How To Perform Umrah In Detail
What is Ihram status?
It is a state in which a person is prohibited to practise particulars deeds that are legal at other times. It is a representation of total rejection of worldly life in order to get purified and to lift the soul to a high spiritual level of consciousness of ALLAH Almighty and the Eternal life. It makes the pilgrim modest, equivalent to others, and helpless as it is the Day of Qayamat or resurrection. The restrictions of the condition of Ihraam are very rigorous in terms of the system the pilgrim behaves with others, with himself, and with ALLAH Almighty and also in terms of using usual worldly things such as putting perfume, cutting hairs etc. This makes the pilgrimage a school of restraints, discipline, taqwah and self-control.
Prohibitions of Ihram
After intention (niyyat) and Talbiyah, you are now entered in the status of Ihram and from this time on you must not do acts that are prohibited in Ihram , for example, here are some of the things a muhrim should not do:
- Cover head (for men), cover face (for women)
- Cover the middle bone of the portion part of the feet for men
- Shave or cut hair
- Cutting nails
- Apply perfume
- Wear stitched clothing (for men) / (Women can wear their ordinary clothes)
- unreasonably dispute and malicious talks
- Killing or hunting an animal or insects of the land as mentioned in Holy Quran (5:95) or cutting trees.
Verse 5:95 of Holy Quran;
O you who have believed, do not kill game while you are in the state of ihram. And whoever of you kills it intentionally - the penalty is an equivalent from sacrificial animals to what he killed, as judged by two just men among you as an offering [to ALLAH ] delivered to the Ka'bah, or an expiation: the feeding of needy people or the equivalent of that in fasting, that he may taste the consequence of his deed. ALLAH has pardoned what is past; but whoever returns [to violation], then ALLAH will take retribution from him. And ALLAH is Exalted in Might and Owner of Retribution.
- Marrying someone or getting married or even asking someone's hand for marriage.
- Sexual intercourse.
Preparations for Ihram
Comb your hair properly, shape the beard, trim your moustache, cut your nails, and remove all unwanted body hair.
Take a bath with the intention (niyyat) of Ihram otherwise do wuzu. Here it is noted that there are 2 ways of purification:
- Purification of the body by takin shower or just by doing wuzu.
- Internal purification, honest repentance on your sins. Say something like this: "O ALLAH, I sincerely regret on my sins and seek your forgiveness."
Entering into ihram status
Men must wear a sheet of white coloured cloth around the waist and cover the upper portion of body with the other sheet. Women's regular clothes are their Ihram. Men must wear the flip-flops (Hawaii chappal) so that the centre bones of the upper part of the feet are not covered. Perform two rakats of nafil for ihram by covering your head (keep away from undesirable time). Until one utters intention (niyyat) and talbiyah they are not entering into the status of ihram. It should be done before crossing the meeqat (one of the numerous places
Prophet (PBUH) specified to enter into ihram).
Those who are coming from faraway countries almost in all the flights their will be announcement before 10 minutes of crossing the meeqat and during crossing the meeqat. At that time one must utter their intention (niyyat) and talbiyah to perform umrah. Those who did not change their garments before must do so now although it is not suitable inside the plane. Please note that it is a better idea to ask at the time of boarding about the arrival of Meeqat will be announced by the pilot. If not, make your niyyat or intention and say Talbiyah on your own about one hour before you reach Jeddah. Those who are travelling by car must stop at the station of meeqat and enter into the status of ihram.
Intention and Talbiyah
Now uncover your head and proclaim your intention. It is supposed that you are performing Umrah.
Immediately after that utter the words of Talbiyah 3 times and afterwards as possible. If you do not remember it, you can utter its translation in English or in any other language but Talbiyah is pronounced in a loud voice by men and in a quiet voice by women.
Journey towards city Makkah
When this holy journey towards Makkah tul-Mukarrama starts, recite Talbiyah repeatedly on the way. Then enter the city very respectfully and with enormous fondness still reciting Talbiyah.
After arranging for your accommodation proceed to the Haram Shareef to perform Umrah.
THE RITES OF PERFORMING UMRAH:
The rites of Umrah are:
- Entering in the state of Ihram
- Tawaf of Holy Kaabah
- Saaee between the hills of Safa and Marwa
- Shaving or clipping of the head hair
ENTERING MASJID AL-HARAM
You must be already in Ihram for Umrah before entering Makkah (meeqat) as mentioned above.
2. Entering Masjid al-Haram:
Before entering in masjid al haram make sure that you have done you ablution (wuzu) which is necessary for performing tawaaf. While reciting Talbiyah, enter in Masjid al-Haram if possible through Bab as-Salam (it is not than you can enter through any gate close to your accommodation) with your right foot first. Supplicate to ALLAH Almighty and proceed towards Holy Kaaba.
3. First Sight:
At the first sight of Holy Kaaba, keep your eyes fixed at Baitullah and very humbly and with tears in your eyes supplicate (dua) to
ALLAH Almighty for whatever you desire. This is a very special time for the acceptance of dua or prayers.
