The meaning of Umrah in Ramadan being equivalent to Hajj
|Umrah in the holy month of Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj in merit and excellence. The prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) himself insisted on the importance of the performance of Umrah during the holy month of Ramadan for that month has got various virtues Umrah in the holy month of Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj in merit and excellence.|
The prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) himself insisted on the importance of the performance of Umrah during the holy month of Ramadan for that month has got various virtues
Al-Bukhari (1782) and Muslim (1256) narrated that Ibn Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to a woman from among the Ansaar – Ibn Abbaas 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.”
The scholars differed concerning the one who attains the virtue mentioned in the hadeeth. There are three opinions:
That this hadeeth applies only to the woman who was addressed by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Among those who favoured this view was Sa’eed ibn Jubayr among the Taabi’een, as was narrated from him by Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Baari (3/605). Among the evidence quoted in support of this view is the hadeeth of Umm Ma’qil who said: Hajj is Hajj and ‘Umrah is ‘Umrah. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said this to me and I do not know whether it was just for me or for all people. Narrated by Abu Dawood (1989), but this version is da’eef (weak); it was classed as such by al-Albaani in Da’eef Abi Dawood.
That this virtue is attained by the one who intends to perform Hajj but is unable to do it, then he makes up for it by performing Umrah in Ramadan. For by combining the intention to perform Hajj with performance of Umrah in Ramadan, he attains the reward of doing a complete Hajj with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
The view of the scholars of the four madhhabs and others, that the virtue mentioned in this hadeeth is general in meaning and applies to everyone who performs umrah in the month of Ramadan. Umrah at that time is equivalent to Hajj for all people, not just for a few people or in certain circumstances.
The most correct of these opinions – and Allah knows best – is the last one, and the virtue is general in meaning and is attained by all those who perform umrah in Ramadaan. This is indicated by the following:
The hadeeth was narrated from a number of the Sahaabah (companions). Al-Tirmidhi said: Concerning this topic (reports were narrated) from Ibn ‘Abbaas, Jaabir, Abu Hurayrah, Anas and Wahb ibn Khanbash. Most of the reports make no mention of the woman who asked the question.
The action of people throughout the ages, namely the Sahaabah (companions) , Taabi’een, scholars and righteous people, who have always been eager to perform umrah in Ramadan so that they may attain this reward.
Moreover, there remains the question about what is meant by the virtue mentioned, and that umrah in Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj. That may be explained as follows:
Undoubtedly umrah during Ramadan does not take the place of the obligatory Hajj, i.e., the one who does ‘Umrah in Ramadan has not discharged the duty to perform the obligatory Hajj for the sake of Allah.
What is meant by the hadeeth is that they are alike in terms of reward, not in terms of fulfilling the duty.
Nevertheless, what is meant by equivalency between the reward for ‘umrah in Ramadan and the reward for Hajj is equivalency in terms of amount, not in terms of type. Undoubtedly Hajj is superior to Umrah in terms of the type of action.
The one who performs umrah in Ramadan will attain a reward equal in amount to that of Hajj, but the action of Hajj brings special virtues and status that are not present in umrah, such as du’aa’ in ‘Arafah, stoning the jamarat, offering the sacrifice and so on. Although they are equal in terms of the amount – or number – of reward, they are not equal in terms of type or nature.
Ibn Taymiyah said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (26/293-294):
It is well known that what is meant is that your umrah in Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj with me, because she wanted to perform Hajj with him but was not able to. So he told her of what would take the place of that. The same applied to others among the Sahaabah (companions) who were in the same position as her. No wise man would say what some ignorant people think, that the umrah of one of us from the meeqaat or from Mecca is equivalent to Hajj with him, because it is obvious that a complete Hajj is better than umrah in Ramadan, and even if one of us does the obligatory hajj it cannot be like Hajj with him, so how can umrah be like that? The most that can be understood from the hadeeth is that the umrah of one of us from the meeqaat in Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj. End quote.