The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Islam is built upon five pillars: testifying that there is no true god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, performing Prayer, paying the Zakah, making the pilgrimage to the Sacred House (Hajj), and fasting the month of Ramadan.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari) Also, we’d like to commend your pursuit of Islamic counseling.

Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, states: Allah says in the Qur’an, (They ask thee concerning the new moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time. In the affairs of men, and for Pilgrimage.) (Al-Baqarah 2:189)

Also, He, Most High, says, (For Hajj are the months well-known. If any one undertakes that duty therein, let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj. And whatever good ye do, be sure Allah knowth it.) (Al-Baqarah 2:197)

Hajj is an Islamic ritual like Prayer and Fasting. It should be done in a specified period of time. The Hajj months are Shawwal, Dhul-Qi`dah, and Dhul-Hijjah. If a person makes Ihram before Shawwal, his Hajj is incorrect according to Ibn `Abbas, Ibn `Umar, and Ash-Shafi`i. However, Abu Hanifah, Malik, and Ahmad see that the Ihram is correct but not recommended. However, `Umrah has no specified time.