Muslims have three different options when it comes to performing the Hajj. Each offers a slightly different experience in terms of the rituals performed and the timeline of events on the pilgrimage. The three types of pilgrimage are:
This is the most common form of pilgrimage and the one recommended by the Prophet Muhammad himself (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). People who come to Saudi Arabia from other countries usually perform Hajj al-Tamattu’. The Ihram they wear on or before Miqat is for Umrah only and perform Umrah first, then they slip into their ordinary clothes and on 8th Zil Hijjah they put on Ihram for Hajj at their residence in Mecca and perform the rites of Hajj. It is taken off on the day of sacrifice. Pilgrims performing Tamattu’ are called Mutamatti.
In this option, the pilgrim enter into the state of ihram for both Umrah and Hajj at the same time, not taking it off until the day of sacrifice at Mina. In Qiran one has to stick to the long-lasting restrictions of Ihram. Pilgrims performing Qiran are called Qaarin.
Finally, this form of pilgrimage involves performing only the rites of the Hajj – not of the Umrah as well. This form of pilgrimage is also notable for being the only one that does not require animal sacrifice. Pilgrims performing Ifraad are called Mufrid.
1. All three kinds of Hajj are essentially the same except intention and duration of Ihram.
2. However, in Hajj al-Tamattu’ and Hajj al-Qiran the sacrifice in Mina on 10 Zil-Hijja is Wajib (essential) but in Hajj al-Ifrad it is only Mustahab (desirable).
3. An Afaqi person has the option to wear Ihram for any kind of Hajj but the residents of Mecca and those living in Hil (the area from Miqat to Haram of Mecca, such as Jeddah) are not allowed to perform Hajj al-Tamattu’ or Hajj al-Qiran.
4. According to Hanafites, the most excellent kind of Hajj is Qiran, then Tamattu’ and then Ifrad.
5. After Umrah for Hajj al-Tamattu’ one can perform more Umrahs before Hajj but in case of Hajj al-Qiran one is not allowed to perform more Umrahs before Hajj. And in case of Hajj al-Ifrad also no Umrah is permitted before Hajj.