Islam

alone for 12 days :(

10:43 PM that's me 0 Comments

Salam wa leykum every body!

Sorry for the lack of post, my husband has traveled to Mecca, yep, awesome!! that's what he told me the first time he called right now after he had arrived there,
I'm really happy for him, that was one of his dreams, that now has come true, insh'allah we will go together in a future, just waiting for our kids grow up a bit, or accept to stay with their relatives without mom or dad, so for now I'll have to wait to can go too.

There are so many things that I didn't know about performing Umrah, so I would like to share with you some of the information I had found about, I hope this will be useful to some one out there :)

first I will talk about prices, wow this is an important point when you are thinking to perform aether umrah or hajj, the prices use to be extremely high, but alhamdullilah at least in Egypt since the "Revolution" some things had changed for good, and prices to perform Umrah is one of them, apparently they are now a bit more accessible, so this is a good thing for Egyptians, if you live in other country there are plenty of sites on the Internet that offers packages to travel to Saudi Arabia and perform Umrah, the most important things is plan it with time and check several companies so you can have the best prices for you.

The Umrah
cumrah
Pilgrimage in Islam, going to Mecca, second to the main pilgrimage The Hajj. Umrah is often referred to as the "little pilgrimage", and while the Hajj is compulsory, the umrah is not. However it is recommended by the Quran, as well as within Islamic practice.

2, 153Truly, As-Safa and Al- Marwa are among the landmarks of God, therefore anyone who performs the hajj or the umrah he does no harm if he circumambulates them both…..


There is a close connection between the rituals of the umrah and the hajj, to the extent they are often mingled together. There are only minor differences between the first part of the hajj and the entire umrah, and according to some views a hajj automatically includes the umrah, while according to other views, the umrah is only performed when it is as an independent ritual.
The umrah, which is a strong symbol of Muslim piety, is a highly individual ritual, as there is practically nothing of its acts that requires the presence of other people. The only part, which cannot be done all alone, is the shave afterwards, but that is also not really a part of the umrah — it only serves as a symbol of leaving the ritual of the umrah.
Umrah can be performed all through the year, with the exception of the days of the hajj.
Rituals more or less similar to the umrah were performed in Mecca also in the era before Islam became the religion of the city. From early Islamic sources we learn that the first part, the tawaf, was most certainly performed even if we do not know if there were seven circumambulations or not. As for the other part, the sacii, the accounts are more loose, but the hill tops of As-Safa and Al-Marwa were considered sacred. Early Muslim scholars were divided of the importance and necessity of the umrah, but soon it was well established as a ritual with an importance similar to what it has today.

Preparations

a.
The pilgrim assumes ritual purity, ihram, in a place, which can be inside Mecca if he / she intends to perform both umrah and hajj in one go, or outside Mecca (meeqat) if only the umrah is to be performed. For the residents of Jeddah (and those residing within the meeqat limits) meeqat is their home. For the residents of Makkah meeqat is Masjid Al-Ayesha.

b.
Uttering of the niya, which is the statement that says what the pilgrim is about to do. For the umrah there are two possible niyas, either he / she could be doing only the umrah, or he / she could be doing both.

c.
Uttering of Labbaik, which is Arabic and normally translated with "at your service". The labbaik is followed by numerous sentences, all dealing with God or / and the prophet, Muhammad (PBUH).

Part I: Tawaf

a.
The pilgrim enters the main mosque in Mecca, preferably through Bab-Al-Umrah.

b.
Passing through the port of Banu Shaiba.

c.
Coming up to the Black Stone in the Ka'aba.

d.
Starts to circumambulate the Ka'aba seven times, walking against the clock. While doing this, prayers are said. The 3 first circumambulations are done at a speed of nearly running, while the last 4 are done at a normal walking speed.

e.
The pilgrim presses his chest against the Ka'aba at a point midway between the Black Stone, and the door of the Ka'aba.

f.
A short prayer, Wajib Al-Tawaaf, consisting of 2 raka'as is performed at Maqam-e-Ibrahim.

g.
Water is drunk from the well of Zamzam.

Part II: Sacii

a.
The pilgrim leaves the mosque courtyard of the Ka'aba, and enters the lane that runs between two points right outside, called 'As-Safa and Al-Marwa. The pilgrims embark from 'Al-Safa.

b.
The pilgrim walks back and forth between these two points seven times (a trip from As-Safa to Al-Marwah and back to As-Safa is considered as 2 laps). At each point he / she stops for a moment, in order to say a few prayers, and then continues. This ritual ends at Al-Marwa.

Conclusion

a.
The pilgrim leaves Al-Marwa.

b.
He / she will have his / her hair cut by a local barber, in order to mark the end of the umrah.





Preparation for Umrah
Umrah may be performed at any time of the year.

Umrah performed during Ramadan is considered equal to performing Hajj and offers the same rewards. Nevertheless, performing Umrah during Ramadan is not a substitute for Hajj, the performance of which is mandatory (fard) for all Muslims at least once in a lifetime, if they are physically and financially able.

