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Here are the Dos and Don’ts of Hajj


As the annual Muslims festival, Eid-el-Kabir draws nearer, preparations to usher in the great day are on. The Eid-el-Kabir (otherwise known as Ileya) comes up in the last night month of the Islamic calendar (Dhul-hijah) and it is very significant for it is when the muslims perform the last obligatory pillar of the religion (Hajj). 

Hajj is the last pillar of Islam which is done towards the end of the 11th month of the Islamic calendar through the 12th month (Dhul-hijah).  Hajj lasts a minimum of 14 days and the ascension of Mount Arafat distinguishes it clearly from Umrah.

ENCOMIUM Weekly chatted with an Islamic scholar, Ustaz Wahab Abiola, on the dos and don’ts of Hajj…


All the dos attached to Hajj start first with the intention, just like every deed starts with intention. A pilgrim must first have  it in mind that he/she is going for hajj in accordance with the obligation of Islam, to serve to Allah. This intention has to come after repentance. A prospective pilgrim must have repented from all his sinful acts and must have made up his mind never to return to them even after he is done with Hajj rites, for the sake of Allah.

After a pilgrim must have landed in Makkah for the Hajj rites, he should mind his speech, he should refrain from bad utterances. He should avoid fornication and adultery, drinking alcohol, smoking and he should practice self-control. Pilgrims should abstain from eating or drinking haram. These are some of the don’ts of Hajj.


The DOS of hajj are the obligatory acts that define hajj. Every pilgrim must ensure he doesn’t miss out of any of these activities, especially the ascension of mount Arafat. First before entering Ihraam, male pilgrims must scrap their hair, while the female pilgrims will plait their hair. All pilgrims must partake in all the Hajj activities such as ascension of Mount Arafat, Tawaf, Safaa and Marwa, Uhdiyyah (slaughtering ram), visiting Maqam Ibrahim and other Hajj obligations.

All mentioned above are the DOS of Hajj. After the completion of Hajj rites, pilgrims will return to Mekkah to do ‘Tawaf l’ifadah’ to commemorate the end of Hajj tasks. Then, they will off the Ihraam cloth.




The pilgrim who enters Ihraam for Hajj or ‘Umrah has to do the following:

1. He has to adhere to that which Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has enjoined of religious laws, such as praying on time in congregation.

2. He has to avoid all that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has forbidden of obscene and immoral speech and sin, because Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,

فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ

“So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihraam), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj” [al-Baqarah 2:197].

3. He should avoid annoying Muslims with his words or actions, at the holy sites and elsewhere.

4. He should avoid all things that are forbidden when in Ihraam:

a. So he should not cut anything from his hair or nails, but removing thorns and the like is fine, even if that results in some bleeding.

b. He should not apply perfume after entering Ihraam, either to his body, his clothes, his food or his drink. He should not wash with perfumed soap either. But if any traces of perfume remain from that which he put on before entering Ihraam that does not matter.

c. He should not hunt.

d. He should not have intercourse with his wife.

e. He should not touch her with desire or kiss her, etc.

f. He should not enter into a marriage contract for himself or arrange a marriage for anyone else, or propose marriage to a woman for himself or on behalf of another.

g. He should not wear gloves, but wrapping one’s hands with a piece of cloth does not matter.

These seven prohibitions apply equally to men and women.

–  Men should not cover their heads with something that stays on the head. Shading their heads with umbrellas, car roofs and tents, and carrying mats, etc (on one’s head, when moving them from one place to another), is acceptable.

– They should not wear shirts, turbans, burnouses, pants or leather slippers, unless someone cannot find an izar (waist wrapper) in which case he may wear pants; and if he cannot find sandals he may wear shoes.

– They should not wear anything that is akin to the above, such as abayas, cloaks, hats, t-shirts and the like.

– It is permissible for men to wear sandals, rings, eyeglasses and hearing aids, and to wear wristwatches, or to put watches on strings around their necks, and to wear money belts.

