Send an article  |  Print   |  ../file-system/small/pdf   |   RSS   |  


Sa'ee is an Arabic word which means ritual walking or formal procedure defined in Pilgrimage. It is the back and forth movement between the hills of Safa and Marwah in Makkah. It is an integral part of the Hajj and Umrah in Islam.


Sa’ee is the going back and forth seven times between Safa and Marwah that is done during the Hajj or the Umrah. It is done to symbolize Hajar's (Wive of Prophet Ibraheem, Peace be upon them both) search for water for her son Prophet Ismael (Peace be upon Him).


Table of Contents



Sayee means walking from Safa to Marwah and back seven times. Thus the walk begins at Safa and ends at Marwah. Starting from Safa one should walk to Marwah and this constitutes one walk, from Marwah back to Safa the second and so on up to seven walks finally ending at Marwah.


It is the fourth compulsory act of the Hajj and Umrah. If it is omitted intentionally, it causes the Hajj to become void, regardless of whether one knows this rule or not.


Sayee must be performed after Tawaf and its prayers. During Sayee it is necessary to face the direction one is going towards else it becomes invalid. But there is no harm in turning a bit on either side.


Sayee and its prayer must not be delayed after Tawaf without a valid reason. Nevertheless in case of severe heat or tiredness it can be postponed till nightfall but not until the next day.


In general the rule of doubts about the number of movements of Sayee is the same as those of the circles of walking around the Kaba, i.e., a doubt about its number tenders it invalid and has to be performed again.



Muslims who perform the Hajj or Umrah must run in the middle portion of the distance between Safa and Marwa seven times. Safa and Marwa are two hills close to the Kaba. This is a commemoration of one mother’s sacrifice for her son.


That mother was Hajir (May Allah be pleased with her). Her son was the Prophet Ismail (Peace be upon him). Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was Hajir’s husband, and Ismail’s father i.e., Ibrahim (Peace be upon him).


Hajir’s example of sacrifice took place when she and her baby was left in the valley of Makkah by Allah’s order as pioneers to start a civilization.


But when she had used up all of the water, she ascended the Safa hill and looked, hoping to see somebody. The area was empty. She came down and then ran up to Marwa hill. She ran to and fro (between the two hills) many times, then went to check on her baby Ismail. He was dying. And she could find no water for him or herself.


She could not watch her son perish. How could any mother? ‘If I go and look, I may find somebody,’ she told herself. Then she went and ascended the Safa hill and looked for a long while but could not find anybody. In all, Hajira ran seven rounds between Safa and Marwa, in the hot, waterless valley, where her thirsty baby lay.


Important acts of Sa’ee

  • It is better to ascend and descend the mountains of Safa and Marwah on each movement. Also it is better to be in Tahaarat but it is not Wajib.
  • One who cannot make Sayee himself or on somebody's shoulder or on a hand carriage, can appoint an agent to do Sayee on his behalf.
  • It is allowed to rest for a short period at Safa or Marwah. At a certain distant between Safa and Marwah, between the two Minarets decked by green light, it is Mustahab for men to trot (like jogging) and for women to walk faster. This action is known as Harwala.

Mustahabaat/Recommended Acts of Sayee

  1. To be with Tahaarat i.e. Wudhu or Ghusl.
  2. Before performing Sayee to kiss or make salaam to Hajar-e-Aswad.
  3. Before performing Sayee to drink the water of Zamzam and pour it on one's body.
  4. To proceed to Safa for Sayee through the door facing Hajar-e-Aswad called Babus-Safa.
  5. To go with peace of mind and reverence.
  6. To thank the Almighty and praise Him and remember His kindness.
  7. To read Duas and Zikr during the walk. For Duas refer Manasik-e-Hajj.


Method of Sa’ee

Sayee of Safa & Marwah(two small hills located in the Masjid al-Haram in Mekkah), a total of 7 one-way trips, beginning at Safa. It is done during the ritual pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah.


Then he descends for sa'ee between Safaa and Marwah, as Rasoolullah said: Make sa'ee as Allah (Glory be to Him) has prescribed sa'ee for you. So he walks till he reaches the green sign-post - on the right and left - then runs quickly till he reaches the next sign-post. And this place was in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah honour Him and grant Him peace) a dried river bed covered with small stones, and the Prophet said: (The river bed is not crossed except with vigour.) Then he walks up to Marwah and ascends it and does upon it as he did upon as-Safaa - facing the Qiblah, saying takbeer and tahleel and making du'a, and that forms one complete circuit.


Then he returns till he ascends as-Safaa - walking in the place for walking, and running in the place for running - and that is a second circuit.


Then he returns to Marwah - and so on till he completes seven circuits finishing upon Marwah.


And it is permissible for him to go between Safaa and Marwah While riding. However the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah honour Him and grant Him peace)  preferred to walk.


Then when he finishes from the seventh circuit upon al-Marwah he shortens the hair of his head, thus ending the 'Umrah of the Hajj - and everything that became forbidden to him upon entering ihram now becomes permissible again - and he remains in the state of hill (being out of ihram) until Yaum ut-Tarwiyyah (8th Dhul-Hijjah).


And he who made ihram not intending to make 'Umrah before the Hajj - and not having brought the hadi (sacrificial animal) from outside sacred precincts then should also leave the state of iHraam in obedience to the Prophet's order and in avoidance of his anger. Those, however, who have bought the sacrificial animal with them remain in ihram and do not leave that state until after the stoning on the Day of Sacrifice (Yaum-un-Nahr) (10th Dhul-Hijjah).


Dua in sa’ee

There are set of green lights between the two mounts of Safa and Marwa, and it is Sunnah for the male believers to do a slight jog between these two green lights when performing the Sai.  There are no particular or specific duas or supplications recorded in the authentic Sunnah which have to be recited during the ‘Sa’ee; one may praise Allah (Glory be to Him), recite the Quran, or supplicate Allah (Glory be to Him) as much as and in any language as one wills and pleases.


Errors Related to Sa'ee

1. When climbing upon Safa and Marwah, some pilgrims face the K'abah and gesticulate toward it with their hand while saying "Allahu akbar" as if they were saying takbirforsalat salat. This gesticulating is an error because the Prophet (peace be on him) raised his palms only for supplication. Here you may glorify and magnify Allah (Glory be to Him) the Most High, supplicating Him in any words you wish while facing the direction of the K'abah. It is preferable to recite the dhikr which the Prophet (peace be on him) recited at Safa and Marwah.


2. Accelerating one's pace throughout the entire distance between the two hills. The sunnahis to accelerate one's pace only between the two green posts, while walking at normal pace the remainder of the way.



Rituals of hajj and umrah by Shaik Naseer uddin Albani


Correct us and Correct yourself
Top of page