Hajj Guide

The literal meaning of Islam is peace-to surrender one’s will that is losing oneself for the sake of God and surrendering one’s own pleasure for the pleasure of God. Islam is the religion which was given to Adam, the first man and the first prophet of Allah. The name lslam was not decided upon by us mortals. It was chosen by Allah Himself and clearly mentioned in His final revelation to man. In the final book of divine revelation, the Qur'aan, Allah states the following:

"This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion". (Soorah Al-Maa'idah 5:3)

The 'Five Pillars' of Islam are the foundation of Muslim life:

  • Faith or belief in the Oneness of God and the finality of the prophemmad;
  • Establishment of the daily prayers;
  • Concern for and almsgiving to the needy;
  • Self-purification through fasting; and
  • To perform the Pilgrimage to the House of Allah (Hajj).


Ministry of External affairs is the nodal Ministry for consular legalization and Apostille of documents for use in India and abroad. Hajj, or the pilgrimage to Mecca. in Saudi Arabia is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for those Muslims who have the physical and financial ability to undertake the journey. It is one of the things on which there is scholarly consensus among all the Muslims, ancient and modern, past and present. Hajj activities take place during six days (8th-13th) of the Islamic lunar month of Dhul-Hijjah. It is also a form of worship that involves the entire being: body, mind and soul. Muslims perform Hajj in order to visit for themselves the holy sites from where their religion originated. More importantly it is a pilgrimage to the Ka'aba, which is believed to be the first place of worship ever built on this earth. Muslims thus refer to it as House of God. The ceremony of Hajj is also symbolic of the Unity of God; all Muslims gather from four corners of the globe in one spot at an appointed time and worship God and the bond of Muslim fraternity is reinforced in the process.

History of Hajj

"Hajj" means literally "to set out for a place". For a Muslim, that place is the Holy City of Makkah.

Ibrahim abandons Haajar and Ishmael

The Holy Qur'an tells us that the Prophet Ibrahim was given the task of leading mankind. Prophet Ibrahim was ordered to go Makkah. When he reached Makkah, he was commanded by Allah to abandon his second wife, Haajar, and his first-born son Ishmael in this barren, rocky, uninhabited valley.

Soon Haajar's meager provisions of dates and water were exhausted and both mother and child became thirsty. Seeing the suffering of her son, Haajar became desperate to find water. She ran to the hill of Safa but found nothing. She then ran to the hill of Marwah. But again she was disappointed. Seven times she ran between the two hills. Suddenly, close to where Ishmael lay, water sprang from the earth by the command of Allah. This source of water was to become known as the well of Zamzam.

The Prophet Ibrahim builds the Kaaba and performs Hajj

The rites of the Hajj were laid down by Allah to mark historic events in the life of Prophet Ibrahim, which show his absolute and total submission to the will of Allah. Allah commanded the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), on one of his visits to see Haajar and Ishmael, to build the House of God (the Holy Kaaba). With the help of his son Ishmael, Ibrahim built the House of God on the ground where the Kaaba stands to this day.

The Archangel Gabriel brought from Paradise a stone, known as the Black Stone (Al-Hajar Al-Aswad), which was set into one corner of the Kaaba.

The Prophet Ibrahim builds the Kaaba and performs Hajj

In the Holy Qur'an, the Kaaba is described as follows:

The first House (of worship)
Appointed for men was that at Bakka (Makkah)
Full of blessing
And of guidance
For all kinds of beings
S.3: 96

The Prophet Ibrahim builds the Kaaba and performs Hajj

The starting point for the circumambulation of the Holy Kaaba is where Ibrahim, by the command of Allah, placed the Black Stone in the eastern corner of the Kaaba.

In order to complete the upper part of the walls of the Kaaba, Ibrahim stood upon a large stone block which he moved along when each section was completed. When the Kaaba was finished, the large stone block was left outside the Kaaba, close to the eastern wall of the sanctuary. It became known as the Maqam Ibrahim (the station of Ibrahim).

As constructed by Ibrahim and his son, the Kaaba was a roofless, rectangular building, with two doors at ground level for access and with a semi-circular back wall.

Each year, Ibrahim returned to Makkah to perform the Hajj

After Ibrahim

When Ishmael grew up, he married the daughter of the chief of the Banu Jurhum, a tribe which had settled in the Makkah valley.

When Ibrahim died, Ishmael continued to perform Hajj each year and to look after the Kaaba

After the death of Ishmael, the Kaaba came into the possession of the Banu Jurhum tribe. It remained with the Banu Jurhum tribe for many centuries until the Khuza'ah tribe took it over.

Throughout this period the Kaaba was vulnerable to flooding for it stood in a valley which, from time to time, experienced heavy rainfall. One such flood virtually destroyed the building.

Seeing the Holy Kaaba in a state of disrepair, Qusay bin Kilaab, of the Quraysh tribe, rebuilt it, according to the original design but adding a roof to protect it from the extremes of weather. Qusay, who was born around 400 CE, was renowned for his wisdom. He built the first "town hall" in the Arabian Peninsula where leaders of the tribes could discuss and resolve political, social and commercial issues. He also set out rules for the supply of food and water to the pilgrims who came to Makkah, and he even persuaded the indigenous Arabs to pay a tax towards their support.

Period of Idolatry

Over the centuries, the pure monotheism of Ibrahim was gradually diluted and debased and the Hajj rites as transmitted by Allah to Ibrahim became adulterated with pagan rites.

In this way, the purity of worship for God which Ibrahim had performed and passed to his first-born son was eroded over the centuries until, by the time of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), there was nothing much left and the darkness of paganism and idolatry lay across the land.

The Kaaba rebuilt once more

During 600 CE the Quraysh tribe which is now in the ascendant, decided to gather sufficient funds in order to rebuild the Kaaba. Once again, the structure had been weakened by periodic floods and, on one occasion, partially destroyed by fire when woman spreading incense in the Kaaba had inadvertently set the place alight. The new structure was built out of wood and stone, in alternate layers.

When the time came, the positioning of the Black Stone in its accustomed place was the cause of some disagreement, since all the tribes engaged in the rebuilding sought the honor of placing the Black Stone themselves. To resolve the issue, it was agreed that the first man to enter the Haram should make the decision. The first man to enter the Haram was the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and he accepted the role of arbiter. He told them to place the Black Stone in the middle of a strong cloth. A representative from each tribe should then take hold of the edge of the cloth and raise the stone. Once raised in this way by all the tribes, Muhammad himself fixed the Black Stone in position.

The cleansing of the Kaaba

When the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) took control of Makkah in 8 AH (630 CE), he left the Kaaba building as it was, but he destroyed all the idols and removed the paintings and all other pagan decorations from the inner walls. Thus, once more, the Kaaba, the House of God, was dedicated to the simple and pure worship of the one true God.

The Religious Significance of the Hajj

The Hajj takes place each year during the month of Dhu al-Hijja, the last month of the Muslim calendar. It is virtually impossible to describe the deep emotions generated during the Hajj, even by watching it on Saudi television which annually records it. Each rite has a special significance. The principal rites are Ihram, Tawaf, Sa`y, Wuquf, Nafrah, Rajm, and the `Id al-Adha.

Ihram is a ritual cleansing and consecration and declaration of intent to perform the Hajj, performed before entering Makkah. Afterwards, pilgrims don special Ihram garb of white terrycloth representing the equality of all believers before God, regardless of race, gender, age or social standing. Men wear two coverings for the upper and lower body, and women wear white robes but need not cover their faces.