–  It is permissible for them to wash with unperfumed soaps, and to scratch their heads and bodies, and if any hairs fall unintentionally as a result, there is no sin on them.

Women should not wear niqaab which is what they use to cover their faces, with holes cut for the eyes. They should not wear the burqa’ either.

The Sunnah is for them to uncover their faces unless non-mahram men can see them in which case they should cover their faces while in ihraam and at other times.

Going to Mina
Then the pilgrim should go out to Mina and pray Zuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib, ‘Isha’ and Fajr there, shortening the prayers but not joining them, because the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to shorten his prayers in Mina but he did not join them. Shortening the prayers means making the four-rak’ah prayers two raka’ahs. The people of Makkah and others should shorten their prayers in Mina, ‘Arafah and Muzdalifah because the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to lead the people in prayer during the Farewell Pilgrimage and there were people from Makkah with him, but he did not tell them to offer their prayers in full. If it had been obligatory for them to do so, he would have told them to do so as he did on the day of the Conquest of Makkah. But since the city has spread and incorporated Mina so that it is like one of the quarters of Makkah, then the people of Makkah should not shorten their prayers there.

Going to ‘Arafah
When the sun rises on the day of ‘Arafah, the pilgrim travels from Mina to ‘Arafah and stops in Namirah until the time of Zuhr (Namirah is a place just before ‘Arafah), if he can do so. If he cannot do it, it does not matter because staying in Namirah is Sunnah but it is not obligatory. When the sun passes its zenith (i.e., when the time for Zuhr prayer begins), he should pray Zuhr and ‘Asr, two rak’ahs each, and join them together at the time of Zuhr, as the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did, so as to leave a lot of time for standing and making du’a.

Then after the prayer he should devote his time to making dhikr and du’a and beseeching Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, and praying as he likes, raising his hands and facing the qiblah even if the mountain of ‘Arafah is behind him, because the Sunnah is to face the qiblah, not the mountain. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stood by the mountain and said, “I am standing here, but all of ‘Arafah is the place of standing.”
Most of the Prophet’s du’a in that great place of standing was:
Laa ilaaha ill-Allah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk, wa lahu’l-hamd, wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer
“There is no god but Allah alone, with no partner or associate; His is the Dominion, all praise is due to Him,
and He is able to do all things.”
If the pilgrim gets tired and wants to have a break by talking to his companions about useful things or by reading from some useful books, especially things that have to do with the generosity and great bounty of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, in order to increase his hopes on that day, this is good.  Then he can go back to beseeching Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and praying to Him. He should strive to make the most of the end of the day by making du’a. The best of du’a is the du’amade on the day of ‘Arafah.

Going to Muzdalifah
When the sun sets, the pilgrim should go to Muzdalifah. When he reaches there, he should pray Maghrib and ‘Isha’ with one adhaan and two iqaamahs. If he fears that he will not reach Muzdalifah before midnight, he should pray on the way, because it is not permissible to delay ‘Isha’ prayer until after midnight.
He should stay overnight in Muzdalifah, then when dawn comes he should pray Fajr early, with the adhaan and iqaamah, and then head for al-Mash’ar al-Haraam (which is the site of the mosque in Muzdalifah) and proclaim the oneness and greatness of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (by saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allah and Allahu akbar), and making du’a as he likes, until it has become very light (i.e., when the light of day appears before the sun has actually risen). If it is not easy for him to go to al-Mash’ar al-Haraam, he should make du’a where he is because the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stood there and all of the Muzdalifah is the place of standing. When he is reciting dhikr and making du’a he should face the qiblah and raise his hands.

