What is Umrah

the non-mandatory lesser pilgrimage made by Muslims to Mecca, which may be performed at any time of the year.

noun: umrah; plural noun: umrahs 
Arabic ῾umra


The ʿUmrah (Arabic: عمرة‎‎) is a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year, in contrast to the Hajj. In Arabic, Umrah means “to visit a populated place.” In the Sharia, Umrah means to perform Tawaf round the Kaaba and Sa’i between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, after assuming Ihram (a sacred state), either from a Miqat like Zu ‘l-Hulafa, Juhfa, Qarnu ‘l-Manāzil, Yalamlam, Zāt-i-‘Irq, Ibrahīm Mursīa, or a place in Hill. It is sometimes called the ‘minor pilgrimage’ or ‘lesser pilgrimage’, the Hajj being the ‘major’ pilgrimage and which is compulsory for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it. The Umrah is not compulsory but highly recommended.

Difference between Hajj and Umrah

  • Both are Islamic pilgrimages, the main difference is their level of importance and the method of observance.
  • Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is obligatory for every Muslim once in their lifetime, provided they are physically fit and financially capable.
  • Hajj is performed during a designated Islamic month. However, Umrah can be performed at any time.
  • Both seem similar in the start. Umrah can be performed in less than a few hours while Hajj is more time consuming, and involves more rituals.

Learn How to Perform Hajj and Umrah Step By Step: Complete Video

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