The literal meaning of `umrah is visitation. You do not visit the One unless you know Him, and unless you are invited by Him. According to the Hanafis and Malikis, this visitation is sunnah mu’aqqadah. According to the Shafi`is it is fard `ayn, to be done once in a lifetime.
The duties we are required to perform in this visitation are the circumambulation of the Holy Ka`bah and walking between Safa and Marwah. The following are the procedures we must observe.
Before you leave home try to bring yourself in mind and spirit to a state of humbleness and gentleness, being soft-spoken, good-natured, and above all, patient. Just before you leave, make two cycles of prayer, and saying bismillâh, tawakkaltu `alâllâh, wa lâ hawla wa lâ quwwata illâ billâhil `aliyyil `azîm, take refuge in Allah and say farewell to your family and friends.
As we are not going to stop at miqat, where one makes the intention for the `umrah and takes a total ablution, and where men put on their ihram, it is suggested that you take a total ablution in Istanbul before departure, cut your fingernails, and mildly perfume yourself. Women should put on white robes, white socks, and white head coverings. the men will put on their ihram,and uncover their heads. Both men and women will put on their feet sandals without backs.
Make two cycles of prayer and make the intention for `Umrah, saying: Allâhumma innî yurîdu al `umrah, fa yassir lî wa taqabbul minnâ. “O Lord, I intend to perform the visitation. Make it easy for me and accept it from us.”
Then say three times: Labbayk Allâhumma labbayk, labbayka lâ sharîka laka labbayk; innal hamda wanni`mata laka wal mulk, lâ sharîka lak. “I am present, O Lord, at your orders. You have no partner. I am here, O Lord, pure and loyal, accepting Your invitation. All comes from You. All praise is to You. The universe is Your kingdom. You have no partner.”
From this moment on you must watch yourself so as not to hurt anyone or anything either by your words or by your actions. You are not to change your physical state by shaving yourself, cutting your fingernails, covering your head or wearing your normal clothes. Keep away from your wives and husbands, and control the desires of your flesh. You must take ablution whenever it is needed. After each prayer, each time you meet a group of people, each time you go uphill or come downhill, repeat the talbiyah given above. Women, however, should do it quietly.
Enter the city of Mecca in a state of ablution. as you see the Ka`bah, repeat the talbiyah, takbîr (Allâhu akbar), tahlîl (lâ ilâha illallâh), and assalâtu wassalâm (Allâhumma salli `alâ sayyidina Muhammadin wa `ala âli Muhammad), and say: Allâhumma hâda baytaka tashrîfan wa ta`zîman wa takrîman wa barran muhabbat. “O Lord, increase the blessings, honor, grace, and bounties proper to Your House.”
Then stand with the Ka`bah at your left, at the corner of the Black Stone, salute the Ka`bah, and say
bismillâhi llâhu akbar. Make the first three circumambulations with short, but quick steps. Each time you come to the corner of the Black Stone, salute it, and if possible, touch it or kiss it. The last four circumambulations should be done quietly and slowly, again saluting the Black Stone each time. During the circumambulations you can recite the prayers you know, such as Rabbanâ atînâ and other suras and ayats, the tevhid, assalâtu wassalâm, etc., but above all try to be in a state of awareness and presence.
At the end of the seventh circumambulation, come out at the corner of the Black stone and make two cycles of prayer near the place of Hazret Îbrâhim (as), finishing with your private prayers.
You then walk to the hill of Safa, to a point where you can see the Ka`bah, repeating to yourself the takbîr and tahlîl and the assalâtu wassalâm, and start walking toward Marwah. You must make this trip seven times, four times from Safa to Marwah, and three times from Marwah to Safa, finishing at Marwah. Each time you are at Safa and Marwah, stand at a place where you can see the Ka`bah as you did at the beginning, and repeat the same prayers you said on first coming to Safa. You must quicken your pace each time you are between the two green lights, and as you do, say Allâhumma aghfir warham wa tajâwaz `ammâ ta`lam, antal `Aliyyul Azâm. “O Lord, forgive me, have mercy upon me, don’t look upon my faults. You are the Highest and the Greatest.” At the end of the seventh walk, at Marwah, the men have their hair cut.
That is the end of your obligations. You may then go to the well of Zamzam, drink and wash yourself with the blessed water, come out of ihram, and put on your normal clothes.
