Preparation for Umrah

Umrah does not have a specific month or time like Hajj for its performance. It can be done all around the year. Despite this easiness, many prefer to perform Umrah during the holy month of Ramadan. This is because rewards are maximum in Ramadan and performing Umrah in this month is considered equal to Hajj.

Having said this, it does not mean that Umrah is a substitute for Hajj since Hajj is must to be performed if one is financially able. Also, Hajj has a specific month and period. Just like Hajj, there are few things to be remembered while one intends to go for Umrah.

State of Ihram:

To perform Umrah, one must be in the state of Ihram. It is the state of purity and holiness. Both men and women should be in the state of Ihram and free of all sorts for impurities. Generally, the cloth which is worn by the performer is known as Ihram. There are few things that men and women must remember when they plan their Umrah.

Man and Ihram: Men wear a two-piece garment which is seamless and white. They are not supposed to cover themselves completely as well. They use one piece to cover the torso while the other piece covers Sattar (waist to knee). For footwear, there is no restriction. One should always wear such footwear which is comfortable and non-slippery. A man in the Ihram is known as Muhrim.

Woman and Ihram: While women can wear any comfortable clothes. They don’t have to cover their faces and hands as it is forbidden. Certain clothes like silk or net are not allowed. Jewelry of any sort is also forbidden. For footwear instruction, comfort is mostly kept in mind as one has to walk and run. A woman in the state of Ihram is known as Muhrima.

Ihram and restrictions:

When one enters on to the state of ihram, they are not supposed to do the following things:

  • Before entering Ihram, one must wash and must be pure. This is for both men and women.
  • Men will trim their hair, and nails will be cut — no such restrictions for women about cutting of hair.
  • While in the state of ihram, sexual activity, cutting hair or nail, shaving is not allowed.
  • Other such activities like quarreling with people, wearing perfumes, gloves or socks, harming innocent animals, and causing damage to the trees are prohibited. If such acts happen knowingly or unknowingly, penalty sacrifice of an animal is to be given.

Where not to go when in the state of Ihram:

When one intends to perform Umrah, they must get into the state of ihram before entering the city of Makkah. Anyone who enters the city with the intention of business or other reasons, they don’t have to get into the state of ihram. This restriction is only for those who want to perform Umrah or hajj.

Anyone coming from outside the city of Makkah must be in the state of Ihram while crossing the miqat. Only those performers of Umrah or Hajj are released from this restriction that happens to reside inside the Makkah or within the area between miqat and Haram.

What is Miqat:

Miqat is those stops or destinations which must not be crossed if a performer of Umrah or hajj is not in the state of Ihram. There are 5 such distances from Makkah. They are as under:

Dhu’l-Hulayfah: this miqat is for those people who live in Madinah and come to Makkah to perform Umrah. It is about 9 km from Madinah and 450km from Makkah.

Juhfah: when people come from Syria, they will come across miqat of Juhfah. It is almost 190 km to the northwest of Makkah.

Qarn al-Manazil: it is located in the east of the Makkah at a distance of 90 km. It is for those people who come from Najd.

DhatIrq: while coming from Iran, Iraq or that direction, you will come across the miqat of DhatIrq. It is nearly 85 km to the northwest of Makkah.

Yalamlam: This miqat is located towards the southeast of Makkah at 50 km. It is for those who enter from the direction of Yemen, and others like china, Japan, India, Pakistan who traveled this route through the sea.