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A Guide on How to Perform Umrah

by in Ramadan on 26th March, 2024

After years of making heartfelt du’as, it has finally happened, you have been called by the One whom you have been calling upon. You are going for Umrah inshaAllah. 

Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an:

“Accomplish the Hajj and the Umrah for Allah..” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:196)

Performing Umrah is not just a means of showing devotion to Allah, but also a way to seek His forgiveness, cleanse ourselves of sins and earn the ultimate reward of Jannah. 

Narrated by Abu Huraira, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “(The performance of) Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed (between it and the previous one). And the reward of Hajj Mabrur (the one accepted by Allah) is nothing except Paradise.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

In addition, performing Umrah in Ramadan brings forth immense blessings and rewards with it. It not only expiate our sins, but also offers special reward unique to this blessed month. 

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Perform `Umrah when Ramadan comes, for `Umrah in Ramadan is equal to Hajj (in reward).” (Bukhari)

We have compiled a comprehensive guide on how to perform Umrah step by step, specifically Umrah steps for women. Whether you are performing Umrah this Ramadan or are planning another time in the year, we hope that with the help of this guide, you will be well-prepared to perform this blessed pilgrimage. 

How to Perform Umrah

The average time for performing Umrah ranges from three to six hours in addition to the preparation time beforehand. While it may be physically taxing, the spiritual benefits far outweigh any discomfort you might experience during this journey.

Performing Umrah involves four essential steps, all of which are detailed further down in this guide:

1. Entering the sacred state of Ihram before reaching Miqat through intention and Talbiyah:

  • External preparation for Ihram can be made by taking a bath (ghusl), clipping nails, removing unwanted hair, donning into appropriate clothing etc.
  • Internal preparation for Ihram is performing two units of prayer before making the intention (niyyah) to perform Umrah, all while reciting Talbiyah.

2. Performing Tawaf al-Umrah around the Kabah, followed by two Rakahs of Salah, near Maqam-e-Ibrahim. Then doing Sa’i between the hills of Safa and Marwa.

3. Lastly, shaving (Halq) or shortening (Taqsir) your hair, this will mark the completion of Umrah and allow you to exit the state of Ihram.

What is Miqat?

The Miqat is the boundary point where if you intend to perform Umrah or Hajj, you must enter into the state of Ihram before surpassing it and proceeding to Makkah. It is forbidden to cross this boundary without being in Ihram. If someone does cross without Ihram, they have to offer an animal sacrifice called Damm as a way to make up for it.

There are five Miqats in total, four of which are mentioned in the following Hadith:

Narrated by Abdullah ibn Abbas (RA), “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) had fixed Dhul Hulaifa as the Miqat for the people of Madinah; Al-Juhfa for the people of Sham; and Qarn Ul-Manazil for the people of Najd; and Yalamlam for the people of Yemen. So, these (above mentioned) are the Mawaqit for all those living at those places, and besides them for those who come through those places with the intention of performing Hajj and `Umra and whoever lives within these places should assume Ihram from his dwelling place, and similarly the people of Makkah can assume lhram from Makkah.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

If someone wants to perform a second Umrah after their first, they should go to Masjid Ayesha, which is a designated Miqat, located in the outskirts of Makkah and start all the steps of entering Ihram from there.

Entering the Ihram

Putting on Ihram is the first step of your Umrah. Before you begin, it’s also important to take care of personal hygiene. This includes clipping nails and removing the hair under armpits and beneath the navel. It is highly recommended to perform Ghusl before entering the state of Ihram. If ghusl is not possible, performing wudhu can also suffice. 

Women can wear any modest attire while fulfilling the requirements of Ihram. Keep your hands and face exposed, but you can wear socks. The use of fragrances like scented soaps or perfumes etc is completely prohibited. You can also check out: A Beauty Editor’s Essentials for Her Umrah Trip

As mentioned above, you should be in Ihram before reaching the designated Miqat point. If you are taking a long-haul flight, consider delaying your intention until you are closer to Miqat to ensure you don’t violate conditions of Ihram inadvertently. Keep a spare change of clothes in your hand luggage just in case something happens or they become dirty before you reach Miqat.

