Home > Islamic Post > A Brief Guide to the Rites of Hajj and ‘Umrah

A Brief Guide to the Rites of Hajj and ‘Umrah

By Shaikh Abu Haatim Usaamah al-Qoosee


Hajj is obligatory on every Muslim only once during his or her lifetime, provided that he or sheis able to perform it. The order comes from Allaah in the ayah:

“Hajj (Pilgrimage) to the House (the Ka’bah) is an obligation that humanity owesto Allaah, for those who can find a way (i.e. for those who can find the means to doit). And whoever disbelieves (i.e. denies the Hajj), then Allaah is beyond any needof all that exists (from His creation).” [Surah Aali ‘Imraan: 197]

“The Hajj is in the well-known (lunar) months. So whoever intends to performHajj in these months, then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), norcommit sin, nor argue unjustly during the Hajj.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 197]

“Complete (perform properly) the Hajj and ‘Umrah for Allaah…” [Surah Al-Baqarah:196]From these previous ayaat we can conclude that Hajj is obligatory on every Muslim who hasthe (physical, financial, and circumstantial) ability to reach the sacred precincts of the Ka’bahat Makkah.As for those who have the ability to do so but do not perform Hajj, then they are committing amajor sin from the major sins of Islaam and, moreoever it is one of the things that indicateKufr (Disbelief).Therefore, Hajj is obligatory once in a person’s lifetime – for those who have the ability to doit. Whoever performs it more than once, then these extra Hajj are considered voluntary(naafilah).


Hajj in regards to the Muslims living in this country (i.e. United States) commences when theMuslim travels to Makkah and makes the initial intention of ‘Umrah. He assumes his sacredstate of Ihraam at the appointed places (Mawaaqeet), designated for asuming Ihraam whenpassing through those designated places.

According to the statement of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): “The Mawaaqeetare the places designated for those wishing to assume Ihraam when they passthese places, not including the people (who already reside there).”

These are places specifically designated in order to assume Ihraam, known as Mawaaqeet(sing: Meeqaat). It is not permissible for anyone who wishes to perform Hajj or ‘Umrah topass beyond these places towards Makkah without assuming the sacred state of Ihraam.

These specified places, known as the Mawaaqeet, extend from the direction of Makkah in fourdifferent directions. Whoever passes any one of these places going towards Makkah mustassume Ihraam before proceeding, except for the residents of that place (and those livingnearer to Makkah).

As for you (here in the United States), the majority of you travel by plane through thedirection of Egypt. Therefore, you will take the same Meeqaat as the people of Egypt, whichis also the same Meeqaat that is designated for the people of Shaam. This Meeqaat is knownas “Raabig” and it is located about a ½ hour by air before reaching Jeddah. It is now adeserted, and abandoned town, known as al-Juhfah, or “The Dry Place”, because of thefrequent rain torrents (sayl) that wash over it on their way to the sea, leaving it barren.


It is not necessary to assume the state of Ihraam from America before leaving; since it is along journey. So whoever travels from here in order to perform the Hajj should dress in hisnormal attire and carry his Ihraam clothing in his carry-on hand luggage, changing into itbefore the plane is approximately a ½ hour due to land at Jeddah.

At this time, while assuming the Ihraam, your intention should be for ’Umrah. Why shouldyour intention be for ‘Umrah and not for Hajj? Well, the answer lies in the hadeeth of theMessenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) where he and his Companions gathered andcollected animals designated for sacrifice along the way from Madeenah to Makkah, enclosingeven more of them when approaching Makkah. All of them having the intention of only Hajj,they performed the Tawaaf (circumambulation) around the House (Ka’bah) and the Sa’eebetween as-Safaa and al-Marwah, after which the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saidclearly and decisively:

“Whoever among you does not possess a hadee (a sacrificial animal), then let himmake this (an ‘Umrah). He is to come out of the sacred state of Ihraam now andhas fulfilled his duties and rites after completing it.”

Then they were ordered to assume the Ihraam a second time, this time for Hajj on the 8th ofDhul-Hijjah known as Yawm at-Tarwiyyah (The Day of Watering, i.e. for the people and the animals).

So, we can divide those Hujaaj (pilgrims performing Hajj) into two groups:

1. Those who possess and lead their sacrificial animals with them,

2. Those who do not have their sacrificial animals with them.

As for those who possess their sacrificial animals with them, then it is not possible for them tocome out of their sacred state of Ihraam, due to the statement of Allaah:

“And do not shave your heads until the hadee reaches the place of sacrifice.” [SurahAl-Baqarah: 196]

This means that it is impermissible to come out of Ihraam for whoever still has his hadee(sacrificial animal) in his possession until he reaches the place of slaughtering during Hajj.

So whoever brings his sacrificial animal (hadee) with him before the Meeqaat, must remain inIhraam for the duration of both the ‘Umrah and the Hajj, until its completion. This is thecombination of Hajj and ‘Umrah together in one ordered arrangement of rites, known as HajjAt-Qiraan.

As for those who do not possess their sacrificial animals before the Meeqaat, including thosewho made their intention for Hajj only (at the Meeqaat), they must come out of their Ihraamafter performing the Tawaaf and Sa’ee, thereby completing their ‘Umrah.

