Introduction to Umrah
What is Umrah?
Umrah is a non-obligatory pilgrimage completed at any time of the year. The rites of Umrah take place in Masjid al Haram in Makkah.
Umrah must be done at the beginning of Hajj (Tamattu and Qiraan).
Why do Umrah?
Allah says in the Quran.
وَأَتِمُّوا الْحَجَّ وَالْعُمْرَةَ لِلَّهِ
And complete the Hajj and Umrah for Allah
Umrah is also a means of being forgiven by Allah. The Prophet ﷺ says:
“The performance of Umrah is expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous ones. And the reward for Hajj Mabrur (pilgrimage accepted by Allah) is nothing but Paradise.”(Bukhari)
Also the Messenger of Allah ﷺ encouraged Muslims to do Umrah. It was narrated on the authority of Jabir رضي الله عنه that a Bedouin asked the Messenger of Allah ﷺ:
“Inform me about the Umrah, is it obligatory?”
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ replied:
“No but if you do it, it will be better for you”(Ahmad)
What does Umrah entail?
Umrah is done at any time of the year. A pilgrim will enter the state of Ihram as they approach Makkah and stay in Ihram until they complete the rites of Umrah which are:
- Tawaaf (circumambulating the Kaaba) 7 times
- Sa'ee (Walk between Safa and Marwa) 7 times
- Cut or shave their head of hair
We will go into the full details of Umrah in the later sections.