In the Islam, the Pilgrimage is not undertaken to the shrines of saints, to monasteries for help from holy men, or, the sights where miracles are supposed to have occurred, even though we may see many Muslims doing this. In the true spirit, the Pilgrimage is made to the Kaaba, housed in the sacred city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia, the House of the Allah, whose sanctity rests in that the Prophet Abraham built it for the worship of the Almighty. The Allah rewarded him by attributing the House to himself, in essence honoring it, and by making it the devotional focal point which all Muslims face when offering the prayers. The rites of pilgrimage are performed today exactly as made by Abraham, and after him by Prophet Muhammad, PUBH.
The merits and various rites performed in the Umrah are much alike the Hajj, the fifth of the five obligatory fundamental Muslim practices. The Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) is the fifth of the fundamental Muslim obligation and institutions known as the five pillars of Islam. The Umrah is viewed as a particularly meritorious activity. It serves as an absolution the ultimate forgiveness for sins, devotion, and intense spirituality. The Umrah, a visit and Mini pilgrimage to the Makkah, the most sacred city in Islam, is not compulsive to perform of all physically and financially able Muslims in their life. The Umrah is a manifestation of the belief in the unity of Allah and all the pilgrims worship and obey the directions of the One God that is, the Allah.
Labbayka! (Allahumma) Labbayka!” (At your service, O Lord!). Uttering these sacred words known as Talbiyah, the Muslims are presented in the service of Allah, and the Almighty forgives them for the sins.
During the Umrah, the simple garb of Ahram, signifies the equality of all humanity in the sight of the Allah, and the removal of all worldly affections. After entering the state of Ahram, the pilgrim proceeds to Makkah and start their Umrah by entering in the Haram. The pilgrim visits the holy places outside Makkah, which includes: the Arafah, Muzdalifah, and Minaa, they also visits the specific pillars in the Minaa. The rituals also involve walking seven times around the sacred sanctuary, or the Kaaba, in the Makkah, and ambulating, walking and running, seven times between the two small hills of the Safaa and the .
The minor pilgrimage or the Umrah is undertaken by Muslims during any part of the year. Unlike Hajj, there is no compulsion on Muslims to go for the Umrah in any specific duration. Performing the Umrah although, does not fulfill the obligation of Hajj, yet is similar to the major and an obligatory Islamic pilgrimage, and pilgrims have the choice of performing the Umrah separately or in combination with the Hajj.