Umrah is Pilgrimage in Islam, going to city Makkah, second to the major pilgrimage The Hajj. Umrah is often referred to as the “little or minor pilgrimage”, and whereas the Hajj is compulsory, the umrah is not. Though it is recommended by the Holy Quran, as well as within Islamic practice.
Verse 2:158 of Holy Quran,
Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the symbols of ALLAH. So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘umrah – there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, ALLAH is appreciative and Knowing.
There is a close connection between the rites and rituals of the umrah and the hajj, to the degree they are often mingled together. There are just slight differences between the initial part of the hajj and the whole umrah, and according to some views a hajj automatically includes the umrah, whereas according to other views, the umrah is only performed when it is as an independent rite.
The umrah, which is a strong sign of Muslim piety, is an extremely individual ritual, as there is almost nothing of its acts that requires the existence of other people. The only part, which cannot be complete all alone, is the shave afterwards; it serves as a symbol of leaving the ritual of the umrah.
The pilgrim assumes ritually purity, ihram, in a place, which can be done outside the city Makkah at the station of Meeqat. Uttering of the intention or niyyah, which is the declaration that says what the pilgrim is about to do.
Uttering the talbiyah Labbaik, which is Arabic term and normally translated with “at your service”? The labbaik is followed by many sentences, all dealing with ALLAH Almighty. The pilgrim enters the main masjid in city Makkah, preferably through Bab-Al-Umrah.
The Talbiyah is a Muslim prayer that is invoked by the pilgrims as a conviction that they intend to perform the Umrah only for the glory of ALLAH Almighty. Talbiyah is repeatedly invoked during the Umrah, or pilgrimage, upon putting on the Umrah garments Ihram, so the pilgrims can cleanse and rid themselves of all the worldly concerns.
The exact meaning of Ihram is to make haraam (forbidden). When a pilgrim pronounces the Niyyat of Umrah and utters the Talbiyah, certain halaal (permissible) things become haraam or forbidden for him. This combined action of Niyyah and Talbiyah is called Ihram. The 2 sheets that a male pilgrim wears are figuratively recognized as Ihram but the real Ihram is Niyyah and Talbiyah. Before Niyyah (intention) and Talbiyah, male can cover his head during 2 rakats of Nafil namaz, an act which is not allowed in the actual state of Ihram.
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