Umrah is a voluntary act of worship which can be performed at any time of the year. It pleases Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala and is immensely rewarding. It also serves to expiate the sins of a believer. Prophet of Allah (P.B.U.H) said:
“Performing two Umrahs expiates the sins committed in the interval between them.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Performing Umrah in Ramadan has added benefits. During this month, the rewards for Umrah are multiplied greatly. The rewards for Umrah in any other month are huge but not equivalent to those of the obligatory mode of worship, Hajj. But if Umrah is performed in Ramadan, the thawaab is as much as that of performing a Hajj.
Ibn ‘Abbaas (R.A) recounts that the Prophet (P.B.U.H) asked Umm Sinaan Al-Ansaariyyah, (R.A), “What prevented you from embarking on the Hajj pilgrimage with us?”
She replied: “We had two camels. My husband and child took one and left the other for the rest of us to ride on.”
Muhammad (P.B.U.H) then told her: “When the month of Ramadan arrives, go for ‘Umrah, because Umrah in the month of Ramadan is equivalent (in reward) to performing Hajj once with me.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Another version reads: “An Umrah performed in Ramadan is equal (in reward) to performing Hajj once.” [Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi]
(Note: Performing Umrah in Ramadan does not discharge a person of his duty of the obligatory Hajj. It is only in terms of reward that they are equivalent.)
The Impact of Umrah in Ramadan on a Believer:
When an individual decides to perform Umrah, he lets go of his vanity and finds himself embedded in the thread of the universal brotherhood. All the men are supposed to wear two unstitched pieces of white cloth and the women may wear whatever they like, so long as it is unadorned. They all remain simple, defeating the discrimination due to the race or socio-economic status among the brothers they are walking with.
The essence of Ramadan is similar. All the Muslims fast. They all eat at the time of Suhur, abstaining from food and water all day, and then eating at the time of Iftar. These fasts help one understand the plight of the brothers who cannot afford to eat multiple times a day and instill the feelings of empathy.
When one performs Umrah in Ramadan, it is likely to combine the benefits of both, the Umrah and the Ramadan. One’s association with the Islamic brotherhood strengthens. The believer, hence, becomes more vigilant in performing the deeds to please Allah and help his brothers.
Since we all strive to improve ourselves in the month of Ramadan, please Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala with our good deeds and earn as many rewards as possible, here is a hadith which tells us how to include more rewards by being in Mecca or Medinah in Ramadan:
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said: “One prayer in my mosque is better than one thousand prayers elsewhere, except al-Masjid al-Haraam, and one prayer in al-Masjid al-Haraam is better than one hundred thousand prayers elsewhere.” [Bukhari and Muslim]