How to Guide: 'Umrah

Imam Ahmad reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "One Umrah to the next serves as an expiation for what occurs between them..."

Before making 'Umrah, it's best to familiarize yourself with the following important points. Click on the arrows for details.

There are five conditions which if met, 'Umrah becomes obligatory.

1. Muslim 2. Complete Freedom 3. Mental Faculty 4. Puberty (It is valid if performed by a prepubescent youth but will not fulfill the obligation) 5. Capable i.e. has access to suitable provisions and transportation, in excess of what is required for themselves and their family. An additional sixth condition must be met by females which is the presence of a maḥram, such as a husband, father, or a nurse-relative etc., without which, her travel will be impermissible.

There are three pillars which must be fulfilled for a valid 'Umrah.

1. Ihram 2. Tawaf 3. Sai

There are nine things which are impermissible while in Ihram.

1. Removing hair. 2. Trimming nails. If a single hair or nail is removed, the penalty is to feed a single poor person. If two hairs or two nails are removed, it is to feed two poor people. The penalty for three or more hairs or nails is mentioned below. 3. Wearing fitted clothing (Men Only) or wearing gloves (Men and Women). 4. Covering the head of a man or the face of a woman. 5. Applying perfume to the body or clothing, using it in any way, or intentionally smelling it.

The expiation for committing any of the above (with the exception of 1 or 2 hairs or nails) is to choose between the following;

  1. Fasting three days.

  2. Feeding six poor people one mudd of wheat or one-half ṣāʿ of dates or barley.

  3. Slaughtering a sheep.

6. Killing an edible land-game animal or participating in hunting it.

The compensation for hunting is to choose between an analogous animal, if available, and distributing it to the poor of the sanctuary or appraising its value in dirhams and purchasing food sufficient for Fiṭr to feed every poor person one mudd of wheat or one-half ṣāʿ of something else; or fasting one day in place of the food for each poor person.

7. Entering into a marriage contract or participating in the process. There is no compensation for entering into a marriage contact while in ihram, it is however invalid and sinful. 8. Intercourse which obligates ghusl. If committed before completing sa'i, the 'urmah will be invalid, must be completed to disengage, and must be made up immediately. If it is committed after the sa'i but before shaving/trimming the hair, it is still valid. In both cases, a sheep must be slaughtered as a penalty. 9. Outercourse which results in ejaculation. The penalty is the sacrifice of a sheep. Note: The expiation of fitted clothing, perfume, and covering the head is forgone due to forgetfulness, ignorance, or compulsion but not intercourse, hunting, shaving, and clipping.

There are two obligations that must be fulfilled for 'Umrah.

1. Making Ihram from non-sacred land. 2. Shaving or trimming the hair.

Follow the instructions below. Click on the arrows for further details, pictures, and instructional videos.

1. Make Ihram.

Iḥrām is the intention to make 'umrah.

It is made at the miqat for those passing by and from non-sacred ground for those close to Makkah.

The miqāt for Madīnah is Dhul-Ḥulayfa, for Egypt and al-Maghrib is Juḥfa, which is close to Rābigh, for Yemen is Yalamlam, for Najd is Qarn, and for the east is Dhāt ʿIrq.

These are for their respective inhabitants and all who pass by.

If it's not made from the designated location, a sheep must be slaughtered as a penatly.

Just before making ihram, the following are preferred:

1. Performing ghusl, or tayammum with an excuse.

2. Washing up e.g. trimming the nails, removing body hair, eliminating any foul odors.

3. Applying perfume to the body. PLEAESE NOTE: If you perfume your ihram wraps, you cannot put them back on if they are removed of fall off (if the fragrance is still present) due to it (applying perfume while in ihram) being an infraction. If you do, a penalty must be paid.

4. Removing all fitted clothing and wearing clean white upper and lower wraps (MEN ONLY).

5. Making iḥrām after a prayer.

The intention is a requisite and therefore 'umrah is not valid without it.

