Information about Hajj and Umrah

Posted by Muminah Tannous on November 30th, 2022

Being Muslims Hajj and Umrah are both sacred journeys for us. Knowing the proper “Information about Hajj and Umrah” is a vast topic. But knowing the basic knowledge about it is mandatory for us. Hajj is an obligatory act of worship instead of Umrah. Because Umrah is a Sunnah of the Prophet of Islam – Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). Sunnah is derived from the Arabic language which means action. Among the Muslims, there is no other model to follow except the life of the Prophet.

Both acts of worship are obligatory for those who can perform Hajj and Umrah one or more times. Muslims can perform these acts of worship on behalf of others who are seriously ill or dead. The purpose of these journeys is to be cleansed from present and past sins. We can understand them by the example of daily prayers.

As we know, Muhammad (peace be upon him) took 5 prayers as a gift to his followers at the time of Miraj. The names of these prayers are Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha.

There are 4 rak'ats of Fajr prayers out of which 2 are Sunnah and 2 are obligatory. If a person performs two rak'ats of obligatory prayers, then his obligatory prayers have already been performed. But if one intentionally omits 2 sunnahs of this prayer, the burden of his sins will increase.

Therefore, if you get a chance to perform Umrah or Hajj, try to take advantage of this moment of your life. Let's learn more about these sacred journeys. We set a pattern to understand this topic “Information about Hajj and Umrah”.

1. What is Umrah?

. How to do Umrah?

2. What is Hajj?

. How to do Hajj?

  1. Differences between Hajj and Umrah
  2. History of Hajj and Umrah

What is Umrah?

Umrah is an Arabic word meaning “visit a populated place”. It is also called the short version of the annual Hajj. This is a low-cost trip because firstly it is free from a limited period of imprisonment and secondly there are short steps to perform Umrah.

Never think of Umrah as an extraordinary act of worship. Because it may be causing women, children, paralysed and the elderly to earn the same reward as Hajj. Repeated Umrah can renew the faith of every Muslim. It works to remove past sins just as muriatic acid removes rust from metal. Choose repeated Umrah to lift yourself out of poverty. Poverty here does not mean being rich in financial terms but in the light of faith.

The five daily prayers, fasting in Ramadan, Zakat and Hajj are obligatory for every Muslim, but no one can deny jihad. Jihad is the name given to the struggle against the enemies of Islam. Therefore, after performing Umrah, a Muslim can earn a reward equal to this jihad.

So, performing Umrah in Ramadan 2023 is possible for UK inhabitants if they succeed in finding the best Ramadan Umrah Packages 2023.

How to perform Umrah?

You only need four to five hours a day to perform Umrah. Nowadays, various means of transportation have made this journey easier. So, focus on preparing yourself well because you are going to face your Lord.

There are 4 steps of Umrah:

  1. Ihram
  2. Tawaf
  3. Saee
  4. Qasr

Ihram:

It is a simple dress but it is worn only during Hajj and Umrah. The purpose of this dress is the same for men and women, but the shape is different for both sexes. For ihram, men will wear only two unsewn white sheets. During this pure state, a man cannot wear any sewn fabric product, not even underwear. The colour of this special dress should be white.

But a woman does not have to make any arrangements for this special clothing. Because their formal dress is considered ihram on this occasion. This state of purity demands a woman to cover her whole body well.

There are many options for wearing an ihram, whether people wear it at home, at the airport, during the flight, etc. But this step has to be completed before crossing the meeqat places.

Tawaf:

Walking around the Ka'bah 7 times is called Tawaf. Each of the 7 begins and ends at the Black Stone (a black stone that came down from heaven through an angel). Touching and kissing this heavenly stone may be physically out of reach at some point due to the crowd. To complete this stage of Umrah, when there is a lot of rush, you just have to point to the Black Stone with your right hand. 

Here women should not go in crowds around the Kaaba. They should circumambulate in the outer circles at normal speed. There is nothing wrong with women being able to touch and kiss the Black Stone. But they should choose a time when the rush of men is less for close to this stone.

