Pilgrimage is obligatory for every sane, adult, free, able (physically and financially) Muslim. It consists of 7 practices necessary to be done and 7 duties to complete the process and 9 recommended practices.

Conditions for Pilgrimage

Conditions: Five conditions need to be met to make the pilgrimage obligatory:

1-Islam: Making the pilgrimage is not acceptable from an unbeliever. To be a Muslim is essential to make any act of worship valid.

2-Sanity: Islamic duties are not required of a person who has lost his mind until he has regained sanity.

:'Ali quotes the Prophet (peace be upon him) as saying

‘The pen (of accountability) is lifted as regards of three types of people: the sleeper until he wakes up; the child until he has attained puberty; and the insane until he regains his sanity.’

Related by Ahmad, hadith No. 1,362; Abu Dawud, hadith No. 4,403; al-Tirmidhi, hadith No. 1,423; Ibn Majah, hadith No. 2,042

3-Puberty: The pilgrimage is not required of children, because they have not attained the age when duties become applicable to them, as noted in the hadith quoted above. However, if a child does perform the pilgrimage, his pilgrimage is counted as valid but it does not count toward meeting the duty of pilgrimage required of Muslims once in a life-time. When the child who already offered the pilgrimage in childhood attains puberty, the duty of pilgrimage applies to him or her. There is no disagreement among scholars on these points.

:Ibn 'Abbas reports: ‘A woman lifted a child and asked

‘O Messenger of Allah, is this child’s pilgrimage valid?” He said: Yes, and you earn a reward.’ 

Related by Muslim, hadith No. 1,336

4-Freedom: The pilgrimage does not apply to a slave, but if a slave performs the pilgrimage, his pilgrimage is valid. If a slave is freed, the pilgrimage duty applies to him even if he had performed the pilgrimage when he was in bondage; he must perform another pilgrimage as a free man.


:Allah says

‘Pilgrimage to this House is a duty owed to Allah by all people who are able to undertake it’


The ability meant here is both physical and financial. This means that the person should be in good enough health to be able to undertake the journey. If he cannot because he is elderly, or has a chronic disease that is unlikely to be cured, he should send someone else to perform the pilgrimage on his behalf and he should pay that person all his expenses. The ability condition also means that the route a person travels to offer the pilgrimage should be safe, and that he has enough money both for his expenses during his travel and the expenses of his dependants during his absence, in addition to the cost of his travel whether by road, sea or air. Even if all these conditions are met but a person cannot travel for a reason beyond his control, for example the inability to obtain the necessary visa or travel permit, then the abililty condition is not met. Such a situation might arise in countries that allow only those who are over 60 years of age to travel for the pilgrimage. In this case, if someone dies before reaching this age and was otherwise able to undertake the journey, his heirs should arrange for someone to offer the pilgrimage on his behalf. For females, the condition of an accompanying mahram [1] is also required, though some scholars have ruled that a woman can travel for the pilgrimage as part of a group.

Essentials: The pilgrimage includes four essential requirements, i.e. rukns:

1-Ihram, i.e. consecration, is a state where an individual commits himself to be in before setting off to perform either the major or minor (umrah). When an individual in the state of Ihram, certain things become forbidden for him to do which were previously permissible.

2-Attendance at Arafat on 9 Dhul-Hijjah. It is universally agreed that this attendance is essential, i.e. rukn, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) says:

‘The pilgrimage is [attendance at] Arafat’

Related by Ahmad, hadith No. 18,774; al-Tirmidhi, hadith No. 889; Abu Dawud, hadith No. 1,949; al-Nassa’i, hadith No. 3,016; al-Hakim, vol. 2, p. 305

 Attendance at Arafat starts at midday on that day and extends until the break of dawn of the following day.

3-The tawaf after Arafat. This is called tawaf of ifadah because it takes place after the pilgrims have proceeded on their journey to complete their other duties, after having attended at Arafat. Again it is universally agreed to be a rukn as Allah says:

‘Thereafter let them complete the rites prescribed for them, fulfil their vows, and circumambulate the Ancient House’


4-Walking between the two hills of al-Safa and al-Marwah. This is the fourth rukn, based on A’ishah’s hadith:

‘Allah does not take as complete the pilgrimage or the umrah of a person who does not do the walk between al-Safa and al-Marwah’

Related by Muslim, hadith No. 1,277

 :The Prophet (peace be upon him) also says

‘Do the sa'i (which is the walk between al-Safa and al-Marwah) for it has been ordained to you. ’ 

Related by Ahmad, hadith No. 27,367; Ibn Khuzaymah, hadith No. 1,764; al-Hakim, vol. 4, p. 79; al-Bayhaqi, vol. 5, p. 98


1-Entering into the state of consecration, i.e. ihram, at the designated point (Meeqat) on one’s route.

2-Staying at Arafat until sunsetThe Prophet (peace be upon him) permitted women, children and the weak to leave Muzdalifah after midnight., if one arrives at Arafat during the day, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) stayed there until sunset as we will see when we report how he performed his pilgrimage.

:He said

‘Learn your rites from me ’ 

Related by Muslim, hadith No. 1,297

3-Staying at Muzdalifah until the break of dawn, after proceeding from Arafat. The Prophet (peace be upon him) permitted women, children and the weak to leave Muzdalifah after midnight.

4-Spending the next two or three nights at Mina.

5-Stoning the Jamrahs in the right order.

6-Shaving one’s head for men, or cutting one’s hair,

:as Allah says

‘with your heads shaved or your hair cut short’


The Prophet (peace be upon him) did this and ordered that it should be done by all.

7- The tawaf of farewell at the end, except for women who are in the period or having postnatal bleeding.

:Ibn 'Abbas reports

Allah’s messenger ordered that people should make this tawaf the last thing they do before they depart, but he made it easier for women in the period.(for men only)

Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 1,755; Muslim, hadith No. 1,328

Whoever omits any of these duties, either deliberately or out of forgetfulness, should compensate for it by sacrificing a sheep and in this case his pilgrimage is still considered valid. It is authentically reported that Ibn 'Abbas said:

‘Whoever forgets or omits a part of his worship should offer a sacrifice.’

Related by al-Daraqutni, hadith No. 2,534; al-Bayhaqi, vol. 5, p. 30

Recommended practices

1-Taking a bath, wearing perfume (for men only) and putting on two white ihram garments.

2-Clipping one’s nails, removing pubic and armpit hair and trimming one’s moustache.

3-Performing the tawaf of arrival for those doing the pilgrimage in the ifrad or qiran methods.

4-Jogging in the first three rounds of the tawaf of arrival.

5-Baring one’s right shoulder when doing the tawaf of arrival.

6-Staying at Mina the night that proceeds the day of Arafat.

7-Repeating the phrases of talbiyah from the time of entering into the state of consecration (Ihram) until one has done the stoning at the Grand Jamrah, on the Day of Eid, i.e. 10th of the month.

8-Offering the Maghrib and 'Isha’ prayers together at Muzdalifah.

9-Stopping close to al-Mash'ar al-Haram at Muzdalifah from Fajr until sunrise, shortly before sunrise, if possible. If not, at any place at Muzdalifah.


  1. A mahram is either a husband or any male member of her relatives that she can’t ever marry such as a father, brother, son, uncle, nephew etc.