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Muslim Advice
Muslim Advice

What is Umrah?

Performing Umrah is neither imperative nor obligatory, but it is a privilege and performing it even once in a lifetime can bring a pilgrim great rewards.
Though a smaller scale pilgrimage than Hajj, Umrah is just as sacred and just as impressive. It is also a more flexible option for those struggling with certain commitments and time or financial constraints.
Unlike Hajj, you don't have a fixed time or date by which you have to perform Umrah. You can complete it at any time of year, either in conjunction with Hajj (Umrat al-tammatu) or independent of it (al-Umrat al mufradah).
However, if you want to complete Umrah in its own right, you will need to wait for Hajj is over.
There are certain rites to perform as part of Umrah, such as entering a state of Ihram, completing Tawaf of Ka'bah, and Sa'yee between the hills of Safa and Marwah. However, you don't have to visit Mina, Arafat or Muzdalifa as you do in Hajj, and you don't have to practice Qurbani.


Definition: Umrah is sometimes known as the "lesser pilgrimage," in comparison to the annual Hajj pilgrimage of Islam. It is a visit one makes to the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, outside of the designated Hajj pilgrimage dates. The word "umrah" means to visit an important place.
During the Umrah, some of the same pilgrimage rites are performed:
• Wearing of the ihram
• Tawaf - walking seven times around the Ka'aba
• Sa'y - Running between the hills of Safa and Marwa
• Shaving or clipping of the hair
However, the other steps of Hajj are not done during Umrah. Therefore, performing Umrah does not meet the requirements of Hajj and doesn't replace one's obligation to perform Hajj. The Umrah is recommended but not required in Islam.

What is Umrah?

In Arabic, the word ‘Umrah is derived from I‘timaar whichmeans a visit. However, ‘Umrahin Islamic terminology, meanspaying a visit to Ka’bah,performing Tawaaf(circumambulation) around it, walking between Safaa andMarwah seven times. Aperformer of ‘Umrah puts off hisIhraam by having his hair shaved or cut. ‘Umrah can beperformed along with Hajj and in other days as well.
‘Umrah can be performedduring anytime in the year, there is no fixed time for ‘Umrah.
The Pillars of `Umrah are four:
a) Ihraam: which is assumed at the Meeqaat.
b) Tawaaf: around the House.
c) Sa'y: walking between As-Safaa and Al-Marwah, which consists of sevencircuits.
d) Tahal-lul: which means coming out of the state of Ihraam; becoming lawful what was previously prohibited during Ihraam.
During ‘Umrah, pilgrims do not go to 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.

Towards an Accepted Hajj

Allah has assigned a great reward for Hajj Mabrur, as evidenced by the saying of the Messenger (peace be upon him) "There is no reward for Hajj Mabrur except Paradise." (1)

The meaning of birr (from which the word "Mabrur" is derived) involves the following two:

Good behavior towards people, fulfilling ones duties towards others and giving them their rights. In the Hadith, "Al Birr is good behavior." (3) In the Musnad, from Jabir, Marfu` narration states, "They said: 'What makes Hajj Mabrur, O Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him)?' He said, 'providing food to people and spreading (the greeting of) salam'." (4)

Doing much worship and the trait of Taqwa, as opposed to sinfulness. Allah says,

Do you order people towards al-birr (righteousness) while you forget (it) yourselves?
[Noble Quran 2:44]

Ihram Clothing for Hajj--the Muslim Pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca)

The hajj is the annual pilgrimage to the Saudi Arabian city of Makka (often spelled Mecca), which occurs between the 7th and 12th (or sometimes the 13th) of Dhu al-Hijjah--the last month of the Islamic calendar. The comparable dates for the hajj in the Gregorian calendar change from year to year because the Islamic calendar is shorter than the Gregorian. It's a mandatory duty for all Muslims to complete the pilgrimage once in their lifetime, provided they are physically and financially able to do so.
The hajj is the single largest annual gathering of human beings on earth, and there are many holy rituals associated with the pilgrimage--including how one dresses to complete the hajj. For a pilgrim traveling to Makka for the hajj, at a point about ten km (six miles) from the city, he or she pauses to change into special clothes that symbolize an attitude of purification and humbleness.

