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How to Perform the Rituals of Hajj and Umrah

In The Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Merciful


Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Universe, and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our beloved Prophet, Muhammad, the last of all the prophets and messengers; and upon his noble family and esteemed companions. May Allah be pleased with all of them.

Hajj is one of the best forms of E’badah (worship & devotion) and is one of the most sublime deeds, because it is one of the pillars of Islam that Allah sent Muhammad with .(May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) . A servant’s deen (religion) is incomplete without it. Any form of worship is only acceptable with the following conditions:

One devotes it to Allah alone, with a desire for the Hereafter. It cannot be done for show, with the intention of being seen by people, or for worldly gain.

And to perform Ittib’ah (i.e. in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet, or his example, in words and deeds. This cannot be accomplished, except if you have knowledge of the Sunnah.

Forms of Pilgrimage

There are three forms or types of Hajj: Tamattu’, Ifraad and Qiran.

Tamattu’: The Pilgrim dons the Ihram for Umrah only, during the months of Hajj, which means when the pilgrim reaches Makkah, he or she performs Tawaf and Sa’ee for Umrah. Then he shaves or clips the hair. The female only clips. On the day of Tarwiyah, which is the eighth day of Dhul-Hijjah, the pilgrim again puts on his Ihram, but this time for Hajj only, and performs all the rituals of Hajj.

Ifraad: The  pilgrim dons the Ihram for Hajj only, (no Umrah) When he reaches Makkah, he performs Tawaf on his arrival and Sa’ee for Hajj. He doesn’t shave or clip his hair as he doesn’t disengage from Ihram. Instead, he remains in Ihram until after he stones Al-Jamrah Al-Aqabah on the day of Eid. It is permissible for him to postpone his Sa’ee for Hajj until after his Tawaf for Hajj, on the 10th of Zil Hijjah.

Qiran: The pilgrim dons the Ihram for both Umrah and Hajj, or he dons Ihram first for Umrah, then makes intention for Hajj before his Tawaf for Hajj. He remains in Ihram without clipping or shaving his hair. The obligations on one performing Ifraad are the same as those on the one performing Qiran, except that the latter must slaughter, whereas the former (Mufrid) is not obligated to do so. The best of the three forms is Tamattu’. It is the form or type that the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) encouraged his followers to perform. He himself said that he would have done so, if he had known ( before) what he has come to know afterward.

Even if the pilgrim makes intentions to perform Qiran or Ifraad he is allowed to change his intentions to Tamattu’. He can do this even after he has performed Tawaf and Sa’ee.

When the Prophet  (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) performed Tawaf and Sa’ee during the year of the Farewell Hajj with his companions, he ordered all those who hadn’t brought sacrificial animals, to change their intentions from Hajj, to intentions for Umrah; and to cut their hair, and disengage from Ihram until the day of Tarwiyah. He said, ” If I hadn’t brought the sacrificial animals, I’d have done what I’ve ordered you to do.”

The Umrah

The Pilgrim should now prepare for the rituals of Umrah. He should take a Gusl (a bath) as he would normally do after sexual defilement. From North America, he takes a bath and on arrival at one of the transit points in the Middle East—Amman, Cairo, Dubai— before he goes to Jeddah, he dons the Ihram.

He should perfume his head and body and beard with the best oil he can find. There is no harm in what remains of it after Intention of Ihram. Bathing for Ihram is Sunnah for both men and women, including menstruating women and those experiencing postnatal bleeding.

After bathing and preparing himself, the pilgrim, other than those menstruating or experiencing post- natal bleeding, prays the obligatory prayer, if the time steps in. Otherwise, he makes his intention after praying the two Units of Sunnah Prayer (two Rakaats) which are made each time the Wudhu (Ablution) is performed.

When he finishes his prayer he should say: “Labbaik Allahumma Umrah Labbaik” (Here I am Oh Allah for Umrah–here I am) Then he recites the Talbiyah: Labbaikallumma Labbaik. Labbaika Laa Shareeka laka Labbaik. Innal Hamda, wan-ni’mata laka wal mulk. Laa Shareeka lak. (Here I am, Oh Allah, here I am. Here I am. You have no partner. Here I am. Surely all Praises, Bounties and the Dominion are Yours, and You have no partners” [Talbiyah]. The male person raises his voice when proclaiming this, and the woman lowers her voice  so that only the one beside her may hear.

