Umrah is one of the basic Islamic pilgrimages that is also an act of worshiping Allah Almighty. It involves performing certain acts that are elaborated by the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and is done by visiting the Khana Ka’aba. Unlike Hajj, which is one of the major Islamic pilgrimages and is only performed in the month of Zil-Hajj, according to the Islamic calendar, you can perform Umrah at any time of the Year.
If you have made up your mind and are going to perform Umrah, here are the comprehensive details that will tell you about the step-by-step procedure you need to know before leaving for it. Make sure to understand the details written below and ask anything if you want more clearance before initiating your spiritual journey.
What Is Umrah?
Umrah is an Arabic word that means “a visit.” When it comes to Islamic terminology, Umrah mainly refers to visiting the Khana Ka’aba, to perform an act of worship that pleases Allah a lot. Now that you are blessed with an opportunity to visit Khana Ka’aba and perform Umrah, here is what you mainly need to know about its rituals.
How Is Umrah Performed?
You are lucky if you are blessed with this opportunity. Only those whom Allah almighty chooses are honored to perform Umrah and visit His holy place, the Khana Ka’aba. This guide tells you about the step-by-step procedure of how to perform Umrah, so you know all the four important steps that you will follow to complete this spiritual act.
Let’s start with what Umrah is basically before looking at the steps.
It comprises four steps that involve Ihram, Tawaf, Sa’ee, and Halaq/Taqseer. We will look at the details of each four of these steps so you are aware of what you have to do to perform it correctly.
Ihram is the first and foremost important step, without which both Umrah and Hajj are not acceptable. It basically involves entering into the sacred state before starting the rituals of Hajj and Umrah. In order to enter the state of Ihram, you have to perform certain cleansing rituals and have to wear proper clothes as told to us by Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him.
Importance of Wearing Certain Type of Clothes
The main reason for wearing particular clothes in order to enter into the state of Ihram is that after wearing the same cloth, there is no difference between anyone there. Rich and poor, everyone is equal in front of Allah Almighty in Masjid Al-Haram. It creates equality and tells that there are no social and financial differences in any human being. This Ihram attire makes everyone equal in every way.
What Are The Certain Rules To Follow While Entering The Ihram State?
You should not shave your hair, nor should cut your nails.
You are not allowed to use any type of scent like aftershave, deodorants, and perfumes.
Mainly the men are not allowed to wear any kind of woven or stitched clothes. On the other hand, women can wear stitched clothes in order to cover their bodies.
Women should cover the whole of their body except their face and hands.
Those who are performing Umrah are not allowed to engage in any kind of sexual activity.
Pilgrims are restricted from cutting plants and hunting animals.
Making The Umrah Niyyah
There are five stations as prescribed by Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) from where you have to make your niyyah to perform Umrah. You have to make sure that you have made your niyyah to perform Umrah before crossing those stations. The stations are called Meeqat.
Following is the list of 5 stations. In front of each station is the name written of the country to tell you what station is applicable for you if you are traveling from a certain country.
Rabegh or Al-Juhfah – People traveling from Syria, West, and Egypt
Qarn-Al-Manazel – People traveling from Najd And Taif
Yalamlam – People traveling from India, Pakistan, or Yemen
Dhatul-Irq – People traveling from Iraq
Abyar Ali or Dhul-Hulaifa – People traveling from Madinah
If it’s possible for you, try your best to perform two rakat of Salah and then make niyyah. On the other hand, if it’s not possible for you, it’s okay if you make niyyah only verbally. Performing salah is a sunnah that you can follow before entering into the ihram state.
Keep in mind before entering and making niyyah for Ihram; you can also perform this two rakat salah at your home or at the airport if there is a place. You have to perform this salah and offer the prayer with the pure intention of performing Umrah and entering into the state of Ihram. Now that you have worn the specific clothes and have reached the particular station that is according to your country, now is the time to recite the words used for making niyyah.
Following are the verse used for making the niyyah of Umrah and their translation so you understand what you are saying.
Allahumma Inni uridu l-umrata fa yassirha li wa taqabbal ha minni.
Translation: O Allah! I intend to perform Umrah, so please accept it and make it easy for me.
Reciting these verses is not compulsory but it’s better to do so.
From here onwards, you are now in the state of Ihram, and your Umrah has started. Now you have to recite Talbiyah. It is wajib and confirms that you are purely in the state of Ihram and are now performing Umrah.
The words used for Talbiyah are as described below.
Labbayk Allahumma labbayk(a), Labbayka la sharika laka labbayk(a), inna l-hamda wa n-ni’mata, laka wal-mulk(a), la sharika lak.