So ‘Umrah is the beginning of the order of rites for Hajj. Since the majority of people do notbring their sacrificial animals with them nowadays, we will not concern ourselves with thattype of Hajj (i.e. Hajj al-Qiraan)


The Pillars (arkaan) of ‘Umrah are four:

1. Ihraam: which is assumed at the Meeqaat,

2. Tawaaf: around the House, which consists of seven circuits,

3. Sa’ee: between the hills of as-Safaa and al-Marwah, which consists of seven circuits,

4. Tahallul: which means coming out of the sacred state of Ihraam, making lawful whatwhich was previously prohibited during ihraam


Ihraam is assumed at the specified Meeqaat, or on the plane before passing the Meeqaat, aswe have discussed before.

The men are to change into their clothing of Ihraam while the women only need to make their intention at that time in the clothing they are already wearing. There is no specific clothingdesignated for women, except that they are prohibited from wearing the Niqaab (face-veil)1and gloves. Yes, it is obligatory and correct that women should cover their faces and hands(generally), but (at this time) it is forbidden for them to do so using the Niqaab and gloves.Instead, they should cover their hands with the lower part of their khimaar (head covering),while using the upper part of their jilbaab (outer garment) or a separate piece of fabric tocover their faces.

This is the most preferred opinion according to the People of Knowledge, whereby thecovering of the face and hands while in Ihraam is not forbidden, but rather what is prohibitedis the wearing of these two specific articles of woman’s clothing, designed to cover the face(niqaab) and the hands (gloves).

Therefore, women must cover their faces and hands with the clothing they are wearing, butare prohibited to use the Niqaab and gloves for that purpose.

As for men, they must assume their Ihraam at the Meeqaat by wearing two pieces of fabriccalled the Izaar and the Ridaa’. The Ridaa’ covers the top half of the body, while the Izaarcovers the lower half. No other clothing is allowed to be worn in addition to these – nounderwear, no pants, no shirt, no turban, no hat, etc. are to be worn.

As for women, their Ihraam is limited to only their faces and hands. They are not allowed towear the face-veil or gloves, but must assume Ihraam in their regular clothing. Unlike men,they do not have special clothing to wear.


The intention (niyyah) is made at the Meeqaat to begin the state of Ihraam. The Prophet(sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Actions are only by intention.”

Translator’s Note: The Niqaab is a piece of clothing specifically designed for the purpose ofcovering the face and/or head and is in direct contact with the surface of the skin.

The intention that enters one into the state of Ihraam must be made in the heart, while thestatement made afterwards is:

“Labayk Allaahumma Labayk.”

This statement begins the rites of ‘Umrah and Hajj just as the pronouncement of Takbeer(saying Allaahu Akbar) begins the prayer. So just as a person enters into prayer with theopening Takbeer, likewise, the Muhrim enters into the sacred rites of Hajj and ‘Umrah bysaying:

“Labayk Allaahumma bi-‘Umrah”


“Labayk Allaahumma bi-Hajj.”

When assuming Ihraam at the Meeqaat, it is sufficient to mention just the ‘Umrah in theopening Talbiyyah (i.e., say: Labayk Allaahumma bi-‘Umrah), since the person will be aMutamatta’ee, i.e. he will be performing Hajj at-Tamattu’ (joining ‘Umrah with Hajj). Allaahsays:

“And whoever performs the ‘Umrah in the months of Hajj before (performing) theHajj (i.e. Hajj at-Tamattu’ and al-Qiraan), he must sacrifice a hadee such as he canafford without difficulty…” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 196]

So whoever enters into Ihraam for ‘Umrah, he must complete his ‘Umrah and then come outof Ihraam. Then he must wait in Makkah until the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah, then go into Ihraamanother time, this time for Hajj, while in Makkah.

This division between the Hajj and the ‘Umrah is known as at-Tamattu‘, and one whoperforms this type of Hajj is known as a Mutamatta’ee. A Mutamatta’ee is required tosacrifice an animal (hadee) in the sacred precincts during Hajj on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah.

So the first pillar of ‘Umrah is the Ihraam. The intention is made in the heart, while thetongue recites the opening Talbiyyah, which is: “Labbayk Allaahumma bi-‘Umrah”, or“Labbayka ‘Umrah.”

This opens the sacred state of Ihraam exactly like the Takbeer opens the prayer.

The Ihraamdress is then put on and the restrictions are:

1. No sexual contact with your spouse

2. No wearing of clothes that conform to the body surface (for men only)

3. It is prohibited to wear pants, shirt, shoes, socks, khuffs (leather socks)Sandals can be worn as long as they do not extend above the anklebone.

With regard to “No Sexual Contact”, this means no sexual intercourse, foreplay, kissing oranything that leads to the physical act of sexual intercourse. This is based on the statementof Allaah:

“So, whoever intends to perform Hajj, then he should not have sexual intercourse(with his wife), nor commit sin, nor argue unjustly during the Hajj.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 197]

So no sexual relations between the husband and wife is allowed until they come out ofIhraam.


Now once the state of Ihraam has commenced, the calling of the Talbiyyah begins:

“O Allaah, I am here at Your disposal, ready to serve only You. I am here for You,there is no partner (in worship) to You. I am ready to serve You. Surely, all Praiseand Blessings, and the Ownership of all that You created is Yours (alone). There isno partner (in worship) to You.”

The Talbiyyah continues from the Meeqaat until one reaches Makkah. The recitation of theTalbiyyah should be done in a raised voice as well as individually and not in unison with a group.

