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Hajj: Introduction

Hajj (Arabic: حج), the pilgrimage to Makkah, is one of the five pillars of Islam. It should be undertaken once in a Muslim’s lifetime, providing health and means permit.


Meaning of Hajj

The word Hajj linguistically is a derivative of the word “Hajja” in Arabic which means to set out to a great place”. In Islamic law (Shariah) however, Hajj consists of going to a certain place (Makkah) at a particular time (the months of Shawwal, Dhul Qi’dah, & Dhul Hijjah) to perform devotional acts (Rites of Hajj including Tawaf, Sa’i, Wuquf at Arafat, Rami al-Jamarat, etc.) as required by Islam.


Is performing Hajj obligatory?

Hajj is a definitive obligation for every capable Muslim as per the following verse & Hadiths:


فِيهِ آيَاتٌ بَيِّنَاتٌ مَقَامُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمَنْ دَخَلَهُ كَانَ آمِنًا وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ


In it are clear signs [such as] the standing place of Abraham. And whoever enters it shall be safe. And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves – then indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds.
[Surah Aal Imran, 3:97]


Abu Huraira (R.A) narrates:

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ addressed us and said: ‘O people, Allah has made Hajj obligatory for you, so perform Hajj.' – [Muslim, Hadith No. 1337]


Abdullah ibn Abbas (R.A.) narrates:

A woman from the tribe of Khath’am came in the year (of Hajjat al-Wada of the Prophet ﷺ) and said: ‘O Allah’s Messenger ﷺ! My father has come under Allah’s obligation of performing Hajj, but he is a very old man and cannot sit properly on his mount. Will the obligation be fulfilled if I perform Hajj on his behalf?” The Prophet ﷺ replied in the affirmative. – [Al Bukhari, Hadith No. 1853]


Merits of Hajj

The merits of Hajj are enormous with many Hadiths addressing this. Here are a few:


As the guests of Allah, pilgrims will have their prayers answered:


Abu Huraira (R.A.) narrates:

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘Pilgrims are the guests of Allah; should they supplicate, Allah will answer their supplications; should they seek forgiveness, Allah will forgive them.' [Ibn Majah, Hadith No. 2892]


Expiation of Sins


Abu Huraira (R.A.) narrates:

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘Whoever performs Hajj for Allah’s sake and does not speak obscenely, nor commits acts of impiety, he returns home free of sin like the day his mother gave birth to him.’ [Al Bukhari, Hadith No. 1521]


Removes poverty


Abdullah ibn Masud (R.A.) narrates:

The Prophet ﷺ said: ‘Alternate between Hajj and Umrah (regularly), for these two remove poverty and sins just as the blacksmith’s bellows removes all impurities from iron, gold and silver. There is no reward for an accepted Hajj (Hajj Mabrur) except Paradise.' [al-Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 810]


Admits into Paradise


Abu Huraira (R.A.) reports:

All sins committed in between the performance of one Umrah and another are expiated and erased. And there is no reward for a Hajj Mabrur (divinely accepted) except paradise. [Al Bukhari, Hadith No. 1773]


Salvation from Punishment


Aisha (R.A.) narrates that the Prophet ﷺ said:

There is no day wherein Allah saves more of his servants from the fire of hell than the Day of Arafat. He draws near and praises them to the angels, saying: ‘What do my servants want?' [Muslim, Hadith No. 1348]


Conditions of Hajj

Despite the fact that Hajj is obligatory once in the lifetime of every Muslim, there are a number of conditions that must first be met:

  1. Islam –Must be Muslim

  2. Maturity –Must have reached puberty (Bulough)

  3. Sanity – Must be mentally sound.

  4. Financially able – Must have enough funds to cover the Hajj trip expenses and dependent support expenses during absence.

  5. Physically able – Must be physically able to travel to Makkah and perform the Hajj Rites and should therefore be free from illnesses or diseases that would restrict the ability to do so.

  6. Presence of a guardian (Mahram) for women – According to the Hanafi and Hanbali schools of thought, females intending to perform Hajj must be accompanied by a Mahram. If she doesn’t have a Mahram who can accompany her, Hajj in this case would not be obligatory for her. 
    According to the Shafi’i and Maliki schools of thought however, and in light of the obligatory nature of Hajj, women may perform Hajj with a group of trustworthy women provided her safety is guaranteed.

  7. Women must not be in their Iddah period – Females must be free from the prescribed waiting time after the divorce from, or the death of their husband (if applicable).


Hajj: When?

The rites of Hajj take place over a five day period from 8th – 12th of Dhul Hijjah, which is the last month in the Islamic calendar. Some pilgrims choose to remain for an extra day (13th Dhul Hijjah) making their Hajj six days long. Furthermore, some types of Hajj incorporate Umrah which would require the pilgrim to enter Makkah days or weeks earlier. To accommodate this, the months of Hajj are considered in Islam to be Shawwal, Dhul Qi’dah, and Dhul Hijjah (10th, 11th, & 12th months respectively in the Islamic calendar).

