Brief Guide to Umrah & Hajj

How to Perform the Rituals of Hajj and ‘Umrah
Hajj is one of the best forms of worship and is one of the most sublime deeds because it is one of the pillars of Islam that Allah sent Muhammad (peace be upon him) with. A muslim's religion is incomplete without it.
Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and was made obligatory in the tenth, ninth or sixth year, according to different reports [Ibn Kathir, al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 5/109]. In the tenth year the Prophet (peace be upon him) announced that he intended to perform hajj; this was the only time that he performed hajj after the Hijrah to Medina. The Muslims came from all over the Arabian Peninsula to perform hajj with him. He left Medina five days before the end of Dhul-Qa'dah [Ibn Hajar, Fath al Bari, 8/104; Ibn Ishaq, with a Hasan Isnad (Sirat ibn Hisham, 4/272). Ibn Kathir, al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 5/111. This is the same as Ibn Ishaq's report. He said, "Its Isnad is Jayyid."]. When he halted in Arafat, the following ayah was revealed to him:
This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. [The Holy Quran 5:3]

A form of worship is only acceptable when the following is true.
One devotes it to Allah alone, with a desire for the Hereafter.
It cannot be done with the intention of being seen among men or for worldly gain.
One follows the Prophet's example, in words deeds. This cannot accomplished except knowledge of the Sunnah.

Forms of Pilgrimage
There are three forms of Hajj:


A pilgrim wears Ihram for Umrah only during the months of Hajj, which means when he reaches Mecca, he makes Tawaf and Sa'i for ‘Umrah. He then shaves or clips his hair. On the day of Tarwiyah, which is the eighth of Dhul-Hijjah, he puts on his Ihram for Hajj only and carries out all of its requirements.

A pilgrim wears Ihram for Hajj only. When he reaches Mecca, he performs Tawaf for his arrival and Sa'i for Hajj. He doesn't shave or clip his hair as he doesn't disengage from Ihram. Instead, he remains in Ihram till after he stones Jamrat Al-'Aqabah on the Eid day. It is permissible for him to postpone his Sa'i for Hajj until after his Tawaf for Hajj.

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 Ifrad are the same as those on one performing Qiran, except that the latter must slaughter whereas the former is not obligated to do so. The best of the three forms is Tamattu'. It is the form that the Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged his followers to perform. Even if a pilgrim makes intentions to perform Qiran or Ifrad he is allowed to change his intentions to Tamattu'; he can do this even after he has performed Tawaf and Sa'i.
When the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) performed Tawaf and Sa'i during the year of the Farewell Hajj with his companions, he ordered all those who hadn't brought sacrificial animals to change their intentions for Hajj to intentions for ‘Umrah, cut their hair, and disengage from Ihram till Hajj. He said, "If I hadn't brought the sacrificial animal, I'd have done what I've ordered you to do."

The ‘Umrah
If a pilgrim wishes to be ritually pure for ‘Umrah, he should shed his clothing and bathe as he would after sexual defilement, if convenient. He should perfume his head and beard with the best oil he can find. There is no harm in what remains of it after Ihram.

Bathing for Ihram is Sunnah for both men and women, including menstruating women and those experiencing postnatal bleeding. After bathing and preparing himself, a. pilgrim, other than those menstruating or experiencing postnatal bleeding, prays the obligatory prayer, if it is time. Otherwise, he makes his intention by praying the two Sunnah Rak'ah which are made each time Wudu' is performed.

When he finishes his prayer he should say: "Here I am for ‘Umrah, here I am, Oh Allah, here I am. Here I am. You have no partner. Here I am. Surely all praise, grace and dominion is yours, and you have no partner." [Talbiyah].

A man raises his voice when saying this and a woman says it so that only one beside her may hear her.

One in Ihram should say the Talbiyah as often as possible, especially when times and places change. For example: when descending or ascending during travel or when day or night approach. He should also ask Allah for His pleasure, for Heaven and seek refuge in Allah's mercy from Hellfire.

One should say the Talbiyah during ‘Umrah, starting from the time he puts on his Ihram till he starts Tawaf. During Hajj he should say it starting from the time he puts on his Ihram till he starts to stone Jamrat Al-Aqabah on the Eid day.

When a pilgrim enters the Holy Mosque he puts forth his right foot first and says: "In the name of Allah, may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah. Oh Allah, forgive me my sins and open to me the doors of Your mercy. I seek refuge in Allah the Almighty and in His Eminent Face and in His Eternal Dominion from the accursed Satan."

He approaches the Black Stone, touches it with his right hand and kisses it. If this isn't possible, he should face the Black Stone and point to it.

