Six parts of the Talbiyah: taste its sweetness!

by Dr. Abdulazeez Abdulraheem

Once you enter the state of Ihram for Hajj or Umrah, you start reciting the Talbiyah.  Because you will recite it perhaps hundreds of times, it is extremely important and useful to know the beautiful dimensions of the Talbiyah. This way, every time you say it you will taste a different sweetness of talking to Allah [swt].  You will repeat it with love, passion and eagerness.

Each statement of the Talbiyah has layers upon layers of meanings.  By remembering these meanings while saying the Talbiyah, your connection with Allah [swt] will be strengthened and your Hajj or Umrah will become a truly memorable one.

What is the Talbiyah?

Jabir ibn `Abdullah said, describing the Hajj of the Prophet (pbuh): “Then he (pbuh) started to say the words of Tawhid,  Labbayka Allahumma labbayk, labbayka la sharika laka labbayk. Inna al-hamd wal-ni`mata laka wal-mulk, la sharika lak. [Muslim].

The way most people say it is in six parts, like below, with brief pauses in between:

  1.        Labbayka Allahumma labbayk, (Here I am, O Allah, here I am)
  2.        labbayka la shareeka laka labbayk. (Here I am, You have no partner, here I am)
  3.        Innal-hamd (Verily all praise and thanks …)
  4.        wan-ni`mata  (… and all blessings…)
  5.        laka wal-mulk (… and all sovereignty are Yours)
  6.       la shareeka lak. (You have no partner.)

The Virtues of the Talbiyah

This beautiful hadeeth lays out the virtues of saying the Talbiyah: The Messenger (pbuh) said: “There is no Muslim who recites the Talbiyah but whatever is to his right and to his left of stones, rocks and clods (lumps of earth or clay) recites it with him, to the furthest point to the east and the west – meaning from his right and his left.” [At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Khuzaymah, and al-Bayhaqi].

Therefore, while you recite, use your imagination and feel the echo in the valleys, mountains, and plains of everything around you repeating it.  Feel the partnership of all of the creation around you joining you as recite the Talbiyah, Allahu Akbar!

Six parts of the Talbiyah

Let us look at each of these parts one by one, as explained by different scholars.

1. Labbayka Allahumma labbayk
Here I am, O Allah! Here I am

“Here I am” is repeated to show that the response is lasting and ongoing. This is the response to the call of Allah [swt], given by Ibrahim (as), as mentioned in Al-Quran:  “And proclaim the pilgrimage among men: they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways.” [Al-Hajj 22:27]

Labbayk.. Labbayk; this repetition also means, I submit and submit again. I will always be in submission to You O Allah!
‘Labba bil-makan’ in Arabic means staying in one place, clinging to it. Therefore Labbayk means “I am persisting in obeying You, O Allah!  I will stick to Your obedience and submission.”

“Labbayk (Here I am at Your service)” is said to a person whom one loves and respects.  Therefore, your statement along with repetitions expresses Your love for Allah [swt].  Other meanings of this word are also reported by scholars.

2.  Labbayka la shareeka laka labbayk
Here I am, You have no partner, here I am

This part emphasizes your eagerness to be free from Shirk (associating partners with Allah [swt]).  Shirk is such a dangerous crime that Allah [swt] will never forgive it.

The feelings that one can have as we say it are:
-O Allah! I am only for You!
-I have no other intention except to please You because there is no partner to You.
Of course, you can think of many more dimensions in this regard.

3. Innal-hamda
Verily all praise and thanks belong to You

Hamd means praise and thanks.  When it comes to praise, you can think of a number of things.  Allah [swt] has more than 99 Names and for each of His names, you can praise Him.  So right there you have 99 ways to praise Him!  For example, O Allah! You are the best in showing intense mercy (Ar-Rahman), the best in showing continuous mercy (Ar-Raheem), the best Creator (Al-Khaliq), and so on.

When it comes to thanking Allah, the list can be endless here too.  Some of these are mentioned in the blessings below.

