Stages of Hajj
Besides the pilgrimage time, the ‘umrah mufradah is recommended at all other times especially in the months of Rajab and Ramadhan. Therefore, it is necessary for me to list here its most important rituals in order to help the respected ‘umrah-pilgrims (may Allah accept all their rituals).
RITUALS OF UMRAH MUFRADAH
The rituals of ‘umrah mufradah are seven:
(b) For men: to put on the two pieces of ihram as mentioned in the section on ‘umrah at-tamattu‘.
(c) Saying the talbiyyah at the time of niyyat. It will be sufficient to say: “Lab-bay-ka Allahumma lab-bay-ka; lab-bay-ka la sharika laka lab-bay-ka; innal hamda wan ni‘mata laka wal mulk; la sharika laka lab-bay-ka.” To know the recommended deeds in ihram, see the earlier section on ‘umrah at-tamattu‘.
The ‘umrah-pilgrim has to put on the ihram at one of the famous miqats or by nadhr as mentioned earlier. However, this requirement does not apply in two cases: i. a person who is already in Mecca and intends to do ‘umrah mufradah or ii. someone who leaves Mecca and goes to a distance less than that of the miqat (e.g., to ‘Arafat or Jeddah) and intends to return back to Mecca for ‘umrah mafradah. In these two cases, the pilgrim will put on the ihram from the closest boundary of the holy territory like at-Tan‘im or al-Hudaybiyya. This also applies to a person who resides within the miqat perimeter (like Jeddah): he shall put on the ihram for ‘umrah mufradah from his own house.
2. Tawaf: going seven rounds around the Ka‘bah, starting from the Black Stone and ending with it with the sincere intention which can be said, for example, as following: “I am doing tawaf of this House seven rounds to seek nearness of Almighty Allah.” It is recommended for him recite the prescribed du‘as for each round, etc.
3. Salat of Tawaf behind the Maqam Ibrahim (a.s.) in two rak‘at like the Dawn Prayer with the sincere intention which may be said as following: “I am doing two rak‘at for the salat of tawaf of ‘umrah mufradah to seek nearness of Almighty Allah.”
4. Sa‘i between Safa and Marwah seven times beginning at Safa and ending at Marwah with the sincere intention which may be said as following: “I am doing sa‘i between Safa and Marwah seven times to seek the nearness of Almighty Allah.”
5. Halq (shaving the head) or taqsir (getting rid of some hair from the head or beard or moustache) with the sincere intention which may be done as following: “I am doing halq (or taqsir) for ‘umrah mufradah to seek nearness of Almighty Allah.”
The female pilgrims are only required to do taqsir in order to free themselves from the ihram; they are not allowed to do halq.
6. Tawafun Nisa’: This is the tawaf done seven times around the Ka‘bah with the sincere intention as following: “I am doing tawaf around the Ka‘bah seven rounds for tawafun nisa’ of ‘umrah mufradah to seek nearness of Almighty Allah.”
7. Salat of Tawafun Nisa’: This is done behind the Maqam Ibrahim (a.s.) in form of two rak‘ats like the Dawn Prayer with sincere intention by saying, for example, the following: “I am doing two rak‘at of salat of tawafun nisa’ of ‘umrah mufradah to seek nearness of Almighty Allah.”
RULES OF UMRAH MUFRADAH
1. It is recommended to do ‘umrah mufradah every month of the year; and the best time for this recommendation, in order of priority, is in the month of Rajab and then Ramadhan.
2. If the ‘umrah-pilgrim forgets to say the talbiyyah at the time of putting on the ihram or was ignorant of its requirement till he did the other rituals, then his ‘umrah is not valid (based on obligatory precaution).
3. A pilgrim cannot do two ‘umrah mufradah in the same month for himself.
4. However, he can do two ‘umrah mufradah in the same month if one is for himself and another is done on behalf of someone else. Similarly, the pilgrim can do two ‘umrah mufradah in the same month on the behalf of two different persons.
5. A pilgrim who has done one ‘umrah mufradah at the end of a month is allowed to do another ‘umrah mufradah at the beginning of the next month.
6. It has already been mentioned that if a person is in Mecca and intends to do ‘umrah mufradah, he is allowed to put on the ihram at the outer limit of haram (like at-Tan‘im which is 6 km from Mecca or Hudaybiyyah which is 15 km from Mecca or Ja‘ranah which is 16 km from Mecca), and he does not have to go back all the way to the Miqat for ihram except in one case – when a person violates the ‘umrah mufradah by having sexual intercourse before doing the sa‘i.
7. A vast majority of rules of ‘umrah at-tamattu‘ regarding tawaf, salat of tawaf, sa‘i and taqsir also apply in case of ‘umrah mufradah.
However, there is one difference between the two:
On the other hand, if one neglects the tawaf or sa‘i of ‘umrah mufradah out of ignorance or unknowingly does something that invalidates it, then the ‘umrah mufradah does not become invalid – the pilgrim should stay in the state ihram until he returns back to Mecca and does the tawaf and sa‘i even if that takes a long time.
8. It is recommended to do the sacrifice in ‘umrah mufradah, and that the sacrifice be done in Mecca.