Umrah Guide




The meaning of Umrah:

The Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca (Hijaz) Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year, in contrast to the Hajj which has specific dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar.

In Arabic, ‘Umrah means "to visit a populated place." In the Sharia, Umrah means to perform Tawaf round the Ka ‘bah and Sa'i between Safa and Marwah, both after assuming Ihram (a sacred state). Ihram must be observed once traveling by land and passing a Miqat.

Different conditions exist for air travelers, who must observe Ihram once entering a specific perimeter about the city of Mecca. It is sometimes called the 'minor pilgrimage' or 'lesser pilgrimage', the Hajj being the 'major' pilgrimage which is compulsory for every Muslim who can afford it. The Umrah is not compulsory but highly recommended.


Types of Umrah:

A certain type of the Umrah exists depending on whether or not the pilgrim wishes to perform Umrah in the Hajj period, thus combining their merit.

When performed alongside the Hajj, Umrah is deemed one of “enjoyment” (Umrat al-tamattu) and is part of a fuller Hajj of enjoyment (Hajjul tamattu). More precisely, the rituals of the Umrah are performed first, and then the Hajj rituals are performed.

Otherwise, when performed without continuing to perform Hajj, the Umrah is considered a “single” Umrah (Umrah Mufradah).

Umrah Rituals:

The pilgrim performs a series of ritual acts symbolic of the lives of Ibrahim and his second wife Hajar, and of solidarity with Muslims worldwide. Pilgrims enter the perimeter of Mecca in a state of Ihram and perform Umrah.

  • Pillars of Umrah:




Halq or taqsir


  • First Pillar : Ihram,

A sacred state (of mind and body) into which a Muslim enters before performing Hajj or ’Umrah.

Cleaning your body (removing hair, clipping nails, trimming moustache, taking a shower) is recommended. This can be done before flying.

Wear your Ihram clothes before arriving at the Miqat

For men, this is two sheets of white clothing material.

For ladies, ordinary humble clothing will suffice.

It is recommended to put on the Ihram at the air terminal before flight.

Make your intention to perform Umrah. (Niyyah)

Say Allahumma labbayka ’Umrah 

Recite the Talbiyah.

If you forget to enter into Ihram at the Miqat , you  must either exit Makkah and re-enter it, or sacrifice a sheep as a penalty.

Miqat:    it is a location outside of Makkah where Ihram will begin.

Mawaqit: Fixed Times and Places For Ihram

Ibn 'Abbas (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) specified for the people of Madinah, DhulHulaifah (a place 540 km to the north of Makkah) as miqat. For those coming from ash-Sham (including Syria, Jordan and Palestine), he specified al-Juhfah (a place 187 km to the north-west of Makkah and close to Rabigh, where they now perform their Ihram). For those coming from Najd, he specified Qran al-Manazil, (a mountain, 94 km to the east of Makkah, overlooking 'Arafah. For those coming from Yemen, he specified Yalamlam (a mountain 54 km to the south of Makkah. These places are for the people (coming from the above specified countries) as well as for others, who pass by them on their way to perform Hajj or ’Umrah. Those living within those boundaries can assume Ihram from where they set out (for the journey), and even the residents of Makkah, their Miqat would be the place where they are staying in Makkah.’ Agreed upon.


 : Bulugh al-Maram 722

In-book reference

 : Book 6, Hadith 15

English translation

 : Book 6, Hadith 741



عَنِ اِبْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رَضِيَ اَللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا; { أَنَّ اَلنَّبِيَّ ‏- صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏-وَقَّتَ لِأَهْلِ اَلْمَدِينَةِ: ذَا الْحُلَيْفَةِ, وَلِأَهْلِ اَلشَّامِ: اَلْجُحْفَةَ, وَلِأَهْلِ نَجْدٍ: قَرْنَ اَلْمَنَازِلِ, وَلِأَهْلِ اَلْيَمَنِ: يَلَمْلَمَ, هُنَّ لَهُنَّ وَلِمَنْ أَتَى عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ غَيْرِهِنَّ مِمَّنْ أَرَادَ اَلْحَجَّ وَالْعُمْرَةَ, وَمَنْ كَانَ دُونَ ذَلِكَ فَمِنْ حَيْثُ أَنْشَأَ, حَتَّى أَهْلُ مَكَّةَ مِنْ مَكَّةَ } مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيْه ِ 1‏ .‏


صحيح.‏ رواه البخاري ( 1524 )‏، ومسلم ( 1181 )‏.‏


Rules for Ihram:

Do not fight or quarrel with others.

