What is Umrah and How to perform Umrah?
What is Umrah?
Most of the people are not aware of “what is Umrah?” Umrah is a gift for Muslims in the form of worship. Muslims perform it in the holy land of Makkah. It is not obligatory but plays a crucial role in building character of Muslims. It offers a chance to explore the history of Islam and to strengthen faith. It is different from Hajj in a way that it can be performed at any time of the year.
Why Umrah is performed?
Muslims perform عمرہ when they wish to seek the closeness of Allah Almighty and visit the sites to strengthen their faith. Unlike Hajj it can be carried out at any time of the year and in this way it saves budget. Muslims perform Umrah because Prophet Muhammad also performed it. Performing عمرہ is the best way of getting rid of sins.
What happens during Umrah?
Muslims complete the seven rounds around Holy Kabah and walk seven times between Safa and Marwa to commemorate the act of Hazrat Hajra. They also visit the most important places of Islam to strengthen their faith. Muslims spend life in a proper Islamic way that changes their habits and helps them spend rest of their life according to Islam.
What is the step by step guide to perform Umrah?
Umrah is performed with a sequence of rites and this sequence is explained here:
- Take bath and remove all the impurities from body.
- Don’t use fragrance while preparing for عمرہ to avoid any kind of disturbance in others’ worships.
- Wear simple white cloth consisting of two pieces for men known as Ihram.
- Women wear stitched clothes to cover all the parts of their body without covering their face and hands.
- After wearing Ihram, first step of performing Umrah is to complete seven rounds around Holy Kabah.
- Rounds start from the line of Black Stone and also ends at the same line when seven rounds are completed.
- Muslims also kiss the Black Stone as Prophet Muhammad was seen kissing this stone. It also washes away the sins of pilgrims.
- Sa’eey is running seven times between Safa and Marwa as Hazrat Hajra ran in the search of water for her infant Hazrat Ismail.
- It is performed because Allah liked the act of Hazrat Hajra and made it example for whole Ummah. It is her practice that every pilgrim practices during Hajj or عمرہ.
- Halq is another important step in performing Umrah. Men get their heads shaved.
- This act is repeated as it is the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad.
- Women are required to cut a part of their hair.
Ziyarah in Madinah:
- After performing all the rites of Umrah, pilgrims move towards Madinah to visit he places of great importance in Islam.
- Roza of Hazrat Muhammad is most sacred and most important place to be visited.
- Quba mosque and Jannat-ul-Baqi are two important sites to visit after Masjid e Nabvi.
- Offering Nawafil and making Dua in Prophet’s mosque is highly recommended because offering only two rakahs provides reward equal to that of عمرہ.
What are the main rites of Umrah?
Here are the main rites of Umrah not performing which can make your عمرہ incomplete. These are:
- Wearing of Ihram
- Tawaf of Holy Kabah
- Halq or head shaving
Completing these four rites completes your عمرہ. Other rites are formality. You can exit before performing other rites. But when you perform Umrah in a proper and Sunnah way, it provides great rewards.
What are the prohibitions in the state of Ihram?
Pilgrims are required to be careful when they are in state of Ihram. Ihram is the purest state to live life. Avoiding some acts becomes compulsory to show respect for the sacred places and to build character. Following acts are forbidden in the state of Ihram to gain piety and purification:
- Do not use fragrance.
- Do not cut nails or hair.
- Do not hurt or push anyone. Respect all other pilgrims.
- Women should not cover their face and hands.
- Avoid animal killing.
- Avoid any sexual interaction with wife.
What are the benefits of Umrah?
Umrah is the most important worship that refreshes the soul of Muslims. One can easily perform Umrah at low costs by booking عمرہ advance and choose to perform it in December. It is the best way of making strong relation with Allah. It also helps Muslims to get rid of the past sins and to achieve the spiritual purification.
- Be a Guest of Allah SWT:
The Kaaba is known as the house of Allah SWT. In Umrah when a pilgrim performs Tawaf around the Kaaba. He gets a chance to be there as the guest of Allah SWT. This indeed is a great honor for any Muslim. The creator of this universe calls upon us as a guest. Nothing is matchless to this opportunity. Prophet Muhammad SAW said that there are a total of three guests of Allah, One who fights Jihad, the Second who perform Hajj, and the third one who Performs عمرہ.
- Clean Yours Life Sin Slate:
Umrah provides us a chance to clean our all sin by seeking forgiveness from Allah SWT. One can clean his sins by performing عمرہ because from one Umrah to another comes in this is washed by Allah SWT. So Umrah proves to be a lifeline for us. Performing عمرہ in an elegant manner removes all our sins.
- Poverty Eradication:
Umrah travel creates an economic circle. As rich spend money in the way of Allah SWT which reaches the poor ones. A trading circle starts that generates other sources of money in the society. Many do business related to this activity by providing facilities to pilgrims. They not only earn money but also virtues.
- Strengthen the Believe:
Umrah helps to develop the reality of Islam through his Soul and mind. Visiting Allah SWT home, Doing Sa’eey between Mountain Safa and Marwa, having Zamzam Water all reflect the true stories of Islamic history. That strengthens belief in Islam and faith in Allah SWT’s supremacy which is the result that every Muslim wishes. Every step towards Allah SWT should be the purpose of life.
- Provide an opportunity to visit Scared Place:
When a pilgrim journeys for Umrah he gets a chance to visit holy sites of Islam. Such as in Makah he can visit Masjid-al Haram, Jannat-al- Mala and In Medina Masjid-al-Nabvi, Jannat-ul- Baqi, Masjid Quba, and many other places related to Islamic history. This journey not only helps to enhance the devotion but also upgrade the knowledge regarding our Islamic history.
