Umrah – A Small yet Significant Holy Pilgrimage in Islam


Islam is the holy religion of Muslims which is based on five principle tenets namely Shahada (Faith), Salah (Prayer), Sawm (Fasting), Zakat (Alms-Giving) and Pilgrimage (Hajj).
Followers of this holy religion make it their goal to live a life completely submitting their will to Allah.

That is why Muslims observe various festivals like Ramadan, Eid-Al-Fitr, Eid Al-Adha and Muharram amongst others. In addition to that, Muslims also go on a once-in-a-lifetime holy pilgrimage called Hajj to cleanse themselves of all their sins.

Did you know? There is another holy pilgrimage called Umrah which is performed to gain closeness to Allah Almighty.

While Hajj is the ultimate pilgrimage, Umrah is also an important pilgrimage that one should take in their lifetime.

Want to know more about Umrah and why you should take it? Read on!

What happens in Umrah Pilgrimage?

Although Umrah is regarded as the lesser pilgrimage, it holds major importance as many of the rites/customs that are performed in Hajj are also performed in Umrah.

Here are a few similar rites of the Umrah Pilgrimage:

    • Muslims are required to wear Ihram – This clothing is usually worn during Islamic pilgrimages. The main reason why men and women wear Ihram clothing is to avoid attracting attention.
    • Muslims are also required to walk seven times around the Ka’aba. This is called Tawaf.
    • Muslims are also required to perform Sa’i in which they are required to walk/run between the hills of Marwa and Safa.
    • Muslims are also required to shorten hair (for women) and the shaving of the head (for men).

These are the main steps that a Muslim must do in Umrah. There are many other rites but the rest of them are usually carried out in the Hajj.

Umrah-Pilgrimage in Islam


Why Should You Go on Umrah Pilgrimage?

As compared to Hajj (which is an obligatory act), Umrah is a recommended act and Muslims are advised to go on Umrah as many times as they can. Why?

So that they can get closer to Allah.

Umrah, when performed with the purest of intentions, can be a means of cleansing the mind and soul of its sins and blemishes.

The Prophet said that “Alternating between Hajj and Umrah will enable you to get rid of poverty and sins just like a blacksmith works to remove all sorts of impurities from metals like Iron, Silver and Gold”

Another major benefit of Umrah is that:

Seeking Allah’s forgiveness is a constant obligation for Muslims, but the sacrifices made during Umrah—including leaving one’s family and comfortable life behind—result in immeasurable benefits.


Although Muslims are permitted to do Umrah at any time of the year (with the exception of Hajj), it is highly encouraged that they do so during the blessed month of Ramadan.

These are a few holy reasons why Umrah, even though it is considered a lesser pilgrimage should be undertaken by followers of Islam.

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