Interior of Masjid (mosque) Nabawi in Al Madinah.jpg

Hajj: Pillars, Obligations, & Sunnan


The Hajj has four pillars (Arkan), without which it will not be complete:

  1. Entering a state of Ihram (ritual consecration):
    Narrated 'Umar bin Al-Khattab: Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "The reward of deeds depends upon the intention and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for Allah and His Apostle, then his emigration was for Allah and His Apostle. And whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for."
    [Sahih al-Bukhari 54]

  2. To perform Wuquf at Arafat, even for just a moment, after midday on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah until Fajr on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah:
    It was narrated that Abdur-Rahman bin Yamur said:
    "I saw the Messenger of Allah when people came to him and asked him about Hajj. The Messenger of Allah said: 'Hajj is Arafat. Whoever catches up with the night of Arafat before dawn comes on the night of Jam (Al-Muzdalifah), his Hajj is complete.'"
    [Sunan an-Nasa’i 3016]

  3. Circumambulating the Kaaba (Tawaf al-Ifadha/Ziyara):
    ثُمَّ لْيَقْضُوا۟ تَفَثَهُمْ وَلْيُوفُوا۟ نُذُورَهُمْ وَلْيَطَّوَّفُوا۟ بِٱلْبَيْتِ ٱلْعَتِيق 
    Then let them groom themselves, fulfill their vows, and circle the Ancient House.”
    [Quran – 22:29]

  4. Walking back and forth between the hilltops of Safa and Marwa (Sa’i al-Hajj):
    إِنَّ ٱلصَّفَا وَٱلْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَآئِرِ ٱللَّهِ ۖ فَمَنْ حَجَّ ٱلْبَيْتَ أَوِ ٱعْتَمَرَ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا ۚ وَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًۭا فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ
    Indeed, ˹the hills of˺ Ṣafa and Marwah are among the symbols of Allah. So whoever performs the pilgrimage or minor pilgrimage, let them walk between ˹the two hills˺. And whoever does good willingly, Allah is truly Appreciative, All-Knowing.
    [Quran – 2:158]



The Hajj has seven obligatory acts (Wajib), any of which, if left out will require an animal sacrifice (Damm) to be distributed to the poor in Makkah as a corrective penalty for the Umrah’s completeness:

  1. Entering the state of Ihram (a pillar of Hajj) from the Miqat (a Wajib of Hajj)

  2. Wuquf till sunset at Arafat (for those who were present there during the day)

  3. Stop at Muzdalifah on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah (after Wuquf at Arafah) and stay overnight till dawn (Fajr) of the 10th of Dhul Hajjah (except for the weak who are permitted to leave after midnight):
    فَإِذَآ أَفَضْتُم مِّنْ عَرَفَـٰتٍۢ فَٱذْكُرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ عِندَ ٱلْمَشْعَرِ ٱلْحَرَامِ ۖ وَٱذْكُرُوهُ كَمَا هَدَىٰكُمْ وَإِن كُنتُم مِّن قَبْلِهِۦ لَمِنَ ٱلضَّآلِّين
    When you return from ’Arafât, praise Allah near the sacred place (Muzdalifah) and praise Him for having guided you, for surely before this ˹guidance˺ you were astray.
    [Quran - 2:198]

  4. Spending the nights at Mina during the nights of Ayyam al-Tashreeq (11th – 13th of Dhul Hijjah)

  5. To pelt pebbles at Jamarat (10th – 13th Dhul Hijjah)

  6. Shaving (Halq) or shortening (Taqsir) of the hair:
    لَتَدْخُلُنَّ ٱلْمَسْجِدَ ٱلْحَرَامَ إِن شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ ءَامِنِينَ مُحَلِّقِينَ رُءُوسَكُمْ وَمُقَصِّرِينَ لَا تَخَافُونَ 
    Allah willing, you will surely enter the Sacred Mosque, in security—˹some with˺ heads shaved and ˹others with˺ hair shortened—without fear.
    [Quran – 48:27}

  7. Performing the farewell circumambulation the Kaaba (Tawaf al-Wada)


Furthermore, an Udhiyah is also required in two of the three types of Hajj: Hajj al-Tamattu’ & Hajj al-Qiran.



The Hajj also has many Sunnan, which are acts of the Prophet (PBUH), any of which, if done will increase the reward of the pilgrim and if left out, will have no bearing on the completeness of the Hajj:

  1. Tawaf al-Qudum (for Hajj al-Qiran & Hajj al-Ifrad)

  2. Spending the night in Mina, which precedes the 9th of Dhul Hijjah

  3. During Tawaf (Kissing the black stone, Idhtiba’ & Raml (both only in Tawaf al-Qudum/Umrah), increasing amount of Dhikr & Dua, two Rakahs of Tawaf)

  4. During Sa’i, Harwalah (Jogging) within the marked area (for men only), increasing amount of Dhikr & Supplication)

  5. Before Ihram (Clipping nails, shaving hair in the armpit and below the naval, taking a shower (Ghusul), apply perfume/deodorant (on body only)

  6. After Ihram {saying the intention for Hajj then reciting the Talbiyah aloud (for men)}

  7. Dhikr, Dua, Quran recitation, Sadaqa

  8. Listen to the Arafah Sermon on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah


Types of Hajj

There are three types of Hajj that a pilgrim can choose to perform. Although they vary in their requirements, they all involve performing pretty much the same rites and acts of worship.


