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Pilgrims of Umrah Must Perform the Associated Rituals

by Safeena Rahman Travel Addict

There are two Islamic pilgrimages performed by Muslims from various corners of the globe by visiting the holy city of Makkah located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. One is Hajj, which is a major pilgrimage in Islam and one of its five pillars. It is compulsory for all adult Muslims who are physically fit and financially capable of making the journey from their homes to the holy city of Makkah. This pilgrimage is performed in the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, which is the last month in the Islamic calendar.

Many of the Muslims living in different parts of the world also perform Umrah, which is known as the 'lesser pilgrimage' or the 'minor pilgrimage'. It can be performed at any time of the year. This pilgrimage is not compulsory but it is highly recommended in Islam since it is the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is completed within a few hours as it involves a lesser number of rituals as compared to the major pilgrimage. The first step to performing the lesser pilgrimage is entering the state of 'ihram' or the 'pure state' by putting on the prescribed ihram clothing.

After entering the state of ihram, the pilgrim pronounces the Niyyah and recites the Talbiyah before entering Makkah and proceeding to the Masjid al-Haram. The first ritual that he or she performs after entering this holy mosque is 'Tawaf', which involves circumambulation of the Kaabah, also called the House of Allah by Muslims. The first seven rounds are done in the anticlockwise direction while keeping the Kaabah to the left. Men are required to complete the first three rounds at a faster pace and the remaining rounds are to be done at a slower pace closer to the Kaabah. All the rounds start from the corner of the House of Allah and are completed at the same place.

Next comes the Sa'ee ritual, which is based on an event when Prophet Ibrahim's (peace be upon him) second wife, Hajar (may Allah be pleased with her) went in search of water for her infant son, Prophet Ismail (peace be upon him). The Almighty Allah then sent the archangel Jibreel (A.S) to instruct her to lift the infant prophet up. As she lifted him, she saw a spring of water rising from the place where her baby had struck the ground with his feet. While searching for her son, she had run seven times back and forth between the Safa and Marwah mountains. The Sa'ee ritual emulates this event as the pilgrims have to walk to and fro between these mountains to complete this ritual.

Lastly, the 'Halq' is performed on male pilgrims and 'Taqsir' is performed on the female pilgrims. In the Halq ritual, the hair is shaved off completely from the head of the male pilgrims, while Taqsir involves shortening of the hair of female pilgrims by a fingertip's length. With the Halq or Taqsir ritual, the pilgrim completes the lesser pilgrimage. Many of the pilgrims drink water from the 'Well of Zamzam', but it is not considered as a ritual.


About Safeena Rahman Advanced   Travel Addict

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Joined APSense since, September 26th, 2017, From London, United Kingdom.

Created on Sep 25th 2019 06:53. Viewed 107 times.

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