Umrah is a non-mandatory Islamic pilgrimage performed by Muslims across the globe. It can be performed anytime during the year unlike the annual pilgrimage of Haj. Millions of Muslims from around the world with varied backgrounds converge in Mecca’s Epicenter known as the Holy Kaaba.
Prior to performing an Umrah ritual, the Muslims need to consult a complete Umrah guide, covering all the mandatory steps involved in this blissful spiritual ritual.
Consult Books & Other Authentic Information
In order to have
an entire info regarding your Umrah, you must consult the authentic books or
authorized Islamic websites that provide you with complete guidance.
Furthermore, the trusted travel agents of your chosen travel company can also
guide you about the pros and cons of the Umrah rituals.
However, we present to you the short and basic information about the inevitable steps involved in the Umrah process.
What is Umrah
In Arabic, the word Umrah is taken from the word, “I‘timaar” which means a visit. In Islamic terminology in general, Umrah means paying a visit to the Kaaba, performing Tawaf around it, walking between Safa and Marva mountains seven times. The performer removes his Ihram at the end with his/her hair cut ( for women an inch) or shaved ( for men).
Pillars of Umrah
Umrah consists of four main pillars.
- Tawaf al Umrah
- Halaq or Taqsir
In order to fulfill both rituals of Umrah and Hajj, every man must have to put on the white, clean and seamless two pieces of cloth called Ihram. The sheet wrapped around the waist covering the lower body is called Izar and the sheet enveloping the whole upper body is known as Rida. Ensure to wear your Ihram properly before reaching Meeqat.
It is more than mandatory to clean yourself before having Ihram. Do the Ghussal (Sunnah way of taking bath) and maintain your personal hygiene by clipping your nails and unnecessary hair removal. However, if you can’t take a bath, Wudhu (Ablution) will suffice for it.
It is Sunnah to offer a two-unit prayer Nawafils before entering into the state of Ihram. It is recommended to recite Surah Al Kafirun in the first Rakat (unit) and Surah Al-Ikhlaas in the second Rakat. Please make Duas in this spiritual state. Allah accepts the duas of his path-finders.
The Neyah or Intention must be made at the place of Ihram called Miqat or close to it during your movement towards this place. It is Sunnah to have your Niyah verbally and reiterate it internally.
After the Niyah you must validate your intention by reciting the Talbiyah. This impactful dua is the validation of your Umrah purpose. So keep reciting it till the end of your Umrah.
Basic Rules of Ihram
In many cases, the pilgrims are confused that how they should don this special clothing. In this case, it is better to talk to your Imam of Umrah travel guide for proper guidelines.
However, make sure to inevitably follow these basic Ihram rules.
- Males should keep the two-piece white Ihram cloth and must be unstitched
- The cloth must be wide enough to cover from the navel till the top of your feet
- Women can also wear this white cloth. However, for them, it must be stitched so covering their whole body except their faces
- Men should make sure to wear a belt or clip because swing or pinning Ihram is not allowed
- The only shoes that are permitted below Ihram are sandals. So one must take only sandals during their Umrah journey.
Enter the Haram of Sacred Mecca
Enter into the limits of Haram with words of Talbiyah in your lips, do dhikr and send Salawat on the Holy Prophet (SAW).
The first sight of the Kaaba
After entering into Masjid al-Haram, keep your gaze lowered until you reach the Mataf area, an open space where you perform Tawaf round the Kaaba. When you are ready for Tawaf with a soulful heart brimmed with Allah’s love and fear lift your eyes and set them to behold the beatific vision of the Holy Kaaba. Make as many duas as you can for yourself your Muslim fellows and family. It is among those places where your prayers are honored and answered.
Prepare yourself for Tawaf e Kaaba afterward then.
Tawaf Al Umrah
After arriving at Kaaba, stop the Talbiyah recitation, and strive to approach the Black stone “Hajar e Aswad”. Touch and kiss it. If impossible then you must face this Black stone and point to it. When you touch the stone recite “Allah o Akbar” (Allah is the Greatest). The pilgrims must continue walking while keeping the Kaaba on their left. When you reach the Yemani corner of the Kaaba, touch and kiss it and say, “Bismillaah Allahu Akbar”. If not possible, then it is enough to point at it and say, “Bismillaah, Allahu Akbar”.
Two things for Men
It is preferred for the men to do is
From the beginning of Tawaf until the end, the men should place their middle of Rida (Upper covering Ihram part) under their right arms and the ends of it on their left shoulder.
It is preferred during the first three circuits only, during which the men speed up their pace with small steps.
Complete Seven Circuits in an anti-clockwise Direction around the Kaaba. Continue praying to Allah for yourself and your loved ones.
End of Tawwaf at Hajar e Aswad
Starting and ending/ returning back to the Hajar e Aswad marks one complete circuit. If possible performing the Istilam at the start of Tawaf and at the end of a circuit is really praised and emphasized.
After the sound completion of Tawaf, perform two rakats of salah preferably in a position where Maqam e Ibrahim is between you and the Kaaba.
After the completion of Tawaf, quench your thirst by sipping the lively water of Zamzam which is readily available around the Tawaf area and from various water fountains and dispensers in Masjid ul Haram. While drinking the Zamzam water it is recommended to stand and face the Kaaba. You should say ‘Bismillah’ and pause to take a breath three times.
After Drinking Zamzam, you should proceed to the Multazam, an area between Hajar e Aswad and the door of Kaaba. During the hustle and bustle of the Hajj period, it becomes impossible to reach this place. So you are free to supplicate in the direction of this place.
If it is possible to reach Multazam, raise your hands above your head, cling to the wall and press your chest and cheeks against it. It is both, a Sunnah and station where the duas are accepted.
Sai Between Safa and Marwa Hills
It is the Sunnah to perform Sai immediately or right after your Tawaf. However, if you feel exhausted then you can take rest. It is the brisk or rapid walking seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah. You have to begin your Sai at Safa and end it Mecca. You have no perform it on foot if you don’t have a specified health issue. You should remain in Ihram during this arduous physical task.
Istilam of the Hajar al-Aswad
It is Sunnah to kiss the Hajar e Aswad before embarking for Sai of Safa and Marwa. However, if it’s not possible it can be omitted.
Make Dua at Safa and Marwa Hills
Immerse yourself in supplications and duas to Almighty Allah. Keep your direction towards the Holy Kaaba when you reach Safa. You can say Takbir (Allah o Akbar) and send blessings to the Holy Prophet (SAW).
Leave the Haram
After completion of Tawaf and Sai, leave the Haram. Step out of the Masjid Al Haram with your left foot and recite the dua recommended by the Holy Prophet (SAW).
In order to leave the state of Ihram, after your Umrah completion, shave your head (Halaq) or at least cut an inch of your hair (Taqsir). It is preferred for the men to have their heads completely shaved.
Important Note This is the short but authentic basic information about Umrah rituals. For further details, consult your trusted fellows for further enlightenment.