Difference Between Umrah and Hajj

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    Umrah vs Hajj

    In religion, a pilgrimage is considered to be a journey for enlightenment. In this journey, an individual is to find spiritual growth and moral progress. Usually, the journey is to a place of importance to the individual’s faith. The person who undertakes the pilgrimage is called a pilgrim. These pilgrims will travel to the places that have significance to their faith. Some of these sites are the birthplace of founders, saints, places where they obtained and heard their call to their faith, or places also where the death of a loved one took place. The places that pilgrims visit are not limited but can include sites of the significant people of their faith, sites where miracles have taken place, where deities have lived, or where it is claimed there is a spiritual essence or powers. Some faiths allows shrines and temples to be used to celebrate these events from those sites and allow pilgrims and devotees to attain spiritual benefits like being healed.

    One example of these places is the Holy Land. This place serves as the center of focus for pilgrimages of the Abrahamic religions, which include Christianity. Some historic figures have been known to have made their pilgrimage to these spiritual sites. Alexander the Great is known to have performed a pilgrimage in 331. He went to the great temple in Egypt and consulted an oracle of Amon-Ra, the Egyptian god of the Sun. Alexander wanted the god to make him his son, and he even went as far as having the expansion of his empire put on hold to obtain it. His pilgrimage was considered to be successful and solidified his belief in the divine origin of himself.

    In Islam, a pilgrimage consists of traveling to Mecca by an able-bodied Muslim. This action is done at least once in their lifetime if possible. This pilgrimage, known as Hajj, is also considered to be one of the five pillars of Islam. The five pillars of Islam are the basic acts in Islam and also the foundation of their faith. By doing the pilgrimage, they show their affirmation of solidarity and their complete resignation to God or Allah in the Arabic language. The Muslims are to gather at the same place at the same time to perform the same rituals.

    The Hajj is based on a pilgrimage that stems from the time of Abraham. It was when he left his wife Hagar and his son, Ishmael, both of them suffering from thirst. Hagar ran back and forth from the hills to find water. In that time it was said that the angel Gabriel, also known as Jibral, came down to Earth and produced water from the Earth.

    The place became known as the Well of Zamzam and a place to perform the Umrah, a minor pilgrimage which can be taken anytime of the year. In Umrah, the pilgrim is to reenact the lives of Abraham and his wife through a set of symbolic rituals. The pilgrims, when they drink the water, may also choose to drink from the Well of Zamzam. Two types of Umrah exist: al-Umrat al mufradah, which is a pilgrimage independent from Hajj, and Umrat al-tammatu, where it is performed with Hajj.


    1.Pilgrimages are performed for spiritual and moral growth; people who perform these are called pilgrims. Destinations vary depending on the religion of the individual.
    2.In Islam, Hajj is a pilgrimage to Mecca where they show their submission to God. It is also one of five pillars in Islam, the foundations of the Islamic faith.
    3.Umrah is a minor pilgrimage which can be taken anytime of the year. It is a pilgrimage where the pilgrim performs rituals that have symbolic meaning to the life of Abraham. Umrah can be incorporated into Hajj.

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