This repetition out loud continues until the Muhrim enters Makkah and sets sight on theSacred Masjid and the Ka’bah. It is at this point that we come to the second pillar of ‘Umrah,which is:


The Tawaaf of the Sacred House consists of making seven circuits around it. The Tawaafalways begins at the Hajr al-Aswad (The Black Stone), or at the point where you can greet it.Each circuit of the Tawaaf begins at the Black Stone. By pronouncing the Takbeer (sayingAllaahu Akbar), he begins the first circuit. Each time the Muhrim circumambulates the Ka’bahand returns to the point of the Black Stone, he must repeat the Takbeer while pointing at theBlack Stone.

If the Muhrim (a person in the state of Ihraam) is able to do so, he may kiss the Black Stonewith his lips or alternatively, he can wipe over the Black Stone with his hands or any otherobject and then kiss that object. Or if the crowds are too heavy, merely pointing in itsdirection with your hand is sufficient. Do not oppress or cause harm to those around you inyour attempt to kiss or touch the Black Stone.

The Tawaaf consists of seven circuits. There is no specific statement or supplication legislatedto be said during each circuit. There are some books available with specific du’aas(supplications) for each circuit; i.e. the first, second, third, etc. These books containinnovations and are a misguidance, so they should be avoided.

Make du’aa from your heart, for that which will benefit you. Recite whatever you wish,supplicate to Allaah by asking for good, make dhikr (remembrance) of Allaah, recite theQur’aan, anything you wish. There are no specific statements or supplications to be recitedduring the Tawaaf that are authentically established in the Sunnah.

The completion of seven circuits means you have completed the Tawaaf al-Qudoom(TheTawaaf of Arrival). This particular Tawaaf al-Qudoom is to be performed in a specific way:

The first three circuits are performed as “Ramal”, i.e. taking short quick steps, not runningwith long strides. This is walking, with fast short strides for the first three circuits only. Theremaining four circuits are completed by walking at your normal pace.

When beginning the Tawaaf al-Qudoom, the Muhrim should adjust his Ridaa (top piece offabric) by lowering the right side under his right armpit and throwing the end over his leftshoulder, thus exposing his right shoulder.

This manner of wearing the Ridaa is only done for the seven circuits of the Tawaaf. From thetime the Muhrim puts on his Ihraam garments at the Meeqaat until he reaches Makkah and isabout to begin his Tawaaf al-Qudoom, he should wear his Ridaa such that it covers both shoulders.

The Ramal is a manner of brisk pace in walking; taking short strides, and it is done only forthe first three circuits. The remaining four are accomplished in your normal walking pace.

The Muhrim must do the Ramal of the first three circuits from the Black Stone to theRukn al-Yamanee (The Southwestern Corner) only. The distance between the Rukn al-Yamanee and the return to the Black Stone should be covered in your normal walking pace.This is done for three circuits. The remaining four are accomplished in your normal walkingpace throughout.

This is the complete description of the Tawaaf al-Qudoom.

Remember, while performing it, the Muhrim should make du’aa and supplicate to his Lord byany means he wishes. This can be accomplished in Arabic or in any language other thanArabic such as English. What is important is that the slave of Allaah asks Him from his heart,while knowing the meaning of what he is supplicating for. It is not good that one makesdu’aa and requests something when he does not even understand what he is asking for. Onecan make du’aa in his native language, so long as it comes from his heart (with good, pureintention, as Allaah Hears All).

When the Tawaaf al-Qudoom is completed, with all of its components, the Muhrim then goesto the area known as the “Maqaamu-Ibraaheem” (The Place of Ibraaheem’s Standing), wherehe performs a two-rak’aat prayer of Tawaaf.

From here, the Muhrim descends to the well of Zam-Zam, where he drinks the water of Zam-Zam until he fills his stomach completely and also pours it over his body. Verily, Zam-Zamwater is not only a nutrient, but it is also a cure from disease. After he drinks as much Zam-Zam as his stomach can hold, he returns to the Black Stone and recites the Takbeer (AllaahuAkbar) and thus completes the second pillar of ‘Umrah, the Tawaaf.


At this point the Muhrim now moves to the small hill, named as-Safaa and recites the ayah ofAllaah:“Verily, as-Safaa and al-Marwah are from the signs of Allaah.” [Surah Al-Baqarah:158]

Then he must say:

“We begin with that which Allaah has begun with.”

The Muhrim then climbs part of the way up the hill of as-Safaa and faces the Ka’bah until hecan see it, if possible, and then recites:

“Allaah is the Greatest. Allaah is the Greatest. There is no one worthy of worshipexcept Allaah – alone and without partner. To Him belongs all the Dominion andthe Praise, He gives life and causes death. And He is Able to do anything. There isno one worthy of worship except for Allaah – alone and with no partner. He hasfulfilled His Promise and He has aided His slave (Muhammad). And He alone hasdefeated and destroyed the Confederates (of Disbelief).”

After reciting this, you should then make du’aa for whatever Allaah opens your heart to. Thiscan be done in any language, even in English. After completing your supplication, repeat thesame opening supplication as before (the one above). Then, make du’aa a second time (forthat which benefits you). After that, repeat the opening supplication a third time, followed bymore du’aa on your behalf.