It is best not to push and shove, causing harm and being harmed by other people.

When touching the Stone, a pilgrim should say the following: "In the name of Allah, Allah is the greatest. Oh, Allah, with faith in you, belief in Your book, loyalty to you, compliance to the way of your Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)."

A pilgrim must walk, keeping the Ka'bah on his left. When he reaches the Ar-Rukn Al-Yamani he should touch, but not kiss it, and say: "Our Lord, grant us good in this life and good in the hereafter and save us from the punishment of the Hell fire. Oh Allah, I beg of You for forgiveness and health in this life and in the Hereafter."

Each time he passes the Black Stone he should say: "Allah is the Greatest."

During the remainder of his Tawaf he may say what he pleases of supplications, mentioning Allah, and recitation of Quran. This is because Tawaf, Sa'i, and Stoning the Jamrah have been devised for the purpose of mentioning Allah.

During this Tawaf it is necessary for a man to do two things:

Al-ldhteba' from the beginning of Tawaf until the end. Al-ldhteba' means placing the middle of one's Rida' under his
right arm and the ends of it over his left shoulder.

When he is finished performing Tawaf, he may return his Rida' to its original state because the time for Idhteba' is
only during Tawaf.

Al-Ramal during the first three circuits. Al-Ramal means speeding up one's pace with small steps. A pilgrim should walk
at a normal pace during his last four circuits.

When he completes seven circuits of Tawaf, he approaches Maqam Ibrahim and recites: 

And take ye the station of Abraham as a place of Prayer. [The Holy Quran 2:125]

He prays two short Rak'ah, as close as conveniently possible, behind Maqam Ibrahim. During the first Rak'at he recites Surah Al-Kafirun [Noble Quran, 109] and during the second one Surah Al-lkhlas [Noble Quran, 112].

When he completes the two Rak'ah he should return to the Black Stone and touch it, if convenient. He goes out to the Mas'a and when he nears As-Safa he recites:

Verily As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the shrines of Allah.[The Holy Quran 2:158]

He ascends As-Safa until he is able to see the Ka'bah. Facing the Ka'bah and raising his hands, he praises Allah and makes any supplications he chooses. The Prophet (peace be upon him) prayed thus: "There is no Deity but Allah alone," three times, supplicating in between.

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

He continues this procedure until he completes seven laps. Going from As-Safa to Al-Marwah is a lap and returning is another lap.

During his Sa'i he may recite what he wills of supplications, recitation of Quran, and mentioning Allah.

In completion of Sa'i he shaves his head. A woman clips her hair the length of a finger tip.

Shaving is preferable, except when Hajj is near and there isn't sufficient time for hair to grow back. In this case it's best to clip so that hair will remain for shaving during Hajj.

With that, ‘Umrah is completed. and a pilgrim is free to dress in other clothing, wear perfume and engage in marital relations, etc

The Hajj

In the forenoon of the eighth day of Dhul-Hijjah, a pilgrim purifies himself once again by bathing as he did before ‘Umrah in the place in which he is staying, if convenient. He puts on his Ihram and says: "Here I am for Hajj. Here I am, oh Allah, here I am. Here I am. You have no partner. Here I am. Surely all praise, grace and dominion is yours, and you have no partners."

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

A pilgrim goes to Mina and there prays Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, Isha' and Fajr, shortening his four unit prayers so as to make them two units each, without combining them.

When the sun rises, he goes to Arafah and there prays Dhuhr and Asr combined at the time of Dhuhr, making each one two units. He remains in Namira Mosque until sunset if possible. He remembers Allah and makes as many supplications as possible while facing the Qiblah.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) prayed thus: "There is no Deity but Allah alone. He has no partner. All dominion and praise are His and He is powerful over all things.

If he grows weary it is permissible for him to engage in beneficial conversation with his companions or reading what he can find of beneficial books, especially those concerning Allah's grace and abundant gifts. This will strengthen his hope in Allah.

He should then return to his supplications and be sure to spend the end of the day deep in supplication because the best of supplication is the supplication of the day of Arafat.

At sunset he goes from Arafah to Muzdalifah and there prays Maghrib, Isha, and Fajr. If he is tired or has little water, it is permissible for him to combine Maghrib and Isha. If he fears that he will not reach Muzdalifah until after midnight, he should pray before he reaches it for it is not permissible to delay prayer until after midnight. He remains there, in Muzdalifah, making supplications and remembering Allah till just before sunrise.

If he is weak and cannot handle the crowd during Ar-Ramy, it is permissible for him to go to Mina at the end of the night to stone the Jamrah before the arrival of the crowd.

