- Get changed into the Ihram garments before the Miqat, perform two Rakats of Salah and make your Niyyah (intention) as the Miqat approaches, thereafter reciting the Talbiyah frequently.
- Perform Tawaf al-Umrah of the Kaaba followed by two Rakats of Salah, preferably near Maqam Ibrahim.
- Perform Sa’i of Safa and Marwah.
- Perform Halq (shaving your hair) or Taqsir (shortening your hair), allowing you to leave the state of Ihram and complete Umrah.
Prior to wearing the Ihram, you should be in a state of physical purity. If you haven’t done so already, you should ensure you have clipped your nails and removed the hair under the armpits and below the navel.
Thereafter, you should perform Wudhu or Ghusl (shower), although performing Ghusl is better and is a much emphasised Sunnah, particularly for women.
Men may apply Ittar / perfume to their heads / beards, ensuring not to get any on the Ihram garments.
You will then wear two, normally white, clean seamless pieces of cloth known as the Izar which wraps around the waist, covering the lower body and the Rida which covers the upper body, like a shawl. Shoes / sandals must not cover the ankles and the top part of the foot.
It is advised to get changed into your Ihram garments at the airport prior to departure. It would be wise to check-in first and then get changed in the prayer room or in the bathroom.
Women are not required to conform to a specific dress code and are free to wear what they please. Clothing should be normal modest Islamic dress with a head covering (scarf) of any colour. Hands and faces must be uncovered.
Thereafter, it is Sunnah to perform two Rakats of Salah. This should be performed before the Miqat has been crossed. Provided it isn’t one of the forbidden times for prayer, observe the Salah with the intention of performing two Rakats Nafl for Ihram.
Since you’re not in the spiritual state of Ihram yet, you may perform the Salah with your head covered. It is a Sunnah to recite Surah al-Kafirun (Surah 109) in the first Rakat and Surah al-Ikhlas (Surah 112) in the second Rakat, although any other Surah may be recited.
The Niyyah should be made at the Miqat or close to the Miqat as you move towards it. It is Mustahabb (recommended) that the Niyyah is made verbally.
This Niyyah is to be made if you’re performing Umrah during any time of the year, or Umrah as part of Hajj al-Tamattu. Another Niyyah for Hajj al-Tamattu is made later.
Following are some examples of intentions that may be recited:
لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ عُمْرَةً
Labbayk Allahumma Umrah.
O Allah, here I am to perform Umrah.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أُرِيْدُ الْعُمْرَةَ
Allahumma Innee Ureedul Umrah.
O Allah, I intend to perform Umrah.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أُرِيْدُ الْعُمْرَةَ فَيَسِّرْهَا لِيْ وَتَقَبَّلْهَا مِنِّيْ
Allahumma Innee Ureedul Umrata fa-Yassirhaa lee wa Taqabbal-haa Minnee.
O Allah, I intend to perform Umrah, so accept it from me and make it easy for me.
After making your intention, recite Talbiyah. The Sunnah method of reciting Talbiyah is to briefly pause at four places, indicated by the dashes. The words are as follows:
لَبَّيْكَ اللهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ – لَبَّيْكَ لَا شَرِيْكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ – إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ – لَا شَرِيْكَ لَكَ –
Labbaykallaahumma Labbayk, Labbayka Laa Shareeka laka Labbayk. Innal Hamda wan-Ni’mata laka Wal-Mulk, laa Shareeka Lak.
I am After, O Allah, I am present! I am present! There is no partner unto You! I am present (and have responded to Your Call). Indeed, all praise and all dominion belong to You (Alone)! There is no partner unto You!”
After you have arrived in Makkah, make sure you have had sufficient rest before making your way to Masjid al-Haram to perform Tawaf al-Umrah.
Entering Masjid al-Haram
Although not necessary, it is recommended to enter into Masjid al-Haram via Bab al-Salam (the Gate of Peace). Enter the mosque with your right foot and recite the supplication for entering a mosque. Either or both of these supplications may be recited:
أَعُوذُ بِاللهِ الْعَظِيمِ، وَبِوَجْهِهِ الْكَرِيمِ، وَسُلْطَانِهِ الْقَدِيمِ، مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ
A’oodhu billaahil-‘Adheem, wa bi-Wajhihil-Kareem, wa Sultaanihil-qadeem, minash-Shaytaanir-rajeem.
