Importance of Umrah pilgrimage for Muslims
Umrah pilgrimage is the voluntary act that is often termed as Mini Hajj and comprises various essential rituals. Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said that the value of a person that visits Mecca to practice Umrah is equivalent to that of Allah’s guest and hence, Allah accomplishes their entire valid demands as they have come on Allah’s call. Moreover, the person that successfully completes the rites of Umrah get free from the sins they practised in their early life. Apart from this, the major benefit of practising the same is that if a pilgrim coming to Mecca to perform Umrah or leaving from Mecca dies on the way is entitled to access paradise without coming across the Judgment.
Rasul Allah ﷺ often said that practising Umrah in the holy month of Ramadan provides the reward equal to that of Hajj. However, this practice doesn’t mean that the Hajj of a person is accomplished rather he/she should practice the rites of Hajj at least once in their entire life. Though Umrah pilgrimage is neither considered as the part of Fard nor is said to be an obligatory act having a fixed time for practice, it is often believed that all the Muslims men and women should perform Umrah. The Miqat point i.e., the mark from where the pilgrims are required to put on Ihram and enter the state of same is known as ‘hill’. The pilgrims should either carry the Ihram from their land or put on the same on reaching the Miqat point. The major rites of Umrah are:
- Accessing the state of Ihram
- Circumambulation around Kaaba (Tawaf)
- Sa’i in the hills of Safa and Marwah
- Either shaving or cutting the hairs short (this rule is not applicable to women)
The rites of stoning, Muzdalifah, and Mina are not involved in Umrah