The intention is to be uttered and it's recommended to make a conditional clause along with it by saying,

"اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أُرِيدُ عُمْرَةً فَيسِّرْهَا لِي، وَتَقَبَّلَها مِنِّي، وَإِنْ حَبَسَنِي حَابِسٌ فَمَحِلِّي حَيْثُ حَبَسْتَنِي."

“O Allāh I desire 'umrah, so facilitate it for me and accept it from me and if I were to be prevented by something, then my place of disengagement is wherever I am prevented.”

After making iḥrām, it is recommended to make the talbiyah, which is to say,

لَبِيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَيْكَ، لَبَيْكَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ لَبَيْكَ، إِنَّ الحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالمُلْكَ، لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ

“I am here at Your service. O Allāh, I am here at Your service. You have no partner. Surely the praise and blessings are Yours, and the dominion. You have no partner.”

It is said audibly by men and silently by women.

It is highly encouraged to say when ascending a peak, descending into a ravine, meeting companions, the beginning of night or day, hearing another making talbiyah, and after praying an obligatory prayer.

You stop making talbiyah upon seeing the Ka'bah.

2. Make tawaf 7 times.

It is preferred that you enter Makkah during the day from its upper-most part (the north) and the masjid from the door of Banī Shaybah if possible.

When you see the Ka'bah, you should raise your hands and in a loud voice say,

اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ السَّلَامُ وَمِنْكَ السَّلَامُ حَيِّنَا رَبَّـنَا بِالسَّلَامِ"

“O Allāh, You are peace and from You comes peace. Our Lord grant us a life of peace."

"اللَّهُمَّ زِدْ هَذَا البَيْتَ تَعْظِيمًا وَتَشْرِيفًا وَتَكْرِيمًا وَمَهَابَةً وَبِرًا، وَزِدْ مَنْ عَظَّمَهُ وَشَرَّفَهُ مِمَّنْ حَجَّهُ وَاعْتَمَرَهُ تَعْظِيمًا وَتَشْرِيفًا وَتَكْرِيمًا وَمَهَابَةً وَبِرًّا."

"O Allāh increase this house in glory, honor, dignity, solemnity, and veneration. Increase the glory and honor of whoever make ḥajj and ʿumrah out of its glory, honor, dignity, solemnity, and veneration."

"الحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ العَالَمِينَ كَمَا هُوَ أَهْلُهُ، وَكَمَا يَنْبَغِي لِكَرَمِ وَجْهِهِ وَعَزَّ جَلَالِهِ، وَالحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي بَـلَّغِنِي بَيْتَهُ، وَرَآنِي لِذَلِكَ أَهْلًا، وَالحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ عَلَى كُلِّ حَالٍ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ دَعَوْتَ إِلَى حَجّ بَيْتِكَ الحَرَامِ وَقَدْ جِئْتُكَ لِذَلِكَ، اللَّهُمَّ تَقَبَّلْ مِنِّي وَاعْفُ عَنِّي، وَأَصْلِـحْ لِي شَأْنِي كُلِّهِ، لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ"

"All praise is for Allāh, the Lord of the worlds, as He is deserving, in a manner befitting to His noble face, and mighty sublimity. All praise is for Allāh who has brought me to His house having seen me worthy of it. All praise of for Allāh in every condition. O Allāh, You have called to the pilgrimage of Your sanctified house and so I have come for that. O Allāh, accept it and pardon me, rectify all of my affairs, there is no deity worthy of worship but You.”

For men, tawāf is made with the middle of the top wrap under their right shoulder.

Begin at the black stone, facing it with the entire body, and then touch it with the right hand and kiss it.

If that is difficult, touch it with the right hand and kiss your hand.

If that is difficult, make a gesture to it.

Each time it is touched, you say,

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ، اللَّهُمَّ إِيمَانًا بِكَ، وَتَصْدِيقًا بِكِتَابِكَ، وَوَفَاءً بِعَهْدِكَ، وَاتِّـبَاعًا لِسُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ مُحَمَّدٍ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ

“In the name of Allāh, Allāh is the greatest, O Allāh with faith in You, belief in Your book, fulfilling Your covenant, following the way of Your prophet Muḥammad."

