What is required when entering the mosque in Makkah: Extracts from the Hanafi school of thought

1 – Ihram is obligatory for everyone who intends to pass through any of the Meeqaats with the goal of heading to Makkah, whether it is for the purpose of Hajj, Umrah or otherwise, even if it is for trade. Except for those whose home is within the Meeqaats, he may enter the Haram without entering ihram. 

2 – The Meeqaat of the people of Madinah is Dhu al-Hulayfah, and it is called Abyaar Ali nowadays, which is six miles from Medina.

The Meeqaat of the people of Syria is Al-Juhfah which is a three days journey from Makkah, near Rabigh.  

Whoever passes one of the Meeqaats without being a resident of that place, such place becomes his Meeqaat. For instance, someone from Syria, if he passes the Meeqaat of the people of Madinah, surely he will put on his ihram (at the Meeqaat of the people of Madinah) there. 

3 – The following are Sunnah for entering ihram: ablution, bathing, trimming the nails, cutting the mustache, shaving the head or combing it “according to the person’s habit” and shaving the pubic area. 

Then he wears a robe and a garment (it’s Sunnah to ensure they are white), as it is Sunnah to insert the garment under his right armpit, and to keep his end on the left shoulder (as mentioned in the fatwa); he wears sandals, perfume and pray two rak’ahs. He then recites the Talbiyah after the prayer saying:

Labbaik Allahumma labbaik, labbaika laa shereeka laka labbaik, Innal hamda wanni’mota, wal mulk, Laa shereeka lak. With this Talbiyah, Ihram takes place. 

And whoever wants a Hajj or Umrah, he says before the Talbiyah: O Allah, I intend to do Hajj or Umrah (or both), please, make it easy for me, and accept it from me. 

According to the Hanbalis, Ihram is not obligatory for one who passes one of the Meeqaats unless he is intending for Hajj and Umrah. But if he wants to enter Makkah for something (else), then he does not have to enter ihram, and this is easy for many. 

During Ihram, he avoids known prohibitions (such as perfume, wearing sewn dress and obscenity or filthiness (misconduct, sexual intercourse) verbally and in actions, hunting games or killing any animal, even a louse, trimming nails, covering the head, etc.) until he is free through circumambulation. In the case of those excused, such as the sick or injured, he wears what he needs to wear and he does expiation by slaughtering. 

4 – Umrah is a highly empathic Sunnah or an obligatory sunnah that one can perform at least once in the lifetime. Its acts are (Ihram, Tawaf and Sa’i, then shaving or shortening of hair). Thereafter, a person disengages from it and from the Ihram, and puts on (his casual dress) after which he does whatever he wants among the things that are permissible before Ihram. 

5 – The circumambulation is seven circuits. When he enters Makkah, he begins at the Grand Mosque, and enter as assigned from babus salaam in the day. Immediately he sees the house, he should exalt Allah (by saying Allahu Akbar) three times, then he should say tahlil (laa illaaha illa Allaah) to showcase his being far away from polytheism. Then the circumambulation begins (which is a greeting of the mosque instead of the usual greeting by prayer). 

Then he moves towards the Black Stone, exalting (Allah) saying the Takbeer and Tahleel. He should raise his hands like in salat and touch the stone with his palms (and if crowded, it suffices to point at it). Then he should kiss it, and loudly send prayers to the Prophet – may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him. After that, he should kiss his hands and make tawaaf to his right, while the Kaaba is on his left for seven laps, speeding up in the first three laps. He should mark the Ruknul Yamani at every round without kissing, and he should conclude the circumambulation by embracing the stone as in sunnah. Then he prays even number of rak’ahs compulsorily at a permissible period of salah.  It is better for his prayer to be observed at Maqaam Ibrahim (which is known today), then he continues to praise Allaah, saying the Takbeer, kissing the stone, saying tahleel and going out.

6 – The Sa’i  after the circumambulation for the one performing Hajj or Umrah is by ascending to Safa from its gate. Then he turns his face to the house of Allah, saying takbeer (Allahu Akbar), tahleel (saying laa illaaha illa Allaah) and sending blessings to the Prophet – may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

He then raises his hands and asks whatever he wants. He afterwards walks to the direction of Marwah (he is to jog between the two green lines). When he reaches Marwah, he ascends to it and does as he did in As-Safa. Thus, there are seven obligatory rounds which must begin from al-Safa and must end in al-Marwah.  Every time he walks between al-Safa and al-Marwah is a round, and every return from al-Marwah to al-Safa is another round.