The Umrah is a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year, in contrast to the Hajj. In Arabic, Umrah means “to visit a populated place.” In the Sharia, Umrah means to perform Tawaf round the Kaaba and Sa’i between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, after assuming Ihram (a sacred state), either from a Miqat like Zu ‘l-Hulafa, Juhfa, Qarnu ‘l-Manāzil, Yalamlam, Zāt-i-‘Irq, Ibrahīm Mursīa, or a place in Hill. It is sometimes called the ‘minor pilgrimage’ or ‘lesser pilgrimage’, the Hajj being the ‘major’ pilgrimage and which is compulsory for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it. The Umrah is not compulsory but highly recommended.
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. These acts of faith are:
- Perform a tawaf “طواف”, which consists of circling the Kaaba 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.
- Perform a sa’i“سعي”, which means rapidly walking seven times back and forth between the hills of Safa and Marawah. This is a re-enactment of Hajar’s frantic search for water. The baby Ismahel cried and hit the ground with his foot (some versions of 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.
- Perform a Halqor Taqsir meaning a shaving of the hair. A 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, and the pilgrim can choose to go out of ihram. Although not a part of the ritual, most pilgrims drink water from the Well of Zamzam. Various sects of Islam perform these rituals with slightly different methods.
The peak times of pilgrimage are the days before, during and after the Hajj and during the last ten days of Ramdan.
There are two types of Umrah, depending on whether one wishes to combine the Umrah with Hajj: al-Umrat al-mufradah al-mustaqillah ‘an al-Hajj (al-Umrat al mufradah) and al-Umrat al-mundammah ila al-Hajj (Umrat al-tammatu).
Al-Umrat al mufradah refers to Umrah that is performed independently of Hajj.
Umrat al-tammatu refers to Umrah that is performed in conjunction with Hajj. More precisely, the rituals of the Umrah are performed first and then the Hajj rituals are performed.
Difference between Hajj and Umrah.
- Both are Islamic pilgrimages, the main difference is their level of importance and the method of observance.
- Hajj is one of the Five piller of Islam It is obligatory for every Muslim once in their lifetime, provided they are physically fit and financially capable.
- Hajj is performed during a designated Month. However, Umrah can be performed at any time.
- Both seem similar in the start. Umrah can be performed in less than a few hours while Hajj is more time consuming, and involves more rituals.
No of Days: 15 Days.
- Umrah Visa.
- Return Air Tickets.
- Hotel Accommodation on twin sharing. (4 person sharing for group tours).
- Complete Visit of Holy places.
Not included in package cost.
- Meals: Lunch & Dinner.
- Cable car / Chair Lift Tickets / Entry tickets / Charged Car Parking.
- Mineral water.
- Travel insurance.
- Any other services not mentioned above in “Package includes” column.
- Masjid Al Haram.
- Mount Arfah.
- Cave Shur.
- Jannat ul Maula.
- The Well of Utman.