It gives me great pleasure in introducing the author of this book, Anis Daud Mathews, who very kindly agreed to devote some of her precious time in compiling this guide for Hajj and Umra for intending Pilgrims from English speaking countries.
Born in Pakistan, she was awarded her B.S. and M.S. Degrees at the University of Panjab, Lahore. She taught for a while in Medical College, at the University of Baghdad. Having completed her experimental work at A.E.R.E. Harwell, she was awarded an M. Phil in Nuclear Physics by the University of Surrey (England). In 1974 she came to Saudi Arabia with her husband where they presently reside.
In addition to providing useful information to help prepare the Pilgrim for the Sacred Journey, she has compiled a beautiful collection of prayers for each occasion, in original Arabic, along with their Transliteration and Translation to help those who cannot read or understand Arabic. These prayers are only a guideline, generally derived from the Holy Qur’an and from the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings of Allah be on him). It will be according to the Sunna to recite these, if time permits, otherwise one can pray in any language, as Allah is the best of Listeners.
There is a stepwise explanation of each ceremony of Hajj or ‘Umra with flow diagrams, maps and pictures of various sacred places to prepare the reader mentally and spiritually for the greatest occasion of his life, the PILGRIMAG E TO MECCA.
Thanks are due to innumerable sources from which this information has been compiled. The Ministry of Hajj and Auqaf and the Ministry of Information of the Government of Saudi Arabia, the Managers of various Hotels, Saudia-Airlines, Habits- tal-Alim•al•Islami, Mecca Mukarrama, and P.I.A. are the prominent ones who deserve most sincere appreciation and acknowledgement for the information provided in this book from their sources.
Also, grateful acknowledgment is due to ARAMCO, their Public Relation’s Chief, Mr. Abdulla Jum’a and their Photographic Department for providing all the pictures included herein by their world famous Photographer, S.M. Amin of Pakistan. These photographs have really beautified this book.
May Allah reward Ismail Amirali and Hamid Ali for their selfless efforts in typing and retyping the manuscript in the shortest possible time. May Allah also bless my brother in Islam, Daud Mathews, for checking and rechecking the manuscript and providing useful suggestions all the time to improve the contents of the book.
Because of a deadline to bring this book to intending Pilgrims before Hajj this year, there may be errors and omissions here and there, which we regret and pray to Almighty Allah to forgive us. However criticism and suggestions to improve this book are most welcome and when included in the second edition will make this book worthy of reading by every Muslim.
May Allah bless all those who have contributed in the compilation of this book, and May Allah help the readers to take full advantage of its contents and thus attain His Grace and Blessings in the Holy Land for a beautiful life in this world and In the Hereafter. May Allah accept our humble contribution to further His Cause, and reward us all, Ameen.
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