It is proper to visit the beautified tomb of our beloved Prophet (saws) in Medina after the `umrah, having cleansed oneself, Inshallah, with that experience. As he was closest of all the creation to Allah Most High, Who created him from His own divine light, one hopes to come close to Allah through him. He is the greatest guide to Him. He is the one who was honored with carrying His divine words to us, to bring us the awareness of Truth. He is the one on whom we depend to intercede for us. Blessed is he who will see his light there, who will feel the presence of Paradise in the space between his blessed tomb and the mimbar. He himself said, “Whoever visits my tomb receives my intercession.” He also said, “Whoever visits the House of Allah and does not visit me has given me pain.”
On the way to Medina, the city of purity, you should recite many times the assalâtu wassalâm from the depths of your heart. As your arrive, you should bathe and dress up in your best clothes, and walk to his tomb with great reverence. as you enter the masjid make two cycles of prayer as tahiyyat al masjid, your respects to the mosque, between the blessed tomb and the mimbar if possible. Follow this by another two cycles of prayer of thankfulness. Then proceed gently, facing him, your back turned to the direction of the Ka`bah. Stand not nearer than four steps from the grille, heedful, present, respectful and loving. salute him with salutations such as: assalâmu `alayka ayyuhânnabiyyu wa rahmatullâhi wa barakâtuhu; assalâmu `alayka yâ sayyid al awwalîna wal akhirîn; assalâmu `alayka yâ rasûlullâh, yâ habîbullâh, etc. Do not forget the salutations of the ones who have asked you to bring their salutations. Then in respect to him, ask Allah for the good things that are dearest to your heart, hoping that he will say “Amin” to your prayers.
Take two steps to your right, and stand in the presence of Hazreti Abu Bakr as Siddiq (ra) with the same reverence. Salute him and offer prayers for his blessed soul. another few steps to the right and you are in the presence of Hazreti `Umar al faruq (ra). Offer him also your salutations and your prayers for his soul. Then continue walking towards your right around the corner. At the end of the next side of the inner building you will be in front of the house of Hazreti Fatimah (ra). This is not her tomb, but a place where she lived with Hazreti `Ali, ra, and their children, the beloved Hasanayn (ra). Remember that, and recite Fatihahs for their souls and ask for their forgiveness. This is most important, especially for the women.
Afterwards, one should spend as much time as possible every day in the masjid praying and repenting. There is a separate section for women, for whom there are special tomb visiting hours, which we will find out when we get there.
then, Inshallah, we will visit the graveyard of Jannatul Baqi, where Hazreti Fatimatul Zahra (ra), Hazreti `Abbas (ra), Hazreti `Uthman (ra), the wives and children and the Ahli Bayt of the Prophet (saws) are entombed, and prayers should be offered for their souls. We will also, Inshallah, visit Uhud and offer prayers for the souls of Hazreti Hamza (ra), and the martyrs of the battle of Uhud. Inshallah, on Saturday, we will go to the mosque of Qubbah as the Prophet (saws) did every Saturday, and perform our prayers there.
It is recommended to complete forty sets of prayers during one’s visit to Medina.
At the moment of departure, you should make a last visit to the blessed tomb, ask leave, and make two cycles of farewell prayer.
n o n
Allah Most High placed the Ka`bah on the face of this earth as a symbol of the al `arsh al a’lâ, His throne in the heavens. He ordered us to circumambulate it, likening His servants’ devotions to those of His angels circumambulating His throne in the heavens. He considers the circumambulation of those who are able to cleanse their hearts from all that is other than Allah, and who can unify the words of praise within their hearts and whole beings to be better that the praises of His angels.
For a secret reason known to Allah, He put four corners on His symbolic House. In divine reality, the Ka`bah is a three-sided pyramid with three corners, each symbolizing one of the three divine remembrances of the human heart. The corner of the Black Stone, where the circumambulation begins, is the memory of the heart’s divine origin. the next corner, the Yemeni corner, is the reminder of the heart’s angelic origin, and the next corner is the reminder of man’s being of divine origin. At these three corners there is no memory of anything evil. The hearts of all the prophets of allah have only these three memories. However, in accordance with the nature of man in the lower world of matter, where Allah gave him his little will and the possibility to choose between good and evil, He added a fourth corner, the Iraqi corner, in order to remember the evil influences and one’s revolt, disobedience, wrongs and doubts, and to repent. The Ka`bah with its four corners is also in the shape of man’s heart, which contains these four influences.
the talbiyah recited during the Hajj and `Umrah is a condition and an obligation of visitation in just the way that the opening takbîr is a condition for beginning your salat. Allah invites yo to His house. the talbiyah is your pronouncing your acceptance of this invitation. With the order of Allah, as soon as Hazreti Îbrâhîm (as) finished building the Ka`bah, he cried Labbayk Allâhumma labbayk, “I am present my Lord, all of me, as You created me; I am here, now, at your orders.” And Allah brought what He had revealed to Hazreti Îbrâhîm (as) in His voice to the ears of the souls of the believers gathered in the realm of souls. This, the soul remembers in this world of flesh, as one faces the Ka`bah in this world of matter, crying, “I am present; I am here, now, and I submit and obey and give myself to You without any reservation and without condition.”
