ʿUmrah Made Easy – A Step-by-Step Guide

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A comprehensive guide for the pilgrim wishing to perform the rites of ʿUmrah in an easy and complete manner.

Virtues

  • Abū Hurairah (r.a.) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “The pilgrims performing Ḥajj and ʿUmrah are a delegation to Allah. If they call upon Him, He will answer them; and if they ask for His forgiveness, He will forgive them.” [Ibn Mājah]
  • Abū Huraira (r.a.) reported Allah’s Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as saying: “He who came to this House (Kaʿbah) (with the intention of performing ʿUmrah), and neither spoke indecently nor did he act wickedly, would return (free from sin) as on the (very first day) his mother bore him.” [Muslim]
  • The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said to a woman from among the Ansār: “When it is Ramadhān, perform ʿUmrah, for ʿUmrah during Ramadhān is equivalent to Ḥajj.” [Nasa’i] Although there isn’t a specified time, performing ʿUmrah during Ramadhan is deemed very virtuous, as indicated in the above narration.
  • ʿAbdullah ibn ʿUmar narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “120 mercies descend daily upon the House of Allah, 60 of which are for those who are performing ṭawāf, 40 for those who are performing ṣalāh, and 20 for those who gaze at the House of Allah.” [Ṭabarānī]
  • ʿAbdullah ibn ʿUmar also narrates that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) say: “Whoever circles the Kaʿbah seven times (ṭawāf) and prays two rakaʿāt’s will have a reward as if he has freed a slave. A man does not raise his foot and bring it back down except that ten good deeds will be written for him, ten bad deeds will be erased, and he will be raised by ten degrees.” [Ahmad and Ibn Mājah]

Before ʿUmrah

Purity

  • Carry out all those acts which are permissible but will later be prohibited due to entering into the state of iḥrām like clipping the nails, removing unwanted hair under the armpits and navel and trimming the moustache.

Bathe

  • Do ghusl (bath) or at the very least, wudhū (ablution).  It is sunnah for every man, woman and child, to bathe prior to wearing the ihrām garments.

Iḥrām Garments 

  • Before reaching the mīqāt boundary, put on the ihrām garments. Depending on your journey, choose a time which suits you best.
  • For men, this is two sheets of white cloth. For women, regular modest clothing will suffice.

Ṣalāh of Iḥrām 

  • Perform two rakaʿāt ṣalāh after putting on the iḥrām. This should be performed before the mīqāt has been crossed, provided it isn’t one of the prohibited times for ṣalāh. Perform the ṣalāh with the intention of two rakaʿāt nafl for iḥrām.
  • Recite Sūrah al-Kafirūn in the first rakaʿāt and Sūrah al-Ikhlās in the second after Sūrah al-Fatihah. Supplicate after the ṣalāh.

Intention

  • Make intention for ʿumrah as you approach the mīqāt boundary, preferably in the plane. Make sure you remove any clothing that violates the conditions of iḥrām. It is recommended to make a verbal intention. This may be done in any language. An example of an intention is:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أُرِيْدُ الْعُمْرَةَ فَيَسِّرْهَا لِيْ وَتَقَبَّلْهَا مِنِّيْ

“O Allah, I intend to perform ʿumrah, so accept it from me and make it easy for me.”

Talbiyah

  • After making your intention, recite the talbiyah. It is a condition for the validity of ʿumrah to recite the talbiyah with the tongue at least once. The talbiyah is:

لَبَّيْكَ اللهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ – لَبَّيْكَ لَا شَرِيْكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ – إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ – لَا شَرِيْكَ لَكَ

“(I am) At Your service, Allāh, at Your service. At Your service, You have no partner, at Your service. Truly all praise, favour and sovereignty is Yours; You have no partner.”

  • The sunnah method of reciting the talbiyah is to briefly pause at four places, indicated by the dashes.
  • Men should recite the talbiyah audibly, whereas women should recite it softly ensuring that it is loud enough to be heard by herself or someone next to her. 
  • The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “There is no Muslim who says the talbiyah except that – on his right and left, till the furthermost parts of the land, from here to there – the rocks, or trees, mud all say the talbiyah”. [Tirmidhī]
  • It is recommended to say the talbiyah abundantly in all conditions, in a distinct audible voice and, repeating it thrice.
  • Talbiyah should be discontinued upon commencing ṭawāf. 
  • Once the intention has been made and the talbiyah has been uttered, you will have entered the sacred state of Iḥrām so ensure to refrain from all the prohibitions of iḥrām.

