Umrah consists of the performance of a set of devotional rituals in Mecca, which form an integral part of Hajj. Umrah may be performed at any other time of the year and as many times as one wishes in their lifetime. For that reason it is sometimes affectionately referred to as the ‘mini Hajj’ and Ramadan is a particularly popular time for people to perform Umrah.
THE STEPS of Umrah:
Ihram = the distinctive garments of male pilgrims worn during Hajj and Umrah. Consisting of two pieces of white cloth, which are plain and unsewn. One piece is wrapped around midriff to cover his body above his navel to his ankles, the other is draped over the left shoulder to cover the rest of the body. Women are able to wear any modest garments.
Marwah = a small knoll locatated approximately 150 yards from Kabba. The pilgrim performs the devotional rite of Sai between the knolls of Safa and Marwah.
Sai = the walking seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah. This act retraces the footsteps of Hajar the wife of Prophet Ibrahim during her desperate search for water for her son Ismail after they were left alone in the desert.
Talbiyah = recital of:
“Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk. Labbayka La Shareeka Laka Labbayk.
Innal-hamda wan-n’imata Laka Wal-mulk La Shareeka Lak”
(Here I am at your service. O Lord, here I am. Here I am. No partner do you have. Here I am. Truly, the praise and the favour is yours, and the dominion. No partner do you have.)
Tawaf = going around the Kaaba (7 times, counter-clockwise) while reciting prayers.
Zam Zam water = comes from the original spring when Ismail’s (peace be upon him) foot struck the ground. The water has been running ever since.