Near sunrise, a pilgrim goes from Muzdalifah to Mina. Upon reaching it he does the following:

He throws seven consecutive pebbles at Jamrat Al-Aqabah which is the closest monument to Mecca, saying Greatest,"
   as he: "Allah is the throws each pebble.

He slaughters the sacrificial animal, eats some of it, and gives some to the poor. Slaughter is obligatory on the Mutamatti' and Qarin.

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

These three should be done in the above order if convenient, but there is no restriction if one precedes another.

With that, one is allowed to come out of Ihram. He can wear other clothing and do everything that was lawful before Ihram except engaging in marital relations.

He goes to Mecca to perform Tawaf Al-lfadah and Sa'i, also for Hajj. It is Sunnah to put perfume on before going to Mecca.

With the completion of this Tawaf and Sa'i, a pilgrim is allowed to do everything that was lawful before Ihram, including engaging in marital relations.

After performing Tawaf and Sa'i, he returns to Mina to spend the nights of the eleventh and twelfth days there.

He stones the three Jamrah in the afternoon of both the eleventh and twelfth days. He starts with the first Jamrah, which is furthest from Mecca, then the middle one, and lastly Jamrat Al-Aqabah. Each one should be stoned with seven consecutive pebbles accompanied by Takbir. He stops after the first and middle Jamrah to make supplications facing the Qiblah. It is not permissible to stone before noon on these two days. It is best to walk to the Jamrah, but riding is permissible.

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

When he is ready to return to his country, he makes Tawaf Al-Wada', which is seven circuits around the Ka'bah. Menstruating women and women experiencing postnatal discharge are not obligated to perform Tawaf Al-Wada'.

Visiting The Prophet's Mosque

A pilgrim goes to Medina before or after Hajj with the intention of visiting the Prophet's mosque and praying in it.
Prayer there is better than a thousand prayers elsewhere except in the Holy Mosque in Mecca.

Upon reaching the mosque he prays two Rak'ah of salutation or performs any obligatory prayer that is due.

He goes to the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he stands before it. He greets him saying the
"May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be upon you, oh Prophet. May Allah grant you a good reward on behalf
of your people."

He takes a step or two to his right to position himself before Abu Bakr and greets him saying: "May the peace, mercy, and blessing of Allah be upon you, oh Abu-Bakr, Caliph of the Messenger of Allah. May Allah be pleased with you and grant you a good reward on behalf of Muhammad's people."

Then he takes a step or two to his right to position himself before Umar and greets him saying: "May the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you, oh Umar, Prince of the believers. May Allah be pleased with you and grant you a good reward on behalf of Muhammad's people."

In a state of purity, he goes to pray in Quba' Mosque. 5. He goes to Al-Baqi' to visit Uthman's grave. He stands before
it and greets him saying: "May the peace, mercy and blessing of Allah be upon you,

Oh Uthman Prince of the believers. May Allah be pleased with you and grant you a good reward on behalf of
Muhammad's people." He greets any other Muslims in Al-Baqi'.

He goes to Uhud and visits the grave of Hamzah and the other martyrs there with him. He greets them and preys to
Allah to grant them forgiveness, mercy, and pleasure.

NOTE: The following is incumbent upon the Muhrim for Hajj or ‘Umrah:

That he be committed to Allah's religious obligations upon him such as prayer in its time (in congregation for men).

That he avoids what Allah has prohibited such as obscenity, inequity, and disobedience. if anyone undertakes
Hajj therein.  Let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling during Hajj. [The Holy Quran 2:197]

That he avoids harming the Muslims with words or actions within the Masha'ir or elsewhere.

That he avoids all of the restrictions of Ihram:
He shouldn't cause the loss of any of his hair or nails. A prick by a thorn and the like is unobjectionable, even if
there is bleeding.

He shouldn't perfume himself, his clothing, his food or his drink after entering Ihram. He should also abstain from
cleansing himself with scented soap. There is no harm in what remains of the effect of perfume used prior to Ihram.

He shouldn't touch, kiss, etc. his spouse out of passion and, even worse, shouldn't have sexual intercourse.

He shouldn't be wed or propose to a woman for himself or others.

He shouldn't wear gloves, although there is no harm in wrapping the hands in cloth. This ruling goes for both men and women.

The following pertains specifically to men:
He cannot cover his head with something that touches it, although there is no harm in the use of an umbrella,
the roof of a car or tent for shade. There is also no harm in carrying his baggage atop his head. b) He cannot wear
a shirt, turban, hooded cloak trousers, or shoes. Only if he is unable to obtain an Izar or sandals can he wear trousers
or shoes.

He cannot wear anything with the same qualities of the above mentioned such as an Aba'ah, hat, undershirt, etc.

