A detailed Guide

How to perform Umrah?

The Umrah rituals are a collection of acts of faith undertaken by all pilgrims on their spiritual journey to the Holy Kaaba.

There are two versions of Umrah, depending on whether one chooses to perform Hajj after the completion of Umrah rituals: Al Umrah Al Mufradah (optional before Hajj) and Umrah Al Tammatu (required after Hajj) (obligatory before Hajj).

The 5 steps required for Umrah Al Mufradah are as follows: each anchoring the traveler in the right moment towards total atonement, each involving the fulfillment of specific religious responsibilities and ceremonies.

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

If you are flying into Makkah, your Ihram will begin on the plane at a location outside of Makkah. This will usually be about an hour and a half before you enter Makkah, and you will be notified by an announcement. These locations where Ihram begins are known as Meeqats.

To enter into Ihram:

  •       Cleaning your body (hair removal, nail clipping, mustache trimming, and showering) is suggested before entering Ihram. This can be accomplished prior to departure.
  •       Wear Ihram clothing after one of the five daily prayers, if possible
  •       Make a decision to perform the Umrah.
  •       Say Allahumma labbayka ‘Umrah (in Arabic).
  •       The Talbiyah is recited.

**  If you miss entering Ihram at the Meeqat, you must either leave Makkah and return, or sacrifice a sheep as a penalty.

Both men and women must adhere to the following Ihram rules:

  •  Do not argue or fight with others.
  •  Do not curse, speak in an immoral manner, or use any foul words.
  •  Do not wear any perfume. This includes scented soaps, shampoos, wipes, lotions, and other similar products.
  •  Hair and nails should not be trimmed, plucked, or removed. (It is permissible to remove broken nails.)
  •  No sexual activity is permitted.
  •  No animals should be killed and hunted.
  •  Do not marry, propose to others, or assist others in marrying.

So far, you’ve crossed the Meeqat, declared your intention to undertake your Hajj, and entered Ihram. The Ihram is a state of thought, and certain things that would normally be halal for you are now haram, just as they are when you begin praying or fasting. It’s critical that you keep this mindset as you move forward with the next phases.

Tawaf is the Hajj and Umrah ritual of circling the Ka’bah seven times.

You must do wudu before beginning the Tawaf. Tawaf is not permissible for women who are menstruating.

It is customary for men to wear their Ihrams such that their right shoulder is uncovered. This is referred to as Idtiba’a. After completing their Tawaf, men must cover their shoulders once more (i.e., after seven tawafs).

How to perform Tawaf?

  •       Start at the Ḥajaru al-Aswad.
  •       You can kiss the Ḥajaru al-Aswad, touch it and then kiss your hand, or simply gesture to it without kissing it.
  •       From the Ḥajaru al-Aswad, make your way to the Yamaani corner. No other parts of the Ka’bah should be touched. You are free to          make any du’a you choose.
  •       If you get close enough to the Yamaani corner, you can touch it, but don’t kiss it or kiss your hand.
  •       Continue with your tawaf, circling back towards the Ḥajaru al-Aswad, reciting:

                                                                                       رَبَّـنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

  •       Your first tawaf comes to a conclusion at the Ḥajaru al-Aswad, where you started. Continue with your second tawaf, following the same steps as before.
  •       To complete your Tawaf, you must complete seven circles around the Ka’bah.

Here are a few more things to keep in mind:

  •       Do not enter the Hateem. If you enter the Hateem, that tawaf will not be counted, and you will have to repeat it.
  •       Men should only jog slowly for the first three tawafs. This is known as Ramal.
  •       All seven tawafs require women to walk normally. In the last four tawafs, men should walk normally.

Tawaf Al-Ifadah is the name of the Tawaf you are undertaking, and to complete it, you must pray at Maqam Ibrahim and drink Zamzam water. The steps are as follows:

  •     Proceed to Maqam Ibrahim after completing Tawaf and reciting the following ayah from the Quran:

                        وَإِذ جَعَلنَا البَيتَ مَثابَةً لِلنّاسِ وَأَمنًا وَاتَّخِذوا مِن مَقامِ إِبراهيمَ مُصَلًّى ۖ وَعَهِدنا إِلىٰ إِبراهيمَ وَإِسماعيلَ أَن طَهِّرا بَيتِيَ لِلطّائِفينَ وَالعاكِفينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجودِ

  •     Position yourself between the Maqam Ibrahim and the Ka’bah. It will be way too crowded when you try to stand directly in front of it. As long as the Maqam is between you and the Ka’bah, anywhere in Al-Masjid Al-Haram is fine.
  •     Pray a total of two rakats. In the first rakat, recite Surah Kafiroon, and in the second rakat, recite Surah Ikhlas (after Surah Fatihah,  of course).
  •     After praying at Maqam Ibrahim, Find any Zamzam water source.
  •     Standing up, drink Zamzam water. It’s also a recommended to pour water over your head.
  •     While drinking Zamzam, recite this du’a.

                                                                                     اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ عِلْمَاً نَافِعَاً وَرِزْقَاً وَاسِعَاَ وَشِفَاءً مِنْ كُلِّ دَاءٍ

  •       You must now move from Al-Masjid Al-Haram for Sa’ee, so recite the du’a for leaving the masjid.

Once you’ve memorized the instructions, they’re actually quite simple. To recap, you entered the state of Ihram earlier. You’ve completed seven circles around the Ka’bah while doing du’a, prayed two rakat, and drank Zamzam water.

Sa’i (Arabic: السعي) is a Hajj and Umrah ritual that involves going back and forth seven times between the two small hills of Safa and Marwa, which are located near to the Kaaba in Masjid al-Haram.

How do you go about performing Sa’ee?

  •        It is suggested, but not required, to use wudu. Women who are menstruating must perform Sa’ee.
  •        You may recite this ayah about Safa and Marwah on your way to Sa’ee.

                                                                                                         إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ

  •         Begin your Sa’ee in Safa.
  •         Between the hills of Safa and Marwah, you must complete seven rounds. Walking from Safa to Marwa counts as one round, and walking from Marwah to Safa counts as another.
  •         Men only have to run a portion of the distance. Green tube lights clearly demarcate this region.
  •         Recite the following du’a (similar to the Eid takbeer) three times at the top of each hill. After that, you can make personal du’as.

                                                                                                    اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ، اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ، اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ، وَلِلّٰهِ الْحَمْدُ

                                                                  لَا إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ، وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

                                                                                      لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اَللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ، اَنْجَزَ وَعْدَهُ وَنَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ وَهَزَمَ اَلْأَحْزَابَ وَحْدَهُ

That’s all there is to it! After seven rounds, Sa’ee will be done, and you will arrive at Marwah.

For men, ending ihram entails shaving or cutting their beards and changing from Ihram to regular clothing. For ladies, this entails trimming their hair by a fingertip’s length. 

 The state of Ihram is then ended, and the Ihram rules are lifted.

You now are finished with the ‘Umrah.