Umrah is regarded as the minor pilgrimage or lesser pilgrimage to Makkah that can be carried out at any time during the whole year. Although the reward and merit of performing Umrah during the month of Ramadan is outstanding as compared to other Islamic months and the retribution is also equal to that of Hajj but it cannot be regarded as a substitute of Hajj.
The Arabic meaning of Umrah is to visit a voluminous place whereas according to Sharia, Umrah means to perform the prescribed rituals after acquiring the sacred state of ihram. Muslims from all over the world perform Umrah every year and visit the holy places of Makkah and Madina. Despite the fact that there is no obligation to perform Umrah but it is a Sunnah to perform Umrah at least once in a lifetime to earn great reward from Allah SWT.
Abu Hurairah (R) narrates that the Prophet(S) said:
“An Umrah to another Umrah will be redemption of sins for whatever (minor) occurs between them.” (Bukhari, Muslim).
This Hadith quite clearly explains the immense reward and blessings earned by performing Umrah. It cleanses one’s soul from all the past wrongdoings, committed intentionally or unintentionally and shows that Umrah serves as expiation for one’s sins whether major or minor. In addition to this, Allah is greatly pleased by those who walk His path with an intention of getting his pleasure and blessing and indeed Umrah is one of those means to earn Allah’s love.
The following Hadith speaks for itself and shows the immense love Allah has for his mankind.
Ibne Umar (R) narrates that Prophet (S) said:
“The warrior in the cause of Allah, the pilgrim and the one who is performing Umrah are all the delegation of Allah. He called them and they responded and they will ask of His bestowals and He will give it to them.” (Ibne Majah, Ibne Hibbaan)
Aisha (RA) said that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Whoever leaves his home only for the purpose of Hajj or Umrah and he dies, nothing will be presented to him nor will he have any accountability on the day of Reckoning and it will be said to him, enter into Jannah.” (Tabraani Baihaqi)
If one passes away on his way to Umrah or in between or after the completion of Umrah will not be questioned by Allah Almighty on the Day of Judgment and will enter the Jannah.
This is an absolutely astonishing and breath taking virtue of Umrah among many that the believing Muslim will get rewarded with by the utmost Grace and Mercy of Allah SWT. May all Muslims get the chance to undergo the sacred journey of Hajj and Umrah at least once in their lifetime! Undoubtedly, fortunate are those who already have amended their conducts after this auspicious expedition of the lifetime.