The Hajj rituals encompass the various actions and rites of the pilgrimage, including its pillars, obligatory acts, and recommended practices. The Quran refers to these in the verse: “And when you have completed your rites, remember Allah like your remembrance of your forefathers or with much greater remembrance” (Al-Baqarah: 200).

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) emphasized this in the hadith: “Take your rituals from me,” guiding his companions and believers to follow his steps in performing Hajj and Umrah. This begins with assuming Ihram for Umrah at the Miqat, then performing Tawaf around the Kaaba, Sa’i between Safa and Marwah, and then shaving or cutting the hair.

As for Hajj, it involves assuming Ihram from the Miqat, or from Mecca if one is already there, proceeding to Mina, then to Arafat, then to Muzdalifah, and back to Mina again, followed by Tawaf and Sa’i to complete the Hajj rituals. Scholars have authored comprehensive works on the rituals of Hajj, including Ibn Taymiyyah’s book “The Rituals of Hajj,” which delves into the detailed issues pilgrims often need to address as they progress through the stages of Hajj.

The Virtues of Hajj

Numerous hadiths emphasize the importance of Hajj in Islam and the great reward it carries for those who perform it correctly. Some of these virtues include:

  1. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever performs Hajj and does not engage in obscenity or commit sin, will return like the day his mother bore him” (agreed upon). In another narration by Muslim: “Whoever comes to this House (the Kaaba) and does not engage in obscenity or commit sin, will return as free from sin as the day his mother bore him.” This includes both Hajj and Umrah.
  2. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) also reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The performance of Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous Umrah, and the reward for Hajj Mabrur (the one accepted by Allah) is nothing but Paradise” (agreed upon). Hajj Mabrur is the Hajj that is performed without any show-off or seeking fame, free from sin, and which is performed according to the prescribed manner, meeting all its conditions. It is the accepted Hajj, and one of its signs is that the pilgrim returns better than he was and does not revert to sin. The term “Mabrur” is derived from “Birr,” meaning piety.
  3. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to Amr ibn Al-As (may Allah be pleased with him): “Did you not know that Islam wipes out what came before it, and that migration wipes out what came before it, and that Hajj wipes out what came before it?” (Sahih Muslim).
  4. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked: “Which deed is best?” He replied: “Faith in Allah and His Messenger.” He was asked: “Then what?” He said: “Jihad in the way of Allah.” He was asked: “Then what?” He said: “A Hajj Mabrur” (Sahih Bukhari).
  5. Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Follow up Hajj and Umrah, for they remove poverty and sin as the bellows removes impurity from iron, gold, and silver, and the reward for Hajj Mabrur is nothing but Paradise” (Tirmidhi with a sound chain).
  6. Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, is there jihad for women?’ He said: ‘Yes, there is jihad upon them in which there is no fighting: Hajj and Umrah'” (Ibn Majah and Ahmad with a sound chain), and according to another version by Nasa’i: “…but the best and most beautiful of jihad is Hajj Mabrur.”

There are other virtues of Hajj that are only realized by those who perform it sincerely for Allah, following the guidance of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). These two conditions are essential for the acceptance of any act of worship.

When Was Hajj Instituted?

Hajj was prescribed in the latter part of the ninth year of the Hijrah. The verse that made it obligatory is: “And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House” (Al-Imran: 97). This surah was revealed during the Year of Delegations in the latter part of the ninth year, as per the majority of scholars. The Prophet (peace be upon him) delayed performing Hajj to the tenth year due to the revelation of the verse after the time had passed. Thus, his Hajj after migration was only one, performed in the tenth year, as narrated by Ahmad and Muslim.

Conditions for the Obligation of Hajj

Hajj and Umrah become obligatory under five conditions:

  1. Islam: As per the verse: “Indeed, the polytheists are unclean, so let them not approach the Sacred Mosque after this, their [final] year” (Al-Tawbah: 28). Hajj and Umrah are not valid from non-Muslims, and it is inconceivable that what is invalid should be obligatory.
  2. Sanity: Hajj and Umrah are not obligatory for the insane, similar to other acts of worship, until they regain sanity. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The pen is lifted from three: from the insane until he regains sanity, from the sleeper until he wakes, and from the child until he reaches puberty” (Abu Dawud and others with a sound chain).
  3. Puberty: Hajj is not obligatory for a child until he reaches puberty, though if a child performs Hajj, it is valid but does not fulfill the obligatory Hajj. Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that a woman lifted a child to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: “Is there Hajj for this one?” He said: “Yes, and you will have a reward” (Sahih Muslim).
  4. Freedom: Hajj is not obligatory for a slave, though if a slave performs Hajj, it is valid but does not fulfill the obligatory Hajj. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said in a hadith by Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them): “Any slave who performs Hajj and then is freed must perform another Hajj” (Shafi’i and others with a sound chain).
  5. Ability: Hajj is obligatory for those who have the means to undertake it, as stated explicitly in the Quran, the widespread Sunnah, and the consensus of Muslims. However, if a person who lacks the means performs Hajj, it is valid.

