× Get a free callback
from our Umrah Expert?
Search for Flights

Umrah English Guide


Umrah is known to be the 'minor Hajj' and is a Sunnah act performed at any time of the year except for the five days of Hajj, in which it is makrooh, or disliked, to perform Umrah. One who steps out in the path of Umrah is considered a pilgrim until he reaches back home. In a hadith found in the book of Ibne Maajah, The Prophet (S) said: "The performers of Hajj and Umrah are deputations of Allah (SWT). If they call Him, He answers them and if they seek His forgiveness, He forgives them." This hadeeth clearly shows the great significance of Umrah and how much Allah (SWT) loves those who sacrifice their time and wealth for His cause. In another hadeeth, the Prophet (SWS) says:
One Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed between it and another Umrah. (Bukhari, Muslim)
The above hadeeth implies that Umrah is not something we perform just once, but rather one should strive to perform Umrah multiple times in their lives. Unfortunately, now-a-days, some people go for Umrah without even knowing the great virtues and blessings of the many actions we perform on this journey. It is extremely critical and important that a person who intends to perform Umrah learn the basics of this act of worship including the obligatory actions and what makes Umrah null and what should be done in case there is a chance to compensate for mistakes. As is the case for Hajj, there are many people who perform Umrah and it will be accepted from them by Allah (swt), but there are others who do not just perform Umrah as a duty and leave, but they also seize this great opportunity to get a lot of reward from Allah (swt) and have their sins forgiven. And the best way to get reward is by following the best pilgrim and the best worshipper of Allah, Muhammad (S). Hajjplans.com invites you to navigate through the appropriate links in order to better prepare for such a noble journey which will allow for a spiritual uplifting insha’Allah.
Let us start with the virtues of Umrah in order to truly understand the immense amount of impact the journey has on one’s spiritual state. The Prophet (S) has related various ahadeeth about the great blessings and rewards of performing Umrah throughout one’s life. We at Hajjplans.com have taken amongst the strongest sayings of the Prophet (S) and compiled them into one easy-to-read summary of the different virtues, each with a proper reference from the books of Hadeeth.
  • The act of Umrah is known to cleanse one’s soul from past committed sins. It is advised to do Umrah more than once in your lifetime so that it can act as a washing of the sins from the last time one performed Umrah. Abu Hurairah (R) narrates that the Prophet(S) said, ‘An Umrah to another Umrah will be redemption of sins for whatever (minor) occurs between them.’ (Bukhari, Muslim).
  • Performing Umrah also protects one from poverty since they are there solely for the sake of Allah(SWT) spending their wealth and time in completing the deed. Ibne Mas’ood (R) said that the Prophet (S) said, ‘Follow up the Hajj and Umrah, because they certainly remove poverty and sins as fire separates the impurities from iron, gold and silver.’ (Tirmidhi, Ibne Khuzaimah, Ibne Hibbaan). Also Umar bin Khattab (R) said that Nabi (SAW) said, ‘Follow up between the Hajj and Umrah, because certainly succession between the two of them increases the life span and dispels poverty and sins as fire removes impurities.’ (Baihaqi)
  • Like Hajj, the act of Umrah is amongst the best deeds one can perform when pleasing Allah (swt). Allah (SWT) loves those who strive in his path in hopes of pleasing Him alone and Umrah is an act in which Allah (SWT) considers the pilgrim to be answering His call. Ibne Umar (R) narrates that Prophet (S) said, ‘The warrior in the cause of Allah, the pilgrim and the one who is performing Umrah are all the delegation of Allah. He called them and they responded and they will ask of His bestowals and He will give it to them.’ (Ibne Majah, Ibne Hibbaan)
