The following is a complete summary of the principal rites in connection with the institution of the pilgrimage as observed by the Sunni Muslims:
Upon the pilgrim’s arrival at the last stage near Makkah, he bathes himself, and performs two rak`âts and then strips off himself of his clothes to put on the pilgrim’s garment, which is called ihrâm. This garment consists of two seamless wrappers, one being wrapped round the waist and the other thrown loosely over the shoulder, the head being always left uncovered, but women must always keep their heads covered. Sandals may be also worn, but not boots or shoes. After having assumed the pilgrim’s garb, he must not cover his head, shave any part of his body, cut his nails, nor wear any other than the ihrâm. The pilgrim, having now entered upon the pilgrimage institution, faces Makkah and makes the niyya [intention] by saying: “O God, I purpose to perform the pilgrimage; make this devotion easy to me and accept it from me.” He then proceeds on his journey to the sacred city and on his way, as well as different periods during the pilgrimage he recites, alone or with the company of his fellow pilgrims, in a loud voice, the pilgrim’s supplication called the talbiya [a word signifying waiting or keeping stand for orders]. In Arabic it runs thus:
Labbayka, Allâhumma labbayka.
Labbayka ; lâ sharika lak, labbayka.
Innal-hamda wan-ni`-mata lak.
Lâ sharika lak.”
Which may be rendered in English as follow: -
“I stand up for Your Service, O God. I stand up.
“I stand up. There is no partner with You.
“I stand up. Verily Your is the praise, the blessing and the Kingdom.
“There is no partner with You.”
Immediately on his arrival at Makkah the pilgrim performs legal ablution in the Masjidul-Harâm [the sacred Mosque of Makkah] and then kisses the Black Stone. He then encompasses the kába seven times; three times at a quick stop or run, and four times at a slow pace. These acts are called tawâf or the circuit, and are performed by commencing on the right and leaving the kába on the left. Each time as the pilgrim passes round the kába, he touches the Ruknul-Yamani or the Yemen corner, and kisses the Black Stone. He then proceeds to the Maqâmu-Ibrâhîm, or the seat of Abraham, where he recites the verse [2:125] of the Qu’ran: “Wattakhizû min maqâ Ibrânhim Mu-ssallâ, i.e. “Take ye the station or seat of Abraham for a place of prayer,” and performs prayers of two rak`âts. He then goes to the gate of the Sacred Mosque leading to Mount Al-Safa, and from it he ascends the hill, reciting in a loud voice the verse 158 of the second Chapter of the Qu’ran: “In-nas-Safâ wal Marwâ min Sh’â-‘ir-il-Lâh”, i.e. “Verily Al-Safa and Al-Marawa are counted as Divine rites of God.” Having arrived at the summit of the hill turning towards the kába, he recites the following; “Lâ il-lal-Lâh, Lâ ilâha-il-al-Lâh wahdah; lâ sharika lah; sadaqa wa`dah wa nasara abdah; wa hazamal-ahzâba wahdah, la ilaha illal-Lah”i.e.
“There is no deity save God [Allâh]. There is no deity but Allâh alone. He has no partner. He has executed His promise, and has given victory to his servant [Muhammad], and He has alone defeated the hosts of infidels. There is no deity save God.” These words are recited thrice. He then runs from the top of Mount Al-safa to the summit of Mount Al-Marwa seven times, repeating the aforesaid supplication or prayer.
This is the sixth day, the evening of which is spent at Makkah, where he again encompasses the kába once.
On the seventh day he listens to the khutba, or oration, in the Sacred Mosque, on the excellence of the pilgrimage and the necessary duties required of all true Muslims. On the following day, which is called the day of tarwiya [satisfying thirst], he proceeds with his fellow-pilgrims to a place called Mina, where he spends the night, performing the Muslim usual rites.
On the next day, it being the ninth of the month, all pilgrims proceed to Mount Arafat where they spend the whole day, performing the midday and afternoon stated prayers, and hearing the sermon and spending the time in reciting the Qu’ran or making humble-supplications to God, asking His favour of forgiveness of their sins and soliciting His guidance to a virtuous life, etc. Before sunset the pilgrim leaves Arafat for a stage called Al-Muzdalifa, a place between Mina and Arafat, where he should arrive for the sunset and night prayers.
