Talbīya (Arabic:التلبية) is one of the obligatory acts of ihram (entering the sacred state) in hajj and 'umra and consists of some specific phrases that include the Arabic word "Labbayk" (لَبَّیك). By saying talbiya one enters the state of ihram and should refrain from the prohibited acts during ihram. "Labbayk" in hajj is a response to the call of Allah and a reminder that we all are His servants. Repeating talbiya in some occasions on the way from Miqat to Mecca is recommended.The most common terms of Talbiya is:
«لَبَّیكَ الّلهُمَّ لَبَّیكَ، لَبَّیكَ لاشَریكَ لَكَ لَبَّیكَ، إنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَ النِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلكَ، لاشَریكَ لَكَ لَبَّیكَ», which means "O Allah, I have come to you and I am responding your call, responding after responding. You have no partner. Verily, all praise and blessings and sovereignty is yours. You have no partner. I am responding your call.".
- 1 Terminology
- 2 History
- 3 Talbiya in Islam
- 4 Philosophy of Talbiya
- 5 Obligation of Talbiya and Validity Condition of Ihram
- 6 Phrases of Talbiya
- 7 Simultaneity of Talbiya and Ihram
- 8 Occasions in which Repeating Talbiya is Mustahab
- 9 When to Stop Reciting Talbiya
- 10 Forgetting Talbiya
- 11 Notes
- 12 References
"Talbiya" (تلبية) in Arabic is derived from "l-b-y" or "l-b-b" which means residing and staying in a place, answering, responding affirmatively and saying Labbayk; in addition, the latter also means the pure extract of something. Hence, in Arabic, intellect is called "lubb" (لُبّ) and intellectual is called " labib" (لَبيب). Accordingly, the meaning of "labbayk" (لَبّیک) in response to any caller would be: "My sincerity is yours" or "I am abiding upon your compliance."
As a jurisprudential term, "talbiya" means saying special phrases that include the word "labbayk" (which means responding to Allah's call) in the ihram of hajj and 'umra. One of the words that is closely related to talbiya is "Ihlal" which means to say talbiya loudly.
According to historical and hadith sources, angels were the first who recited labbayk around the Throne of God. It is asserted in our sources that the prophets Adam (a), Abraham (a), Noah (a), Hud (a), Salih (a), Moses (a), Jesus (a), Jonah (a) and some other Israelite prophets recited talbiya. Although there are some differences in their wording and phrasing, the word "labbayk" is found in all of them.Before Islam and during the Age of Ignorance, talbiya was distorted and got a polytheistic form. Every tribe in the Arabian Peninsula had its own talbiya, for instance the Quraysh's was:
" لَبَّیكَ الّلهُمَّ لَبَّیكَ؛ لَبَّیكَ لاشَریكَ لَكَ اِلّا شَریکٌ هُوَ لَكَ تَملِكُهُ وَ ما مَلَكَ". They also had a special talbiya for each of the well-known idols.
Talbiya in Islam
Prophet Muhammad (s) introduced this Talbiya as the accepted one in Islam:
Moreover, the Prophet (s) repeated this phrase a lot: "لَبَّیكَ ذَا المَعارِجِ لَبَّیكَ". He repeated talbiya after mounting his riding animal, while going uphill or downhill, at the end of the night, and also after performing each prayer. At the sunset, on the Day of Tarwiya (Dhul Hijja 8), the Prophet (s) ordered his companions to recite talbiya and then headed toward Mina with them while reciting talbiya.
Philosophy of Talbiya
The following are mentioned in hadiths as the philosophy of talbiya:
- Responding Allah's call.
- Responding the call of prophet Abraham (a), who called people to perform hajj upon Allah's command.
- Forgiveness of sins by talbiya.
- Deciding to talk for Allah's sake and in his obedience.
- Refraining from all sins.
It is narrated that while saying talbiya, Imam al-Sadiq's (a) mood was changed and his voice trembled. Replying the question regarding this mood change, he said, "I am afraid that Allah rejects me and says: "No labbayk and no blessing" (لالَبّیكَ و لاسَعْدَیكَ).
Obligation of Talbiya and Validity Condition of Ihram
According to majority of Shi'a jurists, for entering the state of ihram, in hajj al-tamattu', 'umrat al-tamattu', hajj al-Ifrad and al-'umrat al-mufrada, reciting talbiya once is obligatory and the validity of ihram depends on it. However, in hajj al-qiran, the pilgrim is free to choose between talbiya, Ish'ar (putting a mark on the animal for sacrifice) and Taqlid (hanging a rope on the neck of the animal camel).
After reciting talbiya in Miqat, one officially enters the state of ihram and should refrain from prohibited acts of ihram.
Shafi'i and Hanbali jurists count talbiya as recommended (but not obligatory), while Maliki jurists see it as obligatory (wajib). Hanbali jurists believe that recommended talbiya is either the intention of talbiya or reciting one of these phrases: "La Ilaha Illa Allah", "al-Hamd Li Allah, "Subhan Allah"; or even doing Taqlid.
The majority of Shi'a and Sunni jurists do not count talbiya as a Rukn (elemental part) of hajj and 'umra.