Condition for Women’s Hajj

There is a specific condition for women: having a Mahram (a male relative she cannot marry). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “A man should not be alone with a woman except in the presence of a Mahram, and a woman should not travel except with a Mahram.” A man stood up and said: “O Messenger of Allah, my wife has gone out for Hajj, and I have enlisted in such-and-such battle.” He said: “Go and perform Hajj with your wife” (agreed upon).

Thus, a woman is not obliged to travel for Hajj unless accompanied by her husband or a Mahram. However, if she performs Hajj without a Mahram, her Hajj is valid but she commits a sin for traveling without a Mahram.

Anyone meeting the conditions for Hajj must perform it immediately and cannot delay

What to Do Before Going for Hajj

There are a set of religious etiquettes that every Muslim intending to travel to Mecca for Hajj should follow. These etiquettes are recommended and from the Sunnah, and are not exclusive to pilgrims but apply to all travelers. Scholars such as Al-Ghazali and An-Nawawi have mentioned these general etiquettes, which can be summarized as follows:

  1. Consultation: It is recommended to consult someone trusted for their religiousness, experience, and knowledge about the pilgrimage. The advisor should provide sincere advice as they are entrusted and the religion is based on sincere advice.
  2. Istikhara (Seeking Guidance from Allah): When deciding on performing Hajj or any other matter, one should perform the Istikhara prayer, which involves praying two non-obligatory rak’ahs, then saying the following supplication: “O Allah, I seek Your guidance (in making a choice) by virtue of Your knowledge, and I seek ability by virtue of Your power, and I ask You of Your great bounty. You have power, I have none. And You know, I know not. You are the Knower of hidden things. O Allah, if in Your knowledge this matter (mention the matter) is good for my religion, my livelihood, and my affairs, immediate and future, then ordain it for me, make it easy for me, and bless it for me. And if in Your knowledge it is bad for my religion, my livelihood, and my affairs, immediate and future, then turn it away from me, and turn me away from it, and ordain for me the good wherever it may be and make me pleased with it.” It is recommended to read Surah Al-Kafirun in the first rak’ah and Surah Al-Ikhlas in the second. After performing Istikhara, one should proceed with what their heart feels at ease with.
  3. Repentance and Settling Debts: One should repent from all sins, return any wronged property to its owners, settle as many debts as possible, return any deposits, and seek forgiveness from anyone they have wronged.
  4. Writing a Will: It is recommended to write a will specifying what is owed to and by the person, as life and death are in the hands of Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “It is not right for a Muslim who has property to bequeath to sleep for two nights without having his will written and kept ready with him.”
  5. Pleasing Parents and Spouse: One should strive to please their parents and all those they must honor. A woman should seek her husband’s approval and it is recommended for the husband to accompany his wife for Hajj.
  6. Ensuring Halal Funds: One must ensure that the money used for Hajj is from lawful (halal) sources, free from any doubtful matters.
  7. Increasing Good Provisions and Spending: It is recommended to take abundant good provisions and money to help those in need.
  8. Avoiding Haggling in Purchases: It is recommended to avoid disputes in purchases for Hajj and anything that brings one closer to Allah.
  9. Traveling with a Separate Provision: It is recommended to have one’s own provision, mount, and expenses to avoid disputes.
  10. Securing a Strong and Comfortable Mount: It is recommended to have a strong and comfortable mount as riding is preferred over walking during Hajj.
  11. Learning the Rites of Hajj: One must learn the rites of Hajj, and it is recommended to carry a clear guidebook on Hajj rites and to continually review it.
  12. Traveling with a Good Companion: It is advisable to find a companion who is righteous, desirous of good, and averse to evil.
  13. Being Devoted to Worship and Sincerity: It is recommended to devote oneself to worship and avoid trade, which can distract the heart, while intending actions solely for Allah.
  14. Bidding Farewell: It is recommended to bid farewell to family, neighbors, and friends, and to seek their forgiveness.
  15. Supplication When Leaving the House: Upon leaving the house, one should say: “O Allah, I seek refuge in You from leading others astray or being led astray, from slipping or causing others to slip, from wronging others or being wronged, and from behaving foolishly or being treated foolishly.”
  16. Charity When Departing: It is recommended to give charity when leaving, and before undertaking any important task.
  17. Supplication When Mounting: Upon mounting the riding animal, one should say: “In the name of Allah. Praise be to Allah. Glory be to Him who has subjected this to us, and we could never have it (by our efforts). And to our Lord, we shall return.” Then say: “Praise be to Allah” three times, “Allah is the Greatest” three times, and then: “Glory be to You, O Allah. I have wronged myself, so forgive me, for no one forgives sins except You.”
  18. Being Frugal and Gentle During Travel: One should avoid excessive eating, adornment, luxury, and indulgence in various foods, as pilgrims are expected to be humble and austere.
  19. Avoiding Dogs and Bells: It is disliked to travel with dogs or bells because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The angels do not accompany a caravan in which there is a dog or a bell.”
  20. Takbeer and Tasbeeh: It is Sunnah to say “Allahu Akbar” when ascending and “SubhanAllah” when descending.
  21. Supplication Upon Seeing a Town: Upon approaching a town or village, one should say: “O Allah, I ask You for its goodness, the goodness of its people, and the goodness it contains. I seek refuge in You from its evil, the evil of its people, and the evil it contains.”
  22. Supplication Upon Stopping: When stopping for rest, one should say: “I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allah from the evil of what He has created.”
  23. Supplication at Night: When night falls, one should say: “O earth, my Lord and your Lord is Allah. I seek refuge in Allah from your evil, the evil of what is in you, the evil of what is on you, and the evil of what walks upon you. I seek refuge in Allah from lions, snakes, scorpions, and from the evil of inhabitants of the land and their offspring.”
  24. Supplication When Afraid: If one fears people or anything else, they should say: “O Allah, we place You before them, and we seek refuge in You from their evil.”

