Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and obligatory for every Muslim to observe fast in the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims are also required to abstain from certain acts that displease Allah to seek spiritual rewards. Whoever perform good deeds in the blessed month of Ramadan get a double reward and those who seek forgiveness of their sins will surely be forgiven by Allah Almighty the Merciful.
Performing Umrah n the holy month of Ramadan holds great importance, virtues and benefits. Umrah is considered a lesser form of Hajj and whoever performs Umrah with pure intention earns the greatest rewards and highest pleasure of Allah Almighty. It is truly an enriching experience to see people in the blessed month of Ramadan from all over the world joined together in fasting and performing Umrah for the sake of their Lord Almighty Allah. Virtues of performing Umrah in Ramadan can be understood by the following Hadith:
Ibn Abbas (RA) said: The Messenger of Allah Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said to a woman from among the Ansar – Ibn ‘Abbas mentioned her name but I forgot it – “What kept you from performing Hajj with us?” She said: We only have two camels and the father of her son and her son had gone for Hajj on one camel, and he left us the other camel so that we could carry water on it. He said: “When Ramadan comes, go for ‘Umrah, for ‘Umrah in (that month) is equivalent to Hajj.” (Bukhari)
“Umrah is the expiation for the sins committed during it and the preceding Umrah” (Tirmidhi). If Allah Almighty gives you an opportunity to go to Mecca for performing Umrah, seek His mercy and forgiveness earnestly. Sins can only be forgiven by true repentance or by the grace and mercy of Allah. Umrah is a way to purify mind and soul, and it uplifts the spirit of a Muslim by giving an inspiration of a lifetime. It is the best way to strengthen your faith in the Almighty and achieve spirituality. Allah (SWT) gives rewards for every good deed performed in His way. If you spend your time and money for the sake of Allah, Almighty Allah provides you shelter from mishaps and saves you from trouble. These rewards of Umrah get doubled in the holy month of Ramadan.
One should understand that Umrah done during the month of Ramadan cannot be a substitute for the obligatory Hajj, that is they are equal in reward, but the former does not replace the latter as a fulfilment of the obligation. Hence, whoever performs Umrah in Ramadan, enjoys the virtue of the place i.e. Mecca and time which is the blessed Ramadan. As we all know that doing Umrah in the month of Ramadan is more difficult. That is because one may be fasting while performing it or break his fast due to the travelling involved, and then have to make up for it. This is not the case when one performs Umrah during any other month.
Umrah is truly a blessing even throughout the year but it certainly holds a special place in the holiest month of Ramadan, an experience that every Muslim should strive to achieve in order to get more blessings and rewards from Almighty Allah. May Allah (SWT) calls us to His house soon. Ameen!