Hajj al-Tamattu’

This type of Hajj involves performing Umrah during the Hajj months of Shawwal, Dhul Qi’dah, or Dhul Hijjah before starting with the rites of Hajj on the 8th of Dhul Hijjah. The word “Tamattu’”, which means enjoyment, is referring to the period between Umrah and Hajj during which the pilgrim enjoys the benefits of life outside being in the state of Ihram until Ihram is once again entered for Hajj. Hajj al-Tamattu’ is the easiest and most common type of Hajj.


Umrah Steps (Read the Umrah Guide for details)

  • Pilgrim enters into the state of Ihram at the designated Miqat with the intention of performing Umrah

  • Proceeds to Makkah to perform the rites of Umrah

  • Performs Tawaf al-Umrah

  • Prays Two Rakahs of Tawaf and drinks zamzam water

  • Performs Sa’i between Safa and Marwa (for Umrah)

  • Gets haircut (Halq or Taqsir), preferably Taqsir since pilgrims can choose Halq to exit the upcoming Hajj state of Ihram on the Day of Sacrifice (Yawm al-Nahr - 10th Dhul Hijjah).

  • Upon completion of Umrah and exiting the state of Ihram, the pilgrim can shower and wear everyday clothes and wait till the 8th of Dhul Hijjah to start the rites of Hajj.


Hajj Steps (Read the Hajj Guide for details)

  • On the 8th of Dhul Hijjah, pilgrim will re-enter into the state of Ihram (pillar of Hajj) at his place of residence (hotel) with the intention of performing Hajj

  • Pilgrim will then proceed to Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifah to perform the rites and acts of Hajj

  • Animal sacrifice is a requirement for this type of Hajj. For organizational purposes, the animal sacrifice is being done on behalf of the pilgrim through an organized prepayment plan.


Hajj al-Qiran

This type of Hajj involves combining Umrah and Hajj with only one intention and Ihram, which is made before Miqat is reached. It is viewed as the most difficult type of Hajj since the pilgrim needs to stay in a state of Ihram for a longer period than the other two types of Hajj. 



  1. Muqrin Pilgrim enters into the state of Ihram (pillar of Hajj) at the Miqat (a Wajib of Hajj) with the intention of performing both Umrah and Hajj saying: 

    لبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ عُمّرَةً و حَجَّاً

    Labbayka llāhumma Umratan wa Hajan

    O Allah, here I am to perform Umrah and Hajj.

  2. Proceeds to Makkah to perform the rites of Umrah

  3. According to the Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali schools of thought, the pilgrim should perform Tawaf al-Qudum upon reaching Makkah. This Tawaf will be sufficient for both Umrah and Hajj. Sa’i can then be done right away or can be delayed until after Tawaf al-Ifadha/Ziyarah, which is not recommended due to time management and physical endurance considerations. Either way, Sa’i should only be performed once and will suffice for both Umrah and Hajj.

  4. According to the Hanafi school of thought, the pilgrim should perform Tawaf al-Umrah upon reaching Makkah followed immediately by Sa’i, both of which will suffice for the Umrah only. According to this school of thought, the pilgrim will have to perform another Tawaf (Tawaf al-Qudum) and another Sa’i for Hajj during the days of Hajj.

  5. Completion of these rites will count as Umrah.

  6. Pilgrim must remain in a state of Ihram after completion of the Sa’i (i.e. no hair shaving or trimming) until the Day of Sacrifice (Yawm al-Nahr - 10th Dhul Hijjah).

Hajj Steps

  • On the 8th of Dhul Hijjah, Pilgrim will proceed to Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifah to perform the rites and acts of Hajj

  • According to the Hanafi school of thought, it is Sunnah to perform Tawaf al-Qudum when Hajj commences followed by Sa’i for Hajj, which may be carried out immediately or after Tawaf al- Ifhada/Ziyarah. Either way, the pilgrim will have to perform Sa’i twice during the pilgrimage.

  • Animal sacrifice is a requirement for this type of Hajj. For organizational purposes, the animal sacrifice is being done on behalf of the pilgrim through an organized prepayment plan.

Hajj al-Ifrad

This type of Hajj is performed without Umrah during the Hajj season and is normally performed by those living in Makkah or within the Miqat boundaries. Those performing this type of Hajj will normally arrive just before the first day of Hajj (8th Dhul Hijjah).



  1. Pilgrim will enter into the state of Ihram (a pillar of Hajj) at the Miqat (obligation) with the intention of performing Hajj. Local pilgrims living in Makkah as well as those living within the Miqat boundaries can enter into the state of Ihram from their homes saying:

    لبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ حَجَّا

    Labbayka llāhumma Hajan

    O Allah, here I am to perform Umrah.

  2. Pilgrim will perform Tawaf al-Qudum upon reaching Makkah (Sunnah)

  3. Prays Two Rakahs of Tawaf and drinks Zamzam water

  4. Pilgrim will perform Sa’i between Safa and Marwa immediately after the Tawaf al-Qudum or it can be delayed until after Tawaf al-Ifadha/Ziyarah, which is not recommended due to time management and physical endurance considerations. 

  5. Pilgrim must remain in a state of Ihram after performing Sa’i (i.e. no hair shaving or trimming) until the Day of Sacrifice (Yawm al-Nahr - 10th Dhul Hijjah).

