Differences between Hajj and Umrah
Hajj and Umrah both are two types of pilgrimages that are undertaken as a token of faith by Muslims. Though both of them are the scared events for Muslims there are a lot of differences between them. Basically, Umrah is considered as a lesser one or minor pilgrimage to Hajj, which is the major and obligatory pilgrimage for Muslims.
Hajj Vs. Umrah
Both the pilgrimages require the Muslims to perform all the rituals at the same sacred place that is Mecca, the natures of them differ a lot. While Hajj is the obligatory pilgrimage that every Muslim who is physically and financially capable are supposed to perform it on the other hand the Umrah stands to be a not-mandatory pilgrimage.
Also, the Hajj requires more eligibility criteria and qualifications for a Muslim than Umrah. The importance of the two pilgrimages also varies a lot. The Hajj carries more importance and rewards in comparison to Umrah.
The Hajj is performed at a specific time of the year. There are few designated Islamic months or periods when a Muslim can conduct Hajj like Shawwal, Dhul-Hijjah, Dhul-Qadah, whereas Umrah is a pilgrimage that can be conducted by a Muslim any time of the year. Umrah is a pilgrimage that has two types Al-Umrat al Mutradah, which is Umrah without Hajj, and Umrah –al tammatu, which in Umrah with Hajj.
The first type of Umrah can be performed anytime in the year except for the Hajj months and individually, on the other hand, the second type of Umrah can be performed in the Hajj months and with the other pilgrims. Hajj is among the pillars of Islam and is considered to be a duty that needs to be fulfilled by the believers who are physically and financially capable. Performing of Hajj is very important if you seek a place in Jannah and get closer to Allah whilst in Duniya. According to tradition, performing Hajj at least once in a life-time is mandatory. The Hajj again has three forms. Firstly the ifrad or Hajj itself, secondly the tamattu, which is the complete but separate undertaking of both Hajj and Umrah, and lastly the qiran, which is
the alternate performance of Hajj and Umrah.
Another distinction these sacred events have is the duration and steps of rituals. Both the pilgrimages require the ritual of purification called Ihram, later a tawaf is performed, where the pilgrims encircle the Ka’aba enchanting the prayers and end it with drinking the water from the well of Zamzam. With the completion of this step, there are a lot more steps includes
in Hajj that include going to Mount Arafat and Muzdalifah, performing the stoning of the devil, and the animal sacrifice. Later tawaf called Tawaf Az- Ziyara and Tawaf al – Wida are performed and the last tawaf is considered to be the closing ritual of Hajj. Meanwhile, the rituals of Umrah end with the cutting of pilgrims’ hair.
Despite all the differences, both the Umrah and Hajj are marks of strong Muslim faith, fidelity, and piety. Both the sacred events promote a unified and one Muslim community bowing to one and only Lord, Allah SWT while retracing the steps of the Muslim faith.
Briefing it all!
- Both the sacred events, Hajj and Umrah are Muslim pilgrimages. The main difference between them lies in the importance, performance, observance, and practice.
- Umrah, also considered as the minor pilgrimage and is non-mandated or non-compulsory in nature. While the Hajj is a major pilgrimage and has a significant meaning. It is the fifth pillar of Islam and an obligatory practice among Muslims. A believer is ought to perform Hajj once in a life-time if he is physically or financially capable.
- Umrah is of two types the Umrah al Mutrdah (without Hajj) and Umrah al tammatu (with Hajj), while the Hajj has three forms the ifrad (only Hajj), tamattu (separate Hajj and Umrah) and qiran (sequential performing of Hajj and Umrah).
- Umrah can be performed anytime in the year and is a highly individualized ritual, whereas the Hajj needs to be performed in the Hajj months with the other pilgrimages.
- Both the sacred events have the same initialization, till the two rituals later on Hajj adds up with more rituals and the Umrah adds two more steps t complete the pilgrimage.
No matter, if you are up for Hajj or Umrah both the sacred events will reward you with the forgiveness and mercy from Allah. But all you need is a peaceful traveling and comfortable arrangements in this sacred land.
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