running between safa marwa

Safa and Marwah: Understanding the Ritual of Sa’i in Hajj

Sa’i, the act of walking or running between the hills of Safa and Marwah, is an integral ritual performed during Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. This comprehensive guide will provide you with a clear understanding of Sa’i, its significance, and the steps involved in this sacred act. By the end of this post, you’ll have a thorough grasp of what Sa’i entails and how to perform it correctly.

What is Sa’i?

Sa’i involves walking or running seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah. It commemorates the journey of Hajar, wife of Prophet Ibrahim, as she searched for water for her infant son Ismail. For a broader understanding of Hajj and its significance, visit What is Hajj?.

Who Must Participate in Hajj?

Not everyone is required to perform Hajj. It is obligatory only for adult Muslims who are mentally, physically, and financially capable. To learn more about the criteria, check out Who Must Participate in Hajj?.

Why is Hajj Important?

Hajj holds immense spiritual significance. It symbolizes unity among Muslims and their submission to Allah. Understanding its importance can deepen your appreciation for this sacred journey. Discover more at Why is Hajj Important?.

Preparation for Sa’i

Preparation for Sa’i involves physical, mental, and spiritual readiness. From fitness routines to packing essentials and spiritual practices, preparing thoroughly ensures a smoother experience. For detailed preparation tips, visit Preparation for Hajj.

Step-by-Step Guide to Performing Sa’i

1. Prepare Yourself Spiritually and Physically

  • Ensure Purity: Perform Wudu (ablution) to ensure you are in a state of purity.
  • Wear Clean Clothes: Wear clean and comfortable clothes suitable for walking/running.

2. Start at the Hill of Safa

  • Make Intention: In your heart, make a sincere intention that you are performing Sa’i as part of your Hajj rituals.
  • Recite Dua: Recite the dua prescribed for beginning Sa’i at Safa.

3. Walk or Run to the Hill of Marwah

  • Proceed towards Marwah: Begin walking or running at a moderate pace towards the hill of Marwah.
  • Increase Pace Between Green Lights (Men): Men are encouraged to run at a slightly increased pace between the green lights.
  • Maintain Normal Pace (Women): Women should maintain their normal walking pace throughout.

4. Reach the Hill of Marwah

  • Make Dua: Upon reaching Marwah, recite the prescribed dua.
  • One Leg Complete: Reaching Marwah marks the completion of one leg of Sa’i.

5. Return to Safa

  • Walk or Run Back: Proceed back towards Safa, walking or running as before.
  • Complete Round: Reaching Safa again completes one round of Sa’i.

6. Complete Seven Rounds

  • Repeat the Process: Continue alternating between Safa and Marwah until you have completed seven rounds.
  • Finish at Marwah: The seventh round should end at the hill of Marwah.

7. Supplicate and Seek Forgiveness

  • Make Heartfelt Dua: After completing Sa’i, make sincere dua and seek Allah’s forgiveness, mercy, and blessings.
  • Express Gratitude: Thank Allah for enabling you to complete this significant ritual of Hajj.

For a detailed guide on performing Hajj step-by-step, visit How to Perform Hajj Step by Step.

Benefits and Virtues of Sa’i

Sa’i holds numerous benefits and virtues that profoundly impact a pilgrim’s spiritual journey:

1. Commemorating Hajar’s Struggle

  • Remembering Hajar’s Faith: Sa’i serves as a powerful reminder of Hajar’s unwavering faith and trust in Allah during her search for water.
  • Embodying Perseverance: By walking or running between Safa and Marwah, pilgrims embody Hajar’s perseverance and determination.

2. Seeking Allah’s Mercy and Forgiveness

  • Opportunity for Repentance: Sa’i provides an opportunity for pilgrims to seek Allah’s mercy and forgiveness for their sins.
  • Renewing Commitment: Through sincere supplication during Sa’i, pilgrims renew their commitment to Allah and seek His guidance.

3. Developing Patience and Endurance

  • Physical and Spiritual Test: The physical act of Sa’i tests pilgrims’ patience and endurance, symbolizing life’s challenges.
  • Building Resilience: By completing the seven rounds, pilgrims develop spiritual resilience and fortitude.

4. Fostering Unity and Equality

  • Shared Experience: Sa’i brings pilgrims from diverse backgrounds together, fostering a sense of unity and equality before Allah.
  • Removing Barriers: The collective performance of Sa’i breaks down social, cultural, and economic barriers among pilgrims.

5. Emulating the Sunnah

  • Following Prophet’s Footsteps: By performing Sa’i, pilgrims follow the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions.
  • Connecting with Islamic History: Sa’i connects pilgrims with a significant event in Islamic history, strengthening their faith.

To explore more about the benefits of Hajj, visit Benefits of Hajj & Virtues of Hajj.

Importance of Sa’i

Sa’i holds immense importance within the context of Hajj due to its profound spiritual symbolism and benefits:

1. Integral Part of Hajj

  • Obligatory Ritual: Sa’i is an obligatory ritual of Hajj, without which the pilgrimage is considered incomplete.
  • Fulfilling Divine Command: By performing Sa’i, pilgrims fulfill a divine command and demonstrate their obedience to Allah.

2. Remembrance of Islamic History

  • Connecting with Prophetic Legacy: Sa’i connects pilgrims with the legacy of Prophet Ibrahim, Hajar, and Ismail.
  • Reflecting on Divine Providence: The story of Hajar’s search for water and the miraculous spring of Zamzam reflects Allah’s providence and mercy.

3. Spiritual Purification

  • Seeking Forgiveness: Sa’i serves as an opportunity for pilgrims to seek forgiveness for their sins and purify their souls.
  • Renewing Faith: Through sincere supplication and remembrance of Allah during Sa’i, pilgrims renew their faith and devotion.

4. Embodiment of Perseverance

  • Overcoming Challenges: The physical act of Sa’i symbolizes the challenges and struggles faced in life.
  • Developing Resilience: By completing the seven rounds, pilgrims develop spiritual resilience and determination to overcome obstacles.

5. Unity and Equality

  • Shared Journey: Sa’i brings pilgrims from diverse backgrounds together, emphasizing the unity and equality of all believers before Allah.
  • Breaking Barriers: The collective performance of Sa’i breaks down social, cultural, and economic barriers, fostering a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood.

To gain a deeper understanding of the history and significance of Hajj, visit History of Hajj in Islam.


Sa’i is a significant ritual that commemorates the struggle and faith of Hajar, symbolizing the believer’s journey through life’s challenges. By performing Sa’i with sincerity and devotion, pilgrims seek Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, and blessings. This sacred act fosters unity, equality, and spiritual purification, reminding pilgrims of their shared purpose and the importance of perseverance in the face of adversity. May your Sa’i be accepted, and may you reap the spiritual rewards of this sacred ritual.

For a comprehensive guide on Hajj, its rituals, and virtues, explore the Hajj Guide and Shepherds BD.

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Tareq Hussain
Tareq Hussain