are the basic rituals of ‘Umrah? Also what is their significance?
are the essential rituals of the ‘Umrah:
These are explained below in their
order of observance:
1. Ihram: Two un-sown sheets
of cloth are worn from the Miqat (certain places that signify the
beginning of the limits of the Ka‘bah).
This apparel signifies one’s detachment
from this world as they resemble the coffin cloth in which one will ultimately
2. Tawaf: A person then circumambulates
the house of the Almighty seven times. At the beginning of each round,
one raises the hands towards the Hijr Aswad. This is called Istilam.
In ancient Arabia, covenants and agreements
were strengthened by raising hands and by moving around in circles. The
significance of Tawaf and Istilam is that one actually revives
the covenant of pleasing the Almighty through them.
3. Sa‘i: After completing the
seven rounds of Tawaf, a person is required to walk seven times
between the two hillocks of Safa and Marwah.
This ritual symbolizes one’s struggle
and endeavour for Islam which one should do in one’s normal life.
4. Tahliq/Taqsir. After that,
one is required to either have a complete hair shave (Tahliq) or
to have a hair cut (Taqsir). Women are required to remove a few
strands of their hair only.
This symbolizes servitude to Allah.
In ancient times, a shaved head signified a slave person. Kings had the
hairs of their slaves shaven off to show that they were their slaves.
‘Umrah becomes very meaningful
if this symbolism is known to a person.