Enter Masjid al-Ḥarām 

  • Upon reaching Masjid al-Ḥarām, enter with your right foot and recite the following:

أَعوذُ بِاللّهِ العَظِيـمِ، وَبِوَجْهِـهِ الكَرِيـمِ وَسُلْطـَانِه القَدِيـمِ، مِنَ الشَّيْـطَانِ الرَّجِـيمِ، [بِسْـمِ اللّهِ وَالصَّلَاةُ] [وَالسَّلامُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللّهِ]، اَللَّهُـمَّ افْتَـحْ لِي أَبْوَابَ رَحْمَتـِكَ.

  • Make intention of nafl iʿtikāf.

Upon Seeing the Kaʿbah 

  • Keep your gaze lowered until you see the Kaʿbah. Upon seeing it, recite the following three times:

اللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ. اللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ. لَآ اِلَهَ اِلَّا اللّٰهُ

  • Supplications are accepted upon the first sight of the Kaʿbah. Therefore, look at the Kaʿbah at a time when you are at ease to supplicate and at a time when you can present all your wants and hopes in the court of Allah.

Ṭawāf of ʿUmrah

Purity

  • Wuḍū is a requisite of ṭawāf. If wuḍū is nullified during the course of ṭawāf, it is compulsory to immediately terminate the ṭawāf and resume from where the wuḍū was nullified (after performing wudu).

Iḍṭibā

  • If you are a male, you should uncover your right shoulder by passing the top sheet of your iḥrām under your right armpit, allowing the garment to hang over your left shoulder.

Intention

  • Make intention to perform ṭawāf solely for Allah.

Starting Point

  • Position yourself in line with the corner of the Kaʿbah where the ḥajar-ul-aswad is situated.

Takbīr

  • Gesture towards the ḥajar-ul-aswad from afar. To do takbīr, raise your hands to your ears and say the following:

بِسْمِ اللهِ، وَاللهُ أَكْبَر، وَلله الْحَمْدُ، والصَّلاةُ والسَّلاَمُ عَلى رَسُولِ الله

  • Takbīr will only be made once at the beginning.

Istilām

  • Immediately after the takbīr, stretch your hands towards the ḥajar-ul-aswad with your palms facing the ḥajar-ul-aswad saying:

بِسْمِ اللهِ، وَاللهُ أَكْبَر

  • Kiss the palms without making a noise.

Start

  • Turn to your right and start the first circuit of your ṭawāf, ensuring the Kaʿbah is on your left. Proceed in an anti-clockwise direction. It is not good etiquette to stare at the Kaʿbah during ṭawāf.

Raml

  • In the first three circuits, it is sunnah for men to perform Raml. Raml refers to the practice of walking briskly like a soldier whilst gently shaking the shoulders, (one should refrain from running or jogging as this is incorrect).

Dhikr and Duʿā

  • During your ṭawāf, you may recite prayers and supplications of your choice. Duʿā’s are accepted during ṭawāf so make the most of the occasion and remember Allah with sincerity and devotion. If you want to make Qur’anic and Prophetic supplications during your ṭawāf, make an effort to memorise and learn the meanings of them.
  • Reciting Qur’an and sending salutations upon the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) during ṭawāf is also recommended.
  • It is Sunnah to recite the following duʿā between the Rukn al-Yamānī and the ḥajar-ul-aswad:

رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
“O our Lord, grant us the good of this world, the good of the Hereafter, and save us from the punishment of the fire.”

End of Circuit

  • Returning to ḥajar-ul-aswad marks the completion of one circuit. Begin the second by doing istilām of ḥajar-ul-aswad as previously described.
  • Performing istilām at the start of ṭawāf and at the end is a highly emphasised sunnah and performing istilām on the other six occasions is desirable; hence, if istilām is omitted it will not have an effect on the ṭawāf.

