Hajj and Umrah are two different types of pilgrimages in Islam that are performed by Muslims from different corners of the world. The person who has not completed any of these pilgrims cannot commonly tell the difference between the two. Many rituals and traditions between the two are similar but there are numerous differences that are listed below:
The significance of Hajj is more than umrah. The Hajj is considered as the greater form of obligation while the umrah is lesser in importance than Hajj. From the Islamic point of view the importance of Hajj is more than that of umrah.
Umrah consists of ihram (ritual of purifying the person), revolving around the Kaaba, Sae that is the walk between Safa and Marwah. It also consists of drinking Zamzam water and shaving or trimming of hair. On the other hand there are additional rituals in Hajj that include staying in the neighboring cities of Mecca that are Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah. It also consists of stoning the devil and sacrificing the animal in the name of Allah.
One of the important difference between Hajj and umrah is that Hajj must be performed in the months of Shawwal, ZullHijjah and Zul-Qadah only. The umrah can be completed at any time of the year.
The most important dissimilarity between Hajj Andumrah is that Hajj is one of the five components of Islam. Allah has made it compulsory for all the Muslims to perform Hajj once in the lifetime. As explained in the Holy Quran: “And pilgrimage to the House is a duty unto Allah for mankind, for him who can find a way thither” (Aal Imran 3:97).
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said (as mentioned by Hazrat Umar (R.A): “Islam has been built on five [pillars]: Testifying that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, Performing the prayers, Paying the Zakah, Making the pilgrimage to the House, and fasting in Ramadan.”