The Arabic word “I’timaar” is the root word behind Umrah which connotes the meaning of the visit and Umarh is a visit to the holy place of Makkah. Other than the days of Hajj, this visit can be taken any time of the year. And when it is performed during the sacred month of Ramadan, its reward becomes equal to Hajj. Also known as minor pilgrimage, it is the greatest Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and to perform this sacred act, it is mandatory to learn how our prophet performed Umrah. However, one should always keep in mind that no act of Ibaadah is accepted only if the intention is pure and one performs it to seek the countenance of Allah (SWT) alone. Sincerity is the first condition, after booking your Umrah package, do not even once let this thought cross your mind that it is some kind of a holiday trip. Reiterate to yourself that all your actions must be according to the commands of Allah and in accordance with the Sunnah. Here we are going to give you a brief guide on Umrah rituals and conditions.
Umrah rites are just few and one complete these rites, even in one day. Have a look:
Among the above stated Umrah, the first two i.e entering the state of Ihraam and and Tawaaf of Ka’abah are fardh rituals and performing these two rites is compulsory for all those setting for their Umrah tour to Makkah.
Sa’yee and shaving or clipping of hair are two wajib rituals of Umrah. It is recommended to perform these Umrah rites, however, your Umrah is complete when are done with the Tawaaf.
Now, when you have booked your cheap Umrah package and you are about to set off from your home, your Ibaadah starts right at that moment. Before exiting your home, a pilgrim is advised to perform Ghusal and two rakaats of travelling prayer and pay your gratitude to Allah SWT for giving this blessed opportunity.
As soon as you arrive at Meeqat, it becomes binding for you to enter the state of Ihraam. Ghusal is also recommended if convenient, but from this point, no one can go further without entering the state of Ihraam.
Ihraam is merely not wearing a sheet of white cloth, it means to enter in the state of complete purity in which certain things are forbidden and few others are permissible. A person in the state of Ihraam is known as Muhrim and he must clean himself by cutting his nails, removing unwanted hairs, performing ablution and most importantly purification of mind by sincere repentance of your sins. Then, it comes to Talbiyah, as soon as one utters the words of Talbiyah, the proper state of Ihraam is attained. The word Talbiyah means intention or niyaah and the words of Talbiyah are as follows: Labbayk, Allahumma Labbayk. Labbayk la Shareeka laka Labbayk. Innal-hamda wan- n’imata laka wal-mulk. La shareeka laka. Translation: Here we come, O Allah, here we come. Here we come, you have no partner. Here we come, praise indeed and blessings are yours- the kingdom too. You have no partner. After Talbiyah, the pilgrim is supposed to supplicate and ask Allah anything with pure intentions and surely, Allah blesses those who make a sincere effort on his way. Wearing wristwatch or glasses is totally fine in Ihraam, however, women should avoid wearing jewellery. Except head and face, all other parts of the body can be covered with a blanket and pilgrims can also carry an umbrella but it must not touch their heads. Besides, there are certain acts, prescribed usually but are forbidden in the special days of pilgrimage like women are forbidden to cover their face and men have to perform all their Umrah rites bareheaded.
The second binding ritual of Umrah is Tawaaf of Ka’abah and pilgrims are supposed to recite the Talbiyah all the way to Makkah. After checking in to Makkah, pilgrims should immediately move towards Masjidul Haraam and on seeing Ka’bah, they should loudly reaffirm their belief saying the following words thrice: Allahu Akbar. Laa ilaaha illallaah. Also, recite Salawat on our beloved prophet and again supplicate as it is the special time for the acceptance of prayers. Before starting Tawaaf of Ka’abah, one should perform Wudu and then move to the corner where Hajrul Aswad is placed and start circling around Ka’abah. Make exactly seven rounds, all starting and ending at black stone. Note that if your Tawaaf is interrupted by a compulsory prayer, it can be resumed soon after you are done with your compulsory salaat. After the last circle, pilgrims approach Maqaame Ibraheemi and offer two raka’at waajib. From there, they move to Zam Zam well and drink as much water as they can facing Ka’abah. Multazam is the next step in which pilgrims cling to the wall of Ka’abah and supplicate. Lastly, Istillam is performed which means kissing of Hajrul Aswad. Sa’ee—Seven Rounds of Safa and Marwah It is the first wajib ritual of Umrah which is performed after the completion of Tawaaf. Niyaah is essential for Sa’ee after which pilgrims move towards Safaa, climb on it until Ka’abah is visible. Then, they recite Allaahu Akbar Laa Ilaaha Illalallaahu and then they run towards Marwah, completing the seven rounds in the same manner. After completing the final round, Umrah pilgrims offer two raka’ats Nawafil in Masjidul Haram and Sa’ee is completed.
Shaving of the head or clipping of hair is the last step of Umrah rituals. For men, it is more virtuous to shave the head, whereas women can go for just two to three centimetres trimming from the end of the plait.
Umrah virtues cannot be ignored as it is a special kind of Ibaadah that cleans your soul from all previously committed sins. And if performed in Ramadan, its reward gets doubled. One can assess the significance of this Ibaadah from various Ahadiths in Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari where Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated that Umrah is an expiation of sins committed between it and another Umrah.
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