It is recommended to frequently recite the supplication for relief from distress here and in all situations, which is:

“لا إله إلا الله العظيم الحليم، لا إله إلا الله رب العرش العظيم، لا إله إلا الله رب السموات ورب الأرض، ورب العرش الكريم”

(“There is no deity except Allah, the Great, the Forbearing. There is no deity except Allah, Lord of the Mighty Throne. There is no deity except Allah, Lord of the heavens and Lord of the earth, and Lord of the Noble Throne.”)

This supplication is agreed upon (Muttafaqun ‘alayh).

Adhering to these etiquettes helps the pilgrim prepare spiritually and physically for the journey of Hajj, making them more devoted and ready to perform the rituals with tranquility and peace.

Complete Guide to Performing Hajj

Islamic scholars have categorized the various acts of Hajj into pillars and obligations according to the following details:

What are the Pillars of Hajj ?

The pillars of Hajj are actions that must be performed and cannot be omitted. The validity of Hajj depends on them, and omitting any of them invalidates the Hajj. Examples include the state of Ihram and standing at Arafat.

The pillars of Hajj, in general, are five, with scholars agreeing on two and differing on the other three.

The Agreed-Upon Pillars:

  1. Standing at Arafat (Wuquf at Arafat): This is an essential pillar of Hajj that cannot be omitted.
  2. Tawaf al-Ifadah: This is the circumambulation of the Kaaba after returning from Mina and is crucial for the completion of Hajj.

The Hanafi school of thought considers only these two as pillars, while other schools add more.

The Disputed Pillars:

  1. Ihram: Entering the state of consecration for Hajj.
  2. Sa’i: The ritual walking between the hills of Safa and Marwah.
  3. Shaving or Cutting the Hair:

The Maliki and Hanbali schools add Ihram and Sa’i to the agreed-upon pillars, making a total of four pillars. The Shafi’i school adds shaving or cutting the hair, making it five pillars in total.

What are the Obligations of Hajj?

The obligations of Hajj are actions that must be performed but do not affect the validity of Hajj if omitted, though one incurs sin unless there is a legitimate excuse, and compensation is required for omissions.

Types of Obligations:

Obligations are divided into primary obligations and secondary obligations.

Primary Obligations:

  1. Spending the Night at Muzdalifah: Scholars agree that staying overnight at Muzdalifah is an obligation, not a pillar.
  2. Stoning the Jamarat: Throwing stones at the three pillars is obligatory, with seven pebbles for each pillar.
  3. Shaving or Cutting the Hair: While the majority of scholars agree it is obligatory, it is viewed as a pillar by some schools.
  4. Spending the Nights at Mina during the Days of Tashreeq: Most scholars consider it obligatory, requiring a sacrificial offering for those who omit it without a valid excuse. Hanafis view it as a Sunnah.
  5. Farewell Tawaf (Tawaf al-Wada): This is considered obligatory by the majority, although Malikis view it as a Sunnah.

Secondary Obligations:

These obligations must be performed as part of another act of Hajj.

Obligations of Ihram:

  • Entering Ihram from the designated Miqat (entry point).
  • Reciting the Talbiyah: It is obligatory according to Malikis, a condition for Ihram according to Hanafis, and a Sunnah according to the majority.
  • Avoiding the prohibitions of Ihram.