The Muhrim or Muhrimah (One who is in a state of Ihram) should say the Talbiyah as often as possible, especially when times and places change. For example: when descending or ascending hills and valleys, or winding roads during travel or when day or night approaches. He should also ask Allah, The Generous and Merciful, for His Pleasure, for His Paradise, and seek refuge in Allah’s Mercy from the blazing Fire of Hell.

He should say the Talbiyah during Umrah, starting from the time he puts on his Ihram till he starts the Tawaf. The Talbiyah is discontinued after sighting the K’aabah. During Hajj, from the 8th of Zil Hijjah, he should proclaim it again, starting from the time he dons his Ihram until he starts to stone The Jamrah
Al- Aqabah on the day of Eid.

When the Pilgrim enters the Grand Holy Mosque (Al-Haram Ashshareef), he puts forth his right foot first and says: “In the name of Allah, may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah. Oh Allah, forgive me my sins and open for me the doors of Your Mercy. I seek refuge in Allah the Almighty, and in His Eminent Face, and in His Eternal Dominion, from the accursed Satan.” He approaches the Hajr Aswad (Black Stone) faces it, and kisses it. If not possible, he touches it with his right hand and kisses it, i.e. the hand. If this isn’t possible, he should face the Black Stone and point to it. It is extremely important not to push and shove, causing harm and being harmed by other people.

When kissing or touching the Black Stone, or pointing to it, the Pilgrim should say the following: “In the name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest.” Before beginning the first circuit, add the following words “Oh Allah, with faith in You, belief in Your Book, loyalty to You, and compliance according to the way of your Prophet Muhammad–may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.”

The Pilgrim must walk, keeping the Ka’bah on his left. When he reaches the Rukn Al Yamani corner (Yamani stone) he should touch, but not kiss it, and say: “Bismillah Allahu Akbar” then between this stone and the Black stone he must recite the Quranic du’a, ” Our Lord, grant us goodness in this life (this world) and goodness in the Hereafter, and save us from the punishment of the Hell-fire. Oh Allah, I beg of You for forgiveness and health in this life and in the Hereafter.” Each time he passes the Black Stone he should say: ” Bismillah, Allahum Akbar.”

During the Tawaf (which is seven circuits), he may say what he pleases of supplications, Zikrullah, and recitation of The Quran. This is because Tawaf, Sa’ee, and Stoning the Jamaraat have been devised for the purpose of Zikrullah. During this Tawaf Al-Qudoom (Tawaf of Umrah) it is necessary for the male to do two things:

Al-ldhtebaa’ from the beginning of Tawaf until the end. Al-ldhtebaa’ means placing the middle of one’s Reda’ under his right arm and the ends of it over his left shoulder. In other words, exposing the right shoulder. When he finishes performing the Tawaf, he may return his Reda’ to its original state because the time for Al-Idhtebaa’ is only during Tawaf. Any other time is not the Sunnah, and should be avoided at all costs. Many Pilgrims do Al-Idhtebaa’ in Sa’ee, and in Mina, Muzdalifah & Arafah due to ignorance.

Al-Raml during the first three circuits. Al-Raml means speeding up one’s pace with small steps. The Pilgrim should walk at a normal pace during his last four circuits. When he completes seven circuits of Tawaf, he approaches Maqam Ibrahim and recites: “And take ye the station of Abraham as a place of Prayer” Chapter 2, Verse 125 [2:125]. He prays two short Rakaats, as close as conveniently possible, behind Maqam Ibrahim. During the first Rakaa’ he recites Surah Al-Kafirun [Chapter 109] and during the second one, Surah Al- lkhlas[Chapter 112]. When he completes the two Rakaats he should return to the Black Stone and touch it, if convenient. He now goes out to the Masaa’ (the place of Saee’) and when he reaches near As-Safaa he recites: ” Verily As- Safaa and Al-Marwah are among the shrines of Allah” [2:158]

He ascends As-Safaa until he is able to see the Ka’bah. Facing the Ka’bah and raising his hands, he praises Allah and makes any form of supplications he chooses. The Prophet–may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him–prayed thus: “There is no God, but Allah alone,” three times, supplicating in between whatever he desires.

He descends from As-Safaa and heads in the direction of Al- Marwah at a normal pace, until he reaches the green marker. He should then run fast until the next green marker. He continues toward Al- Marwah at a normal pace. When he reaches Al-Marwah, he ascends it, faces the Qibla, raises his hands and repeats what he said on As-Safaa. He descends Al-Marwah heading towards As-Safaa, taking care to walk where walking is designated, and run where running is designated, that is between the green markers.

