Hajj and Umrah both are Islamic pilgrimage performed in Mecca within the territory of Masjid al Haram (i.e. Kaabah).
Hajj, however, has a significant importance as compared with Umrah as Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam while Umrah is performed as it is an activity that has been performed by Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) (i.e. Sunnah).
As per the teachings of Islam, Hajj is an activity that is mandatory on every Muslim who is physically fit and financially capable enough to execute it. On the other hand Umrah is not mandatory but essential for any Muslim who has a desire to perform it while following the path of Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H).
Hajj is performed during the Month of Dhu al-Ḥijjah, which is the twelfth month in the Islamic Calendar and is executed from 8th of Dhu al Hijjah to 12th Dhu al Hijjah. While on the other hand Umrah does not required to be performed during any specific time period, it can be executed at any time during the year.
In order to perform Hajj a pilgrim is required to follow specific, strict and patronized activities and cannot exchange one activity with the other. In addition to the above every pilgrim is properly guided before performing a Hajj. While Umrah can be performed in lesser time period and does not required rituals that are performed during Hajj.
Kinds of Hajj:
Usually there are three kinds of Hajj’s that can be performed:
- Hajj al Tamattu:
The word “Tamattu”actually means to enjoy or to take advantage of a facility. A pilgrim, who performs this kind of Hajj, combines Umrah with Hajj in such a way that during the months of Hajj, before passing through the state of having an intention for Ihram, he assumes Ihram for Umrah only. Then after he accomplishes Umrah at Mecca, having his head shaved or hair cut short, he relinquishes his Ihram but does not come back home. Then, on the 8th of Dhul Hijjah he resumes Ihram, this time with the intention of Hajj and performs the rights and duties of Hajj.
- Hajj al Qiran:
The word Qiran literallymeans to combine two things. A pilgrim, who performs this kind of Hajj, combines Hajj and Umrah, i.e. he assumes Ihram with an intention to accomplish both of them.
- Hajj al Ifrad:
It is simple Hajj. A pilgrim before passing through the place for assumingIhram, enters into the state of Ihram with the intention of performing Hajj alone. He does notcombine it with Umrah.
Kinds of Umrah:
- Umrah al Mufradah:
A pilgrim before passing in the state of Ihram has an intention just to perform umrah i.e. when a pilgrim travels with the intention of Umrah only is called Umrah al Mufradah.
- Umrah al Tamattu:
An Umrah that is performed in collaboration with a hajj is called Umrah al Tamattu. However, in this respect Umrah is performed first and then Hajj rituals are executed.
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