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The devotional act of walking seven times between the knolls of Safa and Marwah which are located some distance from the Qaaba inside Masjid ul Haram, is called Sai.

According to tradition, Prophet Ibrahim left his wife, Hajar, and infant son, Ismail, in the desert close to where Qaaba is located today in response to a divine revelation. Unfortunately, his wife and son were with few provisions. After her meager supply of water was exhausted and her son started crying with thirst, Hajar began looking for water in the desert. 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 a desert traveler in sight. Upon her return to her son after one of her runs, she discovered that a spring had miraculously sprouted near the infant. This spring, called Zam-Zam is located to the east of Qaaba inside Masjid ul Haram today. It still runs as strong today as it has for thousands of years. In a land where water is scarce, the sweet elixir of Zam-Zam runs abundantly in eloquent testimony to the power and mercy of Almighty Allah. Millions of people have drunk from it since that amazing day, and continue to do so today with no end in sight to this miracle of God.

You will retrace the steps of Hajar in Sai, in commemoration of her search for water and Allah's mercy in answering her prayers with the miracle of Zam-Zam, and also to assert your own commitment to walk in the path of Allah.

Details Of Sai

The details of Sai are as follows:

  1. You will start your Sai at Safa where you will face the Qaaba, raise your hands in supplication to Allah, recite "Bismillah, Allah-o-Akbar" three times and start walking towards Marwah, all the time reciting prayers and supplications of your choice.
  2. Starting about midway between Safa and Marwah, you will walk faster, or jog, for the length marked by green lights overhead. These lights define the length covered by Hajar running to get to higher ground faster. Your arrival at Marwah completes one leg of the Sai.
  3. Upon arriving at Marwah, you will repeat the supplications offered at Safa (i.e. face the Qaaba and repeat "Bismillah, Allah-o-Akbar" three times), turn around and retrace your walk back to Safa. This will complete the second leg of the Sai.
  4. You will repeat steps 1 to 3 until you complete the seventh leg which will end at Marwah. The Sai is now complete.
  1. If azan is recited for prayer during the Sai, you will stop wheresoever you may be at that point in time, and resume the Sai from that spot after the prayer. It is not necessary to restart the Sai, or the leg affected by the pause, afresh from its starting point.
  2. Women are not required to run between the green lights in deference to the modesty expected of them in Islam.

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