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Sat 16 December 2017

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Adhan - the call to prayer.

al-Aqaba - literally the steep slope, a mountain pass to the north of Makkah just off the caravan route to Madina, where the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) met in secret with the first Muslims from Madina, in two successive years. On the first occassion, they pledged to follow the Messenger, and on the second, or Great Pledge of Aqaba, to defend him and his companions as they would their own wives and children.

al-Aqia - a valley four and a half miles west of Madina.

Arafa - a plain 15 miles to the east of Makkah on which stands the Jabl al-Rahma, the Mount of Mercy, where it is said Adam was re-united with Hawwa (Eve) after years of wondering following their expulsion from the Garden of Adn (Eden). One of the essential rites of the Hajj is to stand on Arafa on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah.

Balat - a paved area of Madina between the mosque and the market.

Baqi - the cemetary of the people of Madina where many of the family of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and his companions are buried.

al-Bayda - a place sixty kilometres south of Madina on the route to Makkah, near Dhul Hulayfa.

Bida - innovation.

Black Stone - See Hajar al Aswad below

Dhat al-Jaysh - a place about twelve miles from Madina.

Dhikr - literally remembrance. In a general sense all ibadat (see below) is dhikr. In common usage it has come to mean invocation of Allah by repetition of His names or particular formulae.

Dhul Hijjah - the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar, the month of the Hajj (pilgrimage). One of the four Sacred Months in which fighting is prohibited.

Dhul Hulayfa - the miqat (see below) of the people of Madina, now near Bayar Ali.

Dhu Tuwa - famous well, now within Makkah, but in earlier times outside it.

Du'a - Supplication to God as opposed to ritual Prayer.

Eid - a festival. There are two main festivals in the Islamic year, on the first day of which Eid prayers are prayed.

  • Eid al-Adha - a four day festival at the time of Hajj. The Eid of the sacrifice starts on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah (the month of Hajj), the day that the pilgrims sacrifice their animals. An animal such as a sheep or goat is sacrificed as a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim's (pbuh) willingness to sacrifice his son for God.
  • Eid al-Fitr - the festival at the end of the month of fasting (Ramadan).

Ezaar - Lower cloth of Ihram.

Fidya - literally means ransom. It is compensation paid for rites missed or wrongly performed because of ignorance or ill-health.

Fiqh - jurisprudence. The science of the application of Shariah (see below).

Fitra - the first nature, the natural, primal condition of mankind in harmony with nature.


Ghusl - the full ritual washing of the body.

Hady - An animal offered as a sacrifice during the Hajj

Hajj - The pilgrimage (journey) to Makkah (in modern-day Saudi Arabia) undertaken by Muslims in commemoration of the Abrahamic roots of Islam. The Hajj rites symbolically reenact the trials and sacrifices of Prophet Abraham, his wife Hajar, and their son Isma'il over 4,000 years ago. Muslims must perform the Hajj at least once in their lives, provided their health permits and they are financially capable. The Hajj is performed annually by over 2,000,000 people during the twelfth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Dhul-Hijjah.

Hajj al Ifrad - The type of Hajj where the pilgrim pronounces his niyyah (i.e.intention) to perform only Hajj at Miqat while changing into Ihram.

Hajj al Qiran - The 'joined' hajj, where the pilgrim pronounces his intention to perform both Umra and Hajj together with the same Ihram at Miqat.

Hajj al Tamattu - The 'interrupted' hajj, where the pilgrim pronounces his intention to perform only Umra at Miqat when changing into Ihram. A second niyyah, and a second change into Ihram follow on the 8th of Dhul Hijjah for the performance of the remaining rites of Hajj.

Hajr al Aswad - The sacred Black Stone built into the south-east corner of the Ka'bah at a height of approximately four feet from which Muslims begin the Tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka'bah). The stone does not belong to the geology of the region and is a part of the original construction of the Ka'bah by Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh). The Black Stone was personally installed in the wall of the Ka'bah by the Prophet Mohammed (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 (Istilam) of Hajar al Aswad during Umra and Hajj is considered sunnah.

Halq - The complete shaving of the head by the male pilgrim on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah. This is the last thing he does before leaving 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 Makkah, as well as the mosque in Medina. The latter, also known as Al Masjid un Nabawi, contains the grave of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Haramain - The two sacred mosques in Makkah and Medina.

Hijaz - the region along the western seaboard of Arabia, in which Makkah, Medina, Jeddah and Ta'if are situated.

Hijr - the semi-circular unroofed enclosure at one side of the Ka'ba, whose low wall outlines the shape of the original Ka'ba built by Prophet Ibrahim (AS). Tradition has it that Hajar (wife of Prophet Ibrahim [pbuh]) is buried in this enclosure. It is highly recommended that the pilgrim should offer sunnah prayers and supplications to Allah in this area. However, this is not a part of the official rites of Hajj.

