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How To Perform Hajj ( Guide )

What is Hajj?

Hajj is a sacred pilgrimage performed by Muslims at the holy mosque Masjid al-Haram in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the five pillars of Islam and takes place during the month of Dhul Hijjah, the twelfth month in the Islam calendar.

As Muslims, undertaking Hajj in Islam – is a spiritual duty, as long as we are financially, physically, and emotionally able to do so.

In the Holy Qur’an, Allah (SWT) commands us to take this sacred journey:

“You will enter the Sacred Masjid, God willing, perfectly secure, and you will cut your hair or shorten it (as you fulfill the pilgrimage rituals) there. You will not have any fear. Since He knew what you did not know, He has coupled this with an immediate victory.” (48:27)

What is Hajj in Islam?

A spiritual, emotional, and physical challenge, Hajj in Islam offers the opportunity to refresh our spiritual self, to cleanse us of our sins, and to renew our faith in Allah (SWT).

As Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said:

“Whoever performs Hajj for the sake of Allah and does not utter any obscene speech or do any evil deed, will go back (free of sin) as his mother bore him.” (Bukhari; Muslim)

What are the steps of Hajj?

  • Preparation and Intention

  • Enter a state of Ihram

  • Tawaf x7

  • Safa and Marwa

  • Clip/Shave Hair (Umrah ends)

  • Resting and Praying

  • Arrive at Mina

  • Day of Arafah

  • Muzdalifah (under the night sky)

  • Rami (stoning of the devil)

  • Qurbani

  • Shave Head

  • Tawaf al-Ifadha

  • Rami (stoning of the devil)

  • Spend a night at Mina

  • Rami (stoning of the devil)

  • Farewell Tawaf al-Wida

How do I perform Hajj?

There are three forms of Hajj: Tamattu, Ifraad, and Qiran. For the purpose of this Hajj guide, we will use the Tamattu form of Hajj, which is what the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) encouraged his followers to perform.

Before you arrive at Makkah to start Hajj, it’s important to make your intention (niyah) within your heart. The intention must be to perform the Hajj for the sake of Allah alone, with a desire for the Hereafter. It should not be done with the intention of being seen among others or for worldly gain.

Next, you’ll enter into the state of ihram (ritual purity). For men, this means wearing the designated white cloth with one piece wrapped around your shoulder and one around your waist. Ladies can wear any clothing of their choice but should ensure they observe the rules of hijab. Face coverings, however, are not permitted. Fully-covering shoes are also not permitted. Footwear must be in the form of sandals for both men and women.


Ihram is a sacred state that Muslims enter and remain in during the special rituals and events that are required to complete Hajj or Umrah. The state is entered by following certain cleansing rituals and wearing the correct dress. Ihram is also used to refer to the ceremonial clothing that has been chosen with the purpose of completing Hajj and must be worn by all men and women. Ihram and Hajj is a time of total equality, Ihram clothing removes all societal representations of wealth or social differences and ensures that both men and women renounce the temptations of vanity and the world.


On arrival in Makkah, you will first perform your umrah, which means you will do your tawaf and sa’i.


Tawaf is one of the principal rites of the pilgrimage and refers to walking in circles around the Ka’bah in an anti-clockwise motion. One tawaf is made up of seven complete circuits, with each one starting and ending at the black stone.

In addition to your tawaf, you can also offer voluntary prayers to thank Allah (SWT) for arriving safely and to mark the start of this incredibly special spiritual journey.

Safa and Marwa

After you’ve performed your tawaf, you’ll then perform what’s known as sa’i walking and running between the two hills of Safa and Marwa. You’ll begin the sa’i on Safa and walk towards Marwa until you see the green marker at which point you will run until the next green marker, and continue walking till you reach Marwa. This completes one lap. You will then return to Safa to complete your second lap. Your sa’i is complete once you have performed a total of seven laps between Safa and Marwa.

This is an important ritual in memory of Prophet Ibrahim’s wife Hajar (AS) and her struggle in the desert in search of water for her son Prophet Ismail (AS). Sa’i symbolises the ongoing struggle that we encounter throughout our lives, as Hajar (AS) experienced herself.

Once sa’i is complete, men will have their hair clipped or shaved whilst a woman clips her hair to the length of her fingertip. This marks the completion of your umrah, allowing you to leave ihram, until the 8th of Dhul Hijjah.

Day 1 : 8th Dhul Hijjah

The 8th day of Dhul Hijjah marks the beginning of the days of Hajj and the next stage of your spiritual journey. You’ll purify yourself and enter the state of ihram once again.

It’s very important to note that you are in a state of ihram and you are not permitted to smoke, swear, shave, clip your nails, or engage in any form of sexual relations. Fighting and arguments are also banned, and participants are prohibited from hunting, killing or unjustifiably breaking anything. You must also avoid scented products such as perfumes, moisturizers, makeup or soaps. You may, however, substitute them for unscented toiletries which are permissible to use.