After completing this supplication, descend from the hill of as-Safaa and head towards the hillof al-Marwah until you reach the first and second green pillars (indicating the ancient bottomof the valley between the two hills) and run quickly between these two green pillars. Thisrunning in the bottom of the valley reminds us of the actions of Umm Isma’eel, Hajar, whowhen descending into the valley between the two hills of as-Safaa and al-Marwah, ran quicklyin order to climb to the higher point on the other hill and thus be able to see if her infant son,Isma’eel, was in distress or not. She walked the remaining distance on either side of thevalley, as we do today. So, we remind ourselves of the patience, sacrifice, and duty themother of Isma’eel, Hajar, undertook for the sake of Allaah.

So we continue all seven routes between Safaa and Marwah the same way: walking until thegreen pillars, then running in between them, then walking the remainder of the distance tothe next hill.

What do we say or recite during this Sa’ee? Well, you should recite whatever you wish, aswas the case in the Tawaaf, even in the English language. There are no prescribedsupplications to be made during the Sa’ee. Keep away from those books that contain falsedu’aas in them of which there is no basis for them in the Sunnah. Make du’aa from your heart.

When reaching the hill of al-Marwah, you must climb it part of the way up, face the Ka’bahand recite the very same supplication and then your own du’aa – three times – exactly as youperformed on the hill of as-Safaa.

Do not do what the other people do when they reach the hill, such as shouting Takbeer(Allaahu Akbar) then moving on to the next hill. This is wrong. Stop, repeat the supplicationwe have learned (above), make your du’aa then go on to the next point.

Leaving from al-Marwah, walk back towards as-Safaa, until you reach the “Green Mile” andthen run as before. On the hill of as-Safaa, repeat exactly the same statements and du’aa asyou did before then proceed back to al-Marwah.

Going from as-Safaa to al-Marwah is a complete circuit (i.e. the first circuit) and from al-Marwah back to as-Safaa is another circuit (i.e. the second circuit), and so on. This goes onuntil you complete seven circuits and end up on al-Marwah.Some of the ignorant people assume that one complete circuit is going from as-Safaa to al-Marwah then from al-Marwah back to as-Safaa.

This is wrong. Going from as-Safaa to al-Marwah is one complete circuit, and going from al-Marwah back to as-Safaa is anothercomplete circuit.Therefore, you commence the Sa’ee on as-Safaa and complete it on al-Marwah; after sevencircuits. This completes the third pillar of ‘Umrah.


Now we come to the fourth and final pillar of ‘Umrah, which is the shaving or the cutting thehair. This takes one out of Ihraam (known as Tahallul).

Shaving the entire head is better than cutting the hair, at all times, except during the ‘Umrahthat is connected to the Hajj (at-Tamattu’). In this case, it is preferable to cut the hair afterthe ‘Umrah, leaving some hair on the head in order to be able to shave the head completelyafter the completion of Ihraam for the Hajj. Cutting the hair completes the order of rites ofthe ‘Umrah, and this brings you out of the state of Ihraam (Tahallul), thus making Halaal(permissible) to you that which was prohibited during the sacred state of Ihraam.

You may have sexual relations with your wives, wear scented oils or perfume, wear a”Qamees” or a turban, etc. You are now free of Ihraam and have become “one who is ableto enjoy and partake with pleasure in those things now permissible withoutIhraam” in between the ‘Umrah and the Hajj. As Allaah has mentioned:

“Whosoever performs ‘Umrah before the Hajj (at-Tamattu’) must sacrifice a hadeesuch as he can afford without difficulty.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 196]

During this period, remain in Makkah and visit the scholars; recite the Qur’aan; perform yourprayers in the Haram (Sacred Mosque) – do whatever you wish, but don’t waste your time bytalking idly with your friends or by arguing. Obtain the most benefit of your time there byvisiting the scholars and going to their classes, engaging in the remembrance of Allaah, etc.,until the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah arrives.

On the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah, known as Yawm at-Tarwiyyah, you must enter into the sacred stateof Ihraam a second time, which is now the Ihraam of Hajj. This is accomplished whereveryou are, whether inside the (Masjid) Al-Haram, or at the hotel in which your are staying.

I forgot to mention earlier when discussing the Ihraam, that is is preferable (mustahabb) totake a bath and apply scented oil or perfume before donning the clothes of Ihraam. But it isnot obligatory, so if you do not take a bath prior to Ihraam, there is no harm.If you applied scent before Ihraam and the scent remained in your head or beard afterentering into Ihraam, there is no harm.

What is prohibited is to apply a scent after theIhraam has been assumed. This is Haraam (prohibited). Any effects from previously applyingscent upon the head, body, or beard, before assuming Ihraam, is overlooked.


The 8th of Dhul Hijjah commences the order of the rites of Hajj:

Do you have to return to the Meeqaat in order to assume the Ihraam? No, the Ihraam isassumed from any place you are staying at in Makkah, whether in a hotel or the Haram(Sacred Mosque) – anywhere you are staying at. You do not have to return to the Meeqaatyou originally passed for your Ihraam of ‘Umrah.

The rites of Ihraam are the same as before, the first (pillar) being the niyyah (the intention),where the intention is made in the heart, not in words or statements such as: “I wish toperform Hajj.” No, this intention should be limited to the heart only.

After making the intention, the first opening statement is: “Labbayk Allaahumma bi-Hajjin”or, “Labbayk Hajjatan.”