To perform Umrah, you should be in a state of Ihram. Ihram is a state of purity and holiness. A man in Ihram is called muhrim; a woman is called muhrima.

The word Ihram is also used to denote the garment worn by pilgrims when in the state of Ihram. Men garb themselves in a white, seamless, two-piece garment. The top garment covers the torso but, during Umrah and Hajj, not necessarily the right shoulder. The lower garment covers from waist to knee. Women wear long white robes which cover them from head to toe. All wear sandals, rather than shoes.

To enter Ihram, pilgrims must wash themselves. A man may trim his hair and cut his nails. During Ihram, sexual activity, shaving, and cutting one's nails or skin all are forbidden. There are also prohibitions against killing animals, except those that can harm people, fighting or quarreling, using perfumes, washing hair with shampoo, wearing gloves or socks, or uprooting oats or trees. Those who do these knowingly or unknowingly or by forgetting have to pay a penalty by sacrificing an animal or giving alms.

There are five places some distance from the Holy City of Makkah which pilgrims must not cross before they are in a state of Ihram if they intend to enter al Masjid al Haram for Umrah or Hajj. These points or stations are called Miqats. For map, see Location of Miqats

Dhu'l-Hulayfah: This miqat is about 9 kilometers from Madinah and about 450 kilometers from Makkah. Dhu'l-Hulayfah is the miqat for those who live in Madinah and for those who approach Makkah from that direction.

Juhfah: This miqat is about 190 kilometers to the northwest of Makkah. This is the miqat for the people who come from the direction of Syria.

Qarn al-Manazil: This miqat is a hilly place about 90 kilometers to the east of Makkah. This is the miqat for the people of Nejd or for those coming from that direction.

Dhat Irq: This miqat is about 85 kilometers towards the northeast side of Makkah. This is the miqat for the people of Iran, Iraq and for those coming from that direction.

Yalamlam: This miqat is a hilly area about 50 kilometers to the southeast of Makkah. This is the miqat for the people of Yemen and others coming from that direction. It is the miqat for many of the pilgrims from China, Japan, India, Pakistan who come by ship.

The area outside the Haram, the holy land on which the City of Makkah stands, is called al-Hill. Muslims who enter the Haram area on business or for other purposes need not do the ihram before entering the Holy City of Makkah unless they have the intention to perform Umrah or Hajj. Muslims coming to Makkah with the intention of performing Umrah or Hajj must not cross a Miqat without first entering into the state of Ihram, unless they live within the area between Miqat and the Haram. In this case they do Ihram either at home or just before entering the Haram area.


How to Perform the Rituals of Umrah
by Shaikh Muhammad As-Salih Al-Uthaimeen

In The Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
The Umrah
If a pilgrim wishes to be ritually pure for Umrah, he should shed his clothing and bathe as he would after sexual defilement, if convenient. He should perfume his head and beard with the best oil he can find. There is no harm in what remains of it after Ihram.

Bathing for Ihram is Sunnah for both men and women, including menstruating women and those experiencing postnatal bleeding. After bathing and preparing himself, a. pilgrim, other than those menstruating or experiencing postnatal bleeding, prays the obligatory prayer, if it is time. Otherwise, he makes his intention by praying the two Sunnah Rakaas, which are made each time Wudhu is performed.

When he finishes his prayer he should say: "Here I am for Umrah, here I am, Oh Allah, here I am. Here I am. You have no partner. Here I am. Surely all praise, grace and dominion is yours, and you have no partner." [Talbeeyah].

A man raises his voice when saying this and a woman says it so that only one beside her may hear her.

One in Ihram should say the Talbeeyah as often as possible, especially when times and places change. For example: when descending or ascending during travel or when day or night approach. He should also ask Allah for His pleasure, for Heaven and seek refuge in Allah's mercy from Hellfire.

One should say the Talbeeyah during Umrah, starting from the time he puts on his Ihram till he starts Tawaf. During Hajj he should say it starting from the time he puts on his Ihram till he starts to stone Jamrah Al-Aqaba on the Eid day.

When a pilgrim enters the Holy Mosque he puts forth his right foot first and says: "In the name of Allah, may peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah. Oh Allah, forgive me my sins and open to me the doors of Your mercy. I seek refuge in Allah the Almighty and in His Eminent Face and in His Eternal Dominion from the accursed Satan."

He approaches the Black Stone, touches it with his right hand and kisses it. If this isn't possible, he should face the Black Stone and point to it.

It is best not to push and shove, causing harm and being harmed by other people.

When touching the Stone, a pilgrim should say the following: "In the name of Allah, Allah is the greatest. Oh, Allah, with faith in you, belief in Your book, loyalty to you, compliance to the way of your Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)."

A pilgrim must walk, keeping the Ka'bah on his left. When he reaches the Rukn Al Yamani he should touch, but not kiss it, and say: " Our Lord, grant us good in this life and good in the hereafter and save us from the punishment of the Hell fire. Oh Allah, I beg of You for forgiveness and health in this life and in the Hereafter."

