The rights to perform hajj and umrah had been claimed by Muslims throughout Muhammad’s era. It is established by Muslims that Holy Quran has described the significance of these pilgrimages. However, the meaning of two type of pilgrimages has been taken in different sense because one, the hajj is considered supreme and its importance is more for the followers of Muslim religion. Muslims don’t believe in worshipping of idols unlike Hindus but they faced trouble when Mecca was once allegedly captured by Arab Pagans and performed idol worshipping there. That phase was long back but Mecca is the holy place for every Muslim today.
Significance of hajj in past and present
There is no exact date about origin of umrah in Mecca but Muslim tradition claims that it was an order from Muhammad in 629 AD during Conquest of Mecca in December 629 when agreement was made upon terms of the Hudaibiya Treaty. First umrah was probably performed at that time when around two thousand men, women, and children, all followers of Muhammad performed this for three days. Muhammad forgave all his enemies who fought against Muslims.
Thereafter, the significance of this pilgrimage was realized by the Muslims. Today, hajj has great significance in Islam and thousands of Muslims from different parts of the world pay a visit to Mecca, Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage and perform long rituals there. When pilgrims enter the perimeter of Mecca in a state of Ihram, they perform rituals like Tawaf, Sa’i, and Halq or taqsir. Last ten days of Ramadan are peak time of this pilgrimage and that days are counted before, during and after the hajj.
Hajj requires certain pre-arrangements such as acquiring umrah visa and buying umrah packages for travel and boarding/lodging arrangements. Hajj is an obligation of every Muslim that he wants to fulfil before he travels to Allah’s (God’s) home.