The Hajj and Umrah are obligations are for all able bodied Muslims world over. The Umrah is not as mandatory as Hajj but is equally important. All Muslims who are physically fit and can afford it should undertake the Umrah. Umrah can be undertaken any time of the year and is equally sanctifying. Many pilgrims from the UK do not know the rituals and rules to perform the Umrah.
Given below are some tips on how to go about the Umrah from UK
- Austerity- This is called the state of Ihram or austerity. In the state of Ihram people should bathe, cut their nails and hair. They should wear simple white clothing. After Ihram people should not hunt, apply perfume or indulge in sexual desires.
- Tawaf-Â Â People have to enter the Holy Mosque at Makkah for tawaf.Â People should enter from Kaaba and should enter by first placing the right foot inside the mosque. The Muslims should be cleansed before performing the above. The cleaning can happen by observing Ihram. The tawaf commences from the Black Stone, while chanting the prayers taught by Prophet Mohammed. When the tawaf is over men have to cover their right shoulders. Also men must follow the practice of keeping their right shoulders while performing tawaf.
- Seven Rounds – After performing tawaf of Kaaba, you have to finish seven rounds between the hills of Marwah and Safa. This is an important rite to be performed as your Umrah obligations. Also while doing the rounds you must chant verses from the Holy Quran.
- Cutting of hair-Â Â After the rounds between the two hills both men and women have to cut their hair short. While men have to cut their really short or even shave their hair off, the women should cut their hair to about a few centimetres. This cutting of hair is a symbol that the pilgrims have atoned for their sins. This ritual means that you have entered a new sin free life. Also it is a promise that you choose to live your new life under complete obedience of Allah.
- After Ihram- Once Ihram is completed you can go back to wearing your regular clothes. The period of austerity and abstinence is over. Also now you will not be under any of the restrictions of Ihram.
These are few tips especially from those who are undertaking the Umrah from UK. This guide will help you understand what you need to do and when. As many travellers from UK are not acquainted with the rules and procedures of the Umrah. This might lead to a bit of confusion and chaos when you reach Saudi. However this article clear some basic doubts, for more information you should collect a standard text book which would have all the rules.