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 Rites Of Hajj

The 8th of Dhul Hijjah commences the order of the rites of Hajj:

Do you have to return to the Meeqaat in order to assume the Ihraam? No, the Ihraam is assumed from any place you are staying at in Makkah, whether in a hotel or the Haram (Sacred Mosque) – anywhere you are staying at. You do not have to return to the Meeqaat you originally passed for your Ihraam of ‘Umrah.

The rites of Ihraam are the same as before, the first (pillar) being the niyyah (the intention), where the intention is made in the heart, not in words or statements such as: “I wish to perform Hajj.” No, this intention should be limited to the heart only.

After making the intention, the first opening statement is: “Labbayk Allaahumma bi-Hajjin” or, “Labbayk Hajjatan.”

Here we come to an important point (about the intention). Some people while in Ihraam fall ill during Hajj and are unable to complete the rites of Hajj. If this occurs, the person must repeat his Hajj next year [1] and offer a sacrifice (in Makkah) as a penalty (fidyah) before being able to come out of the sacred state of Ihraam. Therefore, it is from the Sunnah to make a condition for extenuating (unforeseen) circumstances at the time you are making your intention by saying after you recite:


“Labbayk Allaahumma bi-Hajjin”,


“O Allaah, the place where I leave my sacred state (of Ihraam) is wherever You have prevented me (from continuing).”

So whoever says this statement after reciting “Labbayk Allaahumma bi-Hajj” or “Labbayk Alaahumma bi-‘Umrah” and then becomes ill and unable to complete the order of rites of ‘Umrah or Hajj, he can leave his Ihraam at any point he is at during the sacred order of rites without having to sacrifice a hadee or completing the remaining rites. Nothing else remains obligatory on him in that case.

This statement means:

“Allaah has ordained that I will be unable to complete and continue with the remainder of my rites. Therefore, I will now come out of Ihraam and nothing else is necessary upon me.”

If someone is unable to continue his Hajj or ‘Umrah for any reason whatsoever, but he did not make this verbal condition at the time of saying “Labbayk Allaahumma bi-Hajj/bi-’Umrah”, then it is obligatory on him to sacrifice a hadee before coming out of Ihraam at that point, without completing the remainder of the rites.

So you commence the sacred state (of Ihraam) by reciting: “Labbayk Allaahumma bi-Hajj” or “Labbayk Allaahumma Hajja” or even “Labbayk Hajjatan”

The Stay at Minaa:

The stay at Minaa occurs on the 8th day of Dhul-Hijjah. The Muhrim sets out and heads towards Minaa, where he should arrive and remain at so that the Dhuhr, 'Asr, Maghrib, Ishaa' and Fajr prayers are all performed there.

So, the Muhrim remains at Minaa so that he can perform the Dhuhr prayer on the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah until the Fajr prayer on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah. In the A.M., a little before Dhuhr time on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah, the Muhrim sets out for (the plain of) 'Arafah.

The Muhrim should not enter ‘Arafah until he arrives around Dhuhr time. When arriving at this time, he performs the Dhuhr and ‘Asr prayers, each being shortened to two rak'aat. It is preferable to pray these prayers with the Jam'aah (congregation). But if this is not possible, then you may perform the combined and shortened prayers on your own. First, make the Iqaamah and perform the Dhuhr prayer in two rak'aat. Then make the Iqaamah again and perform the ‘Asr prayer in two rak'aat.

After completing these prayers you may enter (the plain of) ‘Arafah.

The Stay at ‘Arafah:

You then are to remain at ‘Arafah repeating the Talbiyyah. We forgot to mention before, you should also recite the Talbiyyah from the beginning of the Ihraam for Hajj just as it was recited from the beginning of the Ihraam for ‘Umrah.

Also while at ‘Arafah, you can recite the Qur'aan and make supplication for whatever you wish, from your heart, as much as Allaah allows you, even in your own language. The Qur'aan, when being recited, however, must be done in Arabic. Anything other than that can be done in English, i.e. remembrance of Allaah; supplications, etc. All of these can be done in English.

There are no prescribed prayers or supplications for 'Arafah, so there is no need for (prayer) books. Just make your du'aa and your remembrance of Allaah in any way you know, as long as it comes (sincerely) from the heart. Make Takbeer (saying Allaahu Akbar), Tasbeeh (saying SubhaanAllaah) or Tamheed (saying Alhamdulillaah).

You remain at 'Arafah from Dhuhr until the time of sunset (Maghrib), which ends the stay at ‘Arafah. The stay at ‘Arafah is the most important pillar ( rukn) of the Hajj. Whoever does not witness (the day) at ‘Arafah, his Hajj is unacceptable. This is based on the hadeeth of Allaah’s Messenger:

“The Hajj is 'Arafah.”

So what does one do at 'Arafah? Should he climb the mountain at 'Arafah? No, it is not necessary to do this, for verily, the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) never climbed the mountain at 'Arafah. Rather, he remained (upon his camel) at the foot of the mountain.

One should engage himself in the remembrance of Allaah, supplication from the heart, reciting the Talbiyyah. You should not get involved with the people in idle talk or disputes, but rather, remain alone in order to call to Allaah, praise Him, magnify Him and glorify Him.

The Stay at Al-Muzdalifah:

Once the sun sets, you leave 'Arafah and set out for al-Muzadalifah. Usually, if you walk the distance, you will arrive sooner than if you were to take a vehicle there (because of the crowds). However, there is no harm in riding over there, because the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) rode (on a camel) from ‘Arafah to al-Muzdalifah. If you are unable to walk, then ride there. And if you are able to get there faster than by vehicle, then walk to al-Muzdalifah.

Once in al-Muzdalifah, you are now within the sacred precincts of Makkah, where you must spend the remainder of the night (until Fajr). Many of the "Muttawafeen" (those responsible for leading people through the different rites of Hajj) bring the pilgrims directly to Minaa, without stopping at al-Muzdalifah. This is wrong.

Spending the entire night at al-Muzdalifah is obligatory (waajib). The Hajj makes the stay at al-Muzdalifah mandatory until the sunrise of the following morning.

When you first arrive at al-Muzdalifah, you are to perform the Maghrib prayer in three rak'aat and the 'Ishaa prayer in two rak'aat, combining the two prayers. You make one Adhaan and Iqaamah before each of the two prayers. Upon completing the two prayers, you can go to sleep. There are no other required prayers for the remainder of the night at al-Muzdalifah.

So you may sleep until the appearance of Fajr, whereupon you awaken and perform the two rak'aat Sunnah of Fajr, followed by the two rak'aat for Fajr prayer. Then you should remain there and remember Allaah, as Allaah says:


“Then when you leave ‘Arafaat, remember Allaah at the Mash'ar-il-Haraam (i.e. al-Muzdalifah).” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 198]

“Mash'ar-il-Haraam” here means al-Muzdalifah and “Remembering Allaah” can be done by making Tahleel (saying Laa Ilaaha IllAllaah), Tasbeeh (saying SubhaanAllaah), Takbeer or the Talbiyyah. There are no prescribed supplications or statements during this time. Make the best of your own du'aa, in the language you can understand. You remain at al-Muzdalifah until just a little before the sun rises. Then you get up and leave, walking towards Minaa, not arriving there until after the sun rises.


[1] Translator’s Note: This is if this was his first time making Hajj. He must repeat it since it is still obligatory on him to perform it at least once in his lifetime. But if this was his second time, then he need not repeat it unless he does so voluntarily.


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