Handbook of Hajj: Hajj Glossary

This handbook uses a large number of technical terms applicable to Umra and Hajj. They are defined, and where considered necessary, briefly described below. A discussion of terms that require more extensive treatment is deferred until later in the text at the appropriate places. It is strongly recommended that the reader familiarize himself thoroughly with all terms defined. It may be emphasized that since definitions of various terms often incorporate other terms, more than one reading of this adfadfadffchapter may be needed for a fuller understanding of its contents:


A desert location approximately nine miles from Mecca where the pilgrim spends the 9th of Zul Hijjah as a rite of Hajj.

Ayyam ut Tashreeq

The 11th, 12th, and 13th of the month of Zul Hijjah. The pilgrim performs Rummy in Mina on these days.


The expiation required of a pilgrim for a willful violation of a prohibition or obligation of the state of Ihram.


A set of acts of worship prescribed by Allah and Rasool Allah (pbuh) to be performed in and around Mecca at least once in a lifetime by every Muslim satisfying certain conditions. Hajj is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. There are three types of Hajj one may perform as defined below:

Hajj ul Ifrad

The type of Hajj wherein the pilgrim pronounces his niyyah (i.e.,intention) to perform only Hajj at Meeqat while changing into Ihram.

Hajj ul Qiran

The type of Hajj wherein the pilgrim pronounces his intention to perform both Umra and Hajj together with the same Ihram at Meeqat.

Hajj ut Tamattu

The type of Hajj wherein the pilgrim pronounces his intention to perform only Umra at Meeqat when changing into Ihram. A second niyyah, and a second change into Ihram follow on the 8th of Zul Hijjah for the performance of the remaining rites of Hajj.

Hajar ul Aswad

The Sacred Black Stone built into the south-east corner of the Kabah at a height of approximately four feet. The stone does not belong to the geology of the region and is a part of the original construction of the Kabah by Prophet Ibrahim. Hajar ul Aswad has a special significance for Muslims during Hajj. It was personally installed in the wall of the Kabah by Rasool Allah (pbuh) himself during its reconstruction following its destruction by a flash flood. The Prophet (pbuh) also kissed it during his Last (Farewell) Hajj. Thus, touching and kissing, or Istilam, of Hajar ul Aswad during Umra and Hajj are not only his sunnah but also constitute an emotional and spiritual bond between him and his people.


The act of completely shaving his head by the male pilgrim on the 10th of Zul Hijjah. This is the last thing he does before getting out of the state of Ihram. See Taqseer also. For female pilgrims, the requirements of Halq and Taqseer are satisfied if they trim their hair by approximately half an inch.

Haram ash Shareef

The mosque around the Kabah in Mecca, as well as the mosque in Medina. The latter, also known as Al Masjid un Nabawi contains within its premises the grave of Rasool Allah (pbuh).


The area adjacent to the Kabah on its west side, enclosed by a low semi-circular wall. Tradition has it that Hajar (wife of Prophet Ibrahim) is buried in this enclosure. It is highly recommended that the pilgrim should offer salat us sunnah and supplications to Allah in this area. However, this is not a part of the official rites of Hajj.


The mode of Ihram used during Tawaf ul Qudoom. The male pilgrim drapes one end of the top part of his Ihram over his left shoulder back-to-front. The other end goes across his back, under his right arm, across his front, and is finally draped over his left shoulder.

Idtiba is not observed in any other type of Tawaf. Also, when the pilgrim offers salat us sunnah after Tawaf ul Qudoom or an obligatory salat during this Tawaf, he must cover both his shoulders. In other words, Idtiba is practiced only while actually performing Tawaf ul Qudoom. Female pilgrims wear no Ihram, so that the question of Idtiba for them does not arise.


The distinctive garb of the male pilgrim worn during Umra or Hajj. It consists of two pieces of white, unsewn and plain cloth. One of the pieces is wrapped around the midriff to cover his body from just above his navel to his ankles, and the other is draped around his shoulders to cover the upper body. For ladies, their ordinary, and unpretentious clothes of daily wear constitute their Ihram.


The act of kissing Hajar ul Aswad at the beginning and the end of every circumambulation (circuit) of the Kabah during Tawaf. If it is not possible physically to kiss Hajar ul Aswad for any reason, the pilgrim may extend his hand to touch the Sacred Stone and then kiss his own hand. If even that is not possible, he may raise his hand towards Hajar ul Aswad and, thereafter, kiss his own hand.


The three stone pillars in Mina which symbolically represent the locations where the devil (shaitan) is stated in tradition to have tried to tempt Prophet Ibrahim in an effort to dissuade him from the path of Allah. The pilgrim symbolically stones these pillars on the 10th through the 13th of Zul Hijjah in commemoration of the rejection of the devil by Prophet Ibrahim, and of his steadfastness to the cause of Allah. The Jamraat are located within a few hundred feet of one another in a line and are named as follows:

Jamrat ul Kubra

The last stone pillar in the line. This is also called Jamrat ul Uqabah.

Jamrat ul Oola

The first stone pillar in the line.

Jamrat ul Wusta

The second (middle) stone pillar in the line.


Another name for Dum.


A small knoll (i.e., hillock) located approximately one hundred yards from the Kabah inside Al Masjid ul Haram. The pilgrim performs the devotional rite of Sai between the knolls of Safa and Marwah.


