Fundamental rituals of minor pilgrimage.
The minor pilgrimage of Umrah is a sacred journey that millions of pilgrims undertake traveling through their hajj packages 2022. Unlike Hajj, rituals of the minor pilgrimage can be offered by a pilgrim at any time of the year. Since the umrah season lasts all-round the year, pilgrims keep on arriving in Haramain for umrah rituals. However, the days of Hajj are excluded in this regard.
Though a voluntary Ibadah, umrah holds exceptional rewards for pilgrims i.e., similar to that of Hajj. That’s why it is known as the minor form of Hajj or the ‘minor pilgrimage’.
The fundamental rituals of Umrah are four;
1.Assuming the state of Ihram.
The state of Ihram must be assumed by every pilgrim planning to undertake the holy rituals because it is the first and foremost ritual. Though the word Ihram is used to describe the ceremonial clothing worn for Umrah, it’s rather a state of absolute physical purity of a pilgrim.
A pilgrim must assume Ihram before crossing the Meeqat boundary. Otherwise, a penalty is due and no pilgrim is allowed to offer umrah rituals without having assumed Ihram.
Before Ihram is worn.
Before assuming Ihram, a pilgrim must;
•Cut its fingernails and toenails.
•Trim/shave unnecessary hair from the body.
•Get a haircut and beard trim (if necessary).
After these things are done, a pilgrim can wear neat and clean Ihram clothes.
For male pilgrims, Ihram clothing is only limited to two simple white-colored sheets. One of them is used for covering the lower half of the body and the other one is for covering the upper half. No other piece of stitched clothing can be worn by male pilgrims in Ihram.
For female pilgrims, their Ihram can be their ordinary clothes. In simple words, women aren’t limited to a specific dress code for their Ihram as they can wear anything that’s modest and simple.
2.Tawaf of Holy Kaabah.
Tawaf is an act of circumambulating around the Holy Kaabah for seven rounds. The pilgrims must proceed for tawaf in an anti-clockwise direction i.e., keeping Kaabah on their left-hand side.
After the seven rounds of Tawaf are complete, the pilgrims must move towards Maqam-e-Ibrahim and offer two Rakat Nafal Salat-al-Tawaf near it and then drink Zamzam water.
3.Sayee of Safah and Marwah Hills.
Sayee refers to walking between the hills of Safah and Marwah (present in Masjid-al-Haram) for seven times. Sayee must begin from Safah hill towards Marwah hill and proceeded in such a manner that the seventh-round ends at the hill of Marwah.
4.Halq and Taqsir.
After the performance of the above-mentioned rituals, male pilgrims should get their heads shaved completely (Halq) while female pilgrims should only trim a fingertip’s length of their Hair (Taqsir).
A pilgrim of umrah necessarily needs to offer these rituals to make his/her pilgrimage valid.