Saee:

Running 7 times back and forth between the mountains of Safa and Marwa is called Sa'i. These mountains are located in the Masjid al-Haram. Therefore, they do not need to go anywhere else where their time will be spent in reaching these mountains. There is a smooth way between Safa and Marwa. The word "running" here does not mean starting a marathon. This means walking fast, but this is only for men, not for women.

Qasr:

After cutting or shaving the hair of the head, the Qasr is completed. This last stage is also different for both sexes. Men can go to barber shops to get their hair cut, but women should pick such places where no non-mahram can see them. 

After completing this last stage, Muslims can take off their Ihram and thus their Umrah is completed.

Performing Umrah is no longer a difficult task as the Saudi government has relaxed all visa procedures and increased the length of stay. Now a single woman can perform Umrah without a male relative. So, all these facilities are going to make the Umrah packages for pilgrims from UK wonderful.

What is Hajj?

Hajj is an obligatory act of worship. Therefore, it is an important aspect of Islam. Leaving without reason is a sin. So we have to complete it at least once. The purpose of this journey is also to purify oneself from sins. This journey is not for those who are financially and physically or mentally incapable. It is not free from time because it can only be done within the stipulated 5 days of Dhu al-Hijjah. These fixed days begin on the 8th and end on the 12th of Dhul-Hijjah. What is Dhu al-Hijjah? It is the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar which comes in at number 12.

How to Perform Hajj?

As we know, time is very significant in performing Hajj. So, first, prepare yourself through any of the best travel agencies that will manage everything from home to Saudi Arabia. According to a recent report, 18 to 65 women can now go on Hajj alone but in an organized group. It is advisable to check all the procedures with your respective agent when booking Hajj packages.

There are 11 steps of Hajj:

  1. Ihram
  2. Tawaf
  3. Saee
  4. Mina
  5. Waquf
  6. Muzdalifah
  7. Rami
  8. Sacrifice
  9. Qasr
  10. Tawaf Ziyarah
  11. Tawaf al Wadaa

Ihram, Tawaf, Saee, and Qasr are performed as we do in Umrah.

Mina:

It is a town near Mecca where Muslims spend their first day and night in worship. The Saudi government has set up many tents for the pilgrims. But it is obligatory to enter ihram before entering this settlement.

Waquf:

This stage is performed in the open field of Arafa. This plain is located about 2 km east of Mecca. Here the pilgrims perform two prayers (Zuhr and Asr) together. Our last Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also gave his last sermon here where a pillar refreshes that memory today.

Muzdalifah:

This is another place which is located between Arafat and Mina. Here the pilgrims again perform two prayers (Maghrib and Isha) together. They spend all night in Muzdalifah under the open sky.

Rami:

The next day, the pilgrims go to Mani again to pay Rami. Rami is the name for stoning at Jamarat. But on that day they throw only 7 pebbles on one of the three pillars.

Sacrifice:

That is, sacrificing animals for God. After stoning the third pillar, the pilgrims perform it.

Tawaf Ziyarah & Al-Wadaa:

These are two Tawafs, but the method of both is the same as we do in Umrah.

Differences between Hajj and Umrah:

Let us know the difference between Hajj and Umrah:

According to Islamic tradition, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) performed four Umrah while he performed only one Hajj in his entire life. When did Muhammad (peace be upon him) perform the first Umrah?

At the time of Hudaybiyyah, Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions went to Mecca for Hajj, but the polytheists of Mecca stopped them. He did not allow the Muslims to enter Makkah and then a peace treaty was concluded between the Muslims and the infidels. Because the place where the Muslims stayed was the place of Hudaybiyyah.

Although the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not enter Makkah and visit the Kaabah, it is still considered the first Umrah.

The second Umrah took place with the agreement of Hudaybiyyah. The third was done after returning from the Battle of Hunnain. And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) performed the last Umrah with his Hajj.

Both Hajj and Umrah are important to us. So, never miss a chance to do both or one in your life. May Allah help us to perform them. Amen

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Muminah Tannous

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Muminah Tannous
Joined: February 15th, 2020
Articles Posted: 14

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