The husband, or a male companion of a female pilgrim to whom her marriage is expressly prohibited by the shariah (e.g., father, brother, uncle, nephew, etc.) A woman must necessarily be accompanied by a Mahram for Umra and Hajj.

Masjid ul Haram

The mosque around the Kabah also known as Haram ash Shareef.


An imaginary boundary around Mecca. A prospective pilgrim cannot cross this boundary without first changing into Ihram. This boundary is anchored by different townships and localities in different directions (Zul Hulaifa in the north, Yalamlam in the south-east, Dhat Irq in the north-east, Juhfah in the north-west, Qarn ul Manazil in the east.) The pilgrim changes into Ihram at Meeqat and pronounces his intention to perform Umra or Hajj. For people living inside the Meeqat permanently, their place of residence is their Meeqat.


A desert location approximately three miles from Mecca where several rites of Hajj are performed.


A knowledgeable professional who can guide the pilgrim during Hajj; also called a Mutawwif.


A pilgrim in the state of Ihram.


The part of the Kabah between its door and Hajar ul Aswad. This is a specially sacred part of the Kabah. It is recommended that, if possible, the pilgrim should touch the Kabah at Multazam and offer supplications to Allah. However, this is not a part of the official rites of Hajj.


The step-stone used by Prophet Ibrahim during the original construction of the Kabah. The stone carries the imprints of his feet, and is housed in a glass enclosure on the north side of the Kabah.


One who has performed Hajj ut Tamattu.


See Muallim.


A desert location approximately midway between Mina and Arafat. The pilgrim spends the night of the 10th of Zul Hijjah here.


Intention. All acts of worship are preceded by an appropriate niyyah.


One who has performed Hajj ul Qiran.


The mode of shortened prayers usually offered when on a journey.


The ritual in which male pilgrims are required to walk briskly with their chests thrust forward and with their shoulders rolling slightly during the first three circuits of Tawaf ul Qudoom. Ladies are not required to practice Ramal.


The act of symbolically stoning the devil (shaitan) in Mina on the 10th through the 13th of Zul Hijjah. This commemorates the tradition that Prophet Ibrahim was tempted three times by the devil, and rejected all three of his overtures by stoning him, and driving him away. These three locations are symbolized by three stone pillars in Mina.


A small knoll approximately half a mile from the Kabah inside Al Masjid ul Haram. The pilgrim performs the devotional act of Sai between the knolls of Safa and Marwah.


The devotional act of walking seven times back and forth between the knolls of Safa and Marwah. This act retraces the footsteps of Hajar (wife of Prophet Ibrahim), during her desperate search for water for her infant son Ismail after they were left in the desert by Prophet Ibrahim in response to a divine vision.


Obligatory or supererogatory prayers.


One complete circumambulation, or circuit, of the Kabah. Each shawt (pl. ashwaat) starts and ends at Hajar ul Aswad. Seven ashwaat constitute one Tawaf.


A devotional recital of the following words by the pilgrim during Umra and Hajj.

(Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik, La Shareek Laka, Labbaik. Innal Hamdah, Wan Nematah, Laka wal Mulk, La Shareek Laka)

Trans: "Here I am at Thy service O Lord, here I am. Here I am at Thy service and Thou hast no partners. Thine alone is All Praise and All Bounty, and Thine alone is The Sovereignty. Thou hast no partners."

The Talbiyah is a prayer as well as an assertion of the pilgrim's conviction that he intends to perform Hajj only for the glory of Allah. The pilgrim starts the recital upon changing into the Ihram, and continues to recite it frequently throughout Hajj. Male pilgrims recite the Talbiyah loudly whereas female pilgrims are required to recite it in a low voice.


Shortening or clipping of the whole head of hair by the male pilgrim following the completion of Hajj. This may be performed in lieu of Halq. However, snipping off a few hairs here and there is not acceptable. The sunnah of Rasool Allah (pbuh) supports only Taqseer and Halq.


The devotional act of circumambulating the Kabah while reciting prayers. It constitutes an integral part of Umra and Hajj. There are five different types of Tawaf one may perform:

Tawaf ul Ifadah

The Tawaf performed by the pilgrim on the 10th of Zul Hijjah as the last formal rite of Hajj in Mecca after changing into street clothes (also called Tawaf uz Ziyarah).

Tawaf un Nafl

A devotional Tawaf which may be performed any time.

Tawaf ul Qudoom

The initial Tawaf performed by the pilgrim upon entering Al Masjid ul Haram in Mecca pursuant upon his intention for Hajj.

Tawaf ul Umra

The Tawaf performed as a rite of Umra.

Tawaf ul Wuda

The Farewell Tawaf performed by the pilgrim just before leaving Mecca for his next destination.


A set of religious and devotional rites performed in Mecca in an order ordained by Allah and Rasool Allah (pbuh). Umra can be performed at any time of the year and, unlike Hajj, does not involve the rites at Mina, Muzdalifah, and Arafat.

Yaum un Nahr

The 10th of Zul Hijjah. This day is designated as the preferred day of sacrifice during Hajj.

Yaum ut Tarwiyah

The 8th of Zul Hijjah signifying the start of Hajj. The pilgrim proceeds to Mina on this day.

Zul Hijjah

The last month of the Islamic calendar during which Hajj is performed.