Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca performed by Muslims in abundance every year. Hajj is being performed by Muslims in order to seek blessings of Almighty Allah. In Arabic Umrah means to visit a populated place. This is one of the fundamental Islamic principles. In simple terms Umrah means perform Tawaf round the Kabah . Short form of hajj is called as Umrah in Islamic terms. Both the pilgrimages are Islamic and mandatory constraints but the main difference is their level of importance and most importantly the method of observance. Hajj is performed over specific days where as umrah can be performed any month. Although, both umrah and Hajj have common rites. Umrah can be performed in less than few months while Hajj is more time consuming and requires alot of patience. It is filled with a lot of rituals. Both Umrah and Hajj is facilitated by several travelling agencies under Hajj and Umrah packages.
There are several steps involve in Umrah. First is performing ghusl or process of complete body wash. This includes trimming nails and remove pubic hair if its necessary. Offering, salah or prayers of all 5 time. This also includes offering 2 rakat of travelling Salah prayers before setting off. Before, leaving for obligatory steps some verses are being recited which English translation says that “In the name of Allah, I place my trust in Allah, and there is no might nor power except with Allah and there is no might nor power except with Allah” During journey each Muslim try to keep themselves busy with Allah’s remembrance. Zikar is being made by reciting Quran Pak, Islamic books, importance and verses of Hajj to praise His Glory. Once you left for travelling the next prayer is due. It can be combine and shorten them as this is concession from Allah Almighty. Dhur and Asar has 4 rakats together similarly Magrib has 3 Rakaats and similarly Isha has 2 Rakaats together. There is not restriction in performing sunnah and nawafil.
The second step is Meeqat. Meeqat is basically a place from where actually Umrah starts and the pilgrims enter the state of Ihram.Ihram is 2 pieces of white cloth that is preferably wear after one of the 5 daily prayers.It is being wore after the neyah of Umrah.Here a quranic verse is being recited that says “Here I am O Allah making ‘Umraah. If there is someone who has fear of more likely to be subjected to illness or anything else that might create hurdle in their Umrah,one may add another verse that says in its translation that is “I come out of the state of Ihraam from place You prevent me from continuing”.This means that if anyone couldn’t complete Umrah because of any reason then they simply cut their hair and do not have to pay the ransom.
The main verse that actually is included while performing Umran or haj during Tawaf( moving in circular motion around kaba).The translation of verse says that “Here I am, O Allah here I am.Here I am.You have no partner . Here I am.Surely all praise, grace and dominion is Yours, and you have no partner.The 3rd step includes is Entering Masjib Al Haram which is located in Makkah, Saudia Arabia.One must enter with right foot in Masjid Al Haram while making dua. Next step of Umrah comes with Tawf or seven rounds around kaba that must be done with Wudu or ablution.For men it is restricted to keep one shoulder bare during Tawaf which is called as Idtiba’a.After this Tawaf men need to cover both shoulders.
The other step is to proceeding towards Maqaam e ibraheem and quranic verse is being recited whose translation says that “ And take you(People) the Maqaam(place) of ibraheem as a place of Prayer.One can pray in mosque too if possible.It is mostly preferred here to recite during the first Rak’ah( after Surah Al fatiha), Sureh Al Kafiroon and Surah Al Ikhlaas.
The next step is drinking zam zam water.One has to make dua before drinking the Zam Zam water and also has to pour water over head.After this one has to return to Black Stone touch it with your right hand(as before) if its not convenient do nothing and one has to proceed to do Sai.
Sai is the 7 circuits having wudu is highly recommended but not compulsory.During this one has to leave the boundary of the Masjid, one must say verse that says: “ In the name of Allah and prayers and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah. O Allah, I ask you from Your Favour.O Allah, guard from the accursed devil”.After approaching Mount Safaa, the following ayaat or verse is recited that says:Verily, As-Safaa and Al- Marwah are from the symbols of Allah.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, Allah is the All-Recognizer, All Knower”. And the other verse which says “Indeed Safa and Marwah are from the places of worship of Allah.. I begin with what Allah began with”. And the last verse