What are the differences between hajj and umrah?
The following differences exist between hajj and umrah:
- The time when the hajj can be performed is fixed, whereas there is no specific time to perform the umrah. Those who make intention to perform only hajj and start performing hajj cannot perform umrah before they complete all the rites of hajj except the circumambulation of farewell (tawaf al-wada’). (According to the Hanafi School, entering the state of ihram to perform the umrah in the days of Festival of Sacrifice beginning from the Noon Prayer time of the eve of festival is regarded makruh tahriman.)
- The miqat place for umrah for everybody is outside the borders of Haram. Haram, on the other hand, is the miqat place for hajj for those who are the residents of Mecca.
- Certain rites such as the waqfas in Arafat and Muzdalifa, sermons, spending nights in Muzdalifa and Mina, stoning the devil, tawaf al-qudum (arriving Mecca) are only required in hajj.
- Fawat (missing the waqfa in the Plain of Arafat) is not an issue in umrah.
- Performing hajj and umrah is obligatory upon everybody who is able to do so. According to the Hanafi and the Maliki Schools, performing hajj is obligatory upon those who have the means and ability, but performing umrah is a Sunnah muakkadah.