Basic Hajj Guide

1. Preparation and Intention

Make your intention (niyyah). The intention must be to perform the Hajj for the sake of Allah alone. 

لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ حَجًّا

Labbayka llaahumma hajjan. 

O Allah, here I am to perform Hajj.

2. Enter the state of Ihram

Enter into the state of Ihram (ritual purity). 

  • For men, this means wearing the designated white cloth with one piece wrapped around your shoulder and one around your waist. 
  • Ladies may wear any clothing of their choice but should ensure they observe the rules of Hijab. Face coverings, however, are not permitted. Fully-covering shoes are also not permitted.
  • Footwear must be in the form of sandals for both women and men.

After making your intention and entering the state of ihram, recite the Talbiyah, a devotional prayer uttered by pilgrims during Hajj or Umrah. It is recited frequently throughout the pilgrimage.

The Talbiah is as follows:

لَبَّيْكَ اللهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ – لَبَّيْكَ لَا شَرِيْكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ – إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ – لَا شَرِيْكَ لَكَ 

Labbayka llaahumma labbayk(a), labbayka laa shariika laka labbayk(a), innal hamda wan ni’mata, laka wal mulk(a), laa shariika lak.

At Your service, Allah, at Your service. At Your service, You have no partner, at Your service. Truly all praise, favour and sovereignty is Yours. You have no partner.

3. Tawaf (applicable for Hajj al-Tamattu or Hajj al-Qiran)

Tawaf is one of the principal rites of the pilgrimage and refers to walking in circles around the Kaa’bah in an anti-clockwise motion.

One Tawaf is made up of seven complete circuits, with each one starting and ending at the black stone, which is situated within the Kaa’bah.

Make an intention to perform Tawaf solely for the sake of Allah. The following intention could be made:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أُرِيْدُ طَوَافَ بَيْتِكَ الْحَرَامِ فَيَسِّرْهُ لِيْ وَتَقَبَّلْهُ مِنِّيْ

Allaahumma innii uriidul ṭawwafa baytikal haraami fa yassirhu lii wa taqabbalhu minnii.

O Allah, I intend to perform Tawaf of the Sacred Mosque, so accept it from me and make it easy for me.

Dhikr & Dua

During your Tawaf, you may recite prayers and supplications. Duas are accepted during Tawaf so you may supplicate in any language and in any manner that you prefer.

It is recorded in Ibn Majah that the following Duas may be read during Tawaf:

للَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَفْوَ وَالْعَافِيَةَ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ

Allaahumma innii as’alukal ’afwa wal ’aafiiyata fid dunyaa wal aakhirah. 

O Allah, I ask You for forgiveness and safety in the worldly life and Hereafter.

سُبْحَان الِلّه وَ الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ وَلآ اِلهَ اِلّا اللّهُ، وَاللّهُ اَكْبَرُ وَلا حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّة اِلَّا بِاللّهِ الْعَلِىّ الْعَظِيْم َ  

Subhaanal laahi wal hamdu lillaahi wa laa ilaaha illa llaah(u), wal laahu akbar(u), wa laa hawla wa laa quwwata illaa billaahil ’aliyyil ’aziim.

Glory be to Allah. All Praise is due to Allah. There is no god besides Allah. Allah is the Greatest. There is no power or might except with Allah, the Most High and the Most Great.

Rukn al-Yamani

Upon reaching the Rukn al-Yamani (the Yemeni Corner), the corner just before the Hajar al-Aswad, touch it with both hands or your right hand if you are near enough to do so. If you manage to touch it, recite “Allāhu akbar (اللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ)” as you touch it. If it’s too crowded, proceed without pronouncing Takbir or gesturing towards it. 

It is a Sunnah to recite the following Dua between the Rukn al-Yamani and the Hajar al-Aswad:

رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Rabbanaa aatinaa fid dunyaa hasanatan wafil aakhirati hasanatan wa qinaa ‘adhaaban naar.

