The pilgrimage days
Pilgrimage starts by the pilgrim taking a bath, declaring his intention to do pilgrimage, entering in a state of consecration and starting his journey to Mina by midday. This article explains all steps in details.
The pilgrimage days
1. 8 Dhul-Hijjah, which is called Yawm al-Tarwiyah
Pilgrims staying in Makkah or resident in Makkah are recommended to take a bath, wear perfume, and then enter into the state of consecration for the pilgrimage during mid-morning. Pilgrims start their consecration from the place where they happen to be in Makkah or Mina or any other place. They declare: Labbayka Allahumma hajjan (i.e. I respond to You, my Lord, intending to do the pilgrimage). The pilgrims who chose the qiran or ifrad methods are already in consecration.
Everyone who wants to perform the pilgrimage starts their journey to Mina before midday. It is a Sunnah to offer there the prayers of Thuhur, 'Asr, Maghrib, 'Isha’ and Fajr in Mina, shortening every 4-rak'ah prayer to two rak'ahs only, but does not combine prayers. Those who are unable to join the imam may offer these prayers where they are, preferably in congregation. Each prayer is offered at its time. Pilgrims should repeat the phrases of talbiyah frequently. They stay the night in Mina, offering night worship and the witr prayers. They should steer away from all sin.
'Abd al-'Aziz ibn Rufay' reports: ‘I said to Anas ibn Malik: “Tell me something you are sure of about Allah’s messenger’s practice: where did he offer Thuhur and 'Asr prayers on yawm al-tarwiyah (i.e. 8 Dhul-Hijjah)?” He said: “In Mina.” I asked: “Where did he offer 'Asr prayer on the last day of the pilgrimage?” He said: “At al-Abtah (in Mina).” He then said to me: “Do as your leader does.
2. 9 Dhul-Hijjah
It is a Sunnah for pilgrims to offer the Fajr prayer at Mina and then devote themselves to the glorification of Allah and supplication. After sunrise, they go from Mina to Arafat and repeat phrases of talbiyah and glorification of Allah. The best known form of talbiyah, which means ‘positive response’, is: Labbayk Allahumma labbayk; labbayk la sharik laka labbayk; inna al-hamda wal-ni'mata laka wal-mulk; la sharik lak. This means: ‘I come in response to You, my Lord; I respond to You, for You have no partner; all praise, blessings and dominion belong to You; You have no partners; I respond to You.’ There are other forms and they are good enough, but this is the one the Prophet (peace be upon him) used and most people, Arabs and non-Arabs, know it.
If it is easy for the pilgrim to stop at Namirah, the valley before reaching Arafat, he may do so. When it is midday, he should proceed to the adjacent area of Arafat. It is a Sunnah for the imam of the Muslim community to deliver a speech there. He should be inside the mosque where his speech should take the present situation into account. When the imam finishes his speech, the Thuhur prayer is called and the imam leads the prayer. The pilgrims offer the two obligatory prayers, Thuhur and 'Asr, one after the other, and each is shortened to two rak'ahs only. There is one call to prayer, adhan, for both prayers and one iqamah for each. Pilgrims who cannot do that offer their prayers with the people sharing their camp in the same way: i.e. the two prayers together and shortened. After the prayer, the Sunnah is to proceed inside Arafat and stay there.
Attendance at Arafat means the presence of the pilgrim there on 9 Dhul-Hijjah in any form. He may be standing, sitting, mounted, in a car or a vehicle, etc. Such presence is a rukn of the pilgrimage, without which the pilgrimage is invalid. The time range for attendance at Arafat is from the break of dawn on 9 Dhul-Hijjah until the break of dawn on the following day. Any pilgrim who manages to be at Arafat at any time within these two limits, even for a moment, fulfils the rukn and his pilgrimage is valid.
However, it is recommended to come into Arafat after the sun has started to come down at midday, and stay there until after sunset.