Obligations of Standing at Arafat:

Extending the standing time to after sunset, with variations in requirements among schools.

Obligations of Tawaf:

  • Hanafis view the last three circuits of Tawaf as obligatory, while the majority see them as a pillar.
  • Hanafis also consider the following obligatory, though others see them as conditions for valid Tawaf:
  • Purity from major and minor impurities.
  • Covering the Awrah (private parts).
  • Starting Tawaf from the Black Stone.
  • Keeping the Kaaba on the left.
  • Including the area known as Hijr Ismail within Tawaf.
  • Hanafis see walking for those able, praying two Rak’ahs after Tawaf, and performing Tawaf during the days of sacrifice as obligatory, while others see them as Sunnah.

Obligations of Sa’i

  1. Walking for Those Who Can: According to the Hanafi school, it is obligatory for those who are able to walk. The majority of scholars (Jumhur) consider it a Sunnah.
  2. Completing Seven Circuits: The Hanafis consider completing the seven circuits of Sa’i, after the first four, obligatory. For the majority, all seven circuits are considered a pillar of Hajj.

Obligations of Standing at Muzdalifah

  1. Combining Maghrib and Isha Prayers: The Hanafis require that Maghrib and Isha prayers be combined and delayed until Muzdalifah. The majority of scholars consider this a Sunnah.

Obligations of Stoning (Rami al-Jamarat)

  1. Timeliness of Stoning: The Hanafis require that the stoning on each day must not be delayed until the next day. The Malikis permit stoning until Maghrib (sunset).

Obligations of Sacrificial Slaughter (Dhibh al-Hadi)

  1. Timing of Slaughter: The sacrifice must be performed during the Days of Nahr (the 10th, 11th, and 12th of Dhul-Hijjah).
  2. Location of Slaughter: The slaughter must take place within the Haram area.

Obligations of Shaving or Shortening Hair (Halaq or Taqsir)

  1. Timing: According to the Hanafis and Malikis, shaving or shortening the hair must be done during the Days of Nahr.
  2. Location: The Hanafis require that the shaving or shortening of the hair be done within the Haram area.

Order of Rituals on the Day of Nahr (10th Dhul-Hijjah)

On the Day of Nahr in Mina, the pilgrim performs three acts in the following order:

  1. Stoning Jamrat al-Aqabah.
  2. Sacrificing the Animal (for those performing Qiran or Tamattu’).
  3. Shaving or Shortening the Hair.

After these, the pilgrim travels to Mecca to perform Tawaf al-Ifadah (also known as Tawaf al-Ziyarah).

Basis for this Order

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) demonstrated this sequence. Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) performed the stoning at Jamrat al-Aqabah on the Day of Nahr, then returned to his place in Mina, slaughtered his sacrificial animal, called the barber, and had his head shaved starting from the right side, distributing hair among his companions. Then he shaved the left side. In the narration of Jabir, it is mentioned that the Prophet then rode to the Kaaba to perform Tawaf (Narrated by Muslim).

Opinions on the Sequence of Acts on the Day of Nahr

Scholars have differing opinions on the necessity of maintaining this sequence:

  • Hanafis, Malikis, and a narration from Imam Ahmad: They consider maintaining the order of acts on the Day of Nahr obligatory, drawing on the hadith mentioned above.
  • According to the second opinion, the Shafi’i school, the companions of Abu Hanifa, and a narration from Imam Ahmad hold that the sequence of acts on the Day of Nahr is Sunnah (recommended) rather than obligatory. They base their opinion on the hadith of Abdullah ibn Amr, which states:

“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stood in the Farewell Pilgrimage, and people began asking him questions. A man said, ‘I did not realize and shaved before slaughtering.’ The Prophet said, ‘Slaughter, and there is no harm.’ Another man said, ‘I did not realize and slaughtered before stoning.’ The Prophet said, ‘Stone, and there is no harm.’ The Prophet was not asked about anything that was done before or after its due time, except that he said, ‘Do it, and there is no harm.'” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim).

They argue that this hadith indicates the recommended nature of the sequence rather than its obligatory status. The Prophet’s consistent response of “there is no harm” to deviations in the order implies that maintaining the sequence is a Sunnah, not a requirement.

Prohibitions of Hajj

  1. Al-Rafath: This refers to engaging in sexual relations, both in speech and action, during the sacred months, as stated by Allah: “Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations [i.e., marriage], no disobedience, nor disputing during Hajj.” (Quran 2:197).
  2. Al-Fusuq: This term encompasses all forms of disobedience, not limited to merely verbal abuse.
  3. Al-Jidal: This refers to quarreling or disputing over matters related to Hajj.

Among these prohibitions, only engaging in sexual relations (al-Rafath) invalidates the Hajj. This is why it is distinguished from al-Fusuq. As for other prohibitions, such as wearing perfume or applying scents, although they are sinful acts, they do not invalidate the Hajj unanimously.

