Lesson 1: Intro to Hajj + Steps of Umrah

Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam and it is obligatory open anyone with the financial and physical ability.

Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in soorah Aal-Imran, ayah 97:

وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا ۚ

And Hajj to the House (Ka’bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford it.

The reward for performing Hajj is tremendous.

Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه reported that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

العمرة الى العمرة كفارة لما بينهما، والحج المبرور ليس له جزاء الا الجنة

One umrah to the next umrah is an expiation of everything in between. And an accepted Hajj, there is no reward for it except Jannah. [Bukhaari and Muslim]

There are three types of Hajj: Ifraad, Qiraan, and Tamattu'.
  • Ifraad: a person intends to perform Hajj only
  • Qiraan: a person intends to perform Hajj and Umrah, combined.
  • Tamattu’: a person intends to perform both umrah and Hajj, seperately.

Hajj Tamattu’ is the best of the three types. During his Hajj, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم commanded his companions who had travelled without the sacrificial animal to perform this type.

NOTE: The majority of hajj groups, especially those travelling to Saudi Arabia from other countries, perform Hajj Tamattu’.

Step #1: Ihraam
  • What is Ihraam?

It is a state of being in which certain acts are prohibited. It is a condition of Hajj and Umrah and must be entered into before the person crosses the miqaat.

  • What is the miqaat?

These are 5 locations, set by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, to mark the spot at which a person intending to do Hajj or Umrah must be in ihraam.

Ibn Abbaas رضي الله عنه said that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

هن لهن ولمن اتى عليهن من غير اهلهن من من اراد الحج والعمرة

These (miqaat) are binding for the people of these places, and for those who pass by these places, of those who intend to perform Hajj and Umrah. [Muslim]

  • The clothing during Ihraam:

For men, there are specific guidelines for the clothing during the state of ihraam. 

-The clothing must be unstitched, no sewing or seams allowed at all. 

-It consists of two parts:

izaar: which is wrapped around the waist and covers the lower body.

ridaa: which is wrapped across the upper body.

-It is preferably white.

-Sandals or slippers are allowed.


For women, any kind of clothing is allowed. Any colour, any style. 

The only criteria is that it meets the standards of hijaab set by the sharee’ah (not flashy, attractive, tight-fitting, or transparent). 

  • It is mustahabb(highly recommended)  to do ghusl before putting on the clothing of ihraam.

-This includes the women who are menstruating or bleeding due to postpartum. 

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم instructed Aaisha رضي الله عنها to do so when her menses started and Asmaa bint Umais رضي الله عنها to do so when she delivered a baby at the miqaat.

-Men are allowed to put on perfume at this point. 

  • It is also mustahabb (highly recommended) to do the following before putting on the ihraam:

-cut your nails

-trim the pubic and underarm hair

-for men: trim the moustache

NOTE: The ghusl and clothing of ihraam can be done at home, or on the plane. You do not have to do it at the miqaat itself; it can be done at any point before. 

#2: Niyyah (intention)
  • Where?

The intention must be made at the miqaat before one crosses that point. 

  • How?

The niyyah/intention must be said verbally. 

-This is the only time where the niyyah (intention) of an action must be both in a person’s heart and audible in words on their tongue.

  • What are the words? 

Depending on the type of Hajj, the person says:

-ifraad: لبيك اللهم حجاً (Here I am, oh Allah, for Hajj)

-qiraan: لبيك اللهم بحج و عمرة (Here I am, oh Allah, for Hajj and Umrah)

-tamattu’: لبيك اللهم بعمرة (Here I am, oh Allah, for umrah) 

*Since Tamattu’ includes Hajj and Umrah seperately, the niyyah for Hajj will be done later after the umrah is complete. 

#3: Crossing the Miqaat

You must be in ihraam and have completed saying the niyyah/ intention when you pass that point whether on plane or travelling by car or bus.

Now you are in a state of ihraam!

  • Prohibitions while in ihraam:

-cutting the nails

-removing hair intentionally

-killing or hunting

-using perfume or scented soaps/perfumes, etc

-cutting trees or picking fruits, etc

-marriage proposals and contracts

-sexual intercourse

-for men: covering the head or wearing stitched clothes

NOTE: violating any of these carries the penalty of a Ifidya (sacrifice of an animal)

  • These things are allowed:

    bathing, combing the hair, shading self with an umbrella or upheld cloth, using a belt to hold up the izaar, and changing ones clothes. 

