The main reason behind the “Umrah is so important in Islam”, it is a holy pilgrimage for Muslims to Mecca. This means visiting a place that is densely populated. Umrah can be performed at any time except for the “5” days of Hajj, which fall in the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
These days start from the eighth date of Dhul Hijjah and end on the twelfth date of Dhul Hijjah.
Many Muslims consider Umrah a “minor Hajj” while Hajj is an “annual pilgrimage”. Therefore, Umrah is not as necessary for all Muslims as Hajj because Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam.
What happens in the Umrah?
According to Islamic traditions, Umrah is to circumambulate around the Kaaba as well as perform Sa’i between the 2 mountains in Masjid al-Haram. The names of these two mountains are al-Safa and al-Marwah. The same steps are also taken in Hajj. After these steps, men have to perform another ritual where they have to shave their heads completely. And for the woman, there is a last-minute culpability order whereby she only has to shave an inch.
Special requirements for Umrah:
Before travelling for Umrah, you will need a passport, visa, airline ticket, and hotel reservation. Hence, the best travel agency can fulfil your travel essentials through Umrah packages.
Every pilgrim will need special clothing for Umrah. This dress is special because of certain rules for wearing and removing it. The name of this special dress is Ihram, which will be worn before crossing the Miqat. It is different for men and women. Men wear unstitched plain 2 white sheets. Women can wear the everyday clothes they wear in their normal life. It is better to cover your normal clothes with Abaya, which is a long, loose garment.
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There are some restrictions associated with Ihram:
1: It is forbidden to hunt animals in the state of Ihram.
2: Sexual activities are prohibited in the state of Ihram.
3: Women should keep their faces and hands uncovered.
4: It is forbidden to use any kind of perfume on the body or clothes in the state of Ihram.
5: Men should keep their heads uncovered.
Why is Umrah so important?
In Islam, Umrah is the second-holiest pilgrimage after Hajj. Umrah erases the sins of those who perform it with full intention. If someone performs Umrah in Ramadan, he will get a great reward equal to the reward of Hajj. Umrah removes poverty. When you perform the rites of Tawaf and Sa’i of Umrah, you find yourself as a guest of Allah during these rites.
Remove the Poverty_ Hazrat Ibn Abbas (RA) reported that Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said:
“Perform Hajj & Umrah consecutively; for they remove poverty & sin as bellows removes impurity from iron.”
Source of link: https://sunnah.com/nasai:2630
Remove the Sin_ Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said:
“From 1 Umrah to another is the expiation for what comes in between, and Hajj Al-Mabrur brings no reward less than Heaven.”
Source of link: https://zamzam.com/blog/benefits-of-umrah
Equivalent to Jihad_ Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) stated:
“Jihad of elderly, the young, the weak & the women, is Hajj & Umrah.”
Source of Link: https://www.iium.edu.my/deed/hadith/bukhari/026_sbt.html
It is a long-standing dream for every Muslim to perform Umrah at least once in his life because it is the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Today, the Saudi government has lifted the restrictions of the past. So, performing Umrah is more accessible than in the old days if one has the best deals regarding Umrah packages.