In many cases, you will be passing the Miqat while on the aeroplane or train if coming from Madinah. If this is the case, it’s best to don your Ihram and pray 2 Rakahs from home or airport (or if you have a stop over, you can change then too). When you are flying over the Miqat, you can make your intention and recite the Talbiyah.

The Miqat you are crossing will depend on the direction you are flying to Makkah from. The air map on screen can give you a rough idea of where you are at any point during your flight. Some airlines may even make announcements informing you that you will be soon crossing the Miqat.

If a mistake is made during Hajj, Umrah or whilst in a state of Ihram, Fidyah (expiation) is required to atone for the mistake. Fidyah is obligatory when you have:

  1. Violated one of the prohibitions of Ihram, such as applying perfume or cutting the hair.
  2. Failed to perform a Wajib (obligatory) act of Umrah, i.e. did not enter into Ihram from the Miqat.
  3. Transgressed the sanctity of the Haram such as hunting an animal or cutting a tree within its boundaries

Performing Two Units of Prayer and Making Niyyah (Intention) to Perform Umrah 

After you have donned your Ihram clothes, enter the state of Ihram by performing two Rakahs Salah and make sincere niyyah (intention) for Umrah verbally as well as internally, in order to align your heart and mind. Make lots of du’as and ask for Allah (SWT)’s guidance and blessings for the journey ahead. 

Many classical fiqh manuals recommend the following supplication for pilgrims when making their niyyah (intention):

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أُرِيْدُ الْعُمْرَةَ فَيَسِّرْهَا لِيْ وَتَقَبَّلْهَا مِنِّيْ

Allahumma inni uridu l-‘umrata fa yassirha li wa taqabbalha minni.

“O Allah, I intend to perform Umrah, so make it easy for me and accept it from me.”


After you have made the niyyah (intention), recite the Talbiyah, a supplication declaring the intention to perform Umrah. The Talbiyah instils a sense of humility in us as we declare we are here for Allah (SWT) alone, an echo of our original covenant to Him. Men should raise their voices when reciting the Talbiyah, while women should recite it softly:

لَبَّيْكَ اللهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ – لَبَّيْكَ لَا شَرِيْكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ – إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ – لَا شَرِيْكَ لَكَ 

Labbayk allāhumma labbayk(a), labbayka lā sharīka laka labbayk(a), inna l-ḥamda wa nni’mata, laka wa l-mulk(a), lā sharīka lak.

“At Your service, Allah, at Your service. At Your service, You have no partner, at Your service. Truly all praise, favour and sovereignty is Yours. You have no partner.” (Sunan Abi Dawud)

Hanafi and Maliki schools consider reciting Talbiyah Wajib (obligatory), while Shafi’i and Hanbali schools consider it Sunnah (recommended).

As you approach Masjid al-Haram, keep reciting the Talbiyah, do dhikr and send Salawat upon the Prophet (ﷺ). 

Entering Masjid al-Haram

When you reach Makkah, you can take a short break at your hotel if required. It is recommended to not delay performing the rituals of Umrah but it is also important to be rested and take time to freshen up before making way to the Haram.

When you are ready to go to Masjid al-Haram, try entering it from Bab al-Salam (the Gate of Peace) as it is Sunnah. However, it might not be possible to reach this gate due to crowds. In that case, you can enter from any gate available. Enter the mosque with your right foot first, and recite the supplication for entering a mosque:

بِسْمِ اللهِ، اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ. اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَافْتَحْ لِي أَبْوَابَ رَحْمَتِك

Bismi-llah, Allahumma salli ala Muhammad. Allahumma-ghfir li wa-ftaḥ li abwaba rahmatik

“In the name of Allah, send prayers upon Muhammad. O Allah, forgive me and open for me the doors of Your Mercy.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

As you enter the masjid, keep your gaze lowered until you reach the Mataf area (open white area immediately surrounding the Kabah). Seeing the Kabah for the first time is one of the most moving experiences of a believer’s lifetime. It is reported that the du’a of a Muslim is accepted upon seeing the Kabah. Pause and take a few moments to soak up the view of the Kabah, making lots of du’as and sending Salawat upon the Prophet (ﷺ).

