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Umrah: Introduction

The Umrah - or the ‘minor pilgrimage’ - consists of four essential practices (Rites) that are to be carried out in the vicinity of The Sacred Mosque (Masjid Al-Haram) in Makkah.


Meaning of Umrah

The word Umrah linguistically means to visit a certain place. In Islamic law (Shariah) however, Umrah consists the passing of a designated geographic point (Miqat) in a state of Ihram, then circumambulating the Kaaba (Tawaf), followed by walking back and forth between the hilltops of Safa and Marwa (Sa’i), then exiting the state of Ihram (Tahalul) through either shaving (Halq) or shortening (Taqsir) of the hair.


Is performing Umrah obligatory?

According to the Shafi’i and Hanbali schools of thought, Umrah, like Hajj, is considered to be obligatory (Fardh) at least once in a lifetime. However, according to the Hanafi and Maliki schools of thought, Umrah is not obligatory, but considered to be an emphasized practice of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) (Sunnah Mu’akkadah).


Merits of Umrah

The Almighty God - Allah commands Muslims to perform Hajj and Umrah in Chapter 2 of the Quran (transliteration): ‘Complete the pilgrimage (Hajj) and minor pilgrimage (Umrah) for Allah…’ [Quran: 2:196]


The incredible benefit and blessing in performing Umrah is also specifically mentioned in the following Hadiths:


Abu Hurairah I narrates:

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, ‘(The performance of) Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed (between it and the previous one). And the reward of Hajj Mabrur (the one accepted by Allah) is nothing except Paradise.’
[Narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari]


Abdullah ibn Abbas I said:

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘Perform Hajj and Umrah consecutively; for they remove poverty and sin as the furnace removes impurity from iron.’
[Narrated in Sunan al-Nasa’i]


It was narrated from Abu Hurairah I that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

The pilgrims performing Hajj and Umrah are a delegation to Allah. If they call upon Him, He will answer them; and if they ask for His forgiveness, He will forgive them.
[Narrated in Sunan Ibn Majah]


Conditions of Umrah

A number of conditions need to be met by the pilgrim in order to perform Umrah or Hajj:

Islam – Must be Muslim

Maturity – Must have reached puberty (Bulough)

Sanity – Must be mentally sound.

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

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

Presence of a guardian (Mahram) for women – Females must be accompanied by a Mahram.

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).


Umrah: When?

Umrah can be performed throughout the year except during the days of Hajj (i.e. 9th – 13th Dhul Hijjah). Furthermore, performing Umrah during the Holy Month of Ramadan is considered very virtuous, as narrated by Abdullah ibn Abbas (R.A.) who said:

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said to a woman from among the Ansar: ‘When it is Ramadan, perform Umrah then, for Umrah during it is equivalent to Hajj.’
[Narrated in Sunan an-Nasa’i]


Umrah: Pillars, Obligations, & Recommended Acts

The Umrah has three pillars (Arkan), without which it will not be complete:

  1. Entering a state of Ihram (ritual consecration)

  2. Circumambulating the Kaaba (Tawaf)

  3. Walking back and forth between the hilltops of Safa and Marwa (Sa’i)


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

  1. Entering the state of Ihram from the Miqat

  2. Wearing seamless clothes (only men)

  3. Shaving (Halq) or shortening (Taqsir) of the hair


The Umrah also has many recommended acts (Mustahab), any of which, if done will increase the reward of the pilgrim otherwise, will have no bearing on the completeness of the Umrah:

  1. Before Ihram {Cutting of nails, removal of hair under the armpits and below the naval, taking a shower (Ghusul), applying perfume/deodorant (on body only)}

  2. After entering the state of Ihram (Talbiyah, and saying it aloud (for men), saying the intention for Umrah aloud: Labbaika Allahuma Umrah)

