Many Islamic terms have multiple spellings when translated into English. We indicate alternative spellings below with (brackets).
Preparation for the Hajj
Each pilgrim first enters into ihram. This is a spiritual state of purity during which the person must not quarrel, commit any act of violence or engage in sexual activity. Men signify the state of ihram by bathing, and wearing two pieces of unsewn white cloth: "one covers the body from waist to ankle and the other is thrown over the shoulder." 4 Women usually wear a simple white dress and "a head covering, but not a veil." 4 "The white garments are symbolic of human equality and unity before God, since all the pilgrims are dressed similarly." 2 The pilgrim will then repeat the Talbiyah (Talbeeyah) prayer. One English translation is:
"Here I am, O God, at Thy Command! Here I am at Thy Command! Thou art without associate; Here I am at Thy Command! Thine are praise and grace and dominion! Thou art without associate."
The pilgrim enters the Holy Mosque at Mecca, right foot first, and recites the prayer: "In the name of Allah, may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah. Oh Allah, forgive me my sins and open to me the doors of Your mercy. I seek refuge in Allah the Almighty and in His Eminent Face and in His Eternal Dominion from the accursed Satan." The pilgrim performs the tawaf. This is a counter-clockwise procession which circles, "the Ka'aba, the [cube-shaped] stone building Muslims believe was originally built by Abraham and his son Ishmael... It is a symbol of unity for Muslims because all prayers, wherever they are performed, are oriented in the direction of the Ka'aba." 4,6
The pilgrim then performs the sa'i. He hurries seven times between two small hills near the Ka'aba, called Safa and Marwah. This commemorates the desperate search for water and food by Hagar, one of Abraham's wives