There are Three Ways of
Performing the Hajj.

Al-Hajj Step by Step:
First Way
| Al-Hajj At-Tamattu’ 

Decorative Lines

Stages of Hajj


Every pilgrim will want to know how the rituals of the Hajj fit together within the framework of the Hajj as a whole. In this section we give details of each stage of Hajj al-Tamattu’ and provide advice on the rituals that must be performed if the Hajj is to be completed satisfactorily.

  • Ihram
  • Performing the Welcome Tawaf and Sa’y
  • Ihram for Hajj al-Tamattu’
  • Going to Mina from Makkah
  • Going to Arafat from Mina
  • Going to Muzdalifah from Arafat
  • Proceeding to Mina from Muzdalifah
  • Tawaf al-Ifadha in the Holy City of Makkah
  • Returning to Mina from Makkah
  • Farewell Tawaf in the Holy City of Makkah
  • Departing for home.


Bathe yourself (ghusl).

Put on the white clothing of Ihram. The white garment of the Ihram consists of two pieces of white cloth: the cloth covering the upper part of the body is the Rida’; the cloth covering the lower part of the body is the Izar.

After donning the white garment of Ihram and verbally declaring the intention to perform Umrah or a specific type of Hajj, recite the Talbiyah.

Now that you are in a state of Ihram, you are subject to a number of prohibitions. You must not:

  • Wear sewn clothes
  • Cut or pluck hair
  • Clip nails
  • Cover your head
  • Wear perfume
  • Engage in sexual intercourse

Other prohibitions include entering into a marriage contract, hunting, or cutting down trees in the Sacred Precinct.

Performing the Welcome Tawaf and Sa’y:

Enter the Holy Sanctuary (al Masjid al Haram), preferably right foot first through the Bab as-Salam gate, reciting the Talbiyah:

  • Labbayk, Allahumma Labbayk.
  • Labbayk, La Shareeka laka labbayk.
  • Innal-hamda wan-ni’mata laka wal-mulk
  • La shareeka lak’

The above means:

  • ‘Here I am O Allah, (in response to Your call), here I am.
  • Here I am, You have no partner, here I am.
  • Verily all praise, grace and sovereignty belong to You.
  • You have no partner.’

You should then say: “In the name of Allah, may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah. O 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 over the accursed Satan.”

When you first see the Holy Kaaba, keep your eyes fixed on this the holiest of all structures in Islam. Standing to one side, proclaim:

  • “Allahu Akbar” three times
  • “La ilaha illa’Llah” three times

Then proclaim a blessing on the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) and, in all humility, make your prayers to Allah. This is an especially propitious time to offer prayers to the Almighty.

You may recite some other similar holy verses if you so desire.

After this, while uttering Talbiyah once more and repeatedly, move forward to prepare for the circumambulation of the Kaaba (Tawaf).

To prepare for the Tawaf, you must ensure ablutions have been performed. You should pass the upper garment of the Ihram (the rida’) under the right arm and over the left shoulder, thus leaving the right shoulder bare. This procedure is called iddtibaa’.

When you reach the Black Stone (al-Hajar al-Aswad), you have arrived at the starting point for the circumambulation (Tawaf), and you may cease reciting the Talbiyah.


Standing facing the Kaaba, with the Black Stone to your right. You are now ready to perform Niyyah (i.e. express your intention to start the performance of Umrah):

“O Allah, I perform Tawaf of Umrah to please You. Make it easy for me and accept it from me.”


Now, moving right, if space permits, stand before the Black Stone and kiss it. If you are unable to move close enough to kiss the Black Stone, you may touch it by hand. If you are unable to kiss or touch the Black Stone, place your hands at your ears, palms facing outwards, and say:

“Bismi’Llah Allahu akbar wa li’Llah al-hamd”

This alternative is perfectly acceptable so there is no need for pushing or shoving which may harm yourself or others if you are not able to reach the Black Stone.

This act, whether you kiss the Black Stone, touch it by hand or utter a prayer while pointing the palm of your hand towards the Black Stone is called Istilam.


You may now begin your seven circumambulation, moving right, so that you keep Kaaba to your left, counter-clockwise, around the Kaaba.

When performing the first three circumambulations, men may move their shoulders and move with quick, short steps. (This procedure is called Ramal.) The remaining four circumambulations should be performed at a normal walking pace.

Prayers During Tawaf:

While performing Tawaf, there are no prescribed prayers but there are a number of supplications which are recommended. You may also use the prayers that form part of your daily prayer sessions and pray to Allah in your own way in your own language.