“Our Lord! Grant us the good of this world and the Hereafter, and protect us from the torment of the Fire.” [Al-Baqarah 2: 201]

Salah al-Tawaf

After completing the Tawaf, carry out Salah consisting of two Rakahs, preferably in a position where Maqam Ibrahim is between you and the Kaaba.

4. Safa and Marwa (applicable for Hajj al-Tamattu or Hajj al-Qiran)

After you’ve performed your Tawaf, you’ll then perform what’s known as Sa’i (walking and running between the two hills of Safa and Marwa).

You’ll begin the Sa’i on the hill of Safa and walk towards the hill of Marwa. You will eventually see the green marker, at which point you will run until the next green marker and continue walking until you reach Marwa. This completes one lap. You will then return to Safa to complete your second lap. Your Sa’i is complete once you have performed a total of seven laps between the hills of Safa and Marwa.

Make Dua at Safa

Upon reaching the hill of Safa, face the direction of the Kaaba and raise your hands in supplication. 

It is Sunnah to recite the following Dua:

اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ، اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ، اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ، وَلِلّٰهِ الْحَمْدُ

Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, wa lillaahil hamd.

Allah is the greatest; Allah is the greatest; Allah is the greatest, and to Allah belongs all praise.

لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ، وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Laa ilaaha illallaah wahdahu laa shariika lah(u), lahul mulku wa lahul hamdu yuhyii wa yumiit(u), wa huwa ‘alaa kulli shay’in qadiir.

There is no deity except Allah, alone without a partner. To Him belongs the Dominion, and to Him belongs all praise. He gives life and death and He has power over everything.

لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اَللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ، اَنْجَزَ وَعْدَهُ وَنَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ وَهَزَمَ اَلْأَحْزَابَ وَحْدَهُ

Laa ilaaha illallaahu wahdah(u), anjaza wa’dahu wa nasara ‘abdahu wa hazamal ahzaaba wahdah.

There is no deity except Allah alone. He fulfilled His promise, supported His slave and defeated the confederates alone.

After reciting this Dua, you may recite your own supplications. 

Make Dua at Marwa

Upon reaching the hill of Marwa, face the direction of the Kaaba, raise your hands in supplication and repeat the same supplications you recited at Safa.

This completes one lap of Sa’i. Returning back to Safa is considered a second lap.

5. Trim/Shave Hair (applicable for Hajj al-Tamattu or Hajj al-Qiran)

Once Sa’i is complete, men will have their hair trimmed or shaved, whilst a woman trim her hair to the length of her fingertip. For men, if you have no hair on your head, simply passing a razor over your head will suffice. 

You won’t be able to leave the state of Ihram until you have performed one of the two.

6. Resting and Praying

After you’ve performed the Umrah, you’ll then continue to complete your spiritual journey of Hajj. Make sure to get plenty of rest and make the best use of your time by performing sincere acts of worship. Your Hajj will begin on the 8th Dhul Hijjah.

7. Enter state of Ihram (8th Dhul Hijjah)

The 8th day of Dhul Hijjah marks the beginning of the days of Hajj and the next stage of your spiritual journey.

8. Arrive at Mina (8th Dhul Hijjah)

Once you arrive in the tent city (neighborhood) of Mina, you’ll settle into your allocated tent. Here you’ll pray Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, ‘Isha and Fajr, shortening your four-unit prayers to two units each.

You’ll spend the night and pray to Allah (SWT), reading the Qur’an and preparing for the next day. It’s an important time for spiritual reflection and devotion, so try and make the most of this special night.

9. Day of ‘Arafah (9th Dhul Hijjah)

After sunrise in Mina, you’ll then head to the plains of ‘Arafah, reciting Istaghfar (asking for forgiveness) and making supplications – marking the Day of ‘Arafah when we ask Allah (SWT) for forgiveness for our sins.

On this day, there will be a sermon delivered from Masjid al-Nimra on Mount ‘Arafah. Try to listen to the Khutbah (sermon) if possible. 