Here we come to an important point (about the intention). Some people while in Ihraam fallill during Hajj and are unable to complete the rites of Hajj. If this occurs, the person mustrepeat his Hajj next year 2 and offer a sacrifice (in Makkah) as a penalty (fidyah) before beingable to come out of the sacred state of Ihraam. Therefore, it is from the Sunnah to make acondition for extenuating (unforeseen) circumstances at the time you are making yourintention by saying after you recite:

“Labbayk Allaahumma bi-Hajjin”,


“O Allaah, the place where I leave my sacred state (of Ihraam) is wherever Youhave prevented me (from continuing).”

So whoever says this statement after reciting “Labbayk Allaahumma bi-Hajj” or “LabbaykAlaahumma bi-‘Umrah” and then becomes ill and unable to complete the order of rites of‘Umrah or Hajj, he can leave his Ihraam at any point he is at during the sacred order of riteswithout having to sacrifice a hadee or completing the remaining rites. Nothing else remainsobligatory on him in that case.

This statement means: “Allaah has ordained that I will be unable to complete andcontinue with the remainder of my rites. Therefore, I will now come out of Ihraamand nothing else is necessary upon me.”

If someone is unable to continue his Hajj or ‘Umrah for any reason whatsoever, but he did notmake this verbal condition at the time of saying “Labbayk Allaahumma bi-Hajj/bi-’Umrah”, then it is obligatory on him to sacrifice a hadee before coming out of Ihraam at thatpoint, without completing the remainder of the rites.

So you commence the sacred state (of Ihraam) by reciting: “Labbayk Allaahumma bi-Hajj” or “Labbayk Allaahumma Hajja” or even “Labbayk Hajjatan


The stay at Minaa occurs on the 8th day of Dhul-Hijjah. The Muhrim sets out and headstowards Minaa, where he should arrive and remain at so that the Dhuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib, Ishaa’and Fajr prayers are all performed there.

So, the Muhrim remains at Minaa so that he can perform the Dhuhr prayer on the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah until the Fajr prayer on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah. In the A.M., a little before Dhuhr time onthe 9th of Dhul-Hijjah, the Muhrim sets out for (the plain of) ‘Arafah.

The Muhrim should not enter ‘Arafah until he arrives around Dhuhr time. When arriving atthis time, he performs the Dhuhr and ‘Asr prayers, each being shortened to two rak’aat. It ispreferable to pray these prayers with the Jam’aah (congregation). But if this is not possible,then you may perform the combined and shortened prayers on your own. First, make theIqaamah and perform the Dhuhr prayer in two rak’aat.

Then make the Iqaamah again andperform the ‘Asr prayer in two rak’aat.After completing these prayers you may enter (the plain of) ‘Arafah.


You then are to remain at ‘Arafah repeating the Talbiyyah. We forgot to mention before, youshould also recite the Talbiyyah from the beginning of the Ihraam for Hajj just as it wasrecited from the beginning of the Ihraam for ‘Umrah.

Also while at ‘Arafah, you can recite the Qur’aan and make supplication for whatever youwish, from your heart, as much as Allaah allows you, even in your own language. TheQur’aan, when being recited, however, must be done in Arabic. Anything other than that canbe done in English, i.e. remembrance of Allaah; supplications, etc. All of these can be done in English.

There are no prescribed prayers or supplications for ‘Arafah, so there is no need for (prayer)books. Just make your du’aa and your remembrance of Allaah in any way you know, as longas it comes (sincerely) from the heart. Make Takbeer (saying Allaahu Akbar), Tasbeeh (sayingSubhaanAllaah) or Tamheed (saying Alhamdulillaah).

You remain at ‘Arafah from Dhuhr until the time of sunset (Maghrib), which ends the stay at‘Arafah. The stay at ‘Arafah is the most important pillar (rukn) of the Hajj. Whoever does notwitness (the day) at ‘Arafah, his Hajj is unacceptable. This is based on the hadeeth of Allaah’sMessenger: “The Hajj is ‘Arafah.”

So what does one do at ‘Arafah? Should he climb the mountain at ‘Arafah? No, it is notnecessary to do this, for verily, the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) never climbed themountain at ‘Arafah. Rather, he remained (upon his camel) at the foot of the mountain.

One should engage himself in the remembrance of Allaah, supplication from the heart, recitingthe Talbiyyah. You should not get involved with the people in idle talk or disputes, but rather,remain alone in order to call to Allaah, praise Him, magnify Him and glorify Him.


Once the sun sets, you leave ‘Arafah and set out for al-Muzadalifah. Usually, if you walk thedistance, you will arrive sooner than if you were to take a vehicle there (because of thecrowds). However, there is no harm in riding over there, because the Prophet (sallAllaahu‘alayhi wa sallam) rode (on a camel) from ‘Arafah to al-Muzdalifah.

If you are unable to walk,then ride there. And if you are able to get there faster than by vehicle, then walk to al-Muzdalifah.Once in al-Muzdalifah, you are now within the sacred precincts of Makkah, where you mustspend the remainder of the night (until Fajr). Many of the “Muttawafeen” (those responsiblefor leading people through the different rites of Hajj) bring the pilgrims directly to Minaa,without stopping at al-Muzdalifah. This is wrong.

Spending the entire night at al-Muzdalifah is obligatory (waajib). The Hajj makes the stay atal-Muzdalifah mandatory until the sunrise of the following morning.