Hijra - to emigrate in the way of Allah. Islam takes its dating from the Hijra of the Prophet (PBUH) to Madina.


Ibada - act of worship.

Idtiba - The mode of Ihram used during Tawaf al 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.

Ifadah - Refers to the Tawaf performed by a Muslim when she/he comes from Muzdalifah.

Ihram - Ihram literally means forbidding; here it signifies the intention to enter into the performance of the rites of Hajj or Umra, or both (qiran). The term is also used to denote the Pilgrim's habit worn on occassion of the Hajj, and the state in which the Pilgrim has to remain until he lays aside the garb. The distinctive garb of the pilgrim consists of two pieces of white, plain and unsewn cloth for the male. One of the pieces (ezaar) is wrapped around the midriff to cover his body from just above his navel to below his ankles, and the other (reda) is draped around his shoulders to cover the upper body, and sometimes exposing the right shoulder of the Sunni male. For ladies, ordinary, and unpretentious clothes of daily wear constitute their Ihram.

Iqama - the call which announces that the obligatory prayer is about to begin.

Istislam - Literally means submission but here refers to the greeting of the Black Stone and Yemeni corner of the Ka'ba during tawaf by kissing, touching or outstretched hand.

I'tikaf - seclusion, in a mosque paricularly in the last ten dyas of Ramadan.


Jamra- Literally a small walled place, but meant here a stone-built pillar and in particular the three stone pillars in Mina which symbolically represent the locations where the devil (shaytan) attempted to tempt Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) away from the path of Allah. The pilgrim symbolically stones these pillars on the 10th through to the 13th of Dhul Hijjah in commemoration of the rejection of the devil by Prophet
Ibrahim, and of his steadfastness to the cause of Allah.

Jamrat al Aqaba - The last stone pillar in the line. It is situated at the entrace of Mina from the direction of Makkah

Jamrat al Ula - The first stone pillar in the line.

Jamrat al Wusta - The second (middle) stone pillar in the line.

Janaba - The state of impurity in which a person requires ghusl.

Ji'rana - a place near Makkah, when the Messenger of God (PBUH) distributed the booty from the Battle of Hunany and from where he went into ihram to perform umra.

al-Juhfa - the Miqat (see below) of the people of Syria and Europe.

Jumu'a - the Day of Gathering, Friday, and in particular the Jumu'a prayer.

Ka'bah - A cubic structure originally built by Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) and his eldest son Ishmael. It is now housed within the Haram ash Shareef in Makkah. During Hajj, the essential rite of Tawaf is performed around the Ka'bah. Every day, millions of Muslims perform prayers (salat) facing the direction of the Ka'bah.

Kaffara- prescribed way of making amends for wrong actions, particularly missed obligatory actions.

Khutba - literally a specch, and in particular the adresses given by the Imam on the day of Jumu'a and the two Eids. On Jumu'a there are two khutbas seperated by a short pause during which the Imam sits down.

Labbayk - A call meaning "Here I am at Thy service". It is the Muslim's expression of answering the invitation of God to perform pilgrimage.

Madhab - a school of fiqh (see above). There are four main sunni madhabs : Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali.

Mahram - a person with whom marriage is expressly prohibited by the shariah (e.g., father, brother, uncle, nephew, etc.) A woman must be accompanied by a Mahram for Umra and Hajj.

Maqam Ibrahim - The stepping stone used by Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) during the original construction of the Ka'bah. The stone carries the imprints of his feet, and is housed in a glass enclosure on the north side of the Kabah. It marks the place of prayer following tawaf of the Ka'ba.

Marwah - A rocky hillock located approximately 250 meters Northeast of the Ka’bah inside Al Masjid ul Haram. It is the hill on which a pilgrim ends his/her Sai. The pilgrim performs the devotional rite of Sai between the hillocks of Safa and Marwah.

Al-Mashar - The Valley between Muzdalifa and Mina, where pilgrims should make a Du’a after they have slept in Muzdalifah while they are going to Makkah to throw Jamrat al-Aqabah on the morning of the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah.

Masjid al Haram - The Protected Mosque, the name of the mosque built around the Ka'ba in the Haram at Makkah. Also known as Haram ash Shareef.

Mina - A desert location approximately three miles east of Makkah on the road to Arafah where several rites of Hajj are performed.

Miqat - The place where Muslims declare their intention to make Hajj or Umrah and begin the state of Ihram. A prospective pilgrim cannot cross the Miqat boundary without first changing into Ihram. This boundary is anchored by different townships and localities in different directions.

