As mentioned in the article "About
Hajj and `Umrah", `Umrah is the lesser pilgrimage. It involves
ihram, Tawaf (circumambulating the Ka`bah), Sa`i (walking between
mounts of Safa and Marwah), and shaving or cutting the hair.
The first steps in your `Umrah are to put
on the clothing of ihram and to make the intention of `Umrah. For more
information on ihram and its restrictions, refer to the article "All
After making the intention of ihram, try to
spend your time in remembering Allah, reading the Qur'an, and
supplicating. It is recommended also to chant Talbiyah frequently.
The words of Talbiyah are:
Labbayka Allahumma labbayk. Labbayka
la shareeka laka labbayk. Inna al-hamda wa-n-ni`mata laka
wal-mulk. La shareeka lak.
Here I am at Your service, O Lord, here
I am. Here I am at Your service. You have no partners. Yours alone
is all praise and all bounty, and Yours alone is sovereignty. You
have no partners.
Male pilgrims are recommended to raise up
their voices when repeating the words of Talbiyah. Males and females
repeat Talbiyah until they start Tawaf.
The first ritual to perform after arriving
in Makkah is Tawaf. There is no problem if you rest before going to
Tawaf if you feel tired.
When you reach Makkah, leave your baggage
in the hotel or in a safe place, and prepare yourself for Tawaf by
performing ghusl (ritual bathing), if possible, or at least wudu'
(ablution). Scholars have two opinions regarding the necessity of
purity for Tawaf. Some scholars hold that you must have wudu'
before Tawaf and others deem it unnecessary. The latter opinion is
stronger since the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did not
ask people accompanying him in his pilgrimage to make wudu' for
Tawaf. According to this opinion, someone who loses wudu'
before or in the middle of Tawaf need not renew it; they can make
Tawaf without wudu'. It is up to you to choose either of the
Menstruating women cannot do Tawaf until
they are pure and have performed ghusl.
For men, it is recommended that you drape
the upper piece of ihram over your left shoulder only, exposing the
right one. This is called idtiba`. It was practiced by the
Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his Companions when they
made `Umrah in AH 7. At the time, the polytheists claimed that the
fever of Madinah weakened Muslims, so the Prophet ordered his
Companions to uncover their right shoulders and to jog in the first
three rounds to show the polytheists their strength.
On entering the Sacred Mosque (Al-Masjid
Al-Haram), it is recommended to say the du`aa' of entering
A`udhu bi-llahi al-`azheem, wa
bi-wajhihi al-kareem, wa sultanihi al-qadeem, mina ash-shaitani
ar-rajeem. Allahumma salli `ala Muhammad. Allahumma ighifirli
dhunubi waftah li abwaba rahmatik.
I seek refuge with Allah the Supreme, I
seek refuge with His honored face, with His everlasting authority,
from the cursed Devil.
In the name of Allah. O Allah, Bless
Muhammad! O Allah! Forgive my sins and open Your doors of mercy
Now you are ready to start Tawaf. Tawaf
involves walking around the Ka`bah seven times. Each round starts and
ends with the Black Stone, with the Ka`bah being on your left side. If
it is possible to reach the Black Stone, kiss it quietly; if it is
not, you can touch it and kiss your hand or just face it and point at
it saying "Bismillah, Allahu Akbar" (In the name
of Allah, Allah is the Greatest). In the first three rounds, males are
recommended to jog from the Black Stone to the Yemeni corner, the
third of the Ka`bah's corners and the one preceding the Black Stone.
While doing Tawaf, busy yourself with dhikr
(remembrance of Allah) and supplication. You are in a very blessed
time and a very blessed place, so do not miss the chance. Pray Allah
to forgive your sins, to dispel your worries, to grant you the
benefits of the world and the hereafter, and to give you whatever
favors you would like. Show humbleness and genuine need to Allah, and
ask Him the Almighty for you, your parents, your family, and the whole
When you reach the Yemeni corner try to
touch it if possible. If you can't, you need not point at it or do
anything. Supplicate Allah until you reach the Black Stone saying:
Rabbana a`tina fi ad-dunya hasanatan
wa fi al-akhirati hasanatan wa qina `adhaba an-nar.
