Hajj Guide (Step by Step)
Hajj is a religious obligation, but more than a mere duty. The unforgettable journey takes five days to complete, not counting travel time or a day of spiritual preparation. With journeys to the Holy Kaaba, pilgrims perform a ritual that dates to pre-Islamic days and was sanctified by The Prophet Mohamed (PBUH). They walk where he walked, see what he saw, and do what he did. At the end of their sojourns, pilgrims are often spent, but feel renewed and closer to God. According to The Prophet (PBUH), those who perform Hajj will return without sins, like the day they were born.
For first-time pilgrims, the journey can be intimidating.
Read on for an overview of the stages of Hajj and learn what to expect each day.
Prepare to enter Ihram, a spiritual state of purity and devotion.This includes washing your body and changing into Ihram clothing, preferably at a miqatstation outside the holy city.
Recite the Talbiyah in the miqat station to declare intention to make the pilgrimage.
Perform the Welcome Tawaf – enter Al Haram (Holy Mosque) and circle the Holy Kaaba seven times in a counterclockwise direction.
Perform Sa’ay – walk 7 times between the hills of Safa and Marwah beside the Kaaba.
Originally observed outdoors, the rite is now performed in an air-conditioned tunnel.
(1st day of Hajj – 8th Dhu’l-Hijjah)
- Travel to Mina 5km away, by walking or by bus, after morning prayer in Makkah.
• Spend the day in prayer.
• Spend the night in air-conditioned tents.
(2nd day of Hajj – 9th Dhu’l-Hijjah)
- Travel to Arafat 20km away.
Stand and pray (wuquf) in Arafat Plain or Jabal Al Rahma (Mount Arafat).
- Do not leave the boundary or the Hajj will be invalid.
At sunset, travel to Muzdalifah to collect pebbles for the next day.
Spend the night under the stars.
(3rd day of Hajj – 10th Dhu’l-Hijjah)
Return to Mina.
Perform Stoning of the Devil (Ramy Al Jamarat) ritual by throwing pebbles at
one of three pillars (now walls).
Offer animal sacrifice, commonly done by buying a voucher in Makkah.
Thus begins Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice.
Travel to Al Haram to perform Tawaf and Sa’ay again.
Return to Mina and spend the night.
4th day of Hajj – 11th Dhu’l-Hijjah) :
- Repeat Ramy Al Jamarat, this time throwing pebbles at all three pillars (walls).
• Spend the night in Mina.
(5th day of Hajj – 12th Dhu’l-Hijjah) :
- Repeat Ramy Al Jamarat.
• Return to Al Haram for the farewell Tawaf.
• Spend the night in Makkah or Mina.
(conditional day – 13th Dhu’l-Hijjah)
If pilgrims are unable to leave Mina on 12th Dhu’l-Hijjah,
they must repeat Ramy Al Jamarat before returning to Makkah,
where they perform the farewell Tawaf and drink Zamzam water.