Tawaf, performed on arrival in the great Haram Mosque in Makkah, is completed by circling seven times around the Ka`bah, located in a great open area in the Haram Mosque. The Ka`bah is considered the spiritual and geographical center of Islam, toward which Muslims face in prayer. Tradition has it that the Ka`bah, a dark stone structure, was originally built by the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son Ismail (Ishmael) as a place of worship of the one true God, and symbolizes monotheism which is at the heart of Islam. Each year just before the Hajj, the Ka`bah is covered with a new black velvet and gold drape called the Kiswah. Following the Arrival Tawaf, pilgrims say prayers at the Maqam Ibraham, a station near the Ka`bah, and also drink water from the holy well of Zamzam. Tradition has it that God created the well by striking a stone so that Hajar (Hagar) and Ismail might drink when they were about to die of thirst.

Sa`y consists of seven laps on foot between two elevations formerly adjacent to the mosque but now a part of the mosque complex. It commemorates Hagar's frantic search for water. Sa`y and Tawaf together are called the Umrah (Lesser pilgrimage) and can be performed any time during the year but do not meet the obligation of Hajj.

Wuquf is performed in a ceremony of "Standing" on the Plain of Arafat, about 20 kilometers east of Makkah beginning at noon on the ninth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, called Yawm al-Wuquf, "Standing Day." The favored spot to stand is Jabal al-Rahma, the Mount of Mercy, a rocky hill rising about 150 feet above the plain and crowned by a tall white stone obelisk. According to Islamic tradition, the Wuquf is the Hajj - the supreme hours. Everyone must literally be present at `Arafat at maghrib (sunset) or the Hajj is forfeited.

Nafrah: The word literally means "the Rush" in Arabic. As the sun finally disappears over the horizon, in its wake some 2 million Hajjis surge forth from `Arafat to Mina, some 17 kilometers away. They travel by bus, car, truck, and for many as an act of piety, by foot. With so many people, the Nafrah is one of the most chaotic and stressful exercises in this or any other religious observance. The first stop is Muzdalifa about seven kilometers west, where Sunset and Evening prayers (Salat al-Maghrib and al-`Isha) are traditionally said, and a special prayer can be said at a roofless mosque called al-Mash`ar al-Haram (the Sacred Grove). Because of the great crowds, now only the earliest to depart `Arafat usually arrive in Muzdalifa in time for Maghrib prayer, and many say them before leaving Arafat. After midnight and saying Early Morning prayer (Salat al-Fajr), the Hajjis travel on to Mina, a small town about ten kilometers farther west, where they will stay for three days.

Rajm: In Mina, Hajjis perform Rajm over the next three days, the ritual throwing of seven stones at three pillars, called Jamras which represent Shaytans (devils). The tenth through the twelfth of Dhu al-Hijja is also the `Id al-Adha (the Feast of the Sacrifice) which includes the sacramental sacrifice of a blemish less animal, usually a sheep. `Id is celebrated not only at the Hajj, but also throughout the Muslim world where it is a joyous time to visit family and friends.

On the thirteenth, Hajjis return to Makkah for a Farewell Tawaf and are free from all Ihram restrictions. At that point, the Hajj is technically over, and Hajjis are free to travel home or on to visit al-Madinah. There the pace is more relaxed and people can take more time to see the sights, principally the Prophet's Mosque.

There are three forms of Hajj: Tamattu', Ifraad and Qiran.

tamattu' a pilgrim wears ihram for umrah during the months of hajj, which means when a pilgrim reaches makkah, he />she makes Tawaf and Sa'yi for Umrah. Thereafter they shave or clip their hair. On the day of Tarwiya, the eighth of Dhul-Hijja, a pilgrim puts on his Ihram for Hajj and carries out all of its requirements.

Ifraad: A pilgrim wears Ihram for Hajj only. On reaching Makkah, he performs Tawaf for his arrival and Sa'yi for Hajj. He doesn't shave or clip his hair as he doesn't untie from Ihram, instead, he remains in Ihram till after he stones Jamrah Al-Aqaba on the Eid day. He can postpone his Sa'yi for Hajj until after his Tawaf for Hajj.

Qiran: A pilgrim wears Ihram for both Umrah and Hajj or he wears Ihram first for Umrah, then makes intentions for Hajj before his Tawaf for Hajj. The obligations on one performing Ifraad are the same as those on one performing Qiran, except that the latter must slaughter whereas the former is not obligated to do so.


This is the performance of Hajj by one on behalf of another. It is only valid for a Fard Hajj if the person who is appointing is physically restricted, or terminally ill. The only other time it is valid is if the same person is dead and leaves as a bequest the order of his/her Fard Hajj being performed from a third of his/her estate. Hajj al-Badl is only correct if the entire expenses (except personal expenses) of the journey are being borne by the one on whose behalf the Hajj is being performed (unless in the event of shortcoming someone else bears the burden on that person’s behalf). The only other condition is that the person being entrusted to perform this Fard Hajj has already performed their own Fard Hajj. One who has not performed one’s own Fard Hajj cannot perform the Fard Hajj of another. Only the appointed person for Hajj al-Badl may perform the duty, only in their refusal can someone else be nominated. It is also essential that the person appointed knows the applicable laws of Hajj.

Hajj al-Badl is more rewarding than a Nafl Hajj for the person who is entrusted to perform it. Also if a person has already performed his own Hajj for him to finance the first (Fard) Hajj of someone else, is more rewarding than a Nafl Hajj.

The intention for Hajj al-Badl should be that one is entering the Ihram for Hajj or `Umrah for ________ (name of person). The remaining rules are the same as a normal Hajj.

Women’s Hajj

A female pilgrim should be accompanied by her husband or a person unmarriageable to her, for Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with the son and his father) said: I heard Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) saying, "A female pilgrim should not travel except in the company of her husband or a person unmarriageable to her." A man stood and said, "O Messenger of Allah! My wife is going to perform Hajj while I have listed myself among those who will participate in a battle." He replied, "Go and perform Hajj with your wife."

The Hanafis and Hanbalis have held that a female pilgrim should be accompanied by her husband or a person unmarriageable to her. The Shafi`is have held that she may be accompanied by her husband, a person unmarriageable to her or by pious and upright women; and some said that only one pious and upright woman is enough.

The Malikis maintained that she can go in the company of a trustworthy group if she could reach Mecca in no more than full day. If a woman does not fulfill this condition and goes to perform Hajj alone without her husband or a relative unmarriageable to her, her Hajj is valid but she shall bear the sin of not abiding by the commands of Hajj. These conditions are only required in the obligatory Hajj or `Umrah.

Seeking the husband's permission to perform Hajj:

A husband has no right to forbid his wife from performing the obligatory Hajj or a votive Hajj, but he can forbid her from going on a voluntary Hajj. In this case, she is to bear the costs of the necessary companion, but neither her husband nor the relative unmarriageable to her is obliged to travel with her.

The Hanafis and Hanbalis have held that a female pilgrim should be accompanied by her husband or a person unmarriageable to her. The Shafi`is have held that she may be accompanied by her husband, a person unmarriageable to her or by pious and upright women; and some said that only one pious and upright woman is enough.

As for the women giving birth to a child or having monthly period, they should complete the Hajj rituals except circumambulating the Sacred House. This is based on the hadith of `A'shah (Allah may be pleased with her) said: I came to Mecca while having my monthly period and performed neither circumambulation around the Sacred House nor Sa`i between Safa and Marwah. I narrated this to the Prophet (peace be upon him) who said: "Act as a pilgrim should act but avoid circumambulation until you get pure.”

In case she is menstruating or otherwise (post delivery) after performing the Ifadah Circumambulation, she is not obliged to perform the Farewell Circumambulation.