When you first arrive at al-Muzdalifah, you are to perform the Maghrib prayer in three rak’aatand the ‘Ishaa prayer in two rak’aat, combining the two prayers. You make one Adhaan andIqaamah before each of the two prayers. Upon completing the two prayers, you can go tosleep. There are no other required prayers for the remainder of the night at al-Muzdalifah.

So you may sleep until the appearance of Fajr, whereupon you awaken and perform the tworak’aat Sunnah of Fajr, followed by the two rak’aat for Fajr prayer. Then you should remainthere and remember Allaah, as Allaah says:

“Then when you leave ‘Arafaat, remember Allaah at the Mash’ar-il-Haraam (i.e. al-Muzdalifah).” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 198]

“Mash’ar-il-Haraam” here means al-Muzdalifah and “Remembering Allaah” can be doneby making Tahleel (saying Laa Ilaaha IllAllaah), Tasbeeh (saying SubhaanAllaah), Takbeer orthe Talbiyyah. There are no prescribed supplications or statements during this time. Makethe best of your own du’aa, in the language you can understand. You remain at al-Muzdalifahuntil just a little before the sun rises. Then you get up and leave, walking towards Minaa, notarriving there until after the sun rises.


This is now the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, the greatest day of Hajj. On this day there are fourprescribed rites:

1. Throwing (pebbles) at the Jamrat-ul-‘Aqabah

2. The Sacrifice (of a hadee)

3. Shaving the head

4. Tawaaf of the Ka’bah (seven times)


Throw seven pebbles at the Pillar of ‘Aqabah, reciting “Allaahu Akbar” each time you throw.You may obtain these pebbles from wherever you find them on the road. Gather sevenpebbles, each being the size of a little larger than a chickpea, and a bit smaller than a limabean. This size of a pebble is known as khadhif, which is a small pebble that can be graspedand thrown by the forefinger and thumb.

These pebbles are to be gathered in your hand and thrown individually, one by one at theJamrat-ul-‘Aqabah repeating “Allaahu Akbar” with each throw, i.e. saying “Allaahu Akbar” withthe first pebble, “Allaahu Akbar” with the second throw and so on.

Do not throw all seven pebbles together at once, and do not throw them from a far-awaydistance. You must stand as close as possible to the Jamrat (pillar) before throwing, to avoidcausing harm to the people near the Jamrat ahead of you.

The pillar of stone (jamrat) at which you are throwing the pebbles at is not the Devil! Somepeople think that it’s the Devil, so they yell and curse at the pillar, and throw their sandals atit. Some even climb up the pillar striking it and cursing it all the while! This is wrong and notcorrect. The pillar is not the Devil. It is only the “Jamrat-ul-‘Aqabah.” It is one of theprescribed rites of the Hajj. You must perform all the obligatory rites, even if you don’t knowwhy you are doing them.


After completing the seven throws, saying the Takbeer with each one, you return to the placeof slaughtering at Minaa.

There you sacrifice your hadee (sacrificial animal). It is preferred to sacrifice the animal withyour own hand at the slaughterhouse, or alternatively, you can designate by proxy someoneelse to slaughter on your behalf (i.e. by purchasing a voucher) at the Rajhu Bank (locatedthere).

There are no special conditions related to the size or age of the hadee (animal to besacrificed), as is in the case with the udhiyyah (animals sacrificed on ‘Eid by the non-pilgrimsaway from Makkah). Many scholars have made Qiyaas (comparative judgement) that thehadee is comparable to the standards of the udhiyyah and it is not permissible to be under acertain age or size, etc. What is correct is that you may slaughter an animal of any age, forverily Allaah has said:

“…must sacrifice a hadee such as he can afford without difficulty.” [2: 196]

So Allaah did not make the condition that the hadee must be of a particular age, such as “thisgoat or sheep of 6 months or 1 year of age”.

Make the sacrifice of an animal you can easily afford, even if it is a small one – whatever sizethat you can afford without difficulty. A person with little funds can sacrifice only a smallhadee while a rich person may sacrifice a big hadee.

It is the Sunnah to perform the slaughter with your own hands, and to remove the liver, roastit, and then eat from it. If you cannot do this, there is no problem. Even if you delegatesomeone else to do it by proxy, as that may be easier for you, then you have indeedcompleted this important obligation of Hajj.


After the sacrifice, you return and have your head shaved.


Then return to Makkah and perform the Tawaaf at the Haram, seven circuits, just as you didwhen you first arrived, except in this Tawaaf, which is known as the Tawaaf al-Ifaadah,there is no “walking the first three circuits in quick short steps”, nor “wearing your topgarment (Ridaa) with your right shoulder exposed.”

You perform the entire Tawaaf walking, and it can be done while wearing your regular clothes.

So when do you officially come out of Ihraam? It occurs as soon as you complete the stoningof the Jamrat-ul-‘Aqabah. Afterwards, you may immediately remove the garments of Ihraamand put on your normal clothing. This stage is known as The Lesser Ihraam, wherebyeverything that was allowable before Ihraam is once again lawful except sexual contact with spouses.

Once you have completed this Tawaaf, your Ihraam is completely lifted, and everythingpreviously lawful is again allowable, including sexual contact with your spouses.