  • In the blessed month of Ramadan, the reward of performing Umrah is equal to that of performing Hajj with the Prophet (S). On many different occasions, the Prophet (S) has told his companions that performing Umrah in the blessed month of Ramadan has rewards which are equal to performing Hajj with the Prophet (S) himself. In one Hadith, a women heard that the Prophet of Allah (S) was going for Hajj and had asked her husband to allow for her to go with the Prophet (S). Her husband said to her, ‘I do not possess a conveyance with which I can carry you upon.’ She said, ‘Take me on such and such a camel of yours.’ The husband said, ‘that is held up in the path of Allah.’ The man then went to Nabi (SAW) and said, ‘My wife conveys her Greetings to you and she has asked me to carry her on hajj with you.’ I told her, ‘I do not have something to carry her upon.’ She then told me to carry her upon such and such a camel of mine.’ I told her that it is kept in the path of Allah.’ Nabi (SAW) told him, ‘If you carried her upon it for Hajj, it will still be in the path of Allah.’ She also told me to ask you (SAW), ‘What equals a Hajj with you O Nabi of Allah? Nabi (SAW) said, ‘Convey my greetings to her and inform her that Umrah performed in the month of Ramadhaan is equal to Hajj performed with me.’ (Abu Dawood). In another Hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas (R), Umm Sulaim (R) came to Prophet (S) and said, ‘Abu Talha and his son have both went for Hajj and they left me.’ The Prophet(S) said, ‘O Umm Sulaim, Umrah done in Ramadhaan equals Hajj done with me.’ (Ibne Hibbaan). And finally, amongst the strongest hadith in this regard is the one related again by Ibn Abbas in which he said he heard the Prophet (S) say ‘Umrah performed in the month of Ramadan will equal (in rewards) to that of Hajj or Hajj performed with Me (SAW).' (Bukhari, Muslim)
  • Another absolutely breathtaking virtue of Umrah is that if one passes away in their journey of Umrah, the reward for them is Jannah. ‘Aisha (R) said that the Prophet (S) said, ‘Whoever leaves his home only for the purpose of Hajj or Umrah and he dies, nothing will be presented to him nor will he have any accountability on the day of Reckoning and it will be said to him, enter into Jannah.’ (Tabraani Baihaqi)
These are just some of the virtues mentioned about Umrah. Indeed the virtues of Umrah are priceless to any Muslim and it is therefore referred to as a minor Hajj.
Now that we have discussed the virtues and great rewards of Umrah, we must properly learn the exact method of performing Umrah and what acts are desirable while performing such a virtuous act. Whichever Umrah group you choose to go with, they will indeed have a leader that will explain the rituals of Umrah , but we at Hajjplans.com have summarized the the various rituals in four main pillars, followed by desirable acts to do in each. All of the pillars are backed up with proper references to the Ahadeeth of the Prophet (S). We hope that you find this information beneficial and easy to comprehend, inshaAllah.

The Four Pillars of Umrah

  • Ihram - The first pillar of Umrah is the state of Ihram. Although, the word Ihram is often referred to as the two pieces of white cloth that men wear while doing Hajj and Umrah, it is more than that. Ihram is actually a state one is in while performing the rituals of Hajj and Umrah. The dress of Ihram just represents the state that one is in; two unstitched cloths for men, and regular loose clothing for women. However, it is important to note that the pilgrim is allowed to bathe and use the washroom as they require so the Ihram may be removed and put back on for such circumstances. The key element to the Ihram is to make the intention of Ihram, after taking a bath and praying two raka'h of prayers. Once the intention is made, and the necessary clothing are put on, one must adhere to the following rules:
    • Recite the Talbiyyah saying:
      "Labbayka-Allahummma labbayk, Labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk. Innal-Hamda wanni'mata laka wal-Mulk, laa shareeka lak!"
      "Here I am O Allah! Here I am! Here I am, there is no partner for you, here I am! Surely, all praise, blessings, and dominion are for You. There is no partner for you!"
      It is recommended to keep repeating the Talbiyah occasionally on the way to Makkah especially after prayers or when meeting other pilgrims or when ascending and descending...etc.
    • The pilgrim should avoid arguing, slandering, acting without humility and decency, and harming others with the hands and the tongue.
    • The pilgrim is also restricted from showing love and affection to his/her spouse while in Ihram, which could lead to intercourse. The unmarried pilgrim is restricted from getting married or asking for someone's hand in marriage while in Ihram.
    • It is undesirable to joke around in the state of Ihram, since the pilgrim should be reciting the Talbiyah and submit themselves to Allah (SWT).
    • Shaving or cutting hair from any part of the body, clipping the nails of the fingers or the toe, and wearing or even touching perfume are all forbidden acts while in Ihram.
    • Men are not allowed to cover their heads by anything except for an umbrella provided that it does not touch the head or wearing seamed and perfumed clothes, socks and shoes. Women may wear socks. Both, men and women are permitted to wear a watch, or glasses on their face.