It is permissible for him to wear sandals, rings, glasses, a hearing aid, a watch, worn on his wrist or hung from his neck,
or a speech aid. It is permissible for him to cleanse himself with unscented cleansers and to wash and scratch his head
and body, even if some of his hair falls unintentionally. In such a case there is no obligation on him because of it.

A woman cannot wear a Niqab or Burqa'. The Sunnah is for her to uncover her face except if men not related to
her might see her, in which case it is obligatory for her to cover her face during Ihram and otherwise.

Common Mistakes Performed During Hajj

I: In Aqidah (the Muslim's Belief)
Many Pilgrims when they travel to Medina they pray to the graves. They make Du'a to the prophet of Allah (peace be upon him). This could not only ruin their Hajj, it could nullify their Islam.

Do not rub graves for Barakah (blessings)
Do not make Du'a to anyone except Allah
When going to Medina, your initial intention should be to visit Masjid An-Nabawi, the Prophet's Masjid.

II: In Ihram
Do not pass the Miqat without being in the state of Ihram. If you are landing in Jeddah and going to Mecca to perform ‘Umrah directly, you must be in a state of Ihram before you land, as the plane shall enter the Miqat. Jeddah is inside the Miqat.

If you are landing in Jeddah, you need your Ihram towels with you on the airplane in your carry-on bag
Women may wear anything Islamically permissible for Ihram
Do not take pictures of yourself in Ihram. You came to worship Allah and taking pictures for showing others later
may contradict your sincerity of doing this for the sake of Allah.
Women in their menses must be in a state of Ihram when they pass the Miqat. They should shower and do Talbiyah
like everyone else.
Do not uncover your right shoulder until you reach the Ka'bah and begin Tawaf.  This is the time that the Messenger   
uncovered his shoulder and it is an act of Hajj, so we must follow when the Prophet did it.
You may change your Ihram towels if they get dirty
You do not enter into Ihram by just wearing the towels. You must make the intention to begin.
Do not shave your beard, whether before, during or after Ihram.

You should wear sandals, but if you do not have sandals, you do not have to walk barefoot. Wear what you have until
you find a place to get sandals.

When beginning your Ihram for Hajj, do it from where you are: in your hotel, on the street, etc. You do not have to
go to the Ka'bah to start your Ihram for Hajj.

Do pay attention to what you are saying when you are making the Talbiyah: Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk.

When you hear that you are not allowed to wear stitches in Ihram, know that what is meant is that you cannot wear
pieces of cloth that are sewn together to wrap your body, such as a T-Shirt or underwear.

Both men and women may shower with unscented soap. Yes, for women and men, you may comb your hair, as the
Prophet's wives used to do when they were in Ihram.

III: In Tawaf
You do not have to say your intention out loud to begin Tawaf. Saying intentions out loud is something the Prophet
(peace be upon him) never did except after Ihram when he said, (Labbayk Allahumma ‘Umrah wa Hajj).

You do not have to touch the black stone for your Tawaf to be accepted. If it is crowded you may face your hand
toward the stone and say Allahu Akbar.
Do not kiss the Yemeni corner. You may only touch it.
Do not worship the black stone. You are glorifying Allah by coming to this house and worshiping Him, following the
Sunnah of the prophet of Allah (peace be upon him).
Do not follow those Du'a books that make up Du'a for each time you go around the Ka'bah. Read Quran and make
Du'a from your heart and glorify Allah
Make Du'a by yourself, do not do it in a shouting group around the Ka'bah.
Do not wipe the walls of the Ka'bah during Tawaf. The prophet of Allah did not touch anything other than the black
stone and the Yemeni corner
Do not hurt anyone to kiss the black stone
Do not face your hand to the Yemeni corner and say Allahu Akbar. This is only for the black stone
Do not push or hurt anyone during Tawaf
The Ka'bah should be to your left. Do not do Tawaf with your back to the Ka'bah
Do not stand at the black stone line for a long time. Move on
Do not lengthen your 2 Rak'ah of Tawaf
There is nothing in the sunnah about: Du'a Maqam Ibrahim. After you pray the 2 Rak'ah of Tawaf move on.

IV: In Sa'i (going between Safa and Marwah)
Although preferable, you do not have to have Wudu during Sa'i

You do not have to climb to the top of Safa or Marwah.
You can take breaks in Sa'i to drink water or rest.
You can take a break after Tawaf, before Sa'i.
You do not have to jog the whole way, from Safa to Marwah. Only within the green lights, the valley of Safa and Marwah.
Women do not have to run between the green lights.
There is no specific Du'a to say between Safa and Marwah.
Do not miss the Du'a that the prophet of Allah said when he stood on Safa. Then raise your hands and pray as he
did (peace be upon him).
Do not say your intention out loud before making Sa'i.

