Umrah – A Holy Journey

By karanjoy123 on January 20, 2011 In Business

Umrah arrives from Arabic and it is a pilgrimage done by Muslims to Mecca located in Saudi Arabia. It can be done at any time of the year. During the Umrah the pilgrim performs a number of ritualistic acts. These acts stand for some of the milestones in the life Ibrahim (Abraham) and his 2nd wife Hajar. Through these acts the pilgrims also show camaraderie with Muslims around the world. The pilgrim performs a tawaf in which the pilgrim moves around the Kaaba 7 times in an anti clock wise direction. The next act of faith performed by the pilgrim is a ‘sai’.

In this ritual, the pilgrims walk briskly in between the hills Safa and Marwah. Through this ritual the pilgrims recall Hajar’s troubled hunt for water in the desert. The baby Ishamel who was with her cried and his foot touched the ground. Water came out from the ground. This is what is known to the Muslims today as the Well of Zamzam. The third ritual that the pilgrim performs is a halq or taqsir. When a pilgrim performs a halq, he shaves his hair completely. Women cut a small part of their hair. A taqsir is a ritual in which the hair is just shortened.

There are two types of Umrah. Umrat al tammatu is the Umrah which is performed along with the Hajj. Al-umrat al mufradah is the type of Umrah which is performed independently. When a pilgrim is about to perform Umrah, before entering the Holy city i.e. Mecca, the pilgrim need to be in a sacred state. This state is named Ihram. The pilgrim must enter the holy sanctuary or al Masjid al Haram. He/she must try to put the right foot first. Putting the right foot first is preferable.

The pilgrim recites a prayer known as the Talbiyah. “Here I am O Allah, (in response to Your call), here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am. Verily all praise, grace and sovereignty belong to You. You have no partner.” When the pilgrim sees the Kaaba, he should stand to one side and say “Allahu Akbar” three times and “La ilaha illa’Llah” three times. Then the pilgrim presents prayers to Allah after presenting the Prophet a salawat which is a blessing. The Umrah is a very old ritual and has been carried out from the beginning of Islam. An Umrah undertaken during Ramadan is considered equal to a Hajj.

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