Returning to Mina
When it has become very light, before the sun rises, he should go to Mina and hasten through Wadi Mahsar (which is a valley between Muzdalifah and Mina). When he reaches Mina he should stone Jamarat al-‘Aqabah, which is the last one that is closest to Makkah, throwing seven pebbles one after another, each of which should be approximately the size of a fava bean, saying “Allahu akbar”with each throw. (The Sunnah when stoning Jamarat al-‘Aqabah is to face the Jamarah with Makkah to one’s left and Mina to one one’s right). When he has finished this stoning, he should slaughter his sacrificial animal, then shave his head or cut his hair if he is male; women should cut the length of a fingertip from their hair. This is the first stage of exiting ihraam, in which it becomes permissible to do everything except have intercourse with one’s wife. Then the pilgrim should go back to Makkah and do tawaaf and saa’i for Hajj. Then comes the second stage of exiting ihraam after which everything becomes permissible which was forbidden while in ihraam.
The Sunnah is to put on perfume when one wants to go to Makkah to do tawaaf after stoning the jamarat and shaving one’s head, because ‘Aa’ishah radhiAllahu ‘anha said: “I used to apply perfume to the Prophet before he entered ihraam and when he exited ihraam, before he circumambulated the House.” [Bukhari, 1539; Muslim, 1189] Then after tawaaf and saa’i, he should go back to Mina and stay there for two nights, the 11th and 12th of Dhu’l-Hijjah, and stone the three jamarats during those two days, when the sun has passed its zenith. It is better for him to go to the jamarats walking, but if he rides that is acceptable. He should stone the first jamarah, which is the one that is furthest away from Makkah and next to Masjid al-Kheef, with seven pebbles, one after another, and say “Allahu Akbar” after each throw. Then he should go forward a little and say a lengthy du’a, saying whatever he likes. If it is too difficult for him to stand for a long time and make du’a, he should say whatever is easy for him, even if it is only a little, so that he will have done the Sunnah.
Then he should stone the middle jamarah with seven pebbles, one after another, saying “Allahu Akbar” with every throw. Then he should move to his left and stand facing the qiblah, raising his hands, and offer a lengthy du’a if he can. Otherwise, he should stand for as long as he can. He should not omit to stand and make du’a because it is Sunnah. Many people neglect that because of ignorance or because they take the matter lightly. The more the Sunnah is neglected the more important it becomes to do it and spread it among the people, lest it is abandoned and die out.
Then he should stone Jamarat al-‘Aqabah with seven pebbles, one after another, saying “Allahu Akbar” with each throw, then he should go away and not offer a du’a after that.
When he has completed the stoning of the Jamaraat on the 12th day of Dhu’l-Hijjah, if he wants he may hasten and leave Mina, and if he wants he may delay his departure and stay there for another night, the night of the 13th, and stone the three Jamaraat after noon as he did before. It is better to delay, but it is not obligatory unless the sun has set on the 12th and he is still in Mina, in which case it is obligatory to stay until one has stoned the three Jamaraat after noon on the following day. But if the sun sets on the 12thand he is still in Mina but not by choice, such as if he had already started out and boarded his means of transportation, but got delayed because of crowded conditions and traffic jams etc., then he is not obliged to stay there, because the delay until sunset was not by his choice.

Leaving Makkah
When the pilgrim wants to leave Makkah and go back to his country, he should not leave until he has performed the farewell tawaaf (tawaaf al-wadaa’), because the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “No one should leave until the last thing that he does is (tawaaf) around the House.” [Muslim, 1327] According to another version, he told the people that the last thing they should do was (tawaaf) around the house, but he made an exception for women who were menstruating. [Bukhari, 1755; Muslim, 1328] Women who are menstruating or bleeding following childbirth do not have to do the farewell tawaaf; neither should they stand by the door of al-Masjid al-Haraam to bid farewell, because that was not narrated from the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
The last thing the pilgrim should do when he wants to leave is to circumambulate the House. If after the farewell tawaaf he stays and waits for his companions or to load his luggage or to buy something he needs on the way, there is nothing wrong with that, and he does not have to repeat the tawaaf, unless he intends to delay his journey, such as if he intended to travel at the beginning of the day and he did the farewell tawaaf, then he delays his traveling until the end of the day, for example; in this case, he has to repeat the tawaaf so that it will be the last thing he does in Makkah.
Ghusl when entering Makkah
When the pilgrim approaches Makkah, he should do ghusl before entering, if possible, because the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did ghusl before entering Makkah. [Muslim, 1259]

Then when he enters al-Masjid al-Haraam he should do so with his right foot first, and say,

Bismillah wa’l-salaatu wa’l-salaam ‘ala Rasool-Allah. Allahumma ighfir li dhunoobi waftah li abwaab rahmatika. A’oodhu Billah il-‘Azeem wa bi wajhih il-kareem wa bi sultaanih il-‘qadeem min al-Shaytan il-rajeem.

