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Step By Step Guide To Umrah

Pilgrims in all white clothes circumambulating around Mecca.
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The people who come to perform Hajj or Umrah are the guests of Allah because they visit His House on His Call; therefore, Allah grants them what they ask for“. – Umrah as described by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Hands folded in prayer towards Kabbah, the holiest site in Islam.

In the Arabic language, the word ‘Umrah is derived from I‘timaar which means ‘a visit’. Umrah in Islamic terminology refers to paying a visit to Ka’bah, performing Tawaaf (circumambulation) around it, and walking between Safaa and Marwah seven times. Umrah is generally referred to as a mini Hajj that can be performed at any time of the year. It can be performed along with Hajj and in the month of Ramadhan as well.

Now that you know a little bit about Umrah, lets dive deeper with our mini guide to understand Umrah step by step.

Important pointers for Umrah:

  • Umrah is Sunnat Mu’akidah: Umrah is neither imperative (Fard) nor obligatory (wajib), but performing Umrah once in a lifetime is Sunnat Mu’akidah. However, it can be performed once or on multiple occasions.
  • No Fixed Time: There is no fixed month, day or time for Umrah as it is for Hajj. It can be performed any time of the year.
  • The Miqat for Umrah: The pilgrim makes the intention at the Meeqaat to begin the rites of ‘Umrah by entering the state of Ihraam. So, the first pillar of `Umrah is the Ihraam.

How to do Umrah (The Rites of Umrah):

  • Entering the state of Ihram
  • Tawaf of Ka’bah
  • Sa’yee between the hills of Safa and Marwah – Walking back and forth between the hills of Safa and Marwah situated to the south and north of Ka’bah respectively.
  • Shaving or clipping of the hair.

The holiest mosque in Islam captured in all its glory.

Difference between Hajj and Umrah

Umrah and Hajj are two types of pilgrimages that Muslims to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. Umrah is considered a small or minor pilgrimage while hajj is the obligatory (major pilgrimage) in Islam.

The basic differences between Hajj and Umrah:

  1. Hajj and Umrah are both Islamic pilgrimages. The two differ based on the level of importance, method of observance, duration, rituals involved and method of practice.
  2. Hajj is the major pilgrimage, as compared to Umrah. Hajj is obligatory to perform at-least once in a lifetime, while Umrah is considered Sunnat Mu’akidah.
  3. Hajj has to be performed in the designated Islamic months, whereas Umrah can be performed at any time of the year.
  4. Hajj is one of the 5 core pillars of Islam but Umrah is not.
  5. Hajj can be performed with fellow pilgrims, while Umrah can be a highly individualized ritual.
  6. Hajj involves more rituals and is of longer duration while Umrah can be performed in a few hours, too.
  7. During ‘Umrah, pilgrims do not visit Minaa, ‘Arafaat and Muzdalifah or throw pebbles on the Jamrahs (stone pillars representing devils) or offer animal sacrifice. These rites are only performed during Hajj.