    • It is not permissible to hunt, kill, or harm animals unless they are harmful insects such as lice, fleas, beetles and also ants if they stick to the body. It is better to throw them away, but if they represent a harm and disturbance they can be killed. Harmful and dangerous animals can only be killed if they become a threat to one's life such as snakes, scorpions, rats, desert crows and any dangerous wild animals or birds.
  • Tawwaf - The second pillar of Umrah is Tawwaf. Tawwaf is the action of circuiting and circumambulating seven times around the Ka'bah in an anti-clockwise direction. Allah Almighty says, "Then let them complete the rites prescribed for them, perform their vows, and (again) circumambulate the Ancient House." (22:29). In order to have the Tawwaf properly completed one must adhere to the following:
    • Make intention for Tawaaf as an act of obedience dedicated to Allah alone.
    • Cleanliness with Wudu as for prayer.
    • Covering 'Awrah - private parts - for both men and women. Anything, which is considered a 'Awrah cannot be displayed otherwise the Tawwaf becomes null.
    • Tawaaf should be inside al-Masjid al-Haraam.
    • The number of rounds should be exactly seven beginning from the Black Stone and ending at it. These rounds should be continued without interruption except in the case of an extreme necessity.
    • The following are some desirable sunnah acts while performing the Tawwaf:
    • Performing the first three rounds hastily, almost jogging for men who are capable of doing so, and if the circumstances permit it. Do not try this if there are way too many people around.
    • Uncover the right shoulder for men, and place the cloth underneath the armpit.
    • Kissing the Black Stone in the beginning of Tawwaf if possible. Otherwise, if it's impossible to touch it or because the pilgrim fears harming others by pushing them, it is better to raise the hands to make Istilaam - salutation - to the Black Stone starting Tawwaf by saying, "Bismillahi w-Allahu Akbar! Allahumma Imaanan bika wa-tasdeeqan bikitaabika wa-Wafaa'an bi'ahdika wat-Tibaa'an lisunnati Nabiyyika Muhammadin Salla Allahu 'alayhe was-Sallam" "In the Name of Allah, Allah is The Greatest! O Allah I have faith in You, I believe in Your Book, I am fulfilling the promise made to You, and following the Sunnah of Your Prophet (S)".
    • The pilgrim can make a lot of dhikr such as: "Subhaana Allah wal-Hamdu-lillah wa-Laa ilaaha ill-Allah w-Allahu Akbar walaa Hawla walaa Quwwata illaa billaahi!" "Glory be to Allah! All Praise is due to Allah! There is no god except Allah! Allah is the Greatest! There is no Power or strength except with Allah!" There are no specific du'aas for circumambulating. However, the best thing to say is the word of Allah; the pilgrim can recite without disturbing the others some chapters of the Qur'an he, or she, memorizes.
    • When the pilgrim passes by the Rokn al-Yamaani - the fourth corner of the Ka'abah right before the black stone corner - it is good that he, or she, touches it with the hand if possible in every round, and then recite the following dua until they reach back to the black stone: "Rabbanaa Aatinaa fid-Duniaah Hasanatan wafil-Aakhirati Hasanatan waqinaa 'adhaaban-Naar" "Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and protect us from the torment of the Fire!" (2:201).
    • Being in a state of serenity, concentration, and humbleness. The pilgrim should avoid harming others and should also refrain from talking to others unless it is necessary.
    • Making dua after finishing Tawaaf at the Multazam - the spot between the Black Stone and the Ka'bah's door. Praying 2 Rak'aas behind the Maqaam -station- of Ibraaheem (A), then drinking from Zamzam water in three sequences while having the intention to be cured with the blessing of Allah from any disease and facing Qiblah. The pilgrim can make the following du'aa: "Allahumma inni as'aluka 'ilman naafi'an wa-rizqan waasi'an was-shifaa'a min kulli dhaa'in wa saqam!" "O Allah! I beseech You to bless me with a useful knowledge, a generous subsistence, and a cure from any ailment and disease!"
    • Finally going back to the Black Stone and salute it before leaving to Safa and Marwaa for Say'ee.
  • Say'ee - The third pillar of Hajj is the Say'ee which is the walking between mount safa and marwa. Although the history of such a noble act is very rich and enlightening to know, Hajjplans.com will only look at the required acts in this section. Further information should be studied under your leader/teacher.