Children’s Hajj

Hajj is not obligatory for children. However, if children perform Hajj, it will be obligatory for them to perform Hajj again once they attain puberty.

Likewise, if a slave performs Hajj and then gains his freedom, he will have to perform Hajj again if he is able to finance the journey.

Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with the son and his father) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "If a boy performs Hajj and then attains puberty, he should perform Hajj again. And if a slave performs Hajj and then gains his freedom, he should perform Hajj again."

If the child reaches the age of judgment, he can enter the state of Ihram and perform the rituals of Hajj alone. Otherwise, his guardian has to perform the rites on his behalf, pronounce Talbiah, circumambulate with him, run between Safa and Marwah, stand at `Arafah, and throw the pebbles on his behalf.

But if he attains puberty before standing at `Arafah or during it, he will not have to perform Hajj again.

Preparations for Hajj

Since Hajj is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most people, the importance of early and adequate preparation cannot be over-emphasized. There is a considerable investment of money, time, and physical effort required for the Pilgrimage to be fulfilling and meaningful. Information has to be collected, itineraries must be worked out, and documents have to be readied. The purpose of these preparations is not only to minimize physical discomfort, emotional aggravation and monetary expenses, but also to enable you to perform Hajj in relative peace of heart and mind. Therefore, it makes sense to be as ready as possible for this momentous journey of self-discovery, self-appraisal, and spiritual enlightenment. Arrangements must be started early enough so that you are not rushed for time in the few days before you set off. The paperwork, shopping, finalizing your travel and your stay inside Saudi Arabia all consumes a great deal of time. Three to four months ahead of your actual date of departure is a good estimate for starting your preparations.

Decide to go:

  • You decide that you are going for Hajj this year.
  • Choose your desired packages from our websites and/or brochures.
  • Make sure that you have all the required documents before reservation of the package.
  • Now fill in our online reservation form and send all the documents to the said address.

The spiritual preparation for Hajj:

  • Sincerity
  • Repentance from all past sins
  • Resolve outstanding differences and seek forgiveness from others
  • Pay/record all debts
  • Write your will
  • Make sure the wealth to be used for Hajj is from Halal sources
  • Choose the company of the righteousMemorize some du’afrom Quranand Sunnah
  • Learn how to pray during a flight and how to pray Salaatal-Janaazah

Physical preparation for Hajj:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Have a balanced diet
  • Make sure you have sufficient sleep.
  • Take a brisk walk

Things to take for going to Hajj:

  • Carry Vaseline or other fragrance-free cream: You may need this to treat the chafing on your thighs with all of the walking that you do on Hajj as a whole, but particularly from Arafat to Mina
  • Foot’s comfort: Wear comfortable sandals-these are for the day to day usage and for going in and out of the masjid and a must for men when in Ihram
  • Never leave behind the identity card provided by your Moallim. This is very important and will prove to be of much help in times of need
  • Remember to carry some miscellaneous items like pocket Quran, tasbeeh, pen, pencil, notebook, multi-blade pocket knife, can opener, nail clipper, small scissors and towels
  • You can exchange traveler’s Cheque or cash at the designated bank. If you are carrying cheques, ensure that you are carrying the receipt along. However it is advisable to carry cash. Check our useful links for bank information

Last stage of preparation:

  • Attend our pre-departure seminars and other guidance
  • Contact your friend or relative who has performed Hajj. Use this meeting to get tips and practical advice from them
  • Decide which form of Hajj you want to perform

On the day of travel:

  • Ensure that you are carrying a photo copy of your passport, tickets and all the important documents that will be with you
  • Make sure that you have taken your Traveler’s Cheque. Ensure that you are carrying the receipt along with.
  • Ensure that you are carrying the luggage tags and your identity card
  • Make sure that you are carrying your medical kit
  • Check your money bag. Make sure that you carry enough cash with you

The Miqat – initiating Ihram

The Miqat is the place for initiating Ihram. They are five places: Thul Hulaifah, al-juhfah, Qarnul Manazil, Yalamlam and Thatu Irq. They are for those who live there and those who pass by them intending Hajj or Umrah. Those who live in Makkah or any place between these Miqat places can make ihram from within Makkah.

Thul Hulaifah: It is the Miqat for those coming from Madinah. It is the farthest Miqat from Makkah – being about ten riding stations away. It is called, ‘wadi al-Aqeeq’ and its Musjid is called the Musjid of the Tree.

Al-juhfah: It is a village that is about three travel stages away from Makkah. It is the Miqat for those coming from Madinah - if they come by this route. Ibn Taymiyyah said, "It is the Miqat for those who make Hajj from the direction of the west, like the people of Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, and the people of Egypt and the rest of the West (including America and Canada)."

Qarnul Manazil: Also called "Qarnu th-Tha'alib" and is near Makkah, about a day's journey away from it. It is the Miqat for those coming from Najd.

Yalamlam: A place that is at a two-night distance from Makkah. It is the Miqat for those coming from Yemen.

Dhatu Irq: It is a place our in the desert, marking the border between Najd and Tihamah. It is located about forty-two miles from Makkah. This is the Miqaat for those coming from Iraq.

Perform bath before Ihram (Sunat)

Wear Umrah’s attire which is compulsory (Ihram)

  • Men, have to wear a dress that consists of two pieces of seamless (unstitched) cloth. One piece is to be worn in order to cover the ‘aurah between navel and knee while another one is to be worn for the upper body. The head must be left uncovered.
  • For Women, ihram can be in any color. The conditions are that her clothes fully cover the body except the face, hands and feet and she should NOT wear a Niqab or Burqa (veils).

Prohibited (Haraam) acts in Ihram

  • Hunting: Remember that hunting within the sacred area around and in Makkah, known as the Haram, is always forbidden. It is not confined to Ihraam. When in Ihraam, hunting anywhere else is also forbidden. You are allowed to kill scorpions, pythons, poisonous snakes and rats. If one is attacked by a wild animal it is allowed to kill it. You are allowed to fishing or slaughter domestic fowls such as goats, sheep, camels, etc. The kaffara (expiation) for killing an ostrich is a camel, a wild cow a cow, a deer or rabbit a sheep. There is expiation of a sheep also for killing a fox as a matter of precaution (Ihtiyat).
  • Sexual intercourse: Sexual intercourse, or any acts of courtship, which would arouse sexual desire, is forbidden. Even lustful glance at ones own wife or husband or any other lady or man who is Na-Mahram is forbidden. The expiation is one camel or a cow or a sheep in that order of affordability.
  • Romancing: Romancing with one's wife or any other woman as a result of which if semen is discharged the expiation is one camel that has completed five years. Likewise, for looking at a strange woman with or without lust as a result of which semen is discharged the expiation is a camel that has completed five years, if he is rich, a cow if he is middle class, a sheep if he is poor.
  • Marriage contract (Nikah): To read Nikah for himself or for others regardless of whether the other person is in Ihraam or not. This applies to Muta'a as well. While in all cases the Nikah is batil, the expiation is Ihtiyatan (precautionary) one sheep. To become witness to somebody's Nikah is also forbidden.
  • Perfumes: To use perfume or apply it on ones clothes. Perfumes like Saffron, Camphor, Cloves, Cardamom, Amber and all their uses are forbidden. Eating and drinking sweet smelling food or fruits like apples etc. is allowed but it is essential to avoid smelling when eating or drinking them. As a result of such willful action an expiation of one sheep becomes due. There is no objection to smelling natural sweet smell coming from the Kaaba.
  • Sewn clothes: It is Haram for men to wear sewn or stitched clothes in Ihraam. Their clothes must not have sleeves or seams. However, belts with sewn pockets for keeping money, traveler's cheques, passports and other valuables, slung around the shoulders or worn around the waist are allowed. Similarly, Hernia belts can be worn. One is not allowed to fasten the Ihraam with pins or a needle or anything of that sort. You cannot even tie a knot. There is no objection to covering the body, except the head with any cloth while sleeping. Ladies are allowed to wear all types of sewn clothes during Ihraam, except for the hand gloves and wear a veil. The expiation for violation of this rule is one sheep.
  • Shoes and socks: It is forbidden for men to cover the upper part of the feet from the toes to the ankle. So, men must not wear socks or full shoes. Women can wear them, (although); it is better for women to avoid wearing socks. The expiation for men violating of this rule is one sheep.
  • Ointment: It is forbidden to apply any kind of ointment to the body, whether it has a sweet smell or not. If however, it becomes necessary for medical reasons it is allowed. The expiation for this violation is one sheep.
  • Removing Hairs: To remove or pluck hair from ones own body, or from another's body, regardless of whether the other fellow is in Ihraam or not. The expiation for this is a handful of grain to poor. There are four exceptions to this. If hair falls itself, while doing Wudhu or Ghusl, there is no objection. If one's hair has grown to his/her eyelid and is causing distress and agony, one may remove it. If the removal of hair becomes inevitable for any good reason and valid reason. But if due to the hair, there are too many lice on the body, and it becomes necessary to remove the hair so as to be relieved of the parasite. You are allowed to stroke your hair or beard or slowly scratch your body, if you know that by doing so, no hair would fall, and no bleeding would be caused.
  • Cutting of nails: Cutting of nails either whole or partly is not allowed unless the nail is causing pain. The expiation (kaffara) for each fingernail being cut is a handful of food/grain to the poor. If all nails of the hands are cut in the same place, the expiation (kaffara) will be one sheep. The same is true of feet. If the nails of both the hands and feet are cut in the same place, the expiation will be one sheep. If one cuts the nails of his hand in one place and the feet in another place the expiation will be two sheep.

