Sa’ay between Al-Safa and Al-Marwa

  • The pilgrim makes the intention [in his heart] to perform the Sa’ay;
  • The Sa’ay must start from Al-Safa and end on Al-Marwa.Furthermore, it must be seven complete circuits, each of them covering the whole span for the Sa’ay;
  • Taharah Al-Hadath and Taharah Al-Khabath are not prerequisites for the Sa’ay, even though they are recommended. Therefore, menstruating women may perform it, if they are confident they would not soil the floor;
  • There are four lanes in the Mas’ay [i.e. the place/span for the Sa’ay]: two central lanes for those on wheel chairs; and two outer lanes on the extreme right and left for the use of those on foot;
  • As the pilgrim approaches Al-Safa, he should recite here, and at no other place again, the following statement of Allah Ta’ala and that of the Prophet [s.a.w.s]:

    نَّ الـصَّفَاوَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَآئِرِ الـل««« فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلاــَ جُنَاحَ «
    َيْهِأَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهَِوَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خًَْا فَإِنَّ الل شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ .« ( ســـــــــورة قرة، الآية: )) )١٥٨أبدأا بدأ الرة، به(( )مسلم.

Indeed Al-Safa and Al-Marwa are among the symbols of Allah. So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs `Umrah, there is no blame upon him for walking between the two of them. And whoever volunteers any good then, indeed, Allah is appreciative and knowing.” Al-Baqarah 2:158 “I begin with what Allah has begun.” [Muslim]

  • The pilgrim climbs AlSafa until he could see the Ka’abah. He faces it, raises up his hands and recites the following three time


ا««« أكبر ، ا««« أكبر ، لا إله إلا ا«««وحـده لا شريك له، له الملك « ه الحمد، يحيي ويت، و هو على كل شيء قـدير، لا إله إلا ا وحـده لا شريك له، أنجزوعده، و نصر عبده، و هزم الأحزاب و حده .«

“Allah is the Greatest; Allah is the Greatest; Allah is the Greatest. There is no god except Allah: He alone, with no partner to Him. The Sovereignty belongs to Him and the Praise too. He gives life and inflicts death, and He has power over everything. There is no god except Allah: He alone, with no partner to Him. He has fulfilled His promise, aided His servant, and defeated the allies alone.” [Muslim, Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and An-Nasa’i]

  • Female pilgrims are not required to climb Al-Safa and Al- Marwa.
  • At the end of each of the three recitals, he supplicates Allah for the good of this life and the good of the afterlife.
  • Thereafter, he comes down Al-Safa and walks towards Al- Marwa until he reaches the strip lit with green fluorescent light. This is called “Batn Al-Masil”. He jogs over this distance and resumes his normal walk at the end of it until he climbs Al-Marwa. Females do not jog over this this strip; they walk all the way to Al-Marwa. This represents one circuit out of the seven;
  • At Al-Marwa, he faces the Qibla, raises up his hands, and makes Dhikr and supplication three times as he did at Al- Safa.
  • He comes down Al-Marwa walking until he reaches “Batn Al- Masil”, where he jogs until he reaches the end of it, when he resumes walking normally until he climbs Al-Safa. This represents the second circuit out of the seven;
  • At Al-Safa, he repeats what he has done previously. Thus, he does at Al-Marwa until he completes seven [7] circuits, starting from Al-Safa and completing at Al-Marwa making four [4] stops on each of them. Going from Al-Safa to Al-Marwa is one circuit; returning from Al-Marwa to Al-Safa is yet another circuit;
  • During his Sa’ay, he makes a lot Dhikr, recitation of the Qur’an, and supplications, as he chooses. There is no objection if he supplicates in Batn Masil with the following prayer, as it was done by some of our Pious Predecessors:

       « رب اغفر وارحم إنك أنت الأعز الأكرم «.

    “My Sustainer! Forgive and have mercy. You are indeed the Most Powerful, the Most Generous.”

In the case of interruption in Sa‘y because of prayer or any other reason, the pilgrim resumes Sa‘y from where he stopped.

  • When he completes the seven circuits, he [starting from his right side] shaves or cuts his hair short, if he has intended the ‘Umrah or Tamattu’. Just as shaving a portion of the head is not enough, likewise cutting short the hair from a portion of the head is not enough. Moreover, cutting short the hair may be preferable, so that the pilgrim may have some left over for shaving in the Hajj, as the Prophet [s.a.w.s] directed his Companions to do. A woman cuts short her hair as much as a fingertip [about 2 cm] only from each tuft of her hair;


For men shaving is better than cutting short the hair because:

Allah has given it priority of mention in Surah Al-Fat’h 48:27;
That was what the Prophet [s.a.w.s] did in preference to cutting his hair short;
The Prophet [s.a.w.s] prayed 3 times for Allah’s forgiveness and mercy to those who shave their heads and did so only once for those who cut their hair short;
Shaving the whole head denotes greater reverence and humility to Allah.
  • If a person does what has been mentioned, his ‘Umrah is complete and every restriction of Ihram becomes permissible for him. However, if he had intended Ifrad or Qiran and he has brought along with him the Hadya from Al-Hillu, he remains in his state of Ihram until he has set himself free from both the Hajj and the ‘Umrah on 10th Dhul Hijjah after after the pilgrim will have thrown at Jamrat Al-Aqbah, sacrificed the Hadya, and [starting from his right side] shaved or cut his hair short.
  • However, if the person had intended Ifrad or Qiran and he has not brought along with him the Hadya from Al-Hillu, the best thing for him, in accordance with the instruction of the Prophet [s.a.w.s]. is to transform his Ihram into Tamattu’ and do exactly what the person who had initially intended Tamattu’ does.