'Urwah ibn Mudarris reported: ‘I went to the Prophet (peace be upon him) at Muzdalifah when he was about to start the prayer and said
‘O Messenger of Allah, I travelled from the mounts of Tayyi’. I urged myself on and exhausted my camel. By Allah, I left no mountain but climbed it [to declare my intention]. Is my pilgrimage valid?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever has joined us in this prayer of Fajr at Muzdalifah, and stopped with us until we move on, and has prior to that been at Arafat where he stopped by day or night, has completed his pilgrimage and achieved his purpose’
Related by Abu Dawud, hadith No. 1,950; al-Tirmidhi, hadith No. 891.
The whole plain of Arafat is suitable for meeting the requirement of attendance at Arafat, except the middle of the Valley of Uranah which is just before Arafat. The Prophet (peace be upon him) stopped near the mount, which is known as Mount Arafat. Therefore to stop there is recommended, particularly if one can manage to position himself between the Mount and the Ka'bah. He should neither go on the Mount, nor climb up the rocks. If a pilgrim cannot stop by the Mount, he may stop at any place in Arafat.
It is a Sunnah to spend as much time as possible glorifying Allah, stopping where he feels the spirituality of the place, facing the qiblah, raising his hands in humility. He may stand up, sit down, or be in any means of transport and praise Allah, glorify Him, pray for His forgiveness and make his requests of Him. He may repeat the phrases of talbiyah as often as he wishes, and declare Allah’s oneness and His supremacy. He should keep in mind that this is the greatest day of the year, when Allah’s grace is bestowed in abundance. A pilgrim does well to choose the supplications included in the Qur’an and the Hadi and declare his repentance of past sins, repeatedly praying for Allah to erase these from his record. He should extol Allah’s praises and pray Him to grant Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) His best blessings. His supplication should be marked with urgency and frequency, declaring his great need for Allah’s help and support. He continues to glorify Allah and supplicate until sunset.
When the sun has disappeared, pilgrims should leave Arafat heading to Muzdalifah. If a pilgrim leaves Arafat before sunset, his attendance at Arafat and pilgrimage are valid, but he abandons a mandatory act that requires the expiation of slaughtering a sheep to be distributed to the poor of the Haram area.
After nightfall pilgrims proceed to Muzdalifah to spend the night there. They are urged to behave calmly and repeat the phrases of talbiyah and cause no congestion. When they arrive at Muzdalifah, they say the call to prayer, adhan, and pray Maghrib and 'Isha’, one after the other, with one iqamah for each. This should be done after the time for 'Isha’ prayer has fallen, so that pilgrims would be delaying Maghrib until 'Isha’ time. Pilgrims stay that night at Muzdalifah. Then when Fajr is due, they pray Fajr, preceded by its Sunnah.
After offering Fajr prayer, pilgrims are recommended to go to the area called al-Mash'ar al-Haram, which is where the mosque is located. They stop there, facing the qiblah, raising their hands and supplicating and glorifying Allah. They praise Him, declare His oneness and repeat phrases of talbiyah and glorification. They do all this standing, seated or in their vehicles. They continue until shortly before sunrise, then they proceed towards Mina before sunrise. Anyone who finds it difficult to go to al-Mash'ar al-Haram, particularly because of the presence of large numbers of pilgrims, may stop anywhere in Muzdalifah and do the same things.
Men and women who are physically weak, or have a reason to opt for a lighter duty, may leave Muzdalifah and proceed to Mina after midnight, and they may perform the stoning at the Grand Jamrah, Aqabah, when they arrive at Mina.
3. 10 Dhul-Hijjah, the grand day of pilgrimage, which is the Eid day
Pilgrims calmly proceed from Muzdalifah to Mina before sunrise, repeating the phrases of talbiyah as they move along. If they are delayed because of the congestion there is no harm, they move when they can. When they reach Muhassir Valley, which is in between Muzdalifah and Mina, if they are walking they increase their speed for a short distance. Each pilgrim should pick up seven pebbles at Muzdalifah, or on the way to Mina, or in Mina itself, all of which is from the sunnah. This is valid but not necessary. If a pilgrim picks up at Muzdalifah all the pebbles needed for stoning on the next three or four days, well and good. They glorify Allah as they proceed and do not stop repeating the phrases of talbiyah until they have reached the Grand Jamrah.