Once you’re all set, you’ll begin reciting the following invocation called the Talbiyah:

لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ، لَبَّيْكَ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ لاَشَرِيْكَ لَكَ
Labbayka Allāhumma labbayk. Labbayk lā shareeka laka labbayk. Inna al-ḥamda, wa n-‘imata, Laka wal mulk. Lā shareeka lak. “Here I am, O Allah, here I am, here I am. You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and all sovereignty. You have no partner.”

You will then proceed with your Hajj group to the tent city of Mina, which lies roughly eight kilometers away from Makkah.


Once you arrive in Mina you’ll settle into your tent. Here you’ll pray dhuhr, asr, maghrib, isha, and fajr, shortening your four unit prayers to two units each, without combining them, as stated in the Quran.

Spend the night and pray to Allah (SWT), read the Qur’an and prepare for day two. It’s an important time for spiritual reflection and devotion, so try and make the most of this special night.

Day 2 : 9th Dhul Hijjah

Now that you’ve performed umrah, for the rest of this blessed month, you’ll stay in Makkah to complete your spiritual journey of Hajj surrounded by your fellow Muslim brothers and sisters, SubhanAllah!

Performing Hajj

Fulfilling your sacred obligation of Hajj will be the most spiritual period of your life insha’Allah, filled with blessings and forgiveness from Allah (SWT)!


Gathering on Mount Arafah

After praying fajr salat in Mina, you’ll then head to the plains of Arafah, reciting istaghfar [asking for forgiveness] and making supplications, marking the Day of Arafah when we ask Allah (SWT) for forgiveness for our sins. Upon reaching the plains of Mount Arafah, pilgrims observe dhuhr and asr prayers combined and shortened (two rakat instead of four).

On this day there, will be a sermon delivered from Masjid al-Nimra on Mount Arafah. Remember to listen to the khutbah if possible. Your group may also facilitate a translation of this sermon in English.

The day of Arafah is one of the most important days for Muslims, as Allah (SWT), in Surah al-Maidah of the Holy Qur’an, refers to the Day of Arafah as the Day on which He perfected His religion, completed His favours upon His beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), and approved Islam as a way of life!

The Prophet (ﷺ) also said:

“There is no day on which Allah frees people from the Fire more so than on the day of ‘Arafah. He comes close to those (people standing on ‘Arafah), and then He reveals before His Angels saying, ‘What are these people seeking.” (Muslim)

So, be sure to stand on the plains of Arafah and make lots of du’a, focussing your energy on Allah (SWT), asking Him for forgiveness and blessings for you and your family. Don’t forget to include your friends, relatives, neighbors as well as the wider Ummah in your du’a on this special day.


After sunset, you’ll depart Arafah and head to Muzdalifah – an open plain between Mina and Arafat. Once you reach Muzdalifah you’ll perform your maghrib and isha salah, one after the other, shortening isha salah to two rakat.

As Abdullah ibn Umar (RA) narrates:

“The Prophet (ﷺ) offered the maghrib and isha prayers together at Muzdalifa with a separate iqama for each of them and did not offer any optional prayer in between them or after each of them.” (Bukhari)

Afterwards, you can then spend the night in worship or resting. The Prophet (ﷺ) went to sleep until shortly before fajr, choosing not to engage in night worship as he normally did. So, don’t be tempted to exhaust yourself but rest instead – you have a long day ahead of you!

While in Muzdalifah, you may also collect pebbles to perform rami [the stoning of the devil] over the next three days. The size of the pebbles should be similar to the size of date stones/seeds. You will need a total of 49 pebbles. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 7 for the 10th of Dhul Hijjah

  • 21 for the 11th of Dhul Hijjah

  • 21 for the 12th of Dhul Hijjah

However, it is advised that you pick up a further 21 pebbles as a precautionary measure to bring your total up to 70. When you proceed to the phases of throwing the pebbles at the Jamarat, you may miss the target or some pebbles may fall from your hand. Therefore, it’s better to have more than to be short. Pebbles can also be collected from anywhere in Mina.

Day 3 : 10th Dhul Hijjah

After performing fajr salah you will depart Muzdalifah to go towards Mina. Remember to continuously recite the talbiyah.

The 10th of Dhul Hijjah is called the Yawm al-Nahr, or the Day of Sacrifice. For pilgrims of Hajj, this is the day of pelting pebbles at one of the Jamarat, as well as sacrificing an animal. For the rest of the Muslims around the world, this is the day of Eid.

The Rami (Stoning of the Devil)

Stoning of the Jamara sometimes referred to as the “Stoning of the Devil” is a ritual carried out by Hajj pilgrims whereby pebbles are thrown at three stone structures in Mina. The act of throwing stones at the Jamarat is known as “Rami”. The ritual of Rami is symbolic of the actions of Ibrahim (AS) when he was faced with the trial of having to sacrifice his son, Ismail (AS) upon the commandment of Allah (SWT).