Phrases of TalbiyaAccording to majority of Shi'a faqihs, the obligatory phrases of talbiya are as follows:
"لَبَّیكَ الّلهُمَّ لَبَّیكَ، لَبَّیكَ لاشَریكَ لَكَ لَبَّیک"However, according to the majority of recent Shi'a Marja's, these phrases are obligatory:
"لَبَّیكَ الّلهُمَّ لَبَّیكَ، لَبَّیكَ إنَّ الحَمدَ وَ النِّعمَةَ لَكَ وَ المُلكَ، لاشَریكَ لَكَ لاشَریكَ لَكَ لَبَّیكَ"
It is noteworthy that some others faqihs have mentioned other phrases for talbiya.Moreover, adding other phrases that include the word "Labbayk" after the obligatory phrases is recommended, such as: لَبَّیكَ ذَا لمَعَارِجِ لَبَّیكَ، لَبَّیكَ دَاعِیاً اِلَیدار السَّلامِ لَبَّیكَ
لَبّیكَ أتَقَرَّبُ إلَیكَ بِمُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ لَبَّیكَ، لَبَّیكَ بِحَجَّةٍ وَ عُمرَهٍ لَبَّیكَ 
"لَبَّیكَ الّلهُمَّ لَبَّیكَ، لَبَّیكَ لاشَریكَ لَكَ لَبَّیكَ، إنَّ الحَمدَ وَ النِّعمَةَ لَكَ وَ المُلكَ، لاشَریكَ لَكَ" Some have counted this as unanimous.
Correct Arabic Pronunciation of Talbiya
Talbiya should be recited in correct Arabic pronunciation. However, if the pilgrim is unable to do so, there are different fatwas based on hadiths:
- Appointing a deputy for reciting talbiya;
- Reciting the translation of talbiya;
- Reciting talbiya in any possible pronunciation;
- Reciting it in any possible pronunciation, plus reciting the translation and appointing a deputy for reciting it.
However, some scholars believe that in the case of absolute inability of reciting talbiya in any possible Arabic pronunciation, the pilgrim is excused from performing hajj in that year and the pilgrim should learn the correct Arabic pronunciation for the coming year.
Simultaneity of Talbiya and Ihram
Although some jurists see that it is permissible to recite talbiya after wearing ihram outfit and its intention, many of contemporary jurists believe that talbiya must be recited simultaneously with the intention of ihram; i.e., ihram is not valid if talbiya is recited before or after the intention of ihram. Furthermore, some jurists believe that talbiya should be recited simultaneously with wearing ihram outfit.
Occasions in which Repeating Talbiya is Mustahab
According to Shi'a, Shafi'i, Hanafi and Hanbali faqihs, repeating talbiya, especially in some occasions, is mustahab. Some of these occasions are:
- At the end of the night and beginning of the day.
- At dawn (sahar).
- While going uphill or downhill.
- After performing wajib or mustahab prayers.
- When meeting other pilgrims who travel with you.
Additionally, Shi'a and Hanbali faqihs see that reciting talbiya after committing some prohibited acts during ihram - for instance looking at mirror - is recommended.
When to Stop Reciting Talbiya
Based on Shi'a jurists, it is obligatory that the pilgrim stop reciting talbiya at noon of the Day of 'Arafa. However, some jurists say that if the pilgrim is coming from Iraq, reciting should be stopped in Aqabat al-Madaniyyin, and if the pilgrim is coming from Medina, it should be stopped in Aqaba Dhi Tuwa. According to majority of Shi'a jurists, in al-'Umra al-Mufrada, if one has started the ihram (become muhrim) out of the holy site (Haram), talbiya should be stopped when one enters the holy site (Haram), but if one has become Muhrim in Mecca and in Adna l-Hill, it should be stopped when one sees Ka'ba. It is not permissible to recite talbiya while performing obligatory tawaf (circumambulation around the Ka'ba) in 'umra.
A number of Shi'a faqihs believe that if a Muhrim forgets reciting talbiya after making intention and passes Miqat, it is obligatory to return to Miqat and make it up. If it is not possible, the Muhrim must recite it at that place. Some other faqihs has joined the case of ignorance (not knowing the ruling) to the case of forgetting. They believe that if it is not possible for the pilgrim of 'umrat al-tamattu' to return back to Miqat or Adna l-Hill, his 'umra is void and he must perform hajj al-ifrad.
- labbayk allahumm-a labbayk,labbayk la sharik-a lak, illa sharikun huwa lak, tamlikuh wa ma malak
- Labbayk allahumm-a labbayk, labbayk la sharik-a lak-a labbayk, inn-a l-hamd-a wa al-ni'mat-a lak-a wa l-mulk, la sharik-a lak-a labbayk.
- Labbayk Dha l-Ma'arij Labbayk
- Arabic: "لااله الا الله"; translation: there is no God but Allah.
- Arabic: "الحمد لله"; translation: all praises belong to Allah.
- Arabic: "سبحان الله"; translation: glory be to Allah.
- Labbayk allahumm-a labbayk, labbayk la sharik-a lak-a labbayk.
- Labbayk allahumm-a labbayk, labbayk inn-a l-hamd-a wa al-ni'mat-a lak-a wa l-mulk, la sharik-a lak-a labbayk.
- Labbayk dha l-ma'arij labbayk, labbayk da'iya ila dar al-salam labbayk.
- Labbayk ataqarrab-u ilayk-a bi-Muhammad wa Al Muhammad labbayk,labbayk bi-hajja wa 'umra labbayk.
- Labbayk allahumm-a labbayk, labbayk la sharik-a lak-a labbayk, inn-a l-hamd-a wa al-ni'mat-a lak-a wa l-mulk, la sharik-a lak.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from تلبیه in Farsi WikiShia.