Virtues of Hajj and ‘Umrah

It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "From one ‘Umrah to the next is an expiation for whatever (sins) came between them, and for Al-Mabroor (i.e. the accepted) Hajj there is no reward but Paradise." [Reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim][i]

This great Hadeeth points out the virtues of one of the pillars of Islam. We will have the following analyses about it:

Firstly, in Arabic, the word ‘Umrah means a visit. However, 'Umrah in Islamic terminology, means paying a visit to the Sacred House (Ka‘bah) in a particular way. This is done through assuming Ihraam, performing Tawaaf (circumambulation) around it, walking between Safaa and Marwah seven times, and shaving or cutting hair.

His statement: "Expiation" means relieving one from what becomes obligatory upon person due to sin or crime.

The word Hajj in Arabic means “heading towards” a place.

Hajj, as an Islamic term, denotes heading towards the Holy House in Makkah for a specific purpose and at a specific time. Alternatively, it is  to go to Makkah in the months of Hajj to perform Tawaaf (circumambulation) around it, walking between Safaa and Marwah seven times, standing in ‘Arafah, spending night in Muzdalifah, throwing pebbles, spending night in Mina and the like of the rituals of Hajj.

Secondly, this Hadeeth points out the great virtue of performing ‘Umrah to the Sacred House of Allaah The Almighty. The Hadeeth indicates that ‘Umrah expiates sins and misdeeds. This is indicated clearly in the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him: "An expiation for whatever (sins) came between them."

 Thirdly, the Hadeeth also refers to the virtue of making great deal of ‘Umrah and repeating it for he, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "From one ‘Umrah to the next is…"

Scholars have stated that the meant repeating of ‘Umrah here is what one performs when coming from his county not the ‘Umrah of one who is already in Makkah, then leaves the “sanctuary” to return for an ‘Umrah.

Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: “None of his, peace and blessing be upon him, ‘Umrahs were performed by leaving Makkah as many people do today. Rather, all his ‘Umrahs were done while entering Makkah. He remained in Makkah for thirteen years after the revelation was first sent down and it has not been reported that he did ‘Umrah by leaving Makkah during that time.  

The ‘Umrah which the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, performed and prescribed was the ‘Umrah for one entering Makkah, not the the ‘Umrah of one who is already in Makkah, then leaves the “sanctuary” to return for an ‘Umrah. In his time, only A’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, did this and it was due to a specific situation; that is, she had the intention of performing ‘Umrah, but her menses occurred. The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, ordered her to do the Hajj with ‘Umrah, and thus she performed Hajj Qiran (a type of Hajj where Hajj and ‘Umrah are done with one ihram).

However, she felt somewhat upset that her friends (other women) would return having performed Hajj and ‘Umrah separately, as they performed Hajj Tamattu’ and did not menstruate during that time; whereas A’ishah performed Hajj Qiran and her ‘Umrah was included within her Hajj. 

The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, then ordered A’ishah’s brother to take her out to Tan’eem, and return to Makkah in order to perform her ‘Umrah

Rather, there are some scholars who said: "It is disliked to perform more than one ‘Umrah in only one year. That is because the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, did not do it except once a year."

Fourthly, the Hadeeth also refers to the virtue of performing Hajj to the Sacred House of Allaah The Almighty. This great virtue is for the Hajj which is Mabroor i.e. the accepted because it is done sincerely and purely for Allaah The Almighty, following the footsteps of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him. Hajj is one of pillars of Islam and its great foundations as it was pointed out by the Hadeeth narrated by Ibn ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "Islam is based on five principles: 'To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allaah and Muhammad is Allaah's Messenger, to offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly, to pay Zakaat (i.e. obligatory charity), to observe fast during the month of Ramadhaan, and to perform Hajj. (i.e. Pilgrimage to Makkah)."[ii]  

Regarding the virtue of Hajj, it was also narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "The pilgrims performing Hajj and ‘Umrah are the guests of Allaah; if they ask Him He will respond to them, if they supplicate Him, He will answer them, and if they spend He will compensate them."[Reported by An-Nasaa'i and others][iii]

It was narrated authentically about its virtue that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "Whoever performs Hajj and does not commit any obscenity or commit any evil will go back (free of) sin as on the day his mother bore him."[iv]

 

 

[i] Reported by Al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh at the book of Hajj.

[ii] Reported by Al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh no. (8) and Muslim in 1/45, no. (26).

[iii] Reported by An-Nasaa'i 5/113, no. (2625).

[iv] Reported by Al-Bukhaari 3/426, no. 1521.

 

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