Common mistake in Sa'i
1. Some pilgrims think that going from Safa to Marwah and then returning to Safa is counted as one round of the sa‘i. The correct way is to count the going towards Marwah as the 1st round and the return to Safa as the 2nd round.
If someone counts it in the wrong way (and ended up doing 14 rounds instead of 7) out of ignorance or he relied on someone who is known to be familiar with rulings of pilgrimage, then there is nothing on him. But if he does this without a good excuse, then he must repeat the entire sa‘i.
2. It happens sometimes that the pilgrim is going towards Safa and then turns his back towards it because of crowd or because he saw a friend, etc. This is incorrect; and if this happens, then he has to return back to the place where the violation took place and restart the sa‘i from that point onwards in the right direction because one of the conditions of validity of the sa‘i is that the pilgrim should face Marwah while walking towards it and face Safa while walking towards it.
3. A person who habitually entertains doubt does that in sa‘i also and ends up repeating it. The ruling for such a person is that he should ignore his doubts just as he is required to ignore them while doing the prayers. The pilgrim is allowed to use a counter to help him in keeping track of his number of rounds or rely on a companion.
4. Sometimes a pilgrim might interrupt his sa‘i to drink water or something similar – and that does not harm the sa‘i provided the following two conditions are fulfilled:
(a) He is able to continue his sa‘i exactly from where he left without missing or adding any part. He can ensure that by going a few step back from where he stopped and then do the niyyat that he is continuing from the exactly place where he stopped.
(b) His interruption should not harm the continuity of the rounds of sa‘i. However, if the interruption amounts to discontinuity of the sa‘i, then, based on precaution, he should complete the sa‘i at hand and then repeat it entirely again.
5. A pilgrim’s sa‘i is interrupted and becomes invalid, then he starts the new sa‘i immediately. This is not correct. He should leave some time gap in between the invalid sa‘i and the new one.
6. Some pilgrims choose to do the sa‘i sitting on the wheelchair which is pushed by someone else. This is not permissible except for those who cannot do sa‘i by themselves.
However, there would be no problem in doing sa‘i on a wheelchair or something similar which is being pushed by the person himself in the sense that he can stop it by himself rather than ask the other person to stop or push it.
7. Some people engage in worldly conversation with their fellow pilgrims during the sa‘i. Although this does not harm the sa‘i, it is better in such a place and such a time to recite the zikr of Almighty Allah, the du‘as which that have been recommended by the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), and the salawat on Muhammad and Al-i Muhammad.
8. While doing the sa‘i, some pilgrims run between Safa and Marwah in such a way that it disturbs the fellow pilgrims. One should know that it is recommended to walk calmly in the sa‘i, and that only between the two green lights are the men urged to walk fast.