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Things to learn before Hajj

Islamic knowledge

There is some basic knowledge of Islam which you should have before you go on Hajj or Umrah.

The Prayer

Pilgrims can often feel shy in adult life to admit they do not know the basics of the prayer. In Islam, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ taught us never to be shy with learning the religion. Most scholars are trained to make you comfortable with such questions and will not make the experience embarrassing.

We have covered some of the basics below.

The Five Prayers

In Islam there are five daily prayers every Muslim must pray. They are Fajr (pre-dawn), Dhuhr (Afternoon), Asr (late afternoon), Maghrib (post-sunset) and Esha (night). The obligatory rakahs prayed in each prayer are shown below:

Fajr: 2

Dhuhr: 4

Asr: 4

Maghrib: 3

Esha: 4

How to make wudhu

Here's guidance on how to make wudhu.

How to Pray

Here's guidance on how to pray.

Basic Quran

Surah al-Faatihah:

بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
1 الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
2 الرَّحْمـنِ الرَّحِيمِ
3 مَـالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ
4 إِيَّاك نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ
5 اهدِنَــــا الصِّرَاطَ المُستَقِيمَ
6 صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ الضَّالِّينَ


Bi-smi-llāhi -r-raḥmāni -r-raḥīm
1 Al-ḥamdu -li-llāhi rabbi -l-`ālamīn
2 Ar-raḥmāni -r-raḥīm
3 Māliki yawmi -d-dīn
4 'Iyyāka na`budu wa-'iyyāka nasta`īn
5 Ihdinā -ṣ-ṣirāṭa -l-mustaqīm
6 Ṣirāṭa -l-laḏīna 'an`amta `alayhim ġayri-l-maġḍūbi `alayhim wa-lā -ḍ-ḍāllīn


1 In the name of Allah, the merciful and compassionate
2 Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds
3 The merciful and compassionate
4 Ruler of the day of judgment
5 [It is thee] we serve and [it is thee] we implore for help
6 Guide us to (or show us) the path of the straight (i.e., righteous)
7 Path of those whom you favor, not those who anger you and not those who have gone astray

Surah Kaafiroon:

بِسمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ
1. قُلْ يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلْكَٰفِرُونَ
2. لَآ أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ
3. وَلَآ أَنتُمْ عَٰبِدُونَ مَآ أَعْبُدُ
4. وَلَآ أَنَا۠ عَابِدٌ مَّا عَبَدتُّمْ
5. وَلَآ أَنتُمْ عَٰبِدُونَ مَآ أَعْبُدُ
6. لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِىَ دِينِ

Bi-smi-llāhi -r-raḥmāni -r-raḥīm

1. Qul Yā 'Ayyuhā Al-Kāfirūn
2. Lā 'A`budu Mā Ta`budūn
3. Wa Lā 'Antum `Ābidūna Mā 'A`bud
4. Wa Lā 'Anā `Ābidun Mā `Abadttum
5. Wa Lā 'Antum `Ābidūna Mā 'A`bud
6. Lakum Dīnukum Wa Liya Dīn

In the name of Allah, the merciful and compassionate

1. Say, "O disbelievers,
2. I do not worship what you worship.
3. Nor are you worshippers of what I worship.
4. Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship.
5. Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship.
6. For you is your religion, and for me is my religion."

Surah Ikhlas:

بِسمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ
1.  قُلْ هُوَ ٱللَّهُ أَحَدٌ
2. ٱللَّهُ ٱلصَّمَدُ
3. لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ
4. وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُۥ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌۢ

Bi-smi-llāhi -r-raḥmāni -r-raḥīm

1. Qul Huwa Allāhu 'Aĥad
2. Allāhu Aş-Şamad
3. Lam Yalid Wa Lam Yūlad
4. Walam Yakun Lahu Kufūan 'Aĥad

In the name of Allah, the merciful and compassionate

1. Say, "He is Allah, [who is] One,
2. Allah, the Eternal Refuge.
3. He neither begets nor is born,
4. Nor is there to Him any equivalent."

How to make du'a

Clean your heart to ensure you believe in Allah correctly and are not obedient, fearing or inadvertently worshipping other than Allah. Secondly make sure your sincerity is towards Allah alone.

When you make dua, ask Allah with firmness, not saying words such as “Forgive me if you wish” but begging from Allah. Know from your heart that only Allah can give you what you are asking for and know that your dua in respect of manners of how Allah should be asked, so know that only by His Mercy will your dua be accepted.

