THE Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Umrah is an expiation for the time between it and the previous Umrah, and an accepted Hajj has no less a reward than Paradise.” (Al-Bukhari)
The person who intends to perform Umrah “clips his nails, trims his mustache, shaves his pubic hair, and plucks out the hair of his armpits. Then he performs Ghusl (complete bath), and the male pilgrim wears an Izar (lower garment worn at the waist like a bath towel) and a Rida’ (a garment worn over the shoulders) that are both clean and white.” (Note: Women may enter the state of Ihram in any clothing within the Shariah guidelines.
After completing this and while approaching one of the Meeqat (marked posts around Makkah for Hajj and Umrah), he should enter the state of Ihram which is “the intention to enter into one of the two sacred rituals, Al-Hajj or Al-‘Umrah.”
The state of Ihram has certain prohibitions; some of which are as follows:
• Wearing stitched clothing such as shirts, socks, hoods, and a thawb by men
• Applying perfume
• Shaving the hair or cutting it, even a little
• Clipping the nails of either the hands or feet.
• Having sexual intercourse with one’s spouse and the actions that precede it like kissing.
The pilgrim should then begin the Talbiyyah (answering of the command) and continue it until he reaches Masjid Al-Haraam. The Talbiyyah is to say: Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik, Labbaik Laa Shareeka Laka Labbaik. Innal-Hamda Wann-Ni’mata Laka Wal-Mulk, Laa Shareeka Lak.
The meaning of the wording for the Talbiyyah is: “I am here at Your service, O Allah; I am here at Your service. I am here at Your service; You have no partner; I am here at Your Service. Verily the Praise, and the Blessings are Yours, and also the Sovereignty. You have no partner.”