The Pillars of Umrah – Umrah has three pillars, according to the opinion of the majority of scholars, which are: Ihraam, Tawaaf and Sa‘y.
a) Ihraam: which is assumed at the Meeqaat.
Pilgrim makes the intention at the Meeqaat to begin the rites of ‘Umrah by entering the state of Ihraam. The intention must be made in the heart, while the statement made afterwards is: “Labayka ‘Umrah” or “Allahumma labbayka ‘Umrah”. This statement begins the rites of `Umrah. So the first pillar of `Umrah is the Ihraam.
b) Tawaaf: around the House.
Types of tawaaf around the Ka’bah:
Tawaaf al-ifaadah during Hajj, which is also called tawaaf al-ziyaarah (tawaaf of visiting). It takes place after the standing in ‘Arafah, on the day of al-Adha or after it. It is one of the pillars or essential parts of the Hajj.
Tawaaf al-qudoom (tawaaf of arrival) for Hajj. This is done by the pilgrim who has entered ihraam for Hajj and by the pilgrim who is doing Qiraan, i.e., joining ‘Umrah and Hajj, when he reaches the Ka’bah. It is one of the obligatory duties or Sunnahs of Hajj – there is a difference of scholarly opinion.
The tawaaf of ‘Umrah. It is one of the essential or pillars of ‘Umrah, which is not valid without it.
Tawaaf al-wadaa’ (the farewell tawaaf), which is done after completing the actions of Hajj and when one has decided to leave Makkah al-Mukarramah. It is obligatory, according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions, for all pilgrims except women who are menstruating or bleeding following childbirth, and the one who fails to do it must sacrifice an animal of the type that is valid as an udhiyah.
Tawaaf in fulfilment of a vow made by one who vowed to circumambulate the Ka’bah. It is obligatory because of the vow.
Each of these tawaafs must include seven circuits, after which the person offers two rak’ahs behind Maqaam Ibraaheem, if possible; if he cannot do that then he may offer the prayer in any other part of the mosque.
c) Sa’y: walking between As-Safaa and Al-Marwah, which consists of seven circuits.
There are no particular supplications to be recited between Safaa and Marwah. Seven circuits are to be completed ending the last one on Marwah.
(According to the opinion of the scholars who considered it is obligatory). Leaving a pillar invalidates one’s ‘Umrah)