He continues this procedure until he completes seven laps. Going from As-Safaa to Al-Marwah is a lap and returning is another lap. During his Sa’ee he may recite what he wills of any form of supplications, recitation of Qur’an, and mentioning the name of Allah.

In completion of the Sa’ee (now he is at Al-Marwah) he clips or shaves his head. A woman clips her hair the length of a finger tip. As a rule of Sunnah, shaving is better than clipping. Shaving is preferable, except when Hajj time is drawing near and there isn’t sufficient time for hair to grow back. In this case it’s best to clip, so that hair will remain for shaving during Hajj. After shaving or clipping, the Pilgrim is now deconsecrated. Umrah is now completed. The Pilgrim is free to change and dress in other clothing, use perfume and engage in marital relations, etc. once again.


The Hajj

After Salatul Fajr and before noon of the (8th) eighth day of Dhul-Hijjah, the Pilgrim purifies himself once again by bathing as he did before Umrah, in the place where he is staying, (the hotel). He puts on his Ihram and says:

“Labbaik Allahumma Hajjaa Labbaik” (Here I am Oh Allah for Hajj–here I am) Then he recites the Talbiyah: Labbaikallumma Labbaik. Labbaika Laa Shareeka laka Labbaik. Innal Hamda, wan-ni’mata laka wal mulk. Laa Shareeka lak. (Here I am, Oh Allah, here I am. Here I am. You have no partner. Here I am. Surely all Praises, Bounties and the Dominion are Yours, and You have no partners” [Talbiyah]. The male person raises his voice when proclaiming this, and the woman lowers her voice  so that only the one beside her may hear.

If he fears that something will prevent him from completing his Hajj he should make a condition when he makes his intentions, saying: ” If I am prevented by any obstacle, my place is wherever I am being held up.” If he has no such fear, he doesn’t make this condition.

The Pilgrim goes to Mina and there he prays five prayers, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, Isha and Fajr, shortening his four unit prayers to two units each, without combining them. Maghrib remains at 3 rakaats and Fajr remains at 2 rakaats.

On the 9th day of Zil Hijjah, after sunrise, he goes to Arafah and there prays Dhuhr and Asr combined at the time of Dhuhr, making each one two units. This is called Jam’u Taqdeem wa Qasr. He remains in Arafah until sunset. If he can go to Masjid Namirah, and remains until sunset, then that is okay, if possible. He remembers Allah and makes as many supplications as possible while facing the Qiblah. The Prophet-may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him-prayed thus: “There is no God but Allah alone. He has no partner. All dominion and praise are His, and He has Power over all things.

If he grows weary, it is permissible for him to engage in beneficial conversation with his companions, or reading what he can find of beneficial books, especially those concerning Allah’s grace and abundant gifts. This will strengthen his hope in Allah. He should then return to his supplications and be sure to spend the end of the day deep in supplication, because the best of supplications is the supplication on the Day of Arafah. And the best that the Messenger said, and all the prophets before him said wa:

“There is no God but Allah alone. He has no partner. All dominion and praise are His, and He has Power over all things.

At sunset the Pilgrim goes from Arafah to Muzdalifah and there prays Maghrib & Isha combined in Isha time, and with Qasr (shortening). If he fears that he will not reach Muzdalifah until after midnight, he should pray before he reaches it for it is not permissible to delay prayer until after midnight. He remains there, in Muzdalifah, making supplications and remembering Allah. He sleeps and rest a while until Fajr. He prays Fajr and praises Allah till just before sunrise.

If he is weak and cannot handle the crowd during Ar-Ramy, it is permissible for him to go to Mina at the end of the night to stone the Jamrah Al-Aqabah before the arrival of the crowd. Near sunrise, a pilgrim goes from Muzdalifah to Mina. Upon reaching Mina, (this is the 10th of Zil Hijjah) he does the following:

1. He throws seven consecutive pebbles at Jamrah Al-Aqabah only which is the closest monument to Makkah, saying: “Allah is the Greatest,” as he throws each pebble.

2. He slaughters the sacrificial animal, eats some of it, and gives some to the poor. Slaughtering is obligatory on the Mutamati and Qiran.

3. He shaves or clips his hair; shaving is preferable. A woman clips her hair the length of a finger-tip.

These three should be done in the above order if convenient, but there is no restriction if one precedes another. This is from the Sunnah of Muhammad, (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)

With that, one is allowed to come out of Ihram. He can wear other clothing and do everything that was lawful before Ihram except engaging in marital relations. He goes to Makkah to perform Tawaf Al-lfadha and Sa’ee, for the Hajj.                                It is Sunnah to put on perfume before going to Makkah.

