Simplified: How to Perform Hajj

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There are Three Types of Hajj:

1- Hajj At-Tamattu’

2- Hajj Al-Qiran

3- Hajj Al-Ifraadh

Here, we shall talk about Hajj at-Tamattu’ as it is the most recommended one.

In this type of Hajj, one is to perform ‘Umrah during the Hajj months (i.e., Shawwal, Dhul-Qa’dah and the first nine nights of Dhul-Hijjah) and to perform the Hajj in the same year with a sacrifice slaughtered in Mina on the day of ‘Eed Al-Adha (The 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah) or during the days of at-Tashreeq (i.e. the 11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah). The pilgrimage may remove his Ihraam garments and continue his normal activities between ‘Umrah and Hajj. It is necessary to make the Tawaaf and the Sa’y twice, the first time for ‘Umrah and the second time for Hajj.



The different steps of the Hajj Journey are described below:


Ihraam is the intention of the person willing to perform all rites of ‘Umrah, Hajj or both when he arrives at the Meeqaat. Each direction coming into Makkah has its own Meeqaat. It is recommended that the one who intends to perform Hajj makes Ghusl (a shower with the intention to purify one’s self and to be ready for Hajj), perfumes his body, but not his garments, and puts on a two-piece garment with no headgear. The garments should be of seamless cloth. One piece to cover the upper part of the body, and the second to cover the lower part. For a woman the Ihraam is the same except that she can wear any kind of wide garments, and should not use perfumes at all and her dress should cover the whole body decently, leaving the hands and the face uncovered. The pilgrim should say the intention according to the type of Hajj. For Hajj At-Tamattu’ one should say:

Labbayka Allahumma ‘Umrah,” which means, “O Allah I answered your call to perform “Umrah.” It is recommended to repeat the well-known supplication of Hajj, called Talbiyah, as frequently as possible from the time of Ihraam till the time of the first stoning of Jamrat Al-Aqabah in Mina on the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah.


Men are recommended to utter the Talbiyah aloud while women are to say it quietly. This Talbiyah is the following:

Labbayka Allahumma labbayk. Labbayka laa Shareeka laka labbayk. Inna al-Hamda wan-ni’mata laka wal-mulk. Laa Shareeka lak.

Here I am at Your service. O my Lord, Here I am. No partner You have. Here I am. Truly, the praise and the provisions are Yours, and so is the dominion. No partner You have.



When a Muslim arrives in Makkah, he should make Tawaaf around the Ka’bah, as a gesture of greeting Al-Masjid Al Haraam. This is done by circling the Ka’bah seven times in the counterclockwise direction, starting from the black stone with Takbeer and ending each circle at the black stone with Takbeer, keeping the Ka’bah to one’s left.

Then the pilgrim goes to Maqam Ibraaheem (Ibraaheem’s station), and performs two Rak’ah behind it, (close to it if possible), but away from the path of the people making Tawaaf. In all cases one should be facing the Ka’bah when praying behind Maqaam Ibraaheem.


The next rite is to make Sa’y between Safa and Marwah. The pilgrim starts Sa’y by ascending the Safa. While facing the direction of the Ka’ba he praises Allah, raises his hands and says Takbeer “Allah-u-Akbar” three times, then makes supplication to Allah. Then the pilgrim descends from the Safa and heads towards the Marwah.

One should increase the pace between the clearly marked green posts, but should walk at a normal pace before and after them. When the pilgrim reaches the Marwah, he should ascend it, praise Allah and do as he did at the Safa. This is considered one round and so is the other way from the Marwah to the Safa. A total of seven rounds are required to perform the Sa’y.


Shaving the Head or Trimming the Hair:

After Sa’y, the Muslim ends his ‘Umrah rites by shaving his head or trimming his hair (women should cut a finger tip’s length from their hair). At this stage, the prohibitions pertaining to the state of Ihraam are lifted and one can resume his normal life.

There are no required supplications for Tawaaf or for Sa’y. It is up to the worshipper to praise Allah or to supplicate Him with any acceptable supplication or to recite verses of the Quran.

There are no many specific supplications that the Prophet  used to recite during the rites.

A Pilgrim performing Hajj At-Tamattu’ should intend Ihraam, from the place where he is staying, on the eighth of Dhul-Hijjah, which is the Tarwiah Day, and it is better to leave for Mina in the morning. In Mina, the pilgrims pray Dhuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib and ‘Ishaa’ of the 8th day of Dhul-Hijjah and Fajr of the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah (‘Arafah Day). Dhuhr, ‘Asr and ‘Ishaa’ are each shortened to two Rak’ah only, but are not combined.

The pilgrims remain in Mina until sunrise of the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah and then leave for ‘Arafat.


Departure to ‘Arafat:

On the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah, the Day of ‘Arafah, the pilgrims stay in Arafat until sunset. It is preferable to pray Dhuhr and ‘Asr at ‘Arafat, shortened and combined during the time of Dhuhr to save the rest of the day for glorifying Allah and for supplication asking forgiveness. A pilgrim should make sure that he is within the boundaries of Arafat, not necessarily standing on the mountain of ‘Arafah, he should also be sure that he has spent any part of the night –even a few minutes- within ‘Arafat. The Prophet  said: “I stood here on this rocky hill and all ‘Arafat is a standing place.” [Muslim] One should keep reciting Talbiyah, glorifying Allah the Greatest and repeating supplication.