Ihrâm, an obligation for the visitation, consists of two pieces of cloth, one covering what is below the waist and the other worn over the shoulders. It is a symbol of having left behind all that is worldly. It is like your shroud, equalizing the king and the beggar, putting behind you fame, wealth, honor, pride, lust, need. In ihrâm, you are as naked as you were when you were born, without anything belonging to you; you are as naked as you will be when you die, totally in the hand of Allah and your destiny.
The Black Stone, which we believe to have come from Paradise, originally pure white but turned black in this world of matter, is like Hazreti Adam (as), who erred in order to gain the honor of being the first of Allah’s prophets and the father of humankind. His error became the cause of his being chosen as the khalifah, the deputy of Allah on earth. It is a reminder that Allah not only forgives a fault realized and repented for, but transforms it into a good deed. It is in the rahmah, the mercy of Allah, that we remember our covenant with Allah. Kissing and touching the Black Stone as a symbol brings back the memory of our pledge to allah, to His prophets, to our Prophet (saws), the most beloved, seal of all prophethood.
during the experience of your visitation spend a quiet time and reflect. Ask your nafs,
“Have you made your intention to make `Umrah and put on your ihrâm?”
You: In doing so, have you left all other intentions with the exception of your intention to
make the visitation?
You: In that case, you have not properly made your intention.
Have you taken off everything before putting on your ihrâm?
nafs: Yes, I have.
You: As you have taken off your clothes, have you taken the layers of worldly concerns
and preoccupations out from your heart?
You: Then you are not in the selfless state of ihrâm.
Have you bathed yourself, and taken total ablution?
You: Is all the dirt washed from your mind and being?
You: In that case, you are still impure.
Have you recited the talbiyah, “O Lord, I am here at your service”?
You: Have you heard an answer, a recognition of your presence?
You: Then you are not really here.
Have you entered Mecca, the protected regions, al haram al sharîf?
You: Have you left all that is haram, unlawful, behind as you entered it?
You: Then you have not entered Mecca.
Have you entered al masjid al haram, the house of Allah?
You: Have you come closer to Allah as you know Him?
You: Then you have not entered the Masjid.
Have you seen the Ka`bah?
Nafs: Yes, I saw it.
You: Was that what you had intended to see?
You: Then you haven’t seen the Ka`bah.
Have you run around the Ka`bah seven times?
You: In doing so, have you run away from the world and the worldly? Having lost it, have you
You: In that case, you have not circumambulated the Ka`bah.
Have you stood in the presence of Allah as Hazreti Îbrâhîm (as) did, and made two cycles of
salat as he did?
You: As he did, have you seen your station in the opinion of allah, and hoped to become His
You: Then you have neither been in the presence of Allah, nor have you made your salat.
Did you stand on the hill of Safa?
You: What did you do?
Nafs: I said Allahu Akbar seven times and asked Allah to accept my `Umrah.
You: Did you understand the true meaning of Allahu Akbar?
You: Have you come down from the hill of Safa?
You: Have all ills left your heart? Did your heart become pure?
You: Then you have neither gone up the hill of Safa, nor have you gone down.
Did you run between Safa and Marwah?
You: In doing so, did you run away from your ego, your nafs, and reach the truth?
You: Then you haven’t run between Safa and Marwah.
Have you reached the hill of Marwah, and cut your hair? Did you feel light, peaceful, and
worthy to be a servant of Allah?
Then read this dialogue of Hazreti Ibn `Arabi (qs) and try to perform your visitation accordingly.
May Allah and His beloved invite us to the Holy Lands, and enable us to go. May allah, the all-Generous, the All-Wise, give us the presence, the heedfulness, and the wisdom to enjoy and profit from these visitations, and may their effect and memory be everlasting.
Amîn, bi hurmati sayyid il mursalîn, Ta Ha wa yâ sîn.