Our Lord! Grant us good in this world
and good in the hereafter, and save us from the punishment of the
After finishing Tawaf, pray two rak`ahs
behind Maqam Ibrahim (the Station of Ibrahim) or a little bit away
from it. Recite Surat Al-Kafirun (Surah 109) in the first rak`ah
and Surat Al-Ikhlas (Surah 112) in the second rak`ah.
It is recommended that you drink Zamzam
water after you have finished Tawaf and the two-rak`ah prayer.
Be careful of the following things:
Do not crowd to kiss the Black Stone
or to touch the Yemeni corner.
Make sure that Hijr Isma`il (the
Enclosure of Isma`il - the arch between the north and the west
corners of the Ka`bah) is included in your Tawaf. This place is
considered part of the Ka`bah and therefore your
circumambulation should be outside it.
If you are unable to perform the two-rak`ah
prayer after Tawaf at Maqam Ibrahim, you can perform it any
place in the mosque. Some people insist on performing it at the
Maqam, disturbing the smooth movement of the pilgrims; this is
not a proper act.
Note also that what is obligatory in Tawaf
is just making the seven rounds, starting and ending with the Black
Stone and keeping the Ka`bah on your left side. The supplications
mentioned above, kissing the Black Stone or pointing at it, touching
the Yemeni corner, praying two rak`ahs after Tawaf, etc. are
merely recommended. Your Tawaf is not damaged if you missed any of
The next step in your `Umrah is to make
Sa`i between As-Safa and Al-Marwah mounts. If you feel tired after
performing Tawaf, you can take a break before heading to As-Safa to
start Sa`i. Wudu' is not necessary for Sa`i. When you are ready, do
the following steps:
a. Head to As-Safa. When you are about to
reach it, recite the following verse:
As-Safa wal-Marwata min sha`airi-llah)
(Surely As-Safa and Al-Marwah are
among the signs appointed by Allah)
b. Then say "I start my Sa`i from
the place which Allah mentioned first" (that is, As-Safa
mentioned in the above verse).
c. Ascend As-Safa. It is easy nowadays to
ascend both As-Safa and Al-Marwah; they are paved and covered with
marble. In addition, the two mounts are not that high, and you need
not climb to their top. You just have to walk back and forth the
full distance between these two points. If any part of this distance
is left untraversed, the Sa`i will remain incomplete. This requires
ascending even a small part of both mounts, but it is recommended
that you go up until you are able to see the Ka`bah.
d. Face the Ka`bah and say
La ilaha illa Allah, Allahu
La ilaha illa Allah wahdahu la
shareeka lah, lahu al-mulku wa lahu al-hamdu wa huwa `ala
kulli shai'in qadir
La ilaha illa Allah wahdah,
anjaz wa`dah, wa nasar `abdah, wa a`az jundah wa hazam
There is no god but Allah, Allah is the
There is no god but Allah. He has
no partners. To Him belong the sovereignty and all praise. He
has power over all things.
There is no god but Allah. He has
fulfilled His promise, given victory to His servant, and He
alone defeated the confederates.
e. Start performing the Sa`i by walking
from As-Safa to Al-Marwah. The distance between the two mounts is
about 420 meters. If you are a male, it is recommended that you
hasten between the two green signs. On reaching Al-Marwah, ascend
it, face the Ka`bah, and repeat what you said on As-Safa. You
have now completed one of the seven parts of Sa`i.
f. Go back to As-Safa, walking easily.
Again, if you are male, hasten on reaching the green sign.
g. Keep on remembering Allah and
supplicating Him while going between As-Safa and Al-Marwah.
h. Repeat the same steps in each of the
seven parts. Going from As-Safa to Al-Marwah is reckoned as one
part, and the return to Al-Safa is another part. Sa`i, therefore,
begins with Al-Safa and ends at Al-Marwah.
4. Shaving or Cutting the Hair
Just one step is remaining, that is shaving
or cutting the hair on your head. If you are a male, you should have
your hair either completely shaved or shortened. If you intend to make
Hajj shortly after `Umrah (tamattu` mode), you are advised to
shorten your hair because you are going to shave or shorten it as part
of your Hajj. If you are a female, you should shorten your hair