Tawaf al-Umrah

Tawaf means the circumambulation of the Kabah which is central to Umrah. There are a few conditions to consider before starting:

  • You must do it yourself
  • Be in a state of wudhu
  • Be free from menstruation
  • Conceal the Awrah
  • Avoid Hateem area (semi circle area outside the Kabah) 

Begin by making the niyyah (intention) for Tawaf al-Umrah. At this point, you should also stop reciting the Talbiyah.

The starting point for Tawaf is the Hajar-Al-Aswad, the corner of the Kabah that houses the black stone. Starting from this corner, do Istilam, which involves pointing by the palm of your hands towards it and saying ‘Bismillah Allahu Akbar’ as you begin one circuit moving in a counterclockwise direction around the Kabah. 

Upon reaching the Rukn al-Yamani (Yemeni Corner), also known as the Yemeni Corner located in the south-western part, positioned parallel to the Black Stone (Hajar al-Aswad), touch it if you can but do not kiss it, and recite the Takbir if you managed to do so. However, due to the crowds, physical contact may not be possible. From the Yemeni corner to the Hajar-Al-Aswad, you should recite: 

رَبَّـنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

“O our Lord, grant us the best in this life and the best in the next life, and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:201)

You’ve completed one circuit when you return to Hajar al-Aswad. Repeat the Istilam at the beginning of each circuit by gesturing your palms towards to black stone saying ‘Allahu Akbar’, totaling eight times. You can recite Takbir (الله اكبر, “Allah is the Greatest”), Tasbih (سبحان الله, “Glory be to Allāh”) and Tahlil (لااله الا الله, “There is no god except for Allah alone”), as well as personal prayers during Tawaf.

You should perform seven circuits of Tawaf around the Kabah in a counterclockwise direction. Men may walk at a faster pace or run slowly in the first 3 circuits, so you can meet up with family members at a designated point after this to continue together. The Tawaf should be performed continuously without interruption, except when you need to join congregational prayers. 

You can also read our article on Duas for Umrah


The Maqam-e-Ibrahim (Station of Ibrahim) is a stone with the footprints of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) housed in a gold structure. 

After completing the Tawaf, you should offer two Rakahs of Salah, ideally with Maqam-e-Ibrahim between you and the Kabah. However it might not be feasible to pray there due to the crowds. You can perform the Salah anywhere in Masjid al-Haram. 

It is Sunnah to recite Surah al-Kafirun in the first Rakah and Surah al-Ikhlas in the second, after Surah al-Fatiha. 

It was narrated from Jabir bin Abdullah that when the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) came to Maqam-e-Ibrahim he (ﷺ) recited:

“And take you the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim as a place of prayer.” Then he (ﷺ) prayed two Rakahs reciting the Opening of the Book (Al-Fatihah) said: “Say: O you disbelievers” and “Say: He is Allah, (the) One.” Then he went back to the Corner and touched it, then he went out to As-Safa. (Sunan an-Nasa’i)

While moving towards your chosen spot, it’s recommended to recite

وَاتَّخِذُوا مِنْ مَقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى

Wattakhidhu min maqami Ibrahima musalla

“And take the Maqam Ibrahim as a place of Salah.” (Surah al-Baqarah, 2:125)

Zam Zam

It was narrated that Jabir bin ‘Abdullah said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say, ‘The water of Zamzam is for whatever it is drunk for.’” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

After making du’as, enjoy the cold, refreshing Zamzam water, which is readily available in the Tawaf area. The Sunnah of drinking Zamzam is to drink it while standing, facing the Kabah, reciting Bismillah, pausing to take three breaths, and concluding with Alhamdulillah. You can also pour it over your head and apply it to your face and body. 

When Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) drank from the water of Zamzam, he said:

اللهم إني أسألك علما نافعًا، ورزقًا واسعًا، وشفاء من كل داء

Allahumma innee asaluka ilman na’fia wa rizqan wusa’a wa shifa ammin kulli da’a

 “O Allah, I ask you for beneficial knowledge, plentiful provision and healing from every disease.” (Masnad Ahmed 141/23)

After this, turn towards the Multazim (the area near the Kabah’s doors where you will often see pilgrims clinging to and making supplications) and make any du’a your heart desires.



Sa’i is the brisk walk between the hills of Safa and Marwah, a tribute to Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) beloved wife Hajar (may Allah be pleased with her), reflecting on her solid faith, resilience and firm tawakkul in Allah (SWT). You can also read our article Dhul Hijjah: The Story of Hajar and Divine Acceptance.

It is Sunnah to do Sa’i immediately after Tawaf, but you can take a break if needed. If you’re tired or your feet ache, it is best to listen to your body and rest until you’re ready. Sa’i covers over three kilometres, so ensure you have enough energy. 

As you near Safa and Marwah, it is recommended to recite,

“Verily! As-Safa and Al-Marwah (two mountains in Makkah) are of the Symbols of Allah. So it is not a sin on him who performs Hajj or ‘Umrah (pilgrimage) of the House (the K’abah at Makkah) to perform the going (Tawaf) between them (As-Safa and Al-Marwah). And whoever does good voluntarily, then verily, Allah is All-Recogniser, All-Knower ” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:158)

It is not essential to have wudhu before starting Sa’i, but it is better to be in a state of cleanliness. It is important to note that in order to manage the crowds, Masjid al-Haram has multiple floors where people can perform Tawaf and Sa’i, with some designated for wheelchairs. 

When you reach Safa, climb to the highest point you can, turn towards the Kabah, raise your hands in du’a, and recite,

لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ، لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ ، أَنْجَزَ وَعْدَهُ ، وَنَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ ، وَهَزَمَ الأَحْزَابَ وَحْدَهُ

La ilaha ill-Allaah wahdahu la sharika lah, lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadir; La ilaha ill-Allah wahdahu anjaza wa‘dah wa nasara ‘abdah wa hazama al-ahzaba wahdah.

“There is no god but Allah Alone, with no partner or associate, His is the dominion and to Him be praise, and He is able to do all things; there is no god but Allah Alone, He fulfilled His promise and granted victory to His slave and defeated the confederates Alone.” 

Make du’a after that, then repeat the dhikr a second time, followed by du’a, then repeat the dhikr a third time.

Start walking towards Marwa, noting the two green mileposts. Men may run between these at a medium pace, while women walk normally. During Sa’i, recite any prayers or supplications of your choice. 

At Marwa, face the Kabah and make du’as, this completes one lap. Repeat this process for seven laps, ending at Marwa after the final lap. Upon completing the Sa’i, offer a final du’a and perform two Rakahs of Nafl Salah in Masjid al-Haram, which is a recommended practice in the Hanafi school of thought.

As you leave the Haram, step out with your left foot and recite the following du’a:

بِسْمِ اللهِ وَالصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَّامُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ، اللَّهُمَّ إَنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ

Bismi llahi, wa s-salatu wa s-salamu ‘ala rasuli llah. Allahumma inni as’aluka min fadhlika.

“In the name of Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah. O Allah, I ask of you from Your bounty.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Halq or Taqsir

After completing Sa’i, men are required to shave their heads or trim their hair, symbolising humility and the removal of worldly attachments. Barbers are readily available around Masjid al-Haram for this purpose. Women only need to trim a small portion of their hair from the ends, which can be done with a small pair of scissors or upon returning to the hotel. This act signifies spiritual renewal and readiness to leave the state of Ihram.

Completion of Umrah

Once you have completed Tawaf, Sa’i, and Halq/Taqsir, you are now free from the restrictions of Ihram. Congratulations! You have completed your Umrah. 