On your arrival at Jeddah:

  • You will have assumed Ihraam before arriving at Jeddah if Makkah is your destination.
  • First you go through the Customs, and then wait for a bus (of the Hajj Ministry Transportation Service) to take you to Makkah.
  • Do not lose sight of your luggage.
  • Perform your salat on time and with the Jama'ah.
  • Jeddah will be a first test for your patience. The wait time in the Hajj Terminal can be 2 to 12 hours or even more.
  • Once you have gone through customs and immigration, travel coupons for internal travel in Saudi Arabia will be attached to your passport and you will be escorted to a bus to travel to Makkah. At this point your passport will be taken away and will be kept by the Muthawiff (a guide assigned to you by the Government). It will be given back to you at Jeddah airport on the day you return home. You will be given a photo-ID card by your Muthawiff in place of your passport. You will also be given a tag (a rubber bracelet which will identify you to the Muthawiff in case you get lost) and a Hajj security badge.

Road to Makkah

Travel to Makkah is usually in buses which take groups of about 40. It should be ensured that all family members board the same bus and that the entire luggage is loaded on the same bus that they travel in. It is each pilgrim’s personal responsibility to ensure that his luggage is not separated or put on a different bus.

The bus journey from Jeddah to Makkah will take nearly two to three hours. On reaching Makkah, pilgrims would be taken to buildings where they are to stay. Ensuring that luggage is off loaded at the building is the pilgrim’s personal responsibility.

en-route to makkah read talbiyah as much as possible and zikr...it is mustahab to perform ghusl. (do not shave, do not use soap and do not rub the body and head to avoid any hair falling off you. thereafter enter the masjidul haram through any of the doors, preferably "babus salaam" .

When entering the Masjid area:

  • Enter with the right foot
  • Recite bismillah
  • Recite durood-e-ibrahimee
  • Make intention for I'tikaaf ( O' Allah I am making intention for I'tikaaf while I am in the masjid
  • And say: O' Allah, open for me the door of your mercies, and make easy for me the means of livelihood. Then recite: O' Allah you are peace and from you comes peace. So keep us alive, our lord in peace. O' Allah increase this house in dignity, honour, nobility and awe; and increase him who performs hajj or umrah in dignity, honour, and piety.
  • You can make any other duaa to suit your needs as well
  • If salaah time is at hand, do not start with your tawaf until after salaah. Remember that salaah will be performed bareheaded by males.

Performing Umrah

Umrat al-tammatu refers to Umrah that is performed in conjunction with Hajj. More precisely, the rituals of the Umrah are performed first and then the Hajj rituals are performed.

Rituals in Umrah

The following rituals are observed after one performs Ihram


Tawaf is a Fard (compulsory) part of `Umrah and Hajj. It is to walk around the Ka`bah seven times. Tawaf is an act of worship and has the same requirements as Salah, in so far as purity and intention are concerned. One who does not have Wudu’ cannot perform Tawaf, and Tawaf performed without intention needs to be repeated. Tawaf can be performed at any time (even those times which are considered Makruh for Salah). To perform it without pause is an emphasized Sunnah. One should avoid starting Tawaf when the time of Salah is close. To start Tawaf one will need to proceed towards the corner of the Ka`bah in which al-Hajar al-Aswad is situated. This corner faces one minaret (the other three corners all face two minarets). This corner has a green light on the wall of the Mataf (this is not that easily noticeable during the day, but one should be able to notice it if one looks in the direction of the gate marking Safa). While approaching this corner, men should uncover their right shoulder by taking the sheet under their right arm, this is known as Idtiba`. If this is done before reaching the corner it will prevent one from being an obstacle to others.

During Tawaf

Make the intention and then step in line with al-Hajar al-Aswad, facing the Ka`bah. Here raise the hands to ear-level and say the Takbir (as in Salah). This is where Tawaf starts. If one starts Tawaf after this point that round will be invalid.

Now perform Istilam. This is done by kissing al-Hajar al-Aswad. If kissing it is not possible then touch it and kiss the hand. If this too is not possible, raise both hands to face al-Hajar al-Aswad, and after saying Takbir, kiss the hands.

Now turn and start the Tawaf. Men should quick-march forward (not run or jog) this is called Ramal, while women should walk normally. Ramal is done by lifting the legs forcefully, sticking the chest out and by also including movement of the shoulders. This is Sunnah for the first three rounds only, while keeping the right shoulder uncovered is a Sunnah throughout Tawaf. This is for men only.

Make sure one walks around the Hatim in each circuit or else that circuit will not count. If one is performing a Nafl Tawaf (i.e. not in Ihram) then the right shoulder will remain covered, and Ramal will not be performed.

During Tawaf recite Qur’an, Dhikr and make Du`a’ individually without disturbing anyone. One may carry literature but due to the crowds it may prove cumbersome. Since the Tawaf is an act of worship one must avoid talking of worldly/unnecessary things. During Tawaf it is undesirable to face the Ka`bah unless at al-Hajr al-Aswad.

Whilst performing Tawaf, if one’s Wudu’ breaks, a Fard Salah starts or one becomes tired and needs to rest, then one may pause the Tawaf and then continue from the round on where one had stopped.

It is against the Sunnah to hold onto or kiss the walls or make Istilam to all four corners of the Ka`bah. It is Sunnah to perform Istilam at the corner of the al-Hajar al-Aswad and ar-Rukn al-Yamani. It is a Sunnah to only kiss the al-Hajar al-Aswad, and it is a Sunnah to hold onto only the Multazam.

At ar-Rukn al-Yamani (the corner before al-Hajar al-Aswad), touching is sufficient if one is near enough to do so, otherwise no action should be made. It is not a Sunnah to kiss it or raise the hands at this corner.