With the completion of this Tawaf and Sa’ee, the Pilgrim is allowed to do everything that was lawful before Ihram, including engaging in marital relationship. After performing the Tawaf and Sa’ee, he returns to Mina to spend the nights of the eleventh & twelfth of Zil Hijjah (in Islam the night precedes the day) and on the twelfth day, after Zawal, he stones the Jamaraat and proceed to Makkah.

He stones the three Jamaraat in the afternoon of both the eleventh and twelfth days. He starts with the first Jamrah, which is furthest from Makkah, then the middle one, and lastly Al-Jamrah Al-Aqabah. Each one should be stoned with seven consecutive pebbles accompanied by Takbeer. He stops after the first and middle Jamrah to make supplications, and facing the Qiblah.

It is not permissible to stone before noon on these two days. It is best to walk to the Jamaraat, even though riding is permissible, but not possible.

If he is in a hurry after stoning on the twelfth day, he leaves Mina before sunset. But if he wishes to prolong his stay, which is best, he spends the night of the thirteenth in Mina (one extra night) and stones the Jamaraat after noon in the same manner as on the twelfth day.

During the days of Tashreeq, 11, 12 & 13 the Pilgrim prays all the prayers as Qasr in their own times without combining them. This is indeed a Mercy from Allah, and a great concession from the Lord of Compassion and Mercy.

The Pilgrim returns to Makkah, and all the rituals of Hajj is complete, except the farewell tawaf, and when he is ready to depart Makkah, whether to go to Medina, or to return to his country, he performs the Tawaf Al-Wadaa, which is seven circuits around the Kaa’bah followed by two short rakaats. Menstruating women and women experiencing postnatal discharge are not obligated to perform Tawaf Al -Wadaa. This Tawaf is Wajib, and must be done. The penalty for not performing this Tawaf is a budna, a sacrifice of a camel or bull.

The Hajj is now complete with all rituals. May Allah accept it from us. Ameen.

Visiting The Prophet’s Mosque in Medina

1. The Pilgrim can go to Medina before or after Hajj with the intention of visiting Al-Masjid Annabawi (the Prophet’s Mosque) and praying in it. Prayers there are better than a thousand prayers elsewhere except in the Masjid Al-Haraam in Makkah (Grand Sacred Mosque) Prayers in the Grand Mosque is superior and equivalent to 100,000 times the prayers in any other regular mosque.
2. Upon reaching the Prophet’s Mosque, he prays two Rakaats of salutation or performs any obligatory prayer that is due.

3. He goes to the grave of the Prophet –may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him –and he stands before it. He greets him saying: “May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be upon you, oh Prophet. May Allah grant you a good reward on behalf of your people. ”  He then takes a step or two to his right to position himself before Abu-Bakr As-Siddique—may Allah be pleased with him–and greets him saying : “May the peace, mercy, and blessing of Allah be upon you, oh Abu-Bakr, Caliph of the Messenger of Allah. May Allah be pleased with you and grant you a good reward on behalf of Muhammad’s people.” Then he takes a step or two to his right to position himself before Umar Al-Khattab—may Allah be pleased with him–and greets him saying: ” May the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you, oh Umar, Prince of the believers, and Caliph of the Messenger of Allah. May Allah be pleased with you and grant you a good reward on behalf of Muhammad’s people.”

Masjid Quba

In a state of Wudhu, (ablution) he goes to Masjid Quba and offer salah (prayers) for the salah in Masjid Quba carries the reward of Umrah.


The Pilgrim goes to Al-Baqee and visit the grave of Uthman Ibn Affan–may Allah be pleased with him—and greets him saying: “May the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you, oh Uthman- Prince of the believers, and Caliph of the Messenger of Allah. May Allah be pleased with you and grant you a good reward on behalf of Muhammad’s people.” He greets the Sahaba (Companions) of the Prophet, and all the other Muslims in Al-Baqee’. Only Muslims are buried in Al-Baqee’. Nearly 10,000 of the companions of Rasoolullah are buried in Al-Baqee’. May Allah forgive them all, and grant them a high place in Jannah.


The Pilgrim goes to the battle fields of Uhud and visits the grave of Hamza Al-Muttalib, the uncle of Rasoolullah–may Allah be pleased with him and the other martyrs that are buried there with him. The Pilgrim greets them and prays to Allah to grant them forgiveness, mercy, and pleasure, and reward them with a high place in Jannah

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