4. Wan-ni`mata 
Verily, all blessings belong to You

You can first start acknowledging His blessings on you for giving you the opportunity to perform Hajj or Umrah.  Furthermore, the list can be; ‘Thank You, O Allah for Your countless blessings as:
– performing Hajj or Umrah in spite of all my sins and deficiencies
-giving me enough money to afford it
-keeping me healthy, keeping me free from any constraints or pressures
-helping me plan for it, providing me facilities of travel and stay
-providing me with safe transport and safe passage
-giving me the tongue and the voice to thank You
-giving me a chance to thank You with my heart

In addition to thanking Allah [swt] for giving the opportunity to perform Hajj or Umrah, you can start thanking for everything you have in terms of:
-your sound body parts like eyes, ears, nose, etc;
-mother, father, brothers and sisters, your spouse, children, teachers, colleagues, friends;
-safe house, safe country, safe earth, safe solar system, safe universe, etc;
– major blessings such as Islam, Iman, being born in the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad [pbuh], giving the understanding of Islam, and so on.
– at the end, don’t forget to thank Allah for giving an opportunity to thank Him, with sincere realization that our thanks are full of deficiencies.

This style of praise and thanking can also be repeated after every Salah when you repeat 33 times Alhamdulillah!

5. Laka wal-mulk
Verily, all sovereignty belongs to You

Not only the blessings are Yours but the power, the kingdom, the sovereignty, the dominion all belongs to You alone. That is true for:
-This country
-This earth along with all its powers and richness
-The wind, the rains, the light, and the darkness
-The moon, the sun, the stars, the quasars, the black holes, the galaxies
– The creatures on earth and the sea and those in the skies; the humans, jinns and angels

O Allah! You have absolute, full, complete control and power on everything.

6.  La shareeka lak
You have no partner

No partner to You in praise, thankfulness, and in sovereignty.  Everything that I have is only from You.  I will always remain Your and only Your slave.  I will not:

-Have any hopes in anyone other than You
-Be afraid of none other than You
-Ask anyone other than You
-Be impressed by anyone other than You
-Love anyone more than You.

The beauty of being One

You can keep reflecting on these different meanings every time you say the six parts.  Make sure to ask Allah [swt] to help you go deeper in the meanings of the Talbiyah as you repeat it again and again.

‘La shareeka lak’ (You have no partner) is repeated in the first and in the last part of the Talbiyah.  Let us say it realizing the danger of shirk.  Let us beg Allah [swt] to make us true in Tawheed (oneness of Allah).

I still remember a young man walking alone on his way from Arafat to Mina with his eyes focused on the road close to his feet repeating the Talbiyah out loud with love and passion.  He was not bothered at all with what was going on around him.  It was him and his Creator and I can still feel the love and the warmth in his recitation.  I wish and pray all of us could say the Talbiyah with this warmth, or even better.

Proclaim your passion!

Some people unnecessarily feel shy to say the Talbiyah loud; it is Shaytan who whispers to you to avoid saying it loudly.  You are there in Hajj or Umrah in front of Allah [swt].  Allah blessed you with that huge award of coming to His House.  Don’t waste this huge opportunity of saying it loudly.

You say it slow and you perhaps will miss the witness of and the interaction with those stones, rocks and clods around you because they did not hear you!  Don’t forget, these are the stones, rocks, and clods of Makkah, the best of the lands!  However, for women, they should not raise their voice above what is needed to hear themselves.

May Allah make your Hajj mabroor and your Umrah maqbool.  Please remember us in your prayers.

With best wishes and prayers,
Dr. Abdulazeez Abdulraheem

PS: Do you want to understand the Quran, but you are ‘too busy’? Or you think Quran is difficult to learn? Then this is the perfect course for you. Check it out here!

21 Comments

  1. farhat tahir October 31, 2012 Reply

    an excellent description! so meaningful it is!

  2. zoya November 1, 2012 Reply

    plz keep this beautifull work going on…may Allah help u all in every step …ameen
    thanks for sharing the meaning of Talbiyah

  3. marquadri November 7, 2012 Reply

    Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu hu.Subhanallah,Alhamdulillah,Lailaaha il lallah Allahu Akbar.Exellent work keep it up.Allah please help them&all the people who works forthe deen.from all angles protect them from evil people ,evil thought &all evil things.Ameen Ameen Ameen &Ameen.Allahu hafiz.

