Posted by: alqamardesigns | February 23, 2009

Umrah In Brief

What is Umrah?

In Arabic, the word ‘Umrah is derived from I’timaar which means a visit. However, ‘Umrah in Islamic terminology, means paying a visit to Ka’ bah, performing Tawaaf (circumambulation) around it, walking between Safaa and Marwah seven times. A performer of ‘Umrah puts off his Ihraam by having his hair shaved or cut. ‘Umrah can be performed along with Hajj and in other days as well.

‘Umrah can be performed during anytime in the year, there is no fixed time for ‘Umrah.

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[Makkah, The Sacred House – Masjid Al Haram, The Ka’ba]

Great Virtues of Performing Umrah

Prophet (peace be upon him) has described the great merits of performing Umrah saying:

1- “The people who come to perform Hajj or Umrah are the guests of Allah because they visit His House on His Call; therefore, Allah grants them what they ask for”

2- “One Umrah becomes an atonement for the sins committed up to the next Umrah”

The Pillars of ‘Umrah are four:

(1) Ihraam: which is assumed at the Meeqaat (a boundary point you need to pass to enter the state of Ihraam)

(2) Tawaaf: around the House

(3) Sa’i: walking between Safaa and Marwah, which consists of seven circuits

(4) Tahal-lul: which means coming out of the state of Ihraam; by shaving/cutting of the hair (after you finish the Umrah)

During ‘Umrah, pilgrims do not go to Minaa, ‘Arafaat and Muzdalifah or throw pebbles on the Jamrahs (stone pillars representing devils) or offer animal sacrifice. These rites are only performed during Hajj.

How to perform ‘Umrah

(1) Ihraam: which is assumed at the Meeqaat

When the one who wants to perform ‘Umrah before arriving at the Meeqaat, it is recommended for him (both man and woman) to take a bath if convenient, including menstruating women and those experiencing postnatal bleeding. The man perfumes his head and beard but not his Ihraam garments. There is no harm in what remains of it after Ihraam. There is nothing wrong if it is not possible to take a bath at Meeqaat.

Men are to change into their clothing of Ihraam while the women only need to make their intention at that time in the clothing they are already wearing. There is no specific clothing designated for women, except that they are prohibited from wearing the Niqaab (face-veil) and gloves. Instead, they may cover their hands with the lower part of their khimaar (head covering), while using the upper part of their jilbaab (outer garment) or a separate piece of fabric to cover their faces by drawing it down, if there is need to do so.

As for men, they must have assumed their Ihraam at the Meeqaat by wearing two pieces of fabric called the Izaar and the Ridaa’. The Ridaa’ covers the top half of the body, while the Izaar covers the lower half. No other clothing is allowed to be worn in addition to these – no underwear, no trouser, no shirt, no turban, no hat, etc. are to be worn.

Then the pilgrim makes the intention at the Meeqaat to begin the rites of ‘Umrah by entering the state of Ihraam by saying:

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(Here I am O Allah making ‘Umraah).

This statement begins the rites of ‘Umrah. So the first pillar of ‘Umrah is the Ihraam. The intention is made in the heart, while the tongue recites the opening Talbiyyah.

And if you wish, when uttering the above Talbiyyah, you may state a condition to Allaah fearing that which may prevent you from completion of the ‘Umrah whether illness or fear – by saying what the Prophet (S) taught us:

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(O Allah, I come out of the state of Ihraam from the place You prevent me from continuing).

So if you do that and are then prevented or become ill – then you may come out of Ihraam without paying the Fidya (having to pay ransom / compensation for not completing the Umrah).

Then repeat the Talbiyyah:

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(“In response to your call O Allaah I perform ‘Umrah, here I am O Allaah. In response to Your call. You have no partner. In response to Your call. All Praise and Blessings, and the Ownership of all that You created is Yours (alone). You have no partner”)

Prohibitions of Ihram

These are the acts prohibited while one is in the state of Ihram. If one commits any one of them, he has to offer Fidya. They are:

  • Covering the head (for men)
  • Shaving or shortening any hair of the body.
  • Clipping the nails whether of the hands or the feet
  • Using perfume
  • Wearing sewn clothes
  • Killing game (animals hunted as food) of the land. Allah the Most High said: You who believe! Kill not game while in Ihram. (5:95)
  • To marry or propose for marriage. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:A man in the state of Ihram shall not be married or allowed to propose.
  • Sexual intercourse, or kissing / touching with sexual desire because Allah the Most High said: Let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj. (2:197)

Concerning the first five prohibitions he who commits anyone of them, has to offer a Fidya and it means to fast for three days or to feed six poor people or to slaughter a goat/sheep.

(2) Tawaaf: around the House

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One should be free from the state of impurity and must have performed wudu (ablution).