Expiation and Atonement

It is permissible for the pilgrim to pay the fidyah (compensation) and kaffarah (expiation) if they need to perform any of the prohibited acts before or after doing them. It is also permissible for them to slaughter the sacrificial animal before reaching Mecca if there is a necessity. As for fasting the three consecutive or separate days, the pilgrim may choose the method that suits them. If they have another valid excuse preventing them from fasting on the specified days, they can delay it; otherwise, they should hasten to observe it.

Steps to Perform Hajj

The pilgrimage rituals are performed by following the following steps in detail, following the actions of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, as follows:

Ihram for Hajj or Umrah

Entering the State of Ihram for Hajj or Umrah:

The pilgrim intending to perform Hajj or Umrah begins by entering the state of Ihram upon reaching the designated boundary known as Miqat.

“Miqat” refers to specific locations designated for pilgrims to enter the state of Ihram before performing the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimage in Islam. Here are the main Miqat locations:

  1. Dhul-Hulaifah (Abyar Ali): This is the Miqat for those coming from Medina. It is located about 9 kilometers from Medina and about 450 kilometers from Mecca.
  2. Juhfah: This Miqat is for pilgrims coming from the direction of the Levant (Syria, Jordan, Palestine, and Lebanon) and Egypt. It is located near Rabigh, approximately 183 kilometers to the northwest of Mecca.
  3. Qarn al-Manazil (As-Sail al-Kabir): This Miqat is for those coming from Najd (the central region of Saudi Arabia, including Riyadh) and the Eastern parts of the Arabian Peninsula. It is located about 75 kilometers to the east of Mecca.
  4. Yalamlam: This Miqat is for those coming from Yemen and the southern regions. It is located approximately 92 kilometers to the southwest of Mecca.
  5. Dhat Irq: This Miqat is for pilgrims coming from the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula, including Iraq. It is located about 94 kilometers to the northeast of Mecca.

These Miqat points are crucial as they mark where pilgrims must don the Ihram, the sacred state of purity and equality, and begin their spiritual journey towards Mecca.

Upon reaching the Miqat during the months of Hajj, the pilgrim has the option to choose between three types of Hajj: Tamattu’ (performing Umrah and Hajj separately with a break in between), Ifrad (performing Hajj only), or Qiran (combining Umrah and Hajj without a break).

If choosing Tamattu’, the pilgrim enters Ihram for Umrah. After completing Umrah, they exit Ihram and then enter Ihram again for Hajj. This is known as Tamattu’.

If choosing Qiran, the pilgrim enters Ihram for Umrah and Hajj simultaneously without exiting Ihram in between.

If choosing Ifrad, the pilgrim enters Ihram for Hajj only.

Niyyah (Intention) for Ihram

Intention (Niyyah) for Ihram:

The pilgrim makes the intention silently in their heart without verbalizing it.

If performing Tamattu’, the pilgrim intends to perform Umrah and Hajj.

If performing Qiran, the pilgrim intends to perform Umrah and Hajj simultaneously.

If performing Ifrad, the pilgrim intends to perform Hajj only.

It is not obligatory to articulate the intention verbally, but the Ihram is established when the pilgrim sets out with the intention of performing it. The pilgrim does not need to speak before performing the Talbiyah. If they arrive and perform the rituals as people usually do, intending to perform the rites without specifying them verbally or in their heart as Tamattu’, Ifrad, or Qiran, their Hajj is valid, and they have performed one of the three types of Hajj.

Sunan of Ihram

  1. Ihram Following a Prayer:
    • It is recommended to enter Ihram after performing a prayer, whether it is a obligatory prayer or a voluntary one if it is the time for it. There are two scholarly opinions:
      • One opinion suggests performing Ihram after any prayer.
      • The other opinion is that if one performs an obligatory prayer, they enter Ihram after it, otherwise, there is no specific prayer for Ihram. The latter opinion is more favored.
  2. Ghusl (Ritual Bath) for Ihram:
    • It is recommended to perform Ghusl for Ihram, even for women who are menstruating or experiencing postnatal bleeding.
  3. Personal Hygiene:
    • If necessary, one should trim their nails, pluck armpit hair, shave pubic hair, and similar acts of cleanliness.
  4. Ihram Garments:
    • It is recommended to wear two clean garments for Ihram. If they are white, that is better. However, it is permissible to wear any clean garments made of cotton, linen, or wool. The Sunnah is to wear an Izar (waist cloth) and a Rida (upper garment).
    • It is preferable to wear sandals. If sandals are not available, one can wear shoes without needing to cut them below the ankles.