    Describing the Hajj performed by the Prophet (S), Jabir (r) narrated, "Then, he - the Prophet (S) - got out from the door heading for As-Safaa, then, recited the above Qur'anic aayah: "Innas-Safaa wal-Marwata min Sha'aa'iril-Laah. Faman hajjal-Bayta awi'atamara falaa junaaha 'alayhi an yattawwafa bihimaa. Waman tattawwa'a khayran fa'inna Allaha Shaakirun 'Aleem."(2:158)
    Then, he (S) said, "We begin with what Allah began." Then, he mounted as--Safaa until he faced the House and there he glorified Allah (i.e. raised his voice) saying "Allahu Akbar!" three times then" Laa ilaaha illa Allah wahdahu laa shareeka lah. Lahul-Mulku walahul- Hamdu wa huwa 'alaa kulli shay'in Qadeer. Laa ilaaha illa Allahu wahdahu, Sadaqa Wa'adahu, wa nasara 'abadahu wa hazamal-Ahzaaba wahdah!."
    "There is no god but Allah. He is One and has no partner, to Him is the dominion and all praise is due to Him. We are returning, repenting, worshipping, prostrating, and to Allah we are very grateful. Allah is true to His promise, He gave victory to His servant and defeated the confederates all by Himself."
    Habibah bint Abi Taghrah (r) heard the Prophet (S) saying to his companions,
    "Perform Say'ee for Allah Almighty has ordained it upon you." [Ahmad].
    In order to have the Say'ee properly completed one must adhere to the following:
    • Being after Tawwaf not before and make proper intention for beginning the Say'ee.
    • Continue doing the Say'ee without interruption except when it is extremely necessary.
    • Stand on as-Safaa and al-Marwa by going back and forth seven times- 4 stops at each hill - and make the above-mentioned du'aa facing Qiblah.
    • The following are some desirable sunnah acts while performing the Tawwaf:
    • Khabab, which is fast walking that is closer to running, between the two green signs on the sides of the way as Haajar (A) did and as it is recorded about the Prophet (S).
    • Making dhikr and du'aa or reading Qur'an.
    • To be clean and have Wudu is recommended but not compulsory as in Tawwaf.
    • To walk unless the pilgrim is weak.
    • To lower the gaze and abstain from talking to others, harming others, and try to be humble and serene and to remember the Day of Judgement.
  • Shaving of the Head – Once the Say’ee is complete (ie. The seventh round is done and the pilgrim is standing on mount Marwa), it is time to cut the hair. Men are encouraged to have their hair shaven completely although trimming is also permitted but there is less reward in this. Women, however, only trim their hair slightly. Having done this, you may remove your Ihraam and revert to wearing your normal clothes. This final pillar completes your Umrah.
One of the most memorable moments in the journey of Umrah is, undoubtedly, the visit to the city of our Noble Prophet (S). Such a blessed visit to Medinah makes one appreciate the life of the Prophet (S) and all of the historical sites that are left for the believers to visit and ponder upon. In this section, Hajjplans.com will illustrate the most crucial things one needs to know when visiting Medinah. It is our hope that you maximize your time in such a blessed land by reaping the benefits from the information below.

Visiting the City of the Prophet (S)

Medinah, which lies 447 kilometers north of the Holy City of Makkah, is the city of the Prophet (S). This is the place in which the Holy Quran was compiled and the Prophet's (S) companions administered the affairs of the Muslim Ummah. The following is a list of things to consider and implement before and after your arrival to Medinah.
  • When you start traveling to Medinah, Make your intention as such: "O Allah! I am starting my journey to visit the holy tomb of Prophet Muhammad (S). Please accept it from me". Also during this journey, recite Darud Sharif frequently, which is asking Allah to give peace and blessings on the Prophet (S).
  • When the city of Medinah is in sight, show your extreme fondness and excitement and humbly enter the city while reciting Darud Sharif.
  • After putting your luggage at your hotel or place of residence, take a bath or perform ablution (wudu), put on new and nice looking clothes, apply perfume, and proceed towards the Prophet's Mosque while repeating Darud Sharif.
  • Try to enter the mosque through gate Al-Jibril or gate As-Salaam as these are the gates which lead to the grave of the Prophet (S). However, if this is not possible, enter through any other door.
  • Place your right foot first in the entrance, praise Allah (such as say Allahu Akbar, Subhan Allah, Alhamdu Lillah, etc.), recite Darud Sharif and say: "Allah humma aftah li abwabe rahamte ka" "Oh Allah open for me the doors of your mercy."