Ṣalāh of Ṭawāf

  • Upon finishing the ṭawāf, perform two rakaʿāt of ṣalāh. If you are in the state of idtiba i.e. you have your right shoulder uncovered, cover your shoulder with your Iḥrām. It is Sunnah to recite Sūrah al-Kafirūn in the first rakaʿāt and Sūrah al-Ikhlās in the second after Sūrah al-Fatihah.
  • This ṣalāh is wājib (mandatory) and can be performed at any time apart from the makrūh (disliked) times. 

Zamzam

  • After completing ṣalāh and making duʿā, drink Zamzam water to your fill.
  • Before drinking the Zamzam water, make an intention that its consumption will be a means of fulfilling your wishes, whether that is good health, success in this world, or protection from the tribulations of the grave.
  • The Prophet Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “The water of Zamzam is for whatever purpose it is drunk for.” [Ibn Mājah]
  • It has been the practice of the pious that they would drink Zamzam for their lofty purposes.

Sa’i of Ṣafā and Marwah

Proceed to Ṣafā 

  • Go to the hill of Safā and make intention for sa’i. It is sunnah to perform sa’i immediately after ṭawāf. While wudhū (ablution) is not a prerequisite for sa’i, it is Sunnah to perform sa’i with wudhū (ablution).

At Ṣafā 

  • Once reaching Safā and having the Kaʿbah in sight, recite the following thrice:

لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ، وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِير، لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اَللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ، اَنْجَزَ وَعْدَهُ وَنَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ وَهَزَمَ اَلْأَحْزَابَ وَحْدَهُ

Proceed to Marwa 

  • On the way to Marwa, men should quicken their pace between the set of green lights. Women should continue normally.
  • The following supplication has been reported by Ḥadhrat Ibn Masʿud and Ḥadhrat Ibn ʿUmar to be read between the green lights:

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ وَارْحَمْ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الأَعَزُّ الأَكْرَمُ

Dhikr and Duʿā

  • Do dhikr and duʿā of your choice as you walk between Safā and Marwa.

Duʿā at Marwa 

  • Upon reaching the hill of Marwa, face the direction of the Kaʿbah, raise your hands in supplication and repeat the same supplications you recited at Safā. This completes one lap of sa’i. Returning back to Safā is considered a second lap.

End of Sa’i 

  • Repeat this procedure until you have completed seven laps, at which point you should be at the hill of Marwa.

Shaving or Trimming

Leaving Masjid al-Haram

  • As you leave Masjid al-Harām, step out with your left foot and recite the following duʿā:

بِسْمِ اللهِ وَالصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَّامُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ، اللَّهُمَّ إَنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ

Leaving the State of Iḥrām

  • After sa’i, you must have your hair shaved or trimmed by at least an inch in order to leave the state of ihrām and complete your ʿUmrah.
  • It is more virtuous for a man to have the head shaved completely.
  • Women may only have their hair trimmed. A woman is simply to trim a fingertip’s length i.e. about an inch from the end of her hair.
  • It is sunnah to start shaving/trimming from the right side.

Tips & Advices

  • Have a sincere intention. Make sincere repentance from all previous sins
  • Ensure only permissible sources of income are used on this journey.
  • Obtain maximum knowledge about the rites of ʿUmrah from authentic sources. Abstain from blindly following others.
  • Value every moment as you may never get this opportunity again. Think of every action to be your last.
  • Abstain from every type of sin.
  • Choose the right travel companions. Endeavour to travel with scholars and the pious.
  • Wholeheartedly supplicate at every given opportunity. It is advisable to supplicate in a language which one understands.
  • Ṭawāf should be performed with focus and calmness.
  • Exercise patience and consideration for others. Avoid causing inconvenience to anyone.
  • Women should totally abstain from mixing in the midst of men.
    Walking in front of someone performing ṣalāh during ṭawāf is permissible.
  • If you lose count of the number of circuits you have performed, use your judgment to ascertain the remaining number of circuits. If you are informed about the remaining number of circuits from someone else, take their word for it.
  • Avoid performing ṭawāf in large groups. Not only does it inconvenience others, but reduces concentration. If one fears separation from one’s companions, then set a meeting point beforehand where all can assemble.

Prepared and Compiled by BMPublications

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