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Have you ever wondered about the spiritual journey called Umrah? Maybe you have come across it but still don’t know the meaning of what is Umrah. You probably think of taking this journey yourself but don’t know how to start. Whether or not you are one of those who ask these questions or live with uncertainties, don’t be scared because you’re not the only one. However, forgetting that feeling, the reader, since that guide through the dark pages of this article, is a source of light and direction. Thus, if you are set to explore spirituality and the pilgrimage to Umrah is ready for exploration, read further to travel to the essence and unlock the mystery surrounding Umrah.

What is Umrah?

Most people have questions about what Umrah is. Therefore, Umrah is a brief spiritual journey that every sensible Muslim makes to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Whereas Hajj is an obligatory pilgrimage for every adult Muslim per his/her lifetime, Umrah will always be a non-compulsory journey at any moment of the year.

Understanding the Rituals of Umrah

Performing Umrah involves a series of rituals tracing back to the era of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). These rituals include:

  1. Ihram: The sacred act (consecration) that pilgrims perform before embarking on the journey to Mecca. Its practice refers to wearing plain white clothes for men and covering clothing for women, thus showcasing their equality and human humility before Allah.
  2. Tawaf: First, proceed by doing Tawaf, walking around the Kaaba naturally seven times, beginning from the right corner of the cube-shaped structure located inside the Masjid al-Haram, which is the name for the mosque located in Mecca, in an anticlockwise direction. By participating in such rituals, Muslims strive to show that they fully belong to the Muslim community, and Allah sees their devotion.
  3. Sa’i: The next day, we had to walk briskly seven times between the two hills of Safa and Marwa in memory of Hajar, the wife of prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), as she ran about searching for water for her son, Isma’il (Ishmael). This ritual shows the essence of being patient, faithful, and trusting in Allah’s plan, which is our very essence.
  4. Halq or Taqsir: The last Ultimacy Step in Umrawh lies with either shaving the head (halq) or trimming the hair (taqsir) to indicate humility, re-creation, and the dismissal of the previous self.

When should I perform umrah?

Kaaba-Tawaf

The main difference is that the dates of Hajj are pre-established according to the Islamic lunar calendar, while Umrah can be performed at any time. Thus, as opposed to Hajj, which is open only on specific dates, Umrah can be performed throughout the year. Certain days, like Ramadan and the last ten days of Dhul Hijjah, are very important in Umrah due to the spiritual blessings that largely occur during those times.

What are the main differences between Hajj and Umrah?

Hajj and Umrah are the two prime Islamic pilgrimages, but they are distinct in some aspects.  Here’s a clear breakdown:

1. Definition:

The Hajj is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is an obligation to Muslims who have the necessary funds, are physically fit, and must visit the city of Mecca at least once in their lifetime.

In contrast, unlike the annual heroine journey of the Hajj, Umrah offers a pilgrimage to Mecca that can be made all year round.

2. Timing:

In Hajj, certain dates can only be performed during the Islamic month, Dhu al-Hijjah, from the 8th to the 12th or 13th date of the month.

As for Umrah, though, it can be accomplished anytime one desires, except for the days related to the Hajj pilgrimage.

3. Rituals:

The Hajj is made of rituals like Tawaf (walking around the Kaaba) and Sa’i (passing the hills of Safa and Marwa), and people are ordained to stay in a wide plain called Arafah.

Umrah involves relatively fewer rites than Hajj. It constitutes Tawaf and Sa’i only. It lacks the standing at Arafat and the other rituals specially performed during the Hajj.

4. Duration:

Hajj covers several days during which the pilgrims, following a certain historically established order, consequently perform several duties at various locations in Mecca and its environs.

An umrah is comparatively short and can be encapsulated in a few hours if you move comfortably and depend on the people at the holy sites.

5. Requirement:

Hajj is obligatory for every Muslim who meets financial and physical requirements, and Umrah is voluntary and available for anyone at any time.

Getting ready for Umrah.

Before heading towards the Umrah journey, we must prepare physically and spiritually. It covers such basics as mastering Umrah procedures, ensuring you get all necessary documents before you start your trip, and cultivating an attitude of modesty, purity, and sincerity during your travel.

Dua for performing umrah: 

Dua for entering Ihram:

 لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ، لَبَّيْكَ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ، إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ، وَالنِّعْمَةَ، لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ، لاَ شَرِيكَ لَكَ

Translation: “Here I am, O Allah, here I am. Here I am; you have no partner; here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and with all sovereignty, You have no partner.”

Dua between Safa and Marwa (Sa’i):

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ وَارْحَمْ وَاَنْتَ خَیْرُالرّٰحِمِیْنَ

Translation: “O my Lord, forgive and have mercy, for You are the best of those who show mercy.”

Dua, after completing Umrah:

اللهم إني أسألك علما نافعا، ورزقا طيبا، وعملا متقبلا

Translation: “O Allah, I ask You for beneficial knowledge, good provision, and accepted deeds.”

General Supplication during Umrah:

ربنا آتنـا في الدنيـا حسنـہ وفي الآخرة حسنـہ وقنا عذاب النـار

Translation: “Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the hereafter [that which is] good, and protect us from the punishment of the fire.”

The Prayers of the Circumambulation Turns PDF file Prayer of Tawaf

Conclusion

All in all, what is umrah? Umrah is the trip to the world’s holiest city, Mecca, and it is a deep spiritual journey that surpasses time and place. It is a journey of the heart, a pilgrimage of the soul, and an embodiment of Ummḥ faith and devotion. Through the comprehension of the mysteries of Umrah and the guidance of implementing those teachings into our lives, we, thus, pursue closeness to Allah and summit life’s challenges rightfully. Dear reader, consider Umrah your compass for traveling to Allah if you seek consolation and spiritual accomplishment. Even if you have difficulty reciting the Quran with Tajweed or in Arabic, consider Kanzol Quran Academy for online Islamic classes to learn the Quran with Tajweed.

Within the huge realm of spiritual enlightenment, Umrah is a signpost that is leading the path of pilgrims from every edge of the world away from the turmoil of everyday life and to the seashore, where they can find Divine mercy and forgiveness. May this be your guiding light as you undertake your journey of Umrah, shining a path forward and landing you on the shores of spiritual achievement and everlasting joy!

 

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