Do not curse, talk sinfully or use any bad language.

Do not use perfume. This includes scented soaps, shampoos, wipes, lotions etc.

Do not cut, pluck or remove any hair or nails. (Broken nails can be removed).

Do not engage in any sexual activity.

Do not kill, hunt or help others hunt any animals.


To Makkah:         Proceed to Makkah while preforming Talbiyah and Dhikr.

Upon entering Al-Masjid AlHaram proceed with Dua at the Kaaba, Keep your look brought down until you see Kaaba. After observing Kaaba, state Allāhu akbar. Allāhu akbar. Lā ilāha illa-llāh. Lift your hands, make a wealth of Dua and send Salawat on the Prophet ﷺ.


Second Pillar Tawaf

Circling the Ka'bah seven times in an anticlockwise direction. Men are encouraged to do this three times at a hurried pace, followed by four times, more closely, at a leisurely pace.

Men should wear their Ihrams so that their right shoulder is bare. Men need to cover their shoulder again after their Tawaf is complete (i.e. after seven rounds).


How to perform Tawaf?

  • Begin at the Black Stone. Recite (Bism –ALLAH wa ALLAHU AKBAR)
  • You may touch the Black Stone or point to it without by your hand. 
  • Move from the Black Stone to the Yamaani corner. Do not touch any other part of the Ka’bah. You may make any du’a you choose.
  • Once at the Yamaani corner, you can touch it if you are close enough. 
  • Continue with your tawaf, circling back towards the Black Stone.
  • Your first tawaf ends where you began, at the Black Stone. Now continue into your second tawaf, and repeat the same steps. 
  • You must circle the Ka’bah seven times for your whole Tawaf to be complete. 
  • For the first three tawafs, men only should slowly jog. This is called Ramal.
  • Women must walk normally in all seven tawafs. Men should walk normally in the last four tawafs.


After Tawaf:

  • Go towards Maqam Ibrahim
  • Stand so  Maqam Ibrahim is between you and the Ka’bah. Don’t try to stand directly in front of it - it will be far too crowded. Anywhere in Al-Masjid Al-Haram is fine, as long as the Maqam is between you and the Ka’bah.
  • Pray two rakats. It is recommended to recite Surah Kafiroon in the first rakat and Surah Ikhlas in the second rakat (after Surah Fatihah, of course).


What must you do after praying at Maqam Ibrahim?

  • Go to any Zamzam water point..
  • Drink Zamzam water while standing. Pouring the water over your head is also recommended.

Now you need to leave Al-Masjid Al-Haram for Sa’ee -




  • The Third Pillar Sa'i ,

which means rapidly walking seven times back and forth between the hills of Safa and Marwah. This is a re-enactment of Hajar's frantic search for water. The baby Ismael cried and hit the ground with his foot (the story say that an angel scraped his foot or the tip of his wing along the ground), and water miraculously sprang forth. This source of water is today called the Well of Zamzam.

  • It is recommended to have wudu, but it is not compulsory.
  • On your way to Sa’ee, you may recite this ayah about Safa and Marwah.
  • Begin Sa’ee at Safa.
  • You must make seven rounds between the hills of Safa and Marwah. Walking from Safa to Marwa is counted as one round, and Marwah to Safa as another round.
  • Men only must run part of the way. This area is clearly marked by green tubelights.
  • At the top of each hill, recite the du’a (similar to the Eid takbeer) three times. You can make personal du’as after this.

And that’s it! Sa’ee is completed after seven rounds, so you will end at Marwah.


  • Halq or taqsir:

Taqsir is a partial shortening of the hair typically reserved for women who cut a minimum of one inch or more of their hair. A halq is a complete shave of the head, usually performed on men. Both of these signify the submission of will to God over glorifying physical appearances. The head shaving/cutting is reserved until the end of Umrah.

These rituals complete the Umrah.

The peak times of pilgrimage are the days before, during and after the Hajj and during the last ten days of Ramadan.

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