[Sa'i diagram. It has been used for a representation purpose only].
The devotional act of walking seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah which are located some distance from the Ka’ba, is called Sa’i.
According to a tradition reported by Ibn Abbas, Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) left his wife, Hajar, and son, Isma’il (pbuh), whom she was still nursing, at (site of) the House of Allah, in response to a divine revelation. Makkah at that time was a place where there was neither water nor any dweller. Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) left only a bag of dates and a container of water for them. Unfortunately, this insufficient provision of food and water did not last long. Her milk tried up as well. Her son grew hungrier and hungrier; Hajar could hardly bear to look at him. In her desperation, she repeatedly ran between the hillocks of Safa and Marwah, climbing them to get a better view of the landscape and, perhaps, also to see if there was someone around to help. Upon her return to her son, after some time of runs, she discovered that a spring had miraculously sprouted near the infant. This spring, called Zamzam is located to the east of Ka’ba. It still runs as strong today as it has for thousands of years. In a land where water is scarce, the Zamzam runs abundantly in eloquent testimony to the power and mercy of Almighty Allah. Millions of people have drunk from it since then, and continue to do so today with no end in sight to this miracle of Allah. Ibn Abbas added, The Prophet (pbuh) said, “It is (to commemorate this walk) that pilgrims walk between Safa and Marwah.”
For Sa’i to be valid and acceptable, it must comply with the following conditions:
Male pilgrims walk briskly between the green lights (indicated on the side of the walls nearer to Safa). Women walk normal throughout the seven rounds. If you are taking care of an elderly or a disabled pilgrim, you can refrain from running between the green lit area.
For Sa’i, it is preferable but not a requirement to have wudhu. Most scholars are of the opinion that purification is not necessary for Sa’i. This is in light of what the Prophet (pbuh) said to ‘Aisha when she menstruated during Hajj. He told her, “You may perform all rites (of Hajj) as other pilgrims do, except performing tawaf around the Ka’ba which you may do after you are clean and no longer menstruating.”
Continuity in Sa’i is also not a requirement for its validation. For example, one may stop Sa’i to respond to the call of nature. Rather, Sa’i must be interrupted for Fardh salah and recommended for janaza salah. There is no harm if you take a break during Sa’i. After the break you may continue from where you had stopped. You should not start Sa’i again from the beginning.
In any occasion, if you are in doubt about the number of rounds you have made, rely on the lesser number you remember.
It is permissible to talk while performing Sa’i, but most scholars agree that one should only discuss necessary things, not merely engage in idle gossip. (Tirmidhi)
One must not raise voice while performing Sa’i. (Bukhari)
There is no Sa’i after a nafl tawaf or after Tawaf-al-Widaa (farewell tawaf).
إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِنْ شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ(“Innassafaa walmarwata min sha’aa irillahi.)” (“Indeed Safa and Marwah are among the signs of Allah.)”
إبْدَإُ بِمَا بَدَأَ اللهُ بِهِ(“Abda’u bima bada’a Allahu bihi.)” (“I begin with that which Allah has begun.)”
إلْحَمْدُ لِلهِ وَلاَ إلَهَ إلاَّ اللهُ وَ اللهُ أكْبَرُ(“Alhamdulillahi, walaa ilaha illallahu, wallahu Akbar.)” (“All
لاَ إِلَهَ إلاَّ اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَشَرِيْكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَ لَهُ الْحَمْدُ، يُحْيِيْ وَيُمِيْتُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَي ءٍ قَدِيْرٌ. لاَ إِلَهَ إلاَّ الله وَحْدَهُ أَنْجَزَوَعْدَهُ، وَنَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ، وَهَزَمَ الأَ حْزَابَ وَحْدَهُ“Laa ilaha illallahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahulmulku walahulhamdu, youhee wayumeetu wahua ala kullishay’in qadeer. La ilaha illallahu wahdahu, anjaza wa’dahu, wansara a’bdahu, wahazamal ahzaaba wahdahu.” (“There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah alone, no partners are unto Him, His is the dominion (kingdom) and His is the praise. He give life and He gives death and He is capable of everything. There is none worthy of worship but Allah alone, who fulfilled His promise, and gave victory to His servant and defeated the confederates alone.)”
لاَ إِلَهَ إلاَّ اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَشَرِيْكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَ لَهُ الْحَمْدُ، يُحْيِيْ وَيُمِيْتُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَي ءٍ قَدِيْرٌ. لاَ إِلَهَ إلاَّ الله وَحْدَهُ أَنْجَزَوَعْدَهُ، وَنَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ، وَهَزَمَ الأَ حْزَابَ وَحْدَهُ