“And complete the Hajj and ‘Umrah for Allah” [Qur’an 2:196]

Hajj is obligatory once in a lifetime for anyone who can afford it, whereas  Umrah is obligatory according to Al Shafi’i and Ahmad, but Sunnah according to Abu Hanifa and Malik.

The activities of Umrah are performed inside Mecca. They include circumambulation of the House of Allah and sa’i between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, then disengage from it by shaving or shortening the hair.

As for Hajj, some of the activities are performed in Mecca, such as Tawaf, Sa’i and Shaving. Other activities outside Mecca are standing in Arafah, staying overnight in Muzdalifah and Mina, then throwing the Jamarat there.

Whoever goes to the house of Allah during the months of the Hajj – Shawwal, Dhu al-Qa’dah and Dhu al-Hijjah – and wants to perform the Hajj and ‘Umrah, has to choose one of the following methods in his ihram:

The first is to have intention of performing ‘Umrah only, after putting on the Ihram garments and before reaching the meeqaat. When he gets to Makkah, he would circumambulate the house of Allah seven times, then jog between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah seven times. Afterwards, shave some of his hair or cut it low. With this, he completes his’ Umrah, and he takes off the Ihram clothes to wear his normal clothes. He enjoys what is forbidden to him during Ihram. Such as use of perfume, hair and nail cutting, and sexual intercourse. And it’s imperative for him to slaughter a sheep. Almighty Allah says:

… Then whoever performs Umrah [during the Hajj months] followed by Hajj [offers] what can be obtained with ease of sacrificial animals. [Qur’ān 2:196]

When it comes to going out for Arafat, he enters ihram to perform Hajj from the place he is residing after he wears the Ihram garments. Then he stands at Arafah and proceeds to Muzdalifah after sunset. He stays there for a fixed period after midnight. When the day of Eid comes in Mina, he goes to throw Jamrat al-Aqaba, which is the greatest. Then cuts some of his hair. Here, it is permissible for him to take off the Ihram clothes and wear regular clothes. He would stay in Mina for three days to throw stones. Or he goes to Makkah for Circumambulation of ifadah. Then he jogs between Safa and Marwah on the day of Eid. After which he returns to Mina to spend the night there and throw the ritual stones. This method, which is the performing of Umrah before Hajj during its month, is called tamattu ‘.

The second is to make an intention, before reaching the Meeqaat, and entering ihram for Hajj only. Upon his arrival in Makkah, he circumambulates, which is the circumambulation of arrival – this is sunnah. Then he jogs between Safa and Marwah if he wants. Thereafter, he stays in the state of Ihram until he goes for Arafah. So he completes the work of Hajj by staying overnight in Muzdalifah, stoning ritual stones, staying overnight in Mina, then making tawaaf and jogging between Safa and Marwah if not done during the arrival circumambulation. After that, he shaves or cuts the hair short. 

This method of Ihram is called Ifrad, and after completing the Hajj, he can be in ihram to perform ‘Umrah from Aisha’s Mosque by Tana’im. He will perform all its activities, and he does not have to slaughter when he uses this method. 

The third is to make an intention for Hajj and Umrah together in one ihram before the Meeqaat. When he reaches Makkah, he will circumambulate the house of Allah, that is, the arrival circumambulation, jog between Safa and Marwah and stand at Arafah. He stays in Muzdalifah overnight and stone Jamarat al-Aqaba on the morning of Eid, then he shaves, performs the tawaful ifaadah. He would do the sa’i if he did not do it  after circumambulation of arrival. After which he completes the acts of Hajj by throwing the Jamarat and overnighting in Mina. This method of Ihram is called “the Qiraan” and in it he has to make sacrificial slaughtering like that of Atamatu’, because he made only one circumambulation, which is seven rounds – and also did only one jogging (sa’i) – seven rounds – for both Hajj and Umrah in return for his rest without repeating the circumambulation and the sa’i, thus he is obliged to slaughter.

A person is free to choose any of these methods, according to his circumstances, health, financial ability or other conditions. What is most important is that he performs two obligation in one trip, and he has been acquitted from his obligation. Though, the jurists differed on which is better based on their pilgrimage of the Prophet. Some of them affirm that it is Hajj Qiraan because he gave the sacrifice. However, the Ash-Shaafiiyah are of the opinion that Ifrad and tamattu’ are better than qiraan. This is because the person performing Ifrad and/or tamatu’ perfects both rituals by doing the whole activities, whereas the one performing Qiraan is confined to performing Hajj alone.

There are two sayings concerning which is better between tamattu’ and Ifrad. 

The Hanafis say: The Qiraan is better than tamattu’ and Ifraad, while tamattu ‘is better than Ifraad.

The Hanbalis say: Tamattu ‘is better than Qiraan  and Ifraad, because it is easier. The Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – wished it. As Muslim narrated on the authority of Jabir that the companions of the Prophet, during their Hajj with him, entered Ihram for Hajj alone, that is, Ifrad. When it was the morning of the fourth day in Dhul Hijjah, he ordered them to disengage from the Ihram, and he permitted them to come to their wives as at about standing in Arafah, then he addressed them saying:

“You are well aware that I am the most God-fearing, most truthful and most pious amongst you. And if there were no sacrificial animals with me, I would also have put off Ihram as you have put off. And if I were to know this matter of mine what I have come to know later on, I would not have brought sacrificial animals with me. So they (the Companions) put off Ihram and we also put it off and listened to (the Holy Prophet) and obeyed (his command).”