The pilgrimage of Hajj and Umrah hold equivalent significance for Muslims. Whether a believer wants to perform hajj or umrah, he/she is required to travel to the holy city of Makkah and observe the holy rituals. In fact, when traveling with Hajj Packages, a pilgrim must perform all the rituals of Umrah pilgrimage for his/her hajj.
Though a lot of similarities lie between Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages, there are some differences as well. That’s why one must know the type of pilgrimage being undertaken and the specific rituals associated with it to make the Ibadah valid.
Here’s how hajj and umrah pilgrimage are different.
Three types of Hajj can be undertaken by a pilgrim; Hajj Qiran, Hajj Ifraad, and Hajj Tamattu.
Umrah only has two types; Umrah tul Tamattu and Umrah tul Mufradah.
Hajj remains an obligatory pilgrimage for Muslims because it is among the five pillars of the Islamic faith. For a believer who remains mentally and physically fit as well as possesses the financial capability for it, hajj is compulsory to be performed at least once in a lifetime.
Umrah merely remains a minor form of Hajj and is a sunnah pilgrimage. It is not a compulsion for a believer, whether or not he/she has the means for it, to perform umrah. In fact, umrah's performance is voluntary. One can go for it if he/she desires but it’s not obligatory. Yet, because of the rewards it holds for pilgrims, umrah performance is a recommended act.
The rituals of umrah are as follows;
2.Preforming Tawaf of the Holy Kaabah.
3.Undertaking Sayee of Safah and Marwah hills.
4.Drinking Zamzam water.
5.Shaving/cutting head hair.
After performing these rituals, a person’s umrah pilgrimage gets complete.
All of the rituals of umrah remain a part of hajj pilgrimage as well but pilgrims also have to perform some additional rites;
1.Spending time in the tent city of Mina.
2.Travelling to Muzdalifah and Arafat.
3.Stoning the Devil i.e., Rami ritual.
4.Slaughtering an animal.
5.Performance of farewell tawaf.
4.Time required for the completion of the pilgrimage.
Hajj is an annual pilgrimage that begins from the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah and lasts till the 12th of Dhul Hijjah i.e., for a period of nearly five days.
Umrah can be performed at any time of the year excluding the days of hajj. It only takes a few hours to complete all of the umrah rituals (if performed consecutively).
That’s how hajj and umrah pilgrimages are different from each other on a fundamental basis.