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What to do on the days before Hajj

In the days before Hajj there are plenty of actions to keep yourself busy with. Here are some recommendations.

1. The obligatory prayers in congregation

The five daily prayers are an obligation for every Muslim. If you are in close proximity to the masjid then it is also obligated for you to attend the masjid and pray in congregation. In Makkah, this is obligated in Masjid al-Haram when you are staying close to the haram. This is a great opportunity you don’t want to miss because every prayer in Masjid al-Haram is multiplied up by 100,000 times for you. 

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“One prayer in my mosque is better than one thousand prayers elsewhere, except al-Masjid al-Haraam, and one prayer in al-Masjid al-Haraam is better than one hundred thousand prayers elsewhere.” 

Ahmad, Ibn Majah

2. Tawaf

Supererogatory (nafil) tawaaf is something which you can do any time in Makkah. This is the only place in the world where this ibadah can be done.

Some people manage one extra tawaaf a day, some manage one after every salah. We would recommend you do what is easiest for you because it is a nafil ibadah and you would not want to damage your fardh (obligatory) ibadah of Hajj in the process through exertion.

3. Circles of knowledge

Both Holy mosques Masjid al-Haram and Masjid an-Nabawi have regular circles of knowledge. Masjid al-Haram has mainly Arabic lectures but has some in other languages. For example, Shaikh WaseeUllah Abbass who gives lectures in Urdu near the King Fahd Gate of Masjid al-Haram.

4. Quran

While in Makkah or Madinah, one of the best ibadah is to recite the Quran.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“Whoever recites a harf of the Book of Allah will have one hasanah for it, and each hasanah brings a tenfold reward. I do not say that Alif-Laam-Meem is a harf; rather alif is a harf, laam is a harf and meem is a harf.”


SubhanAllah! Each letter has 10 rewards in it. Imagine reciting one entire Quran in Makkah and one in Madinah.

5. Sunnah and Nawafil prayers are the Key to Jannah

Rabee‘ah ibn Ka‘b al-Aslami (may Allah be pleased with him), who said:

I used to stay overnight with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and bring him water for wudoo’ and whatever he needed. He said to me: “Ask.” I said: I ask to be with you in Paradise. He said: “Is there anything else?” I said: That is all. He said: “Help me to do that for you by prostrating a great deal.”


Notice here the Prophet ﷺ is explaining how Rabee’ah رضي الله عنه could be with the Prophet ﷺ in paradise: By increasing the number of sujood. The obligatory sujood in a day are only 17. If you include Witr it becomes 20. The route to more sujood is Sunnah and Nawafil prayers.

There are plenty more sunnah and nawafil a person can pray.

For example:

  • The 12 sunnahs of the day
    These 12 sunnahs are: 2 before Fajr, 4 before Dhuhr, 2 after Dhuhr, 2 after Maghrib and 2 after Esha
  • The 2 rakah between every adhaan and ikamah making 10 rakah a day
  • Tahiyyatul Masjid should be offered every time you enter the Masjid, these are 2 rakah which you offer before you sit or doing anything else in the masjid
  • 2 rakah after doing tawaaf of the Kaaba
  • 2 rakah every time you make wudhu
  • 4 rakah before Asr prayed two-by-two
  • 8 rakah of tahhajud at night prayed two-by-two
  • Anything more than 2 rakah at the time of Duha prayed 2 by 2
  • Istikharah prayer before you make a decision

If a person can do some of these in a day, they will have made many prostrations to Allah and inshaaAllah will gain more reward as this is done in Masjid al-Haram and Masjid an-Nabawi. When you are in Masjid an-Nabawi then you could attempt some of these prayers in Riyadh ul Jannah.

6. Janaza

The reward for praying the janazah is easily gained in Makkah and Madinah, as there is usually a janazah after every salah. One can follow the funeral procession in Makkah by going toward the Umrah gate where the Janazah leaves toward Maqbarah al-Ma’la. Attending the funeral procession is even easier in Madinah, where after the janazah salah, the funeral procession leaves the front of the masjid near the imams door and goes straight to Al-Baqi' which is towards the left of the masjid.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“Whoever attends the funeral until the prayer has been offered will have one qiraat (of reward) and whoever attends until the deceased has been buried will have two qiraats.” It was said, “What are the two qiraats?” He ﷺ said: “Like two great mountains.” 

Bukhari, Muslim

7. Pray inside the Kaaba

Well, technically inside! The Hijr (the semi-circle next to the Kaaba) is actually part of the Kaaba, so if anyone prays in it, they have prayed inside the Kaaba.

*Warning* Be careful of touching non-mahrams while going in and out of the Hijr. Be careful cutting in front of someone who is praying. If these acts look likely then it is better to not pray in the Hijr at all because gaining sin is worse way to try and gain reward.

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