  • Upon entrance into the Masjid, offer two raka's of nafl tahiyyat Al-Masjid (greeting of the Masjid) anywhere in the mosque. If one is able to do this in the Riyadh Al-Jannah area, (the area in the Masjid which is known to rise into Jannah, this is also where the Prophet (S) used to lead the Salah) then this is preferred. However, this place is normally packed of people at all times, especially in the Hajj season. Don't let that stop you from praying two raka's there at least once on your visit, but also don't exhaust yourself trying to always pray there, for this could involve harming other to do so.
  • Visit the grave of the Prophet (S) and that of Abu Bakr and Omar. In front of the sacred tomb of The Holy Prophet (S), there are three sections of brass screens and all three have holes in them. If you stand in front of the middle section between the pillars, you'll see a big round hole on your left. This is in front of the face of the Holy Prophet (S). Adjacent to it is a door that stays closed. Right after it on the right side is a round hole which is in front of the face of Abu Bakr As-Siddique. On the right of it, there is another round hole which is in front of the face of Umar Bin Khattab. Standing in front of it and facing it, say in a respectful and low voice:" Assalamu alaika, ayyuhan-nabiyya wa rahmatul-lahi wa barakatuhu" (Peace be on you, O Prophet, and the mercy and blessings of Allah.) After this say: "Assalatu was-salamu alaika ya Rasul-Allah", "Assalatu was-salamu alaika ya Nabi-yallah", "Assalatu was-salamu alaika ya Habib-Allah". Then supplicate to Allah for good things in this life and the life after death. Then move a little to the right and stand before the grave of Abu Bakr. Greet him and supplicate to Allah to bestow His mercy and forgiveness on him. Then move a little to the right and stand before the grave of Umar. Greet him and supplicate to Allah to bestow His mercy and forgiveness on him.
  • When you have to leave Medinah, offer your Salam again to the Prophet (S), cry at this separation, supplicate to Allah and leave with the earnest desire to come back.

Historical Places of Medinah

The following are some of many historical places in Medinah which a pilgrim would like to visit. Out of these, a visit to Masjid Quba is highly recommended as holds very high status, next to the Holy Prophet's Mosque.
  • Al-Baqee The graveyard of Medinah, where a large number of Sahabah (companions) including Usman, Abbas, Imam Hassan, and wives and daughters of the Holy Prophet are buried. This graveyard is close to the tomb of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), right after the courtyard of Masjid Al-Nabawi.
  • Masjid Quba This is the first mosque in the history of Islam whose foundation stone was laid down by Prophet Muhammad (S) himself on his migration to Medinah. To offer 2 raka's of nafl in it is equal to one Umrah. After visiting the Prophet's Mosque and his tomb every pilgrim should try his/her best to visit it and pray in this mosque as well. A visit to Masjid Quba is highly recommended since the Prophet (SWS) used to visit it quite frequently to pray 2 raka's.
  • Masjid Qiblatain In this mosque, Allah directed Prophet Muhammad (S), who was in the middle of a Salah along with his companions, to turn his face from Islam's first Qibla (Bait-ul-Muqqadis) to Ka'aba in Masjid Al-Haram. That is why this mosque is known as a mosque with two Qiblas.
  • Masjid Jumuah This mosque was built at a place where the Prophet (S) offered his first Jumuah prayer in Medinah.
  • Masjid Ghamama This mosque is not far from Masjid Al-Nabawi. The Prophet (S) used to offer his Eid prayers here. Once the Prophet led Istasqa prayer (prayer for rain) in it and suddenly the clouds appeared and it started raining, hence the name Ghamama (clouds).
  • Masjid Abu Bakr, Masjid Umar Farooq and Masjid Ali These three mosques that are near Masjid Ghamama.
  • Badr The plain of Badr is south west of Medinah where the first battle between 313 Muslims and 1000 Quraish of Makkah took place in 624 A.D. The Muslims had seventy camels and two horses whereas the Quraish had a cavalry of 200 Horses and 700 camels. They were superior in weapons too, but Muslims were victorious because they were strong in morale and strategy due to the leadership of the Holy Prophet (S).
  • Jabal Al-Uhad About four miles on the north of Medinah, famous battle of Uhad was fought at 3 A.H. Hazrat Hamza, the Holy Prophet's uncle, and other companions are buried here.
There are also many other historical sites in the blessed city of Medinah. Each pilgrim is recommended to visit as many sites as possible in Medinah, and it is therefore encouraged to ask group leaders which sites are planned to be visited in the journey.