Preparation for Umrah
As the time approaches for your Umrah, what are the things that you need to know before going?
Here we will go through roughly what Umrah consists of and how certain acts are performed. Please note, this is a summary and it is always advised to read on this topic further and listen to lectures to get a full grasp inshaAllah.
Before any action, we have to firstly make our intention sincere and remind ourselves that this is for the sake of Allah. The second is to perform our actions according to the prophet and his ways (peace and blessings of Allah upon him).
‘Umrah consists of four things:
- Saa’i between al-Safa and al-Marwah
- Shaving the head or cutting the hair
Ihram means having the intention of starting the rituals of Hajj or Umrah. Before entering Ihram you will be changing your clothes (men) and doing ghusl, it is also advised to apply any perfume you may have at hand – to your beard and head.
Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said: When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) wanted to enter ihram, he would perfume himself with the best perfume he could find, then I would see shining traces of that musk on his head and beard after that.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 271; Muslim, 1190.
Doing ghusl is a Sunnah for both men and women, including women who are bleeding from childbirth or menstruation. In a narration by Muslim (1209), the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) commanded Asma bint Umays (bleeding following child birth) to perform ghusl and to bandage her private parts before entering Ihram. Once ghusl is complete and the perfume has been applied you should put on the Ihram garments.
(See video of how to put Ihram on by Ustadh Ismail Davids: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9hwdVKPskQ)
Before entering Ihram we should face the qibla and utter the intention:
“Labbayk Allaahumma bi ‘Umrah – (Here I am, O Allah, for ‘Umrah).”
Once that is done we continue by saying the Talbiyah as the Prophet (pbuh) did:
“Labbayka Allaahumma labbayk, labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk. Inna al-hamd wa’l-ni’mata laka wa’l-mulk, laa shareeka lak – (Here I am, O Allah, here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise and blessings are Yours, and all sovereignty, You have no partner).”
And with that, you have entered the state of Ihram.
Side note: It is advised for men to raise their voice when saying the Talbiyah and for women to recite it in a way that the person next to her can hear it, if the person next to her is a non mahram male, she should say it silently.
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Jibreel came to me and told me to tell my companions and those who are with me to raise their voices when reciting the Talbiyah.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawud, 1599.
It is advised to enter al Masjid al Haram with the right foot and say, “Bismillah wa’l-salaatu wa’l-salaam ‘ala Rasool-Allah. Allahumma ighfir li dhunoobi waftah li abwaab rahmatika. A’oodhu Billaah il-‘Azeem wa bi wajhih il-kareem wa bi sultaanih il-‘qadeem min al-Shaytaan il-rajeem – (In the name of Allah, and blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah. O Allah, forgive me my sins and open to me the gates of Your mercy. I seek refuge with Allah the Almighty and in His noble Countenance and His eternal power from the accursed Satan).”
Once that is done, you go to the Black Stone to start Tawaaf. Try and touch the Stone with your right hand and kiss it; if you cannot kiss it then try touch it with your hand and kiss your hand. If you cant even touch it with yout hand then simply face the Stone and point to it with your hand and say “Allahu akbar”, but do not kiss your hand.
There are great virtues in touching the Black Stone;
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah will raise up the Black Stone on the Day of Resurrection and it will have two eyes with which it will see and a tongue with which it will speak, and it will bear witness for those who touched it in sincerity.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 1144.
In pursuit of touching the Stone you should not hurt or cause annoyance to people to people, as this causes more harm than good.
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to ‘Umar: “O ‘Umar, you are a strong man, do not crowd around the Stone and disturb the weak. If you find space, then touch it, otherwise just face it and say ‘Allahu akbar.’” Narrated by Ahmad, 191
You then proceed to move towards the right with the Kabah on your left side. Once you reach the Yemeni Corner you should touch it without kissing your hand or saying “Allahu Akbar” – if you are unable to touch it you should move on and not crowd around it. Between the Yemeni Corner and the Black Stone you should say,
“Rabbanaa aatina fi’l-dunya hasanah wa fi’l-aakhirah hasanah wa qinna ‘adhaab al-Naar (Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire).”
Narrated by Abu Dawud.
