Dhul Hijjah · Dhul Qi'dah · Hajj · Islamic Months

Description of Hajj [Part 1]


Hajj is one of the best acts of worship. It is one of the pillars of Islam with which Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sent Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and without which a person’s religious commitment is incomplete.

Worship cannot bring a person closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and cannot be accepted unless it meets two conditions:

1. Sincerity towards Allah alone, i.e., it is done to seek the Countenance of Allah and the Hereafter and is not done to show off, to enhance one’s reputation or for worldly gain.

2. Following the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in word and deed. Following the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam can only be achieved by knowing his Sunnah.

Hence the one who wants to worship Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala by doing any act of worship – Hajj or anything else – have to learn the teachings of the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam concerning it, so that his actions will be in accordance with the Sunnah.

We will sum up in these few lines the description of Hajj as narrated in the Sunnah.

Types of Hajj 

There are three types of Hajj: Tamattu’, Ifraad and Qiraan.

Tamattu’ means entering ihraam for ‘Umrah only during the months of Hajj (the months of Hajj are Shawwaal, Dhu’l-Qi’dah and Dhu’l-Hijjah). When the pilgrim reaches Makkah he performs tawaaf and saa’i for ‘Umrah, and shaves his head or cuts his hair, and exits ihraam. Then when the day of al-Tarwiyah, which is the 8th of Dhu’l-Hijjah, comes, he enters ihraam for Hajj only and does all the actions of Hajj. Tamattu’ involves a complete ‘Umrah and a complete Hajj.

Ifraad means entering ihraam for Hajj only. When the pilgrim reaches Makkah he performs tawaaf al-qudoom (tawaaf of arrival) and saa’i for Hajj, but he does not shave or cut his hair and does not exit ihraam, rather he remains in ihraam until he exits ihraam after stoning Jamarat al-‘Aqabah on the day of ‘Eid.  If he delays the saa’i of Hajj until after the tawaaf of Hajj, there is nothing wrong with that.

Qiraan means entering ihraam for ‘Umrah and Hajj both together or entering ihraam for ‘Umrah first then including Hajj in that before starting the tawaaf of Hajj. That is done by intending that his tawaaf and saa’i will be for both Hajj and ‘Umrah.

The actions done in Qiraan are the same as those done in Ifraad, except that the pilgrim doing Qiraan has to offer a hadiy (sacrifice) whereas the pilgrim doing Ifraad does not.

The best of these three types of Hajj is Tamattu’. This is what the Prophet salAllahu Types-of-Hajj‘alayhi wa sallam enjoined upon his companions and urged them to do.

Even if a person enters ihraam for Qiraan or Ifraad, then it is strongly recommended for him to change his intention to ‘Umrah, then complete ‘Umrah and exit ihraam, so that he will then be doing Tamattu’. He may do that after doing tawaaf al-qudoom and saa’i  because when the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did tawaaf and saa’i during his Farewell Pilgrimage and his companions were with him, he told everyone who did not have a sacrificial animal (hadiy) to change his intention and make his ihraam for ‘Umrah and to cut his hair and exit ihraam, and he said, “Were it not that I have brought the hadiy with me, I would do what I have commanded you to do.” 


The pilgrim should observe the Sunnahs of ihraam, namely doing ghusl, and praying. Then he should enter ihraam after he finishes the prayer or after boarding his means of transportation.

Ihraam for Men ihram

The ihraam garments for men consist of two pieces of white sheet. Wrap the larger sheet around your waist to cover your body from the navel to the ankles. Secure the ihraam either with a belt or by a strip of fabric torn from ihraam material. Drape the other sheet over the back and shoulders and wear a pair of stitched or unstitched sandals or shoes which do not cover the ankles. The head should not be covered, and no underwear should be used. The ihraam should preferably be white.

Ihraam for Women

Women are allowed to make ihraam in any dress they wish which fulfills the Islamic conditions of public dress, regardless of the color. Women’s hands and face should be uncovered in ihraam. Their heads should be covered.

Obligations and Prohibitions in the State of Ihraam

A muhrim (someone who is in the state of ihraam) must observe certain obligations and prohibitions. These are:

– Keep your head uncovered at all times. Women should keep their heads covered
– Do not shave, cut your hair, clip your nails, use perfume, or wear sewn clothes of any kind
– Do not perform marriage or get married yourself
– Do not kill an animal of any kind for any reason, unless it poses a danger to you and others
– Do not enter into conjugal relations with your spouse. Avoid suggestive and provocative talk or gestures and remain focused on Hajj.

Then if he is doing Tamattu’, he should say,

“Labbayk Allahumma bi ‘Umrah (Here I am, O Allah, for ‘Umrah).” 

If he is doing Qiraan, he should say,

“Labbayk Allahumma bi Hijjah wa ‘Umrah
(Here I am, O Allah, for Hajj and ‘Umrah).” 

If he is doing Ifraad, he should say,

“Labbayk Allaahumma Hajjan (Here I am, O Allah, for Hajj).” 

Then he should say,

“Allahumma haadhihi hijjah laa riyaa’a fiha wa la sum’ah (O Allah, this is a pilgrimage in which there is no showing off or seeking reputation).”

Then he should recite the Talbiyah as the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did:

لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ ، لَبَّيْكَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ والنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكُ ، لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ

Labbayka Allahumma labbayk, labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk. Inna al-hamd wa’l-ni’mata laka wa’l-mulk, laa shareeka lak 

“Here I am, O Allah, here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and all sovereignty, You have no partner.” 

The Talbiyah of the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also included the words,

“Labbayka ilaah al-haqq (Here I am, O God of Truth).” 

Ibn ‘Umar used to add to the Talbiyah the words,

“Labbaayk wa sa’dayka, wa’l-khayr bi yadayka, wa’l-raghba’ ilayka wa’l-‘aml (Here I am and blessed by You, and all good is in Your hands, and desire and action are directed towards You).” 

Men should raise their voices when saying this, but a woman should recite in such a manner that those who are beside her can hear it unless there is a man beside her who is not one of her mahrams, in which case she should recite it silently.

If the person who is entering ihraam fears some obstacle that may prevent him from completing his pilgrimage (such as sickness, an enemy, being stopped from proceeding any further, etc), then he should stipulate a condition when entering ihraam by saying, “If I am prevented then my exiting ihraam is where I am prevented” – i.e., if something prevents me from completing my pilgrimage such as sickness or delay etc, then I will exit my ihraam. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam commanded Dubaa’ah bint al-Zubayr when she wanted to enter ihraam but she was sick, to stipulate such a condition, and he said, “Your condition is valid with your Lord.” [Bukhaari (5089) and Muslim (1207)]

If he stipulates this condition and something happens to prevent him from completing his pilgrimage, then he exits his ihraam and does not have to do anything (i.e., offer a sacrifice in compensation).

But the one who does not fear that some obstacle may prevent him from completing his pilgrimage does not have to stipulate any conditions because the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not stipulate conditions nor did he command everyone to do so. Rather he told Dubaa’ah bint al-Zubayr to do that because she was sick.

The muhrim ( a person who has entered ihraam) should recite the Talbiyah a great deal, especially when circumstances and times change, such as when going up to a high place or going down to a low place, or when night or day begins. After that, he should ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for His good pleasure and for Paradise and seek refuge in His Mercy from the Fire.

The Talbiyah is prescribed in ‘Umrah from the moment one enters ihraam until one starts Tawaaf. In Hajj it is prescribed from the moment one enters ihraam until one stones Jamarat al-‘Aqabah on the day of Eid.

Originally published at this link.

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