I seek refuge in Almighty Allah, by His noble countenance and by His enteral power from the cursed satan.
بِسْمِ اللهِ، وَالصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَّامُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ “اللَّهُمَّ افْتَحْ لِي أَبْوَابَ رَحْمَتِكَ
Bismillaahi, wassalaatu wassalaamu ‘alaa Rasoolillaahi. Allahum maftah lee ‘abwaaba rahmatika.
In the Name of Allah, blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah. O Allah, open before me the doors of Your mercy.
Recite Talbiyah as you make your way towards the Kaaba.
First Sight of the Kaaba
Upon seeing the Kaaba for the first time, recite the following three times:
اللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ – اللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ – لَآ اِلَهَ اِلَّا اللّٰهُ
Allahu akbar. Allahu akbar. La illaha illallah.
Allah is the Greatest. Allah is the Greatest. There is no God except Allah.
With full concentration and humility, you may also recite your own supplications and readings. Thereafter, recite Talbiyah and prepare to begin Tawaf al-Umrah.
Method of Tawaf
For the Tawaf to be considered valid, the following two conditions must be fulfilled:
- To be in a state of Wudhu (ablution).
- To have made an intention (verbally or not).
The following is also necessary to perform Tawaf:
- To use your feet, for those who are able.
- To move in an anti-clockwise motion.
- To avoid the Hatim (the semi-circle area outside the Kaaba).
- For women, to be free from menstruation.
- For women, to cover up as you would during Salah.
Ensure you’re in a state of Wudhu and uncover your right shoulder (Idtiba).
Proceed towards the corner of the Kaaba where al-Hajar al-Aswad (the Black Stone) is situated. This corner is the one that faces a single minaret (the other three corners face two minarets). There is a green light on the wall of the Masjid opposite the Kaaba which indicates where the Tawaf starts from. This is the starting point of each Shawt (circuit). Stand just before this starting point facing the Kaaba ensuring al-Hajar al-Aswad is on your right side.
As with any other act of worship, make the Niyyah (intention) to perform Tawaf solely for the sake of Allah alone. You can also ask for the acceptance and ease for your Tawaf. The following intention could be made:
O Allah, I intend to perform the Tawaf of Umrah (or another type) of the Kaaba for your sake and your sake alone. Please accept it from me and make it easy for me.
The intention doesn’t need to be verbal.
After you have made your intention at the starting point, face al-Hajar al-Aswad directly. This is known as Istiqbal of al-Hajar al-Aswad.
After Istiqbal, raise your hands up to your earlobes (as you would do when starting Salah) and say Takbir (اللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ). Thereafter, drop both of your hands.
At al-Hajar al-Aswad, perform Istilam (kissing or gesturing towards al-Hajar al-Aswad):
- Kiss the Black Stone if it is possible to do so.
- If not, touch the Black Stone with your hands and kiss your hands.
- If you cannot do this, do Istilam from afar. To do this:
- Face al-Hajar al-Aswad and raise your hands up to your earlobes (as you would do when starting Salah).
- Ensure your palms are also facing it, as though your face and hands are on al-Hajar al-Aswad.
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ وَاللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ
Bismillahi Wallahu Akbar.
- Kiss your palms without making a kissing noise.
If you manage to get close enough to al-Hajar al-Aswad, the method of kissing it is as follows:
- Place your palms on al-Hajar al-Aswad and put your face between your two hands.
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ وَاللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ
Bismillahi Wallahu Akbar.
- Kiss al-Hajar al-Aswad three times without making a kissing noise.
- Avoid placing your forehead on al-Hajar al-Aswad as it wasn’t a practice of Rasulullah ﷺ.
- If possible, avoid touching the silver surrounding al-Hajar al-Aswad.
Start the Tawaf
Turn on your right side, ensuring the Kaaba is on your left side and begin the first circuit (Shawt) of your Tawaf. Proceed in an anti-clockwise direction, ensuring you walk around the Hatim. If you do walk through it, the circuit won’t count and it will have to be repeated.
Dhikr & Dua
During your Tawaf, you may recite prayers and supplications individually. There are no specific prayers that must be recited during the Tawaf, nor are there any specific supplications. Therefore, you may supplicate in any language and in any manner that you prefer. There are however recommended supplications you can make, which you can memorise and learn the meanings of. Avoid talking about unnecessary and worldly things during your Tawaf.
