Various kinds of Umrah
Like obligatory pilgrimage, the optional pilgrimage is also at times obligatory and at times optional. It may be Mufradah or Tamatu'.
Like the pilgrimage, Umrah is obligatory on all those who can afford it and, like obligatory pilgrimage, must be performed forthwith, although the means may be sufficient for Umrah but not for a pilgrimage. However, it is apparent (adh'dhahir) that if a person's responsibility is the performance of Hajj-ut-Tamatu', the Umrat-ul-Mufradah is not obligatory on him.
Thus, if an agent performs all the ceremonies of obligatory pilgrimage on behalf of a principal, the performance of an Umrat-ul Mufradah for himself is not obligatory on him, even if he has the means to perform it, although, as a matter of precaution, it is better to do so.
It is mustahab to perform umrat-ul- mufradah in every month of the year. However, observing a gap of thirty days between every two such optional pilgrimages is not a must. That is, you can perform Umrah in the end of one month, and another at the beginning of another month.
It is not permissible to perform two such optional pilgrimages in the same month. There is no objection to a person performing two optional pilgrimages, one for himself or another person and the other in the hope that it will gain him thawab; or one for himself and the other for another person, or both of them for another person, or if one is Mufradah and the other Tamatu''.
So if a person has performed Umrat-ul-Mufradah, it is permissible for him to perform Umrat-ut-Tamatu'' consecutively in the same month. Similar too is the rule on performing an Umrat-ul-Mufradah on completion of an obligatory pilgrimage. However, it is not permissible to perform an optional pilgrimage between Umrat-ut-Tamatu' and obligatory pilgrimage.
However, if he stayed in Makkah until the day of tarwiyah, intending to perform pilgrimage, Umrat-ul-Mufradah will his Tamatu'; he should then perform Hajj-ut-Tamatu' thereafter.
Just as the optional pilgrimage becomes obligatory to perform on attainment of means, so does it become obligatory to fulfil a vow, oath, promise etc.,.
The rituals involved in the two optional pilgrimages, Mufradah and Tamatu'' can be the same, and this will be discussed late, as well as vary, such as:
1. in Umrat-ul-Mufradah, it is obligatory to perform Tawafun Nisa but it is not obligatory in Umrat-ut-Tamatu';
2. Umrat-ut-Tamatu' can only be performed during the season of obligatory pilgrimage, namely, Shawwal, Thil Qa'dah and Thil Hijjah, whereas it is permissible to perform the Umrat-ul-Mufradah during all the months of the year, preferably in Rajab;
3. in Umrat-ut-Tamatu', the ihram can be removed only after Taqseer, while in Umrat-ul-Mufradah it can be removed after taqseer or shaving the head, and the latter is better;
4. it is obligatory to perform Umrat-ut-Tamatu' and obligatory pilgrimage in the same year, but that is not the rule for Umrat-ul-Mufradah. If Hajj-ul-Ifraad and Umrat-ul-Ifraad have become obligatory on a person, it is permissible for him to perform the Hajj-ul-Ifraad in one year and the Umrat-ul-Ifraad in the other year;
5. in Umrat-ul-Mufradah, if a person deliberately had a sexual intercourse with his wife before sa'y, his pilgrimage becomes invalidated; he shall be required to perform it again, that is to stay in Makkah to the following month to perform it. However, if he does so during Umrat-ut-Tamatu'' it is doubtful if it would be invalidated.
In Umrat-ul-Mufradah as in Umrat-ut-Tamatu'' one must wear ihram at the Meqat itself as will be explained later. If the person is in Makkah and intends to perform an Umrat-ul-Mufradah, it is permissible for him to come out of the Haram and wear his ihram; thus, it is not obligatory for him to proceed to a Meqat and wear the ihram there; it is permissible for him to wear the ihram at Hudaybiyyah, Ja'ranah or Tan'eem.
The only exception to this rule is when a person invalidates his Umrat-ul-Mufradah by having sexual intercourse with his wife before sa'y. In this case, as a matter of precaution, he must repeat the ihram for a new Umrah from a Meqat; however, it is not permissible to wear ihram from Tan'eem.
It is obligatory to perform an Umrat-ul-Mufradah, if one intends to enter Makkah, for it is not permissible to do so without ihram except for those who enter and depart from there regularly like by virtue of their trade.
Similarly, if a person has completed Umrat-ut-Tamatu' and Hajj, or after Umrat-ul-Mufradah and has left Makkah, he is permitted to re-enter without ihram before the expiry of the same month in which the Umrah was performed. As for the person who has departed from Makkah after performing Umrat-ut-Tamatu', but before the pilgrimage.
If a person performs the Umrat-ul-Mufradah during the Hajj season and remains in Makkah to the 8th of Thil Hijjah, he is permitted to treat it as Umrat-ut-Tamatu' and perform obligatory pilgrimage. However, there is no difference in this regard between an obligatory pilgrimage and an optional one.