So on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, the following rites are to be performed:

1. The Stoning of Jamrat-ul-‘Aqabah

2. The Sacrifice of a hadee

3. Shaving the head

4. Tawaaf of the House (Ka’bah), seven circuitsThese are the rites of Yawm an-Nahr (The Day of Sacrifice).

Is it permissible to change the sequence of these rites and perform one of them before orafter another? Yes! Verily the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was asked concerningthe one who performed such and such a rite before another, or such and such a rite afteranother, he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied: “(Go ahead and) do it, there is noharm. Do it there is no harm.”

It is permissible to supercede one of the rites of Yawm an-Nahr over another, in order tomake it easier or more appropriate to your own particular situation. So you may find yourselfwith people (in your Hajj group) who only may perform the Tawaaf by mid-morning or by thetime of Dhuhr. What is important is that you perform the four obligatory rites:

1. The Stoning of the Jamrat ul-‘Aqabah

2. Sacrifice a hadee

3. Shave the head

4. Tawaaf of the House, seven circuits, known as Tawaaf al-Ifaadah (The Tawaaf ofReturn).

So the Tawaaf is one of the obligations of this day, after which when completed, you are nowcompletely free of your Ihraam restrictions, including sexual contact with your wives. Afterthis stage, you are allowed to have marital relations with your lawful spouses, if they areaccompanying you on this Hajj.


The only thing that remains for you in the Hajj is to stay at Minaa three days, or three nights.What are the activities to be performed while staying at Minaa?

The days at Minaa are for eating, drinking, and for making remembrance of Allaah.Remember Allaah the best way that you are able to – there are no prescribed statements tobe recited.

Eat from your sacrificial animal, if you slaughtered it yourself. If you did it by way of proxy orvoucher, then of course, that meat you will not see, and it will be donated in the way of Allaah(to the needy).

These are the days of Joy and Happiness – the days of ‘Eid. These days are intended foreating, drinking and remembering Allaah.

During each of these three days, after the sun passes its zenith (noontime), that is, once thetime of Dhuhr has entered, you go to the 3 pillars in order to stone each of them.

Each day you are to stone each of the three pillars, using seven pebbles for each pillar, as youdid previously with the Jamrat-ul-‘Aqabah. You must first start with the stoning of the “smallpillar”, then the “middle pillar” and lastly, the “big pillar.”

For each pillar you are to throw seven pebbles, reciting “Allaahu Akbar” with each throw.

After completing the throwing of seven pebbles at the:

1. First Pillar: stop and make du’aa for what you wish before leaving for the next pillar.

2. Second Pillar: stop, and make more supplication before leaving.

3. Third Pillar: leave without making any supplication.

You perform these stonings on all three days at Minaa; the 11th, 12th, and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah.These days are known as Ayaam at-Tashreeq (The Days of Drying).

The Days of Tashreeq are named so because the meat that was slaughtered on the 10th ofDhul-Hijjah and later used to be laid out in the sun after butchering. This was done in orderto dry out the meat for preservation for the return journey home, since there was norefrigeration in those times.

According to the Prophet, these are days of eating, drinking, and for remembering Allaah.

When these days are over, the rites of Hajj are now completed, and you may return home toyour family. Some people wish to leave early and travel home from the Hajj (a day early). Inthis regard, Allaah has said:

“Remember Allaah during the appointed days (i.e. Ayaam at-Tashreeq) andwhoever hastens to leave in two days, there is no sin on him. And whoeverremains (until the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah), there is no sin on him, providing that hisintention was to be dutiful to Allaah (and to do good).” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 203]

So it is permissible to leave on the 12th of Dhul-Hijjah, after the second day at Minaa, bycombining the stoning of the pillars of the second and third days into one day (i.e. the stoningof the 12th and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah are to be both performed on the same day, the 12th ofDhul-Hijjah, the second day at Minaa).

This is accomplished by going out on the second day of stoning (the 12th of Dhul Hijjah) andthrowing seven pebbles at the small pillar for the second day then throwing seven additionalpebbles at the same (small) pillar for the third day. You repeat this same process for thefollowing two pillars – the middle and the last Jamraat. Throw seven pebbles first for thesecond day, then seven more pebbles for the third and final day (in one day).

This allowance is for those who wish to travel early and do not want to remain in Minaa on the3rd day, as Allaah says:

“Remember Allaah during the appointed days (i.e. Ayyam at-Tashreeq) andwhoever hastens to leave in two days, there is no sin on him. And whoeverremains (until the 13th of Dhul Hijjah), there is no sin on him, providing that hisintention was to be dutiful to Allaah (and to do good).” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 203]

Hence, it is permissible for the people to remain at Minaa for three days, or for those whowish to hurry, two days. Those leaving on the second day, however, must combine thesecond and third days of the Stoning of Jamrat on one day, which is the second day. Then,they can travel back to their homelands.

It is recommended (mustahabb) that you perform a final Tawaaf when leaving Makkah for thelast time. This is known as the Tawaaf al-Widaa’ (The Farewell Tawaaf). The Prophet(sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ordered: “one should not leave Makkah for the last timeexcept after performing a final Tawaaf of the Sacred House.” This is the last rite to beperformed at the Sacred House – the Tawaaf al-Widaa’.


If a woman begins her menses cycle before, during, or after the rites of Hajj, she cancomplete all the ordered sequence of rites of the Hajj except the Tawaaf (circumambulation)around the House in seven circuits, until she becomes clean after the end of the menses.

