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8th of Dhul-Hijjah | Start of Hajj Journey

by | May 31, 2017

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The Hajj recommended by the Prophet (PBUH) is called Hajj Tamatu’, which will focus on this blog. We can divide the steps of Hajj Tamatu’ into two basic categories: before the 8th and on the 8th Dhul-Hijjah. Because in Hajj, Tamatu’ Umrah and Hajj are separated. The following steps are required when performing Hajj Tamatu’:

Sunnahs of 8th Dhul-Hijjah

  1. Put on Ihram from Meeqat or before reaching Meeqat in the month of Hajj.
  2. Make the intention to perform Umrah.
  3. Say the Talbiyah
  4. Perform Tawaf Umrah
  5. Pray two Rakat behind Maqam Ibrahim. It is recommended that you recite Surah Al-Kafirun and Surah al-Ihklas.
  6. Drink Zamzam water
  7. Perform Sayee (i.e., walking between Safa and Marwa 7 times)
  8. After finishing the Sa’eey, shave (for men) or cut your hair (for women).

With the above steps, the Umrah is complete, and the Ihram can be taken off. Wait for the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah. You are no longer in the state of Ihram.

8th Dhul-Hijjah:

8th Dhul-Hijjah is the official start date of Hajj. On this day, the pilgrims prepare themselves for the journey ahead. The following steps are to be taken for the 8th Day of Dhul-Hijjah:

  • Pilgrims put on Ihram again
  • Make the intention to perform Hajj.
  • Make your way to Mina, reciting the Talbiyah.

 لبْيكَ اللَّهُمَّ َلَّبيْك، َلَّبْيكَ لاَ شَرْيكَ َلكَ َلَّبيْك إنَّ اْلحَ ْمَد وَ الِّنْعمَةَ َلكَ وَ اْلمُلكُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَك،.
(Here I am, O Allah (in response to Your call) here I am. Here I am; you have no partner; here I am. Indeed, all the Praise, Grace, and Sovereignty belong to You. You have no partner). 

  • Pilgrims begin walking to Mina after Fajr prayer and usually reach there just before Dhuhr. Note: The Dhuhr, ‘Asr, Maghrib, and Isha prayers are shortened but not combined during the stay at Mina.
  • After praying Fajr the next day (9th of Dhul Hijjah), proceed to ‘Arafat. The pilgrims should reach ‘Arafat just before Dhuhr’s prayer. I will explain the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah in detail in the following article InshaAllah.

What to do on the 8th of Dhul Hijjah? 

Intention (Niyyah) for Hajj 

On the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah, the first step after arriving at Makkah to start Hajj is essential to make a pure intention for the Hajj. Before the journey starts, every pilgrim should be clear about their intentions. The intention must be to perform the Hajj for the sake of Allah Alone with the desires for the Hereafter. It should not be done to be seen among others or for worldly. 

State of Ihram

The most necessary step is to enter the state of Ihram. Ihram is related to the states of purity which is compulsory while crossing the boundaries of Mecca called Miqat. 

Muslim pilgrims are advised to wear the Ihram, which consists of two unstitched white sheets that must wrap one piece around your shoulder and one around your waist. Ladies can wear loose-fitting clothes but should follow the rules of the Hijab; covering the face isn’t permitted. 

It is the spiritual state you enter once you intend to go to Hajj. It is the physical intention of Hajj. When you are in the state of Ihram, the sanctification of the Ihram should not be violated; no sexual relation, violence, or disobedience is allowed in Ihram. 

ٱلْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَٰتٌ ۚ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ ٱلْحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِى ٱلْحَجِّ ۗ وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا۟ مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ ٱللَّهُ ۗ وَتَزَوَّدُوا۟ فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ ٱلزَّادِ ٱلتَّقْوَىٰ ۚ وَٱتَّقُونِ يَٰٓأُو۟لِى ٱلْأَلْبَٰبِ

Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihrām], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do – Allāh knows it. And take provisions, but the best provision is fear of Allāh. And fear Me, O you of understanding. (AlQuran 2:197)


Talbiyah is the special prayer said while on the sacred journey of Hajj. 

 لَبَّيْكَ اللهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ – لَبَّيْكَ لَا شَرِيْكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ – إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ – لَا شَرِيْكَ لَكَ 

 labbayka -llāhumma labbayka, labbayka lā šarīka laka labbayka, ʾinna -l-ḥamda wa-n-niʿmata laka wa-l-mulka lā šarīka lak

“Here I am [at your service] O God, here I am. Here I am [at your service]. You have no partners (other gods). To You alone is all praise and excellence, and to You is all sovereignty. There is no partner to You.”


Hajj involves a series of rituals in and around Mecca over five to six days; the first among them is Tawaaf-e-Kaabah, in which Muslims walk around the Kaabah seven times in an anti-clockwise direction. 

وَإِذْ بَوَّأْنَا لِإِبْرَٰهِيمَ مَكَانَ ٱلْبَيْتِ أَن لَّا تُشْرِكْ بِى شَيْـًٔا وَطَهِّرْ بَيْتِىَ لِلطَّآئِفِينَ وَٱلْقَآئِمِينَ وَٱلرُّكَّعِ ٱلسُّجُودِ

And [mention, O Muhammad], when We designated for Abraham the site of the House, [saying], “Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate. 

(AlQuran 22:26)

Muslims believe that the Tawaaf-e-Kaabah originates in the time of the Prophet Ibraham himself in 632. 

Once the pilgrims finish their Tawaf, they offer two Rakat Nafl at Maqam Ibrahim (The place of Prophet Ibraham, where he prayed when building the Kaaba)

Sa’i: Safa and Marwa

Sa’i is the ritual of Hajj, walking back and forth between two hills known as Safa and Marwa hills seven times. Running or walking between the two hills reminds Prophet Abraham’s wife, Hajjara, and son Ismail. 

إِنَّ ٱلصَّفَا وَٱلْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَآئِرِ ٱللَّهِ ۖ فَمَنْ حَجَّ ٱلْبَيْتَ أَوِ ٱعْتَمَرَ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا ۚ وَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ

Indeed, as-Safā and al-Marwah are among the symbols of Allāh. So whoever makes Hajj [pilgrimage] to the House or performs ‘Umrah – there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allāh is Appreciative and Knowing. (AlQuran 2:158)

After completing Umrah rituals, Hajj al-Tamatt’u pilgrims must assume the state of Ihram and declare their intentions and repeat Ihram to do Hajj again.

Stay in Mina

Mina, a small town called the “City of Tents,” is almost 8 kilometers from Makkah. The pilgrims are advised to stay there the following day and offer the five prayers, starting with the noon prayer Zuhr, then Asr, Maghrib, Isha, and ending with the dawn prayer Fajr. 

Pilgrims spend the day and the whole night in Mina, and on the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah, after offering the dawn prayer, Fajr, the pilgrims make their way to Arafat, roughly 14 kilometers away. 

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