Published 11 months ago
Every year, millions of pilgrims from around the world travel to Islam’s holiest sites in Saudi Arabia to perform religious worship.
This sacred Islamic ritual is called Umrah.
In Arabic, Umrah means ‘visiting a populated place’. In Islamic jargon, Umrah means to perform Tawaf and Sa’i while in the sacred state of Irham.
Here are your questions about Umrah, answered.
What is the purpose of Umrah?
A Muslim can perform Umrah more than once in a lifetime. Its purpose is to seek forgiveness for past sins and eliminate one’s poverty, as a pilgrim should spend their wealth in the way of Allah.
Performing Umrah also strengthens the faith of the pilgrim in Allah, and is considered the equivalent to performing Jihad.
What is the difference between Umrah and Hajj?
Hajj is one of Islam’s five pillars and is a compulsory act of worship that must be performed by Muslims at least once in their lifetime if they are financially and physically able. On the other hand, Umrah is not compulsory but strongly encouraged. It’s often referred to as ‘the minor pilgrimage’.
Hajj is performed during the first ten days of the Islamic month of Dhul al-Hijjah, while Umrah can be performed at any time throughout the year.
The religious rituals of Hajj take five to six days to complete, while Umrah rituals can be completed within a few hours.
Where do you perform Umrah?
Umrah is performed at Al Masjid Al Haram (Holy Mosque), which is located in Mecca, the holiest Muslim city. It’s where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), was born. It is towards Mecca that Muslims turn to pray, five times a day.
Entering the state of Ihram
To perform Umrah, a pilgrim must be in a state of Ihram, which is a sacred state of mind and body.
In this state, pilgrims must not quarrel, curse, or harm any living thing, including insects. Going against these rules will break Ihram and nullify Umrah.
To enter a state of Ihram, pilgrims must make sure to clean their bodies beforehand, including clipping nails, trimming facial hair, and taking a shower. Pilgrims also cannot wear make-up, nail polish, or perfume.
As international travel restrictions around the world gradually lift, Saudi Arabia has reopened Umrah visa applications from July 2022 onwards.
That means devout Muslims from around the world can finally travel to Mecca to perform this beautiful religious passage, subject to the entry requirements of Saudi Arabia. Read more about it here.
By the way…
If you haven’t performed your Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca yet, here are 4 reasons why you’ll love using BigPay as your travel companion.
1. You can use it anytime, anywhere
Your BigPay account comes with a prepaid Visa card which gives you access to over 45 million merchants worldwide. Use it anywhere in the world, like en route to Mecca, and even when you arrive.
2. Real-time exchange rates
No need to visit confusing money changers to convert Ringgit to Saudi Riyal. With the BigPay card, you’ll pay real-time exchange rates and nothing else.
Whether it’s paying for your accommodation, kurma dates, souvenirs or dinner, just transact with your BigPay card to automatically pay in Saudi Riyal according to the exchange rate at the time of purchase.
3. Withdraw money anywhere
Need cash? Use your BigPay card to withdraw money in the currency of your travels through any ATM overseas that accepts Visa transactions.
For example, withdrawing Saudi Riyal in Saudi Arabia, withdrawing Japanese Yen as you’re transiting through Tokyo, or withdrawing Pounds during your layover in London.
4. It’s free
The best part? BigPay is 100% free to get and free to keep. Sign up in as little as 5 minutes on iOS and Android to enjoy the perfect companion to your Umrah travels! Click here for 5 more reasons why you’ll love us.
Here’s an exclusive deal, just for you!
BigPay is partnering up with Ikhlas to bring you a deal you won’t want to miss.
Spend a minimum of RM200 with Ikhlas to be in the running to win an iPhone 13!
On this page
Back to top
I’m Sabrina, a versatile writer with 7+ years of experience and I’ve been published by household names such as Tatler, Harper’s Bazaar, Mindvalley, and Cosme Japan.