Each time he passes the Black Stone he should say: "Allah is the Greatest."

During the remainder of his Tawaf he may say what he pleases of supplications, mentioning Allah, and recitation of Quran. This is because Tawaf, Sa'yi, and Stoning the Jamrah have been devised for the purpose of mentioning Allah.

During this Tawaf it is necessary for a man to do two things:

1. Al-ldhtebaa' from the beginning of Tawaf until the end. Al-ldhtebaa' means placing the middle of one's Reda' under his right arm and the ends of it over his left shoulder.

When he is finished performing Tawaf, he may return his Reda' to its original state because the time for Idhtebaa' is only during Tawaf.

2. Al-Raml during the first three circuits. Al-Raml means speeding up one's pace with small steps. A pilgrim should walk at a normal pace during his last four circuits.

When he completes seven circuits of Tawaf, he approaches Maqam Ibrahim and recites: "And take ye the station of Abraham as a place of Prayer" Chapter 2, Verse 125 [2:125].

He prays two short Rakaas, as close as conveniently possible, behind Maqam Ibrahim. During the first Rakaa he recites Surah Al-Kafirun [Chapter 109] and during the second one Surah Al-lkhlas [Chapter 112].

When he completes the two Rakaas he should return to the Black Stone and touch it, if convenient. He goes out to the Mesa'a and when he nears As-Safaa he recites: " Verily As-Safaa and Al-Marwah are among the shrines of Allah " [2:158].

He ascends As-Safaa until he is able to see the Ka'bah. Facing the Ka'bah and raising his hands, he praises Allah and makes any supplications he chooses. The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) prayed thus: "There is no Deity but Allah alone," three times, supplicating in between.

He descends As-Safaa and heads for Al-Marwah at a normal pace until he reaches the green marker. He should then run fast until the next green marker. He continues toward Al-Marwah at a normal pace. When he reaches it, he ascends it, faces the Qibla, raises his hands and repeats what he said on As-Safaa. He descends Al-Marwah heading towards As-Safaa, taking care to walk where walking is designated, and run where running is designated.

He continues this procedure until he completes seven laps. Going from As-Safaa to Al-Marwah is a lap and returning is another lap.

During his Sa'yi he may recite what he wills of supplications, recitation of Qur'an, and mentioning Allah.

In completion of Sa'yi he shaves his head. A woman clips her hair the length of a finger tip.

Shaving is preferable, except when Hajj is near and there isn't sufficient time for hair to grow back. In this case it's best to clip so that hair will remain for shaving during Hajj.

With that, Umrah is completed. And a pilgrim is free to dress in other clothing, wear perfume and engage in marital relations, etc.

Notification
The following is incumbent upon the Muhrim for Hajj or Umrah:

1. That he be committed to Allah's religious obligations upon him such as prayer in its time (in congregation for men).

2. That he avoids what Allah has prohibited such as obscenity, inequity, and disobedience. If anyone undertakes Hajj therein. Let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling during Hajj ~ [2:197].

3. That he avoids harming the Muslims with words or actions within the Masha'ir or elsewhere.

4. That he avoids all of the restrictions of Ihram:

a. He shouldn't cause the loss of any of his hair or nails. A prick by a thorn and the like is unobjectionable, even if there is bleeding.

b. He shouldn't perfume himself, his clothing, his food or his drink after entering Ihram. He should also abstain from cleansing himself with scented soap. There is no harm in what remains of the effect of perfume used prior to Ihram.

c. He shouldn't touch, kiss, etc. his spouse out of passion and, even worse, shouldn't have sexual intercourse.

e. He shouldn't be wed or propose to a woman for himself or others. f. He shouldn't wear gloves, although there is no harm in wrapping the hands in cloth. This ruling goes for both men and women.

The following pertains specifically to men:
a) He cannot cover his head with something that touches it, although there is no harm in the use of an umbrella, the roof of a car or tent for shade. There is also no harm in carrying his baggage atop his head. b) He cannot wear a shirt, turban, hooded cloak trousers, or shoes. Only if he is unable to obtain an Ezar or sandals can he wear trousers or shoes.

c) He cannot wear anything with the same qualities of the above mentioned such as an Abea', Qubaa, hat, undershirt, etc.

It is permissible for him to wear sandals, rings, glasses, and a hearing aid. A watch, worn on his wrist or hung from his neck, or a speech aid. It is permissible for him to cleanse himself with unscented cleansers and to wash and scratch his head and body, even if some of his hair falls unintentionally. In such a case there is no obligation on him because of it.

A woman cannot wear a Niqab or Burqa'. The Sunnah is for her to uncover her face except if men not related to her might see her, in which case it is obligatory for her to cover her face during Ihram and otherwise.

Allah is the giver of success. May His blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and all of his family and companions.

(By the needy before Allah, Muhammad As-Salih Al-Uthaimeen)






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Probably same as me you will have more questions about umrah, I found this website with an interesting Q & A for more information click here

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