Good Deed: #75 Perform Sai/Saee of Safa Marwa

  • 2:158 (Y. Ali) Behold! Safa and Marwa are among the Symbols of Allah. So if those who visit the House in the Season or at other times, should compass them round, it is no sin in them. And if any one obeyeth his own impulse to good,- be sure that Allah is He Who recogniseth and knoweth.
  • Narrated Abdullah bin Abbas: The Prophet with his companions started from Medina after combing and oiling his hair and putting on two sheets of lhram (upper body cover and waist cover). He did not forbid anyone to wear any kind of sheets except the ones colored with saffron because they may leave the scent on the skin. And so in the early morning, the Prophet mounted his Mount while in Dhul-Hulaifa and set out till they reached Baida’, where he and his companions recited Talbiya, and then they did the ceremony of Taqlid (which means to put the colored garlands around the necks of the Budn (camels for sacrifice). And all that happened on the 25th of Dhul-Qa’da. And when he reached Mecca on the 4th of Dhul-Hijja he performed the Tawaf round the Ka’ba and performed the Tawaf between safa and Marwa. And as he had a Badana and had garlanded it, he did not finish his Ihram. He proceeded towards the highest places of Mecca near Al-Hujun and he was assuming the Ihram for Hajj and did not go near the Ka’ba after he performed Tawaf (round it) till he returned from ‘Arafat. Then he ordered his companions to perform the Tawaf round the Ka’ba and then the Tawaf of safa and Marwa, and to cut short the hair of their heads and to finish their Ihram. And that was only for those people who had not garlanded Budn. Those who had their wives with them were permitted to contact them (have sexual intercourse), and similarly perfume and (ordinary) clothes were permissible for them. Bukhari 2:26:617
  • Narrated Amr bin Dmar: I asked Ibn ‘Umar, “Can a person who has performed the Tawaf around the Ka’ba for ‘Umra but has not performed the (Sa’i) Tawaf of safa and Marwa, have a sexual relation with his wife?” Ibn ‘Umar replied “When the Prophet reached Mecca he performed the Tawaf around the Ka’ba (circumambulated it seven times) and offered a two-Rak’at prayer (at the place) behind the station (of Abraham) and then performed the Tawaf (Sa’i) of safa and Marwa, and verily in Allah’s Apostle you have a good example.” Then we put the same question to Jabir bin ‘Abdullah and he too replied, “He should not go near his wife (for sexual relation) till he has finished the Tawaf of safa and Marwa.” Bukhari 1:8:389
  • Narrated Ibn Abbas: When Abraham had differences with his wife), (because of her jealousy of hajar, Ishmael’s mother), he took Ishmael and his mother and went away. They had a water-skin with them containing some water, Ishmael’s mother used to drink water from the water-skin so that her milk would increase for her child. When Abraham reached Mecca, he made her sit under a tree and afterwards returned home. Ishmael’s mother followed him, and when they reached Kada’, she called him from behind, ‘O Abraham! To whom are you leaving us?’ He replied, ‘(I am leaving you) to Allah’s (Care).’ She said, ‘I am satisfied to be with Allah.’ She returned to her place and started drinking water from the water-skin, and her milk increased for her child. When the water had all been used up, she said to herself, ‘I’d better go and look so that I may see somebody.’ She ascended the Safa mountain and looked, hoping to see somebody, but in vain. When she came down to the valley, she ran till she reached the Marwa mountain. She ran to and fro (between the two mountains) many times. They she said to herself, ‘i’d better go and see the state of the child,’ she went and found it in a state of one on the point of dying. She could not endure to watch it dying and said (to herself), ‘If I go and look, I may find somebody.’ She went and ascended the Safa mountain and looked for a long while but could not find anybody. Thus she completed seven rounds (of running) between Safa and Marwa. Again she said (to herself), ‘I’d better go back and see the state of the child.’ But suddenly she heard a voice, and she said to that strange voice, ‘Help us if you can offer any help.’ Lo! It was Gabriel (who had made the voice). Gabriel hit the earth with his heel like this (Ibn ‘Abbas hit the earth with his heel to Illustrate it), and so the water gushed out. Ishmael’s mother was astonished and started digging. (Abu Al-Qasim) (i.e. the Prophet) said, “If she had left the water, (flow naturally without her intervention), it would have been flowing on the surface of the earth.”) Ishmael’s mother started drinking from the water and her milk increased for her child . Afterwards some people of the tribe of Jurhum, while passing through the bottom of the valley, saw some birds, and that astonished them, and they said, ‘Birds can only be found at a place where there is water.’ They sent a messenger who searched the place and found the water, and returned to inform them about it. Then they all went to her and said, ‘O ishmael’s mother! Will you allow us to be with you (or dwell with you)?’ (And thus they stayed there.).. Full story Bukhari 4:55:584