  3. During Tawaf (Kissing the black stone, Idtiba, Raml, increasing amount of Dhikr & Dua, Salah of Tawaf)

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

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Image by bady abbas

Umrah Guide

In short, the Umrah consists of 

  1. Changing into Ihram clothing before Miqat

  2. Perform two Rakahs of prayer (Salah) & make intention (Niyyah) at or before reaching Miqat

  3. Recite Talbiyah frequently until the Kaaba is reached

  4. Circumambulate the Kaaba seven times (Tawaf Al-Umrah)

  5. Perform two Rakahs of prayer (Salah), behind or near Maqam Ibrahim, if possible. Otherwise anywhere in The Sacred Mosque (Masjid Al-Haram)

  6. Drink plenty of Zamzam water

  7. Walk back and forth seven times between the Safa and Marwah hill tops (Sa’i) 

  8. Exit the state of Ihram and complete Umrah by either shaving (Halq) or shortening (Taqsir) hair

Image by Haidan


Before putting on the Ihram clothing

Personal hygiene & physical Purity – Before wearing the Ihram clothing, clip the nails, remove hair under the armpits and beneath the navel. Next performing Ghusul (bath) is an emphasized Sunnah here or at the very least, perform ablution (Wudhu). Men may use fragranced deodorant and perfumes (without getting any on the Ihram clothing). The preceding should all be done at home (assuming travel is by flight).


Ihram clothing

For men, Ihram clothing are two white, clean (preferably new) seamless pieces of cloth: One to be wrapped around the waist and covering the thighs and knees (Izar) and the other is draped over the upper body like a cape (Rida’). Head covering is not permitted and footwear should not cover the heel and ankle.


As for women, there is no special Ihram dress code. Females could wear their normal Hijab (dress & head covering) clothing for Ihram as long as it is modest & simple in order not to attract attention. Hands and face must remain exposed, although socks may be worn.


Salah of Ihram

Once the Ihram attire has been put on and before making the intention (Niyyah) for Ihram, it is a Sunnah according to all four schools of thought (i.e. Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, & Hanbali) to perform two Rakahs of prayer (Salah) with the intention of Ihram, during a permissible time for prayers. However, according to the Hanbali school of thought, the Niyyah for Ihram can also be made immediately after one of the obligatory prayers (Fardh) without the need to perform two Rakahs.  Furthermore, according to the Hanafi, Maliki, & Shafi’i schools of thought, Surat al Ikhlas can be recited after the Fatiha in both Rakahs.


When to put on the Ihram Clothing

Putting on the Ihram clothing must be done before crossing the designated Miqat. It is highly recommended to wear the Ihram clothing before boarding the flight that is expected to fly over the Miqat. Meanwhile the intention can be delayed until Miqat approaches. If going to Madinah before Makkah, entering the state of Ihram can be delayed until the departure from Madinah towards Makkah.


Intention (Niyyah)

The Niyyah for Umrah should be made at Miqat or close to it. It is recommended to make the intention verbally in addition to reiterating it internally. This may be done in any language:

لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ عُمْرَة
Labbaika Allahumma Umrah.
O Allah, here I am to perform Umrah.



اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أُرِيْدُ الْعُمْرَةَ فَيَسِّرْهَا لِيْ وَتَقَبَّلْهَا مِنِّيْ
Allāhumma innī urīdu l-‘umrata fa yassirhā lī wa taqabbalhā minnī.

O Allah, I intend to perform Umrah, so accept it from me and make it easy for me.


The following condition should also be added:


فإن حبسني حابس فمحلي حيث حبستني

Fa inn habasani habis famahili haithu habastani

And if I am detained by anything, my release from Ihram shall be where I am detained



Recite the Talbiyah and continue to do so until reaching the Kaaba at The Sacred Mosque (Masjid Al-Haram):

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 is Yours. You have no partner.


It is recommended that men chant the Talbiyah audibly while women should recite it quietly.


Important note: Once the Talbiyah has been recited, the pilgrim will have entered into the state of Ihram with all related prohibitions coming into effect (Such as: applying fragrances and scented products, Wearing stitched clothing (for men), covering of head (for men), cutting or removing hair, nail clipping, marital relations, etc.). If a rule of Ihram is violated, a corrective penalty (Sacrifice or Sadaqah) will be required as expiation.