Prohibited Acts in Ihram

  1. Clothing Restrictions:
    • The Prophet Muhammad () prohibited those in Ihram from wearing shirts, hooded garments, pants, shoes, and turbans.
    • The head should not be covered with any sewn item or anything else. This includes turbans, caps, or hats, unless there is a necessity. Even after death, the head of a Muhrim (a person in Ihram) should not be covered.
    • If one enters Ihram wearing a garment like a robe, they must remove it.
  2. Footwear and Fragrance:
    • Wearing footwear similar to shoes, such as boots or socks, is not allowed.
    • Applying perfume to the body or clothes, or intentionally smelling perfume, is prohibited after entering Ihram.
  3. Nail and Hair Care:
    • It is prohibited to cut nails or hair after entering Ihram.
  4. Marriage and Sexual Activities:
    • One cannot marry, officiate a marriage, or engage in courtship while in Ihram.
    • Hunting wild game is prohibited. The Muhrim cannot own or trade wild game in any manner.
  5. Sexual Intercourse:
    • Sexual intercourse and its precursors, such as kissing, touching with desire, or looking with desire, are forbidden. Engaging in such acts invalidates the Hajj.
  6. Women in Ihram:
    • A woman in Ihram is considered a modest figure; thus, she must wear clothes that cover her properly. She can use a shelter like a canopy but is prohibited from wearing a Niqab (face veil) or gloves. If she covers her face with something that does not touch it, it is permissible. If it does touch, it is still considered permissible by the correct view.
  7. Exceptions and Expiation:
    • In cases of necessity (e.g., cold weather or illness), wearing prohibited items is allowed, but the person must offer expiation (fidya). The expiation can be:
      • Fasting for three days.
      • Sacrificing a sheep.
      • Feeding six needy people, each receiving half a Sa’ (about 2 kilograms) of dates or barley, or a Mudd (about 0.5 kilograms) of wheat.

The Talbiyah of the Prophet ()

  • When entering Ihram, the Prophet () recited:
    • “Labbayk Allahumma labbayk, labbayk la sharika laka labbayk, inna al-hamda wa’n-ni‘mata laka wa’l-mulk, la sharika lak.”
    • Translation: “Here I am, O Allah, here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Surely all praise, grace, and sovereignty belong to You. You have no partner.”
  • The Talbiyah is recited continuously from the time of Ihram, regardless of whether one is riding or not. It is recommended to repeat it frequently, especially after changes in conditions, such as after prayers, when ascending a hill, descending a valley, hearing another pilgrim’s Talbiyah, at the onset of night or day, and when groups meet. After the Talbiyah, it is also good to make supplications, send blessings on the Prophet (), seek Allah’s pleasure and paradise, and seek His mercy from His wrath and hellfire.

Entering Mecca

  • Upon arriving in Mecca, one may enter from any direction, but it is preferable to enter facing the Kaaba, following the Prophet’s () example.

Entering the Sacred Mosque

  • When the Prophet () saw the Kaaba, he raised his hands and said:
    • “O Allah, increase this House in honor, magnification, nobility, and awe, and increase those who honor and magnify it from among those who perform Hajj or Umrah in honor, magnification, nobility, and piety.”
  • The Prophet () began Tawaf (circumambulation) immediately after entering the mosque, without performing any prayer beforehand. The greeting of the Sacred Mosque is Tawaf itself. Upon entering, he started Tawaf at the Black Stone, facing it, touching it, and kissing it if possible without harming others. If unable to touch and kiss it, one should touch it and kiss their hand, or simply point to it.