If a woman commences her menstrual bleeding after completing the first Tawaaf (Tawaaf al-Qudoom), then she must complete all the remaining rites of Hajj (like the other women ofHajj), except that she must wait to become clean at the end of her menses in order toperform the Tawaaf al-Ifaadah (The Tawaaf of Return).

Her Hajj or ‘Umrah are not ruined, as some ignorant people presume; rather her Hajj is validand her ‘Umrah is valid. Allaah has indeed written this for all of the daughters of Aadam;therefore, women will experience menses.

So there is no problem for women experiencing menses to complete all of the rites of Hajj,except the Tawaaf around the House. They must wait until becoming clean and purified afterthe completion of the menses, before performing the Tawaaf again.

Another case is when a woman commences her menstrual bleeding before performing theFarewell Tawaaf (Tawaaf al-Widaa’). Is it necessary for her to wait until the end of hermenses, become purified, and then perform the Tawaaf al-Widaa?

No, in this case, the Tawaaf Al-Ifaadah (“the Tawaaf of return (from Minaa) that wasperformed earlier will suffice for both the Tawaaf al-Ifaadah as well as the Tawaaf al-Widaa’.These is no need for a woman to wait until becoming purified; she can complete theremaining rites of Hajj during the final days without having to perform the Tawaaf al-Widaa’,and depart home with her family.

This concludes a summary of the ordered rites of ‘Umrah and Hajj.


‘There is no doubt that the best form of Hajj is the Hajj at-Tamattu‘ (i.e. joining the ‘Umrahto the Hajj while coming out of Ihraam for a period in between).This is the type of Hajj that we have just explained: To perform the ‘Umrah, come out ofIhraam, then put on the Ihraam for Hajj. This division between the two sacred states ofIhraam is known as “At-Tamattu‘.

A person may say: “The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) never performed Hajj at-Tamattu’, for he only performed the Hajj al-Qiraan.

Since the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) remained in his Ihraam due to his Hajj al-Qiraan, how can we say that Hajj at-Tamattu’ is best when the Prophet never performed it? Is it possible that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) abandoned that which wasbetter?!

We must make it very clear that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) NEVER abandonedanything that was better. However, during that time (in which he performed his only Hajj), hewas unable to come out of and leave Ihraam, because he had brought his hadee along with him.

He said to his Companions: “If I had not brought (drove) the hadee (with me), Iwould have certainly come out of Ihraam, and would have made it an ‘Umrah.”

Hence, the one who is prevented from coming out of Ihraam is the Muhrim who has broughtthe hadee with him, since before the Meeqaat. Whoever brings the hadee from the Meeqaatis unable to come out of the sacred state of Ihraam due to Allaah’s statement:

“Do not shave your heads (i.e. Do not come out of Ihraam) until the hadee reachesthe place (of sacrifice).” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 196]

So whoever has brought their hadee with them, they are unable to come out of Ihraam (aftermaking the ‘Umrah). The Companions, who were on Hajj with the Prophet, wished to performthe same (type of Hajj) as the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), but he did not allowthem to continue their Ihraam after performing the ‘Umrah, saying:

“Had I known my affairs before as I came to know them later, I would not havebrought the hadee (sacrificial animal), but would have made this an ‘Umrah.”

There is no doubt that whatever the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) desires to do, thatis what is best (and most preferable). He would rather have performed the ‘Umrah and thencome out of Ihraam (i.e. at-Tamattu’), but in reality, he already had brought the sacrificialanimal with him, thus he was unable to come out of Ihraam.

So whoever has the hadee with him must remain in Ihraam “until the hadee (sacrificialanimal) reaches the place (of slaughter).” [2: 196] This is why the Prophet (sallAllaahu‘alayhi wa sallam) remained in the sacred state of Ihraam until the Day of Sacrifice (Yawman-Nahr) at Minaa.

Hajj at-Tamattu’ necessitates that the sacrifice of a hadee be done on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah.If one is unable to afford a sacrificial animal (hadee), or possesses the funds, but does notfind one to purchase, i.e. he searches for someone selling them but doesn’t find him, or a fullday passes while searching and not finding someone selling a hadee, then it is obligatory for the one who is unable (due to these above reasons) to “fast three days during the Hajj, andseven days after his return (from Hajj).”

“For whoever cannot (obtain a hadee), he must fast three days during the Hajj andseven days after his return (home), making ten days in total. This is for the onewhose family is not present at al-Masjid al-Haraam (a non-resident of Makkah).”[Surah Al-Baqarah: 196]

This order is only for those who are too poor or unable to purchase a hadee. They must fastthree days during the Hajj. It is apparent that those three days are the Days of Tashreeq (i.e.the 11th, 12th, and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah). The remaining seven days are fasted after returninghome to their families, thus completing a total of ten days.

Any point in the journey homeward can be considered as a day of “returning.”

The People of Knowledge have stated that it is not a requirement to actually arrive at one’shome, when a person is “returning” after Hajj (for these seven fasts). They may fast enroute while travelling because whoever sets out to return home, from the time he sets out and establishes the journey homeward, he has verified his intention of “returning.”

So from any point during the journey returning home, one can complete the remaining fastsdue upon him. What is important here is that one must fast three days during the Hajj, andseven days while on the road, ar after arriving home, if he is unable to procure a hadee.

This ends the description of the ordered rites of ‘Umrah and Hajj in all of its different parts.And may the peace and blessings of Allaah be on Muhammad, his family and Companions.


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