Proceed to Makkah

Continue reciting Talbiyah, Dhikr and Salawat along the way to Makkah.


Entering the The Sacred Mosque (Masjid Al-Haram):

Upon reaching Masjid al-Haram, enter with your right foot, preferably through Bab al-Salam (Gate of Peace) and recite the Dua for entering the mosque:


بسم الله، والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله

أعوذ بالله العظيم وبوجهه الكريم، وسلطانه القديم من الشيطان الرجيم

اللهم افتح لي أبواب رحمتك

Bismillah wa Asallato wa Asalamu ala rasouli-Illah,

A‘ūdhu bi-llāhi-l-Aẓīm, wa bi-wajhihi-l-karīm, wa sulṭānihi-l-qadīm, mina-sh-Shayṭāni-r-rajīm, 

Allāhumma-aftaḥ lī abwāba raḥmatik.

In the Name of Allah, and peace and blessings be up the messenger of Allah,

I seek protection in Allah the Tremendous, His Noble Countenance, and His pre-eternal Sovereign Might from the rejected Shaytan.


Proceed towards the Kaaba without performing Tahiyatul Masjid (mosque-greeting-prayer) since Tawaf is considered to be the greeting for the Masjid Al-Haram. The recitation of Talbiyah will come to an end as soon as Kaaba is seen.


Supplication (Dua) at the Kaaba

According to some scholars, prayers (Dua) made upon seeing the Kaaba for the first time are more likely to be answered. So, the pilgrim should raise his hands and make Dua with sincerity. The pilgrim should also remember to praise Allah and to send peace and blessings on the Prophet (PBUH) before making Dua, which is an act of Sunnah.

Image by Haidan

Tawaf al-Umrah

Tawaf is the act of circumambulating the Kaaba (seven circuits) and, like prayer (except for speaking, which is allowed), must be done in a state of Wudhu (ablution) and free of anything that requires Ghusul (e.g. menstruation). Other requirements in order for Tawaf to be valid:

  1. Must be performed by the pilgrim himself

  2. Must be within the Masjid Al-Haram

  3. Awrah (nakedness) must be covered

  4. Counter-clockwise movement starting from the Black stone (Hajar al-Aswad)

  5. Avoid entering Hijr Ismail (Semi-circle area adjacent to Kaaba)

  6. To be performed by foot, for those capable



Men should uncover the right shoulder by passing the upper Ihram garment under the right armpit. This is done for all seven circuits (Shawt) of Tawaf.


Starting point

The Pilgrim must be in line with the Hajar al-Aswad. This is the starting point of the Tawaf. A green light on the wall of the Masjid opposite the Kaaba and the brown marble line on the floor will highlight this position.  This is the starting point of each circuit, where the pilgrim must stand facing the Kaaba ensuring the Hajar al-Aswad (Black stone) is slightly to his right side.



This is the Kissing, touching or saluting of the Hajar al-Aswad. 



If the pilgrim is able to reach the Hajar al-Aswad, the pilgrim should touch it with his right hand and say “bismi llāhi wallāhu akbar (بسْمِ اللَّهِ وَاللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ)” then kiss it. (This will be the 1st Istillam)



If unable to kiss it, the pilgrim should touch the Hajar al-Aswad with the right hand and say “bismi llāhi wallāhu akbar (بسْمِ اللَّهِ وَاللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ)” and then kiss his hand.



If the pilgrim is unable to reach the stone, which is the most likely scenario, the pilgrim should raise his right hand and perform a symbolic Istilam from afar and say “Allāhu akbar (اللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ)” without kissing his hand.


Some scholars have added to the preceding Dhikr the following supplication, which may be recited when coming parallel to the Hajar al-Aswad in each circuit:

بسْمِ اللَّهِ وَاللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ، اللَّهُمَّ إِيْمَاناً بِكَ وَتَصْدِيْقاً بِكِتَابِكَ، وَوَفَاءً بِعَهْدِكَ، وَاتِّبَاعاً لِسُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ مُحَمَّدْ

Bismi llāhi wa llāhu akbar, Allāhumma īmānan bika wa taṣdīqan bi kitābika wa wafā’an bi ahdika wattibā’an li sunnati nabiyyika Muḥammadin ﷺ.

