If you’re planning on going to perform your Hajj and Umrah soon or in the future, we will be your Hajj and Umrah guide. You can also opt to read Hajj books or Umrah books to have a proper sense and knowledge for performing Umrah and performing Hajj. But for better ease, you can keep on reading and know all the essential information on the differences between Hajj and Umrah.
Similarities between Hajj and Umrah
Hajj and Umrah are both pilgrimages to the House of Allah, the Kaaba. In terms of rites and rituals, Hajj and Umrah are almost the same. Umrah comprises of wearing the Ihram, performing Tawaf, Sa’ai, drinking Zamzam water and shaving/cutting hair of the head.
Differences between Hajj and Umrah
In terms of its Obligation: Hajj is a pillar of Islam and is obligatory on every Muslim once in their lifetime, provided they are physically fit and financially capable. Whereas, Umrah has no compulsion, on Muslims.
In terms of the reward: Hajj is the major pilgrimage, while, Umrah is the minor one. The reward for performing Hajj is higher than that of performing Umrah. Nowadays, Muslims prefer Umrah because of its affordability as Hajj has gotten quite expensive in this era of Inflation.
In terms of performance and rituals: Although Hajj and Umrah are almost the same, Hajj still has more rituals to be performed before the Hajj is considered completed. For example, spending time in Mina, Muzdalifa, Arafat, Stoning the Devil and slaughtering an animal for Allah.
In terms of time: In terms of time: Hajj can only be offered in the month of Zil Hajj, only on the dates of 8th to 13th Zil Hajj. And can only be attempted once a year. While Umrah can be performed multiple times a year, at any time you please, except, on the dates of Hajj. Umrah can be performed in a few hours, while, Hajj is more detailed, requires more time to be completed.
In terms of types: Hajj has three types; Qiran, Ifraad, and Tamattu. Qiran is when a person performs Hajj and Umrah combined or one after another while wearing the same Ihraam. Ifraad is Hajj itself, while, Tamattu is when Hajj and Umrah are separately performed during the month of Zil Hajj.
Umrah has only two types, namely, Umrah Al Tamattu and Umrah Al Mufradah. The collective performance of Hajj and Umrah during the month of Zil Hajj is called Umrah Al Tamattu. Whereas, independently performing Umrah is called Umrah Al Mufradah. A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) said:
“Some among us put on Ihram for Hajj alone (Hajj Mufradah); some of us for Hajj and Umrah together (Qiran), and some of us for Tamattu (first for Umrah and after completing it for Hajj)”. [Sahih Muslim 1211]
In terms of Sovereignty: In terms of Sovereignty: The most significant difference between Hajj and Umrah is that Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam (fifth) and is obligatory on all well-off Muslims, while, Umrah is not essential and is not a pillar of Islam, but, all Muslims can offer it as it is the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet(ﷺ). Hajj is Farz; without its completion the faith of the believer is incomplete. In Surat Al Imran, verse 3, Allah says: “And pilgrimage to the house is a duty unto Allah for mankind, for him who can find a way thither”.
In spite of all the differences between Hajj and Umrah, there are a lot of fundamental similarities between them. They both are a form of worship of Allah; they are also a sign of sanctity and affection toward Allah. They help unite the Muslims through the huge annual congregation of Muslims during Hajj and in smaller numbers during the rest of the year for Umrah. The worldwide Muslim community comes closer to one another and the differences; of nationality, caste, color, and ethnicity are set aside and forgotten. Umrah can be performed in a few hours, while, Hajj is more detailed, requires more time to be completed.