Umrah is sometimes referred to as the ‘lesser hajj’ or the ‘smaller hajj’ is one of the muslim rituals practiced by Muslims all over the world, following the Prophet Muhammad’s Traditions stress the need for performing Umrah. Umrah is part of the Hajj ritual however, unlike Hajj, which is a compulsory pillar of Islam, Umrah is optional and simpler.
It is based on a smaller scale, involving only some selected exercises of the hajj, however the journey and the spiritual obligations, rewards, and sacrifices are just as taxing. In that respect to fully experience the Umrah, the Titain Travel & tours branch management held an umrah briefing for 39 pilgrims that would be travelling to the holy cities of Mekah and Madinah to perform their umrah rites. The briefing given by the Religious Officer of the University Brunei Darussalam Mosque, Imam Ustaz Haji Jefri bin Haji Hidup, placed the importance of the umrah rituals and knowledge as well as the awareness and understanding of the rituals of Umrah for the pilgrims.
During the briefing the importance of Aqidah, Solat (prayers) and Umrah were discussed. Manager of Titian Travel and Tours branch Hj Ismail Hj Sulaiman said that it is important for the pilgrims to be aware of the importance of the three topics to be discussed.
This is to give them a deeper insight and understanding on their religious obligations to ALLAH in particular when performing Umrah, and visiting the Islamic historic sites in the two holy cities, i.e. Madinah and Mekkah. What is important is the pilgirims themselves understand why they are performing umrah and therefore the briefing is held so that they will not lose sight of their objective, which is to accomplish Umrah solely for Allah. He said that this is part of the Titain Travel & Tours branch management’s initiative where the briefing is an obligation of the company to those taking the umrah package where it is hoped that the pilgrims will be able to perform their religious obligations with complete readiness and a pious heart.
The Umrah is performed in reference to a Quranic command “Accomplish Hajj and Umrah for Allah” (2:196). Umrah is performed to please Allah and to earn His blessings, in favour of materialistic persuits. Uztaz Imam Hj Jefri placed the importance of being pious as well as humble when performing prayers especially when we are seeking blessings and forgiveness. He said this does not only does this necessitates to prayers during Umrah or in the holy cities, but also for prayers during regular prayers at home or in the mosques.
He explained that pilgrims must understand that when they are performing umrah it is solely for seeking, blessings and forgivness from past sins. It is also for those seeking spiritual cleanliness, and for those who are sincere and pious, they will be rewarded. He said that we must remember that the performing umrah is a sacrifice, where money, time as well as energy are used. Pilgrims will leave their families behind for a time, and that they must not waste their time in the holy cities, or else their sacrifices are in vain.