In the name of Allah, Allah is the greatest. O Allah, out of faith in You, conviction in Your book, in fulfilment of Your covenant and in emulation of Your Prophet’s Sunnah ﷺ.



The pilgrim should start the first circuit of the Tawaf, making sure the Kaaba is on the Pilgrim’s left proceeding in a counterclockwise direction while avoiding walking through Hijr Ismail because such a circuit will not count.



Men should perform Raml (brisk walking) only during the first three circuits of Tawaf if performing this Sunnah will not harm or inconvenience others (i.e. when Haram is congested with Pilgrims).


Dhikr & Dua (Remembrance & supplications) during Tawaf

During Tawaf, the pilgrim may recite Quran, do Dhikr, make any Dua and send Salawat on the Prophet (PBUH) since there is no specific Dhikr or Dua designated specifically for Tawaf, except for the Dua between the Rukn Al-Yamani & the Hajar Al-Aswad mentioned below.


The Rukn Al-Yamani

Upon reaching the Rukn Al-Yamani (the Yemeni Corner), which is the corner that precedes the Hajar Al-Aswad, the pilgrim should touch it with his right hand and say “Allāhu akbar (اللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ)”. If however there’s too much congestion, which is the likely scenario, the pilgrim should proceed without saying Takbir or gesturing towards it. 


Between the Rukn al-Yamani and the Hajar al-Aswad, it is Sunnah to recite the following Dua


رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Rabbanā ātinā fi d-dunyā ḥasanatan wafi l-ākhirati ḥasanatan wa qinā ‘adhāba n-nār.


O our Lord, grant us the good of this world, the good of the Hereafter, and save us from the punishment of the fire.
[Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:201]


End of each circuit

Returning to the Hajar al-Aswad marks one circuit. The pilgrim should start the second circuit by making Istillam (2nd Istillam) of the Hajar al-Aswad and saying Allāhu akbar as was described earlier and so on until the completion of the seven circuits of Tawaf. During Tawaf, the pilgrim will be performing Istillam eight times in total: One before the start of the Tawaf and one at the end of each of the seven circuits.


End of Tawaf

The seven Tawaf circuits should be completed consecutively and continuously without interruption except for a congregational prayer, where the pilgrim must join in or the need to redo ablution (Wudho). In such cases, the pilgrim can resume Tawaf from the position where he left off. No circuit needs to be repeated.


Stop Idtiba

Once Tawaf has been completed, pilgrims who are in a state of idtiba (men), should re-cover their shoulders with their Ihram.


Tawaf Prayer

After Tawaf, the pilgrim is recommended to perform two Rakahs of Salah, preferably behind Maqam Ibrahim. If this is not possible, anywhere in the Masjid is fine; Reciting Surah al-Kafirun (Surah 109) in the first Rakah and Surah al-Ikhlas (Surah 112) in the second after al-Fatiha.


While moving to the place where the pilgrim intends to pray these two Rakahs, it is recommended to recite the following Quranic verse:


وَاتَّخِذُوا مِنْ مَقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى

Wattakhidhu min maqāmi Ibrāhīma muṣalla.


And take the Maqam Ibrahim as a place of Salah.
[Surah al-Baqarah, 2:125]



Upon completion of Tawaf Salah, and in preparation for the coming 3 km+ Sa’i walk, it’s a good time to take a drink of Zamzam water, which is available all around the Masjid al-Haram. The Prophet ﷺ said: “The water of Zamzam is for whatever purpose it is drunk for.” [Sunan Ibn Majah, 3062]


Before drinking the Zamzam water, the pilgrim should make an intention that its consumption will be a means of fulfilling his/her wishes, whether that is good health, success in this world, or protection from the tribulations of the grave. 