The day of ‘Arafah is one of the most important days for Muslims across the world, as Allah (SWT) refers to the Day of ‘Arafah in Surah al-Maidah as the Day on which He perfected His religion, completed His favours upon His beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and approved Islam as a way of life!

The Prophet ﷺ also said: “There is no day on which Allah frees people from the Fire more so than on the day of ‘Arafah. He comes close to those (people standing on ‘Arafah), and then He reveals before His Angels saying, ‘What are these people seeking.” (Narrated by Imam Muslim)

So, be sure to stand on the plains of ‘Arafah and make lots of Du’a (supplication), asking Him for forgiveness and blessings for you and your family. Don’t forget to include your friends, relatives, neighbors as well as the wider Ummah (community) in your Du’a on this special day.

10. Arrive in Muzdalifah

After sunset, you’ll depart ‘Arafah and head to Muzdalifah – an open plain between Mina and ‘Arafah. Once you reach Muzdalifah you’ll perform your Maghrib and ‘Isha Salah.

Afterwards, you can then spend the night in worship or resting. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) went to sleep until shortly before Fajr, choosing not to engage in night worship as he normally did. So, don’t be tempted to exhaust yourself but rest instead – you have a long day ahead of you!

While in Muzdalifah, you may also collect pebbles to perform Rami (the stoning of the devil) over the next three days.

The size of the pebbles should be similar to the size of date stones/seeds. You will need a total of 49 pebbles. However, it is advised that you pick up a further 21 pebbles as a precautionary measure to bring your total up to 70.When you proceed to the phases of throwing the pebbles at the Jamarat (the stone pillars), you may miss the target, or some pebbles may fall from your hand. Therefore, it’s better to have more than to be short. Pebbles can also be collected from anywhere in Mina.

11. Rami (stoning of the devil) (10th Dhul Hijjah / Eid al-Adha)

Days of Rami al-Jamarat

Jabir ibn Abdullah reported: Allah’s Messenger ﷺ flung pebbles at Jamarat on the Day of Nahr after sunrise and after that (i.e. on the 11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul Hijjah when the sun had declined.) (Narrated by Imam Muslim) 

According to this Hadith, Rami is performed on:

  • Yawm al-Nahr (the Day of Sacrifice) – 10th of Dhul Hijjah.
  • Ayyam al-Tashreeq (the Days of Drying Meat) – 11th, 12th & 13th of Dhul Hijjah.

On Yawm al-Nahr, only Rami of Jamarah al-Kubra (the big pillar) will be performed. It is forbidden to pelt the other two pillars, although no penalty is due if this is done.

On Ayyam al-Tashreeq, Rami of all pillars will be performed on each day, starting from the smallest pillar to the largest. However, carrying it out in a different order won’t necessitate a penalty, nor will Rami have to be repeated.

The Size of the Pebbles

It was narrated that Abdullah ibn Abbas said: On the morning of al-Aqaba, while he was on his mount, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘Pick up (some pebbles) for me.’ So I picked up some pebbles for him that were the size of date-stones or fingertips and placed them in his hand. He started to do this with his hand. Yahya described him shaking them in his hand like this. (Narrated by Imam Al-Nasa’i)

Upon each throw, you’ll say the takbir:

اللهُ أَكْبَرُ

Allaahu ‘Akbar

Allah is The Greatest

12. Hady (sacrificial animal) (10th Dhul Hijjah / Eid al-Adha)

On this day, Pilgrims perform the Hady (sacrificial animal) and also commence the first of three days ‘stoning of the devil’ rite or Rami. Muslims around the world also offer Qurbani during this time and begin the four-day festival of Eid al-Adha. We know this from this verse in the Qur’an:

In times of peace, you may combine the pilgrimage and minor pilgrimage then make the sacrificial offering you can afford. Whoever cannot afford that ˹offering˺, let them fast three days during pilgrimage and seven after returning ˹home˺—completing ten. These offerings are for those who do not live near the Sacred House.” (Al-Baqarah 2:196)

13. Shaving of the Head (10th Dhul Hijjah / Eid al-Adha)

You will proceed to shave or trim your hair if you are male.  The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) shaved his hair and this is preferable. A woman trims her hair by the length of a fingertip.

