All Praise and Glory belongs to Almighty Allah, our Sustainer and Protector, for guiding the Boorhaanol Islam Movement to the successful publication of this Hajj & Umrah Guide. On 20th October 1833, Imam Gasannodien Carel Pelgrim, set sail for Makkah to perform his hajj pilgrimage. While there, the Imam had the means to further his Islamic studies before undertaking the long sea journey back home. More than two years later, on 10th December 1835, Imam Gasannodien arrived back aboard the Liverpool ship as the first indigenous Muslim to have successfully completed the Hajj journey from Cape Town and back.

Gasannodien was born to Jan Abdullah Goetlieb, who was a free burgher, and his slave wife, Pakka van de Kaap in 1785. He was raised by his mother as a Muslim and manumitted from slavery in 1804 in accordance with the Will of free burgher Cornelis van der Poel. Later he became a tailor as well as a madrassa teacher, and soon after his marriage to Johanna (Japoera) Salomonse in 1833, he decided to leave for hajj. His epic journey inaugurated a cultural tradition amongst Cape Muslims that has played a key role in the welfare of Islam at the Cape. The Cape Hajj season is one of several cultural traditions that has contributed significantly to the survival of Islam in South Africa over the past 350 years. Our forefathers recognised the transformative potential of Hajj in the positive development of Muslims in a hostile local environment that stretched from slavery to colonialism and Apartheid. The hajji at the Cape became a metaphor for truth, trustworthiness, and upright character. This booklet contains the essential knowledge of Hajj and Umrah, as well as several topics related to them. The Hajj and Umrah notes were derived from the course work of workshops held by Sheikh Muhammad West on an annual basis over the last 7 years. Sheikh West grew up in Saudi Arabia, is a graduate of Medinah University, and is the Imam at the Boorhaanol Islam Masjid in Bo-Kaap. A useful addition to the core notes are lists of the common mistakes and misconceptions of the tawaaf, sa’i and Arafah that pilgrims make, as these have been compiled from feedback received over the years. The booklet also details several pre-hajj cultural traditions practised at the Cape, like visiting the Kramats, asking maaf (forgiveness) and Inpakkery (packing travel cases), both to better define their roles and to assist pilgrims in preparing better for their spiritual journey of a lifetime. Several topics related to Hajj and Umrah have also found their way into the booklet, including Salatul Janazah (especially in the Haramayn), weather metrics in the Hijaz throughout the year and some very good medical advice given by Dr Salim Parker, a world authority on travel medicine to the Hijaz. While the booklet extols the virtues of the cultural traditions practised by Cape Muslims, it also aims to equip Muslims with Islamic knowledge pertinent to modern living. In that regard it contains guidelines on how, in the absence of an Imam, to lead the pilgrim out of the house, as well as when s/he returns from pilgrimage. In addition, it recognises the reality these days of distance travelling for business and recreational purposes, and given the cardinal importance of salaah, details the way that Qasr and Jam salaah should be made. An exciting new feature in the booklet are the QR codes alongside all of the duas in the booklet. Our profound gratitude is extended to Sheikh Ismail Londt for his recitation of all the duas in the booklet. All the reader has to do is use his/her cellphone or tablet device to scan the relevant QR code in the booklet providing a link to the YouTube playlist of all the duas. The audio version rendered by Sheikh Londt can then be heard on the device corresponding to text in the booklet. Similarly a QR code is provided for a description and history associated with the various ziyarah places in Makkah and Medinah. These audio narrations are rendered by Sh Muhammad West. Finally, the Boorhaanol Islam Movement expresses its sincere gratitude to all the sponsors of this booklet. May the Almighty Allah grant you success in all your endeavours and reward you abundantly both in this life and the Hereafter, Insha-Allah.

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