Translation: At your service, O Allah, at Your service. At Your Service, You have no partner, at Your Service. Truly all praise, favor, and sovereignty are Yours. You have no partner.
The first step is completed. Now we will look at the details of 2nd step, which is Tawaf.
This is one of the basic parts of Umrah, without which Umrah is not completed. Tawaf is an Arabic word derived from “Taafa,” which means encircling something. When it comes to performing Umrah and doing Tawaf in Umrah, it means that the pilgrims have to revolve around Khana Ka’aba in the anticlockwise direction 7 times.
Let’s look at the details of Tawaf. It includes
Preparation Of Tawaf
Dua’s and Zikr
Namaz after Tawaf
Drinking Zamzam water after Tawaf
Preparation Of Tawaf
This is the first step of Tawaf, which mainly includes the act of getting rid of impurities. In order to perform the Tawaf, you have to make sure that you are in the state of wudu.
You have to free your body from all kinds of minor and major impurities by performing ablution as suggested. No need to change clothes as you are already in the state of Ihram. Make proper wudu, and now you are ready to initiate Tawaf.
Starting Tawaf From The Specific Point
The starting point for Tawaf is the Hajr Al-Aswad corner of the Khana Ka’aba. Hajr Al-Aswad is the black stone that is located at one corner of Khana Ka’aba. It is believed that the stone has directly come from Jannat. Reach the starting point of Tawaf, which is right in front of Hajr Al-Aswad, and make sure your face is directed towards Ka’aba.
While standing in the same position, recite the following verses to make proper niyyah.
Bimillahi Wallahu Akbar, Allahumma Imanan bika wa tasdiqan bika kitabika wa wafa’an bi ahdika wattaba’an li sunnati nabiyyika Muhammad (Salallahu Alaihi Wasallam).
Translation: I begin in the name of Allah; Allah is the greatest. O Allah, out of faith in You, belief in Your book, in fulfillment of Your covenant, and the emulation of the Sunnah of Your Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).
Keep in mind it’s not farz to make niyyah before starting the Tawaf. Instead, you can intend it in your heart that you are now starting Tawaf solely for Allah Almighty. You can also ask for ease in your Tawaf and all other acts of Umrah from Allah Almighty before initiating the first round of Tawaf.
Now start moving forward and initiate your Tawaf by making sure that at your left is the Khana Ka’aba, and you are heading to your right. In this way, you will be moving in the anti-clockwise direction around Khana Ka’aba. You can also perform Tawaf as Ramal.
It is another sunnah of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him. It is the practice of performing Tawaf by walking forcefully and quickly and lifting your feet up to a certain height. You can perform Tawaf by mimicking the walk of a warrior.
This is done for the first three rounds out of 7, and for the remaining four rounds, you can continue with normal walking. Keep all of your prayers in your heart and perform Tawaf with lots of focus, humbleness, and purity, and keep in mind that you are in front of Allah Almighty. Make sure you are restricting yourself from eating and drinking anything and talking about worldly things while doing Tawaf.
Also, do not involve your heart in thinking about worldly affairs. Instead, think that you are standing in front of Allah, and He is in front of you, and you are talking to him, and you are asking for His blessings, forgiveness, and mercifulness.
Dua’s And Zikr
While performing Tawaf and moving around Khana Ka’aba, it is the time when duas are accepted; you can recite any dua you want. You can ask for Allah’s forgiveness, you can ask for His blessings, and you can ask for whatever is there in your heart. Although you can make duas in your own language, it is highly recommended to memorize the specific and certain Arabic duas that are made by Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him.
Moreover, keep in mind if it is possible for you to kiss and touch the Hajr Al-Aswad after every round you complete. As your first round is complete, you will reach Hajr Al-Aswad corner, kiss the stone, touch it, and start your next round. It is called “Istilam.”
It has great value in front of Allah Almighty. Recite Allah Hu Akbar and Allah Hu Akbar while doing “Istilam.” It’s not farz, but it is something very important while performing Umrah. Now as you have completed all seven rounds of Tawaf, now is the time to perform two rakat Salah Al-Tawaf.
Namaz After Tawaf
After completing the Tawaf perform two rakah Salah near the Maqam-e-Ibrahimi. It’s not farz, but it’s better to perform the namaz after Tawaf near Maqam-e-Ibrahimi. Otherwise, you can also perform this namaz anywhere around the masjid.
Drinking Zamzam Water After Tawaf
After praying Salah Al-Tawaf, it’s time to move on toward Zamzam water. The place is also located inside the masjid Al-Haram. There are several dispensers and fountains within masjid Al-Haram.
