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Detailed Insights into Umrah and Its Top 4 Rituals

06 July 2023

Are you all set to perform Umrah this year? Congratulations, you have been chosen by Allah for this prestigious opportunity. It’s an honorable moment for every Muslim to be in a position to afford the expenses of Umrah.

While there are many Haj/Umrah travel agencies offering multiple packages such as Ramadan Umrah packages and others, people normally prefer the ones that are affordable yet convenient. Once the plan is finalized, one should be grateful to Allah and should never take the opportunity for granted.

MAKING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR TIME DURING UMRAH

Before proceeding, one should be clear about what Umrah is. It’s an Arabic word, meaning “a visit”, referring to visiting the Holy Kaaba for performing the pilgrimage rituals.

With Hajj being the foremost and greater pilgrimage, an Umrah is considered the second most important and minor pilgrimage. The entire Umrah is based on the teachings of Islam and can be performed at any time in the year. Whereas, Hajj can only be performed during the specified days, in Dhul-Hijjah.

Once you have made up your mind and decided to perform it, you need to craft a proper plan to utilize this time in the best possible manner and make the most out of it. To fulfill this purpose, one should be clear about what Umrah is, how to perform it, and the involved rituals during Umrah.

UMRAH RITUALS- THE STEPS INVOLVED WHILE PERFORMING UMRAH

When you have undertaken Ramadan Umrah packages or any package of your preferences, you are all set to embark on this spiritual journey. Umrah rituals are the steps that are mandatory to perform to complete the entire Umrah process successfully. The four main steps of Umrah include Ihram, Tawaaf-e-Kaaba, performing Saee, and Halq, as discussed below.

STEP #1- WEARING IHRAM

The first step involved in the Umrah process is Ihram, a religious state requiring you to wear specific white clothing and fulfill all the standards of basic hygiene. Pilgrims are all required to fulfill the requirements of this stage otherwise the purpose of Umrah would not be met. Wearing the right clothes is therefore mandatory for all Muslims.

The main purpose of embracing the Ihram attire is to promote a sense of equality and unity among all the pilgrims, as all are equal in the eyes of the Creator of this universe. Wearing Ihram eradicates all the social and financial differences between people. Thus, they become together and united for a single purpose, which is to seek the blessings and forgiveness of Allah.

Being in the state of Ihram, you need to keep in mind that men are not allowed to cut off their nails, hair, or beard, or wear any kind of stitched clothing.

In the case of women, white or black clothing that fully covers their body except for their face and hands comes under their Ihram. However, women are allowed to wear any stitched clothing beneath their Ihram. Also, you cannot use any kind of fragrances or scented products during the entire Umrah journey.

STEP #2- TAWAF-E-KAABA

The word “Tawaf” means encircling something, moving all and all in a circular motion around something. From the Umrah perspective, it is the act of moving in an anticlockwise circular motion around the Holy Kaaba, for a total of seven times. Tawaf-e-Umrah is a mandatory step of Umrah, after fulfilling all the Ihram requirements.

For performing this act, one needs to perform ablution or Wuzoo, and cleanse themselves from all kinds of impurities. At any point, if your Wuzoo ends, you need to perform it again from the scratch, and resume Tawaf.

STARTING POINT OF TAWAF

Now, you can start with anti-clockwise rounds, with Kaaba at your left side. Here, another Sunnah that you need to practice is Raml, which is moving in a specific position, with quick steps, and sticking out the chest, just like a warrior.

The first three rounds of your Tawaf should be fulfilled in the same position, and after that, you can complete the rest in normal condition. Throughout the procedure, you need to be highly respectful and maintain the decorum of the Holy place.

Eating, drinking, unnecessary conversations, photography, and videography are strictly prohibited at this place. If you get indulged in these activities, the real purpose of performing Umrah will be left behind, and you are going to make nothing out of this journey.

WHAT TO DO AFTER RGIHT AFTER PERFORMING TAWAF?

Upon the successful completion of all the seven steps of Tawaf, you need to perform a prayer, known as “Salah Al-Tawaf”, meaning the prayer of Tawaf. This prayer comprises two Rakahs and should be performed right after getting done with the Tawaf.

Once the prayer is completed, you need to head straight to the origination point of the all-pure Zamzam water. This well is located in Masjid Al-Haram, and you can acquire the desired water from any dispenser or fountain around. The best thing about being at this spot is, you can make any desired prayer here, that you want to be heard by the Almighty.

STEP #3- PERFORMING SAEE

The third most important step involved in Umrah is performing the act of Saee, which encompasses walking between the hills of Saffa and Marwah. This practice is followed seven times, after completion of Ihram requirements, and performing Tawaf-e-Kaaba.

There is no specific dua described for this process, and you can recite whatever set of prayers or dua you want to. However, you need to keep the sequence of these prayers the same during each visit to the hills. You will finish your seventh round at the hills of Marwah. This act marks the successful completion of Saee. It is also considered a better approach to perform 2 Rakahs of prayer here, however, it is not obligatory.

STEP #4- HALQ

The fourth, and final step of Umrah’s basic rituals, is to perform Halq, which indicates the exit and completion of the Ihram state. When you perform this step, you are required to leave the Ihram state and perform Halq or Taqsir, which requires one to shave or trim their head, to a certain ratio.

When Halq is done, one is free to leave the Ihram state, and all the relevant restrictions that come with Ihram are also uplifted, such as the use of fragrances, cutting nails, or getting engaged in marital relations. Now, you are all free to wear your normal clothes.

One thing to keep in mind here is, if this Umrah is a part of Hajj, still marital relations will remain prohibited for all. However, all the other associated restrictions will come to an end.

THE OVERALL TIME REQUIRED TO PERFORM UMRAH

Depending upon whether you choose Ramadan Umrah packages or any other, there are several other factors responsible for deciding your overall Umrah time. These factors include the overall type of crowd, your walking speed, the frequency of breaks you take in between, and the overall weather conditions as well. The most tiring and time-consuming steps of Umrah include Tawaf and Saee, which normally take 2 hours each, to complete. Crowded areas might result in extending your Umrah time, otherwise, you can complete the entire ritual in around three to four hours approximately.

WHAT TO PRACTICE AFTER RETURNING FROM UMRAH?

Choosing from different packages such as December Umrah packages, Ramadan Umrah packages, and many others, Muslims are overwhelmed to finally witness their Umrah journey. Once the pilgrims are back home, they receive a very warm welcome from their loved ones. With time, they once again get stuck in routine life. Maintaining the same spirituality level thus becomes a bit difficult for them to achieve. There are some practices that they can follow to set themselves on the path of righteousness and virtue, right after returning from Umrah.

Muslims should try to strengthen their faith in Allah and refrain from adopting bad habits. They should remember Allah in everything they do, and be a little more compassionate towards one another. They should try to offer all 5 prayers daily, and keep asking for the Almighty’s forgiveness.

VERDICT

Embarking on an Umrah journey is a whole new experience for individuals, who are mentally, spiritually, and financially ready to perform it. They should know in advance about all the Umrah-related travel packages, including Ramadan Umrah packages and many others. Also, the pilgrims should be well aware of all the basic rituals of Umrah, how to perform them successfully, and how to practice the teachings of Islam after

Muslims Holy Travel
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