Virtues of Umrah

In Arabic, Umrah means "to visit a populated place�. Umrah is also called Hajj Al-Asghar i.e. "the small Hajj�. It is Sunnat Al-Muakkada h to perform Umrah once in a lifetime. Umrah can be performed throughout the year except during the five days of Hajj.

And Accomplish the Hajj and Umrah for Allah. (The Holy Quran 2:196)

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (r.a.) narrated that Prophet Muhammad ( Pbuh) said Umrah becomes an atonement for the sins between one and the next Umrah. (Bukhari, Muslim)
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas (r.a.) narrated that Prophet Muhammad ( Pbuh) said that performing Umrah in Ramzan is equivalent to Hajj. (Bukhari, Muslim)

Note: Pilgrims who intend to perform umrah of Hajj Al-Tamattu should complete it before 8thZul-Hijjah â?? the twelfth month of Islamic calendar.

Types of Umrah

There are two types of Umrah, depending on whether one wishes to combine the Umrah with Hajj.

 There is no difference in the process of Umrah Al-Mufradah and Umrah Al-Tamattu. However, Umrah Al-Mufradah is performed throughout the year  except for the days of Hajj whereas Umrah Al-Tamattu is performed only during the days of Hajj and that too before the commencement of Hajj rituals i.e. before 8th Zul-Hijjah.

4Hajj Al-Tamattu' involves performing Umrah and then Hajj, with one Ihram for each. This form of Hajj is considered the best of the three forms of Hajj. It is the one that the Prophet Muhammad ( Pbuh) urged his followers to perform and is the one adopted by most pilgrims from overseas. Please refer the Hajj Companion booklet for further details. 

 Fard & Wajib Acts of Umrah 

I. There are two acts that are Fardh in Umrah

  • Intention/Niyyah: Assume the Ihram clothing, make  intention and recite Talbiyah.
  • Perform Tawaf of Holy Kaâ??ba.

II. And there are two acts that are Wajib in Umrah

  • Perform Saâ??ee between Safa and Marwah Hills.
  • Halq i.e. shaving head or Qasr i.e. trimming/cutting hair equally on all sides.

Note: If a  fardh is missed,  umrah is not accepted whereas if a wajib is missed, umrah can be completed by performing a  damm (penalty) as an expiation ( kaffarah) for the mistake.

When  some one decides to perform Umrah, then they should assume the Ihram of Umrah before entering the Miqat. If one is  travelling by plane and is not certain about the exact time when one will pass the Miqat or one fears that one may pass over it without knowing, then it is better to wear the Ihram before boarding the plane.

Please note that Ihram is not simply the act of wearing two towels; it is a state or condition in which a Pilgrim enters and â?? immediately â?? certain rules get imposed on him/her.

Prohibitions, in the state of Ihram.

  • Clipping (trimming) the nails.
  • Removing hair (even unintentionally).
  • Using fragrance; Attar, Deodorant, Perfume, Scent, Soap, Toothpaste etc. Do not even touch Hajr  Al-Aswad ,  Multazam , Cover of Kaâ??ba because they are perfumed.
  • Covering the face or head; be careful not to cover them while sleeping (women, however, should cover their head. Women are allowed to use a cap-like headgear which will keep face-veil away from the face, yet keep the face concealed from the gazes of  non mahram.)
  • Do not enter into sexual relations with your spouse. Avoid suggestive and provocative talk or gestures and remain focused on Hajj.
  • Men should not wear sewn garments and footwear that covers the upper section of the foot.
  • Do not kill an animal of any kind for any reason, unless it poses a danger to you and to the others.

Penalty or Damm

Penalty or Damm becomes compulsory only for breaking Ihram rules or for omitting a Wajib act. There are varying degrees of penalties for various contraventions. Each of the above prohibitions has to be expiated by means of offering a  damm. For details, Please refer Masaâ??il books or Scholars

Some suggestions to take note of, while beginning the pilgrimage

  • Intention/Niyyah, which is an obligation, can be made at home or during the journey, but care must be taken to follow the acts that comprise of "intentionâ? before crossing the boundaries of Miqat. (The details of the Miqat area have been discussed in the preceding section, 5).
  • When you leave your house, recite the following Duâ??a Transliteration: Bismillahi Tawakkaltu Alallah In the Name of Allah, I have placed my trust in Allah.
  • On the eve of the journey, it is recommended to make lots of repentance for all the misdeeds so you travel not just with clean clothes but also a clean heart.
  • Join your group at their specified time if you are  travelling with them.
  • As you board the Plane, recite the following Duâ??a: Transliteration: Subhanallazi Sakkharalana Haza Wama Kunna Lahu Mukhrineen Wa Inna Ila Rabbina Lamunkhalibun Glory be to the one who has subjugated this for us whereas we were not able to subjugate it on our own. And we will certainly be returning to our Lord. [Al-Quran]
  • For journey by water, following Duâ??a should be recited Transliteration: Bismillahi Majraiha Wamursaha Inna Rabbi Laghafoorurraheem He (NÅ«H) said, "Embark it. With the name of  Allah it sails and anchors. Surely, my Lord is Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful. [Al-Quran 11:41]
  • Make sure the food served to you on the plane is indeed Halal.
  • Be careful about the times of Salah during the flight, so you donâ??t miss the prayers, especially if you are flying eastward to reach Makkah Al-Mukarramah.
  • Please uphold the virtues of Sabr (patience) and Taqwa (abstinence from sin) during this journey by safeguarding gaze, thoughts and forgiving others for any mistakes.
  • Please value time. Thatâ??s the most important of all  advices one can follow. Scheduling time to avoid wastage, properly allocating it according to the priority of each â?? ibadah and trying to gain maximum virtues out of the trip is very important.
  • Try your best to serve, assist and  honour fellow Hajis. Make Salaam, smile at fellow hajis, shake hands and try to be of help to people, whenever possible.