How to perform umrah STEP BY STEP in english
How to Perform Umrah
The Umrah (Arabic: عمرة) 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.
Travel to a miqat.As with the Hajj pilgrimage, a Muslim cannot travel directly to the Ka'bah in Mecca to begin Umrah. Surrounding Mecca are fivemiqat, which are special holy barriers that all Muslims must pass through before proceeding to their religious duties as pilgrims. At the miqat, all pilgrims must stop and assume a ritual state of purity which must be maintained throughout the Umrah. Passing the miqat without assuming this state not permitted — if this is done, the pilgrim must return to one of the miqat before beginning the Umrah again. The sites of the five miqat (with their distance and geographical position relative to the Ka'bah) are:
- Dhu'l-Hulayfah: 450 kilometers (280 miles) north of Mecca. 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) from Medina.
- Juhfah: 190 kilometers (118 miles) northwest of Mecca.
- Qarn al-Manazil: 90 kilometers (56 miles) east of Mecca.
- Dhat Irq: 85 kilometers (53 miles) northeast of Mecca.
- Yalamlam: 50 kilometers (31 miles) southeast of Mecca.
- In addition, some Muslim scholars believe it is appropriate to assume Ihram in the city of Jeddah, which is not one of the five traditional miqat but is 86 kilometers (53.5 miles) from Mecca and is home to Saudi Arabia's busiest airport. However, in this case, an additional animal sacrifice may be required.
- Finally, most people who live in Mecca use a special miqat called Tan'eem which is only about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the Ka'bah.
Assume the Ihram state of purity.At the miqat, all pilgrims must assume a special state of religious purity calledIhram. Externally, this is marked by putting on certain special clothing. For men, this clothing is two special pieces of unstitched white cloth also called "Ihram," while for women this is ordinary but loose, conservative clothing.However, Ihram is more than just a uniform — it's a mental state and a code of behavior that marks the pilgrim's complete devotion to the duties of the Umrah. The state of Ihramforbids:
- Arguing, shouting, using impure language or acting aggressively
- Showing affection to one's spouse or having sexual intercourse (a pilgrim also may not marry while in the state of Ihram)
- Joking and immodest behavior
- Shaving any part of the body, clipping the nails, and using perfume or cologne
- Wearing a head covering, socks, or close-toed shoes (for men). Women may wear head coverings and socks, but cannot wear the face veil (niqab).
- Killing animals except in self-defense or in the case of annoying pests like flies and mosquitoes (in both cases, driving the animal away without killing it is preferable)
Recite the Talbiyyah.At the miqat, the pilgrim recites a special short prayer called the Talbiyyah. This recitation announces the pilgrim's presence to God and cements his or her intent to complete the pilgrimage. Pilgrims are encouraged to repeat the Talbiyyah throughout their pilgrimage when they have time. The words of the Talbiyyah are:
If flying, consider assuming Ihram before/during your travel to Mecca.Today, Muslims from all over the world make the trip to Saudi Arabia via air travel. However, since Saudi Arabia's busiest airport is in Jeddah, which is technically within the miqat boundary, many Muslims choose to assume the state of Ihram before or even during their travel. In this case, the pilgrim should bathe before leaving and make sure to change into the proper clothes for Ihram at some point before the plane crosses the traditional miqat boundaries.
- It is generally considered better to assume the state of Ihram well before crossing the miqat boundary than waiting until the plane nears the boundary and running the risk of crossing the boundary without becoming pure, so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to change.
Performing Umrah Rituals
Proceed to the Ka'bah, reciting Talbiyyah.Once they have assumed Ihram at one of the miqat, pilgrims proceed to the Ka'bah, the holiest site in all of Islam. Until they reach the Ka'bah and begin to perform the rituals ofTawwaf, pilgrims are encouraged to repeat the Talbiyyah to themselves continuously (or as often as possible when it is reasonable to do so.) Pilgrims may also offer their own unique, special prayers to God or recite portions of the Qur'an — the precise words you offer aren't as important as maintaining a solemn, humble, devoted mindset.
Perform Tawwaf circumambulation around the Ka'bah.At the Ka'bah, pilgrims complete theTawwaf— the act of walking around the Ka'bah seven times in a counterclockwise direction. Each "circuit" starts and ends when the Black Stone is on the pilgrim's right (there is a brown marble line marking this starting point.) The pilgrim recites a short prayer to express the intention to complete Tawwaf before beginning. This prayer is:
- "In the name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest. O Allah! Having faith in you, confirming the truthfulness of Your Holy Book, fulfilling Your promise and following the Sunnah of Your Prophet (peace be upon him)".
