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Pilgrims, whether they are performing Hajj or ‘Umra perform sa’y after tawaf. Sa’y means running from Safa to Marwa four times and the other way three times. The Qur’an stresses that each person meets that for whatever one strives or endeavors (53:39). Sa’y means endeavoring or making effort. For Hajj, this is held to commemorate Hagar’s running between Safa and Marwa seven times in order to find water for her son, Ishmael, whom she was still breast-feeding. Gold told Abraham to leave Hagar and Ishmael, upon him be peace, in Makka, which was then an uninhabited barren valley. Both Abraham and Hagar submitted to God’s order wholeheartedly. However, their submission did not prevent Hagar from trying to find water for her son, for both of them needed it and she also needed it to produce breast-milk.

Islam is the harmonious combination of submission and endeavor. Hagar did not wait for a miracle, but tried to find water in a desolate desert without losing hope. The water came miraculously from an unexpected place: under Ishmael’s feet. That water, known as Zamzam, continues to meet the needs of millions of pilgrims every year, even after so many centuries. This miracle was the result of sincere belief, confidence in and submission to God, endeavor (humanity’s duty), and never being desperate. People act, and God creates the result. This is why it has unanimously been said: “God is not found by looking for Him, but those who have found Him are those who have looked for Him.”

Pilgrims begin sa’y from Safa and end in Marwa. They walk from Safa to Marwa four times, and the other way three times. They jog between the two green markers along the way. They supplicate and recite the Qur’an while walking and upon reaching either hill, and face the Ka’ba while supplicating.