  6. Pilgrim will proceed to Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifah to perform the rites and acts of Hajj

  7. Animal sacrifice is not a requirement for this type of Hajj. 

Muslim people praying at Kaaba in Makkah. Translation.jpg

Hajj Guide: Step by Step
(8th – 13th Dhul Hijjah)

8th Dhul Hijjah

The Hajj begins on this day, which is known as Yawm al-Tarwiyah (Thirst Quenching Day). It was named as such since on this day, the early pilgrims drank a lot of water, filled their water containers as well as prepared and fed their animals in perpetration for the long journey ahead. On this day, all pilgrims make their way to Mina.


Hajj al-Tamattu’

Pilgrims performing Hajj al-Tamattu’ would at this point need to re-enter into the state of Ihram (a Pillar of Hajj), which they would have exited upon completion of their initial Umrah. Pilgrims will enter the state of Ihram in the same manner they did for their Umrah (see Umrah Guide) except that they will do so right from their place of residence/hotel, praying the two Rakahs before making the intention of Ihram for Hajj saying:

لبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ حَجَّاً
Labbaika llāhumma Hajan

O Allah, here I am to perform Umrah.


Followed by Talbiyah, which will continue until the first pebble pelting (Rami al-Jamarah) on the 10th Dhul Hijjah:


لَبَّيْكَ اللهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ – لَبَّيْكَ لَا شَرِيْكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ – إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ – لَا شَرِيْكَ لَكَ –

Labbaika llāhumma labbaik(a), labbaika lā sharīka laka labbaik(a), inna l-ḥamda wa n-ni’mata, laka wa l-mulk(a), lā sharīka lak.


At Your service, Allah, at Your service. At Your service, You have no partner, at Your service. Truly all praise, favor and sovereignty are Yours. You have no partner.


Hajj al-Qiran or Hajj al-Ifrad

Pilgrims performing Hajj al-Qiran or Hajj al-Ifrad will already be in a state of Ihram after performing their initial Tawaf al-Qudum/Umrah and Sa’i. They may choose to take a shower while ensuring not to violate the restrictions of Ihram for example by using scented products.


Pilgrims will be transported to Mina via coach after sunrise (Sunnah) and preferably before Dhuhr prayer, since it was the Sunnah of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) to pray Dhuhr in Mina - the first of the five prayers to be performed there. Pilgrims will be reciting Talbiyah along the way.


In Mina, men and women pilgrims will stay in segregated tents, supplicating and performing Dhikr and will pray Dhuhr, Asr, Maghreb, & Isha’ prayers – all shortened, as a traveler would, but each prayer at its designated time. After spending the night in Mina (Sunnah) sleeping in their sleeping bags, the pilgrims will also pray Fajr Prayer in Mina before departing to Arafat.


9th Dhul Hijjah

Known as Yawmu Arafah (the Day of Arafah), the second day of Hajj, pilgrims travel from Mina to Arafat immediately after performing Fajr Prayer (Sunnah), which will be the fifth prayer they would have performed in Mina.


The word Arafat is a derivative of the Arabic verb “Arafah”, which means to know. The area was named Arafat because it is there that people from all over the world and from all walks of life will meet and know each other.


Virtue of the Day of Arafat

The Prophet ﷺ has said:

There is no day on which Allah ransoms more slaves from the Fire than the Day of Arafat. He (The Almighty) draws closer and closer, then He boasts about them before the angels and Says: ‘What is it that these people seek?’
[Narrated in Sunan Ibn Majah]


Takbir al-Muqayad (Takbir al-Tashreeq)

Starting after Fajr Prayer on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah, the Pilgrim will recite Takbir al-Muqayad (Sunnah) at least once after each of the 5 compulsory daily prayers up to and including the Asr prayer on the 13th of Dhul Hijjah, saying:


اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَاَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْد

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La Ilaha Ilallahu Wallahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Wa Lillahil Hamd.

Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest. There is no deity besides Allah and Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest and all praises are for Allah only.

Upon completion of Takbir al-Muqayad at least once after the Fardh prayers (audibly for men & softly for women), the pilgrim will revert back to the Talbiyah.


Takbir al-Muttlaq

Unlike Takbir al-Muqayad, for which recitation is restricted to being after each of the five daily compulsory prayers, Takbir al-Muttlaq is unrestricted and is a Sunnah to be performed anytime starting from the beginning of the month of Dhul Hijjah and ending at Maghreb prayer on the 13th of Dhul Hijjah.


The Scholar Bin Baz has added that the best Dhikr for the pilgrim while still in the state of Ihram is Talbiyah. Meanwhile the best Dhikr for the pilgrim before and after Ihram, is Takbir. However, should the pilgrim do both it is also acceptable.


Wuquf Arafah

In the plain of Arafat, pilgrims pray Dhuhr and Asr Prayers (combined and shortened) at the time of Dhuhr after the Arafah Sermon (listening to Sermon is a Sunnah)  with one Adhan and two Iqamas then supplicate thereafter during the most important rite of Hajj called Wuquf Arafah (a Pillar of Hajj).  


According to the Hanafi school of thought, the Dhuhr and Asr prayers can only be combined in Masjid al-Namirah behind the Imam. Otherwise, they should be prayed separately during their assigned times if performed in tents. According to the other three schools of thought however, it is permissible to combine the prayers in the tents.


In order for the Hajj to be valid, the pilgrim must spend a portion of time in Arafat between midday on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah & the beginning of Fajr on the following day (10th Dhul Hijjah). Otherwise, the Hajj will be regarded as incomplete.