Now you are allowed to leave the state of Ihram and wear comfortable clothing. You are also allowed to resume otherwise Halal activities that were forbidden in the Ihram, except for sexual intimacy. It is Sunnah (practice of the Prophet ﷺ) to apply perfume as the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ smelt strongly of musk at this point.

14. Tawaf al-Ifadha (10th Dhul Hijjah / Eid al-Adha)

You will now go to Makkah to perform Tawaf al-Ifadha and then another circuit of Saai’ as part of your Hajj rituals.

Tawaf al-Ifada and Sa’i are obligatory. You must perform the tawaf al-Ifadha and the Saai’ after the Rami, the Qurbani (sacrifice) and shaving (or trimming) of the head.

15. Saai’ (10th Dhul Hijjah / Eid al-Adha)

With the completion of the Tawaf and Saa’i, you are then allowed to relax and do everything that was lawful before entering the Ihram, including engaging in marital relations.

You will, however, return to your tents in Mina and continue with the remaining rituals of Hajj.

16. [Days of Tashreeq] (11th to 13th Dhul Hijjah)

It is Sunnah to pelt Jamarah al-Sugra (the small pillar) first, followed by Dua, then Jamarah al-Wusta (the middle pillar), followed by Dua and finally Jamarah al-Kubra (the big pillar).

17. Farewell Tawaf al-Wada’  (13th Dhul Hijjah)

You’ve now only one step left to perform before completing Hajj and departing from Makkah. The farewell Tawaf is the last rite Muslims must perform.

This Tawaf is Wajib (obligatory) according to Hanafis, Shafi’is and Hanbalis but Sunnah according to Malikis and must be performed prior to leaving the boundaries of the Haram. Omitting this Tawaf, without a valid reason, is not deemed lawful in Islam.

Ibn Abbas (RA) narrated: “The people were ordered to perform the Tawaf al-Wida as the last thing before leaving (Makkah), except the menstruating women who were excused. “ (Narrated by Imam Bukhari)

For this Tawaf, you will complete seven laps of Tawaf. Then perform two Rakat of Salah and drink Zam Zam water. There is no Sa’i or shaving/trimming of the head after this Tawaf.

Hajj Mabroor! You’ve now completed your Hajj!

Introduction to Hajj

Definition of Hajj

The term “Hajj” is derived from the Arabic word “Hajja” (Arabic: حَجَّ), which means “to exert effort” or “to set out to a great place.” 

From a Shariah perspective, Hajj refers to the act of undertaking a journey to a specific place at a particular time in order to fulfill the required devotional acts of Islam. The designated place is the Kaaba within Masjid al-Haram, as well as various sites in and around Mecca, such as Arafat, Mina, and Muzdalifah. The time for performing Hajj is limited to specific months, namely Shawwal, Dhul Qadah, and the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah

Obligation of Hajj 

Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam. Those who are able to do it should hasten to perform the duty of Hajj. Allah s.w.t. says: 

In it are clear signs and the standing-place of Abraham. Whoever enters it should be safe. Pilgrimage to this House is an obligation by Allah upon whoever is able among the people. And whoever disbelieves, then surely Allah is not in need of (any of His) creation. (Ibrahim:97) 

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ also said: “O people, Allah has made Hajj obligatory for you, so perform Hajj.” (Narrated by Imam Muslim). 

Virtues of Hajj 

1) Hajj Removes Sins

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever performs Hajj for Allah’s sake and does not speak obscenely, nor commits acts of impiety, he returns home free of sin like the day his mother gave birth to him” (Narrated by Imam Al-Bukhari). 

