Umrah in Islam is a beautiful spiritual journey that one takes to purify his soul, get in touch with his inner peace, and get closer to Allah. Any pilgrim who proceeds on this journey goes along the path to purify their soul, heart, mind, and body from the sins committed in the past to be distinguished from others on Resurrection day. Umrah is an Arabic word that is taken from “E’atmar” which means visit.
Umrah is usually performed by any Muslim at any age at any time by visiting the Holy Lands and completing a set of rituals that are done in a certain way, in a specific order, by a defined number of times. The most preferred time for Umrah by Muslims around the world is in the holy month of Ramadan, and of course, Umrah can be performed with Hajj.
Umrah is a confirmed Sunnah, it is neither compulsory nor, but performing it once in a lifetime is a confirmed Sunnah.
There is no specific time for performing it, no specific month, day, or year for Umrah as is the case in Hajj, so a Muslim can perform it at any time of the year.
The pilgrim intends at Meeqaat (a predefined place in which a Muslim can intend to start his Ihram) to start the rituals of Umrah by entering Ihram. So, the first pillar of Umrah is Ihram.
1- Hajj and Umrah are two rituals of Islam, the two differ in the degree of their obligation, the method of performance, the duration, the rites, and the method of performing the ritual.
2- Hajj is the major ritual compared to Umrah, and it is obligatory at least once in a lifetime, while Umrah is considered a confirmed Sunnah.
3- Hajj must be performed in the month of Dhu Al Hijjah, while Umrah can be performed at any time.
4- Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, while Umrah isn’t
5- Hajj is performed with a group of pilgrims, while Umrah can be sorted as an individual ritual.
6- Hajj involves many tiring, long rituals, and it is longer in duration, while Umrah can be performed within a few hours. and multiple ones can be done on the same day.
7- During the Umrah, the pilgrim does not visit Mina, Arafat, Muzdalifah, or the place where the stones are thrown(stone pillars representing the devils), nor is he required to sacrifice, as these rituals are only performed during the Hajj.
After finishing your Umrah you can pay a visit to the historical places in Makkah. You can also travel to Madinah to pray at The Prophet’s Mosque.