It is also reported that the Prophet  used to say the following supplication: “There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, the one without a partner. The dominion and the praise are His and He is powerful over everything.” Anas ibn Maalik was asked once how he and his friends used to spend their time while walking from Mina to ‘Arafat in the company of the Prophet . Anas said: “Some of us used to cry out Talbiyah, others used to glorify Allah the Greatest and the rest used to repeat supplications. Each one of us was free to worship Allah in the way he likes without prejudice or renunciation of his right.” [Al-Bukhari]


In the vast plain of Arafat, tears are shed, sins are washed and faults are redressed for those who ask Allah for forgiveness and offer sincere repentance for their wrong doings in the past. Happy is the person who receives the Mercy and Pleasure of Allah on that particular day.


Soon after sunset on the day of ‘Arafah, the pilgrims leave for Muzdalifah quietly and reverently in compliance with the advice of the Prophet  who said when he noticed people walking without calmness: “O people! Be quiet, hastening is not a sign of righteousness.” [Al-Bukhari]


To follow the example of the Prophet  keep reciting the Talbiyah, glorifying Allah the Greatest and mentioning the name of Allah until the time of stoning Jamrat Al-‘Aqabah, Al-Jamrat-al-Kubra (a stone pillar in Mina). In Muzdalifah, the pilgrim performs Maghrib and ‘Ishaa’ prayers combined, shortening the ‘Ishaa’ prayer to two Rak’ah. Pilgrims stay overnight in Muzdalifah to perform the Fajr prayer and wait until the brightness of the morning is widespread before they leave for Mina passing through the sacred Mash’ar Al-Haram valley. Women and weak individuals are allowed to proceed to Mina at any time after midnight to avoid the crowd.


Back to Mina:

Stoning Jamrat Al-‘Aqabah:

When the pilgrims arrive in Mina, they go to Jamrat ‘Al-‘Aqabah where they stone it with seven pebbles glorifying Allah “Allah-u-Akbar” at each throw and calling on him to accept their Hajj.

The time of stoning Jamrat ‘Al-‘Aqabah is after sunrise. The Prophet  threw the pebbles late in the morning and permitted the weak people to stone after leaving Muzdalifah after midnight. The size of the pebbles should not be more than that of a pea as described by the Prophet  who warned against exaggeration. The pebbles can be picked up either in Muzdalifah or in Mina.


Slaughter of Sacrifice:

After stoning Jamrat ‘Al-‘Aqabah, the pilgrim goes to slaughter his sacrifice either personally or through the appointment of somebody else to do it on his behalf. A pilgrim should slaughter either a sheep, or share a cow or a camel with six others.


Shaving the Head or Trimming the Hair:

The final rite on the tenth day after offering one’s sacrifice is to shave his head or to cut some of the hair. Shaving the head is, however preferable for it was reported that the Prophet prayed three times for those who shaved their heads, when he said in the meaning of: “May Allah’s Mercy be upon those who shaved their heads.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] For women, the length of hair to be cut is that of a fingertip. The stoning of Jamrat Al-‘Aqabah and the shaving of head or the trimming of hair symbolizes the end of the first phase of the state of Ihraam and the lifting of its restrictions except for sexual intercourse with one’s spouse. Stoning Jamrat Al-‘Aqabah, slaughtering the sacrifice and shaving the head or cutting part of the hair are preferred to be in this order, as it is the order that the Prophet  did them. However, if they are done in any order, there is no harm in that.


Tawaaf Al-Ifaadhah:

Tawaaf Al-Ifaadhah is a fundamental rite of Hajj. The pilgrim makes Tawaaf Al-Ifaadhah by visiting Al-Masjid Al-Haraam and circling the Ka’bah seven times and praying two Rak’ah behind Maqaam Ibraaheem if possible and without causing any harm to Muslims. Then the pilgrim should make Sa’y between the Safa and the Marwah. After Tawaaf Al-Ifaadhah the state of Ihraam is completely ended and all restrictions are lifted including sexual intercourse with one’s spouse. Tawaaf Al-Ifaadhah can be delayed until the days spent in Mina are over.

The pilgrim should return to Mina and spend there the days of Tashreeq (i.e., the 11th 12th and 13th days of Dhul-Hijjah).

During each day, and after Dhuhr prayer until the midnight, the pilgrim stones the three stone pillars called “Jamrat”: The smaller, the medium and Jamrat ‘Al-‘Aqabah, glorifying Allah “Allah-u-Akbar” with each throw of the seven pebbles stoned at each pillar.

These pebbles are picked up in Mina. A pilgrim may leave Mina to Makkah on the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah or on the 12th if he wishes, there is no blame on him if he chooses the latter, but he has to leave before sunset if not he must stay in Mina till he throws the pebbles the next day (13th).


Farewell Tawaaf:

Farewell Tawaaf is the final rite of Hajj. It is to make another Tawaaf around the Ka’bah. Ibn Abbaas said: “The people were ordered to perform the Tawaaf around the Ka’bah as the last thing before leaving Makkah, except the menstruating women who were excused.” [Bukhari]


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