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Things you need to know while performing Umrah

umrah

Performing Umrah is a sacred journey for Muslims, and there are several acts of worship and rituals associated with it. Here’s a simple guide on things to do during Umrah, explained in easy language:

Niyyah (Intention):

Before beginning Umrah, make a sincere intention in your heart to perform this pilgrimage solely for the sake of Allah and to seek His blessings and forgiveness.

Entering the State of Ihram:

Upon reaching the designated point (usually called Miqat), enter the state of Ihram by reciting the Talbiyah (Labbayk, Allahumma labbayk…). Ihram is a state of purity and consecration, signifying your readiness to perform Umrah.

Importance of Ihram:

Ihram is more than just putting on specific clothing; it’s a sacred state of consecration that signifies your complete devotion to Allah (SWT) during Umrah. It marks a transition from your everyday life to a state of spiritual focus and purification. By entering Ihram, you:

  • Dedicate yourself solely to Allah:
  •  You temporarily set aside worldly concerns and focus entirely on worshipping Allah.
  • Become equal to all Muslims:
  •  Ihram clothing removes distinctions of wealth, social status, or ethnicity. Everyone appears the same before Allah, fostering a sense of unity and brotherhood/sisterhood among pilgrims.
  • Prepare for the rituals:
  •  Ihram signifies your readiness to perform the sacred acts of Umrah with a pure heart and body.

Restrictions During Ihram:

Entering Ihram comes with certain restrictions to enhance your spiritual focus and respect the sanctity of the pilgrimage. These restrictions include:

  • Marital Relations:
  •  Spouses are prohibited from any form of intimacy during Ihram.
  • Arguments and Fighting:
  •  Avoid arguments, foul language, and any form of violence.
  • Certain Clothing:
  •  Men wear two unstitched white garments, while women wear loose-fitting clothing that covers their entire body except for the face and hands.
  • Perfumes and Fragrances:
  •  Avoid applying perfumes or scented products on your body.
  • Hunting and harming living creatures:
  •  Abstain from hunting or harming any living creature during Ihram.
  • Vain Activities:
  •  Avoid activities like singing, excessive laughter, or anything that detracts from the spiritual purpose of Umrah.

Tawaf (Circumambulation):

The first major ritual of Umrah is Tawaf, which involves circumambulating the Kaaba seven times in a counter-clockwise direction. While performing Tawaf, recite prayers, glorify Allah, and make personal supplications.

Sa’i (Walking between Safa and Marwah):

The walking route for Sa’i is clearly marked within the mosque complex. You’ll begin at Safa and walk briskly towards Marwah (men only during the first three rounds) between the designated green markers on the floor. After reaching Marwah, walk back to Safa at a more relaxed pace. This completes one round of Sa’i. Repeat this process seven times to complete the ritual.

Throughout Sa’i, it’s highly recommended to recite prayers and supplications from the Quran or authentic Islamic sources. Seek Allah’s blessings, express your gratitude, and ask for guidance in all aspects of your life.

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Trimming or Shaving Hair:

After completing Sa’i, men traditionally shave their heads or trim their hair, symbolizing humility and purification. Women trim a small portion of their hair. This act signifies the completion of Umrah rituals.

Optional Acts of Worship:

During your stay in Makkah, engage in additional acts of worship, such as offering voluntary prayers in the Masjid al-Haram, reciting Quran, making Dhikr (remembrance of Allah), and seeking forgiveness.

Visiting the Prophet’s Mosque (Masjid al-Nabawi):

If possible, include a visit to the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah during your journey. Offer prayers in this blessed mosque and send blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Reflect and Seek Forgiveness:

Use this sacred time to reflect on your life, seek forgiveness for past sins, and make sincere intentions to become a better Muslim. Ask Allah for His mercy, guidance, and blessings for yourself and your loved ones.

Dua (Supplication):

Throughout your journey, continuously supplicate to Allah, asking for His guidance, protection, and acceptance of your Umrah. Pour out your heart in prayer, seeking both worldly and spiritual blessings.

Express Gratitude:

Finally, express gratitude to Allah for granting you the opportunity to perform Umrah and for His countless blessings in your life. Return home with a renewed sense of faith, devotion, and closeness to your Creator.

Difference for Men And Women Umrah:

While the core rituals of Umrah remain the same for both men and women, there are a few minor differences:

  • Ihram Clothing:
  •  Men wear two unstitched white pieces of cloth, while women wear loose-fitting clothing that covers their entire body except for the face and hands.
  • Head Covering:
  • Men typically keep their heads uncovered during Tawaf, while women wear a headscarf that doesn’t cover their face.
  • Walking during Tawaf:
  •  Men perform Raml, which involves brisk walking with short steps during the first three rounds of Tawaf. Women walk at a normal pace throughout Tawaf.
  • Haircut after Sa’i:
  •  Men traditionally shave their heads completely or trim their hair short. Women, on the other hand, only clip a small portion of their hair, symbolically representing the completion of the rituals.

Additional Notes for Womens:

  • Women experiencing menstruation or postnatal bleeding can still perform Umrah but are not allowed to perform Tawaf and Sa’i until their period is over and they have completed their purification rituals.
  • It’s important for women to consult with a knowledgeable Islamic scholar if they have any questions or concerns regarding their specific circumstances during Umrah.

Performing Umrah is a deeply spiritual experience that involves various acts of worship and rituals. Approach this journey with sincerity, humility, and a desire to draw closer to Allah. May your Umrah be accepted, and may it bring you immense spiritual growth and blessings.

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