First Ten Days of Dhul Hijjah: Days of Virtue And Righteous Deeds

Ibn 'Abbas says about the verse, "Remember Allah during the well known days," that it refers to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. [This is related by al-Bukhari]

Allah swears an oath by them, and swearing an oath by something is indicative of its importance and great benefit. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"By the dawn; by the 10 nights"

[Noble Quran 89:1-2]

Ibn Abbas, Ibn al-Zubayr, Mujahid and others of the earlier and later generations said that this refers to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Ibn Kathir said: "This is the correct opinion." [Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 8/413]

A Woman's Guide To Hajj


All praise is due to Allah. We praise Him, seek His help, and ask His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil of our souls, and the adverse consequences of our deeds. Whoever Allah guides, there is none that can misguide him. And whoever He misguides, then none can guide him aright.

I bear witness that there is no deity that is worthy of worship except for Allah; He is alone, having no partners. And I bear witness and testify that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is His perfect worshipper and messenger.

The ‘Ihram

Mawaqit al-'Ihram
The ihram is compulsory for all the various kinds of Hajj as well as' ‘Umrah, and is regarded as their basic element (rukn) by the Imamiyyah, and as obligatory by other schools. All the five schools agree that the miqat of the people of alMadinah from where they assume ihram is Masjid al-Shajarah, also known as Dhu al-Hulayfah;1 for the pilgrims of alSham (which includes the Syrians, the Lebanese, the Palestinians and the Jordanians, noting further that the routes have changed from what they used to be in the past), Morocco and Egypt the miqat is alJuhfah;2 for the pilgrims of Iraq, it is al-’Aqiq;3 for those from Yemen and others who take the same route, it is Yalamlam. 4

Pilgrims inject 1bn Saudi riyals into textiles market during hajj

The volume of pilgrims’ spending on clothes purchases and fabrics
The Chairman of the ready-made Clothes and Textiles Committee in Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) Muhammad Al-Shehri has estimated the volume of pilgrims’ spending during the current hajj season to purchase clothes and fabrics at over 1 billion Saudi riyals.
This was injected in the clothes market in Saudi Arabia, the volume of whose investments are estimated at SR10 billion.
Al-Shehri said the pilgrims will spend about SR1 billion during the Tashreeq days in Makkah, Jeddah and Madina.
He announced a drop in the percentage of counterfeit textiles and clothes that violate the specifications and standards in the Saudi market by 70 percent during the current hajj season due to the rectification campaigns that the market witnessed before the Haj period.

What it means to assume a state of ‘Ihram’ during hajj

The first step for any pilgrim wishing to perform hajj is to enter a state of Ihram, which is a special state of purity. (File photo: Reuters)
Each year millions of Muslims perform the hajj pilgrimage, convening in the holy city of Makkah, in modern day Saudi Arabia, to enact rites laid down in Islam’s holy book, the Quran.
The first step for any pilgrim wishing to perform hajj is to enter a state of Ihram, believed to be a special state of spiritual purity.
Men must don a distinctive outfit consisting of two pieces of white, unsown, cloth. One of the pieces is wrapped around his midriff to cover his lower body, while the other is draped around his shoulders to cover his upper body.
Women must cover their bodies in a loose fitting outfit and cover their hair. However, they are not permitted to cover their faces.
It is not just about being physically prepared; pilgrims must complete their Ihram by reciting an intention to perform hajj called the Talabiya.