The locational Miqats are:

  • Dhul Hulaifa (Masjid al Shajara)- the locational Miqat [place of Ihram] specified for the people of Medina. It is a water place for Banu Jathm. It is the farthest Miqat, for it is 450 kilometers from Mecca. Camels used to take 9 days to cover the distance from Abyar `Ali to Mecca, making 50-kilometer march a day (4 kilometers per hour). The Arabs used to call each 4 kilometers "a stage".
  • Yalamlam - is a mountain in Tuhamah located two stages (8 kilometers) away from Mecca. It is the Miqat for those coming from Yemen.
  • Dhatu Irq - is so called because it has a mountain called "`Irq" close to the Valley of Al-`Aqiq. It is a village 94 kilometers to the north-east of Mecca. Despite the fact that this Miqat is not fixed by the Prophet (peace be upon him), scholars have unanimously agreed upon it.
  • Juhfah - the locational Miqat specified for the people Egypt, Syria and countries farther than them.
  • Qarn al Manazel - is a mountain near `Arafah. It is the place for putting on Ihram for the people of Al-Ta'if and for areas beyond.
Muhrim - A pilgrim in the state of Ihram

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

Mutamatti - One who has performed Hajj ut Tamattu.

Muzdalifah - A place between Arafa and Mina where the pilgrims returning from Arafa spend a night in the open between the ninth and tenth of Dhul Hijjah after performing the Maghrib and Isha prayers.


Namira - A mosque in Arafat

Nafil - literally a gift. It means a voluntary act of inadat (see above).

Niqab - the face veil adorned by Muslim women

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

Qarin - One who has performed Hajj ul Qiran

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

Qibla - The direction faced in Prayer, which is towards the Ka'ba in Makkah.

Qiran - The type of Hajj where a pilgrim makes Umrah in the same state of Ihram.

Quba - a village on the outskirts of Madina.

Rakah - a unit of prayer.

Raml - 'hastening' in the tawaf, a way of walking briskly, moving the shoulders vigorously. Ladies are not required to practice Raml.

Reda' - The upper cloth of Ihram.

Rummy - The act of symbolically stoning the devil (shaitan) in Mina on the 10th through to the 13th of Dhul Hijjah. This commemorates the tradition that Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) was tempted three times by the devil but rejected all three of the devil's attempts by stoning him and driving him away. These three locations are symbolised by three stone pillars (jamaraat) in Mina.


Safa - A small hillock approximately 200 m Southeast of the Ka’bah, inside Al Masjid ul Haram, on which a pilgrim begins his/her Sai (walking). The pilgrim performs the act of Sai between Safa and Marwah.

Sai - the main rite of umra and part of hajj. It is proceeding between the hills of Safa and Marwa seven times. This act retraces the footsteps of Hajar (wife of Prophet Ibrahim), during her desperate search for water to quench the thirst of her infant son Ishmael after they were left in the desert by Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) in response to a divine vision.

Salat - Obligatory or supererogatory prayers. It consists of fixed sets of standing s, bowings, prostrations and sittings in worship to Allah.

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

Shaytan - a devil particularly Iblis (Satan).

Talbiyah - A 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
Translation: "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.

Tamattu - The type of Hajj where a pilgrim starts with Umrah then makes Hajj later on but in the same year

Taqseer - 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.

Tarwiyah - The 8th day of Dhul-Hijjah.

Tashreeq - The 11th, 12th, and 13th days of Dhul-Hijjah.

Tawaf - The seven fold circumambulation of the Kabah while reciting prayers. It constitutes an integral part of Umra and Hajj. There are five different types of Tawaf (see below):

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

Tawaf al Nafl - A devotional Tawaf which may be performed any time.

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

Tawaf al Umra - The Tawaf performed as a rite of Umra.

Tawaf al Wida - The Farewell Tawaf performed by the pilgrim just before leaving Makkah for his next destination.


Umra - An Islamic ritual that is performed at Makkah anytime of the year. Umrah, or lesser Hajj, includes Tawaf and Sai, but unlike Hajj, does not involve the rites at Mina, Muzdalifah, and Arafat. It also requires some obligations from the pilgrim until the state of Ihram is ended.

Udhia - The animal sacrifice that a Muslim offers to God.

Waqfa - The ritual of waqfa (standing before Allah) is performed by pilgrims at the Mount of Mercy in Arafat.It is a central rite of Hajj.

Wudhu - The ritual ablution usually performed prior to prayer.

Yaum al Nahr - The 10th of Dhul Hijjah. This day is designated as the preferred day of sacrifice during Hajj.

Yaum al Tarwiyah - The 8th of Dhul Hijjah signifying the start of Hajj. The pilgrim proceeds to Mina on this day.

Zamzam - The name of the sacred well of water which sprang forth miraculously under Prophet Ishmael's (pbuh) feet as an infant. Zamzam is now enclosed in a marble chamber about 150 m Southeast of the Ka’abah.

(Sources: Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik Ibn Anas, Translated by Aisha Bewley;;;



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