Upon arriving at the sacred mosque in Makkah (Al-Masjid Al-Haraam), you should enter with your right foot and say:

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(In the name of Allaah! O Allaah! Exalt the mention of your Messenger. O Allaah! Forgive my sins, and open the gates of Your mercy for me).”

You should enter in a manner expressing humility and gratitude to the blessings He, Almighty, conferred upon you.

Upon arriving at the K’abah you stop reciting the Talbiyyah.

During the Tawaaf it is preferred for the men to do two things:

1) Leave their right shoulder bare.

2) Hasten during the first three rounds of Tawaf and walk during the other four.

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[The Black Stone (Hajar Aswad)]

You start the Tawaf at the Black Stone and say:

(In the name of Allaah, Allaah is the Greatest)

Touch it with your right hand and kiss it. If this isn’t possible, you should face the Black Stone and simply point to it – but do not stand still in front of it. Don’t push and shove, causing harm and being harmed by other people. When touching the Black Stone, the following is said:

“Bismil-laah, Allaahu Akbar”

(In the name of Allaah, Allaah is the Greatest) or just “Allaahu Akbar” (Allaah is the Greatest).

A pilgrim must walk, keeping the Ka’bah on his left.

When you reach the Yamaani Corner touch it with your right hand, if possible, but do not kiss it. If this is difficult for you, then go on performing tawaaf without touching it, pointing at it or even saying “Allaahu Akbar” because this was not narrated from the Prophet (S).

Make supplication from your heart, for that which will benefit you. Recite whatever you wish, supplicate to Allaah by asking for good, recite the Quran, anything you wish. There are no specific statements or supplications to be recited during the Tawaaf that are authentically established in the Sunnah.

Between the two corners during each circumbulance as it is reported from the Messenger of Allaah (s):

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“…Our Lord, grant us good in this life and good in the hereafter and save us from the punishment of the Hellfire.” [Quran; 2:201]

In making Dhikr and Du’a’ during Tawaf, do not raise your voice.

When you complete all seven circuits of the Tawaaf, approach Maqaam Ibraaheem (Ibraaheem’s station) and recite this verse (which means):

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“And take you (people) the Maqaam (place) of Ibraheem as a place of Prayer… [Quran; 2:125]

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[Maqaam  Ibraahim (Ibaahim’s Station)]

Then pray two short Rak’ahs, as close as conveniently possible, behind Maqaam Ibraheem. If it is not possible then you can pray them anywhere in the sacred mosque. It is preferred to recite during the first Rak’ah the chapter “Al-Kafiroon” [109] and during the second one the chapter of “Al-lkhlaas” [112].

Upon completing the two Rak’ahs, return to the Black Stone says Allahu Akbar and touch it (as before), if convenient.

(3) Sa’i: walking between As-Safaa and Al-Marwah, which consists of seven circuits

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The next stage is to go for Sa’i between Safaa and Marwah (two small hills).  Upon approaching Safaa, the following verse is recited (which means):

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“Verily, As-Safaa and Al-Marwah are from the symbols of Allaah. So it is not a sin on him who performs Hajj or ‘Umrah of the house (ka ‘bah) to perform the going (tawaaf) between them. And whoever does good voluntarily, then verily, Allaah is the All-Recognizer, All-Knower.” [Quran; 2:158]

Then climb unto mount Safaa until the Ka’bah is visible, if possible. Facing the Ka’bah the following is to be said 3 times, and then one is to make ones own supplication (repeating it twice):

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(Allaah is the Greatest, Allaah is the Greatest, Allaah is the Greatest. None has the right to be worshipped except Allaah alone, Who has no partner. To Him belongs the dominion, to Him belongs all praise, and He has power over everything. He fulfilled His promise, gave victory to His servant, and defeated the confederates alone.)

Then descend and go towards Marwah, walking, and when you reach the two green signs hasten your walk for a while, but do not run. Then return to your normal phase of walk.  Upon reaching Marwah repeat the same procedure as when ascending Safaa (face the Qibla, raise your hands and repeats what was said on As-Safaa.) This completes one circuit.

Then one continues back to Safaa running between the fluorescent green lights (for men only) – thus completing two circuits.

There are no particular supplications to be recited between Safaa and Marwah.  It is up to the worshipper to praise Allah or supplicate Him in his own words, or he may recite portions of the Our’an.

Take care to walk where walking is designated, and run where running is designated. Continue and complete 7 circuits ending the last one on Marwah.

(4) Tahal-lul: which means coming out of the state of Ihraam; becoming lawful what was previously prohibited during Ihraam

Then when he finishes from the seventh circuit upon Marwah shave your hair completely or have it shortened – women should shorten their hair by a finger-tips length from the end.

The rights of ‘Umrah have now been completed. Thus ending the ‘Umrah – and everything that became forbidden to him upon entering Ihraam now becomes permissible again.

Sources


Responses

  1. […] Umrah in Breif […]

  2. very interesting info about umrah rituals


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