At the time of Hajj waiting in the queues to touch al-Hajar al-Aswad or ar-Rukn al-Yamani is almost impossible. Furthermore, the density of the crowds is forbidding as it will not be possible to squeeze in there without pushing people, (even if the pushing is involuntary) this is causing inconvenience to others so it must be avoided. If one really does wish to kiss al-Hajar al-Aswad it would be recommended that they try at another time away from the Hajj season. Tawaf starts and ends with Istilam at al-Hajar al-Aswad. So in one complete Tawaf one will make Istilam eight times.

Ibn `Umar t relates that he heard Rasulullah r say, “The touching (of al-Hajar al-Aswad) removes sins, and whoever performs the Tawaf properly (according to its rules), is given the reward of freeing a slave. One does not place one’s foot on the ground nor raises it (in Tawaf) except that Allah removes a sin (from his deeds) and awards him a good deed.”


This is the semi-circular wall of white marble, about 4½ feet high, which is situated between the north and west corners of the Ka`bah. There is a space between it and the Ka`bah but it is considered as part of the Ka`bah, which is why in Tawaf one must go around it. However, when in prayer one must face the Ka`bah. If one misses the Ka`bah and only faces the Hatim, then one’s Salah will not be valid. Nafl Salah is valid in the Hatim but not Fard Salah (when performed in Jama`ah).

The Ka`bah door

The door is on the side after the corner of al-Hajar al-Aswad, but is two meters above the ground. Many people incorrectly think that this is the Multazam (which has the significance of being a place where ad`iyah are accepted). Besides the fact that it is the door of the Ka`bah it does not share the Multazam’s significance.


In the middle of the Ka`bah wall that is enclosed by the Hatim, along the roof of the Ka`bah is a spout which allows the accumulated rainwater on the roof to flow off. Many people assume this to be of vital significance and consider that water to be blessed. Again, this is a misconception, as nothing has been stated by the Messenger (P.B.U.H.) in regards to it, so it is not something to push and shove about.

Maqam Ibrahim

Re-cover the right shoulder, then proceed to the Maqam Ibrahim (rock with the footprints of Ibrahim) which is marked by a small golden kiosk facing the door of the Ka`bah. It is behind this that the performance of two rak`ahs are preferred (although we emphasize that it can be read elsewhere, especially at Hajj time).

Two Rak`ahs after Tawaf

As mentioned these two rak`ahs form an integral part of Tawaf and must be offered, even though as far as `Umrah is concerned it is Sunnah. These two rak`ahs can be performed at any time apart from Makruh times, and also when Jama`ah is being performed. It is Sunnah to read in the first rak`ah, Surah al-Kafirun; and in the second rak`ah, Surah al-Ikhlas. If one missed the two rak`ahs after one Tawaf and started another, then one will complete the second Tawaf, and then perform the two rak`ahs of the first Tawaf and then two more for the second Tawaf.


Zamzam is the name of a well in Makkah that has been providing water for pilgrims from the time of Ibrahim u. Its water is considered blessed; one of the reasons is that the well’s inception is miraculous. The name Zamzam is also given to the water from this well.

Unfortunately the well has had to be covered up and can no longer be viewed, but there are plenty of water barrels containing Zamzam throughout al-Masjid al-Haram.

One may also wash the face, arms and head with this water. One should drink it in three breaths (like any other drink). Jabir t relates from Rasulullah (P.B.U.H.) that, “The water of Zamzam is for that which it is drunk (i.e. whatever intention one makes while drinking the water, one will achieve that intention, e.g. for thirst, food, medicine, etc)”.


The Multazam is the wall of the Ka`bah that is situated between al-Hajar al-Aswad and the door. It does not extend to include the door itself. Like trying to get to al-Hajar al-Aswad, it is almost impossible to get to the Multazam during the Hajj season. It is however very easy to get there during Ramadan and other peak `Umrah times as people usually gather by the door of the Ka`bah and leave the Multazam free. If one gets there, raise the hands above the head, cling to the wall and make du`a’. If due to crowds one is unable to get there, then from wherever one can view it, stand and face it engaging oneself in du`a’. As it is an action of the Prophet r and a time for acceptance, one should lengthen the du`a’. Many times al-Hajar al-Aswad, ar-Rukn al-Yamani, Maqam Ibrahim and the Multazam are covered in perfume. If one is in Ihram then it is better to avoid touching them, leaving that for a time when one is not in Ihram. On the way to perform Sa`y if tired one should rest (making du`a’ or gazing at the Ka`bah). Thereafter before Sa`y perform one additional Istilam of the al-Hajr al-Aswad (Mustahabb).

Sa`y (safa/marwah)

The appearance of the Mas`a is like a long corridor, of which Safa is part of the Masjid from which the Ka`bah can be seen. Marwah protrudes out from the Masjid although is included in its building. Sa`y as a part of `Umrah is Wajib, and is performed after the Tawaf. It is a walk between the two hillocks Safa and Marwah. The area wherein Sa`y takes place is known as the Mas`a, it is approximately 400 meters in length. Sa`y is to walk seven times between this, starting at Safa’ (the seventh one will end on Marwah).

For Sa`y it is preferable to have Wudu’. It is necessary for a person who is capable of it to perform it on foot. Only those who cannot perform it or risk further injury can use a wheelchair. This is also a place where du`a’ are (readily) accepted, so one should lengthen one’s du`a’ here. At this point, one will notice that there are two sets of green lights (approx 50 meters apart). It is Sunnah for men to hasten to a quick march between them (similar to the first three rounds of Tawaf). Women again will continue normally. As one engaged oneself in Tawaf do so likewise in Sa`y. Here too at peak times the crowd may make carrying literature cumbersome. If one cannot carry one’s chosen books of Ad`iyah then one can engage in either Dhikr or recite any du`a’ one remembers.

At Marwah the Ka`bah is not visible, so facing its direction is sufficient. The same actions done on Safa are done here. This is one round and then from Marwah, walk towards Safa in the same manner, this is the second round. Like this complete all seven rounds.

During Hajj (The five days of Hajj)

Hajj Qiran and Hajj Ifrad

One will already be wearing the Ihram for Hajj. On the morning of the 8th Dhul Hijjah, after sunrise, one will leave for Mina’.

Hajj Tamattu’

One must make sure one enters the state of Ihram anytime before 8th Dhul-Hijjah with the intention of performing Hajj. Sa`y of Hajj can be performed after this Tawaf or later after the Tawaf az-Ziyarah. In Hajj Ifrad, it is preferable after Tawaf az-Ziyarah. If, however one is early to arrive in Makkah it may be wise to perform it at this time if one has a genuine concern with the crowds. Before the morning of 8th Dhul Hijjah, proceed to al-Masjid al-Haram and perform two rak`ahs with the head covered, intending for Hajj, with the recitation of Talbiyah. Note: One does not need to leave the Haram to wear this Ihram. It is Mustahabb to make the intention of Ihram in al-Masjid al-Haram. There is no Tawaf al-Qudum, as the `Umrah has served this purpose. Sa`y of Hajj, although preferred after Tawaf az-Ziyarah, may be performed at this point. But because Sa`y must be with a Tawaf, one will need to perform a Nafl Tawaf with this Sa`y.

