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How to perform Umrah

The Ihraam

The first stage of Umrah is Ihraam. You put on two garments, preferably white, which are not sewn, shaped or tailored. They are not more than two large pieces of cloth. You wear one of them round your waist and it should stretch down well below your knees. With other piece you cover upper part of your body.

You should wear only slippers when you are in state of Ihraam. This state requires certain restrictions that remain in force until the main part of the pilgrimage is completed, such as cutting your hair or nails, using perfumes, killing animals, or wearing clothes other than those specified for Ihraam. Men are not allowed to cover their hair or wear socks. Married couples should not engage in any sexual act during Ihram.

Women pilgrims wear ordinary clothes that should cover their bodies completely. They should ensure that their hair are fully covered, however, they are not allowed to cover their faces or hands. They observe the same restrictions of Ihraam as the men. A woman need only shorten a small portion of her hair by an inch at the end of the Saie.

Before putting Ihram on, you should have a bath, wear some perfume, remove your pubic and underarm hair, and clip your nails. Women can have bath even though they may be in their period. Afterwards you should pray two rak’ahs, form intention to do the Hajj or the Umrah and then say Talbiyah, which is as follows: ”Labbayka allahumma labbayk, labbayka la shareeka labbayk, innal hamda wan ni’mata laka wal mulk, la sharika lak”

When arriving at Makkah, you should proceed to perform Umrah which starts with Tawaf-e-Kaabah. You should circle the Kabaah seven times in an anti clockwise direction. In the first three rounds of the tawaf, men should uncover their right shoulders and jog, if the place is not so crowded as to prevent any jogging movement. The last four rounds of the tawaf should be done in easy walking.

All the requirements of cleanliness, purity, ablution must be met to perform Tawaf. After completion of Tawaf you should offer two rakaats, if possible behind the Maqam-e-Ibraheem.

The Sa’ie

After Tawaf, you should proceed to do Saie between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah.

You will start your Saie at Safa where you will face the Kabaah, raise your hands in supplication to Allah, recite ”Bismillah, Allah-o-Akbar” three times and start walking towards Marwah, all the time reciting prayers and supplications of your choice.

Starting about midway between Safa and Marwah you will walk faster, or jog, for the length marked by green lights overhead. These lights define the length covered by Hajrah running to get to higher ground faster. Your arrival at Marwah completes one leg of the Saie.

Upon arriving at Marwah, you will repeat the supplications offered at Safa (i.e. face the Kabbah and repeat ”Bismillah, Allah-o-Akbar” three times), turn around and retrace your walk back to Safa. This will complete the second leg of Saie.

Upon arriving at Marwah, you will repeat the supplications offered at Safa (i.e. face the Kabbah and repeat ”Bismillah, Allah-o-Akbar” three times), turn around and retrace your walk back to Safa. This will complete the second leg of Saie.

You will repeat steps 1 to 3 until you complete the seventh leg which will end at Marwah. The Saie is now complete.

After that, cutting of the hair completes Umrah. Men are encouraged to have their hair shaven completely although trimming is also permitted but there is less reward in this. Women, however, only trim their hair slightly. Having done this, you may remove your Ihraam and revert to wearing your normal clothes. This will complete your Umrah.

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