Ibn Abbas’ Dua might also be recited after drinking the water:


اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ عِلْمًا نَافِعًا وَ رِزْقًا وَاسِعًا وَ شِفَاءً مِنْ كُلِّ دَاءٍ

Allahumma innī as’aluka ‘ilman nāfi’an, wa rizqan wāsi’an, wa ‘amalan mutaqabbalan, wa shifā’an min kulli dā’.


O Allah, I ask You for knowledge that is beneficial, provision that is abundant and a cure from every illness.


The pilgrim may also make any other supplication of his choice since it’s another station where Duas are accepted in sha’ Allah.



If possible, go to the area between the Hajar al-Aswad and Kaaba door (Multazam). Cling to the wall and make Dua. It is a Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ and yet another station where supplications are accepted. If it’s inaccessible, face it and make Dua.


Final Istilam of Hajar al-Aswad

Before Sa’i, it is recommended for the pilgrim to go to the Hajar al-Aswad for another Istilam (9th time), if possible.


Sa’i of Safa and Marwah

Prophet Ismail’s mother Hajar was the first to walk between the Safa and Marwah hills in search of water for her and for her son Ismail (A.S.). A search (sa’i) that eventually led her to find the water of Zamzam. Later on, the religion of Islam incorporated this original Sa’i by Hajar to become among the Rites (Manasik) of Hajj & Umrah.


In order for Sa’i to be complete, the following requirements apply

  1. Must be performed by the pilgrim himself

  2. Pilgrim must be in a state of Ihram

  3. Pilgrim must remain in a state of Ihram until its completion

  4. It must be performed after Tawaf

  5. It must begin at Safa and end at Marwa

  6. For those capable, it must be done on foot.

  7. A total of seven complete laps must be performed by the Pilgrim


Proceed to Safa

After the final Istillam of Hajar al-Aswad (9th Istillam), the pilgrim should proceed to the hill of Safa, which is located in line with the Hajar al-Aswad and which has signs indicating its location. As the pilgrim approaches the Safa hill, it is Sunnah to recite the following verse:


إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ

Inna ṣ-ṣafā wa l-marwata min sha’ā’iri llāh(i).


Indeed, Safa and Marwa are from the Signs of Allah.
[Surah al-Baqarah, 2:158]




أَبْدَأُ بِمَا بَدَأَ اللهُ بِهِ

Abda’u bimā bad’allahu bihi.


I begin with that which Allah has begun with.

Dua at Safa

Upon reaching the Safa hill, the pilgrim should face the direction of Kaaba and raise hands in supplication. 


It is Sunnah to recite the following Dua

اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ، اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ، اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ، وَلِلّٰهِ الْحَمْدُ

Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar, wa lillāhi l-ḥamd.


Allah is the greatest; Allah is the greatest; Allah is the greatest, and to Allah belongs all praise.


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

Lā ilāha illallāh waḥdahu lā sharīka lah(u), lahu l-mulku wa lahu l-ḥamdu yuḥyī wa yumīt(u), wa huwa ‘alā kulli shay’in qadīr.


There is no deity except Allah, alone without a partner. To Him belongs the Dominion, and to Him belongs all praise. He gives life and death and He has power over everything.


لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اَللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ، اَنْجَزَ وَعْدَهُ وَنَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ وَهَزَمَ اَلْأَحْزَابَ وَحْدَهُ

Lā ilāha illallāhu waḥdah(u), anjaza wa’dahu wa naṣara ‘abdahu wa hazama l-aḥzāba waḥdah.


There is no deity except Allah alone. He fulfilled His promise, supported His slave and defeated the confederates alone.


After reciting this Dua, the pilgrim may recite his own supplications. The Dua should be read a total of three times, making his own supplications in between each time, as was the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ.


Proceed to Marwah

The pilgrim should now make his way to Marwa. Between Safa and Marwa, the pilgrim will encounter two sets of green fluorescent lights approximately 50 meters apart, which indicate the distance that Hajar ran in order to get to higher ground. These two markers are known as Milayn al-Akhdharayn (the two green mileposts). Between these two lights, it is Sunnah for men to jog at a medium pace while women should continue walking normally.