  • From this point until the pilgrim sees the Ka'bah, they should try to be in constant remembrance of Allah. 

Reading the talbiyah as much as possible is highly recommended:

لبّيك اللهم لبّيك. لبّيك لا شريك لك لبّيك. إن الحمد والنعمة، لك والملك، لا شريك لك

Here I am, oh Allah, here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Indeed all praise, grace, and dominion are Yours. You have no partner. 

-It is sunnah to say the talbiyah loudly. This applies to women only if there is no fear of fitnah.

#4: Tawaaf
  • Upon reaching the Haram (Sanctuary) of Makkah, one enters the masjid with their right foot and says:

بسم الله والصلاه والسلام على رسول الله. اللهم افتح لي ابواب رحمتك

In the name of Allah, and peace and blessings upon His Messenger. Oh Allah, open for me the gates of your Mercy.

Then upon seeing the Ka’bah, the pilgrim can now stop reciting the talbiyah and begin Tawaaf. 

Tawaaf is the action of circumbulating, or going around, the Ka'bah 7 times. 
  • A person should be in a state of wudoo. 
  • The starting point is at the Black Stone, and you make one full round returning to that spot.

-While facing it, say الله اكبر, and then begin walking counter-clockwise. 

-If the crowd is not too much and it is possible, one can try to kiss it or touch it as the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم did. If not, just indicate towards it with your hand. 

  • While walking, a person should be in remembrance of Allah: reciting duas, adhkaar, and/orQur’an
  • When completing the last quarter of each round, between the Yemeni corner and the Black Stone, it is recommended to read this dua:

ربنا اتنا في الدنيا حسنة وفي الاخرة حسنة وقنا عذاب النار

Our Lord, give us in this life good and in the Hereafter good, and save us from the punishment of the fire.

  • It is sunnah to walk faster in the first three rounds of tawaaf. For men, it is also sunnah to uncover the right shoulder for these three rounds only. 
#5: Maqaam Ibraaheem
  • After completing tawaaf, the pilgrim then goes to any area behind maqamibraaheem and prays two raka’h of sunnah prayer.

If the area directly behind is full, then the sunnah prayer can be prayed anywhere in the masjid. 

  • It is recommended to read soorah kaafiroon in the first raka’h and soorah ikhlaas in the second.
#6: Zamzam water

After praying, it is sunnah to go and drink some zamzam water and to put some on one’s head. 


#7: Saee' between Safa and Marwa
  • Now the pilgrim begins saee’, starting from Mount Safa. 
  • As one approaches the mountain, he recites Ayah 158 from Soorah Baqarah:

إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ ۖ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا ۚ

وَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ

Indeed, Safa and Marwah are among the symbols of Allah . So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs umrah, there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good, then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing.

  • Then while on the mountain (or that area where it once stood), one turns and faces the Ka’bah, looking at it if its visible and raises his hand in Dua. He says the following:

Supplication on the mountain: 

الله اكبر الله اكبر الله اكبر. لا اله الا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك وله الحمد يحيي ويميت وهو على كل شيء قدير

 لا اله الا الله وحده انجز وعده ونصر عبده وهزم الاحزاب وحده

Allah is the Greatest ×3. There is no god but Allah alone, He has no partners. To him is all the Dominion and to him is all the Praise. He gives life and death, and he is able to do all things. There is no god but Allah alone, He fulfilled His Promise, and gave victory to His slave, and defeated the confederates.

And this is repeated 3 times: The supplication the first time, then a long dua. Then the supplication  a second time, then a long dua. Then the supplication a third time, then a long dua. And then he proceeds walking to the other mountain again.

  • Then the pilgrim goes to Marwa, and upon climbing the mountain (or area where it was), he should repeat the above supplication. And this continues each time he reaches one mountain. 
  • He goes between the two mountains seven times, the path being as follows: Safaa-Marwa-Safaa-Marwa-Safaa-Marwa-Safaa-Marwa
#8: Shaving/ trimming the hair

This step is the final step in umrah, when a man should shave his hair (cutting it is ok too) and a woman should trim a small amount. 

After this, a person is out of the state of ihraam.

NOTE: For those performing Hajj, only those doing hajj Tamattu’ should do this step and then they are out of ihraam.

The men should cut their hair so that they can shave it in Hajj.

-Those doing hajj Ifraad or Qiraan should not do this step. They must remain in ihraam until after Hajj.