When pilgrims are in Mina they have to do the duties that fall due, which are: stoning the Grand Jamrah; slaughtering their sacrifice; shaving their heads or cutting their hair; the tawaf of ifadah and the sa'i. When a pilgrim arrives at the Grand Jamrah at Aqabah, which is the last one coming from Mina and the first coming from Makkah, he throws his seven pebbles at it after sunrise, saying Allah-u akbar as he throws each pebble. He holds the pebble in his right hand and lifts his arm to throw it, with Makkah to his left and Mina to his right, if he can manage to do so. When he has finished, he leaves the place and releases himself from ihram.
When a pilgrim finishes this act of stoning and shaves or clip his hair, all the restrictions of ihram are lifted except sexual intercourse with one’s spouse.
When picking one’s pebbles, the Sunnah is to choose small ones, no bigger than hazel nuts. It is not permissible to throw large stones, or anything other than little stones such as shoes, slippers, metal objects, etc. When doing the stoning, one must be careful not to harm others, or push them. On this day the time for stoning starts at sunrise and extends until the break of dawn the following day. If one performs this duty before dawn or after it but before sunrise, it is valid, but it is preferable to delay it until sunrise.
The second duty on the Day of the Eid is to slaughter the sacrificial animals. Pilgrims who have opted for the tamattu' or qiran methods need to slaughter their sacrifice. It is recommended for everyone who offers a sacrifice to partake of its meat and sip of its sauce when cooked, and to feed the poor. Sacrifice is an incumbent duty on those doing the pilgrimage in the tamattu' or qiran methods, and recommended for the ones choosing the ifrad method. It is perfectly appropriate to do the slaughter through the initiative organized by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure that the sacrificial meat is used to the full. This is easily accomplished by buying the required voucher and appointing the Bank taking the money to do the sacrifice on one’s behalf. The initiative aims to give the sacrificial meat to those in need anywhere in the Muslim world. To do the sacrifice in this way means that one forgoes partaking of the meat of the sacrifice, which is perfectly permissible.
Another duty that falls due on this day is to shave one’s head or cut one’s hair. Male pilgrims shave their heads, which is the preferable option, or else they cut a little of their hair. Women cut about an inch or two centimetres.
It is permissible to delay shaving one’s head and slaughtering one’s sacrifice. The time range for these duties extends until the end of 13 Dhul-Hijjah. The stoning at the Grand Jamrah must be done on this day, 10 Dhul-Hijjah, and its time range extends until the night.
The second duty on the Day of the Eid is to slaughter the sacrificial animals. Pilgrims who have opted for the tawaf of ifadah also falls due on this day. When the pilgrim has finished his stoning, sacrifice and shaved his head or cut his hair, he may take a shower, put on his ordinary clothes, wear some perfume and proceed to Makkah to perform the tawaf of ifadah, which is the tawaf of the pilgrimage. No jogging is recommended in this tawaf, but when one finishes this tawaf one is recommended to pray two rak'ahs behind Maqam Ibraheem. The time for the tawaf of ifadah starts after the break of dawn on the Eid day, but its most preferable time is mid-morning on that day. If a pilgrim proceeded from Muzdalifah after midnight on the night before, and went on to Makkah and arrived before Fajr, he may perform the tawaf of ifadah before dawn. It is permissible to delay it so as to combine it with the tawaf of farewell in one action, so as to make it easier for the pilgrim himself and reduce the overcrowding at the Ka'bah. It is possible to delay this tawaf as its time extends to the end of the month of Dhul-Hijjah. Even if it is delayed further, it remains valid. Imam al-Nawawi and other scholars said that if a pilgrim forgets the tawaf of ifadah and performs the tawaf of farewell, without intending to combine it with the tawaf of ifadah, or because of being unaware of this duty, this tawaf suffices for both.
The fifth duty that becomes due on the day of the Eid is the sa'i, i.e. the walk between the two hills of al-Safa and al-Marwah. Pilgrims who have opted for the tamattu' method have this duty to perform. The same applies to pilgrims who opted for either the ifrad or qiran methods unless they had performed it after their first tawaf, which is the tawaf of arrival. In these two methods, there is one sa'i due, which is preferably performed after the tawaf of arrival, but if it is delayed, then it should be performed after the tawaf of ifadah.
When a pilgrim has completed these duties, his release from Ihram is complete. All that was restricted or prohibited during ihram is now permissible, including sexual intercourse with one’s wife.
