It is a Sunnah to perform Sa’i immediately after Tawaf, although you may take a break if you need to. If you feel tired after Tawaf or your feet are aching, you may take a rest in the pavilion until you feel you’re ready. Remember, you will be covering over three kilometres during Sa’i, so make sure you have sufficient energy to complete the rite before starting.
For the Sa’i to be considered valid, the following is necessary
- To perform Sa’i yourself.
- To have entered into Ihram before performing the Sa’i..
- To stay in Ihram until the Sa’i has been completed.
- To perform Sa’i at its correct time.
- To begin Sa’i at Safa and finish at Marwa.
- To perform Sa’i after having done Tawaf.
- To perform Sa’i on foot, unless you have a valid excuse.
- To perform seven laps.
- To cover the complete distance between Safa and Marwa.
Before Sa’i, it is Sunnah to do Istilam of Hajar al-Aswad one last time. This will be the ninth time, following the eight times you performed Istilam during Tawaf.
If you’ve forgotten to perform this Istilam, or you’re finding it difficult to return to the line of the Hajar al-Aswad due to crowding or tiredness, it may be omitted. However, you can do Istilam anywhere else in Masjid al-Haram, as long as you’re facing the Hajar al-Aswad.
Proceed to the hill of Safa, which is located in line with the Hajar al-Aswad. There is a white sign which indicates where it is. As you’re approaching Safa, it is Sunnah to recite the following:
إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ
أَبْدَأُ بِمَا بَدَأَ اللهُ بِهِ
These should only be recited once before Sa’i and not at the start of each lap.
- Make Dua at Safa
Upon reaching the hill of Safa, face the direction of the Kaaba and raise your hands in supplication. Don’t raise your hands up to your earlobes or gesture towards the Kaaba as you would have done during Tawaf. You may say Takbir (Allāhu akbar), Tahlil (lā ilāha illā Allāh) and send Salawat upon the Prophet ﷺ.
It is Sunnah to recite the following Dua
للّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ، اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ، اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ، وَلِلّٰهِ الْحَمْدُ
لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ، وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اَللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ، اَنْجَزَ وَعْدَهُ وَنَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ وَهَزَمَ اَلْأَحْزَابَ وَحْدَهُ
After reciting this Dua, you may recite your own supplications. Read the Dua a total of three times, making your own supplications in between each time, as was the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ.
From Safa, make your way towards Marwa. Between Safa and Marwa, you will encounter two sets of green fluorescent lights approximately 50 metres apart, which indicate the distance that Hajar ran in order to get to higher ground. These two markers are known as Milayn al-Akhdharayn (the two green mileposts). Between these two lights, it is Sunnah for men to run at a medium pace while women should continue normally.
Make Dua at Marwa
Upon reaching the hill of Marwa, face the direction of the Kaaba, raise your hands in supplication and repeat the same supplications you recited at Safa.
End of Sa’i
Make Dua at Marwa
This completes one lap of Sa’i. Returning back to Safa is considered a second lap. Repeat this procedure until you have completed seven laps, at which point you should be at the hill of Marwa.