Hateem is a semi-circular section which originally formed part of the Kaaba but was not incorporated into the Kaaba when the Kaaba was rebuilt. You should include the Hateem in your circumambulations.

When you reach the fourth corner of the Kaaba (Rukn Yamani), touch it with your right hand or both hands and, as you walk between Rukn Yamani and the Black Stone, you may pray:

“Rabbana atina fid-dunya hasanatan wa fil-akhirati hasanatan wa qina azabin-nar”.

When you reach the Black Stone, perform Istilam again, to mark the start of your second circumambulation.

Continue in the same way, until you have completed the seven circumambulations, including Istilam at the end of each circuit.

Completion of Tawaf:

On completion of your seven circumambulations, men should cover their right shoulder, thus ending iddtibaa’.


Between the Black Stone and the door of the Kaaba is a deeply holy place about two meters in length where it is very good to pray. If you are able to reach this place, pray to Allah for His mercy and for His beneficence. If you are prevented by the number of people from reaching Multazam, simply face towards the area and make your prayers.

Maqam Ibrahim:

On completion of the seven circumambulations, you should approach Maqam Ibrahim (the Station of Ibrahim) and offer two short prayers (rakaats). Then, if it is possible, you should return to the Black Stone and touch it.

Maqām Ibrahim

Safa And Marwah:

You are now ready to perform the Sa’y, the shuttling between the two hills of Safa and Marwah.

As you approach Safa, you may say:

“Verily, As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the shrines of Allah”.

You should now ascend Safa and, facing the Kaaba, make whatever supplication you choose. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), when he stood on Safa, proclaimed three times “There is no god but Allah”.

Safa Wa Marwah II

You should now proceed towards Marwah, walking at a normal pace until you reach the green marker. Men, if they are able, should run until they reach the next green marker, whereupon they should revert to a normal walking pace until you reach Marwah. Women should proceed throughout at normal walking pace. The area between the two markers is where Haajar used to hear her baby Ishmael crying out from thirst while she was looking for help. She ran whenever she heard his cries. When you stand on Marwah, face the Qibla, and repeat the prayers and supplications you voiced at Safa. You are now ready to make the return journey, walking where you should walk and, if a man, running, if able, where you should run. This is your second passage.

You should now repeat the procedure until you have completed seven passages, ending your Sa’y at Marwah. While performing Sa’y, you should pray to Allah as you wish and recite verses from the Holy Qur’an.

Cutting of Hair:

On completion of Sa’y, men should clip their hair so that there will be enough hair to shave after performing Hajj. Women should clip their hair one or two centimeters. On doing this your Umrah will be complete. You may terminate your Ihram and wear your normal clothes.

Ihram for Hajj al-Tamattu’

If you are performing Hajj al-Tamattu’, you will have completed Umrah and ended your Ihram. You must now re-enter Ihram for Hajj from your location in Makkah.

  • On 8th of Dhu’l-Hijjah bathe yourself (ghusl).
  • Put on the white clothing of Ihram.
  • After donning Ihram and verbally declaring the intention to perform Hajj, recite the Talbiyah.

Now that you are in a state of Ihram, you are once again subject to the same prohibitions.

Going to Mina from Makkah:

8th of Dhu’l-Hijjah: You will be in Mina for one day from after dawn prayer (Fajr) on 8th of Dhu’l-Hijjah till after dawn prayer (Fajr) on 9th Dhu’l-Hijjah.

Perform five prayers, starting with the noon (Zuhr) prayer and ending with dawn (Fajr) prayer on the day of Arafat.

You may also collect some of the seventy small pebbles you will need for the “stoning” ceremony (ramy)

Going to Arafat from Mina:

9th of Dhu’l-Hijjah: This is the Day of Arafat. You will be in Arafat from after dawn until after sunset on 9th Dhu’l-Hijjah.

After performing the dawn (Fajr) prayer at Mina, leave for Arafat on the morning of the 9th of Dhu’l-Hijjah.

When you reach Arafat, you may stay anywhere in Arafat, except in ‘Batn Oranah, the valley immediately after the Namirah Mosque in the direction of Qibla. Devote as much of your time as possible to prayer. Repent your sins, and seek the forgiveness of Allah.

At the Namirah Mosque listen to the Arafat day sermon.

From after noon onwards, perform Wuquf at Arafat. This is the most holy of times when you stand alone with Allah. Go outside your tent, and face towards the Qibla in the Holy City of Makkah, raise your hands and pray to Allah, pray as you wish, pray in your own language, pray for the forgiveness of sins, pray with all your heart.