2) The Reward of Hajj Mabrur (Accepted Hajj) is Paradise

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “All sins committed in between the performance of one Umrah and another are expiated and erased. And there is no reward for a Hajj Mabrur except paradise” (Narrated by Imam Al-Bukhari). 

3) Pilgrims of Allah 

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The guests of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, are three: The warrior, the pilgrim performing Hajj and the pilgrim performing Umrah.” (Narrated by Imam An-Nasa’i). 

Conditions of Hajj

1) Islam 

2) Sanity

3) Maturity 

4) Freedom

5) Safety en route

6) Physical and financially able 

There are three types of Hajj a pilgrim may perform, which vary in their requirements, although they all essentially involve performing the same rites and acts of worship. You may choose from any of the three forms of Hajj: 

1) Hajj Ifrad – Performing Hajj only

2) Hajj Qiran – Performing Hajj and Umrah together

3) Hajj Tamattu – Performing Umrah then Hajj

Pillars of Hajj

The Pillars of Hajj (also known as “rukn” refers to an obligatory act, with failure to perform it rendering the act invalid) must be performed otherwise the Hajj will be considered invalid. No one is exempt from them, even due to an excuse, nor can they be compensated for.

1) Ihram. 

2) To perform Wuquf at Arafah.

3) Tawaf. 

4) To perform Sa’i between Safa and Marwah. 

5) Shaving or trimming of hair. 

Wajibat (Necessary Action) 

The Wajibat (refers to an obligatory act, with failure to perform it constituting a sin) of Hajj are elements when they are omitted intentionally or inadvertently, a penalty (damm) will be due to redress of its omission. If the omission is due to a valid reason, expiation is not necessary. The fundamentally necessary actions of Hajj are as follows:

1) To wear Ihram from the Miqat. 

2) To stay overnight at Muzdalifah.

3) Rami Al-Jamrat (Throwing of stones)

4) To stay overnight in Mina during the days of Tashreeq 

5) To perform Tawaf al-Wida.

Damm (Expiation/Penalty) 

Damm refers to the sacrifice of a small animal such as a sheep or a goat (or the cost of one-seventh of a large animal if sharing) as compensation (Fidyah) for missing an action or violating a Hajj-related law. 

Some examples of when Damm is obligatory:

  1. Violated one of the prohibitions of Ihram, such as applying perfume or cutting the hair.
  2. Failed to perform a Wajib act of Hajj, such as crossing the Miqat without entering into the state of Ihram.
  3. Transgressed the sanctity of the Haram, such as killing an animal within its boundaries.

For a more detailed Hajj guide, you may refer to Basic Hajj Guide.

Meaning of Umrah

Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year.

In Arabic, Umrah means ‘to visit a populated place.’ Umrah can be performed together along with Hajj and on other days as well.

Types of Umrah

Umrah Mufradah

Umrah Mufradah refers to Umrah that is performed independently to Hajj and can be carried out at any point during the year, except during the days of Hajj.

Umrah Tamattu

When performed alongside the Hajj, Umrah is deemed as Umrah Tamattu and is part of a fuller enjoyable Hajj (Hajj Tamattu). More precisely, the rituals of the Umrah are performed first, and then the Hajj rituals are performed.

The Differences between Hajj and Umrah

1. Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam, and it is mandatory for everyone who is physically and financially able to perform it once in a lifetime. Umrah is not a pillar of Islam and it is only recommended and not obligatory.

2. Hajj must be performed in the prescribed time period, namely the months of Hajj, and even more specifically, the major rites are done in the first two weeks of Dhul Hijjah. Umrah, however, can be done any time of the year.

3. Umrah involves only the rites of Tawaf and Sa’i with Ihram; whereas Hajj involves staying in Mina, performing the rite of Wuquf at Arafat, staying in Muzdalifa, and pelting the stone pillars, as well as sacrifice in some cases. Umrah, however, does not involve any of these.

Experience a virtual tour to see major landmarks that millions of pilgrims visit with Muslim Pro’s Virtual Hajj Journey feature. Click here now