When you begin your dua face the direction of the Qibla and raise your hands up then:

1. Praise Allah.

Begin your dua with calling upon Allah with his most beautiful names and praise Allah as he deserves to be praised. Examples of this are the Surah Fatiha, Surah Ikhlaas, Ayat Al Kursi or the beautiful names of Allah such as Ar-Rahmaan, Ar-Raheem, Al-Hayy, Al-Qayyum and many others.

2. Send blessings upon the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.

This is by reading darood, the best of the darood is the one we read in salah commonly known as Darood-al-Ibrahimi. 

The Prophet ﷺ said:

“Every du'a is kept back until you send blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ”


A man asked the Prophet ﷺ “Oh Messenger of Allah! I have made a third of my prayer for you” The Prophet ﷺ said “if this is the case then Allah will be sufficient for a third of your affairs” So the man said “I will make two-thirds of my prayers with sending peace and blessings upon you” So the Prophet ﷺ replied “If that is the case then Allah will be sufficient for two-thirds of your affairs” So the man said “I will make all of my prayer in sending peace and blessings upon you” So the Prophet ﷺ replied “If this is the case then Allah will suffice in your worries of the Dunya and the Akhira”

This means that the man would take out some time to make dua for himself which he then allocated as mentioned. It should be noted that one should still make dua for themselves despite sending plenty darood upon the Messenger of Allah ﷺ

3. Ask Allah for what you want with the following guidelines:

  • It is best to start you du'a with asking for forgiveness and making forgiveness for your sins and making resolve to never go back to those sins. Name every major sin you have done and specifically ask for that sin and resolve to not go back (do this silently)
  • Make du'a for yourself before you make it for others
  • Make du'a from the Quran and the sunnah of Messenger of Allah ﷺ first before du'a in your own language
  • When you cry, ask from the core of your heart and don’t be shy of crying because The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said “A man who weeps for fear of Allah will not enter Hell until the milk goes back into the udder” (Part of a longer hadith in Tirmidhi)
Times when dua are accepted

The day of Arafah is one of the momentous occasions when dua is accepted. There are many other times when duas are accepted too such as:

  • During Tawaaf
  • While drinking Zamzam
  • While travelling
  • Laylatul Qadr (if you are going on Umrah in Ramadan this is very important for you)
  • The last third of the night before Fajr
  • After the fardh prayer, after the darood and before saying the final salam of prayer
  • Between adhaan and iqaamah
  • When it rains
  • In sajda
  • A moment on Friday
  • The dua of a fasting person
  • After you say  “Laa ilaaha illa anta, subhaanaka, inni kuntu min al-zaalimeen”
    Meaning none has the right to be worshipped but You, Glorified be You! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers
  • When sick
  • When you have been wronged
  • A father for his child
  • A righteous child for their parent
  • When you awaken from the night
  • After the sun has passed its zenith and before Zuhr

Basic Arabic

Whilst many government officials speak varying levels of English, it's super useful to learn a basic level of Arabic to communicate better with locals, hotel staff, other pilgrims, etc.

Arabic numbers

  • ٠
    0 - sifr
  • ١
    1 - waahid
  • ٢
    2 - ithnaan
  • ٣
    3- thalaatha
  • ٤
    4- arba
  • ٥
    5 - khasmsa
  • ٦
    6 - sitta
  • ٧
    7 - sab'a
  • ٨
    8 - thamaaniya
  • ٩
    9 - tis'a
  • ١٠
    10 - a'shara
  • ٢٠
    20 - ashreen
  • ٣٠
    30 - thalatheen
  • ٤٠
    40 - arbaeen
  • ٥٠
    50 - khamseen
  • ٦٠
    60 - siteen
  • ٧٠
    70 - sab'een
  • ٨٠
    80 - thamaniyeen
  • ٩٠
    90 - tis'een
  • ١٠٠
    100 - miy'a

Basic Words and Phrases

HaathaThis is
KamHow much
Mamnoo'Not allowed
Seeda (Urdu but known in Arabic)Straight
AntaYou (Male)
AntiYou (Female)
Common Phrases
La arifDon't know
Kaifa halukaHow are you?
TareekWay. (Used to say give me way/passage, or this way)

We're constantly updating this guide to make it better. Notice any errors? Want to contribute? Get in touch.