The idea is to glorify and praise your Creator before proclaiming Darood and supplications. Hence, in lieu of ALLAHU Akbar and La Ilaha Illallah, you may recite some other like holy verses if you so wish.
After this, when uttering Talbiyah, move forward to perform Tawaaf of Holy Kaaba.
TAWAF Of UMRAH
Tawaaf means circling around something. But in Islamic term it means circumambulation around Holy Kaabah seven times with great taqwa
Pass the upper sheet of Ihram clothing from underneath the right arm and put it on your left shoulder. This act bares the right shoulder and is famous as Iztaba. An ablution (wuzu) is necessary for tawaaf. Reciting of Talbiyah is stopped when you reach the Black Stone Hajar-e-Aswad, the starting point of tawaaf.
2. Niyyah (Intention):
Stand in front of Holy Kaaba facing Hajar-e-Aswad (the Black Stone) in such a way that the complete Hajre-e-Aswad is on your right side. To attain this end, you may take help from the black stripe on the floor (even though this mark was masked now by white coloured plaster still you can see the shape of little strip). This stripe must be on your right side. Then without raising your hands make Niyyah or intention for Umrah
Now moving towards right, come in front of Hajr-e-Aswad (the Black Stone) and kiss it if possible, or touch it or just raise your hands to your ears keeping your open palms towards Hajr-e-Aswad. This act of kissing Hajr-e-Aswad or pointing towards it is known as Istilam.
4. Tawaaf Starts:
After Istilam, turn right and begin tawaaf (circumambulation) counter clockwise.
The authorities of Saudi often apply perfume to Hajr-e-Aswad,
Rukn-e-Yamani and Multazam. If so, do not touch them when in the state of Ihram, or else a dum will be compulsory as a penalty.
For the initial three rounds of Tawaaf of Umrah, men are required to move their shoulders and walk with speedy short steps. This act is known as Ramal and is Sunnah. They walk normal during the remaining four rounds. In Tawaaf or Circumambulation around Holy Kaaba the pilgrims (men) walk quickly, men almost jog with short steps in the initial three tawaaf or circumambulations and uncover their right shoulders during all the tawaaf (circumambulation).
6. Supplications of Tawaaf:
There are not any fixed Dua for tawaaf but there are several suggested supplications listed in the books of Hajj and Umrah.
Hateem is a semi-circular half-built portion which was actually a part of the Holy Kaaba but which could not be included in the actual structure when the Holy Kaaba was rebuilt. It is compulsory to go around Hateem also while performing tawaaf (circumambulation).
After passing the 3 corners of the Holy Kaaba you reach the fourth corner well-known as Rukn-e-Yamani. Touch it with both hands or with your right hand. Supplicate (dua) while walking between Rukn-e-Yamani and Hajar-e-Aswad.
9. Seven Circuits:
At Hajar-e-Aswad, start the 2nd circuit by kissing it or pointing towards it as you started the initial circuit, i.e., come in front of Hajar-e-Aswad (The Black Stone), raise both the hands to your ears with open palms towards it. After this go around Holy Kaaba as you did before and in the same way complete the seven circuits.
10. The End of Tawaaf (circumambulation):
At the end of seven circuits, do Istilam of Hajar-e- Aswad or point towards it eighth time which is Sunnat Mu'akidah. Also say:
"Bismillahi Allahu Akbar Wa Lillah Hill Hamd"
11. Iztaba Finished:
Now Iztaba is finished, hence, you cover your both shoulders with upper part of the Ihram sheet. This does not apply for women.
Now, come to Multazam which is a place about five or six feet in length between Hajr-e-Aswad (Black Stone) and the door of Holy Kaaba. This is an extremely sacred place where prayers are accepted. Among a huge crowd of people, if it is possible to reach Multazam, if you are unable to come near to Multazam, just face towards it and supplicate (dua) from a distance. While approaching multazam follow a dignified approach and see the fellow pilgrims not get hurt.
13. Muqaam-e-Ibraheem (station of Ibraheem):
Next offer 2 rakats of nafils behind and near to Muqaam-e-Ibraheem without covering your head if it is zawal time when sajda (prostration) is not allowed, you have to wait till this undesirable time is passed and then offer namaz. In the niyyah (intention), say that you are offering 2 rakats of nafil wajib al- tawaaf. After this, supplicate to ALLAH Almighty in Arabic language or in your own language. Ask Him whatever you desire and invoke His blessings. If it is not possible to offer this compulsory namaz near Muqaam-e-Ibraheem (station of Ibraheem), it can be performed anywhere in Mataf, or in Hateem.
14. Water of Zamzam:
Now go to well of Zamzam, drinking point just approximately 400 meters from the Holy kaaba. The sacred well situated in the basement of the Haram that is about 200 feet from the door of Holy Kaaba and is now closed entry. Zamzam is the most excellent available water in the world. Drink this water to your fill while in standing position saying Bismillah. Then supplicate to ALLAH Almighty.
