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What Is Umrah?

What Is Umrah?

Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, that can be undertaken at any time of the year. It is often referred to as the “lesser pilgrimage” in comparison to Hajj, which has specific dates in the Islamic lunar calendar. Umrah is a significant act of worship and spiritual devotion for Muslims. Al-Dirassa Institute invites you to elevate your understanding of Islam and deepen your spiritual connection through the best online courses  in Arabic, Quran, and Islamic teachings.

What is done during Umrah?

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Ihram: Pilgrims enter a state of spiritual purity by donning specific attire called ihram. For men, this consists of two white, seamless cloths, while women wear modest clothing that covers their entire body except for the face and hands. Pilgrims also make the intention (niyyah) to perform Umrah and recite the Talbiyah, a special prayer.

 

Tawaf: Pilgrims perform seven counter-clockwise circumambulations around the Kaaba, the sacred structure at the center of the Masjid al-Haram. This act symbolizes the unity of believers in the worship of the One God.

 

Sa’i: Pilgrims walk seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah, reenacting the search for water by Hagar, the wife of Prophet Abraham, for her son Ishmael. This ritual is performed in a specific corridor within the mosque.

 

Halq or Taqsir: Male pilgrims either shave their heads (halq) or cut a portion of their hair (taqsir). Female pilgrims generally cut a small part of their hair. This act symbolizes a renewal of faith and purity.

What is the purpose of visiting Umrah?

Spiritual Cleansing: Umrah is considered a means of purifying one’s soul and seeking forgiveness from God.

 

Renewal of Faith: It serves as an opportunity to renew one’s faith and commitment to Islam.

Reward and Blessings: Performing Umrah is believed to bring numerous spiritual rewards and blessings, with sins being forgiven.

Differences Between Umrah and Hajj:

Timing: Umrah can be performed any time of the year, while Hajj is performed during specific days of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar.

 

Obligation: Hajj is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is obligatory for those who are physically and financially able to undertake it at least once in their lifetime. Umrah, while highly recommended, is not obligatory.

 

Rituals: The rituals of Hajj are more complex and include additional ceremonies such as the standing at Arafat (Wuquf), spending nights in Mina, and the symbolic stoning of the devil.

 

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