Which is better for Hajj: taking the Ihram for ‘Umrah and then another Ihram for Hajj (At-Tamattu’) or combining the pilgrimage between Hajj and ‘Umrah (Al-Qiran) without coming out of Ihram?

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Question: Which is better for Hajj: making Ihram for ‘Umrah or combining the pilgrimage between Hajj and ʿUmrah (Al-Qiran)?

Answer: What is better for everyone, and for all of us, is that we should be followers of Muhammad (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam). Therefore, what is better for us is what our Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) guided us to – and that is to perform ʿUmrah [first] in these days [of Hajj] before performing the Hajj – to seek nearness to Allah with the ʿUmrah [first].

Why? Because the pagans in the days of Jāhilyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance) would consider the performance of ʿUmrah in the months of Hajj to be among the greatest of crimes. And Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) wanted to oppose the way of the pagans. So, he commanded all of his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) who had not brought along with them a sacrificial animal, to change their pilgrimage from Hajj Qirān or Hajj Mufrad to an ʿUmrah [then to exit from their state of Ihrām]. So, [this is] the Mutamattiʿ pilgrim who takes the Ihrām [and intention] for ʿUmrah [at the Meeqāt], then performs the Tawāf for ʿUmrah and the Saʿee for ʿUmrah [and cuts his hair], and then comes out of Ihrām [ready to then re-enter Ihrām on the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah].

As for the Qārin pilgrim and Mufrad pilgrim, if they brought with them a sacrificial animal [to Hajj] then it is not allowed for them to exit the state of Ihrām until the time comes for them to sacrifice the animal at its place [usually on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah]. However, if they did not bring a sacrificial animal (al-hadyi) with them [to Hajj], regardless of whether they considered themselves a Qārin pilgrim or a Mufrad pilgrim, they must carry out the command of the Messenger of Allah (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) – and change their state (i.e., intention) to an ʿUmrah just as the Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) commanded.

When the Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) commanded the Companions with this and some of them hesitated, he became angry. Then he said:

لَوِ اسْتَقْبَلْتُ مِنْ أَمْرِي مَا اسْتَدْبَرْتُ مَا أَهْدَيْتُ، وَلَوْلاَ أَنَّ مَعِي الْهَدْىَ لأَحْلَلْتُ

“If I had previously known what I have come to know now, I would not have brought the sacrificial animal with me. Had there not been a sacrificial animal with me, I would have exited the state of lhrām.” (Bukhāri, no. 1651, Muslim, no. 1216 from Jābir Ibn ʿAbdillāh, may Allah be pleased with him).

So, this is a clear proof that performing the ʿUmrah [and exiting the state of Ihrām after it] is better than Ifrād (performing Hajj only and not exiting Ihrām until the Hajj is performed) and better than Qirān (performing ʿUmrah and remaining in Ihrām until the Hajj is performed). This is what we prefer for our brothers [and sisters] – and this is what Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) preferred for them.

Ref: Majmooʿ Kutub was Rasā’il wa Fatāwā Fadeelah ash-Shaikh al-ʿAllāmah Rabeeʿ Ibn Hādi ʿUmayr al-Madkhali, 15/352-353.

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