  • The pilgrim begins Tawaf with the Kaaba on their left side, making seven circuits. They should not pass through the Hijr (also known as Hatim), as most of it is part of the Kaaba. Allah commanded circumambulation around the Kaaba, not through it.
  1. Ramal and Idtiba’ during the first three rounds of Tawaf:
    • It is recommended for the pilgrim to perform Ramal in the first three rounds of Tawaf. Ramal involves walking briskly with short steps, like jogging. If the area near the Kaaba is too crowded, it is preferable to move to the outer part of the Tawaf area to perform Ramal rather than staying close to the Kaaba without performing it. However, if one can stay close to the Kaaba while performing the Sunnah, it is better.
    • Idtiba’ is also recommended during this Tawaf. Idtiba’ involves exposing the right shoulder by placing the middle of the upper garment (Rida) under the right armpit and throwing both ends over the left shoulder.
    • If Ramal and Idtiba’ are omitted, there is no penalty.
  2. Engaging in Dhikr and Du’a during Tawaf:
    • It is recommended to remember Allah (Dhikr) and supplicate (Du’a) during Tawaf. Reciting the Quran quietly is also permissible.
    • A woman in a state of menstruation (Hayd) should not perform Tawaf until she is pure (i.e., her menstrual period has ended). This is agreed upon by all scholars. If a woman arrives in a state of menstruation, she should not perform Tawaf but can stand at Arafat and perform all other rituals except for Tawaf. If it is possible for her to wait until she becomes pure, she should do so. However, if she must perform Tawaf while still menstruating, her Tawaf is valid according to the correct opinion of the scholars.
  3. Praying two Rak’ahs after Tawaf:
    • After completing Tawaf, the pilgrim prays two Rak’ahs of Tawaf. It is preferable to pray them near the Maqam Ibrahim (Station of Abraham) if possible. It is recommended to recite Surah Al-Kafirun (Chapter 109) in the first Rak’ah and Surah Al-Ikhlas (Chapter 112) in the second Rak’ah.
    • After praying, it is recommended to touch the Black Stone (Hajar Al-Aswad) before proceeding to perform Sa’i (walking) between Safa and Marwah. If this is delayed until after Tawaf Al-Ifadah (main Tawaf performed during Hajj), it is still permissible.
  4. Performing Sa’i between Safa and Marwah:
    • When performing Sa’i, the pilgrim starts from the Safa gate, as the Prophet did. The pilgrim climbs up Safa, recites the relevant supplications, and then walks to Marwah, completing seven rounds, starting at Safa and ending at Marwah.
    • It is recommended to walk briskly in the valley area between the two green markers. However, if one does not walk briskly in this area, it is still valid according to the consensus of scholars, and there is no penalty.
    • After completing Sa’i, the pilgrim exits the state of Ihram, as the Prophet instructed his companions to do after performing Sa’i, except for those who had brought a sacrificial animal (Hady). The latter should not exit Ihram until they slaughter their animal. Those performing Ifrad (Hajj alone) or Qiran (Hajj and Umrah together) do not exit Ihram until the Day of Sacrifice (Yawm An-Nahr).

Shortening or Shaving the Hair

  • It is recommended for the pilgrim to shorten their hair, leaving the shaving for Hajj. The Prophet instructed his companions to do so.
  • Once out of Ihram, the prohibitions related to Ihram are lifted.

Day of Tarwiyah (8th of Dhul-Hijjah)

  • When the rituals of Hajj commence, the pilgrim enters the state of Ihram and starts their journey for Hajj, repeating what they did at the Miqat.
  • The pilgrim can enter Ihram either from Mecca or from outside Mecca. The Sunnah is to spend the night in Mina, where the pilgrim prays Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, Isha, and Fajr. They do not leave Mina until after sunrise, as the Prophet did.
Pilgrims at Minna

Standing at Arafat

  • One of the essential rituals of Hajj is the journey from Mina to Namira on the Day of Arafah (9th of Dhul-Hijjah). Pilgrims stay there until midday, as the Prophet did.
  • They then move to the valley of Arafat, the place where the Prophet prayed Dhuhr and Asr together and delivered his sermon. This location is within the boundaries of Arafat in the area known as Batn Arnah.
  • The pilgrim prays Dhuhr and Asr in a shortened and combined manner, following the example of the Prophet . All pilgrims, including the residents of Mecca and others, pray behind the Imam in the same manner.
  • Pilgrims stand at Arafat until sunset, not leaving until after sunset. During this time, pilgrims engage in personal supplications, takbir, tahlil, and remembrance of Allah until sunset. The Prophet did not specify particular supplications or remembrances for Arafat.

Departure from Arafat

One of the rituals of Hajj is to depart from Arafat. When the pilgrim leaves Arafat, they head towards the sacred site of Muzdalifah. The Maghrib prayer is delayed and combined with the Isha prayer in Muzdalifah. The pilgrim should avoid the crowds and, if they find an open space, they should hasten.

Overnight in Muzdalifah

Upon reaching Muzdalifah, the pilgrim performs the combined Maghrib and Isha prayers and spends the night there. Muzdalifah is referred to entirely as Al-Mash’ar Al-Haram (the Sacred Monument).

The Day of Sacrifice (Eid Day)

Before sunrise, the pilgrim departs from Muzdalifah to Mina. Upon arrival at Mina, the pilgrim throws seven pebbles at Jamrat Al-Aqaba, raising their hand while doing so. This is the last of the three Jamarat from the direction of Mina and the closest to Mecca, known as the Major Jamarat. On the Day of Sacrifice, this is the only Jamarat that is stoned.

It is recommended to say “Allahu Akbar” with each throw and optionally add: “O Allah, make this Hajj acceptable, this effort praiseworthy, and my sins forgiven.”

The pilgrim continues to recite the Talbiyah while moving from one ritual site to another, such as from Arafat to Muzdalifah, until they begin throwing pebbles at Jamrat Al-Aqaba. At this point, the Talbiyah is stopped, signifying the beginning of partial release from Ihram.