Every time you pass the Black Stone, you should face it and say ‘Allahu Akbar’ and in the rest of the Tawaaf you can recite Quran or make any duaa and dhikr.
Two things for men to keep in mind during Tawaaf:
1 – Uncovering the right shoulder (idtibaa) from the beginning of Tawaaf until the end. This is done by placing the middle of the rida (upper garment) beneath the right armpit and the ends of the rida’ over the left shoulder. When the pilgrim finishes Tawaaf, he should put his rida’ back as it was before Tawaaf, because the time for wearing it with one shoulder uncovered is only in Tawaaf.
2 – Raml in the first three circuits only. Raml means walking quickly with short steps. In the last four circuits there is no raml, rather the pilgrim should walk normally.
When the seven circuits of tawaaf are completed, you cover your right shoulder and then go to the Station of Ibrahim (Maqaam Ibrahim) and recite the words:
“And take you (people) the Maqaam (place) of Ibrahim (Abraham) [or the stone on which Ibrahim (Abraham) stood while he was building the Ka‘bah] as a place of prayer (for some of your prayers, e.g. two Rak‘at after the Tawaaf of the Ka‘bah at Makkah),”
Once that is done, you should pray two rakah behind Maqaam Ibrahim, first rakah with surah Al Kafirun and the second with Al Ikhlas (after Fatiha).
Once you have completed your Tawaaf you proceed going out to the Mas’a (place for Saa’i). As you come near to al Safa you should recite:
“Verily, As-Safa and Al-Marwah (two mountains in Makkah) are of the Symbols of Allah”
And then you should say: “Nabda’u bima bada’a Allah bihi – (We start with that with which Allah started).”
Then you continue to climb al-Safa, until you can see the Kabah, once you can see the Kabah you should face it, raise your hands and make duaa as you wish.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to say:
“Laa ilaaha ill-Allah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk, wa lahu’l-hamd, wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer. Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdah, anjaza wa’dah, wa nasara ‘abdah, wa hazamaa al-ahzaaba wahdah
(There is no god but Allah alone, with no partner or associate; His is the Dominion, all praise is due to Him, and He is able to do all things. There is no god but Allah alone; he fulfilled His promise, granted victory to His slave, and defeated the confederates alone).”
Narrated by Muslim, 1218.
Repeat this three times, and make du’aa’ in between. You should recite this dhikr then make du’aa’, then recite it again and make du’aa’, and recite it a third time, then come down to al-Marwah, and not make du’aa’ after the third time.
As you continue, you will reach the green marker and in this instance you should run as quickly as you can (without disturbing anyone). Once you reach the second green marker you should walk normally until you reach al Marwah. Once al Marwah is reached, you raise your hands (facing the qibla) and recite the same verse as in al Safa. Then you come down from al-Marwah and head for al-Safa, walking in the place of walking and running in the place of running. When you reach al-Safa you do what was done the first time, and the same when you go back to al-Marwah, until you have completed seven circuits; going from al-Safa’ to al-Marwah is one circuit, and coming back from al-Marwah to al-Safa is another circuit. During your saa’i you can say whatever you like of dhikr and du’aa’, and recite Qur’aan.
“Verily, As-Safa and Al-Marwah (two mountains in Makkah) are of the Symbols of Allah”
should be recited by the pilgrim who wants to perform saa’i when he approaches al-Safa at the beginning of saa’i only. It is not mustahab to repeat it every time he approaches al-Safa and al-Marwah, as some people do.
Shaving the head or cutting the hair:
When one has completed the seven circuits of Saa’i, the male should either shave or cut his hair. If he decides to shave, he must shave all of his head and if he decided to cut it instead, he must cut from all over his head. Hadith narrated in Muslim, shows the prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) made duaa three times for those who shaved their heads and once for those who cut it, scholars say this suggests that shaving is better.
Women do not need to shave their heads; to cut off a length of a fingertip is sufficient.
With these actions, your Umrah is complete – may Allah accept it from us all.
Please note, this is a summary of the actions during Umrah (resources and information used: Islam q & a) – for a good talk on the Fiqh of Umrah, please see Sheikh Yasser Qadhi’s talk on Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPxZf063sGo&t=947s) and forgive us for anything wrong we may have said.0