What are the rituals of Umrah?
A large number of people visit Mecca during Dhul Hijja and other Islamic months to practice Hajj and Umrah. Although Umrah is not part of the five essential Islamic pillars, the same assists a pilgrim to invoke Allah and get rid of past sins. The practice of Hajj and Umrah are similar except for some rituals involved in Hajj i.e., slaughtering of an animal in the name of Allah, throwing stones on Shaitaan in Jamraat Pahar, and etc.
In order to perform Umrah, Tawaf is the very first step that includes seven circuits around Kaabah. Men are necessitated to practice two important rites that are:
- • Al-Idtibaa – men usually uncover the right shoulder by placing the upper part of Ihram under the right arm and the lower portion of the same above the left shoulder. This rite generally begins during the commencement of Tawaf and ends during the conclusion of it. After successfully completing Tawaf, men can adjust their Ihram to its initial form.
- • Ar-Raml – another essential ritual for the men while Tawaf is to follow the hurried pace in the first three circuits whereas they can opt for normal pace in the remaining rounds.
After each circuit, pilgrims are required to raise their hand towards Hajre Aswad (the black coloured stone often considered as the stone of paradise) and utter ‘Allahu Akbar’. Although as per the main rituals, they should touch the black stone and kiss the same, there exists a huge crowd making it troublesome for the people to access Hajre Aswad. Once the seven rounds are finished, pilgrims then move towards the place of Ibrahim and pray two Rakha’s in which they have to recite Surat-al Kafiroon in former Rakha and Surat-al Ikhlaas in the later. Pilgrims then move towards the Mas’aa and then Safa and Marwah.