The Prophet ﷺ has alluded to the importance of this in a famous Hadith saying:

Hajj is Arafat.
[Narrated in Sunan al-Tirmidhi]


Dua’ Arafah

After performing the Dhuhr & Asr prayers, pilgrims will be spending their very precious time in Arafat doing one of or more or all the following:

  • Reading the Quran

  • Doing Dhikr

  • Sending Salawat upon the Prophet (PBUH)

  • Reciting Talbiyah

  • Supplicating


It is highly recommended to prepare a list of Duas before reaching Arafat in order not to forget anything/anyone.


The Prophet ﷺ supplicated for himself and his Ummah and declared that Dua made on the Day of Arafat is the best of supplications. Amr ibn Shu’aib narrates from his grandfather that the Prophet ﷺ said:

The best of supplication is the supplication of the Day of Arafat. And the best of what I and the Prophets before me have said is:

لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Lā ilāha illallāh, waḥdahu lā sharīka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-ḥamdu, wa huwa ‘alā kulli shai’in qadīr.


None has the right to be worshiped but Allah, alone without a partner. To Him belongs all that exists, and to Him is the praise, and He is powerful over all things.


Pilgrims are encouraged to do Ghusul before midday on the Day of Arafah (considered Sunnah; according to Maliki, Shafi’i, & Hanbali schools of thought & recommended (Mustahab) according to the Hanafi school of thought). All camps in Arafat have shower and toilet facilities, which provide water 24 hours a day.


Furthermore, pilgrims are encouraged to stand in the open and raise their hands facing the Qibla in supplication of Allah, as the Prophet (PBUH) had done (If possible at Jabal al-Rahmah, otherwise anywhere in the Plain of Arafah.


The Prophet ﷺ has said that Wuquf on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah can be carried out anywhere within the confines of Arafat. He said: “I have stood here and all of Arafat is a place of standing.” [Muslim, Hadith No. 1218]


The pilgrim must ensure he remains within the boundary of Arafat during this day. The boundaries of Arafat are clearly indicated in yellow signs.


Note: Circumstances may lead a group of pilgrims to decide to depart from Mina towards Arafat before praying Fajr. A good example of this would be if a group’s tent in Mina was on the far side of Arafat and its organizers feared that the extra time and effort exerted in attempting to travel to Arafat during peak traffic congestion would diminish the pilgrim’s ability to perform the Hajj pillar of Wuquf at Arafat. Should this be the case, there would be no corrective penalty due since praying Fajr in Mina is a Sunnah.



After sunset (obligatory), pilgrims depart to Muzdalifah, where they combine Maghrib and Isha prayers (combined) at the time of Isha and spend the night out in the open (Obligation), where they supplicate and perform Dhikr in accordance to what Allah says in Chapter 2, verse 198 of the Quran:


فَإِذَا أَفَضْتُم مِّنْ عَرَفَاتٍ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ عِندَ الْمَشْعَرِ الْحَرَامِ ۖ وَاذْكُرُوهُ كَمَا هَدَاكُمْ وَإِن كُنتُم مِّن قَبْلِهِ لَمِنَ الضَّالِّينَ

But when you depart from Arafat, remember Allah at al-Mashar al-Haram (Muzdalifah). And remember Him, as He has guided you, for indeed, you were before that among those astray.
[Surah al-Baqarah 2:198]


The Prophet (PBUH) stayed at Muzdalifah until dawn (an obligation of Hajj).  However, the Prophet (PBUH) did permit some women, children, and the elderly to return to Mina earlier (after midnight) to reduce hardship on them.


Finally, the pilgrim may pick up the small pebbles (pea-sized) required for the upcoming pelting of the Jamarat from Muzdalifah before leaving for Mina. A total of 49 pebbles should be collected for pilgrims intending to depart Makkah on the 12th Dhul Hijjah and a total of 70 pebbles if the pilgrim intends to depart on 13th Dhul Hijjah. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to pick up a few extra pebbles just in case. Here’s the distribution:


10th Dhul Hijjah: 7 pebbles

11th Dhul Hijjah: 21 pebbles

12th Dhul Hijjah: 21 pebbles

13th Dhul Hijjah (If staying): 21 pebbles


Note: It is highly advised for pilgrims to re-do ablution in Arafat before leaving for Muzdalifah since, due to overcrowding, it might take some time to reach. It is also highly advised for pilgrims to exercise extreme patience and to recite Talbiyah (Sunnah) and other prayers along the way to Muzdalifah.


10th Dhul Hijjah

On this day, known as Yawm al-Nahr (the Day of Slaughtering), pilgrims will perform Fajr prayer in Muzdalifah and supplicate after the prayer in the same way they did in Arafat; standing and facing the Qibla (Sunnah). Shortly after Fajr Prayer, the pilgrims depart for Mina before sunrise (Sunnah) while continuing the recitation of Talbiyah (Sunnah).

Rami at Jamarah al-Aqaba (Wajib)

Upon their arrival in Mina, pilgrims will first throw seven pebbles at Jamarah al-Aqaba only (the big pillar); this Wajib of Hajj marks the end of Talbiyah and the beginning of Takbir.