Remembrance and Supplication (Dhikr & Dua)

There is no fixed Dhikr or Dua that has been prescribed to be read during Sa’i, so the pilgrim may recite any prayers or supplications of their choice and send Salawat upon the Prophet ﷺ.


Dua at Marwah

Upon reaching the hill of Marwa, the pilgrim again needs to face the direction of Kaaba and repeat the same supplication recited at Safa.


This completes one lap of Sa’i. Returning back to Safa is considered a second lap.


End of Sa’i

The pilgrim needs to repeat this procedure until seven laps have been completed, which will naturally end at the hill of Marwa.


Note: Out of the four schools of thought, only the Hanafi recommends praying two Rakahs following the Sa’i in Masjid al-Haram.



Unlike Tawaf, Tahara is not a condition for the completeness of Sa’i.  However, since the Mas’a is within the Haram, Tahara is preferable.


Like Tawaf, in the case of interruption in Sa’i because of a congregational prayer, the pilgrim simply resumes Sa’i from where it was left off.


Leaving Masjid al-Haram

As is the case for any Masjid, it is the Sunnah to leave the Masjid by stepping out with the left foot first and reciting the following Dua:


بِسْمِ اللهِ وَالصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَّامُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ، اللَّهُمَّ إَنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ

Bismi llāhi, wa ṣ-ṣalātu wa s-salāmu ‘ala rasūli llāh. Allāhumma innī as’aluka min faḍlik.


In the name of Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah. O Allah, I ask of you from Your bounty.


Exiting the state of Ihram (Tahalul)

In order to exit the state of Ihram and complete the Umrah, male pilgrims need to shave (Halq) or trim (Taqsir) their hair. It is considered more virtuous for a man to have his head shaved completely. As for women, it is enough for them only to trim (Taqsir) their hair.


There are a number of men’s barber shops outside the Marwa door of the Haram that are open 24 hours a day.


Once the hair has been shaved or trimmed, the pilgrim at this point becomes free from the restrictions of Ihram and may change back into regular clothing.


Pilgrims interested in performing another Umrah must travel to the boundary of Makkah – namely: Masjid Aisha - in order to once again enter the state of Ihram. Transportation to get there is available near the Masjid al-Haram.

Image by Afif Ramdhasuma
Masjid 2.jpg



Miqat (Arabic: ميقات) refers to the boundary where it becomes necessary for pilgrims to adorn the Ihram garments and impermissible to pass except in the state of Ihram. Those who cross the boundary without having entered into the state of Ihram must perform an animal sacrifice (Damm) as expiation.

There are five Miqats in total, four of which are mentioned in the following Hadith narrated by Abdullah ibn Abbas (R.A):

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ had fixed Dhul Hulayfah as the Miqat for the people of Madinah; al-Juhfah for the people of Sham; and Qarn al-Manazil for the people of Najd; and Yalamlam for the people of Yemen. So, the Miqats mentioned above are the Mawaqit for all those living in those places, and besides them for those who come through those places with the intention of performing Hajj and Umrah and whoever lives within these places should assume Ihram from his dwelling place, and similarly the people of Makkah can assume Ihram from Makkah (For Hajj).
[Narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari]


An additional Miqat was affixed during the reign of the second caliph, Umar Ibn al-Khattab (R.A.) after the towns of Basra and Kufa had been captured. Abdullah ibn Umar I narrates:

When these two towns (Basra and Kufa) were captured, the people went to Umar and said, “O Chief of the faithful believers! The Prophet ﷺ fixed Qarn as the Miqat for the people of Najd, it is beyond our way and it is difficult for us to pass through it.” He said, “Take as your Miqat a place situated opposite to Qarn on your usual way. So, he fixed Dhat Irq (as their Miqat).
[Narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari]


Miqat Names and Locations

Dhul Hulayfah (Abyar Ali)

It is the Miqat for the people of Medina including its visitors. It is about 18 km South West of Medina, and about 420 km from Makkah al-Mukarramah.



