The Story Of Safa And Marwah
Running between Safa and Marwa is a key ritual in Umrah as well as Hajj pilgrimages. This shows the significance of these hills in Islam.
All pilgrims are required to run between the two hills seven times following the same ritual completed by Prophet Mohammad PBUH and his companions during the farewell Hajj.
An Act Of Motherly Love
The story of Safa and Marwa represents the struggle that Bibi Hajra (AS) faced while running between the hills of Safa and Marwah in search of water for her parched son Hazrat Ismail (AS).
Allah SWT blessed Bibi Hajra(AS) and Prophet Ibrahim (AS) with a son, Hazrat Ismail (AS) after a long time. One day, Allah SWT commanded Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) to leave his wife and only son between Safa and Marwa. Hazrat Ibrahim complied and left them with little provisions and a limited quantity of water.
Even though she was initially worried about being alone, when Bibi Hajara (AS) came to know that it was Allah’s will, she did not hesitate to comply. Shortly, the water ran out and as a result of thirst, Hazrat Ismail started crying. To console her child, Bibi Hajara (AS) started searching for water or food around the area.
She ran between Safa and Marwah hills 7 times under the hot sun and requested Allah SWT to save her baby’s life. At this time, by Allah’s command, Hazrat Jibraeel (AS) appeared and scratched the land with his wing following which water emerged from the barren ground. This allowed Bibi Hajra (AS) to feed herself and her son as well.
Bibi Hajara (AS) then created a small well with her hands to retain the water spring which is now called Zamzam. Hazrat Jibraeel (AS) also informed Bibi Hajra (AS) at that time that Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) and Hazrat Ismail (AS) will construct the House of Allah SWT on the same location.
Allah granted the world gift of Zamzam to quench Hazrat Ismail’s thirst and as recognition of Bibi Hajra’sdevotion and motherly love, Allah ordered all the Pilgrims performing Umrah to complete seven runs between Safa and Marwa and this ritual will last till the day of judgment.
Male pilgrims are even ordered to run between two specific points where Bibi Hajra ran as well. This act of completing seven runs between Safa and Marwah is calledSa’i.
Significance Of Safa And Marwah
The story of Safa and Marwa represents Bibi Hajara’s (AS) complete faith in Allah SWT and her dedication to her son, Prophet Ismail (AS), in such harsh circumstances. Pilgrims going for Umrah must therefore remember this story and demonstrate their own dedication towards Allah by performing the Sa’I with full spiritual devotion.
Sa’I teaches us to always trust Allah and have faith in everything that is granted to us or is restricted from us as Allah can make everything possible if he wishes in sha Allah so we should never be in doubt about anything.
Details Of Sa’i
Duration–the total distance between Safa and Marwa is 1.96 miles or 3.15 kilometers. On average, it will take around 10 minutes ofwalking from one hill to another however, it varies with the speed of pilgrims as well as the number of duaas that pilgrims may want to say during the walk.
Duaas – There are no prescribed prayers which pilgrims must offer during Sa’I however there are some historically used duaas which you can recite as you perform Sa’i. These include the following:
رَبِّ اغْفِرْ وَارْحَمْ، تَجَاوَزْ عَمَّا تَعلَمْ، إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْأَعَزُّ الْأَكْرَمُ ( Rabb ighfirwarḥam, tajāwaz ‘ammāta’lam(u), innaka anta l-a’azzu l-akram ) – “O my Lord, forgive, have mercy, and pardon that which You know. Truly You are the Most Mighty, the Most Noble.”
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِيْ الدُنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَّفِيْ الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَّقِنَا عَذَابَ النَار ( Rabbanāātinā fi d-dunyāḥasanatanwa fi l-ākhiratiḥasanatanwaqinā ‘adhāba n-nār ) – “O our Lord, grant us the good of this world, the good of the Hereafter, and save us from the punishment of the fire.”
Steps – Performing Sa’i immediately after Tawaf is Sunnah but a break can be taken if needed. Before Sa’i, It is masnoon to do Istilam of Hajar al-Aswad one last time before starting Sa’i. To begin Sa’I, proceed to the hill of Safa reciting the following once only:
ِإِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ – Indeed, Safa and Marwa are from the Signs of Allah.
[Surah al-Baqarah, 2:158]
أَبْدَأُ بِمَا بَدَأَ اللهُ بِهِ – I begin with that which Allah has begun with.
Upon reaching the hill of Safa, face the direction of the Kaaba and make duaas. After that, move towards Marwa. On your way, there will be two sets of green fluorescent lights – men should run at a medium pace between them every time they pass from the green-lighted area. Continue duaas during your walk.
We at Salah Travels work closely with all our customers to give them a memorable Umrah experience. We hope that the above guidelines will help you prepare for an excellent journey full of reflection and awakening.
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