The Jamarah al-Aqaba (the big pillar) is the one closest to Makkah, whereas the Jamarat al-Ula (the small pillar) is close to Masjid al-Khayf. The Jamarat al-Wusta (the medium pillar) is located in between the two. In 2005, these pillars were rebuilt into a larger wall structure so as to increase the targeted area and in doing so, facilitate a bigger number of pilgrims comfortably performing their pebble throwing. 


When to pelt

Jabir ibn Abdullah (R.A.) reported:

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ flung pebbles at Jamarat on the Day of Nahr after sunrise whereas after that (i.e. on the 11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul Hijjah), when the sun had declined (After midday)
[Narrated in Sahih Muslim]


According to this Hadith, Rami is performed on:

Yawm al-Nahr (the Day of Sacrifice) – 10th of Dhul Hijjah (Day 3 of Hajj).

Ayyam al-Tashreeq (Meat Drying Days) – 11th, 12th & 13th of Dhul Hijjah – Days 4, 5 and 6 of Hajj.


On Yawm al-Nahr, only Rami of Jamarah al-Aqaba (the big pillar) will be performed. 

On Ayyam al-Tashreeq, Rami of all pillars will be performed on each day, starting from the smallest pillar to the largest. 


The best time to pelt (Rami) on the Day of Nahr (10th of Dhul Hijjah) is from Sunrise up to, but before, Dhuhr (Sunnah). However, it can be performed before or even after this period up till before Fajr prayer of the next day for women, elderly and the weak. The scholar Bin Othaimeen, has also even permitted men to do this due to extreme congestion that is the case nowadays. Suffice to recall the disaster in 2015, when thousands of pilgrims were killed in a stampede on the Jamarat Bridge, to convince anyone of the wisdom behind this ruling.


Walking to Jamarat through a series of tunnels is likely to be easier than traveling by bus. Pilgrims need to stay hydrated if they choose to walk and should try to avoid sitting under bridges leading to the Jamarat in order to avoid impeding the flow of pilgrims.


In general, the busiest time for Rami is just after Dhuhr. There is less congestion after Asr prayer, as well as during the night. Therefore, these times would be the ideal times if a pilgrim wants to avoid the congestion.


Significance of Rami al-Jamarat

Rami al-Jamarat (pelting of the pillars) is a symbolic reenactment of the actions of Ibrahim (A.S.) when he was going through the trial of sacrificing his son, Ismail (A.S.), as commanded by Allah in a night vision. It was while Ibrahim (A.S.) was on his way to carry out God’s commandment that Satan attempted to stop him from carrying out the command. Each time Satan would appear, prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) threw stones at him causing him to disappear. The three Jamarat mark the locations where Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) pelted the stones at Satan causing the latter to disappear.


Prophet Ibrahim’s steadfastness (A.S.) to carry out God’s command was rewarded by God, who spared him from having to carry out the sacrifice of his son at the very last moment and Ibrahim (A.S.) was granted a sacrificial animal in lieu.


How to perform Rami (Pebble pelting)

  1. As per the following Hadith, Wudhu (ablution) is not a condition for the completeness of Rami (but it is still recommended):
    Aisha (R.A.) narrated:
    I was menstruating when I reached Mecca. So, I neither performed Tawaf of the Kaaba, nor the Tawaf between Safa and Marwa. Then I informed Allah’s Messenger about it. He replied, “Perform all the ceremonies of Hajj like the other pilgrims, but do not perform Tawaf of the Kaaba till you get clean (from your menses).” [Sahih al-Bukhari 1650]

  2. The Pilgrim should keep Mina to his right and Makkah to his left.

  3. Should stand approximately 5 meters away from the pot.

  4. Hold stones in left hand

  5. Throw pebble with the right hand saying: اللهُ اكبر  with each throw.

  6. Repeat until a total of seven pebbles have been thrown.

  7. In the case of Rami (pelting) at the small and medium Jamarahs, the pilgrim should move away from the Jamarahs once pelting has been done, face Qibla and supplicate. Dua is not to be made after pelting at the big Jamarah.


Pelting on behalf of others

Pelting can be done on behalf of the old, weak, sick, pregnant or - according to the scholar Bin Othaimeen - even a woman who cannot tolerate the congestion and who was unable to wait to pelt during a less congested time for example due to the need to depart Makkah on the 12th Dhul Hijjah (Muta’ajil), can appoint someone to pelt on her behalf.


It is paramount for the pilgrim to remember the following two verses whilst performing Rami (pelting) and in fact any other Hajj rites and to know that while he should always do his utmost, there will be times when circumstances will dictate the scene:


فَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ مَا ٱسْتَطَعْتُمْ

So be mindful of Allah to the best of your ability [Quran 64:16]




وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِى ٱلدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍۢ ۚ

and (Allah) has not laid upon you hardship in religion [Quran 22:78]


After Pelting Jamarat al-Aqaba

After the completion of pelting at Jamarat al-Aqaba (7 pebbles), the pilgrim returns to Mina to wait until the animal sacrifice has been performed on his behalf. The pilgrim then shaves or trims his/her hair and in doing so exits the state of Ihram (except for intimate marital relations, which will also be lifted once Tawaf al-Ifadha/Ziyarah has been performed). After getting a haircut, the pilgrim can then perform Ghusul (Sunnah) and change back into normal clothing to perform Tawaf al-Ifadha/Ziyarah (a pillar of Hajj) followed by the Sa’i of Hajj (a pillar of Hajj) - if the Sa’i hasn’t already been done previously - before returning to Mina. This succession of events is the Sunnah.