Hajj, also spelled ḥadjdj or hadj, in Islam, the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, which every adult Muslim must make at least once in his or her lifetime. The hajj is the fifth of the fundamental Muslim practices and institutions known as the Five Pillars of Islam. The pilgrimage rite begins on the 7th day of Dhū al-Ḥijjah (the last month of the Islamic
The hajj is incumbent on all Muslims who are physically and financially able to make the pilgrimage, but only if their absence will not place hardships on their family. A person may perform the hajj by proxy, appointing a relative or friend going on the pilgrimage to “stand in” for him or her.
The pattern of pilgrimage rites was established by the Prophet Muhammad, but variations have arisen in it, and the stringent formal itinerary is not strictly adhered to by the mass of pilgrims, who frequently visit the various Meccan sites out of their proper order.

What is Hajj?

The Hajj, sometimes spelt Haj, is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims are expected to make at least once in their lifetime. The word Hajj is an Arabic word, meaning ‘to intend a journey’.
Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam – the others are shahadah (declaration of faith); salat (daily prayer); zakat (giving of alms); sawm (fasting in Ramadan).
Who should go on the Hajj?
It is mandatory for Muslim adults to go on Hajj at least once in their lifetime. They must be of sound mind and physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey. Those who complete the pilgrimage can add the title Hajji to their names.
When is Hajj?
The pilgrimage must take place during the month of Dhu al Hijja, the last month of the Islamic calendar. The rites of Hajj are performed from the 8th to the 12th of Dhu al Hijjah.

Guide to going to Mecca

It's best to travel light, so only take essentials.
Many pilgrims fly to Jeddah, and then travel to Mecca by bus.
Once you get to Mecca, there are two rituals which you can perform; the lesser pilgrimage or Umra, and the main pilgrimage or Hajj.
The Umra is an extra, optional pilgrimage and does not count as the once-in-a-lifetime Hajj. Although it includes some of the rituals of the Hajj, they are shortened and there are fewer of them.
Most pilgrims who come for the Hajj arrive a few days before it actually starts and perform Umra first. Combining the Hajj with the Umrah is called a Hajji-Tamattu.
Being pure
To carry out the pilgrimage rituals you need to be in a state of Ihram, which is a special state of ritual purity.
You do this by making a statement of intention, wearing special white clothes (which are also called ihram) and obeying the regulations below.
The person on the Hajj may not:
• Engage in marital relations
• Shave or cut their nails

Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca

Once a year, Muslims of every ethnic group, colour, social status, and culture gather together in Mecca and stand before the Kaaba praising Allah together.
It is a ritual that is designed to promote the bonds of Islamic brotherhood and sisterhood by showing that everyone is equal in the eyes of Allah.
The Hajj makes Muslims feel real importance of life here on earth, and the afterlife, by stripping away all markers of social status, wealth, and pride. In the Hajj all are truly equal.
The Hajjis or pilgrims wear simple white clothes called Ihram. During the Hajj the Pilgrims perform acts of worship and they renew their sense of purpose in the world.
Mecca is a place that is holy to all Muslims. It is so holy that no non-Muslim is allowed to enter.

Rulings of Wuquf in Arafat and Mash’ar

Article 270
As it has been said before, each of the Wuqufs in “Arafat’ and “Mash'ar” are of two kinds:
1- Voluntary Wuquf 2- Emergency Wuquf
“Voluntary Wuquf of Arafat” is from about the noon until the sunset.
“Emergency Wuquf of Arafat” is some time, even a short time, of the night of the Eid.
“Voluntary Wuquf of Mash'ar” is from the dawn until the sunrise of the day of the Eid.
“Emergency Wuquf of Mash'ar” is from the sunrise until the noon of the day of the Eid.
Albeit “Mash'ar’ has another emergency Wuquf which is for women and weak and ill persons and it is staying a part of the night of Eid and departing there for Mena.Here, we explain the rulings of persons who perceive all of these kinds of Wuqufs or some of them.
1- If a person performs both Wuqufs in Arafat and Mash'ar voluntarily (which is from the noon until the sunset of the day of Arafa in Arafat, and from the dawn until the sunrise in Mash'ar al-Haraam), surely his/her Hajj is correct.

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