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Your guide to everything you need to know about Hajj & Umrah

Approx 45,000 tents are erected in Mina

Mina, located 12 kilometers outside Makkah, is known as the Hajj tent city. The tents house pilgrims for a few days of the pilgrimage; at other times of the year it lays bare and abandoned. The tents are neatly arranged in rows and grouped into areas labeled with numbers and colors according to nationality


After performing a final tawaf, pilgrims leave Mecca, ending Hajj. Although it is not required as part of Hajj, many pilgrims extend their trips to travel to Medina.

HAJJ & UMRAH – Step by Step

The literal meaning of Ihram is to make haraam (forbidden). When a haji pronounces the Niyyah (intention) of Hajj and Umrah and utters Talbiyah, certain halaal (permissible) things become haraam for him. This combined action (Niyyah and Talbiyah) is called Ihram. The two sheets that a haji wears are figuratively known as Ihram but the real Ihram is Niyyah & Talbiyah. If someone wears these two sheets and does not declare his intention and utter Talbiyah, he does not become a Muhrim. That is why, before Niyyah and Talbiyah, he can cover his head during two rakahs of Nafl, an act which is not allowed in the real state of Ihram.

Today modern transport means that each year 2-3 million men and women travel to Makkah for Hajj each year. In these pages we explain the stages of this journey….

Hajj Rites – in brief

The Days of Hajj

4th Dhul Hijja

Landing in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah and perform umrah

5th or 6th Dhul Hijjah

Ziyarat in Makkah

8th Dhul Hijja

On the first day of Hajj, pilgrims sweep out of Makkah towards Mina (a small uninhabited village east of Makkah). Pilgrims generally spend their time meditating and praying, as the Prophet (PBUH) did on his pilgrimage.

9th Dhul Hijja

During the second day, the 9th of Zul-Hijjah, pilgrims leave Mina for the plain field of ’Arafat for the wuquf , “the standing,” the central rite of the Hajj. Some pilgrims gather at the Mount of Mercy (Jabal Al-Rahmah), where the Prophet (PBUH) delivered his unforgettable Farewell Sermon. After the sunset on 9 th Dhul Hijja Just after sunset, the mass of pilgrims proceeds to Muzdalifah , an open plain field about halfway between ’Arafat and Mina. There they first perform Maghrib & Isha prayers and then collect at least 49/70 of chickpea-sized pebbles to use when stoning Satan on the following days.


(Eid Day) Beginning of the day; 10 th Dhul Hijja

After performing Fajar in Muzdalifah and before daybreak on this day, pilgrims move in masse from Muzdalifah to Mina . There they cast at white pillars the pebbles they have previously collected from Muzdalifah. According to some traditions, this practice is associated with Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH). As pilgrims throw seven pebbles at each of these pillars, they remember the story of Satan’s attempt to persuade Ibrahim (PBUH) to disregard God’s command to sacrifice his son.

(Eid Day) 10 th Dhul Hijja

Following the casting of the pebbles, pilgrims are expected to sacrifice a goat, sheep (the group will do it for you), After the Qurbani: Men either shave their heads or clip their hair, and women cut off a symbolic lock, to mark their partial deconsecration. This is done as a symbol of humility. You are now allowed to take off your Ihram and put on everyday clothes. On this day Muslims around the world share the happiness the pilgrims feel and join them by performing identical, individual sacrifices in a worldwide celebration of ’Id al-Adha, ” the Festival of Sacrifice .”

11 th Dhul Hijja - Either perform tawaf e Ziyarah & Sa’ey or spend the day in Mina

Pilgrims may visit Makkah to perform another essential rite of the Hajj: the tawaf (this could be done on day 10, 11 or 12 of Dhul Hijja) . After completing the tawaf, pilgrims pray, preferably behind the Station of Ibrahim (if possible), the site where Ibrahim (PBUH) stood while he built the Ka’bah. Thereafter, pilgrims may also try to drink Zamzam water (if possible). Another, and sometimes final, rite is the sa’y, or “the running.” This is a reenactment of a memorable episode in the life of Hagar (PBUH), who was taken into what the Qur’an calls the “uncultivable valley” of Makkah, with her infant son Ishmael, to settle there. The sa’y commemorates Hagar’s (PBUH) frantic search for water to quench Ishmael’s (PBUH) thirst. She ran back and forth seven times between two rocky hillocks, al-Safa and al-Marwah, until she found the sacred water known as Zamzam . This water, which sprang forth miraculously under Ishmael’s tiny feet, is now enclosed in a marble chamber the Ka’bah.

12 th Dhul Hijja either perform tawaf e Ziyarah & Sa’ey or spend the day in Mina

Pilgrims may spend the dayin Mina, where they stay up to the 12th or 13th day of Zul-Hijjah. There they throw their remaining pebbles at each Satan in the manner either practiced or approved by the Prophet (PBUH).

Pilgrims Last Year

Different Countries

British Muslims (UK)

Food for thought…


The Amount of People

Hajj is the largest and oldest mass gathering known to mankind with an average of 3 million people in the same area, at the same time and doing the same thing.


Diversity of People

Pilgrims come from over 180 different countries, with diversity in ethnic origin,  languages and social status.


The Hajj Process...

Majority of the pilgrims travel 5 miles to the city of Mina, which is the largest temporary city in the world. All pilgrims are housed in air conditioned and fire proof tents.