You can obtain and take the water from any of the coolers. Drink Zamzam water as much as you can and ask for Allah’s forgiveness for your health and ask for a cure to all of your illnesses while drinking at this place.
Allahumma Inni As’aluka ‘ilman nafi’an, wa rizqan wasi’an, wa ‘amalan mutaqabbalan, wa shifa’an min kulli da’.
Translation: O Allah! Grant me knowledge that’s beneficial, the provision that’s abundant, and the cure to every illness.
Sa’ee is the third step of performing Umrah. It is another mandatory step without which your Umrah is not completed. It is a practice that involves walking between the mountains of Safa and Marwa. These are not exactly the mountains but the hills of Safa Marwa.
After completing the Tawaf and drinking Zamzam water, now is the time to perform sa’ee. You have to walk in between the hills Safa and Marwah 7 times to complete this step. Before initiating Sa’ee, you can perform “Istilam” again. It is sunnah, and is better to do so.
It’s alright if you forget it or you cannot go to Hajr Al-Aswad due to the crowd; you can also leave it. Now proceed and walk towards the hill of Safa. The arrow marks will take you to the right path. As soon as you reach the hill of Safa, read the following verses.
Translation: Indeed, Safa and Marwah are among the Signs of Allah (SWT).
Then, recite the following dua:
أَبْدَأُ بِمَا بَدَأَ اللهُ بِهِ
Abda’u bima bad’allahu bihi.
Translation: I start with that which Allah has begun with.
Read these verses once before starting the walk of Sa’ee. Now you can make other certain and particular duas at Safa and Marwa while walking in between the Safa and Marwa hills. Keep on reciting the following verses.
Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lillahi l-hamd.
Translation: Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, and all praise be to Allah.
It’s not necessary to recite only these three verses. You can also ask for anything you want as you are in front of Allah Almighty. You can read your own duas in your own language. There is no restriction. Now start from Safa and walk towards Marwa.
Two Sets of Green Fluorescent Lights
Notice the two green fluorescent lights set in between Safa and Marwa hills for around 50 m. While reaching this place, men should run at medium, and women should carry on walking at their normal speed. You can also read Darood Ibrahimi if you want and can recite whatever, including Talbiyah, Kalma, and Durood e Pak.
Halaq / Taqseer
Halaq and Taqseer is the state that conveys you are now exiting the Ihram. Unless and until you perform this step appropriately, you are in the state of Ihram. Halaq refers to cleaning the head by shaving it. At the same time, Taqseer is only the trimming of hair. If you have hair, it’s better for you to shave your head thoroughly.
Otherwise, you can also run a simple Razer on your head if you do not have any hair in order to complete the step. Alternatively, if you want to perform Taqsir, you can cut a little hair just to the equal of your fingertip length from all sides of the head. You can also perform this step on your own and can also assign someone else to help you with this. This last step is only for men and not for women.
Women are forbidden to perform Halaq; they only can trim their hair just to a fingertips length. As soon as you complete this step, you have exited from the state of Ihram. You are free from all the restrictions, rules, and regulations, including cutting nails, wearing perfumes, or engaging in sexual activities.
You can now change your clothes too with whatever you want to wear. Make sure not to feel proud; instead, keep on asking for the help of Allah Almighty. Keep on repenting. Ask forgiveness and thank Him for privileging you with this great blessing.
How to perform Umrah for ladies?
Although other steps of performing Umrah are common for ladies, the difference lies in wearing clothes. The ladies are allowed to wear stitched clothes and are ordered to cover everything except their faces and hands. Women should wear loose-fitting clothes and are also stopped from performing the last step, which is halak which is necessary for men and is not for women. Instead of shaving their heads, women are said to trim their hair length up to 1 inch only.
How many Umrah were performed by the Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him?
According to the history and Life of the Prophet, Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) performed Umrah four times in his life. It is a special form of worship that is very admirable in front of Allah Almighty. But for Muslims, there are no restrictions to the count of Umrah. They can perform as much as they want.
What is Umrah?
Umrah is an Islamic ritual that means visiting the holy Kaaba and performing certain specific and particular acts of worship on the basis of the teachings of Hazrat Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him. It is performed at any time throughout the year, unlike Hajj, which is a greater pilgrimage and is performed only in the first 10 days of Zil Hajj.
If you have been honored and selected by Allah Almighty to visit His holy place, the Khana Ka’aba, to perform Umrah, read this guide attentively so you know each and every step very well. There are four basic steps that are involved in Umrah Ihram, Tawaf, Sa’ee, and Halaq.
The details about each of the steps are elaborated above. Make sure to pay all of your attention so you understand each and every step keenly and can perform the Umrah steps correctly.