Performing Umrah is a deeply rewarding experience. Understanding each step is key to offering them all with sincerity and devotion. May Allah (SWT) bless you with a spiritually profound Umrah, accept your worship and shower you with His blessings and mercy. Ameen.


Q: What do I do if I start my periods while on Umrah? Is it permissible to take tablets to delay them?

A: It is understandable that it may not be possible to align your travel dates keeping your monthly cycle in mind which can be disappointing and worrisome. 

The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) beautifully reminded us, “Amazing is the affair of the believer! Verily all his affairs are good for him, and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. When a pleasing matter befalls him, he is grateful, and that is good for him. And when harm befalls him, he is patient, and that is good for him.” (Muslim)

It is natural to wish for an uninterrupted pilgrimage experience, and make the most of your limited time there by worshipping as much as you can in the sacred mosques of Makkah and Madinah. For this reason, scholars have advised that it is permissible to use medication to delay periods in order to ensure you can perform all steps of the Umrah. 

However, despite taking medication, some women may experience istihada (abnormal vaginal bleeding outside the time of the monthly period). The ruling for it depends on when it occurs in your menstrual cycle and whether it resembles menstruation or abnormal vaginal bleeding. If you encounter istihada, please seek guidance from a knowledgeable scholar. 

If you find yourself facing menstruation despite your best efforts during your Umrah trip, remember that Allah’s plan is perfect, and there is wisdom in everything. 

Narrated Al-Qasim, “Aisha said (may Allah be pleased with her) said, ‘We set out with the sole intention of performing Hajj and when we reached Sarif, (a place six miles from Makkah) I got my menses. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) came to me while I was weeping. He said ‘What is the matter with you? Have you got your menses?’ I replied, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is a thing which Allah has ordained for the daughters of Adam. So do what all the pilgrims do with the exception of the Tawaf (Circumambulation) round the Ka`ba.’” (Bukhari)

Q: What are the acts of worship that I can partake in while menstruating on Umrah?

A: During menstruation, certain acts of worship are restricted, but many remain permissible. Every good deed performed in the blessed cities of Makkah and Madinah carries immense reward and the smallest acts can hold great significance in the sight of Allah (SWT). Keep making du’a as Allah is near, always ready to answer the prayers of His servants. 

If you are menstruating, make an intention to submit to Allah’s will when you refrain from acts of worship that are prohibited. In this way, you are actually worshipping Allah (SWT) the entire time through obedience.

Although it is not permitted to enter the masjid when on periods, it is permissible for a woman to sit in the courtyard of al-Masjid al-Nabawī and al-Masjid al-Ḥarām because it is not part of the demarcated ‘Masjid’. At each prayer time, you can make wudhu, sit in a quiet place and make dhikr for the time it takes you to normally pray. 

You can also:

  • Make du’a
  • Make dhikr
  • Make taubah 
  • Ask Allah (SWT) for forgiveness and the pardon of sins
  • Listen to Qur’an recitation
  • Send Salawat on the Prophet (ﷺ)
  • Listen to religious lectures
  • Give sadaqah
  • Read hadith, like Riyad al-Salihin or Imam Nawawi’s 40 hadith collection

Q: What type of pills can I take to delay periods?

A: Birth control pills and period delay tablets are the most commonly used medications for delaying the onset of menstruation in order to perform Umrah. However it’s important to remember that everyone responds differently to medications, and you must consult with your medical practitioner before starting any medicines to determine the best option for your body.

It is best to carry an adequate supply of medication for your journey, as pharmacies in Makkah may not always stock these specific pills or they may run out. Therefore, it’s advisable to bring along extra medication to avoid any inconvenience. 

In conclusion, while it’s permissible to utilise medication to manage menstruation during Umrah, it’s essential to do so with caution and in consultation with medical professionals. 

May Allah (SWT) grant us ease in our journeys and accept our worship. Ameen

Amaliah Team

Amaliah Team

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