A Brief Guide to the Rites of Hajj and ‘Umrah

Author: Shaykh Abu Haatim Usaamah Ibn ‘Abdil-Lateef Al-Qoosee

Source: Al-Manhaj
Translator: Abu Maryam Isma’eel Alarcon

Published: Monday 3rd August, 2015

The Prescribed Rites of the 10Th of Dhul-Hijjah

This is now the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, the greatest day of Hajj. On this day there are four prescribed rites:

  1. Throwing (pebbles) at the Jamrat-ul-‘Aqabah
  2. The Sacrifice (of a hadee)
  3. Shaving the head
  4. Tawaaf of the Ka'bah (seven times)

The Ramee:

Throw seven pebbles at the Pillar of ‘Aqabah, reciting “Allaahu Akbar” each time you throw. You may obtain these pebbles from wherever you find them on the road. Gather seven pebbles, each being the size of a little larger than a chickpea, and a bit smaller than a lima bean. This size of a pebble is known as khadhif, which is a small pebble that can be grasped and thrown by the forefinger and thumb.

These pebbles are to be gathered in your hand and thrown individually, one by one at the Jamrat-ul-‘Aqabah repeating "Allaahu Akbar" with each throw, i.e. saying “Allaahu Akbar” with the first pebble, “Allaahu Akbar” with the second throw and so on.

Do not throw all seven pebbles together at once, and do not throw them from a far-away distance. You must stand as close as possible to the Jamrat (pillar) before throwing, to avoid causing harm to the people near the Jamrat ahead of you.

The pillar of stone (jamrat) at which you are throwing the pebbles at is not the Devil! Some people think that it’s the Devil, so they yell and curse at the pillar, and throw their sandals at it. Some even climb up the pillar striking it and cursing it all the while! This is wrong and not correct. The pillar is not the Devil. It is only the “Jamrat-ul-‘Aqabah.” It is one of the prescribed rites of the Hajj. You must perform all the obligatory rites, even if you don’t know why you are doing them.

The Sacrifice:

After completing the seven throws, saying the Takbeer with each one, you return to the place of slaughtering at Minaa.

There you sacrifice your hadee (sacrificial animal). It is preferred to sacrifice the animal with your own hand at the slaughterhouse, or alternatively, you can designate by proxy someone else to slaughter on your behalf (i.e. by purchasing a voucher) at the Rajhu Bank (located there).

There are no special conditions related to the size or age of the hadee (animal to be sacrificed), as is in the case with the udhiyyah (animals sacrificed on ‘Eid by the non-pilgrims away from Makkah). Many scholars have made Qiyaas (comparative judgement) that the hadee is comparable to the standards of the udhiyyah and it is not permissible to be under a certain age or size, etc. What is correct is that you may slaughter an animal of any age, for verily Allaah has said:


"...must sacrifice a hadee such as he can afford without difficulty." [Surah Al-Baqarah: 196]

So Allaah did not make the condition that the hadee must be of a particular age, such as "this goat or sheep of 6 months or 1 year of age".

Make the sacrifice of an animal you can easily afford, even if it is a small one – whatever size that you can afford without difficulty. A person with little funds can sacrifice only a small hadee while a rich person may sacrifice a big hadee.

It is the Sunnah to perform the slaughter with your own hands, and to remove the liver, roast it, and then eat from it. If you cannot do this, there is no problem. Even if you delegate someone else to do it by proxy, as that may be easier for you, then you have indeed completed this important obligation of Hajj.

Shaving the Head:

After the sacrifice, you return and have your head shaved.

Tawaaf of the Ka’bah:

Then return to Makkah and perform the Tawaaf at the Haram, seven circuits, just as you did when you first arrived, except in this Tawaaf, which is known as the Tawaaf al-Ifaadah, there is no "walking the first three circuits in quick short steps", nor “wearing your top garment (Ridaa) with your right shoulder exposed.”

You perform the entire Tawaaf walking, and it can be done while wearing your regular clothes.

So when do you officially come out of Ihraam? It occurs as soon as you complete the stoning of the Jamrat-ul-‘Aqabah. Afterwards, you may immediately remove the garments of Ihraam and put on your normal clothing. This stage is known as The Lesser Ihraam, whereby everything that was allowable before Ihraam is once again lawful except sexual contact with spouses.

Once you have completed this Tawaaf, your Ihraam is completely lifted, and everything previously lawful is again allowable, including sexual contact with your spouses.

So on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, the following rites are to be performed:

  1. The Stoning of Jamrat-ul-‘Aqabah
  2. The Sacrifice of a hadee
  3. Shaving the head
  4. Tawaaf of the House (Ka’bah), seven circuits

These are the rites of Yawm an-Nahr (The Day of Sacrifice).

Is it permissible to change the sequence of these rites and perform one of them before or after another? Yes! Verily the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) was asked concerning the one who performed such and such a rite before another, or such and such a rite after another, he (صلى الله علیه وسلم) replied:

“(Go ahead and) do it, there is no harm. Do it there is no harm.”

It is permissible to supercede one of the rites of Yawm an-Nahr over another, in order to make it easier or more appropriate to your own particular situation. So you may find yourself with people (in your Hajj group) who only may perform the Tawaaf by mid-morning or by the time of Dhuhr. What is important is that you perform the four obligatory rites:

  1. The Stoning of Jamrat-ul-‘Aqabah
  2. Sacrifice a hadee
  3. Shaving the head
  4. Tawaaf of the House, seven circuits, known as Tawaaf al-Ifaadah (The Tawaaf of Return).

So the Tawaaf is one of the obligations of this day, after which when completed, you are now completely free of your Ihraam restrictions, including sexual contact with your wives. After this stage, you are allowed to have marital relations with your lawful spouses, if they are accompanying you on this Hajj.


Return to “Worship”