Al-Juhfah (Rabigh)

It is the Miqat for the people traveling from North America, Europe, Turkey, the Levant, Egypt, Sudan, and all countries of the Arab Maghreb. It is about 186 km North West of Makkah al-Mukarramah.



Qarn al-Manazil (Al-Sayl)

It is the Miqat for the people of Najd, the Arab Gulf states, and other countries beyond them like Pakistan, Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore. It is approximately 74 km East of Makkah Al-Mukarramah.



Yalamlam (Al-Sadiah)

It is the Miqat for the people of Yemen and those coming from the South like South Africa, & Nigeria. It was given this name in reference to Yalamlam Mount. It is about 130 km South of Makkah al-Mukarramah.



Thatu Irq

It is the Miqat for the people of Iraq and other countries beyond it like Iran, China, & Russia. It is about 110 km North East of Makkah Al-Mukarramah



The Hil (Arabic: الحل) is the area between the boundaries of the Miqats and the boundaries of the Haram. Cities and towns such as Jeddah, Khulais, al-Janun and Taneem are all situated within this area.


Pilgrims residing in or traveling through the Hil must enter into a state of Ihram before crossing the boundary of the Haram. For example, a person who travels to Jeddah on business and wants to perform Umrah may enter into Ihram in Jeddah or before crossing the boundary of the Haram.



The Haram is the sacred boundary of Makkah within which certain normally lawful acts are considered to be unlawful. It is prohibited to hunt wild animals, damage plants or trees, graze animals, carry weapons, fight or behave in a manner that will violate the sanctity of Masjid al-Haram. If a violation does occur within the precinct of the Haram, a sacrifice (Damm) or Sadaqah will be required for expiation. 


The boundaries of the Haram are as follows:

  1. Taneem – Masjid Aisha, also known as Masjid Taneem,
    8 km (5 miles) from the Kaaba, 5 km (3 miles) from Makkah, in direction of Madinah

  2. Adaat Laban – On the road to Yemen
    11 km (7 miles) away from Makkah

  3. Wadi Nakhla – On the road to Iraq
    11 km (7 miles) away from Makkah

  4. Arafat – On the road to Ta’if, close to Masjid al-Namirah in Arafat
    11 km (7 miles) away from Makkah

  5. Ji’ranah – Masjid al-Ji’ranah
    14 km (9 miles) away from Makkah

  6. Hudaibiyah – Masjid al-Hudaibiyah
    on the road to Jeddah about 16 km (10 miles) away from Makkah

If a pilgrim intends to perform an additional Umrah, like Makkah residents who want to perform Umrah, Ihram must be assumed outside the boundary of the Haram before reentering Makkah to carry out the rites of Umrah. Many pilgrims and Makkah residents alike choose to enter into the state of Ihram for Umrah at Masjid Aisha which is the nearest and most convenient location from Masjid al-Haram. Transportation to get to this location is available near the Masjid al-Haram.

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General Advice to ensure the best Umrah

  1. Try hard to learn the rites of Umrah in order not to incur upon yourself what might ruin your act of worship or lessen your reward without you knowing.

  2. Do your best to abide by the tradition (Sunnah) of the Prophet (peace be upon him) according to your best ability and circumstances.

  3. Try hard to avoid observing other people and concentrate on your own actions and the right way of worship, this is because you may see strange acts performed by some Muslims out of ignorance. Try to remain calm and patient in accordance with true Muslim manners.

  4. Avoid committing sins and keep away from arguments and disputes.

  5. Avoid competing with other Umrah performers in a crowd or hurting them during Tawaf, Sa'i and other acts of worship.

  6. Avoid any clash or contact with women at very crowded places (as in Tawaf and Sa'i).

  7. Do not question yourself or anyone else for the reason of performing some acts of worship and try to submit yourself to Allah.

  8. You must be friendly and kind to the inhabitants of Makkah and Madinah, and beware of treating them with disrespect or using violence with them, as the inhabitants of Makkah are the neighbors of Allah’s House and the inhabitants of Al Madinah are neighbors of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him).

