‘Umrah in Ramadan versus Hajj
Fatwa No: 122732

  • Fatwa Date:16-1-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 15, 1435
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Question

In Morocco and due to the large number of those who want to perform Hajj, pilgrims are chosen by lot. Every year, more than 4000 register in each governorate while only 98 persons are admitted. My wife and I registered for the third time and neither of us was chosen. We are very sad and weep profusely for that. I know that in a Hadeeth the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "‘Umrah in Ramadhaan equals (in reward and virtue) Hajj with me." Should my wife and I perform ‘Umrah during the great month of Ramdhaan instead of the obligatory Hajj? Or is it impermissible to give precedence to what is recommended over that which is obligatory? Please advise! May Allaah Reward you!

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

Undoubtedly, performing ‘Umrah during Ramadan has a great virtue and abundant reward. To indicates its virtue, it is enough to mention the Hadeeth in which the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "‘Umrah in Ramadan equals (in reward and virtue) Hajj." In another narration, he added: "…Hajj with me." [Al-Bukhari]

Nevertheless, this great virtue does not reach the virtue of the obligatory Hajj. The accepted Hajj has no less a reward than Paradise. Even if we adopted the view that ‘Umrah is obligatory, it is not sound to think that performing ‘Umrah absolves one of liability to perform the obligatory Hajj. But it is permissible to perform ‘Umrah before Hajj.

Consequently, you can seize the opportunity and go to ‘Umrah during Ramadan, or any other time, because of its great virtue and in compliance with the view that it is obligatory. Then, you perform Hajj when you are able to. As such, you will not miss the two altogether.

However, this should be done if you most likely believe that you are financially able to perform both Hajj and ‘Umrah. If you most likely believe that you are unable to perform both Hajj and ‘Umrah, the preponderant view is that you should wait and try again and again  perchance Allaah Facilitates Hajj for you.

Allaah Knows best.

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