Rules of Sa'i
1. Niyyat (sincere intention) is an essential condition for sa‘i which can be said, for example, in the following words: “I am doing sa‘i between Safa and Marwah seven rounds for the ‘umrah at-tamattu‘ of the hajj at-tamattu‘ for seeking pleasure of Almighty Allah.” As mentioned earlier, the niyyat does not have to be uttered in some many words, just the thought in one’s mind is sufficient.
2. The ritual ablution (wudhu) is not a condition for the validity of sa‘i even if there is an impurity (like blood) on his blood or dress. Of course, it is better to be with purity.
3. Sa‘i also have seven rounds like the tawaf. The first round of the sa‘i begins from the Safa hill and end at the Marwah hill; and the second round starts from the Marwah and ends with Safa. Finally, the seventh round ends at Marwah.
4. It is important to cover the entire area between the hills of Safa and Marwah; however, it is not necessary to go over the hills even though it is better to do so.
5. While walking towards Marwah, it is necessary to keep the body facing towards Marwah just as it is necessary to face towards Safa while returning to it from Marwah. Of course, turning one’s face to the right or the left or the back does not harm the sa‘i.
6. Based on obligatory precaution, one should not leave a considerable time gap between the rounds of sa‘i. For example, a ten minute gap between two rounds would violate the condition of continuity for the sa‘i. Of course, there is no harm in sitting on Safa or Marwah to rest between the rounds of sa‘i. Similarly, there is no harm in interrupting the sa‘i at the time of prayer for saying the prayer and then returning back to the same place to continue the sa‘i.
7. It is permissible to delay the sa‘i (after completion of the tawaf and its salat) for hours or even for a night in order to recuperate from tiredness or the heat of the season, etc. It is, obviously, better to do the sa‘i soon after the tawaf and its salat. It is however not permissible to delay the sa‘i to the next day without an excuse.
8. If the pilgrim has a doubt about the number of rounds in sa‘i, he is allowed to continue his sa‘i with the doubt. If his doubt is resolved that he has not added to or missed the rounds, then his sa‘i is valid. However, if he is unable to resolve his doubt before concluding the sa‘i, then his sa‘i is invalid and he has to repeat it all over again.
9. A doubt about the number of rounds entertained after completion of the sa‘i is to be ignored. For example, if has doubt after doing the other rituals like taqsir and tawafun nisa’, then he should ignore his doubt.
10. You are not allowed to do sa‘i on the second level of the mas‘a (the area of doing sa‘i) since it amounts to doing the sa‘i “above” the hills and not “between” the hills.