However, the pilgrim can also proceed to Makkah directly from Jamarat or even directly from Muzdalifah to perform Tawa al-Ifadha/Ziayarah and Sa’i then return to Mina to shave and perform Rami. It is all acceptable as the Prophet Himself outlined in the following Hadith:


`Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al `Aas narrated:

Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) stopped (for a while near the Jimar) at Mina during his last Hajj for the people and they were asking him questions. A man came and said, "I forgot and got my head shaved before slaughtering the Hadi (sacrificing animal)." The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "There is no harm, go and do the slaughtering now." Then another person came and said, "I forgot and slaughtered (the camel) before Rami (throwing of the pebbles) at the Jamra." The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Do the Rami now and there is no harm." The narrator added: So on that day, when the Prophet (ﷺ) was asked about anything (as regards the ceremonies of Hajj) performed before or after its due time, his reply was: "Do it (now) and there is no harm." [Sahih al-Bukhari 83]


Hady (Sacrifice)

Hady (Sacrificial animal) is an obligatory sacrifice for the Muttamati’ and for the Qarin and recommended for the Mufrid and preferably is to be sacrificed on the day of Nahr after Rami Jamarat al-Aqaba and before the pilgrim shaves/trims his hair (Sunnah) up until sunset on the 13th of Dhul Hijjah.


It is the most likely scenario that the animal sacrifice will be prearranged and will therefore be done on the pilgrim’s behalf without the need for the pilgrim’s physical presence at the slaughterhouse.


Halq or Taqsir (a Wajib of Hajj)

Since the animal is being sacrificed on behalf of the pilgrim, it can be assumed that the sacrifice will have been completed by the time the pilgrim returns from Rami Jamarat al-Aqaba and can therefore perform the Wajib of Halq or Taqsir (men) and Taqsir (women).


Such an assumption can safely be made since as per the previously mentioned Hadith, there is no harm done should the pilgrim shave his hair before the actual sacrifice of the animal has taken place.


It is the Sunnah for the pilgrim to cut his hair in Mina but it is permissible to do so anywhere within the Haram of Makkah.


Once the pilgrim’s hair has been cut, all restrictions of Ihram will be lifted except for intimate marital relations between a husband and his wife. This last restriction will be removed once Tawaf al-Ifadha/Ziayarah has been performed.


Going to Makkah

It is advisable to travel to Makkah by bus or taxi in order to conserve energy to perform the upcoming Tawaf al-Ifadha/Ziyarah and Sa’i of Hajj. Such modes of transportation are normally available at the Jamarat area.


Tawaf al-Ifadha/Ziyarah

After performing Halq (preferable for men) or Taqsir and after performing Ghusul (Sunnah), the pilgrim will proceed to Makkah to perform Tawaf al-Ifadha/Ziyarah, which is the third of the four pillars of Hajj. The Sunnah is to perform this Tawaf after Halq or Taqsir. However, as mentioned earlier in the Prophetic Hadith, there is no harm if done before.


According to the scholar Bin Baz, the pilgrim may delay the Tawaf al-Ifadha/Ziyarah till just before his departure from Makkah and in doing so, it would also serve as Tawaf al-Wada’ as well. Albeit doing them separately would be better since it was the Sunnah of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).


This might be useful in some situations for example women, who are unable to perform Tawaf al-Ifadha/Ziyarah due to menstruation, can delay this Tawaf till the end of their stay in Makkah to increase the chances of being able to perform it.


Once Tawaf al-Ifadha/Ziyarah has been performed, the final Ihram restriction prohibiting intimate marital relations will be lifted.


Despite the longer distance, the pilgrim may choose to perform this Tawaf on the roof level of the Masjid al-Haram since the lower levels can become very crowded after 10 am. If the pilgrim arrives in Makkah early, it is a good idea to seize the opportunity and perform Tawaf, otherwise the next best time would be after Isha’ prayer.


Once the seven circuits of the Tawaf al-Ifadha/Ziyarah have been completed, it is Sunnah for the pilgrim to perform the two Rakahs of Tawaf as was previously done during the Tawaf al-Qudum or Tawaf al-Umrah.  The pilgrim should also drink Zamzam water.


It is worth noting that Raml and Idtiba are not to be practiced during this Tawaf.


For details on how to perform Tawaf, refer to the Umrah Guide.


Sa’i of Hajj

After the Tawaf al-Ifadha/Ziyarah, Muttamati’ Pilgrims must perform Sa’i of Hajj as it is the fourth of the four pillars of Hajj. As for the Muqrin and Mufrid pilgrims, who have not already performed Sa’i after their initial Tawaf al-Qudum, they will need to perform it as well.


Like the Tawaf al-Ifhada/Ziyarah, the Sa’i of Hajj will also be done in regular clothing since the pilgrim would have already exited the state of Ihram by performing Halq or Taqsir in Mina.  It is for this reason that the pilgrim will not have to shave his hair upon completion of the seven laps of Sa’i of Hajj.