Hajj at a glance

The first day: 8th Dhul Hijjah - Yawm at-tarwiyyah (the day of reflection)

Prior to leaving for Mina (approximately 3.5 miles), one should have made a note of the time of all the Salah in Makkah as they should be performed at the same time throughout the Hajj. On the 8th Dhul-Hijjah to leave for Mina after sunrise is Sunnah. Before this it is permitted but for the reason of convenience and finding a decent place is against the Sunnah.


one can go to mina, `arafah and muzdalifah by any of the following ways

  • Hajj Ministry coach: Ask your Hajj office/travel group for departure places and times. It will drop you off at the correct place. There are large queues and the service can be irregular. You have paid for this already.
  • Private taxi: These are numerous, faster and convenient. Abstain from overcrowded taxis. However, taxi drivers can get lost even though they claim to know the way. If there is a traffic jam, even these can take a long time. Prices are steep but negotiable.
  • Walking: Be equipped; long walk, heat, directions and keep plenty of drinking water and snacks. A walking stick is very useful and helps on the ankles.

Take as less luggage as possible: A sheet, a sleeping bag, an extra Ihram, tissue, towel, medication, Mu`allim cards (ask your Hajj group about these), string to hang cloths, snacks, pocket knife, water flask, prayer mat, Du`a’ books, a small pouch/bag would be useful for collecting pebbles in Muzdalifah. All this should fit in a backpack or a small, wheeled travel case.

Note:If one wishes to walk, make sure one goes with a few people. This is not for gossip company but rather one may need help or be able to be a help to others, either in reminding each other to remember Allah or for any other need that may arise. Mobile phones do work in most places (maybe not in `Arafah) therefore, it is useful to keep one at hand in case one gets lost or delayed and people are in wait.

Walking from Makkah to Mina is not difficult. The route is well marked out, and as soon as you set off from Makkah you can walk through two pedestrian tunnels. Thereafter most of the way is via a sheltered road. Once in Mina however the walk is not complete as the Europe camp is at the far end. Even that however, is fairly easy to get to as there, again, are tunnels that shorten the distance and also provide relief from the sun. The whole journey (depending on walking speed) can take a couple of hours.

In Mina

In Makkah, your camp and tent number for Mina should have been given to you. Stay at one of your group’s tents. Toilet and shower facilities are available within each camp. Medical tents are also set up.

During the five days one should eat light, e.g. fruits and light snacks; and drink plenty of water but avoid ice-cold water. This, practically, is very helpful. The day (8th) and the following night are spent in Mina. All the prayers that fall under this time period Zuhr, `Asr, Maghrib, `Isha’, and the following Fajr should be offered in Mina’. If one intends to stay in Makkah for 15 days or more, one will become a Muqim, i.e. one will perform all the Salah fully. And if one intends to stay in Makkah for less than 15 days, one remains a Musafir and will perform Qasr.

The second day: 9th Dhul Hijjah - Yawm al-`Arafah (the day of `arafah)

From Mina to `arafah (at least 6 miles)

After Fajr Salah recite the Takbirat at-Tashriq. This practice will continue until the `Asr of the 13th of Dhul Hijjah (lasting for 23 Salah in total). It is said aloud whether performing Hajj or at home.

Its recital is Wajib upon males but Mustahabb upon the females. It is also Mustahabb upon the Musafir but becomes Wajib upon them if they perform Salah with Jama`ah.

After reciting the Takbirat at-Tashriq audibly (silently for women) one should re-engage in reciting the Talbiyah.

If one wishes to walk to `Arafah then one should understand that this is probably the most difficult walk. The way to `Arafah however, is clearly marked out and one will also take advantage of the fact that there will be many people heading that way together so it is difficult to get lost. It is a journey that can take up to four hours.

When starting off the weather will usually be cool as it is morning, but for the last two hours the heat can really pick up. Make sure one has a plentiful supply of water (even though there are drinking fountains on the way, sometimes there are queues) and also it is worth taking snacks, e.g. fruit or chocolate for energy.

Even more so than before, it is advisable to travel with a group of people, as in `Arafah and also, for the most part, in Muzdalifah there is no reception available for mobile phones.

In `arafah

After sunrise, set off for `Arafah. En route, recite Talbiyah, and engage in other forms of `Ibadah. To leave for `Arafah, prior to sunrise, is against the Sunnah.


Wuquf (staying) in `Arafah, commences from midday of the 9th Dhul Hijjah. It is a Fard component to spend at least a little portion of this time in `Arafah. If this is not done then Hajj is nullified irredeemably. To remain in `Arafah until sunset, is Wajib, although one can stay until dawn of the following morning.

It is Fard to be within the boundary of `Arafah. Upon arrival one will notice a sign showing where the border starts and ends. One will be able to notice that Masjid an-Nimrah (the Masjid in `Arafah) is not completely in `Arafah. One must note that staying outside the boundary will not be acceptable for Hajj.

Wuquf in `Arafah is acceptable anywhere within the boundary so it is not necessary to go near Jabal (the hill of) ar-Rahmah. Although it is additionally virtuous, one can very easily lose one’s way back which would mean time is wasted. Climbing the hill and offering Salah upon it on this day is incorrect and not established from the Sunnah.

One should even before setting off for `Arafah make one’s frame of mind that one will not waste time there. It is understandable that those who walked it there will feel tired and may need to rest. One should try utmost to stay awake. Failing that, one should set oneself a limit to sleep and after that wake up and engage in `Ibadah. This is one day that deserves that people push themselves to do good deeds.

One will note that the toilets, showers and Wudu’ facilities are extremely congested. If one does need to go to the toilet then one should realize that it can take up to an hour. For Wudu’ it is better that one uses water from a bottle and performs Wudu’ wherever one is.

If one is at such proximity to Masjid an-Nimrah that one may perform Salah behind the Imam then one should do so. If however, one is performing one’s own Salah or with a separate Jama`ah within one’s group it is recommendable according to many schools of thought that the Salah of `Asr should be read in its time.

Even if it is Friday, Zuhr will be performed and not Jumu`ah Salah, as Jumu`ah cannot be performed in `Arafah.

It is extremely desirable (according to some it is a sunnah) to remain in devotion standing and facing Qiblah, with hands raised as in du`a’. It one tires, one may sit, and stand again once recovered, but to recline without excuse is disliked.

It is prohibited, distracting and extremely detrimental for men and women to stand together.

The third day: 10th Dhul Hijjah - Yawm an-nahr (the day of sacrifice)

In Muzdalifah

Many people perform Fajr Salah in Muzdalifah before its time and leave for Mina before sunrise. This way, they miss Salah and also the main part of the Wuquf of Muzdalifah. Remember to follow the correct time and do not leave Muzdalifah until just before Fajr time ends. Fajr Salah should be performed as soon as its time begins. Thereafter one should remain at Muzdalifah standing and facing the Qiblah engaged in `Ibadah.

Just before sunrise (2-3 minutes) leave for Mina (approximately three miles) reciting Talbiyah and any other Dhikr.

If a woman is of firm opinion that her menstruation is near on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah, then she should go direct from Muzdalifah to Makkah to perform her Tawaf az-Ziyarah before Rami, Nahr and Qasr.

From Muzdalifah to Mina is a relatively short and easy walk. Again one should make sure that one has enough drinking water. One should take note that at this time there will be a large amount of traffic. As long as one can help it, stick to the pavements or pedestrian routes. There usually is a lot of exhaust fumes that one will have to go through, so if one is asthmatic one should ensure that they have their inhaler with them.

In Mina

This is by far the busiest day if one wishes to complete everything on this day. After returning from Muzdalifah one is likely to be tired, so one should take a rest before doing anything else.

There are four acts to be performed between the 10th and 12th Dhul-Hijjah.

  • Rami (this has to be performed on each of the days)
  • Nahr
  • Halaq or Qasr
  • Tawaf az-Ziyarah

Besides Rami which must be performed on each of the three days the remaining acts are to be performed before sunset of the 12th Dhul-Hijjah otherwise Dam will be Wajib for each act.

