Umrah Meaning : The word ‘Umrah is orginated 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 is a Sunnah. There is no particular time for performing Umrah. It can be performed anytime except the days of Haj i.e.9, 10, 11, 12, 13 of Dhul Hijjah.
The excellence of ‘Umrah:
There is a Hadith in Jame’ Tirmidhi, Sunan Nasai, and Sunan Ibn Majah:
Translation of Hadith: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Mas’ud that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: You keep on performing Haj and ‘Umrah as Haj and ‘Umrah wipe out poverty and sins the way a furnace cleanses iron, gold and silver etc.
(Jame’ Tirmidhi, Hadith No: 810; Sunan Nasai, Hadith No: 2630; Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith No: 2887)
There is a Hadith in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim:
Translation of Hadith: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (May Allah be well pleased with him) that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: One ‘Umrah is the expiation of sins until another ‘Umrah and the reward for an accepted Haj is nothing but Jannah.
(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith No: 1773; Sahih Muslim, Hadith No: 3355)
There is a Hadith in Sunan Ibn Majah:
Translation of Hadith: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (May Allah be well pleased with him) that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: Those who perform Haj and ‘Umrah are the guests of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala). If they ask anything of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), He accepts it and if they ask for pardon, He forgives them.
The rules of ‘Umrah:
There are 2 Fardh in ‘Umrah:
1. Wearing the Ihram with the intention of ‘Umrah and reciting the Talbiya (Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik….).
2. The Tawaf of Ka’aba.
There are 2 Wajib in Umrah:
1. Performing the Sae’e between Safa and Marwa.
2. To get Halaq (shaving) or Qasr (haircut) done.
Those who live inside the boundaries of the Haram are called
. The Meeqat (boundaries from where you cannot proceed without Ihram) are for Haj outside the Haram itself and for ‘Umrah, Hill i.e. the area outside the boundaries of Haram like Masjid Aisha (May Allah be well pleased with her) or Ja’araniya (name of place) etc.
The area outside the boundaries of the Haram till the Meeqat is called Hill . Those who live in this area are called Hilli for e.g. the residents of Jeddah etc. if these people come to Makkah with the intention of ‘Umrah or Haj, they should bind their Ihram right from their houses.
Those people who live outside the Meeqat and come for Haj/’Umrah are called “Aafaaqi.” The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) Himself fixed the Meeqat for those who come from the corners of the world to perform Haj/’Umrah. There is a Hadith in Sahih Bukhari:
Translation of Hadith: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Abbas (May Allah be well pleased with them), he said that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) fixed the Meeqat for the residents of Madinah at “Dhul Hulaifah”, for those who come from Syria at “Jahfa” and for those who come from Najd at “Qarn Ul Manazil” and for those who come from Yemen at “Yalamlam.”
(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith No: 1526)
And there is a Hadith in Sahih Muslim:
Translation of Hadith: The Meeqat for those from Iraq is Dhat ‘Arq
(Sahih Muslim, Hadith No: 2867)
The Shariah definition of Ihram:
The literal meaning of Ihram is “to prohibit.” When a “Muhrim” (a person who wears an Ihram) wears the Ihram and recites the Talbiya, some things which are otherwise permissible and allowed are prohibited for that person. For this reason, it is called Ihram.
Ihram as people understand it:
Generally Ihram are those 2 pieces of cloth, which a Muhrim or Haji use, one as a lower garment and one as an upper garment. After the (Ghusl) bath, one cloth should be draped on the upper body and the other should be used as a garment for a lower body.
It is Afdhal (superior) if the cloths of the Ihram are new, but used Ihram can also be used after washing them. As given in Fatawa A’alamgiri, Kitabul Manasik
Ihram for women:
No particular dress has been prescribed for women as Ihram. Their usual clothes are enough provided it covers the body appropriately and is modest.
For men, it is prohibited to cover their head and face. For women, only covering their face is prohibited. Before Non-Mahram people, women might use such veils to cover their faces in which cloth does not touch the face.
When deciding to wear the Ihram, remove excess hair (as hair cannot be removed once in Ihram) and take a complete bath. Women, even if they are in their menses should take a bath. Then cover the head with the chador of the Ihram and offer 2 Raka’at Salaat (at a time when offering Salaat is not Makruh like sunrise, sunset and high noon). In the 1st Raka’at, Surah Kafiroon, in the 2nd Surah Ikhlas should be recited. After completion of the Salaat, remove the covering of the head, face the Qiblah and make the Niyyah (intention) of Umrah. Niyyah is to make a (firm) intention with the heart, but still actually saying it is also Mustahab (commendable).
The Niyyah for Umrah:
Allahumma Innee ureedul ‘Umrata fayassirha lee wa tawabbalha minnee
Translation: O Allah! I make the intention of Umrah, You make this easy for me and accept it.
It is Wajib to recite the Talbiya once along when making the intention of Umrah and it is Mustahab to recite it thrice. Men should recite it loudly and women slowly.
Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik, Labbaik La Shareeka Laka Labbaik. Innal Hamda wan Ni’mata Laka Wal Mulk.La Shareeka Laka.
After reciting the Talbiya, other Dhikr, Tasbeeh of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and Durud and Salaam on the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) should be recited. One should supplicate with utmost humility and with tears in the eyes, in whatever language we can.
After wearing the Ihram, some things become prohibited for a Muhrim. These must be avoided.
The prohibitions of Ihram:
Six things become prohibited for a Muhrim. Of these, 4 are about both men and women and 2 relate only to men.
1. Having sex with one’s spouse and everything related to it to the extent of even talk about it.
2. Hunting the terrestrial animals or even guiding towards the prey.
3. Getting a haircut or cutting nails.
4. Using perfume/fragrance of any kind.
These 4 things are prohibited for both men and women. The following 2 are only for men:
1. To wear sewn clothes.
2. To cover the head and the face.
If any of the above is done in Ihram, then as per the rules given next, Kaffara (expiation) and/or Sadqa (charity) will become Wajib.
In the first case, if someone has sex with the spouse or engages in kissing/fondling, then Dam (sacrifice of a goat or such animal) becomes Wajib, irrespective of whether ejaculation has occurred or not.
In case of hunting, whatever price 2 just Muslims decide for the prey should be given in charity. This is also Wajib.
If hair are removed from any part of the body (including the head) or from the whole body in 1 sitting, then 1 Dam becomes Wajib. If hair are removed in separate sittings, then separate Dam becomes Wajib i.e. as many Dam as the sittings.
If the hair of the head, beard, neck, armpits and private parts are removed then Dam becomes Wajib and if the hair from other parts of the body are removed then 1 Sadqa Fitr becomes Wajb.
If in Ihram all the nails of the hands and feet are cut or all the nails of 1 hand or 1 foot are cut, then Dam becomes Wajib. If less than 5 nails are cut, then for every nail half a “Sa’a” i.e. almost 1.25 kg of wheat or its price is to be given in charity. If the nail is broken in such a manner that it will not grow anymore, then there is no problem in removing it. (Fatawa A’alamgiri, Vol. 1, Pg No: 244)
If fragrance/perfume is applied on one large part of the body (like hand) or it is applied on different parts of the body in such a manner that when collected, it equals the amount of large body part, then Dam becomes Wajib.
For men, wearing such a slipper/shoe/socks that covers the ankle is prohibited. However, for women, using such footwear is not prohibited.