The Umrah is a religious pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia that is performed by Muslims. In Arabic, Umrah means “to visit a populated place.” Unlike the more famous Hajj pilgrimage, the Umrah can be undertaken at any time of the year. Umrah is sometimes called Islam’s “minor pilgrimage” or “lesser pilgrimage,” with the Hajj being the “major” pilgrimage. Unlike the Hajj, which is compulsory for able-bodied Muslims who can afford to make it, the Umrah is not compulsory but highly recommended.
Know what to pack. In addition to your clothing, there are many other essentials that are best not to forget for pilgrimage. While some may be available from vendors in Saudi Arabia, there’s no guarantee. Below is a brief list of must-have items:
- Your Umrah visa — without this, you can’t enter the country.
- Valid passport and identification
- Basic toiletries
- Over-the-counter medicines
- Extra medical supplies, especially if you have a medical condition
- Small bag for keeping track of shoes when entering a mosque
- Ihram robes (for men)
- Prayer mat/Qur’an
- Scissors, razors, and nail clippers (for pre-Ihram grooming)
- Lots of bottled water (can be purchased in Saudi Arabia)
Step By Step Guide How to Perform Umrah
- There are four (4) Rites of Umrah:
- Putting up of Ihram
- Qasar / Halaq
A pilgrim sets Niyyah (intention) of Hajj & Umrah and recites Talbiya before Meqat.
Procedures of Ihram
- Take a bath (Ghusal) with the intention of Ihram.
- Wear Ihram sheets.
- Offer two Rakat of Naval by covering your head.
- With your head uncover declare your intention / Niyyah :
اَللَّهُمَّ اِنِّيْ اُرِيْدُ الْعُمْرَةَ فَيَسِّرْهَا لِيْ وَ تَقَبَّلْهَا مِنِّيْ
“O ALLAH! I intend to perform Umrah, please make it easy for me and accept it from me”
- After leaving home start reciting below mention Dua’a and Talbiya continuously. It is compulsory to recite Talbiya loudly once.
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ عَلَى اللَّهِ، لاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِاللَّهِ
(In the name of Allah, I place my trust in ALLAH, and there is no might nor power except with Allah)
- Enter Masjid Al Haram: Recite Darud e Sharif and Supplicate to ALLAH and proceed towards Kabah.
اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وسلم, اللَّهُمَّ افْتَحْ لِي أَبْوَابَ رَحْمَتِكَ
(In the name of ALLAH! O ALLAH! Exalt the mention of your Messenger. O ALLAH! Forgive my sins, and open the gates of Your mercy for me).
- Keep your eyes fixed at Baitullah and Say:
اللّهُ أكبر اللّهُ أكبر, لا إلَهَ الا اللّه, اللّهُ أكبر اللّهُ اكبر, و لِلّه الحمدَ
(Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, there is no God, but ALLAH, ALLAH is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, to Him belongs all Praise.)
- After this recite Talbiya and move forward to perform Tawaf.
Prohibitions of Ihram
- Cutting Nails
- Haircutting Or removing extra hair from any part of the body.
- Use of any scents on the body or on the robes.
- Stitched Clothing.
- Sandals and flip flops must not be stitched either and should allow the ankle and back of the foot to be exposed.
- Covering Face or Head.
- Hunting of animals even of lice.
- Sexual activity
This means moving around Kabah seven times with respect and devotion. The pilgrims must walk keeping Kabah on their left. Upon arriving at the Kaabah, stop reciting the Talbiyyah. You must be in Wudu (ablution). Men to leave their right shoulder bare ONLY during the entire Tawaf, this is called Idtiba’a, after the tawaf men need to cover both shoulders.
- Start at the Black Stone, either
- Kiss it if you can, if not.
- Touch it with your right hand, if not
- Face the Black Stone and point at it with your right hand
Say: بِسْمِ اللَّهِ, اللّهُ أكبر
(just before kissing it/or just before or whilst touching/pointing) For men, to Raml (hasten/briskly walk) during the first 3 rounds of Tawaf and walk normally during the other 4 rounds. Once you reach the Yamani corner, either Touch it with your right hand (do not kiss it), and say بِسْمِ اللَّهِ, اللّهُ أكبر or if unable, then continue without gesturing or saying anything from the Yamani corner to the Black Stone, recite :
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَة ً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَة ً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّار
“Our Lord, grant us good in this life and good in the hereafter and save us from the punishment of the Hellfire.” (Quran; 2:201)
When they will reach Rukh Al Yamani (the fourth corner of Kabah) they should only touch Hijra e Aswa.
After Completing Tawaf, proceed to Maqaam‐e Ibraaheem ‐ (Prophet Ibraaheem’s station)
At the End of Seven circles, they will do Istilam (touch or kiss the Black Stone) and say
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ, اللّهُ أكبر
Recite this verse (which means):
وَاتَّخِذُوْا مِنْ مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيْمَ مُصَلًّى
(And take you (people) the Maqaam (place) of Ibraheem as a place of Prayer. (Quran; 2:125)
the pilgrims will offer 2 rakat of Nafal close to Maqam-e-Ibrahim without covering their heads.
The pilgrims will go to Zamzam, which is situated in the basement of Haram to drink the water (Zamzam) while standing and saying “بِسْمِ اللَّهِ and (supplicate to Allah)
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ عِلْمَاً نَافِعَاًً وَرِزْقَاً وَاسِعَاًَ وَشِفَاءً مِنْ كُلِّ دَاءٍ
O, Allah! I implore for the beneficial knowledge, vast provisions and cure from every disease.”
The meaning of Sa’ey is to run/ walk back and forth seven times between the hills of Safah & Marwa which are situated to the North and South of Kabah.
As you leave the boundary of the Masjid, you can say (as prescribed for all Masaajid):
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ, وَ الصلاة والسلام عَلَى رسول الله, اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ,
(In the name of Allah, and prayers and peace be upon the Messenger of Allaah. O Allaah, I ask You from Your favour. O Allaah, guard against the accursed devil.) Upon approaching Mount Safaa, the following Ayaat (verse) is recited
إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِنْ شَعَآئِرِ اللَّهِ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَنْ يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا وَمَنْ تَطَوَّعَ خَيْراً فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيْم
(Verily, As‐Safaa and Al‐Marwah are from the symbols of Allaah. So it is not a sin on him who performs Hajj or ‘Umrah of the house (ka ‘bah) to perform the going (tawaaf) between them. And whoever does good voluntarily, then verily, Allaah is the All‐Recognizer, All‐Knower.” (Quran; 2:158)
نَبْدَأُ بِمَا بَدَأَ اللَّهُ بِه
(I begin with what Allaah began with.)
Then ascend upon Mount Safaa, face the Qiblah, raise your hands and recite 3 times:
اللّهُ أكبر, اللّهُ أكبر, اللّهُ أكبر
(Allaah is the Greatest, Allaah is the Greatest, Allaah is the Greatest.)
لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَه، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَ لَهُ الْحَمْدُ يُحْيِي وَ يُمِيْتُ وَ هُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيْر؛ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَه، أَنْجَزَ وَعْدَهُ وَ نَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ وَ هَزَمَ الأَحْزَابَ وَ حْدَه
(There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, Alone. He has no partner, To Him belongs the kingdom, & all praise belongs to Him, & He has power above all things, There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, He fulfilled His promise, Granted victory to His servant, And alone He defeated the allied army.)
The seventh trip will end at Marwa. After this, the pilgrim will offer two (2) rakat nafal.
4. Qasar / Halaq
After Sa’yee male pilgrims will get their heads completely shaved, females will clip their hair equal to a length of a fingertip.