Notwithstanding this, further details on how to perform Sa’i can be found in the Umrah Guide


Going Back to Mina

It is an obligation to travel back and stay at Mina spending the nights of 10th and 11th of Dhul Hijjah for pilgrims departing early (Muta’ajil) and the nights of 10th, 11th, and 12th of Dhul Hijjah for pilgrims delaying their departure from Mina (Muta’akhir).


As was the case in traveling to Makkah, the pilgrim will need to take a bus or taxi, which will take him back to the Jamarat area.


11th – 13th Dhul Hijjah

During these days, which are known as Ayyam al-Tashreeq (Meat Drying days), the early pilgrims would preserve the Sacrifice meat by using salt and by allowing it to dry in the sun. The Prophet described these days as: 


أَيَّامُ التَّشْرِيقِ أَيَّامُ أَكْلٍ وَشُرْبٍ

The days of Tashreeq are the days of eating and drinking.
[Narrated in Sahih Muslim]


Rami of the Three Jamarat

The pilgrim will perform pelting during the Days of Tashreeq (a Wajib of Hajj) after Zawwal (midday). Once again however, due to congestion, pelting can best be done before or after Asr and if required till before Fajr of the next day (According to the scholar Bin Othaimeen).


The pilgrim should carry 25 stones and should start by pelting at the Jamarah al-Ula (the small pillar) first with seven pebbles reciting الله أكبر each time. Once the seven pebbles have been pelted, this should be followed by Dua while facing the Kaaba, then Jamarah al-Wusta (the middle pillar) also followed by Dua while facing the Kaaba, and finally Jamarah al-Aqaba (the big pillar) without making Dua afterwards.


If for some reason pelting was performed by the pilgrim in a different order, it won’t have to be repeated nor will a penalty be due, although it will be contrary to the Sunnah.


After Pelting

Once pelting has been completed, the pilgrim will return to the camp in Mina and spend the day in worship and may perform any rites that may have been left out from the previous day.


Leaving for Makkah

After performing Rami for two days (Muta’ajil) or three days (Muta’akhir) during the Days of Tashreeq, it is preferable to leave for Makkah during daylight, immediately after performing Rami. 


Pilgrims leaving on the 12th of Dhul Hijjah might want to consider traveling to Makkah by foot since commuting by vehicles can be very chaotic at this time.


Pilgrims leaving on the 13th of Dhul Hijjah might use private transport or could also walk when leaving for Makkah.


Wadi al-Muhassab

On the way back to Makkah, the pilgrim might want to stop in an area called Wadi al-Muhassab as the Prophet did (PBUH):


حَدَّثَنَا أَصْبَغُ بْنُ الْفَرَجِ، أَخْبَرَنَا ابْنُ وَهْبٍ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ الْحَارِثِ، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، أَنَّ أَنَسَ بْنَ مَالِكٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ حَدَّثَهُ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ ﷺ صَلَّى الظُّهْرَ وَالْعَصْرَ، وَالْمَغْرِبَ وَالْعِشَاءَ، ثُمَّ رَقَدَ رَقْدَةً بِالْمُحَصَّبِ، ثُمَّ رَكِبَ إِلَى الْبَيْتِ فَطَافَ بِهِ‏.‏ تَابَعَهُ اللَّيْثُ حَدَّثَنِي خَالِدٌ، عَنْ سَعِيدٍ، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، أَنَّ أَنَسَ بْنَ مَالِكٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ حَدَّثَهُ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ‏.

Anas bin Malik رضي الله عنه narrated: The Prophet ﷺ offered the Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib and the Isha prayers and slept for a while at a place called al-Muhassab and then rode to the Kaaba and performed Tawaf round it. [Narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari]


Omitting this, however, won’t result in a penalty because as Aisha (R.A.) has narrated she did not use to do that (i.e. rest at al-Muhassab) and said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) rested at al-Muhassab, because it was easier to stop there and depart from (i.e. it is not a Sunnah to rest there`). [Related by Muslim]


Tawaf al-Wada’

Tawaf al-Wada’, which is the farewell Tawaf, is the last rite performed before departing from Makkah either to Madinah or before departing towards the pilgrim’s home. It is Wajib (Obligatory) and must be performed immediately prior to leaving the boundaries of Haram. 


As previously mentioned regarding any Tawaf and as per the following Hadith, women during their menstruation do not have to perform it:


حَدَّثَنَا مُسَدَّدٌ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، عَنِ ابْنِ طَاوُسٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ أُمِرَ النَّاسُ أَنْ يَكُونَ آخِرُ عَهْدِهِمْ بِالْبَيْتِ، إِلاَّ أَنَّهُ خُفِّفَ عَنِ الْحَائِضِ‏.‏

Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه narrated: The people were ordered to perform the Tawaf of the Kaaba (Tawaf al-Wida) as the last thing before leaving (Makkah), except the menstruating women who were excused.
[Narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari]


As was the case for the Tawaf al-Qudum/Umrah, the pilgrim could perform two rakahs of Tawaf (Sunnah) after the completion of the seven circuits of Tawaf, followed by drinking Zamzam water.


Neither Raml nor Idtiba’ should be practiced during this Tawaf.

Furthermore, there is neither Sa’i nor hair cutting that follows the Tawaf al-Wada’.


Refer to the Umrah Guide for further details on Tawaf.


The pilgrim’s Hajj is now complete.

Muslim people praying at Kaaba in Makkah. Translation.jpg
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