- After this intention prayer, the pilgrim begins to walk. The first three circuits should be completed quickly; the next four slowly. While completing the seven circuits, the pilgrim is encouraged to touch and kiss the Black Stone each circuit if possible (if it is too crowded to kiss, it is appropriate to kiss the fingers and touch the stone.)
- Men should expose their right shoulder (and only their shoulder) by tucking their robes under their right armpit.
Offer praise to God while performing Tawwaf.The Tawwaf is a very special experience during which Muslims have a greater opportunity to express their devotion to God than during their ordinary life. While completing the Tawwaf, one's thoughts should be pure and focused on God. Many pilgrims choose also to offer oral praise as they walk. The most common recitations used for this are:
Make the Say'ee walk between Mounts Safa and Marwa.After the Tawwaf, the pilgrim completes another special Umrah ritual called theSay'ee. The Say'ee involves walking back and forth between two small mountains called Safa and Marwah. Starting from Safa, pilgrims complete seven circuits, making a total of four stops at each mountain. At each stop, the pilgrim recites the following short prayer:
Have your hair shaved or trimmed and leave the state of Ihram.After the seventh circuit of Say'ee, the major events of the pilgrimage are over. At this point, the pilgrims at Marwa have their hair shaved or cut as a sign of their symbolic "renewed" or "rejuvenated" state. Men are strongly encouraged to have their heads shaved. Trimming the hair is permitted, but shaving the head entirely is preferable. Women only have their hair trimmed.
- After this hair-trimming, the Umrah is over and pilgrims are released from the state of Ihram. They may revert to their normal clothes and assume their normal behavior, though they should maintain a devout, humble mindset as long as they are in Mecca.
If performing Hajj, do not have your hair cut.While Umrah can be performed by itself, the rituals of Umrah also make up the first part of the longer Hajj pilgrimage. If Umrah is being performed as part of the Hajj, pilgrims typically skip the hair-cutting ritual described above and do not leave the state of Ihram (this may differ depending on the type of Hajj the pilgrim is completing — there are three different varieties of Hajj.) If they do cut their hair, they must re-enter Ihram before starting the rest of the Hajj rituals.
Preparing for Umrah
Book travel arrangements to Saudi Arabia well in advance.Traveling to Mecca can be an ordeal,especiallyduring the yearly Hajj, when pilgrims from all over the world flock to the holy city in huge numbers. To ensure you're able to make it to Mecca without difficulty (and get the best fare), book your travel arrangements as early as you can. This also allows you to have some flexibility — if, for some reason, you can't make your original Umrah dates, you may still have time to make arrangements for another date.
- To avoid the hassle of making travel arrangements to Mecca, many Muslims use the services of special Hajj and Umrah travel agencies. For a fee, these agencies will handle the process of buying tickets and scheduling flights for you.
- While you are booking your Umrah arrangements, you may also want to make arrangements to complete other religious duties while you are near many of Islam's holiest sites. For instance, Medina, the second-holiest city in Islam, which contains many holy sites, shrines, and mosques, is only about four hours from Mecca by car.
Obtain a Umrah/Hajj visa from the Saudi government.If you don't have Saudi Arabian citizenship, making the Umrah or Hajjrequiresa valid Umrah or Hajj visa. These visas are issued by the Saudi government for free, but require a valid passport, up-to-date vaccinations, and a completed application authorized by a licensed travel agency. For the official application form and a list of licensed Umrah travel agencies in the US, visit the official website of the Saudi Embassy at Saudiembassy.net.</ref>
- Note that Umrah visas are valid for 15 days — pilgrims must not stay in the country any longer than this.
Consider attending Umrah/Hajj seminars in your community.The Umrah and Hajj pilgrimages are major life events for most Muslims. Luckily, they're almost never ones that must be undertaken alone. Ummahs (Muslim communities) around the world generally offer some sorts of informational events or seminars for those wishing to make their pilgrimage in the future — this will vary from community to community, so talk to a local imam if you are unsure what options are available in your community.
- Note that many Muslim communities and Hajj/Umrah travel agencies will also organize pilgrimage groups so that pilgrims can travel to the holy city with people from their community that they know. For many, especially those who are uncomfortable traveling to a foreign country alone or only with one's family, this is a very preferable option.
Prepare for the Arabian climate.Except for small outlying parts of the country, Saudi Arabia is a very hot, arid desert. Average summer temperatures are about 45oC (113oF), though highs of up to 54oC (129oF) are not unusual. In the spring and fall, temperatures are more moderate, but still quite hot, while in the winter, low humidity and high windchill factors can make the weather surprisingly chilly.In short, the Arabian climate can beveryunforgiving, so be absolutely sure to bring proper clothing and accessories.