  9. Some of the benefits of flying with an Islamic Airline include the availability of a small prayer area onboard. Furthermore, the captain will announce when Miqat is approaching.


Advice relating to the pillar of Tawaf

  1. Keep in mind that the Tawaf is the greeting of Al-Haram; it is also a prayer, but Allah has allowed speech in it. Therefore, purification (Tahara) from the major and minor impure states and covering the ‘Awrah (private parts) are pre-conditions for Tawaf.

  2. Avoid standing for a long time at the Black Stone for the purpose of Istillam since that may lead to severe congestion.

  3. Avoid competing with other pilgrims to kiss the Black Stone because kissing it is a Sunnah, meanwhile not causing harm to yourself and to other people is an obligation (Wajib), and the obligation should take precedence over the Sunnah.

  4. It is desirable for the pilgrim to be submissive, showing reverence with a present heart during Tawaf.

  5. Continuity between the seven circuits of Tawaf is a confirmed Sunnah (except during congregational prayer or when re-ablution is required).

  6. Avoid cracking or crossing of fingers during Tawaf. Also eating and drinking are detested and so too is uttering anything other than the remembrance of Allah and invocation.

  7. Like regular Salah (prayer), Tawaf is not to be performed while the person is feeling the need to go to the bathroom.

  8. Be careful not to perform Tawaf within Hijr Isma'il, because by doing so, the Umrah pilgrim would have circumambulated only part of the Ka'bah, not the whole Ka'bah, which makes that circuit null and void.

  9. Avoid raising your voice during Tawaf as this may disturb other Umrah pilgrims doing Tawaf.

  10. Al-Raml (brisk walking) is a Sunnah only to be implemented by men during the first three circuits of Tawaf meanwhile Idtiba’ (exposing the right shoulder) is another Sunnah to be implemented by men during all circuits of Tawaf.

  11. Raml during Tawaf and jogging during Sa'i are not Sunnah for women.

  12. Avoid Idtiba' during prayers.

  13. Avoid rubbing yourself against the station (Maqam) of Ibrahim (A.S.) and kissing it because this is an innovation (Bida’a) which violates the Sunnah, so too is rubbing oneself against the walls of the Ka'bah.

  14. Avoid insisting on performing prayers behind Maqam Ibrahim after finishing Tawaf when it is over-crowded since praying is permissible anywhere within the Haram in lieu.

  15. Women must not publicly expose their hair while getting it clipped at the release from their state of Ihram.


Advice relating to your stay in Madinah


  1. Maintain a good commitment to the prophetic tradition (Sunnah) and show great reverence to it.

  2. Do your best to perform prayers in the Honorable Garden (Al Rawda) because it is considered to be - as the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) has said - a garden among the gardens of Paradise.

  3. Do not wipe against or kiss the wall of any grave.

  4. Walk in Madinah with serenity, reverence and great politeness (since you are walking in the footsteps of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions).

  5. Do not laugh or speak loudly because raising the voice in the presence of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) invalidates good deeds.

  6. Don't smoke. If you are a smoker try hard to stop it in the Holy Lands because it is considered a sinful act especially in the city of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) and it is also regarded as being impolite in the presence of the great Messenger (peace be upon him).


Special legislations for women

  1. Wearing sewn clothes is permissible while in a state of Ihram provided they are not dyed by saffron or safflower.

  2. Wearing a "khuff" (a type of sandals) is permissible while in a state of Ihram.

  3. Face covers (Niqab) and gloves are not permissible while in a state of Ihram.

  4. Unlike men during the state of Ihram, Head must be covered at all times.

  5. Unlike men, women neither perform Raml during Tawaf nor do they run during Sa'i between the two green lights.

  6. Unlike men, women do not wear her Ihram dress in the form of Idtiba during Tawaf.

  7. Unlike men, women do not shave their hair, but only trim it.

  8. Women do not touch the Black Stone in the presence of a crowd of men, rather they only point to it.

  9. Women should avoid congested areas for example by performing Tawaf at the edge of the crowd and not in the middle.

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