Upon reaching al-Rukn al-Yamani (the Yemeni Corner), the corner just before al-Hajar al-Aswad, touch it with both hands or your right hand if you are near enough to do so. If you manage to touch it, recite Takbir (اللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ) as you touch it. If it’s too crowded, proceed without pronouncing Takbir or gesturing towards it. It is a Sunnah to recite the following Dua between al-Rukn al-Yamani and al-Hajar al-Aswad:
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
Rabbana Aatina Fid-Dunya Hasanah wa fil-Akhirati Hasanah wa Qina ‘Adhab-an-Naar.
Our Lord, give us in this world (that which is) good and in the Hereafter (that which is) good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.
[Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:201]
The Tawaf should be completed in a continuous manner with no interruptions between circuits. However, if a congregational prayer is due to start, you must join the congregation and resume your Tawaf from the position that you stopped. The circuit need not be repeated. These rules also apply if you need to repeat your Wudhu.
End of Shawt (Circuit)
Returning to al-Hajar al-Aswad marks the completion of one Shawt (circuit). Begin the second circuit by kissing al-Hajar al-Aswad or turning towards it and performing Istilam as described earlier while reciting Takbir. Kiss your palms after you have recited Takbir.
Complete the Tawaf
Proceed in the same manner until have you completed seven circuits. You will have performed Istilam a total of eight times upon completion. Performing Istilam at the start of Tawaf and at the end is a highly emphasised Sunnah and performing Istilam on the other six occasions is desirable.
If you are in a state Idtiba i.e. you have your right shoulder uncovered, cover your shoulder with your Ihram.
After completing the Tawaf, Salah with two Rakats is to be offered, preferably in a position where Maqam Ibrahim is between you and the Kaaba. However, if that is not possible, it can be performed anywhere in the Haram.
While moving to the place where you intend to perform the two Rakats, recite the following:
وَاتَّخِذُوا مِنْ مَقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى
Wattakhidhu Mim Maqami Ibrahima Musalla.
And take the Maqam Ibrahim as a place of Salah.
[Surah al-Baqarah, 2:125]
After you have completed your Salah and made Dua, drink Zamzam water which is available within the Haram.
The entrance to the old well of Zamzam has covered to allow for more room to do Tawaf. Therefore, Zamzam water can now only be taken from the various water fountains and dispensers around the Haram.
It is Mustahabb (recommended) to drink Zamzam while standing, facing the Kaaba. After drinking the water, recite the following Dua:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ عِلْمًا نَافِعًا وَ رِزْقًا وَاسِعًا وَ شِفَاءً مِنْ كُلِّ دَاءٍ
Allahumma Inni As’aluka ‘Ilman Nafi’aa wa Rizqan Wasi’aa wa Shifa’am min Kulli Daa’.
O Allah, I ask You for knowledge that is beneficial, provision that is abundant and cure from every illness.
You may also make any other supplication of your choosing as it’s another station where Duas are readily accepted.
After you have finished drinking your Zamzam water, you may proceed to the Multazam which is the area between al-Rukn al-Yamani and the door of the Kaaba.
If it possible to reach the Multazam, raise your hands above your head, cling to the wall and press your chest and cheeks against it. It is a Sunnah of Rasulullah ﷺ and yet another station where supplications are accepted, so you should lengthen your Dua.
If you can’t reach the Multazam due to the crowds, you may face towards it and supplicate from a distance.
Istilam of al-Hajr al-Aswad
Prior to performing Sa’i, it is a Sunnah to perform Istilam of al-Hajr al-Aswad. You will be performing Istilam for the ninth time, following the eight times you performed Istilam during Tawaf. This Istilam is only applicable if you’re going to perform Sa’i immediately after.
If you’ve forgotten to perform Istilam prior to Sa’i, or you’re finding it difficult to return to the line of al-Hajr al-Aswad due to crowds or tiredness, it may be left out. However, it can also be performed in the Masjid, as long as you are facing al-Hajr al-Aswad.
The performance of Istilam is to be performed in exactly the same manner as it was performed during Tawaf.
Proceed to Safa
Proceed to the hill of Safa, which is located in line with al-Hajr al-Aswad. There is a white sign which indicates where it is. As you are approaching Safa, it is Sunnah to recite the following:
إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالمَرْوَةَ مِنْ شَعَائِرِ الله
Innas Safa wal Marwata min Sha’a’ir-illah.
