It is a Sunnah to perform Sa’i immediately after Tawaf, although you may take a break if you need to. If you feel tired after Tawaf or your feet are aching, you may take a rest until you feel you’re ready. Remember, you will be covering over three kilometres during Sa’i, so make sure you have sufficient energy to complete the rite before starting.
For the Sa’i to be considered valid, the following is necessary:
To perform Sa’i yourself.
To have entered into Ihram before performing the Sa’i.
To stay in Ihram until the Sa’i has been completed.
To perform Sa’i at its correct time.
To begin Sa’i at Safa and finish at Marwa.
To perform Sa’i after having done Tawaf.
To perform Sa’i on foot, unless you have a valid excuse.
To perform seven laps.
To cover the complete distance between Safa and Marwa.
Istilam of the Hajar al-Aswad
Before Sa’i, it is Sunnah to do Istilam of Hajar al-Aswad one last time. This will be the ninth time, following the eight times you performed Istilam during Tawaf.
If you’ve forgotten to perform this Istilam, or you’re finding it difficult to return to the line of the Hajar al-Aswad due to crowding or tiredness, it may be omitted. However, you can do Istilam anywhere else in Masjid al-Haram, as long as you’re facing the Hajar al-Aswad.
Proceed to Safa
Proceed to the hill of Safa, which is located inside Masjid al-Haram in line with the Hajar al-Aswad. There are signs which indicate where it is. As you’re approaching Safa, it is Sunnah to recite the following:
ِإِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ
Inna ṣ-ṣafā wa l-marwata min sha’ā’iri llāh(i).
Indeed, Safa and Marwa are from the Signs of Allah
أَبْدَأُ بِمَا بَدَأَ اللهُ بِهِ
Abda’u bimā bad’allahu bihi.
I begin with that which Allah has begun with.
These should only be recited once before Sa’i and not at the start of each lap.
Proceed to Marwa
From Safa, make your way towards Marwa. Between Safa and Marwa, you will encounter two sets of green fluorescent lights approximately 50 metres apart, which indicate the distance that Hajar ran in order to get to higher ground. These two markers are known as Milayn al-Akhdharayn (the two green mileposts). Between these two lights, it is Sunnah for men to run at a medium pace while women should continue normally.
Make Dua at Marwa
Upon reaching the hill of Marwa, face the direction of the Kaaba, raise your hands in supplication and repeat the same supplications you recited at Safa.
This completes one lap of Sa’i. Returning back to Safa is considered a second lap.
End of Sa’i
Repeat this procedure until you have completed seven laps, at which point you should be at the hill of Marwa.
Dua and Salah
It is recommended to make a final Dua here and also to perform two Rakahs of Nafl Salah in Masjid al-Haram following Sa’i.
Leave the Haram
As you leave Masjid al-Haram, step out with your left foot and recite the following Dua, as was the Sunnah of the Prophet when leaving the mosque:
بِسْمِ اللهِ وَالصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَّامُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ، اللَّهُمَّ إَنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ
Bismi llāhi, wa ṣ-ṣalātu wa s-salāmu ‘ala rasūli llāh. Allāhumma innī as’aluka min faḍlik.
In the name of Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah. O Allah, I ask of you from Your bounty.