V: When Shaving or Trimming

Shave your complete head, do not leave parts unshaved.
If you shall trim, take from all sides of your head
Do not take off your Ihram until you have shaved or trimmed.
You are still in Ihram until you do so.
Do not shave your beard.

VI: In Mina, Arafah, and Muzdalifah
Many people do not confirm if where they are located is inside or outside the borders of the holy sites. You must confirm.

Do not reserve a place that is more than your need. Many people are looking for places to sit down and sleep
Only in Arafah and Muzdalifah do you shorten and combine prayers. In Mina only shorten your prayers, but pray
them at the correct time
Do not waste your Hajj time in vain chatting
Spending the 8th day in Mina is the Sunnah of the prophet of Allah. Many people skip this and go to Arafah
Do not push anyone when you are in a crowd
You do not have to go to the Mt. of Mercy in Arafah. Many people hurt themselves and others to be there even though it is not a Wajib thing to do.

Mt. Rahmah is not a holy mountain. Do not wipe its sand and rocks for Barakah (blessings).
You do not have to pray Dhuhr and Asr on Arafah day in the Masjid of Arafah (Masjid Namira). You may pray in your tent with your group.
Do not leave Arafah before Maghrib time
Women should avoid getting into a crushing crowd, like in Masjid Namira
Do not face Mt. Rahmah on Arafah day when you make Du'a. You should face the Qiblah.
You should not treat your time in Arafah like any other day. You should realize the significance and pray to Allah in humility.

At Maghrib time in Arafah, do not pray Maghrib and Isha until you reach Muzdalifah, even if you reach there at 11:00
at night. However, if you see half the night approaching, pray where you are on the road.

Make sure you are in Muzdalifah before you stop and rest. Many people think they are in Muzdalifah but they are not.
Look for the border signs. If you have not seen one, chances are you are still not in Muzdalifah even if you see others sleeping on the road.

After praying Maghrib and Isha in Muzdalifah, go to sleep immediately, this is what the prophet of Allah did.

Through all of this, continue doing your Talbiyah.

VII: In stoning the Jamarat
The Jamarat are not Devils, and Shaytan is not tied up for the stoning of himself.  Hajjis that hold this misconception end up cursing, swearing, throwing sandals, etc. It is a commandment from Allah to glorify Allah by saying (Allahu Akbar) with each pebble.

You do not have to wash your stones.
Do not throw sandals or wood or big rocks. This is all against the Sunnah
Do not hurt/shove when at the Jamarat
Say Allahu Akbar with each pebble. Do not say Bismillah
Throw the pebbles separately
Make Du'a after the first and second Jamarat
Do not throw the Jamarat before it is time
Throw the Jamarat from small to medium to large. Not the other way
If someone is throwing on your behalf, you must be unable to throw yourself
If someone is throwing on your behalf, you do not have to collect the stones yourself and hand the stones to that thrower
Throw seven pebbles, not more or less

VIII: In Tawaf Al-Wada' (Farewell Tawaf)
You cannot do your final Jamarat after Tawaf Al-Wada, as some people attempt;

Do not walk in massive groups during Tawaf. This hurts many people
You MUST spend the night in Mina on the 10th night and 11th night. The two days of Hajj, the days of Mina,
are the 11th and 12th, not the 10th and 11th
After Tawaf Al-Wada' you must leave Mecca, or else another Tawaf should be made
After Tawaf Al-Wada' you may have lunch or wait at a bus, etc., as long as you are on your way out of Mecca.

IX: In Medina
Visiting Medina has nothing to do with your Hajj. It is something different and separate

Do not wipe or kiss any walls for Barakah (blessings). It is only rock and marble.
Do not raise your voice near the Prophet's grave.
Do not do Tawaf around the Prophet's grave.
You do not need Ihram to enter Medina.
Do not make Du'a to the Prophet. Du'a is to be made to Allah and Allah alone.
If you want to pray for the Prophet to intercede for you on the day of Judgment (Shifa'ah), pray to Allah for that.
"O Allah, allow Your Prophet to intercede for me.."
Do not raise your voice in Du'a near the grave. Face Qiblah and leave the grave area when you want to make Du'a.

X: Miscellaneous

Do not add the term Hajji to your name after returning home
Hadith such as: "whoever visits my grave, I shall intercede for them.
" Hadith to this effect are lies against the prophet of Allah (peace be upon him)"

Allah is the giver of success. May His blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and all of his family and fellow companions.

Muhammad As-Salih Al-Uthaymin