَابَ رَحْمَتِكَ   “I seek refuge with Allah, The Supreme and with His Noble Face, and His eternal authority from the accursed devil. O Allah, open the doors of mercy".   Talbiya of Hajj Picture Credit - www.abovewhispers.com The Talbiya is what you should recite all through your journey to Hajj (and Umrah). It is often chanted loudly by the men of the group, but you can also recite it quietly. Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) said that if a Muslim recites the talbiya, then the east and the west, his right and left, every tree and cloud on the earth will recite along with him.   لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ ، لَبَّيْكَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ ، لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ   "I am present, O Allah, I am present, there is no partner unto You. I am present. Definitely praise and glory is yours (for You). The Kingdom is also Yours. There is no partner for You".   Dua for Tawaf Picture Credit - www.muslimvillage.com   There are no set duas for reciting during tawaf, but the following are recommended supplications.   سبحانلله والحمدلله و لا إلها اللله والله أكبر و لا حالة و لا قوات البيلله.   “Praise be to Allah, and God is the greatest, and not the state, nor the forces of the people.”   سبحان الل   “Glory be to Allah.”   الحمد للا,   “All praise be to Allah.”   الله أكبر,   “Allah is the greatest."   لا إلها اللله, إتش.   “There is no God but Allah.”   سبحان الله واب حامد هي سبحان الله حيل أزم   “All glory be to Allah, and all praise to Him. Glorified is Allah, the Great.”   Dua for Sa’ee Picture Credit - www.thegoodnewstoday.org The following dua has been narrated by Jabir (rali) that Prohet Muhammed (S.A.W.) would recite when he came close to Mount Safa:   إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِنْ شَعَائِرِ الله فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَنْ يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا وَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ الله شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ   “Verily! As-Safa and Al-Marwah are of the Symbols of Allaah. So it is not a sin on him who perform Hajj or ‘Umrah of the House (the Ka’bah at Makkah) to perform the going between them (As-Safa and Al-Marwah). And whoever does good voluntarily, then verily, Allaah is All-Recogniser, All-Knower.”   The Prophet (S.A.W.)would then say:   نَبْدَأُ بِمَا بَدَأَ اللَّهُ بِهِ   “I begin with what Allaah began with.”   He (S.A.W.) would then climb Mount Safe, face the Qibla and utter the takbir thrice.   الله أكبر الله أكبر الله أكبر   “Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar.”   When the Prophet (S.A.W.) began ascending the Mount Safa, he would recite:   لَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ، لَا إلَهَ إلَّا الله أَنْجَزَ وَعْدَهُ وَنَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ وَهَزَمَ الْأَحْزَابَ وَحْدَهُ   “There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, Alone. He has no partner, To Him belongs the kingdom, & all praise belongs to Him, & He has power above all things, There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, He fulfilled His promise, Granted victory to His servant, And alone He defeated the allied army.”   The Prophet (S.A.W.) would then repeat the same duas for Mount Marwa as he did for Mount Safa.   Dua for Ease Picture Credit - www.shutterstock.com   There is no arguing that Hajj is a physically and mentally trying time on any human being. But it’s important to keep the goal in mind: to please Allah and gain forgiveness from Him of your sins. If you feel like things are getting too difficult, recite the following dua and leave the rest up to the Almighty.   اللَّهُمَّ رَحْمَتَكَ أَرْجُو فَلَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ وَأَصْلِحْ شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ   "O Allah, I hope for Your mercy, do not leave me for even the duration of an eye blink (duration) and correct my total condition. Besides You there is none worthy of worship.”   You can also recite the following dua before asking what you need from Allah. This is the dua that Yunus (A.S.) recited when he was trapped inside the belly of fish. He called upon his Creator with these words, and Allah saved him. It is said that whoever recites these words when in need, Allah will surely accept his duas.   لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ   "O Allah, there is none worthy of worship besides You. You are Pure, definitely I have oppressed my soul by sinning".   Dua When Drinking Zam Zam Water Picture Credit - www.greenprophet.com The access and ability to drink as much of the blessed Zam Zam water as you want is one of the perks of your pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. Zam Zam has been said to have healing properties as well, so recite the following dua along with any other duas when drinking it.   للَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ عِلْمَاً نَافِعَاًً وَرِزْقَاً وَاسِعَاًَ وَشِفَاءً مِنْ كُلِّ دَاءٍ   "O Allah, I seek beneficial knowledge, wide sustenance and cure from all ailments from You.”   This a useful Hajj dua list to have with you for a productive Hajj and pilgrimage to Mecca. Make memorizing (or writing them down to have with you at all times) an important step in your Hajj preparation before you leave. And have a blessed Hajj!   ...



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