Action Plan

The literal meaning of sa’ee is “effort”.

2. Sa’ee is performed after (1) tawaf for Umrah, after (2) tawaf-ul-Qudoom, and after (3) tawaf-al-Ifadah. You should be in ihraam for (1) and (2). Ihram is not required for (3) unless you are performing it before the cutting of your hair.

3. There is no nafl sa’ee.

4. There is no sa’ee after the Farewell tawaf (tawaf-al-Widaa).

5. Sa’ee consists of 7 rounds of walking between As-Safa and Al-Marwah. One round is completed when you begin from As-Safa and end at Al-Marwah. The return from Al-Marwah to Al-Safa completes the second round and so on. A few allegedly make the mistake of counting the beginning and ending at As-Safa as the completion of one round. Thus they end up walking 14 rounds which is not required.

6. The total distance you would have walked performing sa’ee is approximately 3.15 km (the distance from As-Safa to Al-Marwah is approximately 450 m.)

7. If you are tired after performing the tawaf, you don’t have to proceed to perform the sa’ee immediately. You can rest and perform the sa’ee later.

8. Wudu is not required for sa’ee. It is, however, preferable to be in wudu as you may have to interrupt your sa’ee to join the congregational prayer.

9. Sa’ee must be interrupted for the congregational prayer. After the end of the prayer, you must start your sa’ee from the place where you stopped.

10. You may interrupt your sa’ee to perform the janazah prayer or continue your sa’ee without interruption.

11. Try to perform the sa’ee in the middle floor rather than the ground floor. There is less pushing and jostling in the middle floor and you also get a better view of a good part of the Ka’bah in some sections of this floor. Sa’ee can also be performed on the open roof floor. Given the heat, early morning, evening and night are the recommended times to perform sa’ee on the roof floor.

12. Men should walk briskly between the green lights (located on the side of the walls nearer to As-Safa). Women should not run. If you are looking after elderly or female pilgrims, you don’t have to walk briskly. Do not run all the way from As-Safa to Al-Marwah. It is not Sunnah.

13. The gaps in the floor tiles at both ends of the As-Safa and Al-Marwah hills are wide. Walk slowly as you move over these stretches. If you walk speedily, the sharp edges of the tiles can cut your heels/toes and cause bleeding. I’ve seen this happen.

14. Look out for water spills along the way especially near the spots where the zamzam water tanks are placed. You can slip and fall. I’ve seen this happen. A serious back injury can permanently damage your pilgrimage.

15. Do not walk in the area built especially for pilgrims in wheelchairs (ground floor) even if that area or parts of it are not being fully used. Maintain your discipline at all times.

16. Do not engage in idle chat while performing the sa’ee. You can engage in discussions that help to clarify your understanding of Islam and strengthen your iman.

17. You can engage in various forms of worship (duah, dhikr, tasbih) during sa’ee. Do not raise your voice. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “You are not calling upon a deaf or an absent One.” [Bukhari]

18. There is no requirement to dua in Arabic during sa’ee. You can dua in your own language.

19. Do not perform sa’ee in a group as the continued effort to maintain the group formation will hinder the movement of others.

20. Do not follow or recite behind a leader when performing the sa’ee. The sa’ee is not an exercise in class recitation! A continuous chorus of voices reciting behind a leader will disturb the worship of others. Remembrance of the Almighty in a dignified manner on your own is the right worship.

21. Menstruating women pilgrims can perform the sa’ee as purity is not a condition for sa’ee.

source hajj tips – saee

Other resources

  • Haj guide – last rituals of Hajj

Haj guide – last rituals of Hajj

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