After stoning Jamrat Al-Aqaba, the pilgrim sacrifices their animal if they have one. Then they shave or cut their hair, with shaving being preferable. By doing this, the pilgrim achieves the first stage of release from Ihram according to the consensus of Muslims. They can now wear normal clothes, trim their nails, and, according to the correct opinion, apply perfume, get married, and hunt. The only restriction that remains is sexual intercourse.

Tawaf Al-Ifadah

Following this, the pilgrim proceeds to Mecca to perform Tawaf Al-Ifadah. If they can perform this on the Day of Sacrifice, they should; otherwise, it can be done during the days of Tashreeq.

Sa’i for Hajj

The pilgrim then performs the Sa’i for Hajj. The single Sa’i suffices for both the individual performing Hajj (mufrid) and the one performing Hajj with Qiran. Scholars have different opinions regarding the pilgrim performing Tamattu’. However, the more accurate view is that the first Sa’i performed during Umrah before coming out of Ihram is sufficient.

Overnight in Mina and Stoning the Jamarat during the Days of Tashreeq

The pilgrim then returns to Mina and spends the nights there, stoning the three Jamarat each day after midday. The stoning begins with the smallest Jamarat, which is nearest to Masjid Al-Khaif. The pilgrim is recommended to walk to it and stone it with seven pebbles. This is one of the rituals of Hajj after the Day of Sacrifice.

Sunnah Acts of Stoning

  • It is recommended to say “Allahu Akbar” with each pebble throw and optionally add, “O Allah, make this Hajj acceptable, this effort praiseworthy, and my sins forgiven.”
  • After stoning each Jamarat, it is recommended to step forward a little to a spot where the pebbles do not hit them and supplicate to Allah, facing the Qibla and raising their hands, for the duration it takes to recite Surah Al-Baqarah.
  • The pilgrim then moves to the second Jamarat, stoning it in the same manner, moving to the left, and supplicating as before.
  • Finally, the pilgrim stones the third Jamarat, Jamrat Al-Aqaba, with seven pebbles but does not stop to supplicate.

The pilgrim repeats this process on the second day of Mina as they did on the first day. If desired, they may hasten and complete their stoning on the second day, leaving before sunset. This is based on the verse: “But whosoever hastens to leave in two days, there is no sin on him, and whosoever stays on, there is no sin on him, for him who fears Allah.” (Surah Al-Baqarah: 203). If sunset arrives while they are still in Mina, they stay and stone with the rest on the third day.

It is also recommended that the pilgrim not neglect praying at Masjid Al-Khaif in Mina with the congregation. The Prophet , Abu Bakr, and Umar used to lead people in shortened prayers without combining them in Mina.

Farewell Tawaf (Tawaf Al-Wada’)

The Final Ritual of Hajj: Before leaving Mecca, the pilgrim performs the Farewell Tawaf (Tawaf Al-Wada’), making this their last act at the Sacred House.

What to Say Upon Completing the Hajj Rituals

When the pilgrim intends to leave Mecca and return to their homeland after completing the Hajj rituals, they perform the Farewell Tawaf. During this Tawaf, the pilgrim should engage in much supplication, seeking the best of this world and the Hereafter, following Allah’s command in the Quran:

“And when you have completed your rituals, remember Allah like your [previous] remembrance of your fathers or with [much] greater remembrance. And among the people is he who says, ‘Our Lord, give us in this world,’ and he will have in the Hereafter no share. But among them is he who says, ‘Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.'” (Al-Baqarah: 200-201)

It is recommended to use the comprehensive supplication taught by the Prophet . Anas reported that the Prophet frequently supplicated:

“O Allah, our Lord, give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the punishment of the Fire.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Additionally, Abdullah ibn Al-Sa’ib reported that he heard the Prophet say between the Yemeni Corner and the Black Stone:

“Our Lord, give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” (Reported by Ahmad and Abu Dawood with a sound chain of transmission)

Additional Supplications by Scholars

Some scholars have recommended additional supplications. Imam Al-Nawawi mentioned:

“Then one should go to the Multazam and cling to it, saying: ‘O Allah, this is Your House, and I am Your servant, the son of Your servant, the son of Your maidservant. You have carried me on what You have subjected to me of Your creation, until You brought me to Your land, and by Your grace You have assisted me in performing Your rituals. If You are pleased with me, then increase Your pleasure with me. Otherwise, from now on, before my house becomes distant from Your House, I seek Your permission to depart without replacing You or Your House, not seeking anyone but You or Your House.

O Allah, accompany me with wellness in my body and protection in my religion, and improve my return, and grant me Your obedience as long as I live, and gather for me the best of this world and the Hereafter. Verily, You are able to do all things.'”

These supplications and acts of worship help the pilgrim to leave Mecca with a heart full of gratitude, hope, and a connection to the divine blessings experienced during Hajj.