Umrah is a beautiful journey to recognize Allah, taken by all Muslims. Pilgrims who want to perform this journey should purify their soul, heart, body, and mind from past sins; in this way, they can dignify themselves from others on the revival day. Umrah is a visit to the holy Kaaba performed by Muslims from all over the world. Its rituals are simple and shorter as compared to Hajj. Muslims can perform umrah every year by selecting one of the best umrah packages from their country.
4 stages of Umrah
The Umrah rituals are collectively known as the acts of faith performed by all the Muslims during their holy journey to the Kaaba. There are two kinds of umrah: al-Umrah al-Mufradah and al-Umrah al-Tammatu. Following are the four acts of Umrah; Muslims are involved in them and fulfill the rituals and holy duties.
The first stage of Umrah is Ihram
The first stage of Umrah is to put on Ihram and make an intention to perform Umrah. Pilgrims should put on ihram from Meeqat before entering the Masjid ul Haram. In the boundary of Haram, there are five different Meeqat, the specific place to wear Ihram. The state of Ihram, the act of niyyah to perform this worship, and offering a special prayer are compulsory to perform Umrah. Following are some restrictions on wearing Ihram.
- To become Muhrim (a state of Ihram), the pilgrims should clean their bodies with ghusl.
- Men should perfume their beards and trim their moustaches.
- Both men and women should cut their nails, fingers, and toes.
- Remove unwanted hair from the body.
- Ihram for men is two white sheets called Izar and Rida, and women‘s Ihram is simple light-colored Islamic clothes. Both should wear flip-flops or sandals to perform Umrah.
- When pilgrims wear ihram, they should offer two rakats of Salah and make niyyah from Meeqat.
- Recite talbiyah while traveling to Makkah.
The second stage of Umrah is Tawaf
Tawaf means the circumambulation of the holy Kaaba. After coming into state, Ihram Muslims perform Tawaf. It is an obligatory act of Umrah. Muslims perform tawaf seven times around the holy Kaaba. They start tawaf from the black stone and complete it there. They can touch it with their right hand or kiss the black stone while circumambulating Kaaba. The pilgrims complete seven anticlockwise circumambulations while reciting the prescribed dua. All the pilgrims reach the Mecca after landing in the Jeddah Airport. You can reach the Jeddah Airport after booking the Umrah Flights with the Qatar Airways or any other gulf countries airlines. In the first three circumambulations, only men do the raml (fast walk), and in the last four rounds, they complete the normal walk. The last circumambulation ends where the first began. When complete, Tawaf Muslims perform two rakats of prayer at Maqam Ibrahim and then drink ZamZam water from the ZamZam well.
The third stage of Umrah is Sai
Sai is also a very important stage of Umrah. Sai means walking seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwa. Pilgrims start Sai from the hill of Safa; from there, they see Kaaba with devotion and love and raise their hands to supplicate to Allah. Then they walk towards the hill of Marwah, reciting supplications. Men have to run between the hills, while women can walk normally. When pilgrims reach the top of the Marwah, they praise Allah facing the Kaaba and recite the supplications. In this way, they complete the procedure in seven laps. The seventh and last round ends at Marwah, where pilgrims repeat the same supplications. Each round is 450 meters long. While performing, the Sai men cover their shoulders with Ihram. In the last, pilgrims offered two rakats of nafl in Masjid Al-Haram.
The fourth stage of Umrah is Halq, or Taqsir
This is the last and final stage of Umrah. Halq means shaving the head, and Taqsir means shortening the hair of women and men. Pilgrims perform this step in Mina. Women cannot shave their heads; they are allowed to have a lock or strand of their hair clipped. On the other hand, men should shave their heads completely. After the completion of the fourth stage, all the prohibitions imposed on the pilgrims are lifted. Sai is an obligatory ritual, and after this, pilgrims can remove Ihram.