Author: Edited by Adil Salahi, Arab News Staff
Monday 27 August 2001
Q. How many Umrahs can one offer on the same journey? Is it possible to offer the Umrah on behalf of deceased parents and relatives? If so, where does one start his ihraam? If one’s parents are alive but he cannot afford to bring them from home, could he offer the Umrah on their behalf?
A. Abdul-Mumjeeb, Riyadh
A. When people come for pilgrimage or Umrah, we find them offering several Umrahs over a short period of time. They feel that they should not miss the chance that their presence in Makkah affords them to earn more reward from God. The practice is not the best they can do. It is better for them to offer one Umrah only. They should follow it with attending congregational prayers at the Haram as often as possible, and with doing the tawaf as frequently as they can. Tawaf is like prayers, with the only difference is that ordinary talk does not invalidate it. Hence, it is a good means of earning reward.
All this applies to a person who is offering the extra Umrahs in his own behalf, like one who offers extra prayers, or rises up at night for worship. He should determine what earns him the best reward and do it. If he is doing the other Umrahs on behalf of other people, the case is different. In any way, the Umrah for a person who is in Makkah starts with ihraam, which begins at the nearest point in the Hil area, such as Taneem. One does not need to go to another city for this purpose, unless he is going, say, to Jeddah or Taif for business, then he may start his ihraam there.
If one is offering the pilgrimage or Umrah on behalf of his parents who are alive, he should consider first of all whether they have the financial means to offer that duty themselves. If so, then they should come over and do it in their own time. He cannot do it on their behalf. If a person has the financial ability to cover the expenses of the journey, but is too ill to undertake it, he or she should appoint someone else to do the pilgrimage or the Umrah or both on their behalf, covering all the expenses of that person. If a person does not have the financial means, then that person is not required to do the pilgrimage or the Umrah. Ability is a condition for that duty to become applicable.
A son or daughter who is able to cover the expenses of the pilgrimage or the Umrah of one or both of his parents should do so, because then that son or daughter will earn rich reward from God. If such a son cannot afford to do so and he finds himself in Saudi Arabia, he may decide to offer the pilgrimage or the Umrah on behalf of one of his parents. While it is not an incumbent duty on either, considering their poverty, he will be doing an act of dutifulness which earns his parents and himself good reward.
Offering the Umrah on behalf of deceased relatives is perfectly appropriate. If those relatives are alive, then the whole thing does not apply.
I hope you have seen recently the answer to your question about Taraweeh prayer. I may add here that the Prophet did not offer special Tahjjud prayer in addition to Taraweeh. He offered night worship frequently. In Ramadan it is called Taraweeh, in other months it is called Tahjjud.
Source: ARABNEWS http://arabnews.com/node/214834