Difference Between Umrah and Hajj (With Table)

Muslims do two types of holy pilgrimages as a sign of their belief and spirituality: Umrah and Hajj. Even though both umrah and the hajj are purification rituals, they are vastly different. An umrah, for example, is a little or lesser pilgrimage, whereas the hajj is a greater and more stringent pilgrimage for Muslims.

Both pilgrimages have distinct characteristics. An Umrah is an encouraged but optional odyssey, whereas a Hajj is required. To do the Hajj, a pilgrim must meet additional requirements and criteria. This article highlights the major differences and aspects of both the odysseys to make them easier to understand and comprehend.

Umrah vs Hajj

The difference between Umrah and Hajj is that Umrah is an optional and less-stringent type of pilgrimage practiced by the Muslims whereas Hajj carries a deeper and stronger sense of spirituality and hence is more stringent and compulsory. Umrah and Hajj are religious trips conducted by Muslims to seek Allah’s graces. This gives pilgrims religious merits and allows them to refresh themselves.

The Umrah is a Muslim pilgrimage that can be performed at any period of a year or in conjunction with the Hajj. There are two forms of Umrah: al-Umrat al mutradah (umrah without hajj) and Umrat-al tammatu (umrah with hajj). Individually, the first kind can be undertaken, while the second version can be conducted in groups with other hajj pilgrims. The first sort of umrah can be taken at any time except during the hajj months, but the second type can be conducted during the hajj months.

The compulsory activities for Umrah include taking Ihram after announcing the desire to undertake Umrah, completing Tawaf, performing Sayi between both the hills of Safa and Marwa, and shearing or cutting a part of the hair.

On the other hand, Hajj is a yearly Muslim pilgrimage that is regarded as one of Islam’s 5 pillars. Prophet Muhammad developed the ceremonies that were conducted throughout this voyage. These rites, however, may be traced all the way back to Ibrahim, who was instructed to abandon his wife and son in the desert of Mecca, according to the Quran. Practicing these ceremonies with trust in Allah, as per Islamic teachings, shows surrender to God and earns the reward.

The first step in doing Hajj is to declare the desire to do so. As usual, you will conduct Umrah before Hajj, therefore Ihram clothing will be worn in Mekkah. Since you wore Ihram garments in Makkah just not at the Meekat, you will have to provide a sacrificial object (sheep) in this circumstance.

Comparison Table Between Umrah and Hajj

Parameters of ComparisonUmrahHajj
DefinitionThe Umrah is a Muslim pilgrimage that can be performed at any period of year or in conjunction with the Hajj.Hajj is an yearly Muslim pilgrimage that is regarded as one of Islam’s 5 pillars.
DurationIf there isn’t a large throng, Tawaf in Umrah takes approximately two hours. Tawaf can be completed in 3 to 4 hours if there is a huge audience.The pilgrimage ceremonies last five to six days, starting on the 8th of Dhu al-Hijjah and concluding on the 12th or 13th of Dhu al-Hijjah.
PurposeUmrah provides Muslims with an opportunity to renew their faith, ask forgiveness, and pray for their needs.Hajj is said to have a spiritual value in that it allows Muslims to rejuvenate and replenish themselves.
True Meaning“Umrah” implies “visiting a Sacred location.”It is derived from the Arabic term ajj, which literally means “pilgrimage.”
LocationMeccaHoly city of Mecca and Madina.

What is Umrah?

journey to Mecca known as Umrah is a lesser variant of the yearly Hajj pilgrimage. In Arabic, the phrase “Umrah” implies “visiting a populous location.” Umrah provides Muslims with a possibility to renew their faith, pray for forgiveness, and plead for their needs. It is claimed that whoever does it gets purged of their sins.

Although Umrah can be conducted at any time of year, Hajj is only accomplished between the 8th and 13th of Dhul Hijah, the Muslim lunar calendar’s final quarter. Umrah is a psychologically spiritual moment of “quick fix,” and regardless of how busy it is, it may be finished in well under two hours. Hajj is a longer, more intensive experience that takes place over several days.

Umrah can be undertaken by anybody at any time of each year, unlike Hajj, which is an annual pilgrimage to Mecca that must be conducted between the first ten days of the Muslim period of Dhul Hijjah.

The Umrah rituals are a collection of acts in faith done by all travelers on their spiritual path to the Sacred Kaaba.There are two forms of Umrah, depending on whether one desires to undertake Hajj just after completion of Umrah rites: Al Umrah Al Mufradah (optional prior Hajj) and Umrah Al Tammatu (required after Hajj) obligatory.

The four actions of Umrah Al Mufradah are as follows: each grounding the traveler in the proper time approaching total repentance, each including the fulfillment of specific religious responsibilities and rites.

What is Hajj?

Hajj, sometimes spelled adjdj or hadj, is a Muslim journey to the sacred kingdom of Saudi Arabia that every adult Muslim is required to perform at least once in his period of existence in the world of mortals. The hajj is the fifth of the Pillars Of Islam, which are essential Muslim activities and traditions. The hajj process starts on the 7th of Dh al-Elijah (the Islamic year’s last month) and finishes just on the 12th.

Adult Muslims are required to perform Hajj at least momentarily. They must be mentally sound, as well as physically and financially secure when making the trip. Many who complete the journey are given the title of Hajji.

The pilgrimage must start taking hold in the summer of Dhu al Hijja, the Muslim calendar’s final month. From the 8th to the 12th of Dhu al Hijjah, Hajj rituals are conducted. The reflects in the calendar every year since the Muslim calendar is based on the lunar year, and it is 10 to 11 days prior to the previous year. Hajj is anticipated to take place on and around August 9th in 2019.

Main Differences Between Umrah and Hajj

  1. Umrah is also known as a little pilgrimage or a minor pilgrimage. Meanwhile, the hajj is a great pilgrimage with tremendous religious significance.
  2. Al-Umrat al mutradah and Umrat-al tammatu are two kinds of Umrah. But on the other hand, there are 3 kinds of hajj: ifrad, tammatu and qiran.
  3. Umrah is not considered as one of the 5 pillars in Islam however, the Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam.
  4. Umrah is significantly less expensive and less stringent when compared to the Hajj.
  5. Umrah can be undertaken at any time of the year whereas the Hajj rituals are scheduled to take place between the 8th and 12th days of this month.

Conclusion

Pilgrims can visit Mecca at any time of year to complete the rites. This journey is known as Umrah, and unlike Hajj, which takes place on predetermined Islamic dates, it is not mandatory. However, both expeditions provide opportunities for self-redemption and purification of a sinning soul.

Muslim pilgrimages include Umrah and Hajj. The major distinction between the two is in terms of importance, observance, and practice, although the general principle of their practice remains the same, with more severe and rigid restrictions.

References

  1. https://www.islamichelp.org.uk/what-we-do/seasonal/qurbani/what-is-hajj
  2. https://thepilgrim.co/what-is-umrah/
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