Umrah And The Maqam-e-Ibrahim
Umrah is a set of four basic rituals which accompanied certain other duties as well. Along with Ahram, Tawaaf, Saee and the shaving of the head, the other ritual which is a part and parcel of the Umrah is performing two Rakkah at the Maqam-e-Abraham. During the Tawaaf, at the time of Hajj and the Umrah, it is desirable if the Muslims offer two Rakaah prayer behind the Maqam-e-Ibrahim. A person may offer prayer from a distance so that no trouble is caused to other Muslims performing Tawaaf. It is mandatory to offer prayer after performing Tawaaf as Tawaaf will not be accepted otherwise. Allah said in the Holy Quran in Surah-Baqrah:
Remember, We made the House a place of assembly for men and a place of safety; and take ye the station of Ibrahim as a place of prayers; and We covenanted with Ibrahim and Ismail, that they should sanctify. My house for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow, or prostrate themselves, there in prayer. 2:125
The Maqam-e-Abraham or the station of Ibrahim, is the large stone block on which Hazrat Ibrahim A.S stood while building the upper walls of the Holy Kaaba. It is believed that this rock was sent from the Heaven to Hazrat Ibrahim A.S along with the other three rocks one of which is the Sacred Black Stone, also known as Hijr-e-Aswad. The second one is the rock of the children of Ismael and the third one is Maqam-e-Ibrahim. These rocks which are placed at certain fixed places in the Kabaa, are of great importance while performing the Umrah rituals.
The block was moved when the construction of one part was completed and in this way, all upper portions of the Kaaba were built. The Ibrahim A.S built the sacred House of the Allah whole while standing on this rock. When the construction was completed, the block was left there on the eastern side of the Holy Kaaba.
One of the miracles of Hazrat Ibrahim A.S, which many of us might be unaware of, is that when he stood on the rock, it became soft and his feet dived into the rock which resulted in making the impression of his feet on the rock. After many hundred years, those impressions are still on that rock.
It is reported that the Prophet PBUH said: the stone is the station of Ibrahim. Allah made it soft and made it a mercy. Ibrahim would stand on it and Ismail would hand the stones up to him. During the Khilafat of Hazrat Umar R.A, he got it moved from the eastern side of the Holy Kaaba to the front of Kaaba just close to the door of the sanctuary. The block was displaced to cut the chance of any difficulty short, for the Muslims performing the Tawaaf. The present place where it is located now is the place where Hazrat Ibrahim A.S offered two Rakah prayer after finishing the construction of the Kaaba.