Note: In Hajj Qiran and Hajj Tamattu’ it is Wajib to perform the first three acts in order and Mustahabb for the fourth to also be in order. In Hajj Ifrad however, it is Mustahabb to perform all four in order.

The restrictions of Ihram (apart from sexual intercourse) are lifted after Halq or Qasr.

The fourth day: 11th Dhul-Hijjah - Ayyam at-tashrik (the days of drying meat)

Whatever of the actions of the previous day have not been completed try to complete them today. Besides these actions the only necessary procedure on this day and the next (12th) is Rami.

The time of pelting on the 11th and 12th if one stays) is:

  • Zawal to Sunset: Masnun
  • Sunset to Fajr time of next day: Makruh

Note: Rami is not permissible before Zawal on the 11th and 12th (or 13th) Dhul Hijjah. It will be invalid and will have to be redone.

Rami of all three Jamarat are necessary; the order as before should be the smallest to the largest. One can make du`a’, standing away from the crowd facing Qiblah, after each pillar except the largest.

Follow the procedures outlined previously regarding how Rami is to be performed. Return to camp upon completion and spend the day in worship and the night in Mina. Secluding oneself for this will help achieve this or else one will remain distracted.

The fifth day: 12th Dhul-Hijjah - Ayyam at-tashrik (the days of drying meat)

The procedures of this day are identical to the fourth day. However, ensure that any of the acts remaining from the 10th are all completed on this day otherwise Dam will become necessary for each act missed.

Leaving Mina

If one wishes to leave for Makkah, one should depart before sunset of the 12th. Departing after sunset of the 12th is Makruh but permissible without incurring Dam or any other penalty.

People, on their way back to Makkah may get held up and miss Maghrib Salah. One must perform Maghrib and `Isha’ wherever one may be, in their correct times. Only if one does not leave Mina before as-Subh as-Sadiq on the 13th Dhul Hijjah does it become Wajib to perform Rami on the 13th. The omission of this responsibility will result in Dam being necessary.

  • Do not go near the “Black stone” if Mutaff is over crowded.
  • Refrain from idle gossip, anger or loose talk. You have to be on your best behavior.
  • Do not get the help of unauthorized persons to count your money. Bankers are there to help and guide you.
  • Do not carry large amounts of money in crowded places and during Tawaaf or Sayee.
  • Do not visit Jeddah without informing or taking clearance from your Moallims.
  • Do not carry opium, marijuana, brown sugar, sleeping pills, liquor or drug with you. These are banned in Saudi Arabia.
  • Do not waste water as water is a scarce commodity
  • Do not encroach upon other pilgrim’s allotment or room.
  • Do not cook in the rooms. Cooking on kerosene stoves is discouraged as these are fire hazards.
  • Do not keep extra persons, not even relatives in your rooms or tents as each pilgrim gets only 2.5 sq. Meters. of space.
  • Do not litter your things in the room. It may cause discomfort to your co-pilgrims staying with you in the same room.
  • Speaking with loud voice may cause discomfort to weak, old and sick person pilgrims.
  • Do not give money for sacrifice to any person.
  • Be very careful while crossing roads, especially main roads and highways in Makkah and Madina as traffic is very fast on these roads.


Upon returning to Jeddah airport Hajj terminal, one will go through the reverse of the procedures that one went through when arriving. Check-ins is long and apparently unorganized. Delays can be expected. During this, one should spend time in Du`a’ and thanking Allah, and also begging Him to make a change in one’s life.

If one does wish to take Zamzam back home they will have to get it wrapped in plastic wrap otherwise most airlines will not let it through.

After Hajj upon arriving home, it is normal to invite people to partake in dates and Zamzam, as to bring Zamzam home was the practice of the Nabi. However do not expect people to address one as Haji nor should one keep mentioning it to remind people that one has been for Hajj. This weakens one’s Hajj (spiritually), though it may happen years after the Hajj was performed. One should remember that the Hajj was for one’s own spiritual benefits, not for show. If show does develop then one must resort to repentance or else one will be held to account for one’s pride. Many pilgrims return with only the problems in their minds. This in turn they mention to all who listen. Abstain from this, as this negativity will set into the minds of the listeners. If one carefully remembers then the spiritual benefits will definitely outweigh the physical difficulties, for every moment spent there, merits rewards incomparable to anything in this world.

A ‘Mabrur Hajj’ (accepted Hajj) is that Hajj which, from its enacting till one returns home, one’s life changes from bad to betterment. Therefore, during and continuing after Hajj, one does not break the command of Allah. Through its blessings and effects, one should become punctual in fulfilling the commandments of Allah. One’s love towards Allah should increase, and love for anything else erased.


Arafat - A desert location approximately nine miles from Mecca where the pilgrim spends the 9th of Zul Hijjah as a rite of Hajj.

Ayyam ut Tashreeq - The 11th, 12th, and 13th of the month of Zul Hijjah. The pilgrim performs Rummy in Mina on these days.

Dum - The expiation required of a pilgrim for a willful violation of a prohibition or obligation of the state of Ihram.

Hajj - A set of acts of worship prescribed by Allah and Rasool Allah (pbuh) to be performed in and around Mecca at least once in a lifetime by every Muslim satisfying certain conditions. Hajj is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. There are three types of Hajj one may perform as defined below:

Hajj ul Ifrad - The type of Hajj wherein the pilgrim pronounces his niyyah (i.e., intention) to perform only Hajj at Meeqat while changing into Ihram.

Hajj ul Qiran - The type of Hajj wherein the pilgrim pronounces his intention to perform both Umra and Hajj together with the same Ihram at Meeqat.

Hajj ut Tamattu - The type of Hajj wherein the pilgrim pronounces his intention to perform only Umra at Meeqat when changing into Ihram. A second niyyah and a second change into Ihram follow on the 8th of Zul Hijjah for the performance of the remaining rites of Hajj.

Hajar ul Aswad - The Sacred Black Stone built into the south-east corner of the Kabah at a height of approximately four feet. The stone does not belong to the geology of the region and is a part of the original construction of the Kabah by Prophet Ibrahim. Hajar ul Aswad has a special significance for Muslims during Hajj. It was personally installed in the wall of the Kabah by Rasool Allah (pbuh) himself during its reconstruction following its destruction by a flash flood. The Prophet (pbuh) also kissed it during his Last (Farewell) Hajj. Thus, touching and kissing, or Istilam, of Hajar ul Aswad during Umra and Hajj are not only his sunnah but also constitute an emotional and spiritual bond between him and his people.

Halq – It’s the act of completely shaving his head by the male pilgrim on the 10th of Zul Hijjah. This is the last thing he does before getting out of the state of Ihram. See Taqseer also. For female pilgrims, the requirements of Halq and Taqseer are satisfied if they trim their hair by approximately half an inch.

Haram ash Shareef - The mosque around the Kabah in Mecca, as well as the mosque in Medina. The latter, also known as Al Masjid un Nabawi contains within its premises the grave of Rasool Allah (pbuh).

Hateem - The area adjacent to the Kabah on its west side, enclosed by a low semi-circular wall. Tradition has it that Hajar (wife of Prophet Ibrahim) is buried in this enclosure. It is highly recommended that the pilgrim should offer salat us sunnah and supplications to Allah in this area. However, this is not a part of the official rites of Hajj.