  4. zohra November 8, 2012 Reply

    Assalam Alaikum,

    My mind went back to my Hajj in 2006, and all the beautiful memories of reciting the Talbiyah with my group conjured up in my memory, bringing tears to my eyes. I remember I would simply choke on the words: Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk …. such powerful words telling Allah that we have left everything in the world to be there for Him. May Allah accept our Hajj and forgive us our mistakes ….

  5. Mohammed November 8, 2012 Reply

    Alhumdulillah, Br Abdul Aziz is doing a marvelous job, May Allah(swt) accepts and grant the Brother Ajar E Azeem, Ammen Ya Rabbul Aalameen.

  6. Femina Beegum S November 8, 2012 Reply

    Yaa Allaah!
    Let our heart melt in Your Love!
    Let our tears roll for Your Love!

  7. Mrs. Zakriya November 8, 2012 Reply

    Assalamualikum wa rahmatuallahi wa barkatahu,
    MashaAllah, reading ur article wished to get the benefit of Hajj as soon as Allah (swt) wills. Do pray for all of us. InshaAllah may every Muslim be able to perform Hajj successfully, Ameen.

  8. Abdul Qudoos Khan November 8, 2012 Reply

    Assalamualikum wa rahmatuallahi wa barkatahu,

    good work, May Allah bless you people. every time i recite this Talbiyah i can feel some thing and tears can in my eyes and that feeling is unique, One day ill be there for Hajj or Umrah Inshahallah. And because of you people, we get opportunity to experience what you have experience there by reading your post. May Allah bless you all Ameen Do remember me in your prayer! Fe amanillah.

  9. farina November 13, 2012 Reply

    ai hamdulilla I have repeated the talbiya so many times whenI performed haj many years ago but I never never ever reflected on its meaning till I read your description and explanation about it oh its so wonderful I cant express my feelings vividly oh I pray Allah gives me another opportunity to perform haj and to repeat these words with so much feeling and understanding….. please keep up your good work may almighty Allah bless and guide us all ameen…

  10. Mumtaz Raffi March 30, 2013 Reply

    Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu Masha Allah! This article was so beautiful and inspiring! My heart is yearning to go to Makkah more than ever now! I hope Almighty Allah gives me the opportunity to go for Hajj and Umrah really soon..Insha Allah! This site is truly a blessing from Almighty Allah!

  11. Babatunde Badrudeen November 19, 2013 Reply

    Alhamdullilahi for this. May Almighty Allah grant you more knowledge and wisdom.

  12. alnajm93 April 9, 2014 Reply

    Assalamu Alaykum, JazakAllahu Khairan for this. I am going Umrah tomorrow InshaAllah and this has helped me understand the talbiya in more depth. May Allah accept your work brother.

  13. Mohammed Badruddoza August 12, 2014 Reply

    Can anyone say Talbya who are not in Hajj ? i.e, from homeland.

  14. juvi August 23, 2014 Reply

    Masha Allah…soo impressed with the ellaborate explanation given above…may The Almighty Allah favour you n reward you for your noble service….

  15. Zamrud September 20, 2015 Reply

    Assalamualikum wa rahmatuallahi wa barkatahu,

    Talbiyah explained in a very simple way, let Allah SWT grant you the sawab and expect more and more such good work from Understand Quran Academy. Jazak Allahu Khairan.

  16. YAQOOB January 1, 2016 Reply

    Jazak Allah,Excellent,May Allah (SWT)Reward you the best in this world and Hereafter

    Ameen Ya Rabul Alameen,

  17. Faraz Ahmed Qureshi July 30, 2017 Reply

    Subhan Allah! May Allah bless you my dear.
    Assalamualaikum!

    • Author
      UQA_S July 31, 2017 Reply

      Aameenn, JazakAllahu Khair help us spread this noble work by sharing in your circles.

  18. Noor Khan August 17, 2017 Reply

    Thank you so much. This was so helpful. May Allah grant you Jannatul Firdous .

    • Author
      UQA_S August 19, 2017 Reply

      JazakAllahu Khair for your feedback, help us spread this noble work by sharing in your circles.

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