When the sun has set, leave Arafat for Muzdalifah.

Going to Muzdalifah from Arafat:

(9th – 10th of Dhu’l-Hijjah: You will be in Muzdalifah from after sunset on 9th Dhu’l-Hijjah till after the dawn prayer (Fajr) on 10th of Dhu’l-Hijjah.

Your stay in Muzdalifah will be under the open sky. Here you will offer the evening prayer (Maghrib) and stay over night.

While at Muzdalifah you should ensure you have the pebbles you will need for the “stoning” ceremony (ramy). You may have already collected some pebbles in Mina. You should now make sure you have enough by picking up as many as you need from the foot of the hills at Muzdalifah. You will need 70 pebbles in total, so it is as well to gather a few extra in case of losses on the way.

At dawn, you will offer Fajr (the dawn prayer). Then, before the sun has risen, you will set off for Mina.

Proceeding to Mina from Muzdalifah:

10th of Dhu’l-Hijjah: You will be in Mina for the stoning (ramy) of Jamarat ul Kubra; the stoning must be performed according to pre-determined schedules. The stoning is followed by the sacrifice and the shaving/cutting of hair (Halq/Taqseer).

Here seven times you will stone the pillar that represents the devil, saying “Bismillah, Allahu akbar” each time you throw a pebble. “Bismillah” means “in the name of Allah”. “Allahu akbar” means “God is great”.

Women and those who are old or otherwise infirm need not themselves perform ramy, leaving it to those delegated to perform it on their behalf.

After the stoning of the devil, a Sacrifice is required. Eat from the meat of the sacrificed animal and distribute the rest to the poor.

You will now leave the state of Ihram, by shaving your head or, if you are a woman, by clipping your hair. You may now shower, shave, and change into your normal clothes. The prohibitions imposed by Ihram are now removed, except that you must not have sexual relations. (Husband and wife may not enjoy conjugal relations until after Tawaf al-Ifadha – the Circumambulation of the Kaaba, central to the Hajj rites.)

You will now proceed to the al Masjid al Haram in Makkah to perform Tawaf al-Ifadha.

Tawaf al-Ifadha in the Holy City of Makkah:

10th of Dhu’l-Hijjah: You return to the Holy City of Makkah to perform Tawaf al-Ifadha on 10th of Dhu’l-Hijjah.

  • Tawaf al-Ifadha is an essential element of Hajj.
  • You will circumambulate the Kaaba seven times and then offer prayers (rakaat) behind Maqam Ibrahim.
  • You will then perform Sa’y between Safa and Marwah.
  • Drink water from the Well of Zamzam.

As soon as you have completed the Hajj Tawaf (Tawaf al-Ifadha) the state of Ihram is completely ended and all restrictions are lifted including those relating to sexual relations with one’s spouse.

Return to Mina.

Returning to Mina from Makkah:

11th – 13th of Dhu’l-Hijjah: You stay in Mina for up to three days for the stoning of the three pillars representing Satan (ramy of the three Jamarat).

According to pre-determined schedules on these two or three days, you will stone the three pillars in a set order, performing ramy al-uula, ramy al-wusta and ramy al- kubra. You may return to al Masjid al Haram to perform the Farewell Tawaf after ramy on 12th of Dhu’l-Hijjah, if you wish. Or you may stay till 13th of Dhu’l-Hijjah, performing ramy for the third time, before returning to al Masjid al Haram for the Farewell Tawaf.

The act of stoning the devil (shaytan) commemorates the three attempts the devil made to tempt the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). The Prophet rejected all three of the devil’s attempts, stoning him and driving him away. The three stone pillars mark the places where the failed temptations took place and the act of stoning commemorates the Prophet Ibrahim’s constant obedience to Allah and the vanquishing of the devil.

Farewell Tawaf in the Holy City of Makkah:

This is the final Tawaf before you leave the Holy City of Makkah.

This, the Farewell Tawaf (Circumambulation), marks the end of your Hajj. Spend whatever time you can within the precincts of al Masjid al Haram. Make your prayers and devotions as you wish. Sa’y does not form part of the Farewell Tawaf.

Departing for Home:

Your Hajj completed, you should leave the Holy City of Makkah promptly for your next destination. Millions of pilgrims head to Mina as hajj 2012 officially kicks off:

Also see:

Al-Hajj Ifrad | Al-Hajj Qiran