The next day, it being the tenth of the month and known all through the Muslim world as Yawmul-nahri, or the day of sacrifice and celebrated as the “Eid-el-ad-hâ”, or the great feast known in the West as Qurban Bairam. Early in the morning, having said their prayers at Al-Muzdalifa, the pilgrims proceed in a body to three monumental pillars at Mina. The pilgrim casts seven small stones or pebbles at each of these pillars, this ceremony being called ram-yol-jumâr, or throwing of the pebbles. Holding the pebbles [which he can easily pick up from the sand at the locality], between the thumb and forefinger of the right hand, the pilgrim throws it at a distance of some fifteen feet, and says: “Allâhu akbar,” “God is Greater.” The remaining pebbles are thrown in the same way at each of the other pillars.
The pilgrim then returns to Mina and performs the sacrifice, the victim may be a sheep, a goat, a cow, or even a camel, according to the means of the pilgrim. When slaughtering the animal, the pilgrim says in a loud voice: “Allâhu akbar,” “God is Greater.” “O God, accept this sacrifice from me.”
This ceremony concludes the pilgrimage; and there the pilgrim then gets himself shaved, his nails pared, and the ihrâm, or pilgrim’s garment is taken off and replaced by the usual dress. Although the pilgrimage rites are over by this time, he should have rest at Makkah for the following three days, which are known as ayyâmul-tashriq.
Before leaving Makkah for good, the pilgrim should once more perform the circuits round the Ka’ba and throw stones at monumental pillar at Mina seven times. He must also drink of the water of the famous well near the Ka’ba, known as Zamzam well.
The throwing of these stones or pebbles against the aforesaid monumental pillar represents a deeply rooted hearty intention on the part of the pilgrim, that he will never again follow the foot-steps of wicked, mischievous or impious company or to listen to evil suggestions, usually known as the path of the devil or Satan. This practice can by no means be mistaken for an idolatry presentation. It is rather a meritorious act of self-suggestion. Most Muslims then go to Al-Medina to visit the mosque of their Prophet.
From the time the pilgrim has assumed the ihrâm until he takes it off, he must abstain from worldly affairs and devote himself entirely to the duties of pilgrimage. He is not allowed to hunt or kill game. He is prohibited to unite in sexual intercourse, make vain dispute, commit any unlawful act, or to use bad language or insulting words.
The pilgrimage can only be performed on the appointed days of the month of Zul Hijjah. But a visit can be meritoriously made to the Sacred Mosque at Makkah [the house of God at Makkah] at any time of the year; and in this case it is not called pilgrimage, but it takes the name of “umra”, meaning visit to the Sacred Mosque.
If the pilgrim happens to arrive at Makkah as late as the ninth day of the month, he can still perform his dutiful pilgrimage legally if he can join the pilgrims when at Mount Arafat on that day. The Pilgrimage cannot be performed by proxy according to the Sunni School of Law. But if a Muslim on his death-bed leaves a sum of money to be paid to a certain person in order to perform the pilgrimage by proxy, this is considered as satisfying the claims of the Muslim Law. If a Muslim has the means of performing the pilgrimage, and omits to do so, he is considered to have committed a great sin.
According to the sayings of the Prophet, the merits of a pilgrimage to the Sacred Mosque are very great: “He who make a pilgrimage for God’s sake, and does not talk loosely, not act wickedly, shall return from it as pure from sin as the day on which he was born.” Verily pilgrimage and ‘umra [visit to the Sacred Mosque] put away poverty and sin like the fire of a forge which removes dross’. “When you see a pilgrim, salute and embrace him, and request him to ask pardon of God for you, for his sins have been forgiven and his supplications may be accepted.”
 The 8th day of the pilgrimage is so called because the pilgrims, in old times, happen to give drinking water to their camels.
Please write: COMMENT in this box to verify that you are human