- Reward Equals to Performing Jihad:
According to Hazrat Aisha RZ, wife of beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW, said if a pilgrim travels only for Hajj or Umrah and dies on the way, on the Day of Judgment there will be no liability on him and he will be entered into Jannah.
Who can perform Umrah?
First and foremost condition to perform Umrah is to be a Muslim. Non-Muslims are not even allowed to enter the sacred sites. Other condition is that those people can perform it who can easily afford its expenses. Those people who desire to perform عمرہ but do not have expenses for it they should collect money first. Umrah cannot be performed with the loan.
Precautionary measures for Umrah:
- Take light color dresses with you. Do not wear dark color clothes because of scorching heat of sun.
- Take medicines with yourselves to avoid any kind of health damage.
- Also take sufficient amount of water.
- Eat balanced diet.
Book Umrah packages:
Book cheap Umrah packages offered by travel agencies because booking these packages will help you save your budget and perform Umrah tension free.
Important facts to know about Umrah:
- Umrah is the Sunnah of Hazrat Muhammad (ﷺ).
- It has a great importance in Islam as our Prophet performed Umrah four times in his life.
- Umrah is the best way to get rid of sins.
- It changes the life of Muslims and makes it easy for Muslims to act upon the teachings of Islam.
- It is a best way of keeping oneself in touch with Allah Almighty by becoming His guest.
- It strengthens the faith of Muslims.
- It can be performed only in a single day (in between 3 to 6 hours) and maximum it can take fourteen days if you go to perform Umrah through packages.
- Umrah is the Ziyarah of important sites of Islam.
- It is also called as mini pilgrimage that is not compulsory.
- It is the best occasion to ask for forgiveness and to make Dua because during Umrah, a Muslim is closer to Allah.
- Allah Almighty adds to the provision of those people who perform this sacred worship.
- It refreshes our soul and makes us pure as we visit all those places that had relation with the Prophet.
Can Non-Muslims go to Makkah?
Makkah is the holy land and to prevent any kind of impurity in the sacred sites, Non-Muslims are not allowed to visit Makkah or any other site. Makkah and all the sacred sites in it are only for Muslims so that they perform worship with full comfort. If Non-Muslims are allowed to enter in it, its sanctity will be destroyed and focus of Muslims will also change.
What is the importance of Umrah?
The most crucial thing that makes Umrah special and important for Muslims is that it is the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad that is highly recommended due to its higher rewards. People who perform Umrah enjoy greater blessings of Allah. Millions of Muslims perform Umrah every year. Allah forgives the sins of people who become His guests and show love with Holy Prophet.
How to apply for Umrah visa?
You can now easily apply for Umrah visa online. You are not required to take your documents and stay in line to apply for Umrah visa. Different travel agencies are undertaking this responsibility to arrange each and everything for you with just a call. Call them anytime to get Umrah visa online.
Following are the requirements to apply online for Umrah visa:
- You must have completely filled visa application form.
- Two passport size photographs.
- Vaccination certificates against pandemic diseases and all the diseases that can spread or can cause serious health issues.
- Women must be accompanied with their Mehram. Now Saudi Ministry has provided favor to perform Umrah lonely as well without Mehram.
- Women above age 45 can go to perform Umrah with any of their family members but there is also a condition. She should have a permission letter signed by her husband.
- If newly Muslim wants to apply for visa but has a Non-Muslim name, he should change his name first and then should apply for visa.
Travel Tips for Umrah:
Traveling for Umrah is an act of worship. It is a non-mandatory obligation but has rich virtues. Umrah is the practice of our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW that is followed by thousands of Muslims from around the globe every year. Many organizers provide cheap Umrah packages for this pious journey.
Tips for Umrah Journey:
Umrah's journey may consist of seven to fifteen days. So this journey must be planned properly to avoid any complications. Some of the important tips are as below mention
Select Authentic Organizer:
The first step is the selection of an experienced and seasoned organizer who knows all the processes of Umrah. An organizer should be legally registered. Consultation of its previous clients and viewing online remarks will help judge its performance.
Select Less Crowded Seasons for Umrah:
Most probably Muslims select the month of Ramadan to perform Umrah. As in Ramadan virtues of Umrah are uplifted to the virtues of Hajj. While choosing the time we have to consider the crowd situation at Makah. Selection should be after Hajj because of less crowded places.
Try to Get Direct Flight:
Although direct flights cost more it saves time and energy. Most of the flights are connected flights which made one or two possible stops. It consumes time and loses focus from our journey purpose.
Best nearby Possible Accommodation:
While selecting the Umrah package it should be made sure that your hotel room is nearby the Harm. If your hotel room will not be near Masjid-Al-HARM you have to travel a lot within the city to reach there on daily basis.
Arrange All Necessary Documents:
Your documentation should be completed and in safe hands. During the journey, your organizer will guide you to handle the passport and other important documents but this should be in your knowledge so that whenever the need should be available.
Manage Money Matter:
You have to arrange necessary money exchange in local currency. Although you can exchange money in the holy cities it is better to exchange and manage money in the home city.
Pack Your Luggage Accordingly:
Your packing must be according to your requirements. Pilgrims must keep pair of Ihram and shoes with them. As one can replace with other if get dirty. Your luggage must be according to the weight allowed by the airline.
You should arrange all the necessary things at home before leaving. If children or parents are at home you should arrange caretaker for them and manage all required basic food it at home. The contact number must be shared before leaving to keep in touch.
Before leaving Umrah pilgrims should be done their basic medical test to judge their medical position. He or she must keep some basic medicines in luggage. This will be helpful to maintain your body healthy and fit.
Exercise and Regular Walk practice Before Leaving:
Those who want to travel for Umrah should make themselves fit for travel. In Umrah, obligation pilgrims must have to walk along during Tawaf and SAEE. So make a practice of exercise and walk daily to keep yourself fit.