“In the name of Allah, and blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah. O Allah, forgive me my sins and open to me the gates of Your mercy. I seek refuge with Allah the Almighty and in His noble Countenance and His eternal power from the accursed Satan.”

Then he should go to the Black Stone in order to start tawaaf. He should touch the Stone with his right hand and kiss it; if he cannot kiss it then he should touch it with his hand and kiss his hand. If he cannot touch it with his hand then he should face the Stone and point to it with his hand and say “Allahu Akbar”, but he should not kiss his hand.

There is a great deal of virtue in touching the Black Stone, because the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Allah will raise up the Black Stone on the Day of Resurrection and it will have two eyes with which it will see and a tongue with which it will speak, and it will bear witness for those who touched it in sincerity.” [Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 1144]

It is better not to crowd around and cause annoyance to people or be annoyed by them, because of the hadeeth in which the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to ‘Umar, “O ‘Umar, you are a strong man, do not crowd around the Stone and disturb the weak. If you find space, then touch it, otherwise just face it and say ‘Allahu akbar.’” [Narrated by Ahmad, 191; classed as qawiy by al-Albaani inRisaalat Manaasik al-Hajj wa’l-‘Umrah, p. 21]

Then he should move towards the right, with the Ka’abah on his left, and when he reaches the Yemeni Corner  (al-Rukn al-Yamaani, which is the third corner after the Black Stone) he should touch it, without kissing his hand or saying “Allahu Akbar.” If he cannot touch it then he should move on, and not crowd around it. Between the Yemeni Corner and the Black Stone he should say,

Rabbanaa aatina fi’l-dunya hasanah wa fi’l-aakhirah hasanah wa qinna ‘adhaab al-Naar

“Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire.” [al-Baqarah 2:201]

Every time he passes the Black Stone he should face it and say ‘Allahu Akbar’, and in the rest of his tawaaf he should recite whatever he likes of dhikr, du’a, and Qur’an because tawaaf around the Ka’abah has been established for the remembrance of Allah.


In Tawaaf men should do two things:

1 – Uncovering the right shoulder (idtibaa’) from the beginning of tawaaf until the end. This is done by placing the middle of the rida’ (upper garment) beneath the right armpit and the ends of the rida’ over the left shoulder. When the pilgrim finishes tawaaf, he should put his rida’ back as it was before tawaaf, because the time for wearing it with one shoulder uncovered is only in tawaaf.

2 – Raml in the first three circuits only. Raml means walking quickly with short steps. In the last four circuits there is no raml, rather the pilgrim should walk normally.

When the pilgrim has completed seven circuits of tawaaf, he should cover his right shoulder and then go to the Station of Ibraheem (Maqaam Ibraheem) and recite the words (interpretation of the meaning):

وَاتَّخِذُوا مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى

“And take you the Maqaam (place) of Ibraheem as a place of prayer,” [al-Baqarah 2:125].

Then he should pray two rak’ahs behind the Station; in the first rak’ah after reciting al-Faatihah he should recite Yaa ayyaha’l-kaafiroon (Surah al-Kaafiroon) and in the second Qul Huwa Allahu ahad (Surah al-Ikhlaas). Then when he has finished this prayer he should go to the Black Stone and touch it if he can. It is prescribed at this point to touch it only; if he cannot do that then he should go away and not point to it.

Then after he has done tawaaf and prayed two rak’ahs, it is masnoon to drink water from zamzam and to pour a little on the head.He should now go to the Mas’a (place for doing saa’i) and perform saa’i between al-Safa and al-Marwah.

– Azeezat Kareem and Shukurat Alimi


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