This particular order of the duties that fall due on the Day of the Eid, i.e. 10 Dhul-Hijjah, is the one done by the Prophet (peace be upon him), but it is not required. Nor is it right to impose it on people. Many of his Companions came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) during his pilgrimage and told him that they did one duty ahead of another. He gave the same answer to all of those who reported a different order, saying, for example, that they did the sacrifice before the stoning or performed the tawaf before shaving their heads. His answer was: ‘You may do so, and there is no harm’. He wanted to make things easier for people,because ease is an essential aspect of this great act of worship. Allah does not want to afflict people.
‘And if Allah had willed, could have put you in difficulty. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.’
‘Allah wants to lighten your burdens,’
Pilgrims should now return to Mina, where they stay for the rest of the day and the following two or three days and nights. They should offer the five obligatory prayers with the congregation in the al-Kheef Mosque, if possible. If not, then they should form congregations at any place in Mina to offer their obligatory prayers. Each 4-rak'ah prayer is shortened to two rak'ahs only, but the prayers are offered individually, each at its own time. No two prayers are joined together.
4. 11 Dhul-Hijjah
The following applies to all three days called the Tashriq days, i.e. 11, 12 and 13 Dhul-Hijjah.
Pilgrims stay in Mina on these days and nights. Scholars have different views, with some of them saying that staying on these nights in Mina is a duty, while many others say that it is a Sunnah, or recommended. This means that if one does not stay in Mina one need not make any compensation. However, pilgrims should do the stoning at the three Jamrahs every day. The proper time for stoning is after midday, but if one does it at night, this is permissible. It is permissible to do it at night when needed but not after the break of dawn of the other day. The stoning takes 21 pebbles for each day, and pilgrims may pick these anywhere in Mina. If they had picked them at Muzdalifah, that is fine. The Sunnah is to walk to the Jamrahs, if possible. On each day, pilgrims may begin the stoning duty, starting at the first Jamrah, which is the nearest to the al-Kheef mosque. The pilgrim lifts his arm, facing the qiblah if possible, and says Allah-u-akbar before throwing each of his seven pebbles, which he should throw consecutively. When he has finished he moves forward a little to the right, faces the qiblah, lifts his hands and glorifies Allah, saying a long supplication. He then proceeds to the middle Jamrah and throws another seven of his pebbles in the same way, lifting his right arm with each and saying Allah-u akbar as he throws each. Again, when he has finished stoning he moves forward a little, stops, faces the qiblah, lifts his arms and supplicates, but his supplication this time is a little shorter than at the first Jamrah. He then proceeds forward to the Grand Jamrah, Aqabah, and throws his last seven pebbles, one by one, in the same way. He stands, if possible, with Makkah to his left and Mina to his right. He does not stop for supplication after this stoning. Thus, the pilgrim would have done the complete stoning duty for this day, throwing 21 pebbles at three locations. He then goes back to his camp and spends his time, glorifying Allah, supplicating, reciting the Qur’an, enjoining others to do good and speaking against unacceptable behaviour, meeting people, offering them food and socializing.
5. 12 Dhul-Hijjah
On this day the pilgrim proceeds to do exactly what he did the previous day, stoning at the three Jamrahs. If he wishes to leave on this day, he should leave Mina before sunset. If he prepares to leave and starts on his way, but does not manage to leave Mina before sunset because of the congestion, he is not required to stay that night in Mina, but if he is still properly settled in Mina after sunset, he must stay and do the stoning again on the following day. On the other hand, if he intends to stay to the next day, he goes back to his camp and does the same as on the previous two days. This is the preferable option, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) did this on his pilgrimage.
6. 13 Dhul-Hijjah
On this day, pilgrims do the stoning at the three Jamrahs, as they did the previous two days. The time for stoning ends at sunset on this day.
All three Tashriq days are open for stoning, hence pilgrims may do the stoning for two days, on one day, delay the stoning until the last day, or do it at night, only if there is a need.
- Al-Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim, vol. 8, p. 193; S. al-Oadah, If'al wala Haraj, p. 93.
- Such as overcrowding or frailty on the part of the pilgrim, etc.