The literal meaning of Saaee is to run or to make effort, but as a Umrah and Hajj term, Saaee denotes walking back and forth 7 times between the hills of Safa and Marwah which are located to the south and north of the Holy Kaaba respectively. Now there are just signs of these hills and the entire route between them is enclosed in an extended gallery. Saaee has an Islamic historical background. Hazrat Ibraheem (AS) left his wife Hazrat Hajra and infant son Hazrat Ismaeel (AS) in the wilderness of city Makkah at the command of ALLAH Almighty.
The mother and son lived for 5 days on the food and water they had when the water was totally finished. The mother Bibi Hajra ran anxiously 7 times between the hills of Safa and Marwah in search of some water for Her son Hazrat Ismaeel (AS). Suddenly the fountain of Zamzam oozed amazingly near the feet of Hazrat Ismael (AS). Saaee is included in the rites of Umrah and Hajj and to commemorate this event of struggle and search.
HOW TO PERFORM SAAEE
1. Istilam of Hajr-e-Aswad.
Before starting Saaee, do Istilam of Hajar-e-Aswad or point towards it. Now proceed towards the hill of Safa. It is a Sunnah to be in the condition of ablutions during Saaee.
2. Start of Saaee at Safa.
Climb the hill of Safa and make intention (niyyah) for performing Saaee. (Indeed Safa and Marwah hills are among the Signs of ALLAH Almighty.) After this climb hill Safa to the point from where you can see the Holy Kaaba, then facing the Holy Kaaba raise your hands in supplication (Dua), say ALLAHU Akbar 3 times and recite the supplication or ask ALLAH Almighty whatever you wish.
3. Proceed towards Marwa.
Come down from hill of Safa and move towards hill Marwa while reciting supplication: If you don't remember any supplication, recite Subhan ALLAH, Alhamdu Lillah, and ALLAHU Akbar repeatedly and keep moving. You may also praise ALLAH Almighty and ask for His mercy in your own language or use supplications taken from the every day Salah. When you reach 2 green coloured pillars between which men have to run but the women have to walk with their normal pace.
4. At Marwah
When on top of hill marwa, praise ALLAH Almighty facing the Holy Kaaba and repeat the similar supplications that were recited at hill Safa. One trip is now over, second trip will be on Safa and 3rd trip will be on Marwah.
5. End of Saaee.
In the same way, the 7th trip will end at Marwa. In all trips the men will run between the green coloured pillars but the women will walk in their normal way.
6. Shaving or clipping of head hair.
After Saaee, men must get their heads completely shaved (shaving is preferable). Women are, though, allowed to have a lock of their head hair clipped. They are prohibited to shave their heads.
7. Umrah is complete.
After cutting the head hair, umrah is now complete. All the restrictions of Ihram are finished. Now wear your normal clothes and lead a normal life. Be grateful to ALLAH Almighty that He provided the chance for performing Umrah and lead rest of your life according to the commands of ALLAH Almighty.
You may perform Umrah as often as you desire according to the above procedure. And if you desire to perform just a nafil Tawaaf, follow the similar procedure, though, in a nafil Tawaaf there is no Ihram, no Ramal, no Iztaba and even no Saaee.
If a person wants to perform more umrah while you are stayin city Makkah you have to cross the meqaat and follow the same procedure as above.
PLACES OF INTEREST IN MAKKAH:
While you are staying in makkah you can go round makkah by private taxies and visit the following sacred places. (Approximate cost 50 saudi riyals per car which can accommodate 5 persons). The most excellent time to visit is after fajr prayer.
1. JABAL THOUWR:
This mountain is located in south part of makkah. There is a cave where prophet (PBUH) hide along with Abu Bakr (RA) while He starting the hijra.
2. JABAL RAHMAH IN ARAFAH:
This is the mountain where all the hajjis make supplication (dua) on the day of (arafat) hajj. From this mountain the Prophet (PBUH) made His last sermon during His hajj.
Where hajis will stay the night when returning back from arafat after completing day long rituals of hajj.
This is the place where hajjis will stay 5 days during hajj. There are 3 pillars as a symbolic representation of shaitaan called jamaraat. Where hajjis through 7 pebbles on shetan.
5. JABAL AL-NOOR:
There is a cave in the mountain called HIRA where the
Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet (PBUH) in the night of Holy month of Ramadan.
6. JANNATHUL MALAH:
This is the main burial ground in city Makkah. At the end of this ground between two mountains there is grave of Hazrat Khadija (RA) - ummul moomineen and first to accept religion Islam and also first wife of Prophet (PBUH)
7. ABRAJ AL-BAIT
The Abraj Al-Bait is a government-owned mega tall complex of 7 skyscraper hotels in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. These towers are a part of the King Abdul Aziz gift Project that strives to modernize the city Makkah in catering to its pilgrims.