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Difference Between Hajj And Umrah: Timing, Duration, Rituals And More

Difference Between Hajj And Umrah: Timing, Duration, Rituals And More

Muslims from all over the world make the pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah to ask Allah for his favors. Those who make the journey have the chance to rejuvenate themselves and get spiritual merit for doing so. Many Muslims think that repentance and forgiveness may be obtained by performing Hajj or Umrah. Devotees on both pilgrimages have a common set of rituals they perform along the way. However, the significance and manner of observing Hajj varies greatly from those of Umrah. Despite common assumptions to the contrary, there are significant differences between these pilgrimages. First, it is important to define Hajj and Umrah and see how they vary from one another.

What is Umrah? 

The Umrah, or “lesser pilgrimage,” is a more simplified form of the traditional Hajj to the holy city of Makkah. It takes only a few hours to complete the procedures that make up Umrah, which can be undertaken at any time of the year.

While many Muslims make the journey, it is not required of them and is not considered a pillar of Islam. In order to be closer to Allah (SWT), millions of Muslims still make the pilgrimage every year.


How is Umrah Performed?

After donning the proper garb and entering the holy condition of Ihram, the most important rites of Umrah are Tawaf and Sa’i.

  • Tawaf

Masjid al-Haram, the Great Mosque of Makkah, is where Tawaf takes place, as this is where the old home of Allah, the Ka’aba, can be found. Muslims do a seven-time anticlockwise circuit of the Ka’aba in Mecca.

  • Sa’i 

Sa’i is the traditional walking and running between Safa and Marwa that follows Tawaf. This is done in honor of Hajar (AS), the wife of the Prophet Ibrahim, who struggled to get water for herself and their newborn baby, Ismail. We walk in her footsteps to represent the difficulty of our daily life and how Allah, the Most Gracious, aids and leads us when it seems impossible.

You can execute Sa’i by running from Safa to the next green marker on the Marwa route until you reach Safa again. You then go to Marwa, the final destination of the first loop.

After completing the first trip around Marwa, you just turn around and return. In total, Sa’i calls for seven circuits. The next step is a shave for the males and a trim for the women. 

Comparing Umrah and Hajj: 5 Key Distinctions

Although both the Hajj and the Umrah are significant in Islam and are conducted at the Holy Kaaba, the rituals and significance of these two pilgrimages could not be more different. There are a number of ways in which these journeys might be distinguished from one another. The most crucial ones are listed here:

1. Significance

It is believed that Muslims who perform either the Umrah or Hajj would be granted forgiveness and additional merits. But the religious perspective places a distinct weight on each of these trips. While all Muslims are expected to make at least one Hajj in their lifetimes if they are healthy and financially stable enough to do so, completing an Umrah is voluntary. Unlike the more significant Hajj pilgrimage, Umrah is strongly encouraged but not required. This is what differentiates Umrah from Hajj.

2. Timing

The best time to perform Hajj and Umrah are different, for example. Hajj is performed by Muslims at the conclusion of the lunar calendar in the final month of Dhu al Hijjah. Between the 8th and 12th of this month, pilgrims will carry out the Hajj rituals. Umrah, on the other hand, doesn’t have a set season for when it may be done.

3. Obligatory Acts

Assuming the condition of Ihram after proclaiming the intention of Umrah, performing Tawaf, completing Sayi between the hills of Safa and Marwa, and finally shaving the head or cutting off a piece of the hair are the five pillars of the ritual. In contrast, the Hajj ritual of becoming Ihram at Meeqat, standing on Arafah till sunset, sleeping at Muzdalifah, staying in Mina until Tashreeq, stoning the Jamarat, shaving one’s head, and finally completing the farewell circumambulation. It’s important to note that only after fulfilling all of these requirements will either pilgrimage be declared complete.

4. Time Required for Rituals

The length of time needed to perform the Umrah and Hajj pilgrimages is another distinction between the two. A pilgrim may complete the Umrah in a matter of hours, whereas the Hajj requires at least five or six days. Time is a variable because of the ceremonies and physical labor involved in these journeys.

5. Pillars of Hajj and Umrah

The pillars upon which each pilgrimage is built are another area in which Hajj and Umrah differ. The four pillars of Hajj are as follows:

  • The first is Ihram; the Prophet once mentioned that the rewards for good conduct depend on the person’s motivations. There is a certain schedule that pilgrims must follow when visiting Iharm.
  • The Prophet further clarified that Sayi is obligatory since it is Allah’s command.
  • The third is called Waqfat. The Prophet also referred to Arafah as Hajj. A brief appearance at Arafah at dawn on the ninth of Dhul-Hijjah is all that is required.
  • Tawaf al-Ifaadah, the final pilgrimage, is obligatory. God commands that they finish cleaning up their mess and then perform Tawaaf around the holy site.

The four pillars of Umrah are similar to those of Hajj, with the following differences:

  • Umrah’s first pillar is entering the sanctified state of Ihram before making the pilgrimage.
  • The second is called Tawaf, and it consists of a counterclockwise circuit of the sacred Kaaba.
  • The third is called Sayi, and it consists of a pilgrimage between the Safa and Marwah mountains. It’s a metaphor for the constant uphill battle that is life.
  • Tahallul, the last pillar, signifies the end of the sacred state of Umrah. Pilgrims must shave their heads after doing Umrah.

These are only a few of the key distinctions between the Umrah and the Hajj.

Millions of people go to Saudi Arabia every year to take part in the religious trek, despite the fact that the two holy pilgrimages are very different from one another. The pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah are central to Islamic practice and belief. People all over the world are still very eager to perform the hajj and Umrah.


So, these are some of the main differences between Umrah and Hajj. Millions of tourists visit Saudi Arabia despite the fact that the two holy pilgrimages are very different from one another. This is done to satisy their spiritual needs. Both the Hajj and the Umrah represent basic pillars of Islam. Worldwide, there is a significant interest in Umrah trip packages.