Umrah: A duty

Q647 :If one performed the Umrah, must he also perform Haj? Is it true that if he does not, the Umrah will not be valid?

A647 : I must admit that I find this argument intriguing. Why should the delayed performance of one duty affect another duty which has already been performed? Both Umrah and pilgrimage are duties applicable to all Muslims. The only condition which makes this requirement optional relates to the ability of the person to perform this duty. When a person meets the condition of ability, he should hasten to perform the pilgrimage and the Umrah as early as possible. If he delays its performance, he never knows whether he will be able to fulfil his duty the following year or later. With this possibility in view, the Prophet instruct us: "Offer your pilgrimage before you are unable to offer it." I realize that some people argue that it is better to offer the pilgrimage in old age, when one will have all his sins forgiven. This is a false argument. For one thing, a person is never sure that he will be able to offer the pilgrimage when he grows old. For another, the benefit of offering pilgrimage early in one's life is limitless. Now, Umrah is a duty in the same way pilgrimage is one. Its fulfilment must be done as early as possible. Therefore, when you are able to go to Makkah to do the Umrah, you should do so. Whether this takes place at the same time that you do the pilgrimage or not is immaterial. If you have not done the pilgrimage yet but you are able to go and perform the Umrah, you should not hesitate to do so. There is nothing which will render your Umrah invalid after you have offered it. It is not right that its reward depends on whether or not you offered the pilgrimage.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )