Umrah (Arabic: عمرة), often known as the “lesser” or “small” pilgrimage, entails performing several rituals within the boundaries of Masjid al-Haram in Makkah. It has four key components and can be used at any time of the year.
Linguistically, Umrah means to visit a particular place. According to Shariah, Umrah consists of passing the Miqat in Ihram, performing Tawaf of the Kaaba, performing Sa’i of Safa and Marwa, and performing Halq (shaving) or Taqsir (hair shortening).
Umrah can be performed at any time of year, but it is not recommended to perform the pilgrimage during Hajj, which takes place between the 9th and 13th of Dhul Hijjah. The rites performed during Umrah are also an integral part of Hajj.
During his lifetime, the Prophet ﷺ performed Umrah four times. There is disagreement among the four Sunni schools of thought about whether performing Umrah at least once in a person’s lifetime is mandatory.
Umrah is not Fardh (obligatory) according to the Hanafi and Maliki schools of thought but is considered a Sunnah Mu’akkadah (emphasised Sunnah). The performance of Umrah, on the other hand, is considered Fardh by the Shafi’i and Hanbali schools of thought, just like Hajj.
Virtues/Benefits of Umrah- the reward which we can earn:
It needs desire, love, thankfulness, and intensity to perform umrah in order to receive the true benefits from Allah (SWT).
I’ve discussed the advantages in this part to encourage Muslims to ask Allah for one more chance to complete umrah. Although Umrah is not required for those who adhere to the Hanafi and Maliki schools of thought, there is still tremendous benefit and blessing in performing it, as mentioned in the Hadiths below:
Visitor to Allah House:
You did read that correctly. You will be treated as Allah’s (SWT) guest if you are in Makkah to conduct Umrah. Can you believe it! The host is Allah (SWT), who created the entire universe. (Subhanallah)
Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said: The three guests of Allah are the Ghazi (the warrior who engages in Jihad), the Hajj (the pilgrim who does Hajj), and the Mu’tamir (the pilgrim who engages in Umrah), according to Abu Hurairah (RA). – Hadith No. 2626, Sunan An-Nasa’i, Vol. 3: Book of the Hajj Rituals
You will only receive this distinction of becoming Allah’s guest if you perform Umrah/Hajj. This is a wonderful feature that anyone can request, in my opinion.
- The opportunity to erase all prior sins:
Sins accumulate in our basket because it is human nature to make mistakes. But by giving us the opportunity to conduct Umrah, Allah (SWT) has provided us a chance to empty the basket. Only by completing the Umrah with sincerity and love will you be able to readily atone for all your sins. We are aware that if one begs, Allah (SWT) will pardon all sins, and that the Umrah is the greatest means to do so.
According to Abu Hurairah RA
Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, ‘(The performance of) Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed (between it and the previous one). And the reward of Hajj Mabrur (the one accepted by Allah) is nothing except Paradise.’
[Narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari]
- Helps in building a stronger Imaan:
If we don’t follow the rules of Islam, our imaan slowly deteriorates over time. The finest way to strengthen imaan is to conduct umrah with sincere and righteous intent. If you can complete the umrah by performing all the procedures flawlessly, you will reserve a seat which is closer to Allah (SWT). As a result, you will experience an increase in imaan and a calmer heart than previously.
- Reduces poverty:
Abdullah ibn Abbas RA narrated that: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘Perform Hajj and Umrah consecutively; for they remove poverty and sin as the furnace removes impurity from iron.’
Narrated in Sunan al-Nasa’i
Yes, undertaking Umrah is among the highest rewards Allah (SWT) can give. Nobody wants to live in poverty, so why take the danger if you can worship Allah and end this undesirable situation? Every Muslim should ask Allah (SWT) for the chance to conduct Umrah just once in their lives.
Even if you don’t become wealthy, you will experience barakah in every aspect of your life.
- Honor similar to Jihad:
Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) is reported to have said, “Jihad of the old, the young, the feeble, and the ladies is Hajj and Umrah,” according to Abu Hurairah (RA).
Every Muslim understands the significance of jihad and prays to Allah for martyrdom. Even if not, everyone is fortunate enough to travel to fight in battle, if you can perform umrah flawlessly, you will still receive the same blessings. So why are you still waiting? To receive the greatest reward of your life, try to complete umrah.
- Unity among People:
Millions of Muslims congregate in Makkah each year to do umrah. People congregate in this one location in front of the Kabah, from all over the world. By serving as a reminder that all Muslims are brothers, this gathering strengthens the community and tolerance among all Muslims.
- Importance of Umrah during Ramadan:
You won’t be able to control yourself if you read the hadith on umrah during Ramadan.
Abdullah ibn Abbas RA who said:
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said to a woman from among the Ansar: Ibn ‘Abbas mentioned her name, but I forgot it – “What kept you from performing Hajj with us?” She said: We only have two camels and the father of her son, and her son had gone for Hajj on one camel, and he left us the other camel so that we could carry water on it. He replied then: ‘When it is Ramadan, perform Umrah then, for Umrah during it is equivalent to Hajj.’
Narrated in Sunan an-Nasa’i
The significance of the umrah is obviously more, particularly during Ramadan.
Umrah is of two types:
It is crucial for aspiring pilgrims to understand the distinction between two types of Umrah from the perspectives of timing, ceremonies, and rewards.
Umrah ul-Mufradah: The Umrah-ul-Mufradah is separate from the Hajj. The Hajj period is the only time of the year where it cannot be conducted because it is a voluntary pilgrimage. This Umrah can be performed at any time of the year, including during Ramadan.
Umrah-al-Tammatu: In the month of Zil-Hajj, this kind of Umrah is done alongside Hajj. It can only be done during Hajj, but before the ceremonies begin. The fact that people can execute the Hajj and Umrah in the same month or at the same time, without having to set up separate schedules for each pilgrimage, is convenient to the majority of Muslims.
In order to perform Umrah, one must fulfil a variety of requirements. The prerequisites for undertaking the Hajj are the same as these:
Muslim- You must practice Islam.
Mentally stable- One should be mentally healthy and fully in control of one’s mental faculties.
Financially capable – You must be able to afford the costs of travel, lodging, and any other expenses incurred during your Umrah. Additionally, you need to budget for enough expenses to take care of your dependents while you’re gone. Being debt-free is not a requirement, however prior to doing Umrah, preparations should be made to pay off any outstanding debts.
Mahram (for females)- A mahram is a family member with whom marriage is considered permanently forbidden in Islam (haram). A female should be accompanied by a male guardian to perform Umrah.