- In the hot months of the year, lightweight clothing that minimizes the amount of exposed skin is essential. Loose, flowing garments that cover the skin but allow air to reach it are best — take inspiration from traditional Saudi garb like theThoub.In cooler months, more conventional clothing may be worn. Be sure to bring a parasol or umbrella as head coverings for men are forbidden during Umrah.
- Keep in mind that, in the dessert, the temperature can plummet with nightfall, so it's a good idea to have a few sweaters or other types of warm clothes with you to be safe even during the summer.
- High-SPF sunscreen is a must to prevent serious sunburns and skin damage, especially if you're fair-skinned. Most skin cancer resources also recommend SPF 15+ sunscreen even for dark-skinned people.
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, youcan'tenter 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)
Know which cultural differences to expect as a foreigner.Though Saudi Arabia is a modern country by most standards, there are many significant cultural differences between Saudi Arabian life and Western life. As a general rule, Saudi Arabia is a much more religiously conservative country (even compared to other Muslim countries) than most Westerners will be used to. To avoid a faux pas (or more serious problems), it's important to understand these differences before arriving. Below are just a few major cultural differences to expect:
- Saudi businesses halt operations five times per day for the five daily prayers mandated in Islam.
- During the holy month of Ramadan, the pace of daily life slows down significantly and the entire Muslim population practices daytime fasting. It is discouraged to eat food in public.
- Pointing the soles of the feet at someone is considered a sign of disrespect.
- The right hand should be used for shaking hands and giving things to people.
- Saudi men are comfortable standing very close to each other — usually, their idea of "personal space" is much smaller than a Westerner's.
- It is considered rude to completely refuse refreshments like food, coffee, tea, etc. — as a courtesy, it is best to accept at least a small amount.
- Saudi men should not be complimented on their material wealth or possessions.
- Most importantly,contact between men and women can be very limited, even in religious/business settings. See below.
- Do not criticize the government or participate in protests. Activists may be prosecuted as these rights are not guaranteed.
Be aware of the unique challenges women may face.As noted above, women in Saudi Arabia have a very different life than those in Western countries. A Western woman arriving for the first time in Saudi Arabia will probably have to "cover up" much more than she is used to and to restrict her interactions with males in public. Women (even foreigners) are expected to wear conservative, loose fitting attire that, at bare minimum, covers their collarbones, elbows, and knees. In public, more conservative coverings like anabayacloak may be required. Women usually do not usually meet with men without male accompaniment.
- Note that women who are menstruating are not allowed to perform the Tawwaf (though they may take part in the other aspects of the Umrah).For this reason, many Muslim women schedule their Umrah for a time when they don't expect to menstruate or use a medical solution (like birth control pills) to change their menstrual schedule.
QuestionWhat do I do if I am planning to make umrah with a group, but am a 42-year-old unmarried woman?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGo with a group of women, or take a trusted relative such as your dad, uncle or brother.Thanks!
QuestionSince I can't wear a niqab, what should I wear to hide my face from men?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerRemember, you don't have to hide your face from men. You can use a hijab or a burka though if you'd prefer.Thanks!
QuestionIf a woman menstruates during umrah tawaf she can't complete tawaaf. How can she complete umrah especially when she has tawaf pending and come out of ihraam?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt is obligatory for her to return to Makkah and travel around the house and to seek refuge between Safa and Marwah, then she must dispose of her ihraam, so that the tawaaf of menstruating women is not permissible or valid.Thanks!
QuestionWhat kind of shoes do I wear during haram? I have a feet problem, can I wear clean shoes (new and never worn outside) in the haram area?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you have a foot problem, then you should wear socks or slippers in the haram area.Thanks!
QuestionI have irregular bleeding that isn't my period, can i still perform umrah?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAccording to the hanafi school of thought, the umrah can still be performed, however you would have to make wudhu at the time of each salaah.Thanks!
- Although not a part of the ritual, most pilgrims drink water from the holy Well of Zamzam located in Mecca after the Umrah.
- In a flight to Saudi Arabia for Umrah/Hajj, when you near the miqat, the pilot will announce that this is the time for you to make your intention and to say Talbiyah. Those who did not change their clothes before should do so at this point (though this can be inconvenient inside the plane.)
- It is a good idea to ask at the time of boarding if the arrival of Miqat will be announced by the pilot. If not, make your intention and say Talbiyah on your own approximately one hour before you reach Jeddah.
- If you are flying with a group, follow the instructions of the group leader.
Video: How to perform umrah in urdu best video Umrah Step by Step
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