What is the umrah? What does umrah means?
a. The Meaning of Umrah
The word meaning for umrah is ‘’visit’’. As for the term meaning; it means to make tawaf around the Kabah with the ihram, to go to the Kabah with the intention of carrying out ibadahs such as performing the sa’y between Safa and Marwa.
Our Prophet stated in relation to the fazilah of umrah; “From one Umrah to another (i.e. the two Umrahs) becomes an atonement for the sins committed during the period
intervening between.” and “Perform the Hajj and Umrah back to back (one after the other), for both the Hajj and the Umrah remove poverty and sins in the same way as the furnace removes the impurities of gold, silver and iron.’’
b. The Ruling of Umrah
It is sunnah muakkadah to perform umrah once in a lifetime. In the way umrah may be performed with hajj, it can also be performed before or after hajj.
c. The Difference between Hajj and Umrah
Although there are commonalities between hajj and umrah, they also have differences. Theses are the differences between hajj and umrah:
- It is fardh to perform hajj once in a lifetime, to perform umrah is sunnah muakkadah.
- The time of when hajj is to be performed is specified. There is no specified time for umrah. Umrah may be performed at any time of the year except the time when the person goes into the ihram for hajj.
- These manasiks are found in the performance of hajj; The Arafat and Muzdalifa wuqufs, stoning of shaitan, khutba, the qudum and sadar tawafs, the praying of salats by joining them. However these manasiks are not carried out for the umrah.
- The qurban is slaughtered in hajj but it is not for umrah. When the hajj is spoiled, it is required to cut a buffalo or camel, as for spoiling the umrah, this requires the cutting of sheep.
d. The Rukuns of Umrah
The rukun of umrah, besides the wuquf at Arafat, is like the rukuns of hajj.
e. Some Matters Concerning Umrah
The miqat for umrah in terms of its location, is like the miqat of hajj, this is not the case for the community of Makkah. The miqat in terms of time; all the days of the year. When the person is about to go into the ihram for umrah while they are in Makkah, they will go outside the haram area.
It is makruh to perform more than one umrah in a year.
The things that are haram for the person performing hajj are also haram for the person performing umrah.
If the person engages in sexual intercourse or actions similar to this before all the rukuns of umrah have been completed, the umrah will be spoiled. They must carry out the qaza for this and slaughter a hady qurban.
 Bukhari, “Umrah”, 1; Muslim, “Hajj”, 437
 Tirmidhi, “Hajj”, 2: Nesai, “Hajj”, 6