Then with the Kaʿbah on your left side (going counter-clockwise), make seven rounds.

Those coming from beyond the distance which permits the shortening of prayer (135 KM / 85 US Miles), jog with short strides in the ṭawāf for the first three rounds and walk in the remaining four.

While passing the black stone (each time) say,

ُاللهُ أَكْبَر

Allahu Akbar.

If possible, in each round you are to touch only the black stone and Yemeni corner, which is not kissed.

Thronging should be avoided. Do not attempt to touch the black stone if it's going to cause you or someone else harm.

Between the Yemeni corner and the stone, you should say,

رَبَّـنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْـيَا حَسَنَةً، وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً، وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

In the remainder of the ṭawāf, whatever supplications or remembrances you desire can be said.

It is not valid if the seven rounds are not completed, the intention is not made, it is done the other way, on the buttress, on the wall of the ḥijr, in the nude, in a state of ritual impurity, or while soiled with impurity.

After ṭawāf, men are to cover both shoulders. The only time when the right shoulder should be exposed is during ṭawāf.

It is then preferred to make two rakʿahs behind the station of Ibrāhīm reciting al-Kāfirūn and al-Ikhlāṣ.

Now move on to the next step.

3. Make sa'i 7 times.

After praying behind maqam Ibrahim, if possible, you should touch the black stone.

Then exit through the door of al-Ṣafā. Climb upon it (it is not recommended for women to climb either mount if it will result in exposing their 'awrah in anyway) until you see the Ka'bah.

Face it and make takbīr three times by saying,

اللهُ أَكْبَرُ، اللهُ أَكْبَرُ، اللهُ أَكْبَرُ

Then say (3 times),

الحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ عَلَى مَا هَدَانَا، لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ المُلْكُ وَلَهُ الحَمْدُ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ وَهُوَ حَيٌّ لَا يَمُوتُ بِيَدِهِ الخَيْرُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ، لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، صَدَقَ وَعْدَهُ، وَنَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ، وَهَزَمَ الأَحْزَابَ وَحْدَهُ

“All praise belongs to Allāh for guiding us. There is no deity worthy of worship but Allāh who is alone and without partner. To Him belongs the dominion and all praise. He gives live and death, in His hand is all good, and He can do all things. There is no deity worthy of worship but Allāh who is alone and without partner. He fulfilled His promise, He aided His slave, and He alone defeated the confederates."

Then supplicate as you like.

Next, descend and walk toward al-Marwā.

Men are to run when they are within six cubits from the first green marker until they reach the other marker. Running should be avoided if it will result in harming one's self or others.

Next, climb al-Marwā and say what you said on al-Ṣafā.

Then, descend from al-Marwā and head to al-Ṣafā, walking and running in their respective places.

This is done at total of seven times.

From al-Ṣafā to al-Marwā is one lap and from al-Marwā to al-Ṣafā is another lap.

During the laps you say,

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ وَارْحَمْ، وَاعْفُ عَمَّا تَعْلَمُ، وَأَنْتَ الأَعَزُّ الأَكْرَمُ

“Lord, pardon and show mercy, overlook what You know, You are the Mighty and Honored.”

If you begin from al-Marwā, the first lap does not count.

During sa'i, both purification and covering are recommended.

Intention, continuity, and its occurrence after ṭawāf of the rites are requisites.

Sa'i will conlcude on al-Marwā.

Now move on to the next step.

4. Shave or trim hair.

After completing the sa'i, men are to either shave their entire head or trim all their hair. Women are to trim the length equivalent to their fingertip or less from all their hair. Umrah is now complete and you have disengaged from ihram. Making ṭawāf is highly recommended and legislated at all times. It is always performed in 7 rounds with 2 rak'ahs to conclude it.

Whenever you wish to leave Makkah, you are to bid farewell to the Ka'bah with ṭawāf, which is voided due to menstrual cycle. If you remain behind or engage in trade, you are to repeat it.