Overview of the Rites of Hajj and 'Umrah
1- Ihram is the first rite for both hajj and 'umrah. Pilgrims enter ihram from its temporal and spatial miqats (appointed places and times from where and when pilgrims assume ihram) in the prescribed manner (see below).
2- A pilgrim then enters Mecca whereupon, a pilgrim on ‘umrah performs the obligatory tawaf which consists of seven rounds, each beginning from the Black Stone. During circumambulation, the Ka'bah must be to the pilgrim's left. Every time he passes by the Black Stone, he kisses it (if possible) or points to its direction while making takbir.
3- Going between as-Safa and al-Marwa mounts seven times.
4- When a pilgrim on ‘umrah finishes his sa’y, he is to shave or shorten his hair (men only) and release himself from ihram.
These are the rites of 'umrah.
Ihram for hajj is of three kinds:
A pilgrim on hajj ifrad (a mufrid) assumes ihram for hajj only. It is recommended, and not obligatory, for a mufrid to slaughter a hady.
A pilgrim on hajj qiran (a qarin) assumes ihram for 'umrah and hajj simultaneously. A person may enter ihram for hajj before performing the tawaf associated with 'umrah, this being during the months of hajj. The actions of both 'umrah and hajj are incorporated; their miqats and rites are the same. A qarin who is a non-resident of Mecca, must slaughter a hady. Assuming ihram for hajj and subsequently entering ihram for 'umrah, renders a pilgrim's ihram for ‘umrah invalid.
A pilgrim on hajj tamattu' (a mutamatti') assumes ihram for ‘umrah during the months of hajj from the miqat for his country. He enters Mecca, performs the rituals of 'umrah and then fully releases himself from his ihram, freeing him from the restrictions specific to ihram; he then enters ihram for hajj from Mecca. A non-resident of Mecca must slaughter a hady provided he does not return to his country after his ‘umrah and before his hajj. A mutamatti' is to shorten his hair, release himself from ihram and wait for the day of tarwiyah (8th Dhul-Hijjah).
It is worth mentioning that a qarin or mufrid must remain in his ihram if he arrives at Mecca before the day of tarwiyah. He must perform tawaf al-qudum (arrival circumambulation) to greet the Sacred House. It is permissible for him to make sa’y, which is one of the obligatory actions of hajj or he may postpone it till after tawaf al-ifada (going forth circumambulation) and remain in his ihram.
Scholars of the four schools of jurisprudence have differed over which of the three kinds is best. According to Maliki and Shafi'i scholars, ifrad is the best form of hajj. The Malikis have maintained that ifrad is followed in preference by qiran and finally by tamattu' while the Shafi'is have maintained that ifrad is the best followed by tamattu' and then qiran. Hanafi scholars have maintained that the order of preference is qiran, tamattu' and finally ifrad while Hanbali scholars have held that hajj tamattu' is the best way to perform hajj followed by ifrad and then qiran.
In such matters as when there is a difference of scholarly opinion, it is permissible for a person to follow any of these opinions. If he follows the one that is easiest for him, he conserves his energy to perform the rites in the optimal manner.
The day of tarwiyah (8th Dhul-Hijjah)
1- On the day of tarwiyah, a mutamatti' re-enters ihram for hajj.
2- Pilgrims on all forms of hajj, tamattu', qiran or ifrad leave for Mina where they perform dhuhr (noon) prayer and spend the night there until they perform fajr (dawn) the following day.
The day of 'Arafat (9th Dhul-Hijjah)
1- At sunrise of the day of ‘Arafat, pilgrims go to a place called Namira and remain there until dhuhr prayer. They join the dhuhr and 'asr (mid-afternoon) prayer at the time of dhuhr.
2- They then proceed to stand by Jabal ar-Rahmah (the Mountain of Mercy) at ‘Arafat (or any other place at ‘Arafat) and remain there until sunset.
3- Pilgrims leave 'Arafat after sunset for Muzdalifa where they pray maghrib (sunset) and 'isha (night) prayers at the time of 'isha.
4- Pilgrims spend the night at Muzdalifa until they perform the fajr prayer on 10th Dhul-Hijjah which is known as yawm an-nahr (the day of sacrifice).
Yawm an-nahr (10th Dhul-Hijjah)
1- Pilgrims remain at Muzdalifa until they perform fajr prayer on 10th Dhul-Hijjah.
2- They stop by al-Mash'ar al-Haram (at Muzdalifa) after fajr prayer until the day lightens considerably.
3-After the day lightens but before the sun rises, pilgrims proceed to Mina once again to stone Jamarat al-'Aqaba al-Kubra with seven pebbles.
4- Pilgrims slaughter their sacrificial animals, shave their heads or shorten their hair, and make at-tahallul al-asghar or at-tahallul al-awwal (partial release from ihram), rendering permissible all the things that were made unlawful by ihram, except for sexual intercourse.
5- Pilgrims then return to Mecca to perform tawaf al-ifada.
6- Pilgrims performing hajj tamattu' are to perform sa'y which is an obligatory action of hajj. The sa'ythey have previously performed is counted from among the rites of ‘umrah which they had performed before hajj.
7- Pilgrims performing hajj ifrad or qiran do not make sa'y if they had already performed it with tawaf al-qudum. This is because a single sa'y suffices for both hajj ifrad and qiran.
8- At-tahallul al-akbar or at-tahallul ath-thani (full release from ihram) is accomplished after pilgrims on hajj tamattu', qiran or ifrad make tawaf al-ifada, rendering permissible all the things that were made unlawful by ihram.
9- Pilgrims then return to Mina on 10th Dhul-Hijjah to spend the night there.
The days of tashriq (three days following ‘Eid, 11th, 12th and 13th Dhul-Hijjah)
1- Pilgrims stay at Mina on the first day of tashriq (11th Dhul-Hijjah) until midday. Afterwards, they go to stone each stoning site with seven bean-sized pebbles. A pilgrim must observe the proper sequence for stoning i.e. he is to start with al-Jamarat al-oula, al-Jamarat al-Wusta and finally Jamarat al-'Aqaba al-Kubra. The total number of pebbles stoned in a single day is 21.
2- Pilgrims then stay overnight at Mina to resume stoning on the second day of tashriq (12th Dhul-Hijjah) at midday.
3- If a pilgrim is in a hurry, he may leave for Mecca after two days of stoning to perform tawaf al-wada' without stoning on the third day. A person who wishes to leave early is to leave Mina before sunset of the second day of tashriq (12th Dhul-Hijjah).
4- If a pilgrim is not in a hurry, he is to spend the night at Mina and stay there until midday of the third day of tashriq (13th Dhul-Hijjah) and then proceeds to stone.
5- After completing the stoning, pilgrims proceed to Mecca to perform tawaf al-wada' and the two rak'ahs of tawaf al-wada'.
6- After performing tawaf al-wada' and praying its two rak'ahs, it is recommended for a pilgrim to enter the Ka'bah (if possible) and pray inside, make du'a` in its corners and then at the Multazim.
7- This is the optimal manner of performing the rites of hajj. A pilgrim then leaves Mecca and returns to his country or anywhere he wishes.