Idtiba - The mode of Ihram used during Tawaf ul Qudoom. The male pilgrim drapes one end of the top part of his Ihram over his left shoulder back-to-front. The other end goes across his back, under his right arm, across his front, and is finally draped over his left shoulder. Idtiba is not observed in any other type of Tawaf. Also, when the pilgrim offers salat us sunnah after Tawaf ul Qudoom or an obligatory salat during this Tawaf, he must cover both his shoulders. In other words, Idtiba is practiced only while actually performing Tawaf ul Qudoom. Female pilgrims wear no Ihram, so that the question of Idtiba for them does not arise.

Ihram - The distinctive garb of the male pilgrim worn during Umra or Hajj. It consists of two pieces of white, unsewn and plain cloth. One of the pieces is wrapped around the midriff to cover his body from just above his navel to his ankles, and the other is draped around his shoulders to cover the upper body. For ladies, their ordinary and unpretentious clothes of daily wear constitute their Ihram.

Istilam – It’s the act of kissing Hajar ul Aswad at the beginning and the end of every circumambulation (circuit) of the Kabah, during Tawaf. If it is not possible physically to kiss Hajar ul Aswad for any reason, the pilgrim may extend his hand to touch the Sacred Stone and then kiss his own hand. If even that is not possible, he may raise his hand towards Hajar ul Aswad and, thereafter, kiss his own hand.

Jamraat - The three stone pillars in Mina which symbolically represent the locations where the devil (shaitan) is stated in tradition to have tried to tempt Prophet Ibrahim in an effort to dissuade him from the path of Allah. The pilgrim symbolically stones these pillars on the 10th through the 13th of Zul Hijjah in commemoration of the rejection of the devil by Prophet Ibrahim, and of his steadfastness to the cause of Allah. The Jamraat are located within a few hundred feet of one another in a line and are named as follows:

Jamrat ul Kubra - The last stone pillar in the line. This is also called Jamrat ul Uqabah.

Jamrat ul Oola - The first stone pillar in the line.

Jamrat ul Wusta - The second (middle) stone pillar in the line.

Kaffarah – It’s another name for Dum.

Marwah - A small knoll (i.e., hillock) located approximately one hundred yards from the Kabah inside Al Masjid ul Haram. The pilgrim performs the devotional rite of Sai between the knolls of Safa and Marwah.

Mahram - The husband, or a male companion of a female pilgrim to whom her marriage is expressly prohibited by the shariah (e.g., father, brother, uncle, nephew, etc.) A woman must necessarily be accompanied by a Mahram for Umra and Hajj.

Masjid ul Haram - The mosque around the Kabah also known as Haram ash Shareef.

Meeqat – It’s an imaginary boundary around Mecca. A prospective pilgrim cannot cross this boundary without first changing into Ihram. This boundary is anchored by different townships and localities in different directions (Zul Hulaifa in the north, Yalamlam in the south-east, Dhat Irq in the north-east, Juhfah in the north-west, Qarn ul Manazil in the east.) The pilgrim changes into Ihram at Meeqat and pronounces his intention to perform Umra or Hajj. For people living inside the Meeqat permanently, their place of residence is their Meeqat.

Mina - A desert location approximately three miles from Mecca where several rites of Hajj are performed.

Muallim – Is a knowledgeable professional who can guide the pilgrim during Hajj; also called a Mutawwif.

Muhrim – Is a pilgrim in the state of Ihram.

Multazam - The part of the Kabah between its door and Hajar ul Aswad. This is a specially sacred part of the Kabah. It is recommended that, if possible, the pilgrim should touch the Kabah at Multazam and offer supplications to Allah. However, this is not a part of the official rites of Hajj.

Maqam-o-Ibrahim - The step-stone used by Prophet Ibrahim during the original construction of the Kabah. The stone carries the imprints of his feet, and is housed in a glass enclosure on the north side of the Kabah.

Mutamatti - One who has performed Hajj ut Tamattu.

Mutawwif - See Muallim.

Muzdalifah - A desert location approximately midway between Mina and Arafat. The pilgrim spends the night of the 10th of Zul Hijjah here.

Niyyah - Intention. All acts of worship are preceded by an appropriate niyyah.

Qarin - One who has performed Hajj ul Qiran.

Qasr - The mode of shortened prayers usually offered when on a journey

Ramal - The ritual in which male pilgrims are required to walk briskly with their chests thrust forward and with their shoulders rolling slightly during the first three circuits of Tawaf ul Qudoom. Ladies are not required to practice Ramal.

Rummy - The act of symbolically stoning the devil (shaitan) in Mina on the 10th through the 13th of Zul Hijjah. This commemorates the tradition that Prophet Ibrahim was tempted three times by the devil, and rejected all three of his overtures by stoning him, and driving him away. These three locations are symbolized by three stone pillars in Mina.

Safa – Is a small knoll approximately half a mile from the Kabah inside Al Masjid ul Haram. The pilgrim performs the devotional act of Sai between the knolls of Safa and Marwah.

Sai – It’s the devotional act of walking seven times back and forth between the knolls of Safa and Marwah. This act retraces the footsteps of Hajar (wife of Prophet Ibrahim), during her desperate search for water for her infant son Ismail after they were left in the desert by Prophet Ibrahim in response to a divine vision.

Salat - Obligatory or supererogatory prayers.

Shawt - One complete circumambulation, or circuit, of the Kabah. Each shawt (pl. ashwaat) starts and ends at Hajar ul Aswad. Seven ashwaat constitute one Tawaf.

Talbiyah - A devotional recital of the following words by the pilgrim during Umra and Hajj.

(Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik, La Shareek Laka, Labbaik. Innal Hamdah, Wan Nematah, Laka wal Mulk, La Shareek Laka)

Trans: "Here I am at Thy service O Lord, here I am. Here I am at Thy service and Thou hast no partners. Thine alone is All Praise and All Bounty, and Thine alone is The Sovereignty. Thou hast no partners."

The Talbiyah is a prayer as well as an assertion of the pilgrim's conviction that he intends to perform Hajj only for the glory of Allah. The pilgrim starts the recital upon changing into the Ihram, and continues to recite it frequently throughout Hajj. Male pilgrims recite the Talbiyah loudly whereas female pilgrims are required to recite it in a low voice.

Taqseer - Shortening or clipping of the whole head of hair by the male pilgrim following the completion of Hajj. This may be performed in lieu of Halq. However, snipping off a few hairs here and there is not acceptable. The sunnah of Rasool Allah (pbuh) supports only Taqseer and Halq.

Tawaf – It’s the devotional act of circumambulating the Kabah while reciting prayers. It constitutes an integral part of Umra and Hajj. There are five different types of Tawaf one may perform:

Tawaf ul Ifadah - The Tawaf performed by the pilgrim on the 10th of Zul Hijjah as the last formal rite of Hajj in Mecca after changing into street clothes (also called Tawaf uz Ziyarah).

Tawaf un Nafl - A devotional Tawaf which may be performed any time.

Tawaf ul Qudoom - The initial Tawaf performed by the pilgrim upon entering Al Masjid ul Haram in Mecca pursuant upon his intention for Hajj.

Tawaf ul Umra - The Tawaf performed as a rite of Umra.

Tawaf ul Wuda - The Farewell Tawaf performed by the pilgrim just before leaving Mecca for his next destination.

Umra - A set of religious and devotional rites performed in Mecca in an order ordained by Allah and Rasool Allah (pbuh). Umra can be performed at any time of the year and, unlike Hajj, does not involve the rites at Mina, Muzdalifah, and Arafat.

Yaum un Nahr - The 10th of Zul Hijjah. This day is designated as the preferred day of sacrifice during Hajj

Yaum ut Tarwiyah - The 8th of Zul Hijjah signifying the start of Hajj. The pilgrim proceeds to Mina on this day.

Zul Hijjah - The last month of the Islamic calendar during which Hajj is performed.

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