Indeed, Safa and Marwah are from the Signs of Allah…
[Surah al-Baqarah, 2:158]
Thereafter, recite the following Dua:
أَبْدَأُ بِمَا بَدَأَ اللهُ بِهِ
Abda’u bima Bada’allahu Bihi.
I begin with that which Allah has begun with.
These supplications are only to be recited once before Sa’i and not at the start of each circuit.
Make Dua at Safa
Upon reaching the hill of Safa, face the direction of the Kaaba and raise your hands in supplication. Your view of the Kaaba will be obscured so make an educated guess about its location and face this direction. Don’t raise your hands up to your earlobes or gesture towards the Kaaba as you would have done during Tawaf.
Recite the following Dua:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ وَلاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَاَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ
لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اَللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ, صَدَقَ وَعْدَهُ, وَنَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ, وَهَزَمَ اَلْأَحْزَابَ وَحْدَهُ
Alhamdu lillah, wala ilaha illallah, wallahu Akbar.
Laa ilaha illallahu wahdahu la shareeka lahu, lahulmulku wa lahidhamdu, yuhyee wa yumeetu wa Huwa ala kulli shay’in Qadeer.
La ilaha illallahu wahdahu, sadaqa wa’dahu, wa nasara abdahu, wa hazamal-ahzaaba wahdahu.
All praise is due to Allah, there is no God but Allah, and Allah is the Greatest.
There is none worthy of worship but Allah alone, no partners are unto Him, His is the dominion and His is the praise. He gives life and He gives death and He is capable of everything.
There is none worthy of worship but Allah alone, who fulfilled His promise, and gave victory to His servant and defeated the confederates alone.
After reciting this Dua, you may recite your own supplications.
Read the Dua a total of three times, making your own supplications in between each time, as was the Sunnah of Rasulullah ﷺ.
Proceed to Marwah
Descend from Safa and make your way towards Marwah. Between Safa and Marwah, you will encounter two sets of green fluorescent (approximately 50 metres apart) lights 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, men should run at a medium pace while women should remain at walking pace.
There is no fixed Dhikr or Dua that has been prescribed to be read during Sa’i, so you may recite any prayers or supplications of your choice.
You may wish to recite the following Dua, which was the practice of Abdullah ibn Umar and Abdullah ibn Mas’ud رضي الله عنهما during Sa’i:
رَبِّ اغْفِرْ وَارْحَمْ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْأَعَزُّ الْأَكْرَمُ
Rabbighfir war-ham, Innaka Antal A’azz ul-Akram.
O my Lord! Forgive (me) and have mercy (on me)! Indeed, You are Most Mighty and Most Honourable.
The distance between Safa and Marwah is about 450 metres.
Make Dua at Marwah
Upon reaching the hill of Marwah, face the direction of the Kaaba, raise your hands in supplication and repeat the same supplications you recited at Safa.
This completes one lap of Sa’i. Returning back to Safa is considered a second lap.
End of Sa’i
Repeat this procedure until you have completed seven laps, at which point you should be at the hill of Marwah.
Dua and Salah
It is recommended to make a final Dua here and also to perform two Rakats of Nafl Salah in the Haram following Sa’i.
Leave the Haram
As you leave Masjid al-Haram, step out with your left foot and recite the following Dua, as was the Sunnah of Rasulullah ﷺ when leaving the Masjid:
بِسْمِ اللهِ، وَالصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَّامُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ، اللَّهُمَّ إَنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ
Bismillaahi wassalaatu wassalaamu ‘alaa Rasoolillaahi, Allaahumma ‘innee ‘as’aluka min fadhlika.
In the Name of Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah. O Allah, I ask for Your favour.
Halq or Taqsir
After Sa’i, have your hair shaved (Halq) or trimmed by at least an inch (Taqsir). Women can only perform Taqsir. This will allow you to leave the state of Ihram and marks the completion of your Umrah.
Make sure you use a licensed barber, rather than an unlicensed street barber. There are a number of licensed barber shops in Makkah, which are open 24 hours a day and generally only close during Salah times. There are many barber shops in the Zamzam Towers, Hilton shopping complex and al-Safwa Towers. You will also see many barbers located outside the Marwah door after you finish your Sa’i between Safa and Marwah. They are located directly to your left on the ground floor, or to your right if you exit from the middle floor.