What is Umrah? In Arabic, the word Umrah is derived from Itimaar which means a visit. However, Umrah in Islamic terminology, means paying a visit to Ka bah, performing Tawaaf (circumambulation) around it, walking between Safaa and Marwah seven times. A performer of Umrah puts off his Ihraam by having his hair shaved or cut. Umrah can be performed along with Hajj and in other days as well. Umrah can be performed during anytime in the year, there is no fixed time for Umrah. The Pillars of `Umrah are four: a) Ihram: which is assumed at the Meeqaat? b) Tawaaf: around the House. c) Say’s: walking between As-Safaa and Al-Marwah, which consists of seven circuits? d) Tahal-lul: which means coming out of the state of Ihram; becoming lawful what was previously prohibited during Ihram.
How to perform Umrah? . When the one who wants to perform Umrah arrives at the Meeqaat, it is recommended for him (both man and woman) to take a bath if convenient, including menstruating women and those experiencing postnatal bleeding. The man perfumes his head and beard but not his Ihraam garments. There is no harm in what remains of it after Ihraam. There is nothing wrong if it is not possible to take a bath at Meeqaat.
Men are to change into their clothing of Ihraam while the women only need to make their intention at that time in the clothing they are already wearing. There is no specific clothing designated for women, except that they are prohibited from wearing the Niqaab (face-veil) and gloves. Instead, they may cover their hands with the lower part of their khimaar (head covering), while using the upper part of their jilbaab (outer garment) or a separate piece of fabric to cover their faces by drawing it down, if there is need to do so.
As for men, they must assume their Ihraam at the Meeqaat by wearing two pieces of fabric called the Izaar and the Ridaa. The Ridaa covers the top half of the body, while the Izaar covers the lower half. No other clothing is allowed to be worn in addition to these – no underwear, no pants, no shirt, no turban, no hat, etc. are to be worn.
Then the pilgrim makes the intention at the Meeqaat to begin the rites of Umrah by entering the state of Ihraam. The intention must be made in the heart, while the statement made afterwards is: "Labayka Umrah" or "Allahumma labbayka Umrah". This statement begins the rites of `Umrah. So the first pillar of `Umrah is the Ihraam. The intention is made in the heart, while the tongue recites the opening Talbiyyah. And if you wish, when uttering Talbiyyah, you may state a condition to Allaah fearing that which may prevent you from completion of the ‘Umrah whether illness or fear - saying "in habasanee haabes fa mahillee haithu habastanee" (I come out of the state of Ihraam from the place You prevent me from continuing). So if you do that and are then prevented or become ill - then you may come out of Ihraam. Then repeat the Talbiyyah: "labbayk Allahumma labbayk, labbayka laa shareeka laka labbayk, innal-hamda wan-nimata laka wal-mulk, laa shareeka lak" (“In response to your call O Allaah I perform ‘Umrah, here I am O Allaah. In response to Your call. You have no partner. In response to Your call. All Praise and Blessings, and the Ownership of all that You created is Yours (alone). You have no partner”)
Upon arriving at the Kabah, stop reciting the Talbiyyah, then approach the Black Stone, touch it with your right hand and kiss it. If this isnt possible, you should face the Black Stone and point to it. Don’t push and shove, causing harm and being harmed by other people. When touching the Stone, the following is said: "Bismil-laah, Allaahu Akbar" (In the name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest) or "Allah Akbar" (Allah is the Greatest).
A pilgrim must walk, keeping the Kabah on his left. When you reach the Yamaani corner touch it with your right hand, if possible, but do not kiss it, and say: "Bismil- laahiwa Allah Akbar". If this is difficult for you, then go on performing tawaaf without touching it, pointing at it or even saying "Allaahu Akbar" because this was not narrated from the Prophet on the other hand whenever you reach or are parallel to the black stone, touch it with your right hand, kiss it and say, "Bismillaah Allah Akbar", if it is not possible then it is enough to point at it and say, "Bismillaah, Allah Akbar".