What Is Safa and Marwa?


What Is Safa and Marwa?

Safa and Marwa are two small hills that are connected to the larger mountains of Abu Qubays and Qaiqan. They are located in the lengthy corridor of Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Since these hills are a component of the Hajj and Umrah rites, they have great religious significance.

Muslims are required to walk, or perform Sa’ee, seven times between Safa and Marwa during these pilgrimages. This ceremony honours Bibi Hajar’s steadfast devotion to Allah’s will and her unflinching allegiance to her son, Prophet Ismail, despite difficult circumstances. Every pilgrim is urged to appropriately execute the Sunnah ritual of sa’ee, which literally translates to “walking, pursuing, or striving,” during their Umrah and Hajj.

The History of Safa and Marwa

The significance of Safa and Marwa is entwined with Ibrahim’s wife Hajar’s quest for water for their son Ismail in the Islamic narrative. Popular belief holds that God told Ibrahim to abandon Hajar and their baby boy Ismail in the desert between these two small hills when he arrived in Makkah with them.

Hajar was first apprehensive about being by herself in the desert, but she trusted Allah and consented to stay after learning that it was God’s will. Hazrat Ibrahim offered them some food, including a water skin and some dates, before leaving. And Hazarat Ibrahim recite the following ayat:

رَّبَّنَا إِنِّي أَسْكَنتُ مِن ذُرِّيَّتِي بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِي زَرْعٍ عِندَ بَيْتِكَ الْمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ فَاجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مِّنَ النَّاسِ تَهْوِي إِلَيْهِمْ وَارْزُقْهُم مِّنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُونَ

“Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful.” [Surah Ibrahim, 14:37]

Hajar found it difficult to quench her son Ismail’s thirst when their supplies ran out. She left Ismail on the ground to expedite her search for water, running between Safa and Marwa seven times in her desperation. She pleaded for assistance, overwhelmed and nervous. In response, Allah sent Angel Jibril, who struck the earth and released water. Retaining Ismail, Hajar sipped from it.

The angel told her that her family would have a part in constructing Allah’s abode when she dug the ZamZam Well. Since then, in remembrance of Hajar’s struggle and divine assistance, each pilgrim performing the Hajj or Umrah completes seven rounds between Safa and Marwa.



One of the most important Hajj and Umrah rituals is running between Safa and Marwa, which has immense symbolic meaning. The Prophet Muhammad and his companions’ footsteps serve as the foundation for the practice. There is a common idea that Sa’i was done by the Prophet himself during his final Hajj. 

Prophet Muhammad said, “If she (Hajar) had left the water, it would have been flowing on the surface of the earth,” according to a Hadith from Bukhari. The account of Safa and Marwa eloquently captures Hajar’s steadfast trust in Allah and her devotion to her son. In order to honor Hajar’s love for her son and faith in Allah, pilgrims who perform the Hajj or Umrah replicate this deed.

Safa and Marwa in Holy Quran

إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ ۖ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا ۚ وَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ

“Indeed, Safa and Marwa are among the symbols of Allah. So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs Umrah – there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers is good – then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing.”

[Surah al-Baqarah, 2:158]


How Much Is the Distance Between Safa and Marwa?

The sacred hills of Allah SWT, Safa and Marwa, are essential to both minor and large pilgrimages, necessitating treks or runs between them. The hills are roughly 450 meters apart and are arranged around the Holy Kaaba. The Sa’I rite is performed over a distance of approximately 1.96 kilometres. 

These hills, which are part of Masjid Al-Haram’s long corridor, represent an important feature of the Umrah and Hajj pilgrimages. The Sa’I ceremony, which traverses the distance from Safa to Marwa, acts as a continual reminder that patience and tenacity in Allah SWT’s path yield lasting benefits.

What to Recite Between Safa and Marwa?MUSLIMS ARE PERFORMING SAI IN MAKKAH

Whenever the Prophet (SAW) approached Mount Safa, he would recite:

ِإِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ

Indeed, Safa and Marwa are from the Signs of Allah.

[Surah al-Baqarah, 2:158]

Although, a pilgrim does not need to repeat any particular set of prayers. The following dua can be said by a pilgrim while they are traveling between Safa and Marwa. It is especially said to be said between Milayn al-Akhdharayn; Abdullah ibn Umar (RA) also uttered it.

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ وَارْحَمْ، تَجَاوَزْ عَمَّا تَعلَمْ، إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْأَعَزُّ الْأَكْرَمُ

“O my Lord, forgive, have mercy, and pardon that which You know. Truly You are the Most Mighty, the Most Noble.”

After that, the following may be recited:

رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِيْ الدُنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَّفِيْ الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَّقِنَا عَذَابَ النَار

“O our Lord, grant us the good of this world, the good of the Hereafter, and save us from the punishment of the fire.”


Located within the sacred boundaries of Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah, Safa and Marwa are of great religious significance, serving as essential components of the Hajj and Umrah ceremonies. Symbolic of Bibi Hajar’s steadfast dedication and courage, these hills are traveled seven times by pilgrims as part of the Sa’I rite.

This action, which has its roots in the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, serves as a constant reminder of Hajar’s unwavering faith. The ceremony, which lasts for around two hours and forty-five minutes, includes sincere prayers and Quranic recitations. Safa and Marwa have shaped a significant part of pilgrimage rituals by embodying timeless symbols of faith, stamina, and divine intervention.


How Long Does It Take to Walk from Safa to Marwa?

The distance between Safa and Marwa is 1.96 miles, taking around 10 minutes to walk each way during the Sa’I ritual. Additional time for reciting Quranic verses or making Dua at either mountain extends the total ritual duration to approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes, as per the estimated time frame.

Where Are Safa and Marwa Located?

Two ancient hills, Safa and Marwa, are located next to the Holy Kaaba and Masjid Al-Haram in the holy city of Makkah. The larger mountains of Abu Qubays and Qaiqan, respectively, are related to these hills.

Why do men run at Safa Marwa?

Because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) did the same, it is Sunnah for men to sprint between the two markers in sa`i.

How many floors does Safa Marwa have?

If you are trying to find someone and you are unable to see them, walk upstairs as there are three floors that are accessible at the same time between Safa and Marwa.

Do you need Wudu for Safa Marwa?

An overview of the response. Wudu is not a prerequisite for Sa`i, hence your Sa`i between al-Safa and al-Marwah is permissible even if it was performed without it.

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