On the way to carry out the commandment, Shaytan repeatedly tried to change Ibrahim’s mind. As Ibrahim reached Jamarat al-Aqaba, he was instructed by Angel Jibreel to throw seven stones at Shaytan. He obliged and Shaytan fled immediately. The three Jamarat indicate the three places where Shaytan tried to dissuade Ibrahim from obeying the command of Allah. However, the pillars do not contain or hold Shaytan, as many people are led to believe.

Once you reach Jamarat, you will head to Jamarat al-Aqaba, which is the big pillar, and here you will throw the first seven pebbles at the concrete pillar. As you throw the pebbles you’ll say the takbir اللهُ أَكْبَرُ (Allāhu ‘Akbar): “Allah is The Greatest” upon each throw.

One of the pillars for stoning in Jamarat

Following the sacrifice, you will proceed to shave or trim your hair if you are male. The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) shaved his hair and this is preferable. A woman trims her hair by the length of a fingertip.

Now you are allowed to leave the state of ihram and wear comfortable clothing. You are also allowed to everything that was unlawful during your state of ihram, except engaging in sexual intimacy. It is sunnah to apply perfume as the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) smelt strongly of musk at this point.

Tawaf al-ifadha

You will now go to Makkah to perform tawaf al-ifadha and sa’i as part of your Hajj rituals.

Tawaf al-ifada and sa’i are obligatory. You must perform them after the rami, sacrifice and shaving (or trimming) of the head. On 10th and 12th Dhul Hijjah, the tawaf and sa’i can be done.

With the completion of this tawaf and sa’i, you are then allowed to relax and do everything that was lawful before ihram, including engaging in marital relations. You will, however, return to your tents in Mina and continue with the remaining rituals of Hajj.

( NOTE: The above should, ideally, be done in the above order if possible, but there is no penalty if one precedes another. )

Eid al-Adha

The festival of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, is celebrated by Muslims who are not on pilgrimage. They slaughter animals to mark Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail (AS) upon the command of Allah (SWT).

Days 4 and 5: 11th and 12th Dhul Hijjah

These days are known as “Ayyam al-tashreeq”, or the days of drying meat. During the time of the Prophet (ﷺ), pilgrims would preserve the Qurbani meat by seasoning and drying them under the sun to prevent the meat from rotting. The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: “The days of tashreeq are the days of eating and drinking.” (Muslim)

You are required to stay in Mina and complete two more rami rituals on 11th and 12th Dhul Hijjah. On the afternoon of 11th Dhul Hijjah, you’ll have your 21 pebbles ready and proceed to stone the three Jamarat.

You will begin with Jamarah al-Ula (the small pillar), then Jamarah al-Wusta (the middle pillar) and finally, Jamarah al-Aqaba (the big pillar). Each one should be stoned with seven consecutive pebbles accompanied by takbeer. You will stop after the first and middle Jamrat to make du’a facing the qibla. Remember to take your spare pebbles with you in case you lose some! Once this is completed, you will return to your camp in Mina and spend the rest of the day in worship, making the most of the remaining time you have.

You will then repeat the same for the following day and stone the three Jamrat.

By now, all of your rites of Hajj should have been performed. Now you should be ready to depart to Makkah. Depending on your Hajj group, you may have a few rest days in Makkah, or you may depart. In any case, before you depart Makkah you must perform the farewell tawaf.

Hajj Guide: Tawaf al-wida

Before departing from Makkah, the farewell tawaf is the last rite we perform. It is wajib (obligatory) and must be performed prior to leaving the boundaries of the Haram. Omitting this tawaf, without a valid reason, is not deemed lawful in Islam.

Ibn Abbas (RA) narrated:

“The people were ordered to perform the tawaf al-wida as the last thing before leaving (Makkah), except the menstruating women who were excused. “ (Bukhari)

For this tawaf, you will complete the seven laps of tawaf. Then perform two rakat of salah and drink zam zam water. There is no sa’i or shaving/trimming of the head after this tawaf.

Alhamdulillah You Have Successfully Completed Your Hajj

Those peoples who cant perform hajj , that they are not able to go to the house of Allah ( Makkah ) . Dont worry the first ten days of Dhul - Hijjah are so much important that you can also earn much sawaab by doing few things in these ten days ,

  • Remember Allah

  • Fast

  • Give Charity

  • Recite Quran

  • Pray Tahajjud

  • Recite " Astagfirullah " ( as much as possible )

Our Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“There are no days that are greater before Allah or in which good deeds are more beloved to Him, than these ten days, so recite a great deal of tahleel, takbeer and tahmeed during them.” (Ahmad)

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