Umrah is among many acts of worship, and it is considered a minor pilgrimage. Every Muslim desires to visit the Holy Ka’abah in Masjid Al-Haram, Makkah. Just like any Ibadah, we refresh our faith, seek repentance for our sins, and strengthen our connection with the Almighty. Muslims should keep in mind the following etiquette for performing Umrah:
- The first and foremost thing to do before starting your pious journey is whether male or female – to take a bath, clip your nails, and shave your pubic and armpit hairs before entering into the state of Ihram. For men, it is advised to trim their mustache and the beard to be neither be shaved nor cut short; rather, it should be left to grow at all times. In a Hadith of the Messenger of Allah (SAW):’
- Continue with the Talbiyyah until you reach the Ka’bah. On reaching there, you must stop the Talbiyyah before starting the Tawaf. Make the intention in your hearts and start your First phase of Umrah.
- After pronouncing the intention, the pilgrim should add, “Fayas sirhu li wa taqabbalhu minni (make it easy for me and accept it from me). After this, he should start reciting the Talabiyyah: “Labbayk Allahumma labbayk, labbayka la sharika laka labbayk, innal-hamda wanni ‘mata laka wal-mulk, la sharika lak
Meaning: “Here I am at Your service, O Lord here I am. Here I am, no partner do you have. Truly, the Praise and Favour are Yours, and also the Dominion; no partner do You have.” It is essential that the pilgrim recite this Talbiyyah with an attentive mind and sincere heart.
- Women are supposed to raise their voice with the Talbiyyah as much as the other women beside her can only hear it and it is disliked if a woman raises her voice to the extent that an alien man can hear her. The pilgrim must continue to recite the Talbiyah until she arrives at the Sacred Mosque in Makkah. On arriving there, it is recommended that the pilgrim step foward her right foot and say:Bismil-lah, wassalatu wassalamu ‘ala rasulil-lah, A’udhu bil lahil-`Azim wa biwajhihil-karim wa sultanihil-qadim minash shaylanir-rajim, Allahummaftah li abwaba rahmatik.“In the Name of Allah, and prayers and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah. I take refuge with Allah, The Supreme and with His Noble Face, and His Eternal Authority from the accursed devil. O Allah, open the gates of Your mercy for me.” Muslims must say this when entering the mosque.
- A menstruating woman or a woman in the post-natal period should take a bath and enter into the state of Ihram. The Prophet (instructed ‘Aishah (RA) to take a bath and enter into Ihram for Hajj when she saw her menses, after having entered into the state of Ihram for ‘Umrah. He also instructed Asma bint ‘Umays (RA) to take a bath and tie a cloth over her private part and enter into the state of Ihram along with the people when she delivered a baby at Dhul-Hulayfah. This indicates that if a woman arrives at the Miqat while she is in her menstrual or post-natal period, she needs to take a bath and enter into the state of Ihram with whatever garment she likes, the condition is that it should not be decorated or look like the dress of men.
- She is allowed to wear socks but she should not wear a face veil or gloves. However, she should cover her face and hide her hands under her garment whenever she is in the presence of alien men. A menstruating woman or a woman in the post-natal period can do all that the other pilgrims do with the exception of making Tawaf around the House.
- If a woman can touch Al-Hajar Al-Aswad without pushing or being pushed by men, she should do so. Otherwise, she should perform her Tawaf far from. This is better for her and greater in reward than making Tawaf close to the Kaaba where there is more crowding with the men.
- .After concluding the Tawaf, the pilgrim must proceed to Maqam Ibrahim (Station of Abraham) and perform two Rak’ahs behind it if that is easy. Then drink Zamzam water, which is abundantly available everywhere in the mosque.
- Pilgrims then must proceed to the mountain of Safa for circumambulating between it and Marwah. The woman are not expected to quicken her pace while circumambulating between Safa and Marwah. Rather, she should walk normally throughout unlike men who are supposed to quicken their steps in-between the two green lights.
After completing the rounds they must raise their hands in supplication. After finishing the seventh round at Marwah, pilgrims are supposed to trim their hair. Women must only cut the size of a fingertip from every plait of her hair, or she collects all her hair and cuts the size of a fingertip from its end.