Umrah is not obligatory like Hajj, but it has more or less the same rituals as Hajj. It is sometimes referred to as a lesser or smaller Hajj. Through his narrations, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) described the virtues of Umrah, and therefore millions of Muslims perform it with reverence every year.
Umrah is not time-consuming, and one can easily complete it in less than one-half of the day.
It comprises four essential parts.
Let’s discuss them in a bit of detail.
Usually, it is referred to as two loose white fabrics worn by men before Umrah. But it has a deeper meaning. It is a state of mind too. It is the formal intention of performing Umrah and cleansing the body, mind and soul of all impurities.
Before wearing the Ihram, a person must take a bath. It is the act of cleansing the body. After the bath, he should offer the obligatory prayer, whichever is due at the moment and then offer two Rakat of prayer. It is Sunnah to do so.
Then he should wear Ihram and enter the Umrah performing mode formally. It is mandatory to be in the condition of Ihram before you reach Meqat.
Upon reaching Meqat, he should recite “Labbayk Allaahumma bi ‘Umrah “(Here I am, O Allah, for ‘Umrah)
Then he should recite Talbiyah, which is as follows;
“Labbayka Allaahumma labbayk, labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk. Inna al-hamd wa’l-ni’mata laka wa’l-mulk, laa shareeka lak”
(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 all sovereignty, you have no partner).”
For women, their regular clothes are their Ihram, and they should also recite Talbiyah.
When you enter the Masjid-ul-Haram, put your right foot in first and recite the following dua;
“Bismillaah wa’l-salaatu wa’l-salaam ‘ala Rasool-Allaah. Allaahumma ighfir li dhunoobi waftah li abwaab rahmatika. A’oodhu Billaah il-‘Azeem wa bi wajhih il-kareem wa bi sultaanih il-‘qadeem min al-Shaytaan il-rajeem”
(In the name of Allah, and blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah. O Allah, forgive my sins and open the gates of Your mercy to me. I seek refuge with Allah the Almighty and in His noble Countenance and eternal power from the accursed Satan).”
Before starting the tawaf, touching and kissing the Black Stone is essential. However, due to rush, you cannot kiss it; mere touch is enough while you kiss your hand that has touched the stone. If touching is impossible too, then raise your hand in the direction of the Black Stone and say Allahu Akbar, and that’s it.
The tawaf comprises seven rounds of walking around the Kaa’ba. Men must perform the first three rounds faster and the rest at their average pace.
After completing the seven rounds, reach the maqam -e- Ibrahim and recite this:
“And take you (people) the Maqaam (place) of Ibraaheem (Abraham) [or the stone on which Ibraaheem (Abraham) stood while he was building the Ka’bah] as a place of prayer (for some of your prayers, e.g. two Rakat after the Tawaaf of the Ka’bah at Makkah)” (Surah Baqarah:125)
Then he must offer two Rakat of prayer at the same maqam. If he cannot reach that maqam, he can provide prayer anywhere.
In the first Rakat, recite Surat-ul-Kafiron, and in the second, repeat Surat-ul-Ikhlas.
It is now time to go to Safa hill and start saa’i. Upon getting close to Safa hill, he should recite;
Verily, As-Safa and Al-Marwah (two mountains in Mecca) are of the Symbols of Allah” (Surah Baqarah:158)
“Nabda’u bima bada’a Allaah bihi”
(We start with that with which Allah started)
Upon climbing the Safa hill, the pilgrim must face Kaa’ba, which should be visible upon reaching the top, raise his hand and pray. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) recited the following;
“Laa ilaaha ill-Allah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk, wa lahu’l-hamd, wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer. Laa ilaaha ill-Allah wahdah, anjaza wa’dah, wa nasara ‘abdah, wa hazamaa al-ahzaaba wahdah”
(There is no god but Allah alone, with no partner or associate; His is the Dominion, all praise is due to Him, and He can do all things. There is no god but Allah alone; he fulfilled His promise, granted victory to His slave, and defeated the confederates alone).” (Sahih Muslim, 1218)
He should say this three times, offer some zikr, Darood, pray, supplicate and repeat. Then he should begin the downhill journey and then climb up to Marwah. Repeat the above prayer, supplicate, offer zikr and Darood, and descend and climb up to Safa.
Men should perform saa’i at a faster pace, almost like running. Women should maintain their average speed.
It is the last ritual of Umrah. Once it is done, your Umrah is finished. You do this after you have completed the seven rounds of saa’i. Men can shave their heads entirely or cut hair on the entire head equally.
Women should cut their hair up to the fingertip’s length.
This act marks the completion of your Umrah. May Allah (SWT) accept your humble offerings in His court and shower His bounties on you in the hereafter.